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Today's News

  • NMSU to study wildlife in Jemez Mountains for signs of recovery

    New Mexico State University was awarded a $100,000 grant by the National Park Service to study bears, mule deer, elk and mountain lions that live in the Jemez Mountains. The study will determine how well the animals are reacting to the NPS’ wildfire restoration efforts in the area.
    The program will study the affects of NPS’s forest restoration program otherwise known as the “Southwest Jemez Mountains Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.”
    NPS started the program in the area about eight years ago. The program uses prescribed burns, debris clearing and tree planting to prevent wildfires.
    The NMSU study will help fulfill a federal requirement to ensure the program is working,  and it’s not harming the mammals that call the Jemez Mountains home.
    “The only way you can tell that is if you go and monitor the fish and wildlife populations and their use of the habitat that you restored,” said Bob Parmenter, division chief for science and resource stewardship at the Valles Caldera.
    Many of the animals in the area already have tracking devices on them, and it will be up to the team from NMSU to track them.

  • Prep boys basketball: LA gets No. 14 seed for state tourney

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team received the No. 14 seed for the Class 5A state tournament.

    The Hilltoppers (13-14 overall) will be at No. 3 Farmington in the first round. It'll be Los Alamos' first trip to the state tournament since 2012. 

    The date and time of the first round matchup is yet to be determined. 

  • Supers’ plea to lawmakers: Save schools from further cuts

    BY MILAN SIMONICH
    The New Mexican

  • Automatic voter registration bill dies in committee

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

  • LAPS to cut ties with federal school lunch program

    Los Alamos Public Schools will cut ties with the National School Lunch Program by next school year.
    The program serves the district’s five elementary schools. The middle school and the high school do not participate in the program because they do not qualify.
    The district has decided to leave the program because the portions are too small and the selection of choices slows the service.
    Once the new school year begins, students will have bigger portions of food, more variety and faster service, school officials said.  
    The federally funded program offers free and reduced lunch to students who qualify. By next school year, there will be funding in place to cover those students currently in the federal program.
    “The community will not see a difference in the food service structure and we will still be taking care of the children that require assistance. It’s imperative to the district and the board that we take care of all kids,” LAPS Chief Financial Officer Lisa Montoya told the Los Alamos Public Schools School Board Feb. 14.
    “We have listened to community and listened to what they’ve said they’ve wanted,” Montoya said.
    The federally funded program subsidizes the cost of lunch to students who qualify.

  • ‘Topper baseball set for season opener at Sandia Prep

    The Los Alamos baseball team begins its 2017 campaign with a tough doubleheader.
    The Hilltoppers will visit Sandia Prep Saturday and will play the Sundevils at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Albuquerque.
    The defending Class 4A state champion Sundevils are coming off a 27-4 season, where they won their second consecutive state title. However, Sandia Prep started the 2017 season with a 12-3 loss against St. Pius Tuesday.  
    Los Alamos lost a lot of talent from its 2016 squad but does have a young rotation of players, combined with eight returners from last year. The Hilltoppers are coming off a 20-9 season and a state quarterfinals appearance.
    James Neal is expected to fill a void in the infield, while Travis Gonzales and Jake Rutton will look to replace last year’s electric starting pitching duo of Connor Mang and Lane Saunders.
    Los Alamos’ top returners will look to guide the team through a challenging schedule that includes participating in two tough regular season tournaments.
    After the season-opening doubleheader, the Hilltoppers will open the St. Pius tournament  March 2 with a matchup against Class 6A contender Las Cruces High. Los Alamos will also play in the tournament the following two days.

  • Prep boys basketball: LA should make state tourney

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team hasn’t been to the state tournament since 2012.
    That should change Sunday when the New Mexico Activities Association announces its 16-team field for the Class 5A state tournament.
    Los Alamos currently stands at 13-14 overall, finished in fourth place in District 2-5A and was ousted by Del Norte in the second round of the district tournament. Not only should the 13 wins be enough to get the Hilltoppers in, but their win at Belen and against Española Valley will standout to the selection committee.
    Playing in Class 5A’s second toughest district will also enhance Los Alamos’ chances of ending its state tournament drought. The Hilltoppers also got a bit of a boost when Taos had to forfeit eight of its nine wins due to playing an ineligible player. One of those forfeited wins was the Tigers’ triumph over Los Alamos on Jan. 10.   
    The Hilltoppers will likely be on the road for the first round, as the top eight seeds will host first round games. Los Alamos is likely to get a 14, 15 or 16 seed and get matched-up with one of the top three seeds.

    Who will LA see in the first round?

  • New Mexico House passes budget, tax package

    BY BRUCE KRASNOW
    The New Mexican

  • Legislative Roundup 2-24-17

    Days remaining in session: 23

    Signed: Staving off a breakdown in the state justice system, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez signed a bill Thursday to provide short-term funding for New Mexico’s courts.
    Sanchez was acting as the state’s executive while Gov. Susana Martinez traveled to Washington, D.C., for meetings of the National Governors Association and Republican Governors Association.
    Sanchez’s signing of House Bill 261 ends a battle over the judiciary’s budget that had dragged through the 60-day legislative session.
    The bill includes $1.6 million to pay for jury trials through the end of the fiscal year in June and $80,000 to avoid furloughs at the state Supreme Court.
    Chief Justice Charles Daniels had warned that, without the money, courts around the state would be unable to afford trials by March 1.
    But when Democrats in the Senate attached the court funding two unrelated bills, Martinez vetoed each measure. Martinez suggested that her administration needed to adequately vet the judiciary’s request. The Republican-sponsored bill that Sanchez signed includes about the same amount of money the courts had been requesting for months.

  • Senate bill allows state to impose steeper fines for oil spills

    A Senate panel approved a bill Thursday that would make it easier for state regulators to fine oil and natural gas producers for spills and other environmental violations. The bill, which advanced along party lines, follows years of sharp increases in the volume of spills involved in oil and gas production, and comes as major companies like ExxonMobil and Halliburton have shown a surge of interest in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico.
    Democrats and environmental advocacy groups say the measure would give teeth to an agency they describe as defanged by a 2009 court ruling that stripped away some of its authority to impose penalties.
    State data show a sharp drop in fines collected by the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division since the ruling. The agency collected $735,500 in penalties in 2009 but only $14,000 the following year, according to an analysis by the Legislative Finance Committee. Penalties have been rare since then.
    The sharp decline followed a ruling by the state Supreme Court that said the division cannot on its own collect fines for violations of New Mexico’s oil and gas regulations. Under the ruling, the department can only ask the attorney general to file a lawsuit against the company in the judicial district where a violation occurred.