Friday News Roundup: Santa Fe Mayor Wants Proper Disposal Of Nuke Waste

Nov 8, 2013

Santa Fe Mayor Wants Proper Disposal Of Nuke Waste - Associated Press

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is urging the Los Alamos National Laboratory to analyze and properly dispose of its nuclear waste.

He's also calling on the New Mexico Environment Department to disallow the creation of a permanent nuclear waste dump.

Coss is chairman of the regional coalition of Los Alamos National Laboratory Communities.

Los Alamos' proposed remedial plan allegedly leaves nuclear waste buried in pits and trenches at the laboratory's Area G.

That's a 63-acre site that started accepting radioactive and hazardous wastes in 1957.

It's located 18 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza, west of the residential community of White Rock and five miles from the Buckman Well Field near the Rio Grande.

Coss will ask the City Council for approval of his resolution at a Dec. 11 meeting.

US Agents Search Albuquerque Police Officer's Home - Associated Press

Federal agents have searched the home of an Albuquerque police officer, removing several boxes of items and a computer.

An official with the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that an Albuquerque police officer lives at the residence, and the U.S. Attorney's Office says the search was part of an ongoing investigation.

Nobody was arrested during the search conducted Thursday by Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

While at the residence, agents also searched a police car parked in front and took photographs.

Secretary Says NM Tourism At All-Time High - Associated Press

New Mexico Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson says tourism is at an all-time high in New Mexico.

Jacobson told the Tourism Association of New Mexico on Thursday that domestic visits, spending and hospitality jobs have all hit record levels.

In 2012, Jacobson says there were 32 million domestic overnight and day visitors to the state. That's up 2.6% over 2011. Day trips were up 4.8% to 17.5 million. Average per person spending was up 12.9% for day visits and 4.9% for overnight. Direct tourism spending increased to a record $5.9 billion, up from $5.5 billion in 2011.

Additionally she says, tourism employment passed pre-recession levels in June of this year. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 5.5%  over last summer to 4,767, marking 12 consecutive quarters of job growth.

More Lenient School Lice Policies Bug Some Parents - Associated Press

Some parents are scratching their heads over less restrictive head lice policies that allow children with live bugs in their hair to return to the classroom.

Some school nurses are no longer sending home "lice notes" to parents of other children in the classroom. The policy shift is designed to help keep children from missing class, shield children with lice from embarrassment and protect their privacy.

Deborah Pontius, the school nurse for the Pershing County School District in Lovelock, Nev., says lice are not dangerous or infectious, and they're easy to treat.

She says that by the time a child is sent to the nurse, classmates already would have been exposed and there's little additional risk. Once home, the parent would treat the child.

Retiree Health Program Proposes Solvency Plan - Associated Press

Lawmakers will consider a proposal next year calling for state and local government workers and taxpayers to chip in $90 million to improve the finances of a program providing health care insurance to retired public employees.

The Legislature's Investments and Pension Oversight Committee on Thursday endorsed the measure recommended by the state Retiree Health Care Authority.

The proposal calls for 100,000 public employees to make an additional $30 million in payroll contributions over three years for retiree health care while governmental employers — meaning taxpayers — increase their payments by $60 million over six years, starting in July 2014.

The measure will be introduced in the Legislature when it convenes in January.

If nothing is done, the retiree health care program will run out of money in 2029