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Local News

  • Global defense contractor settles overbilling suit

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Global defense contractor Science Applications International Corp. has agreed to pay $11.75 million to settle a federal civil claim alleging it overbilled the government for homeland security training programs under a more than decade-long scheme that was well-known among high-level executives.

    U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales on Thursday announced settlement of the lawsuit, which alleged systemic fraud in the program SAIC ran for the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. The program trains emergency personnel to respond to terrorist attacks under a Department of Homeland Security grant program that saw major funding increases after Sept. 11.

    Gonzales declined comment when asked if the Justice Department was investigating whether the alleged overbilling extended to other government-funded programs run by the defense contractor.

    The lawsuit alleged SAIC told federal officials it was using mostly high-paid full-time employees with benefits when it was actually using cheaper part-time workers, enabling SAIC to keep costs low and profits excessive.

  • 1 Dead, Dozens Hurt in La. Plant Explosion
  • Video: Heinrich delivers first Senate floor speech

    Transcript: Heinrich’s First Senate Floor Speech

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Thank you, Mr. President for the opportunity to address this chamber today.

    Mr. President, I am a strong believer that innovation is what America does best.

    That boundless wonder and curiosity can lead to revolutionary discoveries.

    That diligence and optimism can break down barriers.

    Mr. President I’m a believer that technology, and more importantly the scientific method, are how we can best meet many of our 21st century challenges.

    And this is indeed a time of great challenge for our nation.

    There is no question that it is easier to govern in a time of peace and prosperity than in a time of economic recovery and global conflict.

    But Americans are no strangers to adversity. Time and again we have shown our ingenuity and our perseverance.

    In fact, the very character of our nation has been shaped by hard work and innovation.

    That is America’s story.

    And I am certain that our capacity to deal with the challenges that we face, rests heavily on our ability to make policy that is driven by facts, by data, and yes, Mr. President, by science.

    Historically, America has responded to challenges with transformative innovations like electricity, radio and television, transistors, silicon computer processors, and the rise of the modern distributed Internet.

  • First Born Conference set for June 24

    Dr. Mary Claire Heffron, director of the Fussy Baby Program in Oakland, Calif., will speak on “Growing Strong, Becoming Whole – Home Visiting in the 21st Century” at the annual First Born® Conference June 24 from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort.
    Heffron is clinical director of the Early Childhood Mental Health Training Programs in the Early Intervention Services Unit at Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. She is co-author of Reflective Supervision and Leadership in Infant and Early Childhood Education and has produced a DVD series on reflective supervision called “Finding the Words, Finding the Ways.”
    Participants will have an opportunity to share experiences first-hand with Heffron during a cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and to meet colleagues during the 10:30-11:30 registration.
    Sponsored by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, this is the fourth convening to broaden the knowledge of First Born staff and other early childhood providers statewide. First Born is a home visitation program for women in their first pregnancy, first-time families and their newborns.
    The conference is designed for early childhood providers and others interested in improving child and family health outcomes, school readiness, success and life-long learning.

  • Bandelier preps transport plan

    The National Park Service is preparing a Transportation Plan/Environmental Assessment to improve transportation conditions in Bandelier National Monument.
    More than three decades of studies and workshops have documented transportation and congestion management challenges in Bandelier National Monument, including traffic congestion at the monument entrance and a lack of adequate parking in Frijoles Canyon. Recent fires and flooding events have contributed to a reduction in available parking in Frijoles Canyon further challenging the monument’s transportation system.
    To offset reduced parking in Frijoles Canyon, the monument is currently partnering with Los Alamos County and Atomic City Transit to provide emergency shuttle service from the White Rock Visitor Center to Frijoles Canyon. However, the shuttle service is temporary and long-term strategies to address the monument’s transportation issues have not yet been developed and implemented.

  • Update 06-13-13

    APP board

    The Los Alamos County Art in Public Places Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the Mesa Public Library

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

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will hold its regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. June 19 iin the Municipal Building in Suite 130.

    DPU Charter

    The DPU Charter Review Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. June 17 at Fuller Lodge.

    Environmental

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. June 20 in the Community Training Room. 

  • NCRTD seeks input on Blue Bus

    The North Central Regional Transit District celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2007 and is now looking ahead to the next five years.
    To that end, NCRTD has hired the KFH Group and Southwest Planning and Marketing to conduct 10 public meetings to get feedback and service enhancement suggestions from its riders. NCRTD staff will use that information to update its five-year service plan.
    “We are hoping that these public meetings will generate more interest in the service, as well as knowledge of the demands and needs of the general public that we’re currently serving or not serving, because that’s critical for us to improve our service,” said NCRTD transit operations manager Mike Kelly.
    NCRTD has covered more than 10 thousand square miles in North Central New Mexico and provided more than 185,000 free passenger trips in the last fiscal year. Routes connect communities and pueblos within Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos counties.
    The free service is funded though a 70-percent gross receipts tax and 30-percent federal grants. NCRTD’s FY2012 budget was just over $11 million.
    NCRTD recently received the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) 2012 Transportation System of the Year award.

  • Hollywood Stars 'demand Zero' Nuclear Weapons

    Hollywood heavyweights Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Morgan Freeman and more demand a world without Nuclear Weapons in the latest ad for the Global Zero campaign.

  • Today in History June 13
  • Pa. girl's double-lung transplant deemed success

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 10-year-old girl whose efforts to qualify for an organ donation spurred public debate over how organs are allocated underwent a successful double-lung transplant on Wednesday, the girl's family said.

    Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from severe cystic fibrosis, received new lungs from an adult donor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, spokeswoman Tracy Simon said.

    The Murnaghan family said it was "thrilled" to share the news that Sarah was out of surgery.

    "Her doctors are very pleased with both her progress during the procedure and her prognosis for recovery," the family said in a statement.

    During double-lung transplants, surgeons must open up the patient's chest. Complications can include rejection of the new lungs and infection.

    Sarah went into surgery around 11 a.m. Wednesday, and the procedure lasted about six hours, her family said.