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Today's News

  • Hilltalkers to hold bake sale fundraiser

    The Los Alamos Hilltalkers Speech and Debate team will be holding a bake sale fundraiser from 3-6 p.m. Friday in the lobby of the Los Alamos National Bank at 1200 Trinity Dr.
    The high school speech and debate team will be accepting donations in exchange for homemade treats including brownies, cookies, breads and cakes. Baked goods will be available in small portions, as well as whole cakes and loaves.
    The speech and debate team is raising money to send 10 students from Los Alamos High School to the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament in Dallas in June. To date, this is the largest group of Hilltalkers to qualify to attend the annual NSDA tournament.
    Among those students attending are seniors Sudeep Dasari, Benjamin Duan, James Sinnis, Aniruddha Nadiga, Irene Gerrish; juniors Rebecca Cai, Katherine Wang; and sophomores William McCumber, Robert Zhu and Wilbur Wang.
    Veteran head coach, Margo Batha, and assistant coach, Christine Engelbrecht, will also attend with a number of chaperones.
    “This De-Bake Sale is our third and final fundraiser for this trip. We really need to raise our last $1,500 to make this trip affordable for our students,” Batha said.  
    “This has been an amazing year for the Hilltalkers and I could not be more proud of my kids,” Engelbrecht said.

  • Council approves land parcel sale

    After two hours of presentations and debate Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the sale of White Rock’s A-19-A-1 to the Site A-19-A-1 Acquisition Group, LLC, a subsidiary of TransCor Development Corporation (TDC).
    TDC plans to develop a residential subdivision of approximately 97 single-family residential lots on the tract.
    Council raised questions about the sale price of $4,400 an acre, or $150,000 for the entire 34.37-acre tract, and what home prices the group is proposing.
    Council also unanimously approved a $1,406,000 water project fund loan/grant agreement with the New Mexico Finance Authority.
    The grant is for $843,600, 60 percent of the total amount. The $562,400 loan will be repaid at zero-percent interest with a .25-percent per annum administrative fee on the unpaid principal balance.
    The county's required match is 20 percent of the total award amount, which will be met by approved Capital Improvement Project funding.
    The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will use the money for group 12 tank rehabilitation, non-potable pipelines to connect the existing non-potable system to the group 12 tank and a pump booster station to provide sufficient pressure for the non-potable water system.

  • LAHS students rank in national French contest

    Los Alamos High School students have ranked nationally in the 80th annual event, according to Lisa Narug, national director of Le Grand Concours, a national French contest.
    The students ranked were Zoe Hemez (gold medal), Opale Schappert (gold medal), Theodore Warner (silver medal), Elise Koskelo (silver medal), Rebecca Cai (bronze medal), Irene Kwon (bronze medal) and Esperanza Tapia (bronze medal).
    Le Grand Concours is a national competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students were evaluated for their written, oral and listening comprehension skills in French. More than 90,000 students in all 50 states competed in the 2015 event.
    More than 20 LAHS students entered the competition under the direction of their French teacher Louise Foliot-Gentile.
    In addition to these national and chapter winners, Serena Birnbaum, Sophia Jeffery, Kayleen Lederman, Sophia Li, Beatrice Nisoli, Michael Mallett and Ariel Rawls ranked in the top 10 in the New Mexico Chapter.

  • Friends of libraries honors seniors

    Four Los Alamos High School seniors were recently awarded $2,500 scholarships by the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries.
    The selected students were Astrid Hengartner, Madeleine LeScouarnec, Kimberly Pestovich and Sarah Wallstrom. A fifth senior, Sopahn Kellogg, was selected to receive the June Ettinger Memorial Scholarship.
    The students each submitted a personal narrative of about 500 words on a book which was not required for school and which has not been translated into a visual medium.
    They were asked to tell their readers in what ways the book has added to their understanding of the human condition or has enhanced their life.
    Volunteer readers for the Friends of the Libraries were Patty Kokesh, Ruth Cox, Candee Haskins, Art Brown, along with Joanna Gillespie of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. The readers independently read 19 essays and the five top-scoring writers were awarded the scholarships.
    The Friends raise money for the annual scholarship through their all-volunteer bookstore at Mesa Public Library and by public donations. For more information, stop by the bookstore.

  • Be prepared for Obamacare changes

    The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to issue its decision in King v. Burwell in June.
    The ruling could have tremendous consequences for the healthcare law commonly known as Obamacare — and more importantly, it could have a huge impact right here in New Mexico.
    King v. Burwell was argued before the high court in March 2015. The case hinges on an interpretation of the Obamacare law.
    The plaintiffs argued that the text authorizes premium subsidies for people in “exchanges established by [a] State.”
    A separate section describes the creation of a federal exchange by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for states that do not create their own exchanges.
    An IRS rule issued in 2012 allowed premium subsidies to be paid through exchanges established by the secretary. The plaintiffs argue these subsidies are illegal, since there is no congressional authorization for the spending.
    If the justices concur, states that have not created exchanges under the law could see some dramatic changes.
    However, New Mexico has a “hybrid” exchange.

  • New Mexico college enrollment tanks

    “N.M. College Enrollment Decline Leads Nation.”
    Thus, did one local headline chronicle the news last week of the precipitous drop in the number of students entering New Mexico’s universities this academic year compared to just last year.
    The numbers are stark: Almost 11,000 fewer students enrolled at New Mexico’s institutions of higher education for the fall semester of 2014 than in the fall of 2013.
    Think upon it. We’re talking here about a decline of 8.3 percent in only 12 months. The rate of decline in college enrollment, nationally, was 1.9 percent, so to report that New Mexico‘s decline “leads” the nation is to understate the case dramatically.  
    It also dramatically underscores the tenacity with which the Great Recession of 2008 continues to hold New Mexico in its grips. Nor does it help that New Mexicans have chosen a cadre of state and local political leaders demonstrably ill-suited to turn things around.
    Of course, New Mexico “leads” the nation in declining college enrollments. Under the circumstances how could it be otherwise?
    It is also one of the few states that “leads” the nation in a documented loss of population. More people have actually moved away from New Mexico than to New Mexico since the Great Recession of 2008.

  • Isotopes shut out twice in one day

    The New Orleans Zephyrs (22-21) shutout the Albuquerque Isotopes (18-29) 3-0 and 4-0 during Tuesday evening’s doubleheader at Zephyr Field.The Isotopes have now been held scoreless for 22 straight innings.
    The Zephyrs wasted no time jumping on the board in both games. New Orleans put up single runs in the first and second innings of game one before adding an insurance run in the third.
    Game two saw the Zephyrs score one run in the first and two in the second to take control on the contest. Former Isotopes infielder Miguel Rojas turned in a 3-for-5 night with a home run, a double, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk.
    Entering the day, two Isotopes players held 11-game hitting streaks. Matt McBride and Kyle Parker both got hits in first game, but couldn’t continue their streaks in the second contest.
     

  • UNM fighting for national bids at west prelims

    New Mexico track and field is sending 22 individuals and a relay team to the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary Championships competition this weekend in Austin, Texas.
    UNM’s 11 men, 11 women and men’s relay team are all eyeing a top-12 finish in their respective events at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
    A top-12 finish at the preliminary rounds — which are split between the West region in Austin and the East region in Jacksonville, Fla. — advances a competitor to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
    Qualifying for the preliminary championships competition is based on the descending-order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites. For each individual event contested at each of the prelim competitions, the top 48 declared student-athletes were accepted.
    On the men’s side, 11 Lobos and a relay will compete in Austin, with Allan Hamilton leading the pack in two events.
    Hamilton, the Mountain West champion in the long jump and triple jump, qualified in both events. He is seeded ninth in the long jump and 27th in the triple jump.
    Also qualifying in the jumps are Logan Pflibsen in the pole vault (seeded 17th), Yannick Roggatz in the long jump (32nd) and Django Lovett in the high jump (44th).

  • Tumblers shine in Colorado

    The Los Alamos School of Gymnastics’ platinum and gold level gymnasts, who will be competing at the regional championships later this month, traveled to Denver this past weekend to compete against 12 Colorado teams at Encore Gymnastics.
    In the senior platinum division, Ashley Bustos took the gold in the all-around competition with a 37.15. Bustos also won gold on the balance beam with 9.45, silver on floor with a 9.50 and bronze on both the vault (9.40) and bars (8.80).
    Teammate Carley Stilwell was seventh all-around with a 35.45. Stilwell won gold on the vault with a personal best score of 9.80. Stilwel also tied for second on floor with a 9.50.
    In the junior platinum division, Anna Clark was 10th all-around with a 35.60. Clark finished sixth on bars with an 8.0 and eighth on floor with a 9.30. Teammate Suyana Ferreira finished 11th all around with a 35.55. Ferreira won gold with her best vault ever, a 9.80. On the vault, she completed a half twist on to a half twist off. She also won a bronze on bars with a 9.05.
    In the senior division of the gold competition, Cherie McCreary finished 10th all around with a 33.85. She won a bronze on bars with a 9.00 and finished sixth on vault with an 8.65.

  • Strother wins competitive Pace Race

    Tuesday’s Pace Race at the Cañada del Buey trail in White Rock was a competitive one.
    Only .55 seconds separated the first and second-place finishers on the three-mile course.
    Nikol Strother, however, ended up being the fastest runner and he also had the best prediction on the three-mile course. Strother finished with a time of 20 minutes, 19.64 seconds and a prediction error of 7.64 seconds.
    Monica Cook was the second best predictor with an error of 8.19 seconds while Roxana Candia missed her prediction by 9 seconds.
    Jayson Jones was the best predictor on the one-mile course with an adjusted error of 3.15 seconds.
    Second was Tamryn Jones. Her prediction had an adjusted error of 4.26 seconds and Jackie Peckham was next with an adjusted error of 5.7 seconds.
    Next Tuesday’s pace race will start at 6 p.m. at the corner of Barranca and Navajo Roads on Barranca Mesa.
    There will be one and three-mile courses on pavement and also two and four-mile courses on the Deer Trap Mesa trail.
    This year both the two and 4.13 courses will run counter-clockwise. See last year’s map at usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=542399
    The 4.13-mile loop extends the middle mesa trail to the power lines.
    On the two-mile trail, runners will take the south fork of the trail.