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Today's News

  • College Board to boost SAT security to combat cheating

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — The firm that owns the SAT college entrance exam is boosting security worldwide following test-stealing and other cheating in recent years.

    The College Board said it's reducing the number of international testing dates from six per year to four for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. It says the move will reduce opportunities for test content to be stolen.

    The New York-based college entrance exam provider announced Wednesday that it is taking steps to prevent past cheaters from retaking tests. In addition, it says it will alert law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad of companies and people it suspects of illegally obtaining test content.

    Other planned reforms include an increase in audits of test centers worldwide and steps to make it easier for students and educators to anonymously report suspected cheating.

    "We are unwavering in our commitment to SAT test security and we will continue to confront any efforts to undermine it, including the unauthorized disclosure of test questions and test forms," Peter Schwartz, the College Board's chief administrative officer and general counsel, said in a written statement.

  • SpaceX aborts approach to space station, delivery delayed

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A navigation error forced SpaceX to delay its shipment to the International Space Station on Wednesday, following an otherwise smooth flight from NASA's historic moon pad.
    SpaceX's supply ship, the Dragon, was less than a mile from the orbiting outpost when a problem cropped up in the GPS system. The approach was aborted, and the Dragon backed away. NASA said neither the station nor its six-person crew was in any danger, and another attempt would be made Thursday.
    "As a pilot it is sometimes better to accelerate and circle around than attempt a difficult landing," French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said in a tweet from the space station. "Same in space — we'll be ready tomorrow!"
    Just a few hours earlier, Russia successfully launched a cargo ship from Kazakhstan, its first since a failed launch in December.
    SpaceX launched the Dragon capsule Sunday from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, out of action since NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011. It's the same spot where astronauts flew to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. SpaceX has a 20-year lease with NASA for 39A; besides launching station cargo from there, the company hopes to send up astronauts as early as next year.

  • 7 Earth-size worlds found orbiting star; could hold life

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — For the first time, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single nearby star — and these new worlds could hold life.

    This cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, according to NASA and the Belgian-led research team who announced the discovery Wednesday.

    The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter. Three are in the so-called habitable zone, the area around a star where water and, possibly life, might exist. The others are right on the doorstep.

    Scientists said they need to study the atmospheres before determining whether these rocky, terrestrial planets could support some sort of life. But it already shows just how many Earth-size planets could be out there — especially in a star's sweet spot, ripe for extraterrestrial life. The more planets like this, the greater the potential of finding one that's truly habitable. Until now, only two or three Earth-size planets had been spotted around a star.

    "We've made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there," said the University of Cambridge's Amaury Triaud, one of the researchers.

  • Bill to ban traps on public lands stalls

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

  • LAHS Science Bowl team advances to nationals

    Last weekend, a team of science students from Los Alamos High School beat out 23 other teams from across the region to earn a spot in the annual National Science Bowl Competition.
    Principal Brad Parker was proud of his students and their team coaches.
    “To me this speaks to the hard work that team coaches Kathy and Stephen Boerigter, the students and their parents have put out. As usual, our science bowl kids have brought great credit upon Los Alamos High School.  Can’t wait to see how they will do at nationals!” Parker said.
    In the last rounds of the regional competition, LAHS dominated the top two slots.
    LAHS Science Bowl Team One advanced to the top of the regional competition by beating out their fellow teammates on Team Two.
    LAHS has won the regional competition seven times out of the past eight years.
    The winning team will now go on to the national competition in Washington, D.C., which takes place April 27 through May 1.
    The regional competition was held this weekend at Albuquerque’s Highland High School. Team One was coached by Kathy Boerigter and Team Two was coached by her husband Stephen Boerigter. Kathy teaches science at LAHS and Stephen is employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Fiddle fundraiser a success

    The Fancy Fiddle Fundraiser Saturday at Fuller Lodge drew more than 120 people, according to organizers.
    All of the more than 40 decorated violins, violas, cellos and basses were won, according to Joanna Gillespie, executive director of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.
    Proceeds from Saturday’s auction will benefit the Los Alamos Public Schools orchestra program. The instruments were older instruments that were used by the school and painted by local artists.
    The foundation will total the final amount donated from the auction today.

  • Fire treatment planned for Jemez district

    Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct a prescribed burn on the Joaquin fuelwood unit on the Jemez Ranger District. Ignitions could begin as early as Friday, if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable.  
    Members of the public have helped clean up the 80-acre unit to prepare it for treatment. The Joaquin fuelwood unit is at the intersection of Forest Roads (FRs) 376 and 488 for approximately one mile to the north.
    The Joaquin fuelwood unit prescribed burn is 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.
    Smoke from the Joaquin fuelwood unit prescribed burn may be visible from NM State Highway 4, US Route 550, the Pueblos of Jemez and Zia, and the communities of San Ysidro and Gilman.
    Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems are encouraged to take precautionary measures.  Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at nmtracking.org/fire.

  • Los Alamos Ice Rink to close for season today

    The warm and sunny weather has caused the Los Alamos County Ice Rink to close early for the season. The rink will officially today at 5 p.m. today.  

    Public skating will run until 5 p.m. and then the 2016-2017 Ice Rink season is over.

    Staff will continue working at the rink over the next couple of weeks, removing the ice and preparing the facility for spring and summer activities.  For questions, call the PROS administrative offices at 662-8170.

  • New county logo strikes ‘balance’

    The new county logo is called “Balance,” and residents and visitors alike will be seeing more of the combined atom and leaf designs  around Los Alamos this year.
    At the March 7 county council meeting, the county will hold discussions about how to get the new logos out into the public through grassroots campaigns and partnerships with local businesses.
    The two logos that will be presented carry the same message, that Los Alamos is a place of not only science but of nature. One is horizontal, and the other is more circular. The logos have been in development for several years.
    Since 2014, a total of $137,000 was spent on branding efforts. Besides the 17,000 for the strapline and logo concept, $50,000 for a brandprint study, $35,000 for the creation of a brand identity, identity style guide and brand marketing plan, $20,000 for the brand action plan and $15,000 for promotion, ads and items leading up to the community launch and outreach, according to county spokeswoman Julie Habiger.
    The horizontal logo is of the name “Los Alamos,” with the tagline “Where discoveries are made” beneath it. In the “o” of “Los” there is the image of an atom and in the “o” of “Alamos” there is the image of a leaf.  

  • Today in history Feb. 21