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Local News

  • Code Talkers altered course of WWII

    The code developed and used by the Navajo Code Talkers has been called the most ingenious and successful code in military history.

    The code was instrumental in the success of every major engagement of the Pacific, saved countless lives and played a pivotal role in hastening the end of World War II in the Pacific theater.

    Yet it was 1968 before the military declassified the work of the Navajo Code Talkers and longer still before they received the honor they deserved.

    In 1992, the Pentagon officially honored the Code Talkers’ contributions and in 2001 — nearly 60 years after the legendary code was created — the few Code Talkers still living were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor: gold for those who created the code and silver for the others. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., was instrumental in getting that bill passed. “With the Navajo language they defeated the enemy” is written in Navajo on the back of the medals.

    Most people have now heard of the Code Talkers, but few are aware of the nature of their contributions.

    The practice actually began during World War I. Cherokee, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Comanche, Osage, Yankton and Sioux were part of telephone squads sending coded messages in their native languages during military actions.

  • Navajo Code Talker recalls WWII

    Navajo Code Talker Jack Jones introduces himself by describing his disabilities. A bomb explosion during World War II injured his left eye, took away his sense of smell and damaged his hearing. Jones apologizes in advance for his hearing difficulties.

    But the 93-year-old Jones needs little prompting to talk about his war experiences. He was 19-years-old when he left his home in Montezuma Creek, Utah to join the Marines and was assigned to serve with the Navajo Code Talkers.

    Jones and his unit practiced the 600-plus-word code developed by the “first 29” until they could use it flawlessly. “We didn’t have any name for military weapons,” Jones said. “So names were given, such as a bomb, we called a chicken egg and a grenade we called a potato.”

    Before his journey across the Pacific began, Jones took to heart the advice of his Navajo elders.  

    “They said, you’re going to war. You have to come back in good health and good mind, wherever you go,” Jones said. “I said to myself, I’m going to a foreign country and I have to come back. So I jerked my hair like that and said, I’m going to come back to this country, right here. I was standing on the coast of San Diego.”

  • Visiting Nurses Service celebrates hospice milestone

    There are no definite plans yet, but if the successful reception the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses Service held at the Scout Lodge on Canyon Road was any indication, Los Alamos could soon be home to the first hospice in Northern New Mexico.

    “The closest inpatient unit is in Albuquerque, so this would be the first one in Northern New Mexico,” LAVNS Executive Director Sarah Rochester said.

    According to Rochester, it’s an idea whose time has come.

    “The Visiting Nurse Service has been doing hospice care in the home for 15 years and we have become increasingly aware that we do not have a place for people to go at the end of life that is covered by Medicare regulations, and that is reimbursable,” she said.

    Rochester also added that hospice’ Medicare partnership may also help fund some of the costs for respite care for the family as well as inpatient care.

    Though final plans have yet to be approved by the LAVNS’ Board of Directors, Rochester said securing a piece of property ideal for a hospice for the site was a big step toward accomplishing their goal.

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  • Briefs 08-31-12

    Fewer weeks of jobless benefits to be offered

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Fewer weeks of unemployment benefits will soon be available to jobless New Mexicans and the Department of Workforce Solutions says it’s because of a change in federal law.
    A maximum of 54 weeks of unemployment compensation will be offered with claims effective Sept. 2. That’s down from 60 weeks currently.
    The department says New Mexicans eligible for 60 weeks of benefits before Sept. 2 can continue to receive payments for up to that amount of time during a phase-out period.
    The state pays for regular unemployment benefits for 26 weeks, and it’s up to the federal government to go beyond that. A federal law enacted earlier this year changed provisions that trigger extended benefits in a state.
    New Mexico’s unemployment payments range from $74 to $397 a week.

    Groups work to sign up new voters

    SANTA FE  (AP) — A coalition of nonprofits are banding together to get more New Mexicans registered to vote.

  • County posts Sunshine Page

    Los Alamos County has added a new “Sunshine” webpage to its county website.
    The Sunshine webpage addition is another step toward the county’s goal to build citizen trust by being open and transparent.
    The webpage makes more government documents available online and offers a more direct way to navigate to key documents that are already offered on the website.
    The new feature can be accessed by clicking on the sun icon on the home page, losalamosnm.us.
     Read the Los Alamos Monitor Wednesday for more information.

    From a press release

  • Update 08-31-12

    No trash pick-up

    Los Alamos County will not pick up trash or recycling Monday in observance of Labor Day. Those who have a normal Monday pick-up should put their materials out Sept. 5.

    Library board

    Library Board meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the White Rock Branch Library.

    No court

    The Los Alamos Magistrate Court will not have a Judge for the week of Sept. 17-21 due to the annual Magistrate Judge’s conference. The court hours will be 8 a.m.-3 p.m. that week.

    Square dancing

     Square Dance Club will host a kick-off party with some basic square dance instruction, dancing and sloppy joes, salad, desserts and refreshments from 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

    Grand opening

    The Los Alamos Democratic Party Headquarters grand opening is slated for noon-4 p.m. Sept. 3 at 140 Central Park Square.