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Local News

  • Ex-Sandia Labs employee is accused of misusing credit cards

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — An Albuquerque man who's a former Sandia National Laboratories employee has been arraigned on charges of theft and conversion of federal funds.

    Prosecutors say 37-year-old Joshua Cordova appeared in federal court Tuesday.

    Cordova previously trained military, law enforcement and emergency response personnel in the use of equipment developed by Sandia Labs.

    Authorities say Cordova had government-funded credit cards to purchase needed equipment and supplies.

    An indictment alleges Cordova used the credit cards to purchase thousands of dollars in merchandise for himself including expensive jewelry, clothing, sports equipment, electronics and appliances.

    Prosecutors say Cordova is out of custody pending trial and he faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
     

  • 5 suspects at New Mexico compound face terror charges

    By MARY HUDETZ Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Five extended family members who lived at a ramshackle New Mexico compound where a 3-year-old boy was found dead last year are due in federal court Thursday to face new charges that they plotted attacks on U.S. law enforcement and members of the military.

    A federal grand jury last week indicted the five on charges including conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists between late 2017 and August 2018. Authorities said the group travelled from Georgia to New Mexico and lived on a remote property, where they built a makeshift settlement consisting of a camping trailer wedged into the desert and shielded by stacked tires.

    The suspects have been in custody since their compound was raided in August, when authorities said they found 11 hungry children living in filth, guns and ammunition, a firing range, and the remains of the young boy, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. They were looking for the boy at the request of his mother in Georgia when they found the compound.

  • New Mexico Congress delegation wants 'space agency' in state

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico's congressional delegation wants the federal government to set up the planned new space agency in the Land of Enchantment.

    All five members of the New Mexico delegation recently wrote a letter to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to argue the new Space Development Agency should be established in the state.

    The delegation cited White Sands Missile Range, Spaceport America and the national laboratories as reasons for New Mexico as a good home.

    The U.S. Department of Defense is establishing a Space Development Agency that would oversee the military's space research, development and acquisition efforts.

    It would eventually fold into the so-called Space Force — a new, separate branch of the armed forces.
     

  • Local fifth-grader is GeoBee state semi-finalist

    Pinon Elementary School fifth-grader Ariela Rittner has been notified by the National Geographic Society that she is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee New Mexico State Competition. 

    The contest will be at NDI in Albuquerque on March 29.

    This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which  is now in its 31st year. 

    School GeoBees were held in schools with fourth-through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State GeoBees.

  • LA kids help raise money for cancer research

    Mountain Elementary student Bailey McVay, 10, was not scared one bit to get her hair shaved off. 

    She and her friend, Savannah Sweers-Dunn showed up at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds Sunday with one purpose in mind, to raise money for childhood cancer research. 

    They were participating in a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event to show solidarity with cancer patients who often lose their hair to chemotherapy.

    To prove their dedication, McVay, Sweers-Dunn, Dunn’s 8-year-old brother Jeffrey, and about 36 other people Sunday had their hair shaved at the event. 

    McVay said she wasn’t self conscious at all about it. It’s just something she’s been doing to show support for her friends that have had cancer. 

    Sunday’s event raised about $13,000 and was organized by the Santa Fe City and County Fire Departments and the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s office. McVay said that for anyone who still wants to donate, they can visit her fundraising page at stbaldricks.org and search for Bailey McVay. 

  • Kindergarten round-up set for April 10

    All Los Alamos Elementary Schools will host Kindergarten Round-Up on April 10.

    Children who will turn five by Sept. 1 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year, and are invited to attend Kindergarten Round-Up with their parents. 

    This is the first step in the pre-registration process.

    Visit laschools.net/home/registration for more information about kindergarten enrollment. 

  • Community Calendar 3-20-19

    TODAY

    The American Association of University Women invites the public to a program entitled “Diversity: Where are our Heroes” that starts at 7 p.m. at the White Rock Library meeting room. Light refreshments will be provided.

     

    Chit-Chat Infant and Toddler Discussion Group from 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. at Family Strengths Network, 3540 Orange St. Infants up through walking are welcome. 

     

    The Thrift shop at the United Church is having another half-price sale. All clothing, shoes and books will be half-price.

    THURSDAY

    The Los Alamos Genealogical Association will meet at 7 p.m. at the White Rock Public Library. Ron Smith and Kent Parsons will report on the recent Rootstech 2019 Conference and also discuss several recent technological advances in Family History and Genealogy (including DNA). The meeting will be preceded by a no host social dinner at Pig + Fig at 5:30 p.m. earlier that evening.

     

  • Gov. Lujan Grisham vows to fight any ‘consent decree’ on ed

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she wants to avoid long-term court oversight of the state’s public education stemming from a landmark lawsuit.

    Lujan Grisham told reporters on Monday that her administration will mount a vigorous legal defense and is against any consent decree involving the state’s education system.

    A judge ruled last year that New Mexico’s public education system violates the state Constitution when it comes providing for at-risk students.

    The newly elected Democrat took office pledging she would not appeal the decision. 

    Monday was the deadline to file an appeal in the case.

    The state faces another deadline April 15 to prove that it is doing enough to comply with the decision.

  • LANL, NNMC to partner on radiation protection course

    Los Alamos National Laboratory and Northern New Mexico College are partnering to offer a newly expanded associate degree program in Radiation Protection for an initial cohort of 40 area students in June. 

    The new program will help meet the high demand for radiological control technicians, according to LANL.

    The degree is also a gateway to well-paying jobs in key mission areas at Los Alamos.  

    “This new collaborative program with Los Alamos provides our students a clear path to well-paid jobs at the Lab,” said Rick Bailey, president of Northern New Mexico College. “Because the NNMC-LANL program provides area residents with access to in-demand jobs that are often difficult to fill, this new collaboration delivers a win-win solution for both the community and the Laboratory.”

    The radiological control technicians play a vital role in all lab activities above a certain hazard level, where they must be present to actively monitor contamination levels, verify dose rates for areas and people, ensure compliance with federal and laboratory policies and procedures, and complete the associated documentation.  

  • Liberal lawmakers see friction with moderates

    By Russell Contreras

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Liberal House freshmen came into this legislative session motivated with election victory momentum thanks to Democrats being swept into office across the state.

    But by the time the session ended Saturday, some first-term House Democrats openly expressed frustration about a certain group that had halted some of their bills: Senate Democrats.

    House freshman said overall they were satisfied with the results from the Democratic-controlled Legislative session which saw measures passed around education spending, renewable energy and gun control.

    Still, some House freshmen interviewed by The Associated Press say they were irked by conservative Democrats in the Senate who stalled and tabled more liberal proposals, from abortion to legalizing marijuana to early childhood education.

    Bills that would have prevented state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities died. So did more ambitious plans to raise taxes and the state’s minimum wage.

    Those bills perished in Senate committees controlled by conservative Democrats or failed to pass the Senate when some Democrats joined Republicans to defeat the measures.