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Lincoln Middle School student spells 'geniture' to win 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee

Vic Kolenc, El Paso Times Published 7:18 p.m. MT March 2, 2019 | Updated 8:23 p.m. MT March 2, 2019Buy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoBuy PhotoAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlidePenelope Moore was not familiar with…

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Vic Kolenc, El Paso Times
Published 7:18 p.m. MT March 2, 2019 | Updated 8:23 p.m. MT March 2, 2019

Penelope Moore from Lincoln Middle School reacts after spelling 'geniture' correctly to win the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee.

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2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee pronouncer Dr. Richard Pineda looks through the official book of word between rounds Saturday at Bowie High School.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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Pronouncer Dr. Richard Pineda looks ahead in the word book Saturday at the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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The top five spellers compete Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee.

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Third place finisher Ian Austin reacts to the pressure with only three spellers remaining in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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Ian Austin from Edgemere Elementary School reacts after spelling his word incorrectly Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee. Austin would finish in third place.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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Ian Austin from Edgemere Elementary School is consoled by family after spelling his word incorrectly Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee. Austin would finish in third place.

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Second place finisher Kristina Martos spells out her word on her hand Saturday.

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158 students from around the area competed Saturday in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee at Bowie High School. Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the title.

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Penelope Moore is presented her first place trophy Saturday at the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee.

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The top three finishers in the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee were second place Kristina Martos, left, second place Ian Austin, right, and first place Penelope Moore.

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Lincoln Middle School's Penelope Moore, 13, won the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee earning a trip to compete at nationals in Washington D.C. 158 students from the region vied for the trophy.

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Penelope Moore was not familiar with the word “geniture,” but she used its Latin origin and a mind picture to help spell it correctly Saturday to win the 2019 El Paso Regional Spelling Bee.

The 13-year-old student from Lincoln Middle School in West El Paso beat out 157 other spellers from El Paso and Southern New Mexico to win a trip to the 92nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. The national bee begins May 27 in the Washington, D.C.-area.

It took two hours to go from 23 spellers to the winner in the regional spelling bee.

“I didn’t know it (geniture); I just went along with the Latin spelling,” Penelope said as she held her hefty trophy on the stage of the Bowie High School auditorium in South-Central El Paso, where the two-day competition was held.

“With most Latin spellings, it ends with ‘ture,’ so I figured how the word was spelled. I pictured it in my mind. That’s what I do with most words.”

Penelope asked word pronouncer Richard Pineda, a University of Texas at El Paso professor, to repeat the pronunciation of geniture several times, and she repeated the word several times herself before successfully spelling it. But, she said afterward, she wasn’t nervous while contemplating how to spell geniture, which means birth or nativity.  

“I learned being nervous doesn’t help. It’s better to just be confident and just do your best because that’s all you can do,” she said.

However, Penelope said, she’s a bit nervous about going to the national spelling bee. She might increase her word study time from 30 minutes a day to an hour a day, she said.

Besides studying a list of about 200 words daily, her other key to success is reading a lot of books, the book lover said.

“Reading helps a lot. It helps you be familiar with a lot of weird words,” she said.

More:Spelling bee winner Liam Nyikos ‘systematically’ eliminates competition to win

Her father, attorney Dennis Moore, her grandparents and Lincoln Middle School spelling coach Lee Peacock all helped her get ready, she said.

“She has the most incredible laser focus of any kid I’ve met,” Peacock said. “When she is in the moment, she is just all about what she is currently into.”

Kristina Martos, 14, of Lynn Middle School in Las Cruces, misspelled “avaricious,” to leave the door open for Penelope to win.

Kristina ended up in second place after winning a four-person spelldown for the runner-up spots. She spelled “nubilous” to take second place.

Ian Austin, of Edgemere Elementary School in East El Paso, took third place.

Alexia Whetten, of Canutillo Middle School in the Upper Valley, and Stephan Hatem, of St. Raphael Elementary School on the East Side, were the other two spellers in the runner-up spelldown.

Kristina used her fingers to help spell out words.

“It helps me visualize the word” by using my fingers, she said. It also helps calm her nerves, she said.

This was the 75th annual regional spelling bee, which beginning this year is sponsored by the El Paso Independent School District Foundation. It previously had been organized by the El Paso Times and the now-defunct El Paso Herald-Post.

The regional bee has produced four national winners: in 1942, 1962, 1981 and 1983.

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; vkolenc@elpasotimes.com@vickolenc on Twitter.

KEEP UP with El Paso-area schools and their students.Click here to subscribe to the elpasotimes.com 

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Las Cruces

Businesses reminded to bag it, tie it, keep it clean when it comes to trash disposal

Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels, Utilities Connection Published 8:24 a.m. MT March 24, 2019 Las Cruces Utilities reminds businesses not to overfill dumpsters. (Photo: Las Cruces Utilities)Businesses: It’s time to check and ensure that your staff is making the best use of your solid waste service. A few simple rules, which are also part of the…

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Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels, Utilities Connection
Published 8:24 a.m. MT March 24, 2019

Businesses: It’s time to check and ensure that your staff is making the best use of your solid waste service. A few simple rules, which are also part of the Las Cruces Municipal Code:

  • Bag your trash and tie your trash bags!
  • Put trash bags in the dumpster — not on top and not on the ground.
  • Don’t overfill your dumpster and keep the enclosure clean around your bins.

“Sometimes it’s carelessness, or not understanding the solid waste regulations. But sometimes it’s a matter of high staff turn around in businesses, and new workers forget — or were never taught — best practices,” says Miguel Fernandez Las Cruces Utilities Solid Waste commercial supervisor. “Employees might use the space around an enclosed bin as extra storage, when in fact our drivers need that space to negotiate the forks on the big commercial trash trucks into grabbing the bin.”

Fernandez explains that if the driver cannot see what’s behind the bin, the wall of the enclosure could be damaged when lifting the bins. “We’re trying to protect business property, but also City property (the big truck) by being careful,” he said.

If the dumpster is overfilled, powerful winds can catch the trash and knock bags on the ground before they can land in the truck. If the bin has untied bags and loose trash, all the odds and ends can rain out around the cab of the truck and land on the ground. Heavy pieces can crack a windshield or knock the mirror right off.

Plus, it makes even more work for the business when they have to pick up what doesn’t make it into the back of the truck.

“If we’re trying to set down the bin and more trash falls that had been stacked around it, we’re not able to put it down correctly in the space and we have to contact the business owner to be able to come back and reset the bin,” Fernandez said.

With questions about commercial solid waste, call LCU Solid Waste, 575-528-3700.

It might be tempting to keep the area around the commercial dumpster piled high with things that you might not want to store in your business, but Bag it Up, Tie it Closed, and Keep it Clean to make sure that LCU is able to help your business properly manage solid waste disposal.

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.

Read or Share this story: https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2019/03/24/las-cruces-businesses-reminded-bag-it-tie-it-keep-clean/3255817002/

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Las Cruces

NMSU, partners vying for $100 million hub to address water challenges

Tiffany Acosta, NMSU Published 7:25 a.m. MT March 24, 2019 Pei Xu, center, New Mexico State University civil engineering associate professor, seen here in 2014, is leading NMSU’s effort as a member of the National Alliance for Water Innovation team in pursuit of a $100 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create…

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Tiffany Acosta, NMSU
Published 7:25 a.m. MT March 24, 2019

As a leader in water treatment research, the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University is a part of a team preparing a proposal for a new U.S. Department of Energy grant to create an Energy-Water Desalination Hub. The award for the hub will be approximately $100 million, $20 million per year for five years, with a five-year renewal possibility. 

As a member of the National Alliance for Water Innovation team, Civil Engineering Associate Professor Pei Xu is leading NMSU’s effort in a consortium that includes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory along with several universities and industry partners. 

“We aim to develop cost-effective and energy efficient availability of clean water reclaimed from a variety of traditional and non-traditional sources such as brackish water, seawater, wastewater and produced water for a range of applications including municipal drinking water, agricultural uses, manufacturing and other industrial needs,” Xu said 

“Results from this research and development would advance economic competitiveness, energy and water security and responsible environmental stewardship of the nation. NMSU’s participation in the hub would benefit the state of New Mexico, which faces water scarcity and severe droughts.” 

Proposals for the hub are due in May with an announcement slated for August. 

“We have a very unique expertise we can bring to the hub,” she said. “We are developing innovative technologies for selective removal of contaminants from water, and high-efficiency, renewable energy driven desalination processes.” 

In addition to research funding, Xu said the hub would bring in significant educational opportunities for students and postdocs to develop the next generation of workforce in water treatment. 

“Dr. Xu has earned widespread respect for her research in the water-energy nexus. One of her primary research areas is to develop sustainable water-energy-food-environment systems using low-cost, highly efficient and flexible treatment processes to reclaim produced water. She is an ideal person to be involved in this effort, and New Mexico is an ideal location for the Energy-Water Desalination Hub,” said Lakshmi N. Reddi, dean of the College of Engineering.

The hub opportunity is good timing, Xu said, because it would allow NMSU to continue water treatment research with the conclusion of a National Science Foundation grant, the Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure, in 2021. NMSU partnered with Stanford University, Colorado School of Mines and the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 to create ReNUWIt with a goal of identifying new ways to supply urban water and treat wastewater with greater efficiency, resource recovery and environmental mitigation. 

After joining the NMSU faculty in 2013, the work of Xu and her research team has garnered more than $3.5 million in research support. Along with her work in municipal water reuse, brackish water desalination and concentrate treatment, Xu also examines produced water generated during oil and natural gas exploration. Xu and multiple NMSU leaders including Chancellor Dan Arvizu discussed a possible new industry collaboration with ExxonMobil representatives and Peter Fiske, the lead of the NAWI team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in a meeting on campus in January. 

“Support from industrial partners such as ExxonMobil is essential to the strength of this research. The future of water and energy is important to their business, and they will play an important role going forward with water-energy research,” Reddi said. 

Xu believes a collaboration with ExxonMobil would be a mutually beneficial partnership that would allow NMSU to test its research. 

“They make sure our technology isn’t just in an ivory tower, but it will be applicable to solve real-world problems,” she said. 

ExxonMobil has one of the most active oil and gas operations in the region, which includes the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, with plans to triple total daily production by 2025. At the meeting at NMSU, representatives from ExxonMobil discussed its research portfolio including the lifecycle of produced water. 

Xu said she is optimistic about both the Hub and collaboration with ExxonMobil and credits NMSU civil engineering faculty members such as Assistant Professor Yanyan Zhang, Associate Professor Lambis Papelis and Professor Nirmala Khandan and Tanner Schaub from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences along with faculty members from chemical and materials engineering and mechanical and aerospace engineering for creating a strong research team. 

“Eye on Research” is provided by New Mexico State University. This week’s feature was written by Tiffany Acosta of Marketing and Communications. She can be reached attfrank@nmsu.edu.

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Las Cruces

Sonoma Elementary fifth-graders get to live ‘A Day as an NMSU Student’

Matthew Legarreta, NMSU Published 4:23 a.m. MT March 24, 2019 The “Day as an NMSU Student” program offers students the chance to experience the day-to-day life of a college student at New Mexico State University. In 2019, the event will take place on April 5. (Photo: NMSU)Following the success of the program last year, the fifth-grade…

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Matthew Legarreta, NMSU
Published 4:23 a.m. MT March 24, 2019

Following the success of the program last year, the fifth-grade students of Sonoma Elementary School are once again being given the chance to experience day-to-day life as a New Mexico State University student on Friday, April 5. 

The “Day as an NMSU Student” event was launched in 2018 as a way to get young students to start thinking about advanced education at an earlier age. The initiative, a joint venture between NMSU and Sonoma Elementary School, was the brainchild of Monica Estrada, an NMSU alumna. Estrada was working at Sonoma Elementary as a substitute teacher when she realized just how many students at the school had never stepped foot on the NMSU campus.

“We have this amazing university at our back door that a high percentage of students had never been to,” said Estrada, who now works at Sonoma Elementary as a teacher’s assistant. “I decided I wanted to put a field trip together so the students could not just tour the campus, but get a true feel for what it is like to be student at NMSU. I wanted to recreate the excitement that I remember feeling when I was a student at NMSU.”

“Monica saw that a lot of these kids don’t realize they could go to college,” said Anne Hubbell, communication studies professor at NMSU and the event’s coordinator. “They don’t even think of that as their trajectory. So many of these kids, even in fifth grade, think they have no future for themselves in college. We want to change that line of thinking.”

This year’s event will operate similar to last year, with the students arriving on campus at 9:15 a.m. for a brief welcome and introduction inside Domenici Hall, Room 109. This will be followed by a presentation and series of video screenings by NMSU’s Creative Media Institute Department Head Amy Lanasa. Afterwards, the students will be divided into five groups and sent out to different programs around campus, from a tour of the dorms at Garcia Hall to interactive projects with the Department of Geology, the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, and the Young Women in Computing program.

“We want them to open their minds about their options,” said Hubbell, “and we want to show them there are more than two types of majors. Each of these kids comes in with this predisposed idea what college is. We try to change that idea and get them to think about it for themselves.”

The students also will have lunch on campus at Taos Restaurant, thanks to the generosity of NMSU President John Floros. President Floros will stop by during lunch for a quick visit with the students. 

The program has expanded, up 19 percent from last year. Though transporting 125 fifth graders posed a slight logistical challenge, Hubbell and the rest of the organizers were insistent that the entire grade should have the opportunity to come to the event.

“We’re not taking a select group of kids. We’re talking all of them,” said Hubbell. “We don’t want any student to feel left out. We want every student coming out of the day thinking ‘I can do this.’”

Matthew Legarreta writes for New Mexico State University Communications and can be reached at 575-646-7953, mattleg@nmsu.edu.

Read or Share this story: https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2019/03/24/sonoma-elementary-fifth-graders-get-live-a-day-nmsu-student/3255848002/

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