Today's News

  • State Notes 11-27-12

    Lobos crack top 25 rankings

    The University of New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball team got nods in both major college hoops polls Monday.
    The Lobos (6-0), on the strength of their win at the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, earned a No. 23 ranking in the USA Today coaches poll and a No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press poll. The Lobos picked up 68 points in the USA Today poll — it had 16 the previous week — and had 141 points in the AP poll to crack the top 25.
    This is the third time in four seasons under head coach Steve Alford the Lobos have earned a spot in the two major national college polls. Prior to the 2009-10 season, the Lobos hadn’t been in the top 25 since the final poll of 1998-99.
    Indiana (6-0) sits atop both the USA Today and AP polls. Duke (6-0) is second in both polls and Michigan (5-0) is ranked third.
    UNM topped Portland 69-54 Sunday night in Albuquerque.
    In that game, former Los Alamos Hilltopper standout Alex Kirk had 14 points, leading all scorers. Kirk was 6 of 10 shooting from the floor and also grabbed 11 rebounds, who with teammate Cameron Bairstow also posted the game-high total.
    The Lobos led just 30-27 at the half of Sunday’s game, but started the second half on a 10-0 run to take control.

  • LA's Amy Neal named 4A Player of the Year

    For the second straight year, Los Alamos’ Amy Neal was named the Class 4A Player of the Year in girls soccer.
    Neal, the No. 2 scorer in 4A this season, was honored by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association for her performance in the 2012 season.
    Neal, who will attend the University of Tennessee next fall, earned 32 goals and 20 assists, both the second-best totals in 4A. She also led Los Alamos to the state semifinals before the Hilltoppers bowed out to Aztec.
    Along with Neal, two other Hilltopper girls were picked for the All-State first team. Goalkeeper Bryce Theesfeld and fullback Stephanie Blair were both named to this year’s 4A first team.
    State champion Albuquerque Academy led all teams with five first-team nods this season, including scoring champion MacKenzie Miller.
    On the boys side, Los Alamos didn’t pick up any first team All-State selections. Fullbacks Brandon Hodges, Ben Stewart and Zayne Walterscheid, and midfielder Henry Steinkamp were named to the All-State second team for the Hilltoppers.
    Farmington’s Jeremy Klepac was named 4A boys soccer Player of the Year and Chaparral head coach Fernando Mendoza, who led the Lobos to their first ever boys soccer title, was named Coach of the Year. Chaparral outlasted Los Alamos in overtime of their semifinal game Nov. 9.

  • Raw: Crane Catches Fire, Collapses in Australia

    Part of a crane caught fire and collapsed at a university building site in Sydney, Australia. The crane driver managed to escape before the arm fell onto the roof of a nearby building, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

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  • Today in History for November 27th
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  • FDA halts plans for peanut butter plant to resume operations

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has halted operations of the country's largest organic peanut butter processor, cracking down on salmonella poisoning for the first time with a new enforcement authority the agency gained in a 2011 food safety law.

    The news came just hours after Sunland Inc. said it planned to reopen its shuttered processing plant on Tuesday.

    FDA officials found salmonella all over Sunland's New Mexico plant after 41 people in 20 states, most of them children, were sickened by peanut butter manufactured at the plant and sold at Trader Joe's. The suspension will prevent the company from distributing any food.

    The food safety law gave the FDA authority to suspend a company's registration when food manufactured or held there has a "reasonable probability" of causing serious health problems or death.

    Sunland sold hundreds of products to many of the nation's largest grocery chains.

  • Sandia physicist, cleanroom inventor dies at 92

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Willis Whitfield, an award-winning physicist known for inventing the modern-day cleanroom, has died. He was 92.

    Sandia National Laboratories, where Whitfield worked for three decades, announced Monday that Whitfield died in Albuquerque on Nov. 12.

    Lab President Paul Hommert says Whitfield's concept for a new kind of cleanroom came at the right time during the early 1960s to usher in a new era of electronics, health care and scientific research.

    Dubbed Mr. Clean, Whitfield was born in Rosedale, Okla. He was the son of a cotton farmer.

    Whitfield had his initial drawings for the new cleanroom by the end of 1960. His solution for dealing with the turbulent airflow and particles found in cleanrooms of the day was to constantly flush out the room with highly filtered air.

    Sandia says within a couple of years, $50 billion worth of cleanrooms had been built worldwide.

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  • Cobalt could replace precious metals as industrial catalyst

    Cobalt, a relatively common mineral, may hold promise as an industrial catalyst with potential applications in such energy-related technologies as the production of biofuels and the reduction of carbon dioxide.

    That is, provided the cobalt is captured in a complex molecule so it mimics the precious metals that normally serve this industrial role.

    In work published Nov. 26 in the international edition of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists report the possibility of replacing the normally used noble metal catalysts with cobalt.

    Catalysts are the parallel of the Philosopher’s Stone for chemistry. They cannot change lead to gold, but they do transform one chemical substance into another while remaining unchanged themselves. Perhaps the most familiar example of catalysis comes from automobile exhaust systems that change toxic fumes into more benign gases, but catalysts are also integral to thousands of industrial, synthetic, and renewable energy processes where they accelerate or optimize a mind-boggling array of chemical reactions.

    It’s not an exaggeration to say that without catalysts, there would be no modern industry.