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Today's News

  • From the battlefield to the oilfield, it is all about employing veterans

    Nearly 2 million men and women served in America’s defense during the Global War on Terror. As troops return home, they face a new fight: finding a job in a highly competitive market.
    Most served in the Middle East, risking their lives for America, and ensuring an uninterrupted energy supply. They believe in the greatness of America.
    Their experiences in the military make them ideal employees for America’s oil-and-gas industry. Many companies have seen the value veterans bring to their organization and are actively recruiting veterans.
    The U.S. oil-and-gas industry has added millions of jobs in the past few years and expects to add more and more — especially with the new energy-friendly Republican-controlled Congress. Just the Keystone pipeline — which is now likely to be built — will employ thousands. Increased access to reserves on federal lands will demand more personnel. But finding potential hires that fit the needs of the energy industry in the general labor pool is difficult as they lack discipline, the ability to work in a team and, often, can’t pass a drug test. Here the fit for the veteran becomes obvious.

  • And so it begins

    Forty-two days. Six long painful torture-filled weeks.
    Forty-two days until I’m able to turn on the radio or the television set without having my eardrums suffering the waterboarding-style torment of tinny Christmas music!
    I own a stopwatch that can measure time in tenths of a second, but that’s not enough granularity to capture the speed in which stores switch from Halloween decor to Christmas decor. Kiddies weren’t even able to finish saying “Trick or Treat” before the seasonal aisle was cleared of HFCS infused chocolates and replaced by tacky trinkets to adorn dead pine trees.
    Thanksgiving is celebrated about a month after Halloween, but Christmas rules the day after all the ghosts and goblins and zombies have gone home to consume a mountain of sugar.
    Speaking of sugar, can anyone explain the love affair this country has with candy corn? Seriously, is it theoretically possible to make something more vile than candy corn? Who actually eats that stuff?

  • Today in history Nov. 14
  • Federal appeals court hears tribal land claim on Valles Caldera

     

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Leaders of an American Indian community in northern New Mexico are not giving up on efforts to reclaim the Valles Caldera National Preserve as their own.

    Jemez Pueblo considers the nearly 140-square-mile swath of federally-managed public land as a "spiritual sanctuary" and part of its traditional homeland.

    The tribe went before a panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during a special hearing at the University of New Mexico law school in hopes of keeping alive its lawsuit against the federal government. The question is whether the tribe still holds aboriginal title to the land.

    Karl Johnson, an attorney representing the pueblo, outlined for the court how Spanish land-grant heirs came to hold title to the land following a swap more than 150 years ago. The federal government then purchased the property in 2000 with the goal of operating it as a working ranch while developing recreational opportunities for the public.

    "Almost immediately the United States began restricting the pueblo's access to the property and interfering with its traditional, religious and ceremonial uses of the property in which it had been engaged for hundreds and hundreds of years," Johnson told the justices.

  • Prescribed burns set for Santa Fe National Forest

    Fire managers at the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct prescribed pile burns on the Cuba Ranger District. The Cedar Springs and Chaparral prescribed pile burns may be conducted from today through March 30, 2015, only on favorable days as conditions allow.
    The Cedar Springs prescribed pile burn is a total of 160 acres in the area north of the community of LLaves and Dead Man’s Peak Lookout. The Chaparral prescribed pile burn is a total of 120 acres north of the community of Gilman and south of the Rancho del Chaparral Girl Scout Camp near Cuba.
    Small blocks may be treated each day to decrease the daily smoke volume.
    Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-dependent ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. The Cedar Springs and Chaparral prescribed pile burns are designed to remove dead forest fuels, provide community protection and promote forest health. Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

  • NMDA offers tips on buying firewood

    With cold weather settling in across much of the state, New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is reminding people who plan to buy firewood this season to know what to look for so they get their money’s worth.
    NMDA’s Standards and Consumer Services Division (SCS) regulates New Mexico’s Weights and Measures Law, which covers how firewood and other agricultural commodities must be advertised and sold in order to maintain fairness in the marketplace for both buyer and seller.
    “Sometimes roadside firewood sellers use some pretty loose terms — face cord, loose cord, Albuquerque cord, truckload, load, rack, pile — but none of these are actual legal units of measurement,” said Ray Johnson, SCS assistant division director.
    “It’s impossible to know whether you’re getting a fair deal or not when you buy firewood labeled in these ways.”
    Instead, Johnson added, “people should look for firewood sold by the cord or fraction of a cord.”

  • Deep freeze hits northern New Mexico

    Los Alamos and White Rock residents woke up to frigid, cold temperatures Thursday. According to Weather.com, it was 13 degrees in Los Alamos at 8:45 a.m.
    The cold temperatures were accompanied by some flurries and there was some accumulation above Los Alamos in the Jemez.
    Meanwhile, difficult driving conditions are reported on some eastern New Mexico highways due to packed snow and icy spots as a strong storm system moves into the state. Difficult conditions are reported early Thursday on sections of Interstate 25 straddling Las Vegas and parts of Interstate 40 near Santa Rosa.
    The National Weather Service says central and eastern New Mexico are enduring frigid cold temperatures.
    Forecasters say there will be some warming midday Thursday but that much of the east-central and northeastern plains will remain below freezing.
    There was very light snow through Thursday morning across the central and northeastern highlands, followed by significant accumulation in higher terrain late Friday and early Saturday.
    And forecasters say a more potent storm system will hit the area Saturday night.
     

  • News Briefs 11-13-14

    Plane crash in Santa Fe County kills 1 person

    SANTA FE (AP) — Authorities say one person is dead following a fiery single-engine plane crash south of Santa Fe.
    Lt. Mike Post of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office says that the crash occurred Wednesday night just north of Clines Corners near U.S. 285, about 50 miles south of Santa Fe.
    He says one person was found dead in the wreckage, and investigators don’t think anyone else was on board.
    Post said the privately owned plane was heavily damaged by flames.
    He said the person killed hasn’t been identified but is believed to have been the pilot. An autopsy will be performed.
    The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was flying to Phoenix from Amarillo, Texas.
    Post says deputies secured the site pending the arrival of FAAA investigators.

    New Mexico House clerk to step down

  • Update 11-13-14

    Packing Party

    White Rock Presbyterian Church will host a Shoebox Packing Party for needy families. 7 p.m. Friday at 310 Rover Blvd. in White Rock. Event will include food and door prizes. Donations are also welcome. For more information and to make donations call 672-3682.

    Film

    Atomic Film Festival. “When the Wind Blows.” An animated story based on the book by Raymond Briggs about a couple facing nuclear devastation aided only with instructions from the government’s “Protect and Survive” leaflet. 7 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge. Free.

    GOP meeting

    The Los Alamos Federated Republican Women will have the monthly meeting 6:15 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church, 2200 Diamond Drive. All registered Republican women are invited to join. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Bill Hudson will be the guest speaker. Members are reminded to bring non-perishable food items and toiletries for the Esperanza Shelter in Santa Fe.

    Breakfast

    Waffle breakfast. 7:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday at Masonic Lodge, 15th Street and Canyon Road. Adults $7 and children 6 and under $3.50.

  • DOE IG report: Sandia misused federal funds

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Managers at one of the nation’s premier federal laboratories improperly used taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and other officials as part of an effort to extend the lab’s $2.4 billion management contract, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General said in a report Wednesday.
    A review of documents determined that Sandia National Laboratories formed a team and worked with consultants beginning in 2009 to develop a plan for securing a contract extension without having to go through a competitive process.
    That plan called for lobbying Congress, trying to influence key advisers to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu and reaching out to a former director of the National Nuclear Security Administration and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat who led the Energy Department under the Clinton administration.
    One consultant suggested the lab’s message to decision-makers should be that competition was not in the best interest of the government.
    “We believe that the use of federal funds for the development of a plan to influence members of Congress and federal officials to, in essence, prevent competition was inexplicable and unjustified,” the inspector general said in its report.