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State, Nation & World

Governor Signs Emergency Funding For Courts

on February 23, 2017 - 5:05pm

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Today Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law House Bill 261 sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Bernalillo) and Rep. Zachary Cook (R-Lincoln and Otero), House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo).

The new law appropriates critical emergency funding for New Mexico’s judiciary system by providing $80,000 to the Supreme Court and $1.6 million to the Administrative Office of the Courts’ Jury and Witness fund to prevent anticipated FY 2017 budget shortfalls in those entities.

“Justice Charles Daniels alerted us to the grave funding

Among Our Distant Cousins: An Extinct Pig-Turtle With Tusks

on February 23, 2017 - 5:01pm
Christian Kammerer is a paleontologist at the Museum fur Naturkunde (Museum of Natural History) in Berlin, studies mass extinctions and the ancestors of mammals. The photo was taken with a timer in the Paleontological Institute in Moscow while he was examining fossils of mammal-related ancestors from the Ural Mountains. Courtesy photo
 
Artist’s recreation of Bulbasaurus by M. Celeskey. Courtesy image

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

Naturalists worry about endangered species and the threat of a sixth great extinction in the contemporary world, which some fear might sweep our own

World Futures: What Do We Need? STUFF - Infinite Recycling

on February 23, 2017 - 4:58pm

By ANDY ANDREWS
Los Alamos World Futures Institute

In our world today there is much concern about recycling of materials that have been assembled with energy to create something for use by humanity.  

Referring to the Plass table shown in column 2, note that decay and respiration add CO2 to the atmosphere. It can be argued that this is essentially the recycling of organic, carbon-based materials readying them for reconstruction via photosynthesis. Essentially solar recycling of formerly living materials – it is organic.

But what about non-organic materials?

State Senate Unanimously Confirms Butch Tongate Secretary Of New Mexico Environment Department

on February 23, 2017 - 4:51pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE — Secretary Designate Butch Tongate has been confirmed unanimously by the Senate as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
 
Tongate, who has worked at the Environment Department since 1993, was appointed Deputy Secretary in 2011.
 
“I’m proud to have Butch lead this department, which is so important to present and future generations of New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez said.

Scam Alert: Calls Threatening IRS ‘Criminal Lawsuit’ Hit New Mexico

on February 23, 2017 - 4:48pm
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert Feb. 21, in response to a new scam hitting New Mexico that threatens a ‘criminal lawsuit’ by the IRS if the caller’s message is not returned.
 
The digitized voice in the recording claims to be Officer Edward Jonathon calling from the legal department of the Internal Revenue Service and leaves a call back number along with his threats. Scams of this nature are meant to intimidate and trick New Mexicans into giving up their personal and financial information to the scammers.

Precision Rifle Team Takes 2nd At Nationals

on February 23, 2017 - 4:45pm
LAHS precision rifle team members Holly Hayes, Samantha Miller, Steffie Nielsen, Jacob Torrez and Jonathan Chavez. Courtesy photo
 
SPORTS News:
 
This past weekend the Los Alamos High School precision rifle team traveled to Alabama to compete in the Navy National Air Rifle Championships.
 
The team finished second against a field of the top teams from across the nation. Samantha Miller placed second overall in the individual category. Stephanie Nielsen was awarded her distinguished air rifle badge which is a major accomplishment.
 
By finishing second, the team earns an invitation

Bills To Attract, Retain Good Teachers Pass House

on February 23, 2017 - 4:43pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Tuesday, two bills that aim to ensure New Mexico attracts and retains good teachers by improving teacher evaluations and recognizing teacher skill and competency passed the House.
 
Rep. Debra Sariñana’s (D-Albuquerque) bill, HB 163, makes teacher evaluations more fair by ensuring a teacher’s evaluation is not disproportionately affected by students who have too many absences. The second bill introduced by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s (D-Albuquerque), HB 124, provides a three-tier framework for teachers to advance to level II and level III licensure.
 
“HB

Common Cause Gerrymander Report Out As HJR 3 Redistricting Goes To Committee

on February 23, 2017 - 4:37pm
CCNM News:
 
A constitutional amendment to establish an independent redistricting commission will be heard in a House committee Thursday, just as Common Cause New Mexico releases Restoring Voter Choice: How Citizen-Led Redistricting Can End the Manipulation of Our Elections, a report about the 2016 election completed by Common Cause nationally.
 
New Mexico is cited as one of eight states where the outcome of the election—and the composition of the legislature—was already determined before any votes were cast.
 
Approximately 62% of legislative races in New Mexico were uncontested,

Los Alamos School Board Extends Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus' Contract Maximum Allowed By Law

on February 23, 2017 - 10:02am

Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus

 

By KIRSTEN LASKEY

Los Alamos Daily Post

 

The Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Board of Education unanimously renewed Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus’ contract for three more years, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by state law.

 

The decision to extend the contract occurred during the Feb. 14 regular school board meeting. In addition to extending his contract, the board offered Steinhaus a raise identical to the amount offered to all other staff.

NM House Passes Revenue And Budget Bills

on February 23, 2017 - 9:38am

STATE News:

SANTA Fe Wednesday evening, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed both a new revenue package and a budget for fiscal year 2018. Taken together, the two bills will allow New Mexico to have a balanced budget and raise cash reserves to a respectable 3.2 percent.
 

HB 202 comprised of a package of provisions to raise new money for the state to mitigate and avoid further devastating cuts to education, Medicaid, and other critical areas. Budget predictions from the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee project a $120 to $125 million hole for fiscal year 2018.

The new

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