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Today's News

  • How to avoid tax refund identity fraud

    Many people file their income tax returns as early in the year as possible. Some are eager to claim their tax refund right away, while others are simply following their New Year’s resolution not to procrastinate until midnight, April 15.
    Let me add another good reason to file your taxes right away: tax refund identity fraud.
    That’s where someone uses your Social Security number (SSN), birth date and other private information to file a fraudulent income tax return in your name and then pockets the resulting tax refund.
    Often, a victim’s first clue is a letter from the IRS contesting their legitimate tax return, saying one has already been processed under that name. It can take months — and mounds of paperwork — to unravel the mess.
    This scam has proliferated in recent years thanks to a confluence of events:
    There’s a thriving black market in personal information stolen from healthcare facilities, nursing homes, schools, insurance companies and other institutions that require an SSN as identification.

  • Ski Report 01-31-13

    Angel Fire
    29-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 72 trails and 6 lifts open.

    Enchanted Forest
    30-inch base of packed powder. 6 inches of new snow reported. 33 trails open.

    Red River
    40-inch base of powder. No new snow reported. 56 trails and 7 lifts open.

    Sandia Peak
    20-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 2 lifts open.

    Sipapu
    38-inch base of powder. No new snow reported. 41 trails and 5 lifts open.

    Ski Apache
    30-inch base of packed powder. 22 trails and 5 lifts open.

    Ski Santa Fe
    44-inch base of powder. No new snow reported. 69 trails and 6 lifts open.

    Taos
    51-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 84 trails and 14 lifts open.

    Valles Caldera
    6-inch base of variable conditions. One-half inch of new snow reported. 9 trails open.

  • Sports Briefs 01-31-13

    Beginning fencing class returns

    The YMCA’s beginning fencing class will start Tuesday at the YMCA’s gymnasium.
    The class is for those with no previous fencing experience. It is open to interested persons 10 years or older.
    Instruction will include basic footwork, fundamental blade skills and rules. Some bouting for beginners is also scheduled.
    All equipment for the class will be provided by the YMCA.
    More information is available by calling Tom Hill at 672-1058.
    Registration can be done at the YMCA front desk or online at laymca.org.

    Renegades to visit ice rink again

    The New Mexico Renegades semiprofessional hockey team will host the Wichita Thunder at Los Alamos County Ice Rink Feb. 9.
    The Renegades, a Junior A team located who play in Rio Rancho, compete in the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division.
    Pregame is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Public skating will be available that day from 1-3:30 p.m.
    More information can be obtained by calling the ice rink at 662-4500.

    Women’s Weekend starts Feb. 8

  • Pajarito to reopen Saturday

    Pajarito Mountain officials announced the ski area will reopen Saturday morning.
    Pajarito received approximately 7 inches of snow from the recent storms around Los Alamos. The area is now reporting a 20-inch base of machine-groomed snow.
    Saturday, the area will have the Beginner, Aspen and Mother lifts running.
    Pajarito was open in late December but ceased operations early this month after the base dwindled to 16 inches, less than minimum operating level.
    The mountain’s café, rental shop and snowsports school will be in operation Saturday.
     

  • Wrestlers head to Las Vegas on Friday

    After going over the final results, Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling coach Bob Geyer learned the results for his team this weekend weren’t quite as bas as he’d thought.
    But the results weren’t as good as he’d hoped, either.
    Coming off a tough weekend at Aztec, Los Alamos is preparing for another challenge this weekend when it travels to Las Vegas for the Robertson Invitational. Robertson, much like Aztec, is among the most successful programs in the state.
    This week, the Hilltoppers have been working on simply getting out quicker, particularly when working off the bottom, something Geyer said he’d seen improvement on a week earlier at Pecos but not so much at Aztec.
    At the Aztec Duals, the Hilltoppers went 2-3 in their pool, topping Farmington and Shiprock handily, but getting soundly defeated by Bloomfield and St. Michael’s. Los Alamos lost a tight 42-39 contest to Kirtland Central.
    Individually, Lane Saunders at 152 pounds and Brian Geyer at 182 pounds, went a combined 10-0 on the day. Cory Geyer, at 160, finished 4-1, while Chandler Lauritzen (132), Diego Madrid (195) and John Dermer (285) all finished with overall records of 3-2.

  • Sundevils rally to top 'Toppers, 52-40

    ESPAÑOLA – A hot shooting third quarter by the Española Valley Sundevils put the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team in a hole during Wednesday night’s contest.
    Although the Hilltoppers fought back to get the margin down to manageable levels late in the third quarter, Española Valley forced some key turnovers in the fourth quarter to pull away.
    Los Alamos was within four points of Española Valley at the break, but Sundevil guard Krista Bustos nailed three 3-pointers in a 2-1/2 minute stretch in the third quarter to get things rolling for her team.
    While the Hilltoppers connected on a couple of late jumpers in the third quarter, by Amber Logan and Anna Scott, to clip the Sundevil advantage to 6 points, the Sundevils hit some quick layups and got to the foul line in the fourth quarter. Española Valley won the contest 52-40 at Edward Medina Gymnasium.
    The loss drops the Hilltoppers to 1-2 in district play (11-10 overall) with just one more game remaining in the first half of the District 2-4A season. The Hilltoppers will host the struggling Capital Jaguars Saturday night.
    Against Española Valley, Los Alamos set itself up with some good looks under the basket much of the night, but struggled to finish.

  • Opera about Nazi atrocity shown in Austria

    VIENNA (AP) — Thousands of children were murdered by the Nazis because they fell short of the Aryan ideal.
    On Friday, a hushed audience gathered in Austria's Parliament to watch the world premiere of an opera depicting how the Nazis methodically killed mentally or physically deficient children at a Vienna hospital during World War II.
    The killings were part of a greater campaign that led to the deaths of about 75,000 people — homosexuals, the handicapped, or others the Nazis called "unworthy lives" — and served as a prelude to the Holocaust.
    Austrians played a huge role in these and other atrocities of the era — nearly 800 children were killed at Vienna's Spiegelgrund psychiatric ward — and Friday's premiere of the opera "Spiegelgrund" was the latest installment of a national effort to atone for such acts in word and deed.
    The timing was picked to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, which will be observed worldwide Sunday, and the performance was streamed live on the Internet for international audiences.

  • This week on PAC-8, Feb. 1-7

    Views expressed on programs shown on PAC8 do not necessarily reflect the views of the manager, staff, or board.

    Friday, February 1, 2013
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! – Live
    10:00 AM Democracy Now!
    11:00 AM County Council Replay (1-29-13)
    03:00 PM Future Talk
    03:30 PM European Journal
    04:00 PM Al Jazeera DC Bureau
    05:00 PM 2012 Revere Sand Sculpting Competition
    06:00 PM Democracy Now!
    07:00 PM Los Alamos Historical Society – “Jews in Theory”
    08:00 PM Clear Heart, Clear Mind
    09:00 PM FSTV

    Saturday, February 2, 2013
    FSTV

    Sunday, February 3, 2013
    06:00 AM FSTV
    05:30 PM Key to the Kingdom
    06:00 PM Drawing Men to Christ
    07:00 PM United Church
    08:00 PM That Which Is
    09:00 PM Trinity on the Hill
    12:00 PM Free Speech TV

  • Restaurant Inspections 01-31-13

    The following restaurant inspection reports were provided by the New Mexico Environment Department.

    Española

    Giant #862, 1616 N. Riverside Dr.
    Date inspected: Jan. 28, other
    Notes: Recall recon, Annie’s rising crust frozen pizza. No product sold at this location, Manager advised, copy of recall left.
    Status of establishment: Approved

    Joann’s Restaurant, 938 N. Riverside Dr.
    Date inspected: Jan. 22
    Violations: Three high-risk violations, two for contaminated equipment — can opener dirty, corrected on site; auto dishwasher not dispensing sanitizer. Owner fixed, corrected on site. One for poor personal hygiene — hand sink had hot water turned off. Corrected, still needs repair. One moderate-risk violation for contaminated equipment — cutting boards needs replacement or to be resurfaced. Two low-risk violations for floors/walls/ceilings — floors/walls/ceilings need repair, cleaning and painting; walls/ceilings need painting, cleaning.
    Notes: Salads stored in Coke/beverage unit, holding at 35-43 degrees. Soda merchandising refrigerators are not designed for non-packaged foods. Need proper refrigeration units for non-packaged foods.
    Status of establishment: Approved

  • Disney says JJ Abrams to direct next ‘Star Wars’

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's official. The force is with J.J. Abrams.
    The Walt Disney Co. issued a statement Friday night confirming reports that had been circulating for two days that Abrams, Emmy-award-winning creator of TV's "Lost" and director of 2009's "Star Trek" movie, has been pegged to direct the seventh installment of the "Star Wars" franchise.
    "J.J. is the perfect director to helm this," said Kathleen Kennedy, the movie's producer and president of Lucasfilm, which was acquired by Disney last month for $4.06 billion.
    "Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience," Kennedy said in the statement.
    The movie will have a script from "Toy Story 3" writer Michael Arndt and a 2015 release.
    Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" in the original trilogy, will work as a consultant on the new project.
    Abrams has already headed the reboot of another storied space franchise, "Star Trek," for rival studio Paramount Pictures. The next installment in that series, "Star Trek: Into Darkness," is set to hit theaters May 17.