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Today's News

  • Martinez: NM high school grad rate up seven points

    RIO RANCHO (AP) — New Mexico’s four-year high school graduation rate jumped to 70 percent just a year after federal data showed the state’s 63 percent rate was one of the worst in the nation, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Thursday.

    Speaking in front of students from Rio Rancho High School, Martinez called the seven-point spike a “mile marker” and said the improvement in just a year’s time was evidence that New Mexico schools could provide the needed services to help students graduate.

    “While we have a long way to go ... I do believe the schools all across our state have taken on the challenge of keeping our young people in high school,” Martinez said. “And I think our students are responding well to the high expectations.”

    Martinez said the state’s “A through F” grading system paired with preventative measures helped schools improve student achievement.

    In addition to an overall graduation rate spike, state officials reported that graduate rates also increased for Latino and American Indian students and students with disabilities. For example, Latino students had a graduation rate of 68 percent, an eight point jump from 2011. Meanwhile, Native American students saw a graduation rate of 65 percent and a nine point increase.

  • Scientists develop detection technique for live pathogens

    Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers have developed a technique for quick detection of live pathogens in the field. The advance could prove to be a game-changer in terms of being able to rapidly identify the source of food-borne illnesses such as E. coli. Identification of bacteria in a complex environment is currently scientifically challenging.

    Current detection and diagnostic techniques are inadequate in major public health emergencies, such as outbreaks of food-borne illness. Finding the source of live pathogens in the suspected food supply requires days of laboratory culture.

    LANL’s new method eliminates the need for laboratory culture and speeds the process. The technique relies on bacteria being critically dependent upon the key nutrient iron. The bacteria synthesize and release sequestering agents, called siderophores, into their environment to bind iron tightly for subsequent uptake. This process occurs only in live, intact bacteria.

    The LANL team created a method to use bacterial siderophores for selective, rapid identification of viable bacteria in their surroundings.

  • Smith's exec meets local retailers on development

    In the lead-up to council’s approval of the Trinity Site contract, one hotly debated issue was whether having a Smith’s Marketplace as the anchor store would prove to be a benefit for local retailers or drive them out of business.

    Those fears intensified when the North American Development Group backed out and Smith’s/Kroger assumed the contract.

    As Smith’s/Kroger officials prepare to present design plans for county approval, it is working to alleviate those fears. To that end, Vice President of Public Affairs Marsha Gilford met last Wednesday with those who could be most impacted by the development.

    “Our approach, and our true philosophy, is that there is so much business that’s leaking out to Santa Fe and Albuquerque that this store will keep a lot of that business and retail shopping activity in Los Alamos. And if we can do that, then all the smaller businesses are going to thrive as well,” Gilford said.

    “We don’t expect that we’re going to have everything that people need and want. We think we’ll have a great selection and we intend to make this just an exciting store for the Los Alamos customers. We have a lot committed to this store and want it to be fabulous.

  • Raw: Massive Croc Escape at S. Africa Farm

    About 7,000 crocodiles escaped a crocodile farm when the gates on a dam were opened this week to alleviate pressure created by rising flood waters. About 2,000 have been recaptured, the Beeld newspaper reported Friday.

  • 'Brain Pacemakers' Try to Zap Alzheimer's
  • Dual in the Four Corners

    Peter Brewer, going for a pin against Tierra Encantada’s Jorge Marquez, and the Hilltoppers will take part in the very tough Aztec Duals Saturday. Most of the top teams from the Four Corners area will be in action. Los Alamos is coming off a win at last week’s Pecos Invitational, at which Brewer finished second in the 220-pound weight division. 

  • Schools must provide athletic opportunities for the disabled

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Students with disabilities must be given a shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues, the Education Department said.
    Disabled students who want to play for their school could join traditional teams if officials can make “reasonable modifications” to accommodate them. If those adjustments would fundamentally alter a sport, the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs.
    “Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or on the court,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement Friday.
    The groundbreaking order is reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for girls and women four decades ago and could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.
    “This is a landmark moment for students with disabilities. This will do for students with disabilities what Title IX did for women,” said Terri Lakowski, who for a decade led a coalition pushing for the changes. “This is a huge victory.”

  • Ski Report 01-25-13

    Angel Fire

    29-inch base of machine-groomed snow. No new snow reported. 63 trails and 7 lifts open.

    Enchanted Forest

    32-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 33 trails open.

    Pajarito

    14-inch base. No new snow reported. Will reopen when conditions permit.

    Red River

    40-inch base of machine-groomed snow. No new snow reported. 54 trails and 7 lifts open.

    Sandia Peak

    15-inch base of machine-groomed snow. No new snow reported. 2 trails and 2 lifts open.

    Sipapu

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

    Ski Apache
    29-inch base of machine-groomed snow. No new snow reported. 22 trails and 7 lifts open.

    Ski Santa Fe
    36-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 57 trails and 6 lifts open.

    Taos
    32-inch base of packed powder. No new snow reported. 81 trails and 14 lifts open.

    Valles Caldera
    6-inch base of variable conditions. No new snow reported. 9 trails open.

  • LA girls face top team in 4A for early district lead

    Tonight, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team has a chance to set the tone in a big way for the remainder of the District 2-4A season.
    After dismantling the Bernalillo Spartans in their 2-4A opener Tuesday night, the Hilltoppers take on the Santa Fe Demons at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Los Alamos (11-8 overall, 1-0 in district), which has won two of three games under new head coach Ann Stewart, can take the early advantage in the district race, not to mention a huge psychological advantage over the rest of 2-4A, with a win tonight.
    That win, however, isn’t going to come easily.
    The Demons, at 17-0, are the only undefeated basketball team in the state of New Mexico, boys or girls, and are ranked No. 1 in this week’s Class 4A power ratings.
    Santa Fe, which spent most of its first two years as an also-ran in district, came on last year to grab a runner-up finish and gave defending district champ Española Valley a serious run for its money.
    Heading into this season, the Demons, with a very talented — and relatively young — group of players, were expected to make noise in 4A. What they’ve been is a rock band cranked all the way to 11.
    Santa Fe is averaging a whopping 60.8 points per game while giving up less than 40 points per outing.

  • This week’s TV listings

    Due to a glitch in the production process, the incorrect TV programming schedule grids published in Thursday’s “Diversions.” As always, the latest local TV listings are available under the features tab at LAMonitor.com.