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Around the Area

  • Gov. Martinez signs bill prohibiting corporal punishment in NM schools

    CARLSBAD – Gov. Susana Martinez recently announced she signed House Bill 172, legislation that prohibits corporal punishment in New Mexico’s schools.
    “The decision on whether or not to use corporal punishment on a child is one that is best left to a parent,” Martinez said.
    Corporal punishment was already banned in 53 of New Mexico’s 89 school districts. According to the most recent data by the U.S. Department of Education, there were 705 incidents of corporal punishment in New Mexico during the 2006 school year, which represents 0.2 percent of the state’s students.
    New Mexico now joins 30 other states that do not permit corporal punishment        in schools.

  • Bizarre: Volunteer fire department chief arrested

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities arrested a volunteer fire department chief after he called in multiple police and fire agencies for a brush fire and falsely claimed people were trapped in buildings.

    A spokesman for the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office says 53-year-old Velarde Volunteer Fire Department Chief Eddie Velarde was arrested and booked into jail Tuesday for disorderly conduct.

    The sheriff's office says Velarde was calling for a mass evacuation when none was needed. Velarde allegedly claimed people were trapped when officials say the fire was nowhere near any structures.

    Sheriff's officials say the only way to stop Velarde was to arrest him.

  • Interim police chief appointed in Santa Fe

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe officials have turned to a veteran of the police department to instill new leadership. Raymond Rael worked 21 years as a Santa Fe police officer before retiring.

    The 57-year-old Rael takes over as police chief after this week's sudden resignation of Aric Wheeler.

    Rael faces record burglary numbers, mass retirements among command staff members, job restructuring and low morale among the rank-and-file officers.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Wheeler will remain with the department as a captain. The 39-year-old Wheeler told the city manager Tuesday he was stepping down as chief to spend more time with his family.

  • Medical Center CEO Resigns

    Wally Vette announced his resignation as head of Los Alamos Medical Center in a letter to staff Tuesday. In the letter, Vette said March 31 would be his last day.

    The news caught many by surprise in that Vette has served less than a year. He joined LAMC as Chief Executive Officer June 7, 2010.

    The news comes on the heels of a physicians meeting at which no confidence sentiments were reportedly expressed toward Vette, according to a source close to the situation.

  • Muni building meetings get updated

    Los Alamos County announced a number of updates regarding the public meetings for the new municipal building and the adjacent historic archives, records center.

  • CRC applicants needed

    The deadline for applications for the Charter Review Committee is approaching.
    Applicants wishing to be considered for appointment to the Committee should send a one or two-page letter to the Council no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 22. The letter should contain their name, address, phone number and e-mail address, along with their employer (if applicable) and if they belong to any civic organizations.

  • Registration open for cancer retreat

    Having cancer is similar to running in a race, Cancer Survivor Mendola Bakker of Los Alamos said. It’s a sprint to make decisions and find a path to a normal life.
    Cancer Services of New Mexico offers guidance to get through this race through its Spring 2011 Family Cancer Retreat on May 20-22 at the Lifeway Glorieta Conference Center in Glorieta.

  • New homeowner sought for Habitat for Humanity house

    The Habitat for Humanity of Española and Los Alamos is looking for its next homeowner.
    Yvonne Maestas, director of operations, said the newest home will be located on N.M. 30, which runs through the Santa Clara Pueblo.
    This will be the eighth Habitat for Humanity house, Maestas said.
    The seventh home was able to be occupied just before the holidays.
    Habitat for Humanity offered the new home owner a great gift.

  • Archives move to new location

    Workers with Delancey Street Movers recently put Los Alamos Historical Museum’s archives into boxes. The archives, which were located at Fuller Lodge, had to be removed after a pipe burst last week. The boxes piled up as the historic archives were moved to the community building. The archives will remain there until the new county records and historical archives facility is constructed.

  • December shows unusual temperatures

    Surprisingly, December was warm, as was 2010 overall.
    The incredibly cold temperatures we experienced around New Year’s Eve and Day make it hard to believe, but December was quite a bit warmer than average.
    The average temperature in Los Alamos and White Rock was 35 and 34 degrees, respectively, where 29-and-a-half is the norm for December in both towns.
    The Los Alamos average for 2010 overall was 49 degrees, half a degree warmer than the 1981 through 2010 average.