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Today's News

  • Initial claims for jobless benefits continue to rise

    WASHINGTON (AP) — New applications for unemployment insurance rose last week to their highest level in almost six months, a sign that employers are still cutting their staffs.

    The Labor Department says first-time claims for jobless benefits edged up by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 484,000. Analysts had expected a drop. That's the highest total since the week of Feb. 20.

  • Mortgage rates hit all-time low as foreclosure numbers spike

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates sank to the lowest level in decades this week, pushed down by the weak economy and the Federal Reserve's move to help lift the recovery by purchasing government debt.

    Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for 30-year fixed loans this week was 4.44 percent, down from 4.49 percent last week. That's the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

    The average rate on the 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.92 percent, down from 3.95 percent last week and the lowest on record.

  • New Mexicans invited to voice opinions on higher education

    State Master Plan for Higher Education Town Hall meetings are being held across the state and the public is invited to attend.

  • Suspected serial killer nabbed trying to board plane for Israel

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A man suspected in a series of stabbings in Virginia and Michigan was arrested at the Atlanta airport as he tried to board a plane bound for Israel.

    A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the agency's officers arrested the man about 10 p.m. Wednesday night at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as he attempted to board a Delta flight for Tel Aviv. The suspect was handed over to the FBI and Atlanta police.

  • Fire destroys some UNM health records

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center says about 90 percent of its patient medical records prior to 2005 were destroyed in a fire in an Albuquerque storage warehouse.

    UNM's executive vice president for health sciences, Dr. Paul Roth, says the center is working with its faculty and staff to evaluate the extent of the loss.

    UNM says the warehouse was leased by a private company under contract with the Health Sciences Center and University of New Mexico Hospital to store their records.

  • Retirees from schools invited to special breakfast

    With signs and labels all over town and special sections coming with  the Los Alamos Monitor, our whole town is thinking about the start of  the school year.

    Not surprisingly, so are all of us who have worked for and retired from the Los Alamos Schools!  

    On August 19, all retirees are invited to the Annual Retirees Breakfast to be held at the Christian Church of Los Alamos.  Invitations have been sent online and through the mail and the newspaper is running information.   

  • Deficit hawks: ‘keep your hands off Social Security’

    The nation’s outsized deficit is high on the list of domestic problems most in need of a solution.

    From the president’s deficit commission, meeting throughout the year to figure out what to do, to the America Speaks group holding multiple town hall meetings, experts are zeroing in on the skyrocketing deficit number.

    And we keep hearing that cutting Social Security benefits needs to be part of the solution.

    Hold on a second. The budget deficit needs to be tackled, and Social Security needs to be strengthened for the long run.

  • Already unraveling

    The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled recently that a certain state employee is entitled to sue the state in district court instead of being restricted to workers’ compensation.

    A friend of mine e-mailed:  “Seems like it unravels the whole (workers’ comp) reform.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    For those who may be alarmed, some explanation:

    First, this case is not that big a deal, except to the parties directly involved.

  • Report details union’s proposed contract

    Sticking points to a contract between local firefighters and the county include pay, benefits and remaining competitive with other fire departments, according to a fact-finders report provided to the Monitor.

    Failed attempts to agree on the terms of a new contract are propelling the Los Alamos Firefighters’ Association Local 3279 closer to filing suit against Los Alamos County.

    According to the report, the parties bargained to reach a contract to succeed the collective bargaining agreement that expired March 31, 2009.

  • Denish pledges to support lab, small business

    Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has interacted with the local community and Los Alamos National Laboratory during the last eight years she has been in office at the Roundhouse. At a fundraiser in her honor at Central Avenue Grill Wednesday evening, the Democrat explained that her familiarity with the town and laboratory gives her an advantage over her Republican opponent Susana Martinez of Las Cruces.