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Today's News

  • Be There 02-05-13

    Wednesday
    February’s Brown Bag performance will feature the Lads of Enchantment Chorus and the Hot Flashes two piano quartet, at noon, at Fuller Lodge. The event is free and open to the public.

    Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy, will speak on “Securing a future with coal in New Mexico,” at the LASE/Sierra Club meeting at 7 p.m. in media room 203, building two at UNM-LA.
    Thursday
    Mesa Public Library presents the Free Film Series, featuring “Rear Window,” at 6:30 p.m.

    The February meeting of the Los Alamos Master Gardeners will be in the training room of the Community Building, just down the hall from the Extension Office, at 7 p.m. Los Alamos Extension Agent Carlos Valdez will present a program on the Demonstration Garden. For information, call 662-4950.
    Friday
    The Los Alamos Right to Life Committee presents Dauneen Dolce, executive director, from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 8 at Immaculate Heart of Mary’s McLaughlin Hall. Quizno’s and refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. Pro-life friends welcome.

  • Assets in Action: Tourney pays homage to Sanchez

    Let’s get ready to GRAPPLLLLLEE!
    You really didn’t think I would make it through a wrestling season without a column about it, did you?
    This weekend, the Hilltopper Wrestling team will host the Fourth Annual Bryan Sanchez Tournament.
    Sanchez, a former ’Topper, was a Hispanic Merit award scholar, a crimson scholar, and went on to attend New Mexico State University. The only sport he participated in was wrestling.
    Sanchez was considered wise beyond his years and he took incredibly good care of his mom Rita, a Los Alamos Middle School teacher, and sister Elena, former ’Topper wrestling manager.
    Rita is without a doubt, team mom and the only parent that can get away with yelling, “Come on honey,” to her boys, as she watches them with pride.
    “I was floored and so proud and so excited when they changed the name of the tournament. I knew that it came from the heart. The tournament brings him back to me every year and brings me closer to those boys,” Rita said.
    Her philosophy is simple; the kids give back to you what you give to them. If you give them love and respect, they will return it. It also helps that she is a kid at heart, which builds her relationship with the team.

  • The time for motor carrier deregulation has arrived

    The Rio Grande Foundation recently completed a report in which it analyzed dozens of state regulations that are holding back our economy and need to be eliminated or reformed. The need for deregulation has never been more apparent with our economy losing jobs and seeing an outflow of workers (according to a recent report from United Van Lines).
    Unlike many issues in Santa Fe, deregulation has not historically been a partisan issue. At the federal level, President Jimmy Carter deregulated trucking, freight rail, and airlines to positive effect in the 1970s. President Reagan continued those efforts in ways that led to significant economic growth throughout the 1980s.
    To further illustrate the point that deregulation can and should be bi-partisan, we are pleased to see that Think New Mexico has embraced the concept of deregulation, at least insofar as motor carriers here in New Mexico are concerned.
    Think New Mexico has been working to pass House Bill 194, legislation sponsored on a bi-partisan basis by Republican Rep. Tom Taylor and Democrat Rep. Carl Trujillo. The bill attempts to overcome many of the most absurd barriers to free competition in transportation services. These barriers harm both New Mexico’s economy and reduce options for consumers.

  • Voters to Santa Fe: Do something

    Standing in the back of the room, as Democratic lawmakers rolled out their jobs package, was a seasoned economic developer with many notches in his belt.
    I asked him what he thought of all the proposals we’ve heard so far. He said he doesn’t like to mix in politics, “but if we don’t do something quick, we’re screwed.”
    With those inspiring words, let’s look at the proposals.
    The governor and state Economic Development Department Secretary Jon Barela offer the New Century Jobs Agenda, which calls for a single sales factor (companies pay tax only on sales within the stat)e; reducing the corporate income tax from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent; $10 million to help local governments pay for job-creating infrastructure; $4.75 million for the Job Training Incentive Program, which supports new employee training for qualified companies; a reformed capital outlay process; the Spaceport Informed Consent law; and more money for the MainStreet program.
    Democrats presented a three-point plan: public works, potential growth areas, and a Jobs Council.
    Most innovative is the Jobs Council, which would meet between sessions to develop a strategic plan. Everybody I’ve talked to likes this idea. When we bring up tax reform and other sticky issues, we need a forum to hammer out solutions.

  • LA boys win Blue Griffin swim meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys swimming team won for the second time in as many weeks Saturday, holding off the St. Michael’s Horsemen at the Blue Griffin Invitational.
    Trey Pereyra picked up two individual wins for the Hilltoppers, leading them to a total of 407 team points. St. Michael’s gave Los Alamos a run for its money, scoring 384 points, but the Hilltoppers’ second- and fourth-place finishes in the final race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay, were enough to secure the win.
    Saturday’s meet was hosted by Santa Fe Prep at the Genoveva Chavez Center.
    In girls competition, the Hilltoppers finished with 220 team points, which gave them third place overall. Alamogordo won the team title with 319 points and Sandia Prep was the runner-up.
    Isabelle Runde led the effort for the Los Alamos girls, taking second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 100 butterfly, while Ashlynn Bennett had a third place finish 100 breaststroke and a fourth place finish the 50 freestyle.
    For the Hilltopper boys, along with Pereyra’s wins, Max Reidys (200 freestyle) and Jenz Hampel (100 backstroke) had runner-up finishes on the day.
    Here are Los Alamos’ results from Saturday’s Blue Griffin Invite:

    Girls

    Team scores

  • 'Toppers even 2-4A record with victory

     A trio of Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball players finished in double-figures as Los Alamos dropped the Capital Jaguars Saturday night.

    Los Alamos pulled away from a scrappy Jaguar squad in the fourth quarter following the early departure of Capital center Ashley Sorenson. Los Alamos took advantage, outscoring Capital 17-9 in the fourth quarter en route to a 52-39 win.

    Saturday’s win evened the Hilltoppers’ District 2-4A mark at 2-2 (12-10 overall) to keep them in third place in the district standings.

    Los Alamos’ McKenzie Logan had her second 18-point outing of the district season Saturday to lead all scorers.

    Logan, who hit 3 3-pointers, had plenty of help on the offensive end, too. Forward Kiana Zerr, who has come up big for the Hilltoppers since the departure of center Hayley Each in mid-January, dropped in 12 points and Erin Kirk had 11 points on the contest.

    Sorenson was giving Los Alamos trouble most of the contest. She ended up with 17 points despite her early exit.

    Los Alamos had a whopping 49 rebounds in the game, 24 on the offensive end. Zerr and Kirk both finished with double-figure rebounding totals, with Zerr pulling down 18 boards.

  • LA faces tough opponent on the road

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will follow up a rough outing this weekend with a potentially rough outing again tonight.
    The Hilltoppers will hit the road tonight to face the Hope Christian Huskies in a 6 p.m. tip-off.
    Los Alamos fell hard at Capital Friday, losing in the most lopsided fashion of its season, 85-47.
    Bouncing back from that game won’t be easy for the Hilltoppers in tonight’s nondistrict contest in Albuquerque.
    While the Class 3A Huskies are only 9-10 at this point in the season, they have played what may very well be the toughest schedule of any team in the state. They have faced 14 Class 5A teams so far and have posted a respectable 5-9 record against the big schools.
    Tonight, the Huskies return to their home floor following a swing down the southeastern part of the state where they faced two of New Mexico’s most storied programs, Clovis and Hobbs, losing both those contests.
    This will be the final nondistrict game for Hope, as it will start District 5-3A play Thursday night at St. Michael’s. District 5-3A is right up there with the toughest districts in the state with Santa Fe Indian School and Sandia Prep also in that mix.
    For Los Alamos to have any shot tonight, it must perform much better than it did Friday night at Capital.

  • Rio Grande Foundation releases city, county payrolls including Los Alamos

    The Rio Grande Foundation has requested and published payroll data for the 35 largest cities throughout New Mexico and all 33 counties in the state.

    Some cities including Albuquerque and Rio Rancho post payroll information online. Bernalillo County also posts salary data on its website. However, few city website has a comprehensive listing of payroll data from New Mexico cities and counties. 

    Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing said of his organization’s role in releasing the data, “Taxpayers are the ultimate ‘bosses’ of government workers and should have access to this data. Government is the only ‘business’ in which the boss often doesn’t have access to the company payroll.”

    Under New Mexico law, employee salary data is already public information, available on request from the county or city government. Now, thanks to legislation passed during the 2011 legislative session, this and other data must be made available in a format preferred by the requestor.  

    "Unfortunately, being required to comply with a request and actual compliance are not the same thing. All counties complied with our requests, but several cities including Bernalillo, Las Vegas, and Roswell failed to comply," Gessing said.

  • Today in History for Tuesday, February 5th
  • FBI: Officers stormed bunker when child in danger

    MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) — Officers stormed an underground bunker in Alabama where a 5-year-old boy had been held hostage for nearly a week, rescuing the child and leaving the boy's abductor dead, officials said Monday.

    Steve Richardson with the FBI's office in Mobile said at a news conference Monday afternoon that negotiations had deteriorated with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a man neighbors described as an isolated loner. Dykes had been seen with a gun, and officers believed the boy was in imminent danger, Richardson said.

    Officers stormed the bunker just after 3 p.m. CST to rescue the child, who was taken to a hospital in nearby Dothan. Officials have said the child has Asperger's syndrome.

    However, it was not immediately clear how Dykes died.

    Melissa Nighton, the city clerk in Midland City, said a woman had been praying in the town center Monday afternoon. Not long after, the mayor called her with news that Dykes was dead and that the boy was safe.