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Today's News

  • Today in history July 28
  • British baby Charlie Gard dies, was center of legal battle

    LONDON (AP) — Charlie Gard, the terminally ill British baby at the center of a legal and ethical battle that attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, died Friday. He was one week shy of his first birthday.

    Charlie suffered from a rare genetic disease, mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which left him brain damaged and unable to move his limbs or breathe unaided.

    A family spokeswoman, Alison Smith-Squire, confirmed Charlie's death on Friday, a day after a judge ordered that he be taken to a hospice for his final hours.

    "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we're so proud of him," his mother Connie Yates said in a statement.

    Charlie's parents raised more than 1.3 million pounds ($1.7 million) to take him to the United States for an experimental medical therapy they believed could prolong his life. But Charlie's doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London objected, saying the treatment wouldn't help and might cause him to suffer.

    The dispute ended up in court.

    Charlie's case became a flashpoint for debates on the rights of both children and parents, on health-care funding, medical interventions, the responsibilities of hospitals and medical workers and the role of the state.

  • Democrats need to offer real solutions

    BY REP. BILL MCCAMLEY
    New Mexico House of Representatives, Dist. 33

    Resist.

    For many of us scared and angry about our current president, it’s become a mantra for a good reason. Protecting basic health care, opposing turning our schools over to corporations, and defending America’s credibility worldwide are all vital to our future.

    But it is not enough. Recently, 52 percent of Americans polled only define Democrats by our work to fight Trump. If we are going to really change communities for the better, and regain people’s trust, we have to be proactive and bold in pushing for real change. What does that mean?

    While unemployment is low and the stock market continues to rise thanks to President Obama’s work after the Great Recession, wages have stayed flat. So while the average CEO now makes 335 times that of the average worker, most people feel like no matter how hard they work the best they can do is keep pace on a treadmill. And if working families have any problem, like unexpected health bills or a major house/car problem, that treadmill kicks them right off.

  • Farmington seeks softer landing from power plant cuts

    The nation’s lowest average residential electric bill comes to New Mexico’s homeowners. Who’d a thunk?
    The rates rank 20th nationally, but we use less electricity, the 11th lowest amount. Combine the factors and the average monthly bill becomes the lowest.
    This is a federal number, coming from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, courtesy of our Public Regulation Commission. Four PRCers, led by Sandy Jones, commission chair, had a long session July 19 in Farmington with the Legislative Finance Committee and the Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee at the BP Center for Energy Education at San Juan College. The session ran an hour and 25 minutes beyond the scheduled hour.
    The electric bill item, obscure but of interest to all New Mexicans, appeared in an out of the way place making it difficult for the information to circulate. This is an old problem. New Mexico’s large size means a lot of out of sight and out of mind. Even the Center for Energy Education, a gorgeous white building located about four blocks from the main campus, shares the out of sight problem.

  • An afternoon of arias and art songs

    Los Alamos natives Kristen Annalize Sussman (soprano) and Nathan Salazar (piano) will give a free concert of opera and art songs at 3 p.m. Aug. 5 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2390 North Road, Los Alamos.
    Sussman and Salazar perform around the world as professional musicians and are joyful to share a homecoming concert together.

  • In US first, scientists edit genes of human embryos

    (AP) For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases.

    The experiment was just an exercise in science — the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb, according to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news.

    Officials at Oregon Health & Science University confirmed Thursday that the work took place there and said results would be published in a journal soon. It is thought to be the first such work in the U.S.; previous experiments like this have been reported from China. How many embryos were created and edited in the experiments has not been revealed.

    The Oregon scientists reportedly used a technique called CRISPR, which allows specific sections of DNA to be altered or replaced. It’s like using a molecular scissors to cut and paste DNA, and is much more precise than some types of gene therapy that cannot ensure that desired changes will take place exactly where and as intended. With gene editing, these so-called “germline” changes are permanent and would be passed down to any offspring.

  • 2 protesters accused of vandalizing N.M. GOP office

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The Republican Party of New Mexico headquarters has been hit with spray paint, and officials say two protesters are responsible.
    New Mexico GOP spokesman Dominic Pacheco said Thursday a receptionist saw the demonstrators paint a red “A’’ on the Albuquerque headquarters building sign before fleeing.
    The protesters arrived Thursday afternoon and held signs accusing Republicans of promoting “hatriotism.” The two female protesters told a reporter with The Associated Press they were from the group Betsy Riot.
    The group’s website says members are “neosuffragists and punk patriots” whose mission is the rescue the country from President Donald Trump. The group says it engages in “street theater, disruption, and creative acts of trumpculture sabotage.”
    No arrests have been made.
    Betsy Riot didn’t immediately respond to an email.

  • LAPS test scores show LA still on top

    The results from last year’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, or PARCC, have some statewide districts disgruntled.

    It is no secret that New Mexico’s educational system trails behind other states in the nation, but the Los Alamos School district remains on top.

    Overall, less than a third of New Mexico students aren’t proficient in math and English Language Arts.

    Los Alamos, however, scored well above state average in math and English Language Arts.

    When compared to the data from the previous year of testing, grades five, six, seven, nine and 10 increased proficiency in English Language Arts. About 56 percent of fifth graders are proficient in English Language Arts, which is an increase from 42 percent. Grades three, four, eight and 11 decreased in this area. The most notable was a 12 percent decrease in English Language Arts proficiency among eighth graders.

    Grades three, four and six through 10 decreased in math proficiency, the most notable being a fall to six percent of eighth graders being proficient in math.

    Eleventh graders increased their percent of proficiency by 10 percent from last year’s testing scores.

    Los Alamos Schools overall had a higher proficiency percentage than most schools in New Mexico.

  • LANL cybersecurity experts recognized for work

    Quantum-cybersecurity expert Ray Newell received the 2016 Richard P. Feynman Innovation Prize at a July 20 ceremony celebrating the “Super Power of the Entrepreneur.”

    Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers Miles Beaux and Nataliia Makedonska, and post-doctoral researchers Jessica Kubicek-Sutherland and Vamshi Chillara were also recognized for their exceptional research presentations at DisrupTech, an event that brings together investors, business leaders and others in the community to learn about disruptive technologies – those technologies that could potentially up-end the way we live and work – being developed at Los Alamos.

    “Increasingly, disruptive technology change is driven by entrepreneurs and corporations,” said Duncan McBranch, chief technology officer at Los Alamos. “They are tackling problems once limited to superpower nations – like global public health and space exploration. When the laboratory collaborates with the private sector, we can combine our transformative technologies with new business models to change the world.

    The Feynman Innovation Prize and DisrupTech were created to celebrate our scientists’ role in creating technologies that can help further the laboratory’s mission while simultaneously making the world a better place.”

  • LAPS board reacts to draft lab contract

    The Los Alamos Public School board met on Monday to review and discuss the draft request for proposal documents for the Los Alamos National Lab Management and Operation Contract Competition.

    LAPS noticed that the documents did not mention the obligations for the successor to provide support to the Los Alamos schools in the amount of $8 million each fiscal year.

    This obligation is covered under Public Law 105-85, the “Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005.”

    LAPS drafted a comment to address the missing language for the main purpose of making the potential contractor aware of the $8 million and avoid any unwanted surprises.

    LANL Foundation Treasurer Bill Wadt and Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Sullivan were present to discuss the comment that Wadt drafted with the help of Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

    Wadt offered to help draft the comment because he has extensive experience working on Management and Operation contract issues, dating back to 1992.

    Wadt informed the school board that the original language was developed by Maury Pongratz in an effort to protect the school district when the LANL contract was up for competition in 2005-2006.