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Local News

  • LANL security employee sues for discrimination

    A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee filed a federal lawsuit against the Los Alamos National Laboratory claiming age discrimination and retaliation Tuesday after he was passed over for a promotion.
    Michael J. Irving, a security program leader and manager at the security office since 1997, claims the lab did not promote him after he filed a prior lawsuit. According to his court filing, Irving’s job is to safeguard nuclear weapon materials and classified materials.
    In the prior suit, filed in 2013, he claimed rules were not followed when certain high-security officials visited the laboratory. Irving said that instead of acknowledging and correcting what he thought was wrong, management ignored his complaints “...and plaintiff was removed from his security oversight role with regard to VIP visits.” Irving claimed he was also demoted to two steps lower than his previous job position.
    Worse, he said, he was told by his supervisor that the LANL administration considered him a  “malcontent” and a “troublemaker.”
    He also complained to his supervisors that a fellow female coworker was being discriminated against.

  • What’s shakin’ for Earth Day

    Residents looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day won’t have far to go this weekend.
    Earth Day is officially today, but local organizations plan to have their major festivities on Saturday.
    The first Earth Day was March 21, 1970, and was started by peace activist John McConnell.
    “For PEEC, Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be living on this Earth, especially in the Pajarito Plateau,” said PEEC Marketing Manager Sandra West.
    This year’s festival will be extra special. It is the first year anniversary of the PEEC in its new location on Canyon Road, and at 10:15 a.m., PEEC and Los Alamos County will mark a milestone by being the first county in New Mexico to be officially certified by the National Wildlife Federation as an official Wildlife Habitat Community.
    NWF representative Luisa Grant will be on hand to present the prestigious award. PEEC, along with PEEC Docent and certified NWF habitat garden expert Selvi Viswanathan, have done much through the years to reach this milestone, acting as a one-stop education center for those residents and businesses looking to turn their properties into natural, native wildlife habitats that also provide safe havens for New Mexico wildlife.

  • LA GOP fined for failing to file reports

    The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office has levied fines against the Republican Party of Los Alamos County for failing to file its campaign finance reports since last October.
    The party has missed filing its October and April 11 reports.
    According to Secretary of State spokesperson Kenneth Ortiz, the failure to file was discovered when the organization’s name failed to appear during a search of the office’s database for “Los Alamos” political action committees.
    The New Mexico Campaign Reporting Act requires all political committees that receive, contribute or expend in excess of $500 in any calendar year to maintain a treasurer and register with the Secretary of State’s office.  
    Finance reports detailing all contributions and expenditures are due in April and October during nonelection years and several times during an election year.
    A search of the state’s PAC database shows reports for the Democratic Party of Los Alamos County dating back to April 2010.
    The Monitor confirmed that the Republican Party of Los Alamos County does not come up in a search of “Los Alamos,” however the Los Alamos County Republican Central Committee has reports from April 2010 through April 2015.

  • New Mexico says more families eligible for child care help

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has launched a push to get more eligible families to apply for federally-funded child care assistance and announced Thursday the state will expand eligibility requirements until late May

    The Republican governor said the effort is needed to get families to seek assistance for a program that some might not even know exists.

    Under the new changes, New Mexico families earning as much as 200 percent of the federal poverty line — an increase from the previous 150 percent — may apply for the child care assistance program.

    That's means a family of four earning around $48,600 or less a year is now eligible. Before the expansion, the same family earning more than around $36,000 a year would not have been eligible for the services.

    The program subsidizes the cost of child care for low-income families who are working or going to school and need child care.

    "With this expansion, we will be providing safe and reliable child care to more families who need it the most," Martinez said. "This program is one of our most important resources for helping to prevent child abuse, and I encourage New Mexico families who need it to apply for our child care assistance."

  • Today in history April 21
  • VIDEO: Hear and see the Strike-a-Sound Ensemble

     The "Strike-a-Sound Ensemble, from Mountain Elementary, perform "I Caught A Fish Alive" at the April 12 meeting of the Los Alamos School Board

  • Police Beat 4-20-16

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    March 12
    No time given — Desiree J Hyde, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested for allegedly contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    April 7
    4:28 p.m. — A 37-year-old Los Alamos woman reported that she was the victim of a burglary from a vehicle at Central Park Square.

    April 8
    9:03 a.m.  —  A 77-year-old Los Alamos man reported that he was the victim of a burglary from a vehicle at 40th Street.

    April 9
    9:41 a.m. — Denika Romero, 34, of Espanola was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant in Albuquerque. The original charge was fraud (more than $250, less than $2500) at Trinity drive.  

    4:24 p.m. — Zachary Sanchez, 31, of Los Alamos was arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated (blood alcohol concentration of . 16 or more) at the intersection of Canyon Road and Rim Road.

    April 11

  • Visits to New Mexico national parks see gains

    SANTA FE (AP) — National parks and monuments across New Mexico saw sharp increases in visitors last month.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns are among the parks that saw a rise in March.
    Carlsbad Caverns National Park spokeswoman Valerie Gohlke says people have come despite the broken elevators.
    Carlsbad received more than 51,000 visits, the best for the month of March since 2008.
    White Sands near Alamogordo recorded more than 71,000 visits, the highest since 2002.
    The U.S. Geological Survey estimates New Mexico’s national parks annually draw 1.6 million visits.
     

  • Treasury official says Harriet Tubman will go on $20 bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years, a Treasury official said Wednesday.

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of Lew's official announcement, said that the 19th century abolitionist and a leader of the Underground Railroad, would replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president.

    Lew's announcement is expected to provide details on other changes being made to the $20, $10 and $5 bills.

    The decision to place Tubman's portrait on the $20 likely means that Lew has decided to keep Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, a victory for those who had opposed his initial plan to remove Hamilton.

  • Strategic Plan takes the cake

    The Los Alamos School Board adopted its new “Strategic Plan” last Tuesday during a regular meeting of the board. In January, the board decided to simplify and update the plan in order to better carry out the objectives of the board.
    In the past, because the document was so detailed and large, the board found itself only carrying out parts of the plan, according to School Board Vice President Jenny McCumber, who undertook the revamp of the plan.
    Three public hearings were held in Los Alamos and White Rock to get the public’s input.  
    McCumber led the revamp, with direction from the board and the public. The board opted to make the plan into more of a living document, which will allow the board to quickly test new ideas and discard the ones that don’t work. It will also allow the board to react to change more quickly than it has in the past.
    The vote to adopt the plan was unanimous.
    “I would like to express my appreciation to all the people who really worked hard on this,” said LASB President Jim Hall, who also specifically thanked McCumber. “Thank you very much for making this happen. I think it’s very worthwhile, and it will help us move forward.”