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By The Staff

UP thum ...BIG MEN, SOFT HEARTS. The Los Hermanos Motorcycle Club distributed 513 toys for children in its annual and appreciated Toys for Tots drive. Hundreds of children stood in line at Sala de Madrid for the chance to see Santa Claus and receive some brand-new toys; one family, who had fallen victim to a theft in which their presents were taken — got some extra gifts to make their Christmas better.

UP thumb ... SHELTER FROM THE COLD. Severe cold spells, beginning more than a month ago, forced members of the First United Presbyterian Church, working in conjunction with Samaritan House, to move quickly. Accordingly, plans to set up a cold-weather shelter for the homeless got rushed into place, and the church has housed as many as nine people each night.

Other area churches and individuals have contributed food, bedding, clothes, toiletries, cots and volunteers. The Presbyterian church will have housed the homeless for six weeks, with plans for St. Paul’s Peace Episcopal Lutheran Church to provide two weeks’ rotation beginning the first week of the new year. What Las Vegas needs is a permanent shelter, but until that is created, it’s good to have such generous churches in our midst.

UP thumb ... DISCOVERY. Who says star gazing is a waste of time? New Mexico Highlands University math instructor Carlos Martinez, a fourth-generation Sapello resident, has discovered an asteroid (along with former Highlands professor Bill Ryan, who is now a New Mexico Tech professor). Thanks to Martinez’s affinity to his home country, the asteroid has been named Sapello.

Asteroids, according to NASA, are rocky fragments left over from the formation of the solar system billions of years ago. The Sapello asteroid is in the main asteroid belt orbiting our sun.

Looks like the clear skies of New Mexico are a real advantage to men such as Martinez, who study the night skies for both fun and science.

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“Even though we’re grown men this is enough to bring us close to tears because of the joy we see all around.”  — Gerald Romero, Los Hermanos Motorcycle Club president, on the group’s annual Toys for Tots giveaway.