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Today's News

  • Diverse team of New Mexico lawmakers drafts harassment rules

    SANTA FE (AP) — Eight New Mexico state lawmakers have been assigned to rewriting policies that guard against sexual harassment in the Statehouse amid accounts by women of entrenched misconduct.

    The working group that met this week includes a retired First Amendment-rights attorney and a millennial-generation organizer for social justice causes. Republicans and Democrats are equally represented, while women outnumber men 5-3.

    Republican Rep. Kelly Fajardo of Belen already has made it clear she wants independent investigations of future harassment complaints to safeguard against reprisals and build trust.

    She'll be working alongside GOP Rep. Jim Dines, the driving force behind a 2018 ballot measure to create an independent state ethics commission.

    Democrats in the commission include first-term legislator Angelica Rubio of Las Cruces and two committee chairwomen.
     

  • Citizens in Action to present code options to council tonight

     

  • NMAA approves new district alignment for 2018

    After months of speculation, the New Mexico Activities Association announced the new classifications and districts for schools in the state beginning next school year on Thursday.

    There will be lots of changes coming to Los Alamos High School’s district next year in nearly every sport. One of the main reasons for that is the NMAA’s decision to go down to five classes in every sport except football, which will remain at six classes.

    That move adds teams to every class, and creates larger districts across the state.

    LAHS will be moving to Class 4A, down from their current alignment in Class 5A. Under the new alignment, enrollment in Class 4A will be between 500 and 1,299.

    The new alignment will run from 2018-2020.

    Currently, in nearly every sport except for soccer, Los Alamos’ district includes Albuquerque Academy, Del Norte High School, Capital High School and Española Valley High School.

    Beginning next year, in nearly every sport except football and soccer, the district will include Bernalillo High School, Española Valley High School, Pojoaque High School, Taos High School and Santa Fe Indian School.

  • Belen soars past Hilltoppers

    Slow starts continue to plague the Los Alamos High School girls basketball team. The latest example came Thursday evening at Griffith Gymnasium, as the Hilltoppers went down 19-6 in the first quarter en route to a 65-37 loss to Belen High School, the team’s third lopsided defeat in a row.

    LAHS has started slow in nearly every game so far this season, facing double-digit first quarter deficits in all but one game to this point. In the Hilltoppers’ first game on the road against Farmington High School, the team was able to overcome the deficit for a 44-40 victory, but that fortune has not followed them since.

    Belen came at LAHS fast, and shot with accuracy in the first quarter. Of the seven shots the Eagles attempted from the field, seven of them connected, including multiple three-point baskets.

    Unlike previous games, where the Hilltoppers struggled to get the ball across half court facing a full-court press, the issue in this game was maintaining control once the team crossed mid court.

    Due to turnover issues, LAHS attempted just four shots in the first quarter, connecting on two of them, with baskets by Alix Hailey and Becca Green.

  • Atomic City Update: New district takes away some of LAHS’ best rivalries

    In sports, having new things is always fun. You see it in professional sports all the time. Players are constantly switching teams. Leagues are always looking to expand or relocate teams.

    Over the past few years, the NFL has relocated two teams. Coincidentally, both of those teams moved to Los Angeles.

    This season, hockey has a new franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. These types of things can be fun for the fans, and it gives them new things to talk about when a monumental shift like that takes place.

    This week, we have seen one of those major shifts occur in the New Mexico Activities Association, as the new alignments and districts for high schools were announced, and are set to begin next fall.

    Any time you have new opponents to talk about and analyze, it is fun. There is no doubt it will be fun being back in the same football district as Santa Fe High School, and it will be fun to have plenty of new district foes in the other sports, notably Pojoaque High School, Taos High School and Bernalillo High School.

    However, the downside became apparent to me as I was looking at the new districts. I realized I am going to miss some of the district matchups that Los Alamos High School currently has.

  • New Mexico state senator ends bid for lieutenant governor

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democratic New Mexico state Sen. Michael Padilla says he is withdrawing his name as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

    Padilla announced the end of his campaign on Monday amid concerns about decade-old accusations of sexual harassment at a previous job with the city of Albuquerque. Padilla has repeatedly denied accusations that he created a sexually hostile work environment.

    Padilla says he accepts responsibility for making too many changes too quickly as a supervisor at an emergency communications center in Albuquerque in 2006.
     

  • The Latest: US: More study needed on nuclear pit production

    The agency that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile says further study is needed to determine the best option for the United States as it looks to ramp up production of the plutonium cores that trigger nuclear weapons.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration said Monday that a team of external and internal engineering experts will further analyze the two options that were identified as part of an earlier review that looked at the most efficient and cost effective means of making the pits.

    Agency spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler tells The Associated Press the options include leaving the work to Los Alamos National Laboratory or moving it to the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

    It's not clear how long the extra analysis will take, but the agency said new pits must be made to ensure the nation's nuclear forces are flexible and tailored to deter 21st-century threats.

    The NNSA has yet to release a report on the risks and capabilities of LANL and other U.S. Energy Department sites when it comes to producing plutonium cores for the weapons.

    The report by the NNSA was due over the summer but nothing has been made public other than a redacted summary sheet obtained by a watchdog group in the wake of recent congressional briefings.

  • Trump takes rare step to reduce 2 national monuments in Utah

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday took the rare step of scaling back two sprawling national monuments in Utah, declaring that "public lands will once again be for public use" in a move cheered by Republican leaders who lobbied him to undo protections they considered overly broad.

    The decision marks the first time in a half century that a president has undone these types of land protections. Tribal and environmental groups oppose the decision and are expected to go to court in a bid to stop Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

    Trump made the plan official during a speech at the State Capitol, where he signed proclamations to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Both monuments encompass millions of acres of land.

    State officials said the protections were overly broad and closed off the area to energy development and other access.

    Environmental and tribal groups say the designations are needed to protect important archaeological and cultural resources, especially the more than 1.3 million-acre (2,030-square-mile) Bears Ears site featuring thousands of Native American artifacts, including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

    Trump argued that the people of Utah know best how to care for their land.

  • New Mexico sees rebound in tax revenues, oil sector

    SANTA FE (AP) — Surging state tax revenues and a rebound in the oil and natural gas sectors are propelling a rapid turnaround in New Mexico government finances, state economists told a panel of lawmakers on Monday.

    State government income for the fiscal year starting on July 1, 2018, is expected to surpass current annual spending by $199 million, economists told the state's lead budget-writing committee.

    The forecast signaled that state government is emerging from two years of austerity measures that resulted in slashed spending at state universities and colleges, while threatening funding for classrooms, courts and museums.

    "It's really good to be here today to present some really good news," Finance and Administration Secretary Duffy Rodriguez said.

    Economists at four state agencies told lawmakers to expect an additional 3.3 percent in general fund spending money over the current $6.1 billion budget.

    Much of the fiscal rebound comes from personal income taxes — an estimated $167 million increase during the current and coming fiscal years. Income from oil and natural gas was adjusted upward by $140 million for the same period.

  • UBiQD, Descartes expands operations

    History says Silicon Valley started out of a one-car garage in Palo Alto California in 1937 with the founding of the Hewlett-Packard company. Monday, Los Alamos had a Hewlett-Packard moment of its own when New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel visited Los Alamos tech company UBiQD headquarters to celebrate UBiQD’s and Descartes Labs’ future plans. Both companies announced at the gathering they will be bringing a combined total of 70 jobs to New Mexico.

    The CEOs of both companies thanked Geisel, the state, Los Alamos National Laboratory and their communities where they’re based (Descartes was in Los Alamos, but moved to Santa Fe) for their ongoing financial support to help grow tech in the northern New Mexico. Both companies got their start through the lab’s tech transfer initiative, the Venture Acceleration Fund and funding from Los Alamos and Santa Fe to help grow their businesses.

    The state is providing $500,000 in Local Economic Development Act funding to Descartes Labs and $125,000 to UbiQD to help with the jobs expansion.