.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Today's News

  • Today in History for December 26th
  • Raw: Funnel Cloud Moves Across Mobile, Ala.

    A funnel cloud moving across the skyline in Mobile, Ala. is captured by a television station's tower camera. Damage extended to homes, power lines and trees.

  • Man who killed 2 firemen left note on killing plan

    WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) — The ex-con who lured two firefighters to their deaths in a blaze of gunfire left a rambling typewritten note saying he wanted to burn down the neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people," police said Tuesday as they recovered burned human remains believed to be the gunman's missing sister.

    Police Chief Gerald Pickering said 62-year-old William Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, armed himself with a revolver, a shotgun and a military-style rifle before he set his house afire to lure first responders into a death trap before dawn on Christmas Eve.

    "He was equipped to go to war, kill innocent people," Pickering said.

    The rifle he had was a military-style .223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle with flash suppression, the same make and caliber weapon used in the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Pickering said.

    The chief said police believe the firefighters were hit with shots from the rifle given the distance but the investigation was incomplete.

  • Raw: Troops Celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan

    International troops in Afghanistan celebrated Christmas day with a traditional Christmas meal at Kabul International Airport in a dining hall packed with soldiers from the United States, France and Germany.

  • Douglas named female athlete of year

    When Gabby Douglas allowed herself to dream of being the Olympic champion, she imagined having a nice little dinner with family and friends to celebrate. Maybe she'd make an appearance here and there.

    "I didn't think it was going to be crazy," Douglas said, laughing. "I love it. But I realized my perspective was going to have to change."

    Just a bit.

    The teenager has become a worldwide star since winning the Olympic all-around title in London, the first African-American gymnast to claim gymnastics' biggest prize. And now she has earned another honor. Douglas was selected The Associated Press' female athlete of the year, edging out swimmer Missy Franklin in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors that was announced Friday.

    "I didn't realize how much of an impact I made," said Douglas, who turns 17 on Dec. 31. "My mom and everyone said, 'You really won't know the full impact until you're 30 or 40 years old.' But it's starting to sink in."

  • ´Topper boys, girls head to tourneys

    Members of the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls basketball teams will have to unwrap their presents and gobble down their Christmas meals post-haste to make it to games.
    Los Alamos’ teams will travel to Roswell to take part in a pair of tournaments. The Hilltopper girls will take part in the Goddard Holiday Classic which begins Wednesday, while Los Alamos’ boys will be in the Poe Corn Invitational, also in Roswell, starting Thursday.
    For Los Alamos’ girls, they will face Portales in the first round of the Goddard tournament.
    Portales has been solid early in the season, posting a 6-2 record and just getting nipped in the second round of the Moriarty Invitational by the Class 5A Las Cruces Bulldogs, 46-45, Dec. 14.
    The winner of Wednesday’s game will face the winner between Goddard and Capital.
    Thursday is the start of the long-running Poe Corn Invitational tournament. This tournament, which has been around since the 1950s, has in recent years tried to become a more Class 4A-centered tournament.
    This year, it’s just that. All eight participants are Class 4A schools.
    Roswell’s Coyotes, who host the tournament, are the top-ranked team in the state heading into this week.

  • LA girls ranked 12th in first hoops poll

    The Roswell Coyotes and the Santa Fe Demons are the top teams in Class 4A, according to the first MaxPrep.com poll rankings of the 2012-13 season.
    The statewide rankings for boys and girls teams were released last Thursday. Rankings are recalculated twice a week but results from the first poll of this week were not available as of press time.
    The MaxPrep rankings are based on a mathematical equation factoring in wins, strength of schedule and historical results.
    The undefeated Coyotes and Demons, with their nucleus of returners, have been in the conversation of possible state title contenders since the preseason and are both off to impressive starts.
    If the early 4A rankings are any indication, the Hilltopper boys and girls will have their work cut out for them.
    In the boys rankings, Los Alamos is dead last among the 26 competing 4A teams. Los Alamos, at 0-8 heading into this week’s play, is the only team without a win in Class 3A, 4A or 5A and is the 112th-ranked prep team in the state out of a total of 117 teams.
    Roswell, heading into this weekend, was averaging nearly 78 points per game, including a 93-point performance in its season opener against Ruidoso.

  • A dash of absurd, class

    The final days of any passing year are traditionally a time to reflect upon the jumble of people and events that shaped the preceding twelve months – the absurd and the laudable.
    The dysfunctional U. S. House of Representatives notwithstanding, my own nominee for the “Notably Absurd Award” would be the New Mexico Finance Authority, whose former officials managed to make it a top scandal in 2012.
     It began when news broke that NMFA controller Greg Campbell had submitted a phony (and late) audit on the agency’s 2011 financial affairs to the State Auditor, as required by law.
    Let it be noted that connoisseurs of the absurd routinely caution that it is always unwise to promulgate phony audits, but that it is downright dumb to submit phony audits late, if only because tardiness calls attention to itself.
    Campbell pled guilty to forgery and securities fraud and was sentenced to five years probation.
    In recent days State Auditor Hector Balderas released a PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation into l’affaire NMFA.
    That investigation cost New Mexico taxpayers $1 million-plus and prompted Balderas to note that Campbell’s supervisors, including CEO Rick May, bear “significant responsibility” for the environment that allowed Campbell to contrive his phony and belated audit.

  • Utilities squeeze out extra dollars

    A new technical whizbang called E-911 was being introduced by the phone company. It was baloney, the senator told me. E-911 was going to be a new way for emergency responders to know exactly where a phone call was coming from. When a call came to a 911 call center, a message would pop up automatically showing the phone number, which could then be linked to an address.
    This was 1991 or so. The phone company, US West in those days, was asking the state for approval to add 50 cents to everyone’s phone bill to cover the cost. The senator told me the technology had been developed anyway, and the 50 cents was pure profit to the phone company.  The increase was approved.
    Caller-ID was introduced shortly afterwards, making the same technology available to everyone (for a much heftier price than 50 cents), demonstrating that the senator was probably right. The technology was there. But E-911 succeeded in squeezing more money out of you and me.

  • Community, lab talk security

    Officials whose job it is to oversee security in the community, the schools and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, met to discuss security measures in wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

    Meant to be the first in a series of meetings, the main topic of the meeting was assessing what successful security measures the Los Alamos Public School system is doing now and how it might be improved.

    The first part of the meeting was a review of the district-wide plan by LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt. The plan, which is not available to the public, details how law enforcement and the schools should deal with a “shooter” type scenario, as well as all other kinds of emergency and disaster scenarios. However, Schmidt urged decision makers at the meeting to concentrate on the shooter scenario.

    “The real intent of this is to have you tell us should we be thinking about this or that as part of your own safety plan,”

    Schmidt said to the school principals and other school officials who attended the meeting.

    The review also included a live feed of a security camera system from one of the elementary schools and how it works, as well as how police would react to an “active shooter.”