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Today's News

  • ‘The Last Waltz’ to screen Thursday at library

    Next up in the Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series is a film Chicago Tribune critic Michael Wilmington called “the greatest rock concert movie ever made – and maybe the best rock movie, period.”

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz” (1978, rated PG) will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the library’s upstairs meeting room.

    It’s Thanksgiving, 1976. An ice rink and music hall in San Francisco called the Winterland Ballroom hosts a crowd of 5,000 for what concert promoter Bill Graham dubs “rock ‘n’ roll’s last supper” as The Band plays its farewell concert, also known as “The Last Waltz.”

    “The Last Waltz,” both the concert and the film, features some of the biggest names in ’70s rock. Those joining The Band onstage for its legendary grand finale (though it regrouped, without guitarist Robbie Robertson, and began another tour in 1983) include Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

  • Lunch with Leader to feature Voices of Los Alamos

    This month’s League of Women Voters’ community event, Lunch with a Leader on Dec. 12, will feature three women from Voices of Los Alamos.

    The speakers will be Becky Oertel, Cristina Olds, and Anagha Dandekar.

    The lunch begins at 11:45 a.m. upstairs at Mesa Library. The speakers will discuss how and why they formed Voices of Los Alamos, the activities they have accomplished and their plans for the future.

    Oertel grew up in Los Alamos and is the daughter of Jay and Carol Wechsler, who were active volunteers and founding members of the Los Alamos Community. After obtaining a degree in Biochemistry from University of Wyoming, Oertel enjoyed 30 years of working with people from all walks of life - from remote valleys and mountains of eastern Kentucky to the white sterile halls of biomedical research facilities. Oertel has been a Volunteer Fire Department officer and a PEEC board member. She is a board member for Living Treasures of Los Alamos and a founding member of Voices of Los Alamos.

  • Former Sandia Labs employee pleads guilty in fraud case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A former Sandia National Laboratories worker accused of creating a phony company to defraud the New Mexico facility of more than $2 million has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

    Prosecutors say 55-year-old Carla Sena of Santa Rosa will be sentenced at a later date.

    A federal grand jury indicted Sena last month on 11 counts including wire fraud, major fraud against the U.S. and money laundering.

    Most of the lab’s work involves research, development and maintenance of nuclear weapons.

    A former procurement officer, Sena was tasked in 2010 with overseeing the bidding for a $2.3 million contract for moving services.

    The indictment accused Sena of preparing a bid for a company under someone else’s name and leveraging other bidders’ information to ensure herself the winning bid.

  • The Latest: Company: Cause of pipeline rupture unknown

    LOVING, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a pipeline explosion and fire (all times local):

    12:05 p.m.

    A Houston-based energy company says it's investigating what caused one of its natural gas pipelines to rupture, explode and catch fire in southeastern New Mexico's oil patch.

    Spokesman Rick Rainey of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. says the incident early Wednesday morning in a sparsely populated rural area south of Carlsbad involved a line that transfers gas from wells to a treatment facility.

    Eddy County Emergency Manager Jennifer Armendariz says there are no reported injuries but that one storage building burned before authorities shut down the pipeline to extinguish the fire.

    Armendariz says authorities first had to identify what company's pipeline was involved.

    The incident caused the closure of two nearby highways. U.S. 285 was reopened to traffic late Wednesday morning while State Route 31 remained closed.

    6:40 a.m.

    A pipeline exploded in southeastern New Mexico's oil patch, closing two highways but causing no reported injuries.

    Eddy County Emergency Manager Jennifer Armendariz says the pipeline that exploded early Wednesday morning is in a sparsely populated area about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Carlsbad believed to be used for natural gas.

  • Garcia Holmes, Morales enter races for lieutenant governor

    SANTA FE (AP) — Two more candidates have jumped into the race for New Mexico lieutenant governor.

    State Sen. Howie Morales is running for the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary race. Michele Garcia Holmes will seek the Republican nomination, with no other current contenders.

    A former teacher, Morales of Silver City has served in the state Senate since 2008 and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014. Garcia Holmes is a former police officer and former chief of staff to the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that other Democrats in the race are Eagles Nest resident Jeff Carr, Dona Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett, former House Majority Leader Rick Miera, and David McTeigue, a juvenile probation officer from Rio Rancho.

  • Garcia Holmes, Morales enter races for lieutenant governor

     

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    SANTA FE (AP) — Two more candidates have jumped into the race for New Mexico lieutenant governor.

    State Sen. Howie Morales is running for the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary race. Michele Garcia Holmes will seek the Republican nomination, with no other current contenders.

    A former teacher, Morales of Silver City has served in the state Senate since 2008 and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014. Garcia Holmes is a former police officer and former chief of staff to the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that other Democrats in the race are Eagles Nest resident Jeff Carr, Dona Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett, former House Majority Leader Rick Miera, and David McTeigue, a juvenile probation officer from Rio Rancho.

  • LAPS board member Ben-Naim honored for training

    Ellen Ben-Naim, a school board member with the Los Alamos Public Schools, received an “exemplary” award from her fellow school board members statewide during a recent annual conference of the New Mexico School Boards Association.

    Ben-Naim, who represents District 1 in Los Alamos on the board, was recognized for earning 20 or more hours of training in leadership.

    She was elected to the local board in March.

    The school board officials from across the state participated in the annual meeting, which occurred in Albuquerque on Friday and Saturday.

  • Bandelier smoke alarm draws firefighters Tuesday

    An office building at Bandelier National Monument was evacuated and Los Alamos Fire Department personnel were called to the scene on Tuesday as a fire alarm was activated in the building.

    Firefighters reported finding smoke inside of a one-story brick building.

    The cause was likely a damper that wasn’t released before a fire was started in a fireplace, said LAFD Chief Troy Hughes.

    “It’s the coldest day of the year,” Hughes said.

    No one was injured.

  • New Mexico Legislature under scrutiny for self-enrichment

    SANTA FE (AP) — Limited safeguards against self-enrichment in the nation's only unsalaried legislature are under scrutiny in the wake of a corruption trial and felony convictions against a former New Mexico state senator.

    Former Sen. Phil Griego is awaiting sentencing after a jury found him guilty of fraud, felony ethical violations and other charges.

    The case is a central exhibit in the campaign for a 2018 ballot initiative. New Mexico voters will consider whether to create an independent ethics commission that could shift the review of complaints against lawmakers from closed-door committees to a more public forum.

    Some lawmakers say the unsalaried status of lawmakers has turned into a liability that is exploited by high-paid lobbyists. Others say citizen legislators bring needed expertise to policy debates.
     

  • More study needed on nuclear pit production

    STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

    The agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile says further study is needed to determine the best option for the United States as it looks to ramp up production of the plutonium cores that trigger nuclear weapons.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration said Monday that a team of external and internal engineering experts will further analyze the two options that were identified as part of an earlier review that looked at the most efficient and cost effective means of making the pits.

    Agency spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler told The Associated Press the options include leaving the work to Los Alamos National Laboratory or moving it to the U.S. Energy Department’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

    It’s not clear how long the extra analysis will take, but the agency said new pits must be made to ensure the nation’s nuclear forces are flexible and tailored to deter 21st-century threats.

    Since news of the report surfaced Monday, New Mexico’s congressional delegation has been on the defensive.