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Local News

  • Former drama teacher sues district for sex discrimination

    Former Los Alamos High School teacher David Daniel has filed a civil complaint against former LAHS Principal Bradford Parker, Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and the Los Alamos Public School District, claiming sexual orientation discrimination.

    Daniel originally filed a charge of discrimination with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solution Human Rights Division on Jan. 24 and filed the civil complaint with the First Judicial Court July 25.

    Daniel worked for LAPS at the drama instructor prior to May 2016 and oversaw the drama club called the “Olions.”

    When Daniel was hired, he made it known to then Principal Brad Parker that he was gay and involved in the LGBT community because Daniel said he was afraid some parents might object to his involvement in progressive issues.

    From the beginning of his employment, Daniel claimed in the court complaint that he was “beset with inappropriate and offensive comments,” and felt that his sexual orientation was held against him.

    Daniel’s legal complaint claims he positively impacted the school during his time there. He was the creative director for a grant that the school was trying to obtain regarding the XQ Super School Project. As a result of his efforts, LAHS made it to the final 10 schools eligible for the grant.

  • Council to reconsider rec projects Tuesday

     

    Two Los Alamos County councilors have repackaged the same five projects voters rejected in the $20 million Recreation Bond Election in May and plan to ask county council to fund the new plan.

    Council Vice Chair Susan O’Leary and Councilor James Chrobocinski will propose changes to the county’s Capital Improvement Fund and program at Tuesday’s council meeting to offer the recreation projects back up for reconsideration.

    Those projects were a splash pad in White Rock, improvements to the Los Alamos Community Golf Course, a multi-generational pool at the Larry R. Walkup Center, a recreation center, and improvements to the athletic fields at White Rock’s Overlook Park.

    According to the council agenda, council is expected to consider whether to approve $13.9 million of CIP funds to pay for the splash pad in White Rock, the golf course improvements and the multi-generational pool at the Larry R. Walkup Center. 

    The proposal further recommends that the county look for ways to increase access to the Los Alamos Public School System’s gymnasiums and that the county’s Parks and Recreation Board look for ways to improve the number of softball and baseball fields in the county.

  • Gordon Summer Concert moved indoors tonight

    Due to inclement weather, the Gordon Summer Concert scheduled for tonight at Ashley Pond Park will be moved indoors to Fuller Lodge. The concert will begin at 7 p.m., as scheduled.

  • A spot for tea

    A few people truly worry about New Mexico’s long term. But they don’t know what to do. These isolated individuals emerged in the past few weeks in Farmington, Roswell, Las Cruces and Albuquerque from conversations with nearly 40 people who ought to be thought leaders in the state.

    The individuals cover the state’s precious demographics, though most conversations have been with old White guys. But then I am an old White guy.

    For recent conversations, the question has been whether the individual gets in discussions and/or is thinking about the long term for New Mexico. A few answered, “Yes.” Ah, but what to do.

    I used to ask what the individual saw for New Mexico. That question generated the conventional wisdom: too much government, Central New Mexico Community College is doing good stuff.

    The Albuquerque-Denver comparison has resurfaced. This is not especially useful. Denver is the major leagues (think Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche). Albuquerque is AAA. Compare Albuquerque with Tucson, Des Moines, Omaha.

    Typical “future” thinking amounts to citing New Mexico’s position on “all the lists” and wailing.

    Defining the problem is what we have not done. A position on a list says only a little.

  • 2 corrections officers stabbed by inmates at Santa Fe prison

     SANTA FE (AP) — Authorities say two correctional officers have been injured after being stabbed by two inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe.

    State Corrections Department officials say one officer was treated and released from a hospital Thursday afternoon while the other officer is undergoing treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

    They say both officers were stationed at a unit that houses high-risk inmates.

    Authorities say the officers were attacked with homemade knifes in one of the housing units around 10 a.m. Thursday.

    The two inmates involved have been moved to the segregation unit and the facility has been placed on lockdown.

    The names of the two inmates and the injured officers weren’t immediately released.

    Corrections officials say the New Mexico State Police are conducting a criminal investigation into the attack.
     

  • ‘t@gged’ to start third season production in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — A psychological thriller that follows three teenage girls is set to start production on its third season in New Mexico.

    State Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced Wednesday that AwesomenessTV’s series “t@gged” will begin filming in early August. He says production will wrap mid-September in Albuquerque and Jemez, New Mexico.

    Officials say the production will employ around 55 New Mexico crew members and 30 principal actors from the state.

    “t@gged” is a psychological thriller that follows three teenage girls, who become connected after a series of violent videos are sent to them from an unknown user known as Monkey Man.

  • New Mexico: Patients can skip surprise emergency-care bills

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico state insurance regulators are making it clear that emergency medical services cannot be billed at higher rates when patients are treated outside an insurance provider’s network of doctors and hospitals.

    The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance issued a bulletin this week to health insurance companies in response to public concerns about patients who receive surprise bills for services outside of an insurance provider’s network.

    The bulletin said insurers cannot bill policyholders for balances that accrue from out-of-network care during medical emergencies, clarifying provisions of current law.

    The guidance from Insurance Superintendent John Franchini does not apply to the treatment of non-emergency conditions at emergency facilities.

    Agency polling shows that about one-third of patients statewide have received large surprise bills over the past two years for out-of-network care.

  • Sessions cracks down on cities over immigration enforcement

    ALBUQUERQUE — Attorney General Jeff Sessions took new steps Thursday to punish cities he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in a move that was met with bewilderment by local officials who said they did not know why they were being singled out.

    The Justice Department sent letters to four cities struggling with gun violence, telling them they would not be eligible for a program that provides money to combat drug trafficking and gang crime unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and notify agents before releasing inmates wanted on immigration violations.

    Baltimore, Albuquerque, and Stockton and San Bernardino in California all expressed interest in the Justice Department’s Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.

    “By taking simple, commonsense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement,” Sessions said in a statement that accompanied the letters. “That will ultimately make all of us safer — especially law enforcement on our streets.”

  • N.M. educational funding at stake as trial winds down

    SANTA FE (AP) — A legal battle focused on the plight of New Mexico’s most vulnerable public school students is heading to a state district court judge this week after two months of testimony in a case that may reshape the way public schools are funded and guided by the state.

    Parents, local school districts and advocacy groups sued the state of New Mexico for failing to meet constitutional obligations to provide essential educational opportunities to all students and for not following through with 2003 reforms designed to better engage Native American students.

    After two months of testimony, the judge may reshape the way public schools are funded and guided by the state.

    Testimony is scheduled to end Friday.

    The outcome could reshape funding and education policies for English-language learners, Native American youth and students from low-income families across a state with the second-highest poverty rate in the U.S.

    New Mexico’s classrooms serve the highest percentage of Hispanic students in the country and the second-highest percentage of Native American students after Alaska — providing a testing ground for cultural enrichment programs and bilingual instruction involving Spanish and several Native American languages.

  • ‘Carry the Light’ opens at golf course

    Color and light have always been the tools of the artist, and at least with some sciences, the scientist also.

    New Mexico sculptor and former geological scientist Doug Czor has taken those tools in a new direction. Using plexiglass and dichroic film, Czor has created a set of sculptures at the Community Golf Building on Diamond Drive that will catch the eye and stimulate the brain. When the sunlight hits the dichroic plexiglass panels, they reflect a dazzling display of light and color that splash over the walls and ceiling where they are installed. The sculpture is called “Carry the Light.”
    Czor wants everyone else to appreciate it too, and perhaps be inspired by the science and math behind what he does.

    “Physics can be beautiful, science can be beautiful, exciting,” he said.

    He hopes children that see the new sculptures see science and math in a different way too, or at least be interested enough to participate in a future where science is valued.

    “My goal in life is to create inspiration for young people that would inspire them to look again at becoming a scientist, a physicist, an engineer or a mathematician,” he said. “Our country needs more people who are interested in science…