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Local News

  • Wilderness bill takes aim at border security

    ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico’s two U.S. senators renewed their effort Thursday to set aside more than 530 square miles along the state’s border with Mexico as wilderness and as a national conservation area.
    This marks the second time Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall have tried to push the measure through Congress. The legislation includes compromises reached last year after opponents raised concerns about the ability of law enforcement to access the area.
    “This bill strikes the right balance between securing our border and protecting treasured landscapes like the Organ Mountains for generations to come,” Udall said in a written statement.

  • Historical Figures Immortalized in Bronze

    Council Chair Sharon Stover leaned down and handed the red ribbon to Lucy Oppenheimer, the great grand daughter of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer.
    Lucy smiled as she held the ribbon in her hands.
    The ribbon that was cut had been around the new bronze statues of Oppenheimer and General Leslie B. Groves, the two World War II leaders whose partnership built the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project.
    Because of the cold, windy weather Thursday, the ceremony was moved to the Community Building’s Council Chambers before the ribbon cutting. And inside, it was standing room only.
    Stover was the master of ceremonies and introduced the dignitaries in the room. And then she shared a personal story.

  • Al-Qaida considered oil tankers as targets

    WASHINGTON — The terror group al-Qaida last summer considered hijacking and detonating oil tankers in non-Muslim seas to provoke an “extreme economic crisis” in the West, according to documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, the U.S. government said.
    It said there was no specific or imminent threat and that officials don’t know whether al-Qaida had continued the plotting since last year.

  • State Briefs 05-20-11

    Retirement fund gains  $300M

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board reports the state’s retirement fund for teachers and other educators gained more than $300 million during the last quarter.
    The pension fund experienced a 3.8 percent return on its investments from January through March.
    The fund was valued at nearly $9.5 billion at the end of the last quarter and had mostly recovered from losses because of a market downturn that started in 2007.
    Pension assets had a market value of almost $9.6 billion in September 2007.

    Students travel to Spaceport launch

  • 'Macho Man' dies in car crash

    Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the professional wrestler known for his raspy voice, the sunglasses and bandanas he wore in the ring and the young woman named Miss Elizabeth who often accompanied him, died in a car crash Friday in Florida. He was 58.
    A Florida Highway Patrol crash report said the former wrestler — whose legal name was Randy Mario Poffo — was driving a Jeep Wrangler when he lost control in Pinellas County around 9:25 a.m. The Jeep veered over the raised concrete median divider, crossed over the eastbound lanes and collided head-on with a tree.
    Police said he may have suffered a “medical event” before the accident, but the report did not elaborate.

  • Poll: Prices at gas pump painful for 4 in 10 Americans

    WASHINGTON (AP) — With gasoline prices hovering at $4 a gallon nationally, many Americans are making tough choices: scaling back summer vacations, driving less or ditching the car altogether. And high prices are hitting seniors harder than a month ago.

    An Associated Press-GfK poll shows the share of Americans who say increases in the price of gasoline will cause serious financial hardship for them or their family in the next six months now tops 4 in 10.

    Overall in the poll, 71 percent said rising prices will cause some hardship for them and their family, including 41 percent who called it a "serious" hardship. Just 29 percent said rising prices are not causing a negative impact on their finances.

  • Pawlenty to declare presidential run Monday

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a laid-back Midwestern Republican who governed a Democratic-leaning state, is running for president and will declare his candidacy on Monday in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa, an adviser told The Associated Press.

    The adviser, who disclosed the plans on the condition of anonymity in advance of next week's announcement, said Pawlenty will formally enter the race during a town hall-style event in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Statues dedication moved to Council Chambers

    Los Alamos County has changed the site of the  dedication ceremony for two life-size bronze statues honoring Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie R. Groves to the Council Chambers at 4:45 p.m. Thursday because of the cold weather outside.

    After the dedication, there will be a ribbon cutting at the statues located in front of Fuller Lodge.

  • Mississippi sees 1st death from overflowing river

    VICKSBURG, Miss. — A man died Thursday after being pulled from the floodwaters from the overflowing from the Mississippi River, becoming what is believed to be the first flood casualty since the river started spilling into Mississippi and Louisiana.
    Walter Cook, 69, had been pulled from the water a day earlier by two firefighters on boat patrol in downtown Vicksburg. Cook had been clinging to a fence in chest-deep water, but he was floating in the water by the time the firefighters got to him, said Fire Chief Charles Atkins.
    Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said Cook had drowned but has asked for an autopsy to confirm that.

  • Europe demands to name next IMF head

    BRUSSELS — European officials closed ranks Thursday to demand that the IMF’s next leader be one of their own, someone with the political savvy to handle the continent’s relentless debt crisis, but the U.S. balked at offering its immediate support.
    Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been widely praised for his leadership of the Intentional Monetary Fund and its involvement in solving Europe’s woes, resigned Wednesday to devote “all his energy” to fighting sexual assault charges in New York.