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Today's News

  • Teacher sick leave bill vetoed

    Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday vetoed a bill intended to stop penalizing public school teachers on their evaluations if they take more than three days of sick leave, making good on her promise to keep intact a teacher rating system that has been heavily criticized by educators since it was put in place in 2012.
    The veto drew immediate rebukes from teachers unions and, in a rare move, prompted one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, to say he will attempt to muster enough votes to override it.
    It would be the first attempt to override a Martinez veto in the six years she’s been governor. Momentum for an override could be stalled in the House, however, where enthusiasm for overturning the governor’s decision appeared less urgent Thursday. To override the veto, the Senate and the House would need a two-thirds majority vote.
    The legislation, dubbed the “Teachers Are Human Too” bill by its sponsors, had cleared the Legislature with near unanimous support. The bill would have allowed teachers to take up to 10 days of sick leave without hurting their performance evaluations. The Senate passed the bill with no dissenting votes. The House passed it 64-3. The main sponsor of the bill was Rep. Jason Harper, a Republican from Rio Rancho. Co-sponsors included two Democrats and two Republicans.

  • The Latest: Broncos sign Cowboys player - not Romo

    The Latest on NFL free agency (all times Eastern):
    5:05 p.m.
    The Denver Broncos have signed a former Dallas Cowboys player in free agency. It wasn't Tony Romo as so many fans were anticipating, but guard Ronald Leary.
    Although the Broncos have been mentioned as a prime landing spot should the Cowboys part ways with Romo, Denver GM John Elway is happy with the two young QBs he has in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
    What he's trying to do is fortify his offensive line, the primary culprit in Denver's slide from Super Bowl champ to missing the playoffs last season.
    Leary will fly to Denver on Friday to sign his four-year, $35 million deal that includes $20 million guaranteed. He's expected to slide in at left guard with Max Garcia moving over to battle it out with Michael Schofield on the right side.
    With the emergence of La'el Collins and several big contracts along one of the top lines in the NFL, the Cowboys couldn't afford to keep Leary, who turns 28 next month.
    — Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.

    5:01 p.m. ET
    The Green Bay Packers have re-signed linebacker Nick Perry, bringing back an important piece to their defense.
    Perry had a breakout season in 2016, with a career-high 11 sacks in 14 games.

  • Today in history March 9
  • Alaska Airlines adds daily Albuquerque-San Francisco flight

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — City officials say Alaska Airlines is adding a non-stop, daily flight from Albuquerque to San Francisco and back this fall.
    The flights will begin Sept. 18 with one flight leaving for San Francisco International Airport at 7:15 a.m. and another flight headed back to Albuquerque International Sunport at 6:15 p.m.
    The daily flights will be operated by Horizon Air on 76-seat E175 jets.
    Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says Alaska Airlines now will serve four nonstop destinations from the Sunport.
    Since 2009, the Sunport has added three new airlines with service to three new destinations and expanded options to five existing destinations.
    The city also has announced a major renovation project to the pre-security portion of the terminal this spring, with completion scheduled next year.
     

  • Shoplifter strikes pedestrian after fleeing Bealls

    UPDATED: 4:20 p.m.

    Los Alamos police are searching for a light-blue, silver Volvo driven by a suspected shoplifter after the suspect struck a pedestrian in the Bealls parking lot after noon today while speeding away from the store.

    Los Alamos fire personnel attended to the 47-year-old man who hit the windshield of the vehicle driven by the suspect. The windshield was shattered.

    The man was loaded into an ambulance at the scene and transported to Los Alamos Medical Center. Police expect to release more information about the incident in an official press release, according to officers at the scene.

    More details will be added to this story as it develops.

  • Over objections, New Mexico energy chief confirmed

    By Andrew Oxford

    The New Mexican

    After his confirmation hearing turned to discussion of climate change and the Four Corners methane hotspot on Wednesday, environmental groups lambasted Mew Mexico's top oil and gas regulator as echoing politically conservative talking points while one legislator described the conversation as "very troubling."\

    But despite opposition from conservationists and a small group of Democratic lawmakers, the state Senate voted 32-4 to confirm former oil and gas industry executive Kenley McQueen as secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

    While McQueen won praise from some lawmakers as having an expert grasp on the sector he is now in charge of policing, environmental groups have likened his appointment to picking a fox to guard a hen house, prompting some of the harshest opposition that any of Gov. Susana Martinez's appointees have met so far in the current legislative session.

    The secretary's confirmation hearing on Wednesday only seemed to enflame criticism from liberal senators.

    "What I heard today was very troubling," Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said later on the Senate floor.

  • New Mexico officials warn of escalating fire danger

    SANTA FE (AP) — State and federal land managers in New Mexico are warning people about escalating fire danger.
    This week, red flag warnings were issued throughout eastern New Mexico due to extreme fire danger, and the dry, windy conditions are likely to remain in the forecast.
    Surrounding states such as Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas have already been hit with serious wildfires this year due to similar conditions.
    So far this year, officials say New Mexico has seen 55 wildfires burn more than 10 square miles — about half of that being charred in the last two weeks alone.
    Acting State Forester Donald Griego says last year's fire season was very active and destructive. More than 200 square miles burned on public and private lands in 2016.

  • Los Alamos County reports email system attacked by phishing scam

    Los Alamos County reported today its email system was attacked by an apparent phishing scam and has turned the incident over to law enforcement.

    The incident affected at least one public works employee, according to the county spokeswoman.

    “While it is believed that the attack was contained to a single e-mail account in the Public Works Department, the County turned the matter over to the Los Alamos Police Department for investigation. Affected employees have been notified and LAPD Investigations conducted a thorough investigation of this incident,” said Spokeswoman Julie Habiger, in a statement released today.
    The county’s e-mail system is hosted as a cloud-based system. The county uses multiple layers of anti-virus and anti-malware protections, Habiger said in a statement.

    The county Human Resources division issued letters to employees who might have been impacted by the scam and has placed these individuals in a credit monitoring service for one year at no cost to the employee.

    County Manager Harry Burgess has taken it a step further and urges all county residents to be cautious of suspicious emails.

  • Local theater group wins state award

    The Los Alamos Little Theatre’s production of “The Other Place” took home awards for outstanding leading actor, direction and set design at the New Mexico State Theatre Festival held in Las Cruces last weekend.
    The production placed second overall and is the alternate for a regional competition.  
    Cindy Hines was awarded the leading actor award for her portray of Julianna.  
    Director Gwen Lewis received the direction award and Paul Lewis received the set design award.  
    Other LALT participants in the festival included cast members Eric Bjorklund and Andi Bishofberger, cast member and stage manager Iain May, and backstage support Kelli Guider and Kathy Bjorklund.
    The festival is sponsored by Theatre New Mexico, and is a part of AACTFest, a national theatre competition sponsored by the American Association of Community Theatre that is held every two years.  Competition begins at the state level, advances to Regionals, and culminates in a national festival. LALT has participated in AACTFest for many years and has hosted the New Mexico festival on many occasions, most recently in 2013.

  • Bands compete in district competition

    Los Alamos High School Symphonic Band and Band Director Zane Meek gave their all Monday at the North Central New Mexico Music Educators Association Band Music Performance Assessment.  
    The association uses the event to periodically assess high school and middle school bands in the association’s “Southwest District 1” for their musical ability and acumen. The event lasts all day, and includes dozens of schools from around the area. Schools in the association’s district take turns hosting the event.
    The main purpose of the event is to support students in their musical endeavors through feedback and constructive, positive critique.