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Today's News

  • Council rejects call for independent audit

    By a 2–4 vote on Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council rejected Vice Chair Susan O’Leary’s call for an independent audit of the county’s personnel policies and compliance with those policies.
    Large settlements in five lawsuits against the county in the last five years prompted O’Leary’s recommendation for an audit.
    “Because there have been a number of personnel related lawsuits in a relatively short time period, I think there might be issues with our county personnel system, and in particular with its policies or adherence to personnel policies,” O’Leary said.
    Only Councilor Pete Sheehey voted with O’Leary on the motion. Councilor James Chrobocinski abstained because his brother was involved in one of those lawsuits, but seconded O’Leary’s motion because he felt having a conversation on the issue was important.
    O’Leary insisted that pursuing an independent investigation was necessary from a financial standpoint and a matter of public trust. Her proposal reads,
    “The negative actions that resulted in many of these cases were completely inconsistent with the values shared by the Los Alamos community – values that include treating others with respect and encouraging diversity in the workplace.”

  • Lowriders visit Chamisa Elementary

    Frank Chavez had a lot of great things happen to him in his life, but being the subject of a history report from Chamisa Elementary School meant more to him than anything.
    “I’ve been all over the world...this is the best achievement, the best honor I’ve ever had, is to have a 9-year-old to write a story about me. That’s unbelievable to me,” he said.
    Chavez, and a lot of other figures from world and New Mexico history, was the subject of Chamisa’s annual “wax museum” event, where students dress up as their history subject and give an oral presentation to visitors to the museum.
    Fourth-grade student Alanna Fresquez chose Chavez because of the work he’s done promoting “lowrider” car culture in New Mexico and around the world as president of the New Mexico chapter of the “Duke’s Car Club.” The club is the oldest, continuing, international lowrider car club in existence. The club got its start in 1962 in Los Angeles. The New Mexico club, which is based in Albuquerque, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

  • Sanders seeks out Democrats in heavily Hispanic New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders made a fiery appeal Friday to Democratic voters in New Mexico to help boost his campaign's momentum going the final round of state primaries, acknowledging he will need to win "almost all" of the remaining contests.

    Sanders kicked off a two-day campaign swing through heavily Hispanic New Mexico with a trio of public rallies that started Friday ahead of the state's vote in the final round of primary elections.

    He vowed to take his fight for the nomination to the Democrats' national convention this summer, and railed against superdelegates that backed Clinton before primary votes were cast.

    "We need to go into the Democratic convention in late July with great momentum," he told a cheering crowd of 2,500 people in a packed community college gymnasium in Santa Fe. "We need to win all or almost all of the states that are up on June 7."

    Sanders took the stage at a political rally Friday in Santa Fe to chants in Spanish of, "Yes, you can." Native American singers warmed up the crowd and supporters waved pro-Sanders signs overhead. Doors were closed with 600 people still in line outside.

    "New Mexico wants a government that represents all of us, not just the 1 percent," Sanders said.

  • Protests to target Trump stump in Albuquerque

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Liberal groups are organizing protests targeting Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's visit to New Mexico — the state with the highest percentage of Hispanics in the nation — as top Republicans in the state are remaining noncommittal on whether they will attend the campaign event.

    ProgressNow New Mexico, led by Democratic Albuquerque city councilor Pat Davis, has scheduled a demonstration in Albuquerque's Civic Plaza across the street from where Trump will hold a rally Tuesday while immigrant rights groups quietly are planning various forms of civil disobedience.

    The ProgressNow New Mexico demonstration will feature "anti-Trump games" with "anti-Trump signs or costumes" and a voter registration booth. However, members of other groups are asking advocates to sign up to attend the Trump rally to "shut him down."

    Trump's campaign website announced he will hold a rally Tuesday evening at the Albuquerque Convention Center as New Mexico prepares for its primary on June 7.

    Albuquerque police are preparing for multiple demonstrations, including possible disruptions inside the convention center. But authorities say they can't give details for security reasons.

  • Secret Service agent shoots armed person outside White House

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A uniformed Secret Service officer shot a person who drew a weapon just outside the White House Friday afternoon, a U.S. law enforcement official said Friday.

    The shooting happened within view of sightseers outside the front of the building, near sidewalks crowded with families, school groups and government workers.

    The White House was briefly placed on a security alert. President Barack Obama was not there — he was playing golf — but Vice President Joe Biden was in the White House complex and was secured during the lockdown, his office said.

    The U.S. law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authorization to release the information, said the person approached the Secret Service officer and drew a weapon, and then the officer opened fire.

    The Secret Service later tweeted that "all Secret Service protectees are safe."

    Separately, a White House official said no one associated with the White House was injured, and everyone inside the complex is safe and accounted for.

    A single patient was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition shortly after 3 p.m., said Doug Buchanan, a spokesman for D.C. Fire and EMS.

  • NMED extends cleanup comment period

    Residents interested in commenting on the cleanup of Los Alamos National Laboratory will have more time to do so thanks to a recent development from the New Mexico Environment Department.
    In March, NMED asked the public to add their comments to the initial agreement worked out between the state, the Department of Energy and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2005. The agreement details where, when and to what extent the Los Alamos National Laboratory will clean up decades of toxic waste disposal that have been happening at the site since 1943.
    In a recent announcement, NMED Secretary Ryan Flynn extended the comment deadline from May 16 to 5 p.m. May 31.
    The department is extending the deadline because it has received numerous requests to do so from the public.
    “On March 30, 2016, the New Mexico Environment Department issued an initial public notice for opportunity to submit public comment no later than May 16, 2016,” said a written statement from the Environment Department. “Since issuance of that initial notice, NMED has received requests to extend the public comment period.”

  • Valle Grande prescribed fire a success

    BY STEWART ROBERTSON
    National Park Service, Special to the Monitor

  • Torch run
  • Honoring the fallen

    One name stood out Monday at the Los Alamos Police Department’s annual memorial to fallen police officers.  
    Det. Daniel Roberts called out that name three times during a ceremonial roll call at the memorial, but former Cmdr. Scott Mills did not answer. Instead, another police officer standing by the memorial silently walked over and faced the memorial’s bronze plaque, paused, then removed a small piece of black cloth covering a section of the memorial.
    Underneath was Scott Mills’ name.
    The memorial is reserved for those officers who served with the department but who did not die in the line of duty.
    “Although I did not know Scott personally, I know he will be remembered as a man who cared deeply for others,” said LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone. “As stated in his obituary, as Scott moved through the ranks of law enforcement, he took pride in serving his community and showed compassion and kindness for all those he came in contact with.”
    Mills joined the LAPD in 1998 and except for a three-year stint with the Albuquerque Police Department from 2010 to 2012, served with the LAPD until 2013, when he retired.
    Mills was killed March 15 on Hwy. 550, while riding his motorcycle off-duty. He was slowing down to make a left turn when he was hit from behind by a pickup truck.

  • Trump to make stop in Albuquerque

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has scheduled his first campaign appearance in New Mexico — the state with the highest percentage of Hispanics in the nation and where its GOP Latina governor has previously denounced him.

    His campaign website announced Thursday that Trump will hold a rally Tuesday evening at the Albuquerque Convention Center as New Mexico prepares for its primary two weeks later on June 7.

    Trump's scheduled visit to the state comes after Gov. Susana Martinez, the nation's first Latina governor and a rising star within the GOP, has harshly criticized his past statements about Mexican immigrants and Mexico.

    Trump has vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and last year he compared Mexican immigrants to rapists and drug dealers.

    Martinez has urged comprehensive immigration reform and asked candidates to tone down their rhetoric amid strong anti-immigration sentiment from some fellow Republicans.