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Today's News

  • Be prepared for Obamacare changes

    The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to issue its decision in King v. Burwell in June.
    The ruling could have tremendous consequences for the healthcare law commonly known as Obamacare — and more importantly, it could have a huge impact right here in New Mexico.
    King v. Burwell was argued before the high court in March 2015. The case hinges on an interpretation of the Obamacare law.
    The plaintiffs argued that the text authorizes premium subsidies for people in “exchanges established by [a] State.”
    A separate section describes the creation of a federal exchange by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for states that do not create their own exchanges.
    An IRS rule issued in 2012 allowed premium subsidies to be paid through exchanges established by the secretary. The plaintiffs argue these subsidies are illegal, since there is no congressional authorization for the spending.
    If the justices concur, states that have not created exchanges under the law could see some dramatic changes.
    However, New Mexico has a “hybrid” exchange.

  • New Mexico college enrollment tanks

    “N.M. College Enrollment Decline Leads Nation.”
    Thus, did one local headline chronicle the news last week of the precipitous drop in the number of students entering New Mexico’s universities this academic year compared to just last year.
    The numbers are stark: Almost 11,000 fewer students enrolled at New Mexico’s institutions of higher education for the fall semester of 2014 than in the fall of 2013.
    Think upon it. We’re talking here about a decline of 8.3 percent in only 12 months. The rate of decline in college enrollment, nationally, was 1.9 percent, so to report that New Mexico‘s decline “leads” the nation is to understate the case dramatically.  
    It also dramatically underscores the tenacity with which the Great Recession of 2008 continues to hold New Mexico in its grips. Nor does it help that New Mexicans have chosen a cadre of state and local political leaders demonstrably ill-suited to turn things around.
    Of course, New Mexico “leads” the nation in declining college enrollments. Under the circumstances how could it be otherwise?
    It is also one of the few states that “leads” the nation in a documented loss of population. More people have actually moved away from New Mexico than to New Mexico since the Great Recession of 2008.

  • Isotopes shut out twice in one day

    The New Orleans Zephyrs (22-21) shutout the Albuquerque Isotopes (18-29) 3-0 and 4-0 during Tuesday evening’s doubleheader at Zephyr Field.The Isotopes have now been held scoreless for 22 straight innings.
    The Zephyrs wasted no time jumping on the board in both games. New Orleans put up single runs in the first and second innings of game one before adding an insurance run in the third.
    Game two saw the Zephyrs score one run in the first and two in the second to take control on the contest. Former Isotopes infielder Miguel Rojas turned in a 3-for-5 night with a home run, a double, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk.
    Entering the day, two Isotopes players held 11-game hitting streaks. Matt McBride and Kyle Parker both got hits in first game, but couldn’t continue their streaks in the second contest.
     

  • UNM fighting for national bids at west prelims

    New Mexico track and field is sending 22 individuals and a relay team to the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary Championships competition this weekend in Austin, Texas.
    UNM’s 11 men, 11 women and men’s relay team are all eyeing a top-12 finish in their respective events at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
    A top-12 finish at the preliminary rounds — which are split between the West region in Austin and the East region in Jacksonville, Fla. — advances a competitor to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
    Qualifying for the preliminary championships competition is based on the descending-order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites. For each individual event contested at each of the prelim competitions, the top 48 declared student-athletes were accepted.
    On the men’s side, 11 Lobos and a relay will compete in Austin, with Allan Hamilton leading the pack in two events.
    Hamilton, the Mountain West champion in the long jump and triple jump, qualified in both events. He is seeded ninth in the long jump and 27th in the triple jump.
    Also qualifying in the jumps are Logan Pflibsen in the pole vault (seeded 17th), Yannick Roggatz in the long jump (32nd) and Django Lovett in the high jump (44th).

  • Tumblers shine in Colorado

    The Los Alamos School of Gymnastics’ platinum and gold level gymnasts, who will be competing at the regional championships later this month, traveled to Denver this past weekend to compete against 12 Colorado teams at Encore Gymnastics.
    In the senior platinum division, Ashley Bustos took the gold in the all-around competition with a 37.15. Bustos also won gold on the balance beam with 9.45, silver on floor with a 9.50 and bronze on both the vault (9.40) and bars (8.80).
    Teammate Carley Stilwell was seventh all-around with a 35.45. Stilwell won gold on the vault with a personal best score of 9.80. Stilwel also tied for second on floor with a 9.50.
    In the junior platinum division, Anna Clark was 10th all-around with a 35.60. Clark finished sixth on bars with an 8.0 and eighth on floor with a 9.30. Teammate Suyana Ferreira finished 11th all around with a 35.55. Ferreira won gold with her best vault ever, a 9.80. On the vault, she completed a half twist on to a half twist off. She also won a bronze on bars with a 9.05.
    In the senior division of the gold competition, Cherie McCreary finished 10th all around with a 33.85. She won a bronze on bars with a 9.00 and finished sixth on vault with an 8.65.

  • Strother wins competitive Pace Race

    Tuesday’s Pace Race at the Cañada del Buey trail in White Rock was a competitive one.
    Only .55 seconds separated the first and second-place finishers on the three-mile course.
    Nikol Strother, however, ended up being the fastest runner and he also had the best prediction on the three-mile course. Strother finished with a time of 20 minutes, 19.64 seconds and a prediction error of 7.64 seconds.
    Monica Cook was the second best predictor with an error of 8.19 seconds while Roxana Candia missed her prediction by 9 seconds.
    Jayson Jones was the best predictor on the one-mile course with an adjusted error of 3.15 seconds.
    Second was Tamryn Jones. Her prediction had an adjusted error of 4.26 seconds and Jackie Peckham was next with an adjusted error of 5.7 seconds.
    Next Tuesday’s pace race will start at 6 p.m. at the corner of Barranca and Navajo Roads on Barranca Mesa.
    There will be one and three-mile courses on pavement and also two and four-mile courses on the Deer Trap Mesa trail.
    This year both the two and 4.13 courses will run counter-clockwise. See last year’s map at usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=542399
    The 4.13-mile loop extends the middle mesa trail to the power lines.
    On the two-mile trail, runners will take the south fork of the trail.

  • Rains, floods batter the Plains

    WIMBERLEY, Texas (AP) — Recovery teams resumed the search Tuesday for 12 people who are missing after a rain-swollen river carried a Texas vacation home off its foundation and slammed it into a bridge downstream.
    In Houston, authorities recovered three more bodies from the floodwaters — two of them in the city and a third in a vehicle on Interstate 45. That brings to 11 the number of people killed by the storms in Oklahoma and Texas.
    After holiday weekend storms dumped record rainfall on the Plains and Midwest, the water kept rising overnight. The Houston area received about 11 more inches, much of it in a six-hour period.
    Houston Mayor Annise Parker said officials in the nation’s fourth-largest city would be “on the alert” as the bayous rise.
    Fire crews conducted hundreds of water rescues overnight, mostly retrieving stranded motorists from their vehicles, the mayor said.
    Elsewhere, a runway was closed at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport after a sinkhole developed in a nearby grassy area. The runway was to remain closed until repairs can be made.
    In addition to those missing in the vacation house, authorities were searching for victims and assessing damage just across the Texas-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuna, where a tornado Monday killed 13 people and left at least five unaccounted for.

  • Making Music

    The Los Alamos Community Winds put on a show Monday afternoon on the lawn behind Fuller Lodge. The Community Winds played several old Americana favorites to celebrate Memorial Day.

  • State Briefs 5-26-15

    Doña Ana County has bountiful onion crop

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — Doña Ana County’s onion crop is looking stellar so far this harvest season.
    The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the onion harvest tends to begin in the final week of May, but this season actually kicked off last week.
    Agriculture officials say the crop hasn’t suffered much from disease or pests.
    Luna and Doña Ana counties are the main growing areas in New Mexico for onions.
    New Mexico produced about 306 million pounds of onions in 2014.
    Both the amount and the production value were up from 2013, though both figures tend to fluctuate — sometimes significantly — from year to year.

    Cherry picker topples, kills man, young boy

  • Be There calendar 5-26-15

    Today
    Wildlife Rehab: Why is it Important? 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Dr. Kathleen Ramsay is a New Mexico legend and founder of the New Mexico Wildlife Center. In this lecture, she will discuss her career as a wildlife rehabber, and why this work matters. Free. losalamosnature.org.

    A chapter of The Compassionate Friends will meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the northeast side of the new YMCA Annex, Central Park Square, suite 140. Co-led by Eric Ferm and Valerie Wood. The organization offers non-denominational grief support after the death of a child. Bereaved parents and grandparents are welcome regardless of age. For more information visit compassionatefriends.org.

    Eye Spy: Rebecca Nolda. Through June 27 at Portal Gallery. Bring the Secret City some new hidden treasure to discover.
    Wednesday
    Blood Drive in Los Alamos community. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church Hall, 2200 Diamond Drive. For more information, call United Blood Services at 1-877-827-4376. Bring photo ID and donor card. Free cholesterol testing with every donation. Volunteers provided by LAVA. Egg salad made by Lorraine Thorn, ham or turkey sandwiches and chips provided by Hospital Auxiliary.