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Today's News

  • Pinball parts maker gets boost from makeover

    BY CLAUDIA INFANTE
    New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

  • Bill tackles a stubborn problem in trying to curb truancy

    Legislators are trying to get their arms around truancy in the state. Discussion about the most promising bill, the bipartisan HB 437, illustrates just how complicated the problem is.
    We have 54,000 kids who are habitually truant, which means they have 10 or more unexcused absences in a school year. That should take your breath away.
    Studies and common sense tell us that these kids are most likely to drop out.
    Four lawmakers whose political coloration ranges from conservative to liberal have teamed up to carry the bill: Reps. Patricio Ruiloba, D-Albuquerque; Jimmie Hall, R-Albuquerque, James Townsend, R-Artesia, and Sen. John Sapien, D-Corrales. On Saturday, the most conservative, Townsend, and most liberal, Ruilobo, sat together to sell their bill to the House Education Committee.
    HB 437 calls for earlier and more intensive interventions. It requires schools to have a family resources program, work with agencies and community organizations, and notify parents. It would suspend drivers licenses.
    Legislators used as models successful programs in Carlsbad and Albuquerque’s Atrisco Heritage High School.

  • Bandelier to participate in wildland fire exercises next week

    The public may notice smoke in the area of Bandelier National Monument early next week beginning Tuesday as the park participates in class wildland fire exercises.
    Bandelier National Monument and the East Jemez Interagency Fire Center will assist with the field portion of a wildland fire investigation class Tuesday and Wednesday that includes exercises examining common ignition types.
    To provide hands-on experience for the class members, instructors will ignite small sample fires, totaling about 5 acres, on a portion of Bandelier just across N.M. 4 from the fire center. 
    Smoke may be visible from N.M. 4, White Rock, Los Alamos and Santa Fe and surrounding areas.

  • Coyote-killing contest ban splits rural, urban senators

    In a decision that pitted rural and urban lawmakers against one another, the state Senate voted Thursday to prohibit coyote-killing contests in New Mexico.
    Senate Bill 268 carried 26-15 and now moves to the House of Representatives with a little more than a week remaining in the session. The Senate approved a similar measure two years ago, but it died in the House.
    Coyotes in New Mexico are an unprotected animal, meaning they can be killed at any time and in any number without a hunting license. But Sens. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, and Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, sponsors of the bill to outlaw killing contests, say the events are inhumane and give New Mexico an ugly image.
    “Sometimes their carcasses are just left out in the desert,” Steinborn said, the coyotes and their pelts discarded as worthless.
    He said there are 20 to 30 commercial coyote contests annually in the state. Several were held last year in the Las Cruces and Silver City areas, he said, and as many as 30 coyotes were killed each time.
    He told of contestants who drove around downtown Albuquerque with dead coyotes to boast about their kills.

  • Voter registration bill dies

    BY MILAN SIMONICH
    The New Mexican

  • Habitat helps history

    BY VICTORIA ERHART
    Special to the Monitor

  • Topper Freshman Academy gains new physics teacher

    New Topper Freshman Academy teacher Ali Renner began teaching Conceptual Physics Jan. 30.
    Her path to landing the job started with a walk around Ashley Pond. Renner was hanging out her kids and a friend when her friend introduced her to Carter Payne, the academy’s principal.
    She told him that she used to be a physics teacher. That got his attention.
    They exchanged emails and right before winter break, he emailed her saying one of the physics teachers was moving. Would she be interested in the job?
    “I had always thought that when my children went to school, I would start subbing and see how it goes. But this came up, and I said, ‘Wow! It seems too good to be true. I feel really lucky,” Renner said.
    Renner earned her bachelor’s degree in physics, with a minor in math, at the University of Cincinnati. She went on to Boston University where she started work on her Ph.D.  
    While at Boston University, she was required to teach the freshmen physics course. While other grad students seemed to think it was a drag to teach the freshmen, Renner said she loved it.
    “It was fun, and I realized that I looked forward to my teaching more than my own classes and the research that I was doing,” she said.
    That was the moment she said she realized that she loved teaching.

  • Teacher sick leave bill vetoed

    Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday vetoed a bill intended to stop penalizing public school teachers on their evaluations if they take more than three days of sick leave, making good on her promise to keep intact a teacher rating system that has been heavily criticized by educators since it was put in place in 2012.
    The veto drew immediate rebukes from teachers unions and, in a rare move, prompted one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, to say he will attempt to muster enough votes to override it.
    It would be the first attempt to override a Martinez veto in the six years she’s been governor. Momentum for an override could be stalled in the House, however, where enthusiasm for overturning the governor’s decision appeared less urgent Thursday. To override the veto, the Senate and the House would need a two-thirds majority vote.
    The legislation, dubbed the “Teachers Are Human Too” bill by its sponsors, had cleared the Legislature with near unanimous support. The bill would have allowed teachers to take up to 10 days of sick leave without hurting their performance evaluations. The Senate passed the bill with no dissenting votes. The House passed it 64-3. The main sponsor of the bill was Rep. Jason Harper, a Republican from Rio Rancho. Co-sponsors included two Democrats and two Republicans.

  • The Latest: Broncos sign Cowboys player - not Romo

    The Latest on NFL free agency (all times Eastern):
    5:05 p.m.
    The Denver Broncos have signed a former Dallas Cowboys player in free agency. It wasn't Tony Romo as so many fans were anticipating, but guard Ronald Leary.
    Although the Broncos have been mentioned as a prime landing spot should the Cowboys part ways with Romo, Denver GM John Elway is happy with the two young QBs he has in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
    What he's trying to do is fortify his offensive line, the primary culprit in Denver's slide from Super Bowl champ to missing the playoffs last season.
    Leary will fly to Denver on Friday to sign his four-year, $35 million deal that includes $20 million guaranteed. He's expected to slide in at left guard with Max Garcia moving over to battle it out with Michael Schofield on the right side.
    With the emergence of La'el Collins and several big contracts along one of the top lines in the NFL, the Cowboys couldn't afford to keep Leary, who turns 28 next month.
    — Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.

    5:01 p.m. ET
    The Green Bay Packers have re-signed linebacker Nick Perry, bringing back an important piece to their defense.
    Perry had a breakout season in 2016, with a career-high 11 sacks in 14 games.

  • Today in history March 9