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Today's News

  • PF-4 concerns Rodgers

    Los Alamos County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers, Councilors Pete Sheehey and Fran Berting, along with administrator Harry Burgess, will travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of the month.

    Rodgers said they are still finalizing plans, but he did say “it will be a meeting-packed agenda.”

    One of the people that Rodgers is hoping to talk to is Neile Miller, the acting head of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

    In fact, Rodgers wrote a letter to Miller, expressing his concerns about a new safety risk analysis made pubic by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

    The DNFSB was reviewing data related to the Plutonium Facility (PF-4) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

    The Safety Board is particularly concerned about “the potential for very high offsite dose consequences” under a scenario in which a severe earthquake caused the collapse of PF-4.

  • Maserati driver in Vegas shooting-crash was rapper

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police on Friday searched for a Range Rover with dark tinted windows and custom rims that set off a fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip when someone in the luxury SUV opened fire on a Maserati driven by an aspiring rapper.

    Kenneth Cherry's great aunt, Patricia Sims, of Oakland, Calif., told The Associated Press that Cherry's parents were flying to Las Vegas to claim their 27-year-old son's body.

    "Right now my heart is breaking," Sims said. "This has really been a tragedy. Kenny was just a delightful kid."

    Sims, 75, said Cherry recently moved to Las Vegas from Northern California, though she didn't know her nephew was a rapper using the name Kenny Clutch. Cherry was particularly close with his 106-year-old grandmother.

    "I haven't been able to tell her," Sims said.

    A taxi driver and his female passenger also were killed when the cab they were in was hit and exploded in flames early Thursday.

  • Today in History for February 22nd
  • State House OKs budget deal; Garcia Richard votes against

    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration will receive money to establish a merit pay system for teachers under a proposed state budget approved by the House.

    Lawmakers voted 53-16 on Thursday for the plan to allocate nearly $5.9 billion next year for government programs and public education.

    The budget, which goes to the Senate, will increase spending by $239 million or about 4 percent.

    About $35 million is provided for 1 percent pay raises for state workers and educators and 3 percent for state police. It will be the first across-the-board salary increase for public employees since 2008.

    Several Democrats objected to the budget because it provides $3 million to establish a merit pay system to reward high-performing teachers. Martinez had requested $11 million.

    Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) voted against the appropriations bill.

    She released the following statement.

  • Raw: Sea Otter Plays Basketball

    Keepers at the Oregon Zoo have come up with a way to help Eddie the sea otter cope with arthritis. They taught him how to play basketball as a well to exercise his joints.

  • Middle school construction

    Workers brave the winter elements this week as construction continues at the Los Alamos Middle School.

  • Update 02-21-13

    Dem meeting

    The Democratic Party of Los Alamos will have their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. today at UNMLA, Building 2, room 203. They will discuss plans for possible ward boundary changes and some other rule changes.  All Democrats are encouraged to attend.

    Film showing

    “Land Water People Time” film showing. PEEC and the Reel Deal Theater team up to show this award-winning documentary film about Northern New Mexico at 7 p.m. today. The event is $10 for adults, $5 for children at the door. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 for more information.

    Have a news tip?

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

    GOP meeting

    The LA GOP Central Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Acoma Room at the Hilltop House Hotel. All Central Committee members are encouraged to attend. All Republicans welcome.

  • Domenici admits having son outside marriage

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — For nearly 40 years, Sen. Pete Domenici’s reputation was that of a well-respected — some might say staid — conservative Republican and honorable family man.
    But the 80-year-old New Mexico political giant’s persona was shaken Wednesday with the revelation that he had an out-of-wedlock child in the 1970s and became embroiled in what might be described as an inside-the-Beltway soap opera.
    While his wife Nancy was raising their eight children, Domenici had the affair and secret child with a woman about half his age — and who happened to be the daughter of one of his Senate colleagues. The woman raised the child on her own, became a prominent lobbyist, Republican activist and political commentator, and their 30-something son has since gone on to build an impressive Washington resume himself.
    The saga shocked people in New Mexico who viewed Domenici as a man of honesty and integrity during his six terms and 36 years in the Senate that ended in 2008.
    “I deeply regret this and am very sorry for my behavior,” Domenici said in his statement. “I hope New Mexicans will view that my accomplishments for my beloved state outweigh my personal transgression.”

  • Employee gets $1M from jury

    Los Alamos National Laboratory’s operator said it will challenge a jury’s award of $1 million to a lab employee whose lawsuit said an angry supervisor twice made comments about using a gun to resolve on-the-job disputes.

    A jury made the award to Marlayne Mahar earlier this week following a 3 1/2-day trial in District Court in Santa Fe, the Albuquerque Journal reported this morning.

    Mahar’s lawsuit against Los Alamos National Security LLC, the partnership that runs the lab, alleged breach of the lab’s workplace violence policy, breach of contract and acting in bad faith.

    The lab disputed the allegations and said it will challenge the trial’s results.

    The newspaper also reported that Mahar’s lawyer, Tim Butler of Santa Fe, said the jurors listened to evidence from both sides, made the award in Mahar’s favor and that he and Mahar “respect their decision.”

    The suit said a newly hired supervisor in the plutonium processing facility told Mahar in 2009 that a boss could shoot a worker who says the wrong thing. Another female employee days later reported that the same supervisor got angry with her and told her he was going to “bring in a gun and take care of it himself,” according to the suit.

  • It's in the bag

    Believe it or not, there’s a real debate raging out there on whether the plastic bags at the local grocery store are better than the average, so-called environmentally-friendly totes used to haul home the family groceries.

    On one side, environmentalists say the bags use up and ultimately waste oil, in the way they are made, as well the costs in fossil fuel it takes to supply a store with them. They also say they become litter all too easily; that eventually clogs up waterways and puts additional trash in landfills.

    In California, the battleground is white-hot, with the plastics industry skirmishing with the environmental movement, city by city, to fight the popular trend of banning plastic bags. So far, San Francisco and Oakland have instituted plastic bag bans, and the movement to do so is spreading to New Mexico. On the website Change.org, there is a popular petition up, calling for the state government to issue a statewide ban, and it already has 3,621 supporters.