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Today's News

  • Living Treasures to be honored Sept. 9

    Douglas and Ruth Helmick Lier

    Doug and Ruth Lier are both of Scandinavian descent and perhaps that partially explains how they fit together so well. Doug notes his heritage is Norwegian and Danish, and Ruth descends from “Viking kings.” Maybe that bond also fires the apparently boundless energy and interests they share and pour into the community — much to the betterment of Los Alamos for the past 60 years.
    Green Bay, Wis. was home to Doug until he left to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physics.  Following graduation, he joined the Navy’s Officer Candidate School. Due to his background in physics and math, Doug was sent to Sandia Base in Albuquerque for training as a nuclear supervisor. He served out the remainder of the Korean War in the far East as a nuclear supervisor aboard Navy carriers.
    He later joined the Los Alamos Laboratory as a joint task force member, then as a lab staff member in J and P divisions, and ended his 36-year lab career in the directors’ office.
    Ruth Helmick Lier grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and at 22, was happily completing her master’s degree in microbiology when she learned the Los Alamos school system was seeking a science teacher.

  • Whistleblower settles lawsuit

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The state has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a whistleblower who accused the New Mexico Department of Health of nepotism and financial irregularities.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that under a settlement agreement made public last week, former state Department of Health manager Diane Moore received $225,000 and agreed to resign and never seek reinstatement.
    She filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the agency in 2010 but continued working there as the employees she complained about filed internal grievances against her.
    Moore’s allegations involved the Health Department during former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration, but the state’s decision to fight the case continued through the first year of Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenure.
    In the settlement agreement of last October, the department denied liability and denied all of Moore’s allegations.
    The agreement was made public last week after attorneys for the Journal challenged the state Risk Management Division’s decision to keep it confidential at least until the end of the year.
    Moore, who earned about $39,000 a year, spent a month on paid leave before the settlement. She no longer lives in New Mexico.

  • Bandelier moves to fall/winter hours

    Bandelier National Monument announced the start of its fall and winter schedule this week.

    For the month of September, the visitor center is open from 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Oct. 1, the visitor center closes at 4:30 p.m. through the winter. Park trails are open from dawn to dusk.

    Hours for the Atomic City Transit Bandelier Shuttle will continue from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. through the end of September. From Oct. 1 through Nov. 17, the service will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Beginning Sept. 6, personal vehicles will be allowed into Frijoles Canyon after 4 p.m. Trailheads outside Frijoles Canyon are accessible by car at all times.

    Vehicular traffic to Frijoles Canyon resumes Nov. 18, when shuttle service closes for the winter, and continues until transit service resumes early in March.  

    The shuttle service is free, but visitors must either present one of the national park access passes or pay $6 for individual entrance or $12 for groups of two or more upon arrival at the visitor center.

    The monument hosts its Fall Fiesta Sept. 29. Follow the Los Alamos Monitor for more on this event.
    More information about Bandelier can be obtained online at nps.gov/band, or call the Bandelier Visitor Center at 672-3861, ext. 517.

  • Correction 09-05-12

    Correction

    In “Code Talkers altered course of WWII” published Sept. 2, it was incorrectly stated that the Navajo Code Talkers were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor. They were instead awarded Congressional Gold Medals, which are the “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions” and Congressional Silver Medals that “recognize citizens for noteworthy actions.”
    The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for military valor.
     

  • Local Courts: On the Docket 09-05-12

    Aug. 16

    The Los Alamos Magistrate Court found Ricardo Navarro guilty of driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs with a blood alcohol level of .08. The original charge was aggravated first-degree DWI.

    Navarro was ordered to undergo supervised probation for 364 days and pay a court fee of $241.

    Conditions of probation include obeying all laws and keep from being arrested while on probation. Navarro must also comply with all conditions of probation, which include not possessing or drinking of alcohol or entering an establishment where liquor is served.

    Navarro cannot possess a firearm or any other weapon or destructive device while still on probation. Navarro must meet with a probation officer within seven days of his sentence and maintain contact with the officer throughout his probation.
    Navarro must also perform 24 hours of community service within three months of his undergoing probation.

    Navarro must also participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program that must include at least six sessions, as well as screening. He must also complete DWI school within 90 days.

  • Half Marathon set for Sept. 15

    The second annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will draw runners from across North America the weekend of Sept. 15.

    The USATF-certified race starts at 8 a.m. Sept. 16 in downtown Santa Fe and will end in the Rio Grande Valley at the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino.  

    The race will bring runners and families from around the country to New Mexico and will give athletes the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at high altitude.

    “We’ve created a destination race with top runners who will enjoy our beautiful scenery and rich culture,” said race director Joseph Karnes of Global Running Culture. “We have entries from 26 states, Canada and Mexico. We hope to grow this into a ‘must run’ race that provides participants with an unforgettable experience.  There’s still time to register at santafethunder.com.”

    Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will honor legendary Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills, Steve “King of the Mountain” Gachupin, double U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, Nike N7 Ambassador Alvina Begay and World Record Steeplechaser Peter Koech.

  • School district talks bonds
  • 'Sunshine' page aims for more transparency

    In a move designed to increase the transparency of local government, county officials last week debuted what’s called a “sunshine” page on its website.

    “This is born of both state initiative and, probably more importantly, council’s direction in their strategic plan about building trust within the community,” County Administrator Harry Burgess said. The goal is to increase openness and transparency.

    The sunshine page not only provides links to key documents on the county website, it also makes more government documents available online.

    New documents include a monthly “checkbook register” showing payments made to vendors.
    There is also a new link showing all active Requests for Proposals and Bids and another showing compensation for all county positions.

    The webpage also links to frequently requested documents such as the adopted budget, the annual financial report and the municipal code. These have been online for a number of years, but users have complained that they are not easy to find.

  • Cowboys, Giants rivalry kicks off NFL season

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — A good start is what is on the line this time when the New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL season opener.
    The stakes were much greater the last time the NFC East foes faced off to close the last regular season. New York won to claim the division title en route to the Super Bowl title. Dallas was left out of the postseason.
    Tonight at MetLife Stadium, the winner will take the early upper hand in the divisional race.
    For Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champion Giants, this will be a chance to silence the critics and detractors who have sounded off repeatedly after they beat the New England Patriots in February to claim their second title in five seasons.
    The Giants heard it all. They were lucky to get into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. They really didn’t beat the Packers or 49ers, they were just handed the games. There is a lot more, but that is the gist.
    That is now over.
    The goal for Tom Coughlin’s players is to show they have constructed that bridge the 65-year-old coach urged them to build to link their late-season 6-0 run to the title to the 2012 campaign.

  • LAHS volleyball team drops opener

     The Los Alamos volleyball team found out in a hurry Tuesday night what it will be up against if expects to contend for state accolades this season.
    In the past four seasons, LAHS had fallen to St. Pius X in the state semifinals.
    On Tuesday night, the  Lady Toppers opened their season against their nemesis, falling 25-23, 18-25-25-22 and 26-24.
    The Toppers likely will face St. Pius again. The two are scheduled to compete in the Farmington Tournament later this season and chances are they could meet again the state playoffs.
    This weekend, the Lady Toppers will travel to the Moriarty Tournament.