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Today's News

  • January sees colder max temps

    By DAVID BRUGGEMAN
    Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Maximum temperatures in the region were colder than normal as multiple cold fronts passed through the state, but low temperatures were near average in January.

    Maximum temperatures have been below average in Los Alamos County since October 2018.
    Wind chills were below zero degrees, particularly on Jan. 18 and 21, as wind gusts exceeded 40 mph (41 mph and 49 mph, respectively).

    The multiple cold fronts kept most of New Mexico at near average temperatures.

    The above average precipitation that occurred at the end of 2018 continued into 2019. Los Alamos measured 142 percent of average precipitation and 166 percent of normal snowfall.

    Over the past three months, Los Alamos has measured above-average snowfall. The 49.8 inches of snow this winter is the most snowfall through January since the winters of 2000 and 2001.

    The snowpack for northern New Mexico Mountains is near average, with the Jemez Mountains at 95 percent of average, while the mountains in southern New Mexico are around 50 percent.

    The northwest half of New Mexico had above average precipitation, while the southeast half had below average precipitation.

  • Bill to shift federal education funding pits urban schools against tribes

    BY ROBERT NOTT
    The New Mexican

    Two state senators who represent rural districts hope to topple a long-standing system that uses the lion’s share of a federal grant program to help fund urban schools.

    Operational money from the grants initially goes to 25 school districts and five charter schools. But then the state shortchanges these needy districts, said Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, who called what happens “a shell game.”

    That’s because the districts and schools selected to receive money from the Impact Aid program only get a quarter of the overall annual grant, which topped $78 million last year.

    The state redirects the rest of the money to other school districts through New Mexico’s per-student funding formula. Muñoz and Sen. Clemente Sanchez, D-Grants, want to change that.

    They say redistributing the grant money to other school districts isn’t fair to hard-pressed schools and undermines the intent of the program.

  • It’s frustrating being a Republican this year

    By Daniel J. Chacon
    The New Mexican

    After a midterm election in which Democrats wrested back control of the Governor's Office and expanded their majority in the state House of Representatives, Kelly Fajardo feels almost invisible at the Roundhouse this year.

    Fajardo, you see, is a Republican representative in a Democrat-dominated House, where members of the GOP are now outnumbered by the largest margin in two decades.

    "It just feels like we don't matter," said Fajardo, R-Los Lunas.

    "Our job is to create good policy, and when you're going, 'I don't need you. I don't need to listen to you,' that creates a problem," she said. "I'm feeling that we're not being listened to."

    Fajardo isn't alone.

    Other members of the state's Republican Party say New Mexico Democrats, emboldened by big gains in November, are pushing through contentious and liberal-leaning legislation, including bills on abortion and guns, and completely ignoring their Republican counterparts.

  • House speaker rejects impeachment petition

    SANTA FE (AP) — The Democratic speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives says there is no way he would initiate impeachment proceedings against the state's governor for withdrawing troops from the border with Mexico.

    An online petition seeks to impeach Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for treason in withdrawing about 100 New Mexico National Guard troops and has garnered more than 30,000 signatures.

    On Tuesday, House Speaker Brian Egolf of Santa Fe said "no way, forget about it" regarding prospects for impeachment proceedings. He holds the authority to initiate House investigations.

    Lujan Grisham has challenged President Trump's description of a security crisis on the border, while leaving about a dozen national guardsmen at the border to address humanitarian needs in a remote corridor for border-crossing immigration.

    Impeachment in New Mexico requires a majority vote of all House members. A subsequent Senate trial requires a two-thirds majority to convict.

  • Atomic City Update: Carter has created winning culture for Hilltopper girls’ basketball

    If you are a fan of Los Alamos girls’ basketball, you have to be pretty happy right now. In the last two weeks, the Hilltoppers have taken down Española Valley and Pojoaque Valley, both games in which LAHS was the underdog. 

    Through the first rotation of district play, the Hilltoppers are undefeated and look like a real threat to win a district title. The odds of that happening before the season were monumental. This was a team that won a total of six games last year, and six games the year before that. 

    There has been a massive culture change over the last few months. Now, the girls expect to win every time they show up to the court. There is aggressiveness and a sense of confidence that has been missing for years. 

    For the most part, the girls remain the same from last year’s team. The difference is, with Lanse Carter now coaching the girls, they understand what it means to play as a team, have a better grasp on the fundamentals and have a solid game plan heading into every matchup. 

  • Hilltoppers drop to 0-4 in district play

    Throughout the first half of the district season, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team has struggled to find consistent sources of offense. 

    Familiar issues popped up again Thursday night against Pojoaque Valley, as the Hilltoppers managed only 13 points in the second half, falling 45-35 at home. 

    “We just have to improve,” Hilltopper head coach Mike Kluk said. “There are a lot of things we can still improve on. We can still get better, and maybe make a run in the district tournament.”

    Despite losing the first four district games, Kluk believes his team is capable of defeating some of the other teams in the district the second time through the rotation. 

    LAHS was within 15 points in all four district contests to this point. 

    LAHS and Pojoaque Valley played an even first half, as both teams struggled to get into an offensive rhythm. The first quarter ended 9-9, and the second quarter ended 22-22. 

    The Hilltoppers remained competitive in the first half without the services of leading scorer Gavin Campos, who was on the bench with two fouls he picked up early in the first quarter. 

  • UNM president faces lawmakers’ fire over sports cuts

    By Robert Nott
    The New Mexican

    The head of the state House of Representatives' Appropriations and Finance Committee on Saturday lit into the president of the University of New Mexico for cutting four popular sports programs to help balance the athletics department budget.

    The chairwoman, Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, D-Gallup, said President Garnett Stokes rebuffed legislative offers of financial help when the UNM Board of Regents voted to eliminate men's soccer, beach volleyball and men's and women's skiing.

    "Why did UNM refuse to work with me last July?" Lundstrom asked Stokes during a hearing that drew more than 100 people. "I'd like to understand that. When I went to your board of regents meeting to offer support, UNM refused to work with me.

    "I am the appropriations' chairwoman, for goodness' sake," she added. "If it's about needing resources, wouldn't I be the appropriate one to work with?"

    Stokes, who came on board as president a little less than a year ago, maintained a calm, steady tone as she explained that she and other university leaders had to make tough decisions as they grappled with a deficit of $1.9 million in the budget for academics.

  • Lunch with Leader set for Feb. 19

    The League of Women Voters will hear from four women who are truly leaders in the field of zero waste at their Feb. 19 Lunch with a Leader at Mesa Library at 11:45 a.m.

    Sue Barns who came to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in microbiology in 1996 and remained until 2008 will talk about food waste; Angelica Gurule will explain the activities of the Environmental Services/Eco Station. She has a master’s degree in Sustainable Environmental Resources Management and a MS in Information, Science and Technology. She worked at LANL on pollution prevention before becoming manager of the Environmental Services/Eco Station. 

    Dorothy Brown will educate us about composting. Brown grew up in upstate NY and also lived in the Bay Area. She has worked as a registered nurse, physician assistant, and a flight instructor.

  • LALT to hold play readings Tuesday

    Los Alamos Little Theatre invites interested patrons  and prospective actors to attend a play reading at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Green Room at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St.

    The evening’s reading will feature the eight short plays to be performed by LALT in May. The plays were selected from 22 scripts submitted by New Mexico playwrights.

    This production format of short plays provides multiple opportunities for persons wishing to gain on-stage experience and offers a variety of roles and concepts to consider.

    Some of the directors who have chosen the plays will be at the reading and can share their thoughts that went into the selections.

    This is the sixth time LALT has produced the 8x10 play format. Auditions will be held 1-3 p.m.  March 2, and 5-7 p.m. March 3.

    The plays to be performed in May include “A Life,” by Gary Dontzig, ‘DWI,” by Dale Dunn, “Endless Questions,” by Mimi Adams, “For Lack of a Tail,” by John Cullinan, “Patient,” by Caroline Evarts, “Red Licorice,” by John Gustafson, and “Treason,” by Robert Benjamin.

    The eighth play is still being determined.

  • Local pharmacist to make 7th trip to help in Haiti

    March is just around the corner and this March, local Pharmacist Dr. Katherine Fry will return to Haiti for her seventh mission trip to heal the sick.

    Her most recent trip was in September 2018 with friend Elizabeth Hargreaves.

    Their work helped more than 2,500 patients who traveled from distant villages for food, medicine and a chance to improve health for themselves and their children. This time, prior to their arrival, a special education team has traveled in advance to teach villagers hand washing and tooth brushing and provide resources for fresh water.

    Many items we take for granted each day, can be donated for Fry to take when she travels or donated anytime through a secure on-line site. The items, simple in nature, are necessary life saving ones, but must be small for her two-bag limit. Unfortunately, not all bags arrive on the other end of the trip, so even the smallest donation of cash or coins is helpful and jars are available at Smith’s Marketplace Pharmacy and the White Rock Smith’s.

    The Smith’s Marketplace location would love to see the donations of the following items:

    * Eye rewetting drops – generic

    * Band-Aids – generic, fabric type

    * ACE wraps

    * Alcohol prep pads

    * Hand sanitizer – 8-10 oz size with pump