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Around Northern New Mexico

LANL Scrap Metal Idea Draws Foes

The federal government is drawing opposition from the steel industry and watchdog groups for its proposal to commercially recycle scrap metal from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other nuclear sites. The Department of Energy recommends that scrap metal exposed on its surface to radiation be recycled if the metal is uncontaminated or if radiation levels are low enough. The department released a draft environmental assessment in December. The proposal includes about 350 metric tons of scrap metal at Los Alamos. A steel producers group says potentially contaminated metal should not be released into general commerce and that the proposal could risk contamination of food cans, building beams and car parts. Federal officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Info Sought In Bank Robbery

The FBI and Los Alamos Police Department are looking for a woman who robbed Los Alamos National Bank in White Rock on Tuesday.

The robber is described as a Hispanic or Native American female in her late 20s or early 30s, approximately 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds.

She may have a scar or tattoo below her left eye.

The suspect wore a black jacket over a black hoodie and a gray hoodie. She also had on winter gloves.

Witnesses say the suspect entered the bank shortly before 1:30 p.m. and demanded money from a teller.

The teller gave an undisclosed amount of money to the suspect, who put the money in a plastic grocery bag and left the bank.

Anyone with information about the bank robbery is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Office at 505-889-1300 or the Los Alamos police at 505-662-8222.

The FBI may pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and conviction.

Get Your Vaccines At Capitol Today

The New Mexico Department of Health and the Legislative Council will be holding a vaccination clinic at the State Capitol today.

Flu, pneumonia and Tdap vaccine will be available for legislators, their families and the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the east lobby.

Salazar Wins LANL Lifetime Award

Rep. Nick Salazar, D-San Juan Pueblo, was given Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Lifetime Achievement Award last week.

The lab’s the highest honor recognizes Salazar’s contributions during his 63 years of service.

Salazar has served 40 years in the state House of Representatives. In a press release announcing the award, Salazar thanked the lab “for giving me the opportunity to participate in the tremendous science going on at the laboratory.”

“They have also given me the opportunity to serve my community and my legislative district, and the people of the State of New Mexico while an employee of the lab,” he said.

House Majority Leader, Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo-11) praised Salazar as a “champion for initiating programs that have created enormous opportunities for New Mexicans, especially for young people and the working class. The recognition is well deserved.”

Restaurant Week Is Upcoming

Santa Fe’s annual Restaurant Week will be held Feb. 24 – March 3. More than 50 Santa Fe restaurants will showcase their finest cuisine, with prix-fixe dinners starting at $25. Many restaurants will also be offering individually priced lunch specials during the Sunday-to-Sunday event, and nine hotels are offering special lodging prices.

Santa Fe chefs also are offering a variety of hands-on classes. Another highlight — tastings of New World cuisine and wine along with a curator-led tour of a new exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art. Creative drinks, with tips from local pros, are the focus of Restaurant Week’s first-ever bartender series.

For reservations and more information, visit