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Today's News

  • Hilltopper softball takes control of District 2-5A

    With a 12-6 win over Capital High School Wednesday afternoon, the Los Alamos High School softball team is now firmly in first place in District 2-5A and controls its own destiny for the state tournament.

    “The nice thing is, the girls never stopped,” LAHS head coach Randy Burditt said. “They kept battling. That’s a good softball game right there. Capital played tough.”

    Though the game started as a blowout for the Hilltoppers, it became far closer than expected in the late going, and required great pitching by Savana Luster to secure the win.  

    At the plate, the Hilltoppers had no trouble putting runners on base through the first three innings, but struggled to bring them around to home plate. In the second inning, the Hilltoppers had the bases loaded with two outs before Janessa Gonzales struck out to end the inning with just 1 run scoring. In the third inning, LAHS had two runners in scoring position with one out, but again only scored once as Claire Bluhm popped out to the third baseman and Megan Romero struck out to end the inning. 

    However, the Hilltoppers struck for 4 runs in the fourth inning, breaking the game open with a 6-0 lead. 

  • Popular national parks to raise fees to $35, not $70

    By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department is increasing fees at the most popular national parks to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle to visit the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other iconic parks.

    A plan announced Thursday would boost fees at 17 popular parks by $5, up from the current $30 but far below the figure Interior proposed last fall.

    The plan by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew widespread opposition from lawmakers and governors of both parties, who said the higher fees could exclude many Americans from enjoying national parks. The agency received more than 109,000 comments on the plan, most of them opposed.

    The $35 fee applies mostly in the West and will affect such popular parks as Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton parks, among others.

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the fee hikes were needed to help maintain the parks and begin to address an $11.6 billion maintenance backlog.

    "Every dollar spent to rebuild our parks will help bolster the gateway communities that rely on park visitation for economic vitality," Zinke said.

  • Drivers urged to watch out for dust in Arizona, New Mexico

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities in Arizona and New Mexico are urging drivers to watch out for blowing dust due to strong winds blowing across the region.

    The National Weather Service says visibility is reduced along Interstate 40 between Winslow and the New Mexico border in northern Arizona and that winds are also picking up along Interstate 10 in the Willcox area of southeastern Arizona.

    Meanwhile, the New Mexico Department of Transportation says visibilities may be reduced on highways in Luna and Hidalgo counties in southwestern New Mexico due to blowing dust.
     

  • New Mexico state and local tax revenues rise

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico tax authorities are collecting more local and state government tax dollars amid an oil industry rebound and some signs of an economic expansion, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday.

    Martinez said in a statement that state and local revenues for the first seven months of the fiscal year have increased by $672 million from the previous year, or 13 percent. Those revenues include some money from local tax increases.

    State general fund revenue increased by $489 million, or nearly 16 percent, during the same July-January period from the previous year, according figures from the Department of Finance and Administration.

    A rebound in the oil and natural gas sectors is providing a windfall after two years of austere state budgeting.

    Martinez and the Democrat-led Legislature recently approved a $260 million increase in general fund spending for the coming fiscal year, with pay increases for teachers, State Police and prosecutors.

    Martinez is highlighting her 2017 veto of a proposed tax increase as a turning point in state finances.

    Economists with the Legislative Finance Committee warned in January that recent increases in state income are linked almost entirely to the oil and natural gas sector, making the state even more dependent on a volatile industry.

  • Softball dominates Sundevils in doubleheader sweep

    With a pair of dominant performances Saturday afternoon against Española Valley High School, the Los Alamos High School softball team continued its pursuit of another District 2-5A title as the offense continued to hit at a high level, and the pitchers kept runners off the bases all afternoon. 

    These were important games for LAHS, which entered the weekend 2-1 in district play, and faced a team that the Hilltoppers struggled against a year ago. In 2017, the Sundevils were the only District 2-5A team to defeat LAHS, and in two other games the Hilltoppers struggled to pick up victories. 

    This year, however, it was a different story. LAHS came out swinging from the start and picked up 4 runs in the bottom of the first inning to take control early. 

    On the mound, Reyna Lucero dominated for the Hilltoppers, giving up only six hits and 1 run in the game. Behind her strong pitching effort, LAHS cruised and continued to add on runs. 

    The Hilltoppers scored 3 runs in the third inning and added 3 more runs in the fourth inning to put the game away. 

  • Baseball gets back on track with a pair of big wins

    With a doubleheader sweep of Española Valley High School Saturday afternoon, the Los Alamos High School baseball team kept pace in District 2-5A, which looks as if it will be highly competitive until the end of the season. 

    The Hilltoppers could not have asked for much more success Saturday afternoon, defeating the Sundevils 9-2 in the first game, and following it up with a 17-0 win in game two, showing that LAHS remains a force to be reckoned with in the playoff conversation. 

    Jacob Rutten started the first game on the mound for the Hilltoppers, and displayed the dominant pitching that has carried his team at times this season. He struck out two batters in the first inning to work around a leadoff single, and followed that up in the second inning by striking out two more batters to escape a jam caused by a pair of walks. 

    On offense, the Hilltoppers clicked right away, scoring 3 runs in the first inning thanks to a leadoff walk and an error by the Sundevil centerfielder. Singles by Antonio Gonzales, Rutten and Sam Fisher followed, and LAHS took a 3-0 lead. 

  • Sessions takes fight on border enforcement to New Mexico

    By MARY HUDETZ, Associated Press

    LAS CRUCES(AP) — As thousands of National Guard troops deploy to the Mexico border, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions brought his tough stance on immigration enforcement to New Mexico on Wednesday, telling border sheriffs that cracking down on illegal crossings and drug smuggling is necessary to build a lawful immigration system.

    Sessions ticked off stories about smugglers being caught with opioids and cocaine at the U.S.-Mexico border and legal loopholes that have encouraged more immigrants to make the journey.

    "This is not acceptable. It cannot continue," he said. "No one can defend the way the system is working today."

    Outside, dozens of immigrant rights activists protested Sessions' visit, once again rejecting his previous characterization of the border region as "ground zero" in the Trump administration's fight against cartels and human traffickers.

    "He was wrong then, and he is wrong now." said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso, just south of Las Cruces.

    As Sessions' motorcade arrived, the group chanted in Spanish and waved signs against the proposed border wall and the deployment of National Guard troops to the region

  • The Latest: Sessions says goal is lawful immigration system

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' trip to the border in New Mexico (all times local):

    2:30 p.m.

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the U.S.-Mexico border must be secured if the nation is going to have a lawful immigration system.

    In a speech Wednesday in New Mexico, Sessions ticked off stories about drugs being smuggled across the border and illegal crossings that have taxed law enforcement, prosecutors and the court system.

    The attorney general spoke in Las Cruces to a group of sheriffs whose departments patrol areas north of the U.S.-Mexico border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

    Sessions once again called the situation on the border a crisis that has been allowed to fester for decades and suggested those who oppose border security and immigration enforcement are radicals.

    1:40 p.m.

    The Arizona National Guard plans to offer support at the U.S.-Mexico border for maintenance, repairs and surveillance but not law enforcement.

    Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire says some of the 338 guardsmen and women being deployed will be armed for self-defense.

  • University of New Mexico considers eliminating sports

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The University of New Mexico has authorized its athletic director to eliminate programs in the cash-strapped department.

    University President Garnett S. Stokes addressed the regents Finance and Facilities Committee on Tuesday, saying athletic director Eddie Nunez has been instructed to propose sport eliminations by this summer.

    Stokes says student athletes should be given notice a year before their sport is eliminated.

    Nunez says no decision has been made yet on which sports will be cut. The university sponsors 22 varsity sports programs.

    The action comes as the athletics department entered this year with $4.7 million in accumulated deficits. The department is expecting to overspend this fiscal year's budget by a $2.1 million and is projecting another $2.3 million deficit for the next year.
     

  • Entrepreneurial orbit: Businesses at heart of resource expo

    BY HOLLY BRADSHAW-EAKES

    Finance New Mexico

    Once a business gets its foot inside the door with an economic development organization like the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), its opportunities for growth expand dramatically. Jack Kloepfer discovered this while navigating his Aztec, New Mexico, business beyond the line of outdoor recreation products he built from thermoplastic-coated fabrics and into products for energy and aerospace industries. The company’s relationship with New Mexico MEP has led to others, including the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program (NMSBA), the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College in Farmington and the New Mexico Economic Development Department, where Jack’s Plastic Welding CEO Errol Baade hopes to find capital to expand production space.