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Today's News

  • Biden invites NM governor to Cinco de Mayo event

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez plans to attend a Cinco de Mayo celebration this week at the vice president's residence in Washington, D.C.

    The governor's office said Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden had invited Martinez to Friday's event.

    Cinco de Mayo commemorates an 1862 Mexican military victory against invading French forces.

    The Republican governor will leave for the nation's capital late Thursday and return to New Mexico on Saturday.

    Martinez traveled with Biden to Rome in March as part of a presidential delegation attending the installation of Pope Francis.

    The governor traces her family roots to Mexico. Her great-grandfather was a general who fought with revolutionary leader Pancho Villa and others a century ago to topple the dictatorship of a long-time Mexican president.

  • On The Docket: Local Courts 05-01-13

    April 24

    William Vonharders was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
    The defendant was ordered to serve 179 days in jail with 149 days suspended for a total of 30 days in jail.
    He was fined $999 and ordered to pay $231 in court costs. He was also ordered to serve one year supervised probation.

    Wolfgangharald Runde was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    Daniel S. McKitrick was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    Josephine K. Romero was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of not using her seatbelts. She was fined $50 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    April 25

    Gary Sandine was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of having an expired plate while parked and failing to pay associated court fines and costs. He was fined $75 and ordered to pay $46 in court costs.

    April 26

  • N.M. rejects petition on PTSD

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Health Secretary Retta Ward says post-traumatic stress disorder will remain as a qualifying condition for the state’s medical marijuana program.
    Ward made the announcement Tuesday. Her decision backed up a recommendation made last year by the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.
    The board had rejected a petition by an Albuquerque psychiatrist who said there was a lack of scientific evidence proving medical marijuana helped those with PTSD.
    State law allows citizens to petition the board to add or delete medical conditions that qualify patients for a medical marijuana license. 

  • Update 05-01-13

    Teen talk

    High school age teens interested in increasing their suicide awareness and learning about how to encourage others to seek help are invited to join in a talk and open discussion at at 6 p.m. today at the Teen Center.

    Have a news tip?

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

    County Council

    Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. May 7 in council chambers.

    Farmers Market

    The Los Alamos Farmers Market will be outside of the Mesa Library from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Councilors will man a booth at the market from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

    DPU charter

    The Department of Public Utilities Charter Review Committee’s next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 6 in the Training Room of the Community Building.  

  • Drug takeback nets 332 pounds

    The Los Alamos Police Department conducted its bi-annual DEA prescription drug take-back initiative Saturday.

    And LAPD came up with quite a haul.

    "We conducted two location sites for the first time this year, one at LAMC and the second in White Rock at the public library. The total weight of collected drugs was 332 pounds,” Cmdr. Randy Foster said.
    “This is the most we have collected thus far and this continues to be a successful program with community support.”
    “I was approached by many seniors in White Rock that stated they were grateful for the second location site because it can sometimes be difficult for them to make arrangements to drive up to Los Alamos” Detective Sergeant Oliver Morris said.

    Manning the posts, were Sgt. Jeremy Duran, Cpl. Oliver McCartney, Ofc. Robert Girmendonk Sgt. Oliver Morris, Det. Daniel Roberts and Det. Paige Earley.

  • Route, schedule changes for ACT

    Atomic City Transit will implement a number of route and schedule changes beginning May 24. A draft of the revised route map and schedules can be viewed at AtomicCityTransit.com.

    These upcoming changes will also be discussed at the Transportation Board Meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Public Works Conference Room, located at 2101 Trinity Dr., Suite A2. Basic hours of operation will remain Monday through Friday from approximately 5:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    Routes are being renumbered to simplify use. Routes 1, 2, and 3, will all serve the downtown area in some capacity. Route 2 also serves White Rock. Routes 4, 5, and 6 will serve the neighborhoods in Los Alamos.

    Peak service on all routes will now run every 30 minutes instead of the current 20/40 minute split.

    White Rock service will be enhanced by restructuring Routes 2 and 5 into one new Route 2.

    This route will provide service approximately every 15 minutes during peak hours in White Rock and every 30 minutes all day.

    The new route will circulate White Rock in a clockwise direction reducing confusion of which side of the street to wait on.

    All trips will go to the Transit Center, however every trip will alternate between the Main Hill and the Truck Route.

    Buses utilizing the Main Hill will be designated 2M.

  • Dog jog at Chamisa

    The 2013 Los Alamos Dog Jog was sponsored by the Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club, Mountain Canine Corps, and the Atomic City Roadrunners as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Shelter. There was a 5K competitive run and 2-mile non-competitive fun walk/run that ended at Chamisa Elementary.

  • High winds on the way

    Forecasters are warning that high winds will rake parts of the state as a cold front settles in.

    The National Weather Service has issued high wind warnings from Wednesday evening into Thursday as near record lows and widespread freezing temperatures grip the state. The chilly start to May is expected to stick around for a couple more days.

    The service says strong winds are expected to whip through portions of the Rio Grande Valley and Upper Tularosa Basin. The Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas are also expected to see the winds that could strengthen to 40 mph.

    The New Mexico Environment Department, meanwhile, issued a warning about dust, particularly in the northwestern region of the state as well as on the eastern plains. Strong east canyon winds along the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley Wednesday night into Thursday may result in dust impacts, as well.

    Dust storms result in elevated levels of airborne particulate matter 10 microns or less in size, which is about 1/7th the diameter of a human hair. Due to the current drought and very dry soil conditions, there is more potential for blowing dust than usual for the entire state. 

  • Indigent fund reduced

    At Tuesday's meeting, the Los Alamos County council voted 6–1 to adopt a plan to keep the county's healthcare assistance program (the indigent fund) afloat.

    Deputy Count Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne called the changes "an interim first step" that will need to be revisited as the federal Affordable Care Act comes into full effect in 2014.

    Staff alerted council of impending deficits in the fund during the FY 2014 budget hearings. Since 2004, claims have nearly quadrupled. Claims rose 35 percent in the first three quarters of FY2013 while the gross receipts tax funding the program has dropped by 19 percent. The combination is expected to leave the program with a $130,000 deficit.

    Healthcare assistance is funded by a 1/8 GRT increment. By law, 50 percent of that increment goes to the State-supported Medicaid program. Another 25 percent is committed to the Sole Community Provider fund, which is also administered by the State and is leveraged nearly three-to-one by federal funds.

    That leaves 8 to 10 percent for administration costs and only 15 percent for healthcare assistance claims, or approximately $250,000 in FY2014.

  • ‘Spellbound’ reflects drama of spelling bees

    The kids in “Spellbound,” next up in Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series, study for hours every day, ever driven to reach their goal of memorizing the spelling of every word in the English language — or if not every word, at least whichever ones they are asked to spell at the Scripps Howard national spelling bee in Washington D.C.
    Spelling isn’t all that interesting to most people and yet, watching these eight teens and pre-teens with their flashcards, dictionaries and indefatigable parents is completely absorbing.
    The 2002 Oscar-nominated documentary follows the eight through regional spelling bees right up through the national championship.
    Viewers see them not only with their massive word lists, but interacting with their families and friends in their homes and between rounds at the big bee.
    Part of the movie’s charm is that you end up rooting for everyone and biting your fingernails every time any kid, even one you don’t “know,” steps up to the microphone. It’s easy to get caught up in the action.
    Spelling might not initially sound riveting and yet, the final rounds feel just as tense and cutthroat as any other serious competition.
    What’s the final word?
    Can you spell it?