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Local News

  • Colo. Corrections Dept. chief shot, killed at home

    MONUMENT, Colo. (AP) — Colorado's top state prison official was shot and killed when he answered the front door of his house, setting off a hunt for the shooter and raising questions about whether the attack had anything to do with his job.

    Tom Clements, 58, was shot around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Monument, north of Colorado Springs, and a witness reported a person driving away in a dark-colored "boxy" car that had its engine running at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

    Investigators were exploring all possibilities, including that the shooting could have been related to Clements' job as executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, which he took after years working in Missouri corrections.

    The killing stunned officials in both states. They described Clements, who is married with two daughters, as dedicated, funny, caring and an expert on the latest and best methods in his field who chose the Colorado job over retirement.

    At a news conference, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper was red-eyed and somber, speaking haltingly as he said he didn't think the killing was part of any larger attack against his cabinet, members of which stood behind him, several of them crying. Others dabbed their eyes.

  • Briefs 03-20-13

    Few bills passed in legislature

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Just under a quarter of the bills introduced during the New Mexico Legislature’s 2013 annual session were passed by both chambers.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that of 1,317 bills introduced in 2013, 298 were approved by lawmakers.
    That compares with 284 in 2011. Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed 98 — about a third — of those.

    Two killed in Santa Fe
    accident; vehicle was on fire

    SANTA FE — Santa Fe police say two people are dead following a fiery automobile accident.
    Officers arriving at the scene Tuesday evening found one body on the ground outside an SUV that was fully engulfed in flames and another body inside the vehicle.
    According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, firefighters reported that flames were 25 feet high when they arrived.
    It’s not clear whether another vehicle accident was involved in the crash, and identities of the victims haven’t been released.

    Family: Belongings lost at unsecured crash site

  • Filling empty bowls

    Los Alamos residents choose treasures to take home during the annual Empty Bowls Project fundraiser, a benefit for Self Help, Inc. The fundraiser netted approximately $12,000 for the nonprofit, which provides consultation and advocacy, emergency financial assistance and seed money grants to residents of Los Alamos, northern Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Taos counties. A number of local businesses support the event by donating bowls for community groups to paint, glazing and firing the bowls, providing soup and bread for a luncheon and donating items for a silent auction. 

  • Update 03-20-13

    Sock Hop

    The Los Alamos Family Council will hold its Fabulous Fifties Family Sock Hop. The Hop is scheduled for 6-10 p.m. March 23 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Canyon Road. Tickets are $10 per person or $25 for a family. Call 662-4160 for information.

    CRC meeting

    The Department of Public Utilities Charter Review Committee will hold its first meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. March 27, in the Community Building’s Training Room. This will primarily be an organizational meeting to appoint a chair and vice-chair and review the scope of work. The public is welcome to attend.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Volunteers needed

    Telephone volunteers are needed for reading the Los Alamos Monitor on the New Mexico Newsline for the Blind. Call 662-0408. 

  • San Juan plant deal hangs in the balance

    The headline on last month’s press release from the New Mexico Environment Department was triumphant. It announced in bold print that “Governor Martinez brokers settlement agreement with PNM and EPA over regional haze.”

    But while Department of Public Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith concedes that “all the parties appear to be satisfied with the settlement” for improving air quality at the San Juan Generating Station, he has some trepidation about the non-binding agreement.

    Los Alamos County owns a 7.2 percent share of the generating station’s unit 4, which provides approximately 50 percent of the electricity requirements for Los Alamos County.

    Martinez directed NMED to negotiate with the Environmental Protection Agency and PNM after the EPA rejected the state’s first proposal to improve air quality at the plant.

    The EPA’s Federal Implementation Plan for reducing regional haze required PNM to install select catalytic reduction technology on all four units of the San Juan Generating Station within five years. EPA’s estimate for installing the units was $350 million. PNM insisted the upgrade would cost $750 million. The state’s press release put the cost at $850 million.

  • Santa Fe leaders push gay marriage

    In Santa Fe, at least, city leaders are taking the advice of their city attorney and they are encouraging county clerks in New Mexico to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    Mayor David Coss and City Councilor Patti Bushee announced they are sponsoring a resolution expressing support for gay marriage in New Mexico.

    The resolution will be introduced at the next city council meeting, scheduled for March 27.

    “Santa Fe is a city of respect, acceptance, and diversity that embraces all of our residents,” Coss said in a press release. “I sponsored this resolution because all loving, committed couples should have the right to marry regardless of their sexual orientation.”

    “It is disheartening to me — to be creating laws for my community for 19 years and not be treated equally in the eyes of New Mexico law,” Bushee said. “We are the last group allowed to be legally discriminated against. This is a civil rights issue — it’s time for Santa Fe to lead the way.”

  • Today in History for March 20th
  • Pentagon bans 60 mm mortar round after deaths

    HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — A mortar shell explosion killed seven Marines and injured a half-dozen more during mountain warfare training in Nevada's high desert, prompting the Pentagon to immediately halt the use of the weapons until an investigation can determine their safety, officials said Tuesday.

    The explosion occurred Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot, a sprawling facility used by troops heading overseas, during an exercise involving the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C. Several Marines from the unit were injured in the blast, authorities said.

    The mortar round exploded in its firing tube during the exercise, Brig. Gen. Jim Lukeman said at a news conference at Camp Lejeune. He said investigators were trying to determine the cause of the malfunction.

    The Pentagon expanded a temporary ban to prohibit the military from firing any 60 mm mortar rounds until the results of the investigation. The Marine Corps said Tuesday a "blanket suspension" of 60 mm mortars and associated firing tubes is in effect.

    The Pentagon earlier had suspended use of all high-explosive and illumination mortar rounds that were in the same manufacturing lots as ones fired in Nevada.

  • Update 03-19-13

    LAGS

    The next meeting of the Los Alamos Geological Society will begin at 7:30 p.m. today at the First Christian Church, 92 East Road. The featured speaker will be Shari Kelley,  a geophysicist and field geologist at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources in Socorro and an adjunct professor of geology at New Mexico Tech.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Sock hop

    The Los Alamos Family Council will hold its Fabulous Fifties Family Sock Hop. The Hop is scheduled for 6-10 p.m. March 23 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Canyon Road. Tickets are $10 per person or $25 for a family. Call 662-4160 for information.

    CRC meeting

    The Department of Public Utilities Charter Review Committee will hold its first meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. March 27, in the Community Building’s Training Room. This will primarily be an organizational meeting to appoint a chair and vice-chair and review the scope of work. The public is welcome to attend.

    Volunteers needed

    Telephone volunteers are needed for reading the Los Alamos Monitor on the New Mexico Newsline for the Blind. Call 662-0408. 

  • Girrens new alternate for Regional Coalition

    One of Councilor Steve Girrens’ campaign platforms was to support “the positive momentum promoting regional partnerships and collaboration.”

    “The big picture is, you’re always stronger if you can speak as a community. Our voice is more impactful when it’s in a collaboration coalition,” Girrens said. “And if you want to be a strong regional neighbor, that’s part of it. I think it’s on the county to lead that or support that as much as we can. Isn’t support LANL number one in our economic vitality plan?”

    As one of three councilors working for the lab, Girrens felt that one place he could be most effective in building those partnerships was with the Regional Coalition for Los Alamos National Laboratory Communities. He volunteered to be Councilor Frances Berting’s alternate as liaison to the coalition.

    “I thought I was in a good position to be able to understand the acronyms and understand the talk, because the talk is a little different,” Girrens said. “And just maybe be a more understanding representative.”

    Girrens feels the coalition is an important asset on several fronts.