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New Mexican (Newspaper) - July 26, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico THE SANTA FE r owned spendeni Serving Nevv Mexico for 156 years TUESDAY JULY 26 2005 I I F T Y CENTS Santa Fe jury awards million ExAllstate worker who won sexualharassment suit says she hopes verdict sends message to firm By WENDY BROWN The New Mexican It started with a dirty joke about President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and deteriorated from there 51yearold Patricia Littell of Albuquerque said Monday Now she hopes a Santa Fe jurys award of a million sexual harassment verdict against the big insurance company where she worked sends a message I was in a situation where I didnt have the power to turn off the sexual climate in the said Littell who now works as a paralegal for the Nordhaus Law Firm in Albuquerque Littell said she began working for Allstates legal office in Albu querque in April 1996 and she enjoyed her job until the company hired Todd Aakhus to become the offices lead lawyer in 1998 On Aakhussecond day on the job Littell said he came into her office and told her a dirty joke involving Lewinsky and oral sex Littell said she summoned the courage to tell him the next day that she did not want to hear jokes like that but Aakhus didnt stop From that point on until 1 left at the end of February 2002 his sex ual behavior never she said If you objected to the sexual jokes and innuendoes you were Littell said Aakhus pun ished her by criticizing her work performance Littell said and it escalated over time It was a dreadful place to go to Please see JURY Page A4 Suite for a serene passing Photos by Kathy De La New Mexican Cathy Alvarado a registered nurse at St Vincent Regional Medical Center admires a cross on the wall of the hospitals new Care and Comfort Room on Monday The room is designated for the terminally ill and their families and was designed to provide a private peaceful environment Hospitals new care room is private peaceful place for terminal patients to spend last days with loved ones ByTOMKNAUER The New Mexican Nurse Delma with more than 125 coworkers family members and spir itual leaders Monday morning at St Vincent Regional Medical Center during the dedication of the hospitals new Care and Comfort Room But one womans story caught her attention A member of a support group for parents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome victims the woman told DeLora how glad she was to finally see a room where patients can confront their final days with their loved ones When they took my baby off a vent I wish there would have room like DeLora recalled the woman saying The Care and Comfort Room was devised by the St Vincent Spirituality Committee which formed after hospital department heads decided to better address the spiritual needs of patients and employees The hospitals Care and Comfort Room includes a box containing holy water and a rosary DeLora along with nurse Cathy Alvarado and patientflow coordinator Terrie Coats led the group as it worked to create a room where all patients near death could decide to come off life support and spend their waning moments surrounded by loved ones For now wewanted to start off this room to take cafe of those patients who need this room and DeLora said The room has two sleek brown leather chairs perched by the entrance joined by six vases of flowers on nearby tables A small enclosed waterfall on a table across from the bed dis tracted visitors from the nondescript white curtains and the glove dispenser attached to the wall Its like youre in their DeLora said You can be with Families will be allowed to stay with patients 24 hours a day until the patient dies DeLora said As with any other will come in and out to administer necessary care but the focus is on privacy When you have a big family you have to accommodate she said Fifteen speakers included Alvarado blessed Please see SUITE Page A6 Senators reps nix safeguard for MTBE makers Negotiators near energy bill but measure not likely to lower fuel prices By H JOSEF HEBERT The Associated Press WASHINGTON House and Senate negotiators removed a major obstacle had deadlocked energy legislation for more than two years but even sup porters say the measure will not provide shortterm relief from high gasoline prices The con ferees on Sunday aban INSIDE NRC judge endorses a plan to mine uranium in an aquifer near the Navajo Nation Page A3 donedabidto give makers of the gaso line additive MTBE liability protection against environmental law suits That decision defused the issue that had caused the collapse of a sweeping energy bill two years ago in the Senate Senate negotiators rejected a House proposal for an billion MTBE cleanup fund House Republicans had hoped the fund would serve as a compromise liability shield for the oil industry The industry faces scores of MTBE lawsuits arising from contamination of water sup plies by the additive in at least 36 states A number of senators had vowed to filibuster any bill with such protection for the industry and the bills sup porters doubted they had the 60 votes needed to end debate Sen Pete Domenici R leader of the Senate energy negotiating team said while some MTBE issues were still being dis cussed they did not include a cleanup fund or liabil ity protection Those are Please see MTBE Page A3 Capitol landscaper combs New Mexico forests for exemplary holiday tree By PHAEDRA HAYWOOD The New Mexican Wanted perfect tree Not too short and bushy not too tail and spindly No Charlie Brown trees need apply The nations Capitol Holi day Tree which will the west lawn of the Capitol building in Washington will come from the Santa Fe National Forest this year Capitol landscape architect Matthew Evans visited Santa Fe and Pecos on Monday to begin locating the perfect tree Evans who will select the tree for his llth and last time this year talked about his criteria for selecting the tree at the Santa Fe Ski Basin Its a lot different than looking for a tree for your living he said It sits out in the open on the west lawn which faces the national mall You cant hide a bad side It has to be nicely branched on all The tree must be 60 to 70 Please see TREE Page A6 INSIDE TODAY Todays obituaries Annies Bl Local The Wests Oldest Newspaper Five sections 28 pages 156th year Issue No 207 Publication No 596440 Late paper Classified ads tips Main 9840363 9863000 9863030 9833303 Anne Romero 85 Dora J Gallegos 92 Santa Fe July 23 Elmira Mendiola 70 Santa Fe July 22 Rorian A Martinez 57 July 24 Frank L Martinez 75 July 25 Fred Apodaca III 36 July 24 Kristine Hotvedt July 18 Orlando Pompeo 94 Albuquerque July 23 William J Mays 44 June 14 Page C2 Todays forecast Not as hot a few Tstorms around High 82 low 56 PageC6 Judge Man charged in beating of gay men can attend Phoenix school By JASON AUSLANDER The New Mexican A state District Court judge ruled that one of the six men charged in connec tion with the beating of two gay men earlier this year can leave the state and enroll in a technical school If Paul Montoya 20 of Santa Fe chooses to attend HighTech Institute in Phoe nix he will continue to be electronically monitored by New Mexico authorities through an ankle brace let and will be required to attend all pretrial hearings as well as the trial now set for midSeptember Judge Michael Vigil said This decreases the pos sibility that Mr Montoya and the victims will come into Vigil said Im not concerned about a flight Montoya is charged with Please see BEATING Page A4
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