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Today's News

  • Pet of the Week 1-7-18

    The Los Alamos County Animal Shelter employees just want to put this up front: Rando, an eight month old Manchester Terrier that’s up for adoption, loves to chew.

    Anything, including shoes and stuffed animals. Unfortunately, it was the reason he was given up.

    But, Rando is just a puppy, and according to employees at the animal shelter, he’s a fast learner. 

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter is hoping someone can train him out of his chewing habit with the right kind of attention.

    He just needs a forever home with some adults around to mind him.

    Rando loves children and other dogs. He has also been vaccinated and microchipped.

    Rando also walks well on a leash and is housetrained. Rando is all about playing, and is good at fetching – just make sure the toy isn’t a stuffed animal.

    For more information, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.

  • Balanced scoring proving to be key for boys basketball

    Finding balanced scoring across a roster is what almost every basketball coach in the country is searching for.

    By splitting the scoring evenly, it makes it hard for defenses because they are unable to key in one or two players and slow down the entire offense.

    As the season moves along, it appears that coach Mike Kluk and the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team are finding scoring all across the roster, and it’s beginning to pay dividends.

    The team is nearing the halfway point of its season, and currently has five players averaging more than 7 points per game.

    Leading the way for the Hilltoppers is Antonio Trujillo, who is averaging 13 points per game. He started out the season as the offensive leader of the team, scoring 19 or more points in four of LAHS’ first seven games.

    In recent weeks, his production has slowed, and has allowed other players to step up in his place.

    One of the key contributors in recent games has been Troy Hammock, who was the offensive leader for the team in the Roswell Poe Corn Tournament, and continued that this week against Pojoaque High School.

    In the Roswell tournament, he scored 15 points against Artesia, 10 points against Farmington and 18 points against Gallup. He followed that up with a 12-point performance against Pojoaque.

  • Legislative session a prelude to November

    BY PAUL J. GESSING
    President, Rio Grande Foundation

    With tax reform taken off the agenda by New Mexico’s Democrat legislative leaders, it is clear that the 30 day session will be more about going through the motions and positioning for 2018 than about considering much-needed economic reforms. This is unfortunate because in spite of higher oil prices, New Mexico remains mired in an economic slump.

    The unemployment rate remains elevated at 6.1 percent (second-highest in the nation) and as Bruce Krasnow reported recently in the New Mexican, “the state is in the midst of its slowest population growth since statehood – and that is not likely to change.”

    One would think that given these (and many other problems) that the Legislature would be on a mission to enact as many needed reforms as possible in the coming short 30 day session. Unfortunately, the list of reforms that won’t happen is much longer than those that might be considered. Here’s a few that the Rio Grande Foundation has put forth over the years that are “off the table.”

    Aforementioned revenue-neutral reform of the gross receipts tax;

    Adoption of “Right to Work” to allow workers to choose whether to join a union or pay union dues;

  • Footballers shun ‘correctness’ and build ideas to fill the gap

    “Political correctness”(“P.C.”) is an infection that eats away the vitality of our democracy. The ills have spread far. Symptoms get worse while being ignored.

    A debate today about the national harms of political correctness is a debate between two afflicted organs – P.C. in the camp of the left and P.C. in the camp of the right.

    The habits of P.C. weaken discourse, which if left to fester, kills ideas. The two parties and their boosters talk less than before about policy work in Congress. Instead of crafting policy, more skills go into heckling the enemy party and its bad breed of supporters. Our times have lapsed into a rite of political correctness.

    The top news fare pulls P.C. camps toward the far poles. But, look twice. See ideas find other ideas to fill the gap between the poles. Stay alert to signs of both.

    Exhibit A: football players kneeling during the singing of the national anthem. There began a string of stories. In 2016, a mixed-race quarterback in the National Football League began kneeling during the national anthem to protest some facet(s) of race relations, as he saw it, in the U.S. The action drew some support and more players took similar steps.

    Fans took sides for and against.

  • Atomic City Update: NMSU proves anything is possible in sports

    As I watched college football bowl games over the past few weeks, there were plenty of exciting stories and unbelievable performances.

    However, the best story of them all came from our home state, and proved that in sports, anything really is possible.

    For the first time in 57 years, the New Mexico State University football team won a bowl game. It’s a sight that many people thought was impossible. For years, the program has been stuck in neutral, unable to recruit players with much talent and forced to use outdated facilities on a daily basis.

    After winning no more than four games since 2004, the team rebounded this year with six wins, earning a bowl bid against Utah State in the Arizona Bowl.

    And despite trailing 20-13 late in the game, the Aggies rallied to tie the score, and won 26-20 in overtime.

    Obviously, this is a big moment for NMSU and all of its loyal supporters, but I think it also reminds all of us that with patience and a good game plan, any program can be turned around.

    Becoming complacent with mediocre play is something seen far too often in sports. The examples are endless. In the NFL, the Cleveland Browns are in a constant rebuild, and have been for nearly two decades.

  • Governor, Legislature set funding priorities

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and leading lawmakers proposed increases in state spending Friday on public school education, Medicaid, public safety agencies and economic development incentives for the coming fiscal year, amid a sharp increase in state income from taxes and oil-field revenues.

    The two budget wish lists – from the Republican governor and the Democratic-led Legislature –  both emphasize investments in early childhood education and the justice system, with pay increases assigned for teachers, prison guards, prosecutors and state workers.

    Democratic House speaker Brian Egolf said the governor and lawmakers have many closely aligned priorities – including “modest” pay increases for public employees.

    “A raise for hard working state employees, teachers, police officers is very much appropriate and long overdue,” he said.

    Surging state tax revenues linked to a rebound in the oil and natural gas sectors have been propelling a rapid turnaround in New Mexico government finances after two years of austere budgets. State government income for the fiscal year starting on July 1, 2018, is expected to surpass current annual spending by nearly $200 million.

  • LA County, council deals with sheriff’s office, rec projects, rate increases

    Los Alamos County Council and the county dealt with several controversial issues in 2017, including adopting an immigration proclamation, paying for recreation projects and going to court over the county sheriff’s office.

    Five recreation projects hung in the balance in May as county voters decided against the sale of $20 million in general obligation bonds that would have partially funded the projects.

    Two of the projects were in White Rock. They included a “splash pad” at Piñon Park and improvements to the softball field at Overlook Park. For the town of Los Alamos, county council voted for a project that would include improvements to the Los Alamos Golf Course, a multigenerational pool at the Larry R. Walkup Center on Central Avenue and a recreation center on DP Road.

    The recreation center would have included an ice rink in one building, and in the other will be a gymnasium lined for various sports such as basketball. If the bond is approved, Los Alamos would have two ice rinks, including the one on West Road.

  • Bingham sentenced to 5 years in prison

    Former Los Alamos County detention officer Dustin Bingham was sentenced Wednesday in First Judicial Court to five years in prison with 16 years suspended for engaging in sexual contact with two underaged girls.

    Bingham must also register as a sex offender.

    When Bingham is released, he must also serve between five and 20 years of probation.

    Bingham was arrested in May 2017 after an investigation by the Los Alamos Police concluded Bingham had fondled two girls. An investigation started after two of Bingham’s relatives went to the Los Alamos Police Department to ask for help.

    The relatives reported to police Bingham had inappropriately touched children that the relatives and Bingham both knew. The type of contact ranged from fondling and allegedly removing the minors’ underwear while they slept. Bingham reportedly also allegedly helped the children set up secret “SnapChat” accounts so he could talk with them, they said.

    When confronted by police through a conference call between the relatives who reported the crimes to police and Bingham, Bingham allegedly told police that he would sometimes fondle the minors “when the girls were wearing bras and sometimes when they were not wearing bras.” Dustin also stated he “needed help,” LAPD Det. Ryan Wolking said in his report.

  • Donating for life
  • Medicaid, tax reform, court services priorities for legislative session

    In a forum hosted by the New Mexico Attorney Richard Minzner and the State Bar of New Mexico, state Reps. Nate Gentry (R-Bernalillo) and Antonio “Moe” Maestas, (D-Bernalillo) gave the association a preview Friday of what to expect for the 30-day legislative session that starts Jan. 15.

    The lawmakers covered hot topics, including the gross receipts tax, New Mexico’s crime rate and Medicai.

    The only bills being considered in the legislative agenda are financial bills, taxes and appropriations, and bills sent by the governor.

    The Legislative Finance Committee recommends spending $6.26 billion from the state’s general fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which starts July 1. This would be a 2.9 percent increase from last year’s FY18 budget.

    Gov. Susana Martinez also released her priorities, which included spending $6.23 billion from the state’s general fund for 2018-19.

    According to Gentry, the state received about $200 million in new money since the last budget, which represents just under a 3-percent increase over the fiscal 2018 budget.

    “It’s welcome news,” Gentry said. “We had to make some very significant cuts, a couple hundred million dollars over the last two years to the state budget.”