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Today's News

  • US: ‘Zero’ chance of Colorado River water shortage in 2018

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Heavy winter snows in the Rocky Mountains have rescued the thirsty Western U.S. for another year.
    U.S. water managers said Tuesday there will be no water cutbacks in 2018 for millions of residents and farmers served by the Lake Mead reservoir on the Colorado River that lies behind the Hoover Dam.

    “The projection indicates there is no chance of shortage in 2018,” said Rose Davis, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “Zero.”

    January water levels are expected to be 8 feet (2.5 meters) above the point that triggers a drought-shortage declaration on the lake, according to a 24-month projection by the water system management agency.

    “That’s good news for everybody in the basin,” said Chuck Cullom, manager of Colorado River programs for the Central Arizona Project, which uses water from the river.

    The Arizona system serves a heavily populated region that includes the state’s largest cities: Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa. The project would be among the first hit by cutbacks in the event of a shortage, although officials say farmers would be affected before cities.

  • Today in history Aug. 16
  • Barranca design parent meeting Thursday

    Barranca Mesa Elementary School parents are invited to an upcoming design meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Barranca Library.

    No action will be taken, as the purpose of the meeting is to bring parents up to speed on past Barranca design meetings.

    Parents, staff and community members have met a handful of times to take a look at the proposed designs for the renovation of Barranca Mesa Elementary School.

    “It is primarily for parents that may have been out of town during the last three meetings, want additional information about the two design options, want to provide feedback and ask questions,” said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus, who will be in attendance during Thursday’s meeting.

    In previous meetings, construction coordinator for the district Herb McLean has reviewed and explained the two different layouts; one is a single story option and the other is a two-story floor plan.

    With either plan, construction will take about 16 months, roughly from March 2018 through August 2019, and Barranca will gain almost 10,000 square feet after renovations.

    To view the two proposed designs for Barranca Mesa, visit laschools.net/barranca and click on “Construction Updates.” Barranca Mesa Elementary School is located at 57 Loma del Escolar Street.

  • University of New Mexico moving forward with hospital plans

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The University of New Mexico is one step closer to building a new and long-awaited hospital after its governing board decided to hire an architect to begin advanced design work.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports the university's Board of Regents unanimously voted to bring on an architect to prepare plans for the first phase of the new hospital on Tuesday. The initial design would include space for 120 beds, six operating rooms and clinical offices. Officials say the new facility would eventually replace all of the current hospital's adult-care units.

    Health Sciences Center Chancellor Dr. Paul Roth says the hospital is no longer large enough to handle statewide demand and has become out of date.

    If the project stays on track, officials say the new facility could be open by mid-2022.

  • New Mexico forecasts revenue surplus as budget crisis wanes

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico is on track to collect more money in the coming fiscal year than it currently spends as surging oil production pulls state government out of a budget crisis, state economists told lawmakers on Wednesday.

    Economists from three state agencies and the Legislature predicted that tax revenue and other government income will slightly surpass spending obligations during the fiscal year that begins in July 2018.

    They anticipate excess revenues of $25 million — equal to a small fraction of the state's $6.1 billion general fund spending plan for the current fiscal year.

    Lawmakers expressed guarded relief as they prepare to craft a budget for the coming fiscal year during a 30 day legislative session that starts in January.

    "I do feel better with the trend than where we've been in the past," said Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, as a panel of lawmakers met at a ski resort outside Taos.

    He cautioned that New Mexico remains vulnerable to swings in oil and natural gas prices. Smith also warned that an ongoing lawsuit could force legislators to boost funding of public schools that already account for 44 percent of state general fund spending.

  • Bandelier rangers offer reward for information on elk poaching

    Bandelier National Monument is offering a reward of $3,000 for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for the poaching of an elk within the park between the night of Aug. 3 and morning of Aug. 4.

    Park rangers collected at the scene and some parts of the poached elk were taken by the suspects, according to a release sent out by Bandelier Friday. 

    The incident happened along State Highway 4 near milepost 44 near Cerro Grande. The elk was found by rangers on the south side of the road. 

    Anyone who observed a vehicle stopped along the road on the night of Aug. 3 or morning hours Aug. 4 are asked to call Bandelier law enforcement rangers. Anyone with related information is asked to call 505-672-3861 extension 401 or 402. 

  • Open Space and Trails meeting Aug. 16

    The Los Alamos County Open Space and Trails division staff invites residents to meet with Eric Peterson, county Open Space Specialist, to discuss trails in and around the North Mesa Stables area. The meeting will be held on Aug. 16 from 5:30-7 p.m. Attendees are asked to meet at the parking lot across from the Posse Lodge (650 North Mesa Road).
    The focus of the meeting will be on trail issues around the North Mesa Stables area to gather public feedback. Residents with questions can contact Eric Peterson at 663-1776 or eric.peterson@lacnm.us

  • Los Alamos prepares for the annual Fair and Rodeo

    This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Los Alamos Ranch School, an important piece of Los Alamos history. It’s no surprise then that local events honor that piece of history and this year’s County Fair and Rodeo is no exception as its theme will be “Legends of the Ranch School.”

    In addition to the rodeo events happening at the Brewer Arena, there will many exciting activities for the whole family to enjoy over the course of the weekend, including bounce houses, a parade, arts and crafts fair, and much more.

    The Arts and Crafts Fair at Fuller Lodge begins Saturday morning immediately after the Fair and Rodeo Parade. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., crowds can stroll to the east lawn at Fuller Lodge to shop for all sorts of treasures that can only be discovered once a year at the Summer Fair.

    Amy Bjarke, Exhibit and Marketing Director at Fuller Lodge Art Center, stepped into the position of fair coordinator a little over a year ago and explained that the Arts and Crafts Fair consists of around 100 local, regional, and even national artists, all selling their handmade art.

    “There’s a wonderful variety of artwork to choose from including photography, fiber arts, jewelry, food, wood and so much more,” she said.

  • US Air Force test flights focus on off-the-shelf options

    (AP) Over a U.S. Air Force base in the New Mexico desert, pilots on Wednesday tested some off-the-shelf options as the military looks for its next light-attack aircraft.

    Test flights for the experiment known as the OA-X initiative are being conducted at Holloman Air Force Base. Air Force Secretary and former New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson was on hand along with other top officials as pilots put the planes through their paces.

    The scenarios are designed to emulate combat missions and other flights such as search and rescue and reconnaissance.

    The Air Force earlier this year invited the aviation and aerospace industry to put forth data on readily available planes that would meet the service’s needs for a small, low-cost aircraft that could support missions on the ground while being easily maintained. The top candidates were then invited to Holloman to show off their capabilities.

    U.S. Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a supporter of the experiment, said Wednesday the event is aimed at helping the military procure the tools it needs more quickly, efficiently and affordably.

  • Trump say he'll expand US anti-missile programs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he's planning to add billions of dollars to the nation's anti-missile programs.

    Trump tells reporters after a security briefing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, "We are going to be increasing out budget by many billions of dollars."

    He says an announcement is planned soon.

    Trump also says the nation's nuclear arsenal is in "in tip-top shape" and getting stronger. And he insists his administration has "done a lot of modernization" and "a lot of renovation" already.

    Trump is also warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons, saying he'd like to "de-nuke the world." But he says that, until that happens, the U.S. "will be the most powerful nuclear nation on earth, by far."