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Today's News

  • Rahn is all about practical design

    Pete Rahn’s path has taken him from Farmington to Santa Fe, where he was Highway and Transportation Department secretary for Gov. Gary Johnson, to Missouri, where he had the same job, to Kansas City, where he joined HNTB Corp., and back to New Mexico, where he lives while working with HNTB and is a member of the Transportation Commission.
    HNTB, Rahn says, does large complex transportation projects but does not work in New Mexico, which means his commission post poses no conflict.
    One modest insight into Rahn is his subscription to at least one car magazine. We visited at the Rahn dining table.
    Practical Design provided an overview for consideration of the big picture of transportation (really, roads) in New Mexico. Practical Design is a conceptual road design and construction framework that Rahn started in New Mexico. The approach was fully developed in Missouri and has been adopted by other states. The word “practical” explains much.
    “Practical design is about a lot of little things that add up to a lot,” Rahn says.
    Some realities overlay New Mexico’s roads.

  • When you should file an amended tax return

    Not every interaction with the IRS must necessarily induce flop sweat.
    Case in point: A few years ago a friend of mine decided his income taxes had become sufficiently complicated to merit hiring an accountant. After examining previous tax returns, the accountant discovered my friend had claimed the standard deduction for two years when he should have itemized expenses. He filed a couple of amended tax returns and voila – the IRS wrote him checks totaling more than $1,200.
    Of course, not all tax-filing mistakes end on such a happy note. Sometimes people find out after submitting a return that their employer had sent an incorrect W-2 form, or they forgot to report self-employment income, or they incorrectly claimed someone as a dependent.
    Although it’s tempting to let such mistakes slide, chances are the IRS will discover the error eventually, and when they do you could be liable for interest and penalties going back to the due date of the original tax return. Worst case: You could even face criminal charges for filing a fraudulent return.
    Here’s a guide to when – and how – you should file an amended tax return:

  • Martinez gets primetime speaking slot for GOP convention

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will make a primetime speech next week at the Republican National Convention.

    Republican officials announced Tuesday that Martinez will deliver her remarks right before the keynote speaker on the convention's second day.

    Martinez appears before a video and the keynote address next Tuesday night by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

    Republicans are holding their presidential nominating convention Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.

    A primetime speaking role increases the potential for national television exposure for Martinez, who is the nation's first Hispanic female governor.

  • Pushing the Pace

    The 38th annual Los Alamos Triathlon took place Saturday. The event included a 20K bike leg, a 400-meter swim and a 5K run.

  • Topes Notes 08-21-12

    Zephyrs pound Isotopes
    Pounding out 17 hits and scoring 10 runs wasn’t nearly enough for the Albuquerque Isotopes against the New Orleans Zephyrs Monday.
    The Zephyrs came up with 23 hits to win going away, 20-10 at Isotopes Park in the third of a critical four-game set between the two teams.
    Nevertheless, the Isotopes will still head into the series finale tonight with a 3-game lead over the Zephyrs in the PCL American Southern division. The finale is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. in Albuquerque.
    Just two games separated the two teams heading into the series opener Saturday, but the Isotopes took the first two games by counts of 3-1 and 6-0.
    Isotopes starter Fernando Nieve (6-8) gave up seven earned runs, including four homers, in two-plus innings of work Monday. He didn’t record an out in the third inning and allowed three runs, giving the Zephyrs a 7-2 lead at the time.

  • Aquatomics finish 11th at state meet

    Ashlynn Bennett of the Los Alamos Aquatomics finished as the third-highest scorer in her age group at the New Mexico Long Course Championship meet.
    The state long course championship was July 19-22 at the Farmington Aquatic Center. In all, 22 teams and 446 swimmers took part.
    Bennett, swimming in the girls 15-16 age group, picked up victories in the 400-yard freestyle, the 200 freestyle and the 200 butterfly, as well as turning in a runner-up performance in the 200 individual medley and a third-place finish in the 50 butterfly.
    As a team, the Aquatomics, who had 23 representatives at the meet, finished 11th among the participating club-level teams.
    Among the other top scorers for the Aquatomics were Alex Jaegers, who scored 32 points in the boys 13-14 competition, Ian Jaegers, who had 11 points in boys 10 and under, and Nick Greenfield, Alana Goodwin and Max Corliss, all of whom finished with five points.

    Here are the results for the Los Alamos Aquatomics at the New Mexico State Long Course Championship meet July 19-22 (name, division, event, place, time):

    Ashlynn Bennett,
    girls 15-16
    200 individual medley, 2, 2:41.73; 100 butterfly, 5, 1:16.57; 400 freestyle, 1, 5:05.44; 200 freestyle, 1, 2:26.34; 50 butterfly, 3, 32.23; 200 butterfly, 1, 2:43.46.

    Jillian Bennett,

  • UNM volleyball is sixth in MW poll

    The University of New Mexico Lobo volleyball team is hoping to turn an underwhelming showing in the preseason Mountain West poll into some motivation.

    The Lobos finished sixth in the preseason poll, released last week. In that poll, the Colorado State University Rams were selected as the favorite, followed by San Diego State and Wyoming.

    The Lobos lost three key players off last season's squad — Kelly Williamson, Ashley Rhoades and Allison Buck — that went 16-14 and finished fifth in MW play, losing in the opening round of the conference tournament to Wyoming.

    UNM opens its season with the Lobo Classic tournament, which starts Friday.

    This season, Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson decided not to pit a younger, less-experienced team like he has this year, against top-shelf opponents like the program has faced in the recent past.

    "I think it's perfect for what this team needs," said Nelson, talking about his regular season schedule. "It doesn't feature the Nebraska or the Stanford of the past couple of years, but I don't think we needed to (play them) right now. We are committed to getting our youth confident at playing college volleyball."

  • Diana Nyad ends Cuba-to-Fla. swim bid on 4th day

    KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Diana Nyad ended her fourth attempt in nearly 35 years to swim across the Straits of Florida on Tuesday, her dream of setting a record thwarted by storms, jellyfish stings, shark threats, hypothermia and swollen lips.

    The swimmer was pulled from the water at 12:55 a.m., her crew reported, as a thunderstorm raged and winds and waves tossed support boats. Her team had previously tweeted that she came out of the water at 7:42 a.m., and offered no explanation for the change.

    In a blog posting, crew member Candace Hogan wrote that Nyad angrily shook her head after being pulled from the water and planned to return to finish the swim after the storms subsided.

    "When can I get back in?" Hogan quoted the swimmer as saying. "I want full transparency that I was out. But I have plenty left in me and I want to go on."

    Nyad, who turns 63 on Wednesday, was making her third attempt since last summer to become the first person to cross the Florida Straits without a shark cage. She also made a failed try with a cage in 1978.

  • Laser research shows promise for cancer treatment

    Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have observed for the first time how a laser penetrates dense, electron-rich plasma to generate ions. The process has applications for developing next generation particle accelerators and new cancer treatments.

    The results, published online Aug. 19 in Nature Physics, also confirm predictions made more than 60 years ago about the fundamental physics of laser-plasma interaction. Plasmas dense with electrons normally reflect laser light like a mirror. But a strong laser can drive those electrons to near the speed of light, making the plasma transparent and accelerating the plasma ions.

    “That idea has been met with some skepticism in the field,” said Rahul Shah of LANL’s plasma physics group. “We think that we’ve settled that controversy.”

    The team, which also included researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany and Queens University in Belfast, UK, used the 200 trillion-watt short-pulse TRIDENT laser at Los Alamos National Laboratory to observe the transparency phenomenon at 50 femtosecond resolution. Until now, those dynamics have been witnessed only in computer simulations.

  • Today in History for August 21st