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Today's News

  • New Mexico student scores up, but less than 1/3 proficient

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico student tests scores are up across the state, but less than a third of students remain proficient or better in reading and math, according to results released Thursday.

    The new numbers show around 20 percent of students tested this spring are proficient or better in math and about 28 percent are proficient or better in reading. Both results are slight improvements from the 2014-15 school year when officials first gave assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

    The tests, administered by New Mexico and 10 other states, are designed to show how well schools helped students from grades 3 to 11 meet Common Core standards.

    State data show all grades tested except third saw small increases in the percentage of students scoring proficient or better in reading. All grades except 11th saw an increase in the percentage testing proficient in math, the results said.

    Albuquerque Public Schools, the state's largest school district, had decreases in some categories. For example, only around 21 percent of the district's third-graders scored proficient or better in reading. That's a 10 point decline from the previous year.

  • New Mexico governor to call special legislative session

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said Thursday she will call for a special legislative session to address a budget crunch that has been building because of dwindling state revenues and weak energy prices.

    The governor's office is talking with House and Senate leaders, hoping all parties will be prepared to reach quick and easy agreements on shoring up the state's finances that will make the special session brief.

    "Yes, we're going to call one for sure and we want to make sure it doesn't go on and on for days and day because it costs New Mexicans about $50,000 a day to have a special session," Martinez said.

    While the exact timing for the special session is uncertain, Martinez said it will probably take place in September.

    Legislative analysts are expected to release an updated state revenue forecast next week.

    They have said the state general fund was short an estimated $150 million for the budget year that ended in June and faces potentially greater shortfalls for the current fiscal year that ends in June 2017.

    Martinez earlier this month directed most major state agencies to make spending cuts of at least 5 percent in response to a sharp downturn in tax receipts and revenue tied to oil and gas prices.

  • Green chile peels causing messy roads in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — It's harvest time for New Mexico's green chile. And some residents say peels from the state's staple crop are creating a hot mess.

    The KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reports that some trucks transporting green chile are dropping peels in Albuquerque's South Valley. Residents say the peels are sloshing and are spilling out of the trucks and onto roads.

    Drivers say one intersection even is covered in green chile.

    Andres Garcia says the wet peels are dangerous. He told KOAT-TV he recently had to hit his brakes at a stop sign because his truck kept sliding.

    The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office says it is a misdemeanor crime for any truck to spill loads.

  • Today in history Aug. 18
  • Assets in Action: Starting school can be exciting for all

    Thursday, as the class of 2020 enters the building at LAHS, many local parents are sending their freshmen off to college and university near and abroad.
    Our second oldest son Spencer, and other locals including Bradley, Evan, Lane and Holly are headed to Eastern New Mexico University, in Portales.
    This was our first child to go away to school. That time between walking that graduation stage as a ‘Topper and pulling out of the driveway as we headed to Greyhound territory went very fast.
    Friends would ask how I was doing with preparations and truthfully my answer was, pretending it is not happening.
    As the Assets person in town, I was beyond elated when as we pulled up to Eddy Hall on campus, a band of merry makers descended upon us in music, song and overall glee. They encouraged the parents to remain in the car so they could park while they assisted the newest members of the school to their rooms – potentially 625 of them.
    It was a swarm of hands and hearts as we had to make sure our own suitcase and the tools that normally stay in the vehicle weren’t swept along, too.
    We whispered good luck, see you soon and in a flash they were gone.

  • Political emails: Outrageousness to love

    Like phone calls around the country between potential Gary Johnson supporters, political emails get little attention. That’s unfortunate because the grandiose and stupid style of a good many of these emails supports the notion that the other side is evil and worse, thereby feeding the much-lamented hyper-partisanship of today’s political world.
    For New Mexicans, a second reason to notice such messages is that one of our representatives in Congress, Ben Ray Lujan, is nominally responsible for some of them. Luján chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a job he got via appointment by House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Luján’s duties, beyond electing more Democrats to Congress, aren’t clear, nor is the time required.
    Presumably, DCCC time takes Luján away from tending constituent duties, such as follow-up on the 2015 mine waste spill into the Animas River. On July 5, NBCnews.com published a 1,575-word fluff piece without mentioning task and time topics. The story dwelt on Luján’s “Uncle Gus’s wingtip shoes.”
    I get these emails from both parties and their friends and until a year ago got DCCC emails. Maybe because I didn’t donate. There were ten DCCC emails in August 2015 through the 28th. The DCCC program continues, DCCC said.

  • Action-comedy set to film in Santa Fe, Albuquerque

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Film Office says an action-comedy starring Oscar-winning actors is being filmed through the end of September in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
    The film, “Villa Capri,” features Tommy Lee Jones as an ex-military operative and Morgan Freeman as a former lawyer. The two must put aside a petty rivalry to defend their resort community.
    Publicist Diane Slattery says production will spend about six weeks in New Mexico.
    The state film office says the movie includes about 120 crew members, 12 main actors and 650 background actors from new Mexico.

  • Baer clarifies accessory dwelling units

    The Los Alamos Monitor followed up with Community Development Department Principal Planner Tamara Baer about how accessory dwelling units are dealt with in the current development code.

    The first question was regarding Baer’s statement to the Planning and Zoning Commission that an accessory apartment and a primary dwelling unit are classified as one dwelling unit.
    The Monitor asked what section of the code defines that.
    “It’s not spelled out in the code,” Baer said. “But it’s always been the assumption that an accessory apartment doesn’t count towards density, because if it did, it wouldn’t be listed as an accessory apartment, it would simply be two primary dwelling units on a single lot.
    “So if you have two primary dwelling units on a single lot, then you have to meet all the code requirements for size and density.”
    Baer contends that the current code is at fault for not being clear, but that codes in other municipalities clearly define an accessory unit differently than a primary dwelling unit.
    “And I think when we get around to making other code revisions we need to do that: an accessory dwelling unit does not count toward the density,” Baer said.

  • Safety reminder for Thursday

    The Los Alamos Police Department has issued a reminder to Los Alamos motorists to be careful Thursday, the first day of school for all students.
    On Thursday, police estimate there will be about 3,000 students taking buses and driving or walking to school on their own.
    “Los Alamos Police Department would like to take a moment and remind motorists that school returns Thursday,” said LAPD Spokesman Cmdr. Preston Ballew. “Officers will be out in school zones for traffic enforcement to ensure that all students, parents and staff return from summer break safely and that they have an enjoyable school year.”
    The LAPD also advised parents whose children will ride the Atomic City Transit to know how the bus system works, and what their particular route is to and from school.
    “Please ensure that your children are aware of the bus routes they are supposed to take,” Ballew said. “Last year, at the start of the school year, several children were reported missing because they were confused about the different bus routes and got off at the wrong destination.”
    Ballew encouraged parents should ride the route with their children as a practice run.

  • Ahrens gets experience with policy making in D.C.

    Los Alamos resident Daniel Ahrens had an awesome summer.
    In April, Ahrens learned that he was accepted into the White House Internship Program, a program that introduces young people to the world of policy-making, research and other aspects important to the White House’s day-to-day operations.
    Ahrens, a junior at the University of California, Berkeley, who is studying environmental science, was assigned to the White House’s Domestic Policy Council’s Native American Affairs team. Every day, from May until August, Ahrens reported to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, located next to White House’s West Wing.
    The DPC makes sure that not only is domestic policy carried out, but it is in accordance with the president’s priorities and goals.
    Ahrens said he was a little overwhelmed on his first day, but he quickly got the hang of things.
    “Luckily, I had an amazing team I was working with… They really made me feel at home and that I was team player,” he said.
    Much of what Ahren did with the DPC was practical, day-to-day things that helped move the president’s initiatives forward.