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Today's News

  • Wal-Mart, Disney, Sears Used Factory in Fire

    Amid what is left of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory, there are piles of blue, red and off-white children's shorts bearing Wal-Mart's Faded Glory brand. There was also a hooded Mickey Mouse sweatshirt from Disney.

  • Jackpot hits $550 million

    Business has been brisk at local stores that sell lottery tickets, as the Powerball jackpot has reached $550 million. The drawing is tonight.

  • NMDWS cracks down on improper unemployment insurance payments

    ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has cut the state’s improper Unemployment Insurance payment rate by more than half — the highest drop in the country. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2012, New Mexico’s improper payment rate fell from nearly 24 percent to under 11 percent. NMDWS also cut the UI fraud rate as well, from around 6 percent in FY2011 to around 5 percent in FY2012.
     “I am so proud that our Department of Workforce Solutions is a national leader in reducing fraud and improper payments in state unemployment insurance programs,” said Gov. Susana Martinez. “The progress NMDWS has made since the beginning of our administration is a testament to our commitment to cracking down on fraud and strengthening New Mexico’s UI program for businesses and workers.”
     Cabinet Secretary Celina Bussey said the decreases in the improper payment and fraud rates are just the beginning of a new trend that will see these rates decline even lower. “We have many more initiatives planned for 2013 that will further strengthen the integrity of New Mexico’s Unemployment Insurance program and ensure that critical UI payments go to those who truly qualify for them.”

  • Caldera board sets date for meeting

    The Valles Caldera Trust Board of Trustees will conduct a meeting in public  from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa, in Albuquerque.
    The meeting agenda will include a year-end budget update for Fiscal Year 2012, a report on the state of the preserve, a presentation on restoration and stewardship projects, and a review of the 2012 livestock program and public visitation. Public comments will be heard after the last report with adjournment scheduled immediately thereafter. Links to the agenda and map to the Embassy Suites are posted on the Trust’s website at ow.ly/fAS1L.
    The Board of the Valles Caldera Trust conducts all decision-making meetings in public. The President of the United States appoints Board of Trustee members. Current members are: Dr. Raymond Loretto, Jemez Pueblo; Dr. Melissa Savage, Santa Fe; Virgil Trujillo, Abiquiu;  Dr. Ken Smith, Sewanee, Tenn.; Kent Salazar, Albuquerque; Karyn Stockdale, Santa Fe; Jason Lott, superintendent, Bandelier National Monument and Maria Garcia, supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest.

  • Update 11-28-12

    School board meets

    The Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education will meet for a work session at 5:30 p.m. today at Aspen Elementary School.

    Call for entries

    Photo entries are being accepted until Dec. 9 for the 2013 edition of Los Alamos Life. The award-winning, full color glossy magazine features the best of photography done by local residents. Send your high resolution digital images to info@lamonitor.com.

    Calendar

    To kick off its 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Los Alamos Monitor will distribute a commemorative 2013 calendar Sunday Dec. 9. Look for it inside your newspaper.

    County Council

    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. 6:30 p.m. Thursday Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460.

    Library board

    The Los Alamos County Library Board holds regular meetings the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 5:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library Board Room or at White Rock Branch Library. The next meeting is Dec. 3.

  • Cobalt could replace precious metals as industrial catalyst

    Cobalt, a relatively common mineral, may hold promise as an industrial catalyst with potential applications in such energy-related technologies as the production of biofuels and the reduction of carbon dioxide.
    That is, provided the cobalt is captured in a complex molecule so it mimics the precious metals that normally serve this industrial role.
    In work published Nov. 26 in the international edition of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists report the possibility of replacing the normally used noble metal catalysts with cobalt.
    Catalysts are the parallel of the Philosopher’s Stone for chemistry. They cannot change lead to gold, but they do transform one chemical substance into another, while remaining unchanged themselves. Perhaps the most familiar example of catalysis comes from automobile exhaust systems that change toxic fumes into more benign gases, but catalysts are also integral to thousands of industrial, synthetic and renewable energy processes where they accelerate or optimize a mind-boggling array of chemical reactions.
    It’s not an exaggeration to say that without catalysts, there would be no modern industry.

  • 'Unauthorized visitors' spur SOC firings

    More details have emerged concerning the five members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory security force that were terminated two weeks ago for the improper use of the live fire shooting range located at Technical Area 72.

    The lab security force is called Securing Our Country or SOC.

    The lab was asked if it could provide any more background about what the inappropriate conduct was and it responded, “Unauthorized visitors were allowed access to the shooting range and allowed to operate a variety of firearms.”

    The lab said the incident was discovered when it received information from an anonymous source, that was then verified by LANL and SOC.

    As far as the contract between the lab and SOC and whether there would be any further action or otherwise, the response was, “The inquiry is ongoing and we will determine what further actions are needed, if any.”

    The lab said it is not identifying the guards involved because it is a personnel action and that it would not characterize the relationships between the involved parties who were on the shooting range.

    NNSA spokesperson Josh McConaha said, “We’ve been closely involved with LANL as they have investigated the incident and taken corrective action.”

  • LAHS staff: 'We're here for you'

    Counselors have been on hand at Los Alamos High School and middle school since Monday, and they will continue to be available as students and faculty mourn the passing of Nikolas Ventura-Arencon. His funeral was Wednesday morning at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

    Ventura-Arencon, 14, and a freshman at LAHS, was killed in a car accident on N.M. 4 last week.

    Since the accident, LAHS has been taking an active role in making sure students who knew Ventura-Arencon get the help they need to deal with the sudden death.

    Guidance Counselors Prentice Chatfield, Danielle Straate, Enid Burgess and Cindy Black have been visiting classes and talking with students about Ventura-Arencon.

    “We’ve had different reactions as any group of students would,” Straate said. “Some don’t react, some are crying, it’s very individualized.”

    Though events like this don’t happen frequently, the staff does have specialized training to help students deal with what has happened.

  • Council funds LAPS DP Road project

    In a move that reaffirms the Los Alamos County Council’s determination to backstop local schools, the council voted unanimously to approve a request from the Los Alamos Public Schools for financial support to develop its A-15 tract along DP Road.

    LAPS requested $51,700 to bring water and electricity to the parcel to make it attractive as lease property or for a land swap. LAPS Assets Manager Joan Ahlers estimates the improvements to the property will yield $5,400 to potentially $35,000 a year in additional revenue for the district.

    Leasing is one of the few options schools have for raising income for operational costs and salaries without reducing their share of the state’s funding formula.

    Likewise, capital improvements are one of the county’s few means of benefiting the schools without affecting that formula.

    The request is in alignment with council’s 2008 resolution to provide financial support for public schools. Deputy County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne also noted that the county has a placeholder of $1.5 million within the Capital Improvement Project Fund for public schools partnership projects, which will serve as the pool of funds for the grant.

  • Be There 11-28-12

    Today
    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a discussion 6:30-8 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Mesa Public Library. This month’s discussion will focus on the New Age movement and its role in society. For more information, contact them at losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com. All are welcome.
    Thursday
    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. Your ideas will help them create a plan to strengthen people’s connection with the natural world. 6:30 p.m. Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    In celebration of the New Mexico Centennial, the senior center has offered monthly cultural/ historical trips in the state. To bring all this history together, historian John Ramsay will give a talk  focusing on “Turmoil Involving New Mexico Boundaries 1719-1930s.” Ramsay brings a wealth of to his favorite subject of historical maps. His illustrated talk is free and open to the public. Welcoming coffee at 9:30 a.m. and the talk is at 10 a.m. at the BESC, in the classroom.  
    Friday