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Today's News

  • Unemployment numbers paint bleak economic picture

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell only slightly last week to a seasonally adjusted 382,000. The level suggests hiring remains weak.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that applications declined by 3,000 from the previous week, which was revised up. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose for the fifth straight week to 377,750, the highest level in nearly three months.

    Applications were skewed higher two weeks ago by the fallout from Hurricane Isaac. But a Labor Department spokesman said there were no special factors last week.

    Weekly applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it typically suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

    Employers added only 96,000 jobs last month, below the 141,000 in July and much lower than the average 226,000 added in the first three months of the year. Recent job gains are barely enough to keep up with the growth of the working age population and aren't enough to rapidly drive down unemployment.

  • Close Call: Quick-Thinking Officers Dodge Crash
  • Hiking reopens on burned portion of Valles Caldera

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Part of the Valles Caldera National Preserve that was burned by a wildfire last year is again open to hikers and for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing this winter.

    The Valles Caldera Trust said Wednesday the public can access the preserve's Rabbit Mountain area through trails such as the Coyote Call trail and logging roads. Motorized vehicles are prohibited as well as overnight camping.

    New Mexico Route 4 borders Rabbit Mountain in the preserve, and the trust said access to the reopened area also is possible from Forest Roads 289, 268 and 36.

    The Las Conchas wildfire last year burned portions of the 89,000-acre preserve, which is near Los Alamos in northern New Mexico.

  • Today in History for September 20th
  • Traffic mishap in front of Hilltop House Hotel

    Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Doug Ehler was trying to have an uneventful last day on the force.

    On Tuesday, he was on the scene as a paint truck went over a cliff on N.M. 4 in the Jemez Mountains.

    On Wednesday, he was called to a scene around 3:30 p.m. at the corner of Trinity Drive and 4th Street in front of the Hilltop Hotel South. A white pickup truck made a turn in front of a red Subaru, causing extensive damage to both vehicles.

    A 55-year-old woman, driving the red Subaru was transported by LAFD to Los Alamos Medical Center with minor injuries. A 17-year-old driving the white pickup truck was cited for failure to yield and having an expired driver's license.

    The white pickup truck had run over the stop sign as well. And workers were already on the scene with a replacement stop sign.

    “I was just trying to get through the day without anything happening,” Ehler said.

     By 4 p.m., traffic was flowing normally in both directions.  

    And Ehler was ready to call it a career after 21 years.  

  • Tax penalty to hit nearly 6M uninsured people

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama's health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.

    The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises.

    The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect.

  • LA golf team opens season at invitational
  • HTC, Microsoft Unveil New Windows Phones
  • Wife: Driver in truck crash to be OK

    Frank Maes was at mile marker 49 on N.M. 4 when things started going wrong.

    Before he knew it, he and his International flatbed truck, loaded with 2,000 gallons of yellow and white road striping paint, were plunging over the side of a steep mountain pass.

    Maes was lucky.

    In fact, soon after his truck, or what was left of it, came to a stop 200 feet below in the Bandelier National Forest, Maes got out of his cab and started crawling up the mountain.

    “As he was going over, he told me he thought he was going to die,” Maes’ wife Karen said. “But something… I think angels were watching him.”

    According to Karen,  Maes suffered no internal injuries or broken bones, just a laceration on his calf, a massive bruise on one of his hips and a sprained ankle. 

    Maes was on his way down the mountain to rendezvous with the rest of his crew when the accident happened. His mission was to deliver his load of paint to the crew.

    “He just ran out of brakes, he said he had no more brakes,” Karen said.

    Soon after he got out of the cab, a passing motorist noticed Maes and called the police. 

  • Mousseau to head LANL program

    Los Alamos National Laboratory announced Tuesday that Jeffrey Mousseau has been hired as the new associate director for Environmental Programs.

    Mousseau currently works as a senior project manager for the laboratory’s transuranic waste disposal program. In his new position, he will oversee this program as well as other key environmental cleanup and monitoring activities.

    “Jeff shares my personal commitment to sustaining the current momentum of waste removal and cleanup that the lab has steadily built over the past five years,” Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan said. “His expertise in this area is outstanding and will be highly valuable as we continue removing waste and cleaning up contamination left over from past activities in Los Alamos.”

    Mousseau succeeds Michael Graham, who left the laboratory in August to oversee commercial and government environmental management work for Bechtel National, Inc.

    Mousseau has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of nuclear waste management, including 20 years at U.S. Department of Energy sites in Idaho and New Mexico.