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Today's News

  • Techs working to fix internet problems at New Mexico capitol

    SANTA FE (AP) — With just a week to go at the New Mexico Legislature, the website is down and webcasting is unavailable to the public for floor sessions and committee meetings.

    Legislative officials say the problems Friday are related to off-site equipment that serves the state capitol, and that state technicians are working with a private service provider to restore the connection. State email accounts and public wifi service also were not functioning.

    The legislative schedule is packed over the next few days but viewers missed out Friday morning on committee meetings in which stricter ethics guidelines and a bill to change penalties for marijuana possession were debated.

    In the Senate, more confirmation hearings are scheduled and lawmakers are still working out details of the state budget.

    The Legislature adjourns March 18.

  • LA, Taos hockey faces off for pure team title

    The Los Alamos Hilltoppers hockey team has one more contest remaining for the 2016-17 season.
    The Hilltoppers will take on the Taos Ice Tigers tonight for the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League’s pure team championship.
    The league includes nine teams, but seven of those are composite teams – teams that draw players from more than one high school. Only Los Alamos and Taos draw all their players from the same school.
    The pure team championship is set for 7:15 p.m. tonight at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe.
    Los Alamos and Taos are longtime rivals and battle it out each season for the North Star Trophy, a traveling trophy currently in the possession of the Hilltoppers.
    The Hilltoppers won their most recent meeting, which occurred last Saturday during the NMIIHL’s Year-End Tournament, played this year in El Paso, Texas. El Paso hosts one of three out-of-state teams that play in the New Mexico league.
    The Hilltoppers and the Ice Tigers met in an elimination game at the Year-End Tournament. In that game, the Hilltoppers came back from a late deficit to win it 5-4.
    Los Alamos wouldn’t survive its next elimination game, however, falling to Amarillo, Texas, 4-2 Sunday.

  • Church of Christ to host 5th-annual Women’s Mini-Conference

    “Ripples of Kindness” is the theme of the fifth annual county-wide “Women2Women” mini-conference to be held Saturday at Los Alamos Church of Christ.
    The mini-conference, which seeks to connect Los Alamos women with each other and with God, will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the church located at 2323 Diamond Drive.
    The morning of Christian fellowship, mutual encouragement, and spiritual strengthening is open to all women of the community. The event is free. Tea and finger foods will be served.
    The church began sponsoring the county-wide conference in 2013 and has followed-up each year since. The plan is to hold an annual conference for all nine “fruit of the Spirit” as listed in the Apostle Paul’s biblical letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22 and 23.  
    The event features two local women talking on ways that Christian women can show Godly kindness to each other and to those around them.

  • Pinball parts maker gets boost from makeover

    BY CLAUDIA INFANTE
    New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

  • Bill tackles a stubborn problem in trying to curb truancy

    Legislators are trying to get their arms around truancy in the state. Discussion about the most promising bill, the bipartisan HB 437, illustrates just how complicated the problem is.
    We have 54,000 kids who are habitually truant, which means they have 10 or more unexcused absences in a school year. That should take your breath away.
    Studies and common sense tell us that these kids are most likely to drop out.
    Four lawmakers whose political coloration ranges from conservative to liberal have teamed up to carry the bill: Reps. Patricio Ruiloba, D-Albuquerque; Jimmie Hall, R-Albuquerque, James Townsend, R-Artesia, and Sen. John Sapien, D-Corrales. On Saturday, the most conservative, Townsend, and most liberal, Ruilobo, sat together to sell their bill to the House Education Committee.
    HB 437 calls for earlier and more intensive interventions. It requires schools to have a family resources program, work with agencies and community organizations, and notify parents. It would suspend drivers licenses.
    Legislators used as models successful programs in Carlsbad and Albuquerque’s Atrisco Heritage High School.

  • Bandelier to participate in wildland fire exercises next week

    The public may notice smoke in the area of Bandelier National Monument early next week beginning Tuesday as the park participates in class wildland fire exercises.
    Bandelier National Monument and the East Jemez Interagency Fire Center will assist with the field portion of a wildland fire investigation class Tuesday and Wednesday that includes exercises examining common ignition types.
    To provide hands-on experience for the class members, instructors will ignite small sample fires, totaling about 5 acres, on a portion of Bandelier just across N.M. 4 from the fire center. 
    Smoke may be visible from N.M. 4, White Rock, Los Alamos and Santa Fe and surrounding areas.

  • Coyote-killing contest ban splits rural, urban senators

    In a decision that pitted rural and urban lawmakers against one another, the state Senate voted Thursday to prohibit coyote-killing contests in New Mexico.
    Senate Bill 268 carried 26-15 and now moves to the House of Representatives with a little more than a week remaining in the session. The Senate approved a similar measure two years ago, but it died in the House.
    Coyotes in New Mexico are an unprotected animal, meaning they can be killed at any time and in any number without a hunting license. But Sens. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, and Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, sponsors of the bill to outlaw killing contests, say the events are inhumane and give New Mexico an ugly image.
    “Sometimes their carcasses are just left out in the desert,” Steinborn said, the coyotes and their pelts discarded as worthless.
    He said there are 20 to 30 commercial coyote contests annually in the state. Several were held last year in the Las Cruces and Silver City areas, he said, and as many as 30 coyotes were killed each time.
    He told of contestants who drove around downtown Albuquerque with dead coyotes to boast about their kills.

  • Voter registration bill dies

    BY MILAN SIMONICH
    The New Mexican

  • Habitat helps history

    BY VICTORIA ERHART
    Special to the Monitor

  • Topper Freshman Academy gains new physics teacher

    New Topper Freshman Academy teacher Ali Renner began teaching Conceptual Physics Jan. 30.
    Her path to landing the job started with a walk around Ashley Pond. Renner was hanging out her kids and a friend when her friend introduced her to Carter Payne, the academy’s principal.
    She told him that she used to be a physics teacher. That got his attention.
    They exchanged emails and right before winter break, he emailed her saying one of the physics teachers was moving. Would she be interested in the job?
    “I had always thought that when my children went to school, I would start subbing and see how it goes. But this came up, and I said, ‘Wow! It seems too good to be true. I feel really lucky,” Renner said.
    Renner earned her bachelor’s degree in physics, with a minor in math, at the University of Cincinnati. She went on to Boston University where she started work on her Ph.D.  
    While at Boston University, she was required to teach the freshmen physics course. While other grad students seemed to think it was a drag to teach the freshmen, Renner said she loved it.
    “It was fun, and I realized that I looked forward to my teaching more than my own classes and the research that I was doing,” she said.
    That was the moment she said she realized that she loved teaching.