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Today's News

  • Thrills, competition mark this year’s LA County Rodeo

    There’s something about rodeo on a summer afternoon.

    “We’re from a small town, we’ve always been to rodeos, so we wanted to bring the kids here to experience it,” said one mother.

    Their favorite event was the third event on Saturday, the “Muttin Bustin’ competition. This was where kids six years and younger rush into Brewer Field and try to ride a sheep. Mom approved, though her children did not participate. “They came for the Muttin Bustin’ that’s what the kids came for. Maybe they will be in it next year, if we can talk them into it,” she said.

    Another child, Makiah, 4, tried it, but might not be back to ride the sheep. “It was really scary,” she said.

    Makiah was there with her 2 1/2-month-old brother, Levi and her parents, Saree and David.

    This year’s rodeo held many other “firsts” for others. 

    The Los Alamos County Rodeo was the first one Tammy and Arlin Lepp managed by themselves. The couple bought the business last year, and this was the first year putting the rodeo on by themselves, along with a staff that included their grown children, Kalob, 25, and Katie, 21.

  • Lab worker released after accident

    The power briefly went out in Tech Area 35 Thursday when an electrical worker working on installing a fire alarm in one of the area’s buildings cut into a conduit inside one of the buildings. No one was injured, but the worker was sent to an area hospital for evaluation.

    Questions about the incident sent to the National Nuclear Security Administration were referred back to the management at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “No electric shock. No injury. As a precaution only, one subcontractor employee was taken to LAMC and evaluated with no medical attention needed,” LANL Spokesman Kevin Roark said.

    “The worker was not hurt or shocked”, said George Isaacs, the president of Pueblo Electric, the company that employed the subcontractor. As of Tuesday, the worker was not yet approved to return to work.

    According to Isaacs, the worker cut into a three quarter inch, 20 amp circuit.

    “It was the same size circuit you’d plug in your hair dryer or vacuum to at home,” Isaacs said.
    The accident tripped the circuit breaker, which cut the power to the building. Isaacs said all safety procedures were otherwise followed.

  • 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.

  • Express Scripts to limit opioids; doctors concerned

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager will soon limit the number and strength of opioid drugs prescribed to first-time users as part of a wide-ranging effort to curb an epidemic affecting millions of Americans.

    But the new program from Express Scripts is drawing criticism from the American Medical Association, the largest association of physicians and medical students in the U.S., which believes treatment plans should be left to doctors and their patients.

    About 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 33,000 deaths that year were blamed on opioid overdoses.

    Express Scripts launched a yearlong pilot program in 2016 aimed at reducing patients' dependency on opioids and the risk of addiction, said Snezana Mahon, the Missouri-based company's vice president of clinical product development.

    Mahon said analysis of 106,000 patients in the pilot program showed a 38 percent reduction in hospitalizations and a 40 percent reduction in emergency room visits, compared to a control group. The program is scheduled to take effect nationwide on Sept. 1 for Express Scripts members whose employer or health insurer has enrolled to participate.

  • Unique imaging of a dinosaur’s skull tells evolutionary tale

    Researchers using Los Alamos National Laboratory’s unique neutron-imaging and high-energy X-ray capabilities have exposed the inner structures of the fossil skull of a 74-million-year-old tyrannosauroid dinosaur nicknamed the Bisti Beast in the highest-resolution scan of tyrannosaur skull ever done.

    The results add a new piece to the puzzle of how these bone-crushing top predators evolved over millions of years.

    “Normally, we look at a variety of thick, dense objects at Los Alamos for defense programs, but the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science was interested in imaging a very large fossil to learn about what's inside,” said Ron Nelson, of LANL’s Physics Division.

    Nelson was part of a team that included staff from LANL, the museum, the University of New Mexico and the University of Edinburgh.

    The results helped the team determine the skull’s sinus and cranial structure.

    Initial viewing of the computed tomography (CT) slices showed preservation of un-erupted teeth, the brain cavity, internal structure in some bones, sinus cavities, pathways of some nerves and blood vessels, and other anatomical structures. 

  • Yates back in court after violating parole

    Trevon Yates, 22, of Santa Fe, is scheduled for an appearance in district court Friday concerning the most recent probation violation after a string of violations.

    Yates was arrested in Los Alamos as part of a massive drug sweep in early 2015 that yielded a total of nine arrests.

    Yates was charged with one count of trafficking a controlled substance and two counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

    The drug sweep, called “Operation Genesis,” was started in October 2014 and headed up by the Los Alamos Police Department’s Investigations Division.

    It was a way for LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone to put the community on notice about drug use in Los Alamos.

    According to court documents, Los Alamos Police Department learned that suspected Santa Fe drug dealer Yates was selling drugs in the area.

    As part of Operation Genesis, police started tracking Yates through various forms of surveillance.

    Between Dec. 2014 and Jan. 2015, LAPD set up a number of deals between Yates and a police informant in which 1.1 grams of heroin, 8.7 grams of marijuana and 1.8 grams of marijuana “wax” were obtained.