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Farmington Daily Times (Newspaper) - November 30, 2007, Farmington, New Mexico
A4 november 30,2007local/region Farmington Aztec Bloomfield Shiprock Eric usher managing editor 505 564-4620stateflags half staff in Honor of Navajo code talker flags on the Navajo nation Are at half staff until sunday to Honor former Shiprock resident John Sells a Navajo code talker who died last Friday at age 92. Sells one of the 430 Navajo warriors credited for aiding America s cause in world War ii. Enlisted in the marines in 1944 and was honorable discharged in 1946. He received a Silver medal of Honor in 2000. Quot Sells. Served the United states of America and the Navajo with courage Honor and distinction Quot Navajo president Joe Shirley or. Said in a prepared statement. Sells worked As an a Ray technician Auto Mechanic and heavy equipment operator at Navajo mines in Fruitland. He also owned and operated plateau Gas station in Shiprock. Sell s funeral mass was celebrated thursday at sacred heart Catholic Church in Farmington. A the daily times Man sentenced to 18 years in purse snatching death las Cruces a a las Cruces Man was sentenced thursday to is years in prison a the maximum possible a in the death of a 91 year old woman who was knocked Down when he tried to snatch a purse. Jimmy Santiago Mata 25, pleaded guilty in August to a reduced murder charge in the july 2006 death of Roselee Williams. He changed his original plea of not guilty and admitted he was responsible for the incident. He was initially charged with first degree murder but prosecutors reduced that to second degree murder As part of a plea Deal reached Days before he was to go on trial. Authorities have said that Williams her daughter Elaine Morris and Morris husband were leaving a las Cruces restaurant when Mata tried to take Elaine Morris purse. The strap would t snap and Mata knocked Down both Morris and her Mother who used a Walker. Williams was seriously injured and later died of complications from a broken dentist accused of medicaid fraud Albuquerque apr a Bernalillo county grand jury has indicted an Albuquerque dentist on multiple counts of medicaid fraud. The nov. 20 indictment against Lillian Jaime doing business As Sierra dental accuses her of eight counts of medicaid fraud based on fraudulent Billings and five counts of falsification of documents. The charges Stem from Billings to the new Mexico medicaid program for dental services and treatment in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The indictment is being prosecuted by the state attorney general s medicaid fraud and elder abuse robs appellate judge at knife Point Santa fear a state court of appeals judge and former District attorney has fallen victim to a mugger. Quot this was the first time in All my life that i be been a victim Quot judge Ira Robinson said wednesday. Quot and it s a whole nother education when you re on the receiving end instead of prosecuting it. And let me Tell you it does t feel Robinson 65, and two cousins were confronted by a Man with a knife As they left a hotel tuesday night on the Edge of the Santa be Plaza. The Man demanded Money lunged at Robinson and began shouting. Quot give me All your Money Quot Robinson said. He said that when he told the Man he was t going to give him anything the Man ripped the judge s watch off his wrist. Robinson said he fell backward tripped Over a curb and landed on his shoulder. "1 actually thought he might kill me when i was on the Robinson said. Council won t Rush race relations commission a by Lindsay Whitehurst a the a iii times Farmington perfecting Farmington s new race and cultural relations commission will continue until Jan. 15. Quot i know this is an urgent thing that our City is looking at and our Community is wanting some kind of action Quot Community relations commission exploratory committee member Randy Joslin said. Quot i think this is something we can resolve fairly this week for the third time councillors discussed a draft ordinance created after a 12-person exploratory committee met for about a year. Council members criticized the draft saying it did t have enough Concrete goals and would t be effective. Earlier this month three exploratory committee members stepped up to defend the document. But this week two other members said the draft was generated by the City s Legal department and they had not seen a copy before tuesday s Council meetings. Quot i think we did an outstanding Job Quot committee member Karen Bayless it Aid. But Quot i Don t know if the ordinance As it sits now is something i would after months of Trust building the Anglo hispanic and american Indian committee members conceived a Community relations commission As Quot a place where someone could come in and say i was poorly treated. What can you do Quot Bayless said. The committee would like its own full time staff member and to be separate from both the City and other City committees like the Community police advisory committee. The separation they said is necessary to make people feel that they can speak up outside of the government s Quot Good of boy Quot system. Quot if you define so much by ordinance so strict you May pull them Back into the City Quot City manager Mike Miller said. Joslin and Bayless suggested taking the draft ordinance Back to the committee for at least one More meeting to Amend the ordinance. Quot there s a lot of things that need to be Back to what we were thinking Quot member Catalina Liles said. Quot there Are a lot of places where we need to meet Halfway at councillors agreed that the ordinance needs work. Quot i Don t believe it would do what we want it to do Quot councilor Mary Fischer said. Quot i Don t think it will make farming ton More liable or a better place to mayor Bill Standley pointed out that the ordinance does follow the formula used to create other City committees. Some of those such As Capac have been criticized As ineffective. Councilor Jason Sandel pointed out. Quot we need to very clearly identify some accomplish Able results Quot he said. Quot this committee is dealing with some very important tensions Between the Anglo and american Indian communities flared summer a year ago when a Navajo Man was shot by a police officer and separately three White teenagers beat an american Indian Man. Though the commission would help people of All races those tensions sparked the creation of the exploratory committee. But even though it s been nearly a year and a half since the events of that summer councillors said the commission should t be rushed. Quot we want to make sure we Don t Fumble the Ball and get it right the first time Quot councilor George Sharpe said. Final consideration had been planned for dec. 11 it will be tabled that Day until Jan. 15. Quot what works Best is when you Guys get together and you come up with what you were intending. And we can hash this out when this is brought Back Quot councilor Dan Darnell said. Unsay Whitehurst i Whitehurst @ of Christmas tree Lucas Ian Goshen the daily times three year old Alyssa Charley of Shiprock checks out an ornament on one of the Christmas Trees to be raffled off thursday during family night at the festival event at the Farmington civic Center. The winners of the More than 40 Trees and 13 wreaths will be announced saturday at noon. Tickets Are 50 cents and All proceeds go to the presbyterian medical services. Government tightens accounting at National labs a by sue major Holmes a the associated press Albuquerque the government accountability office is recommending tougher oversight of safety at the nation s Federal nuclear weapons laboratories contending there have been persistent safety problems in recent years including nearly 60 serious accidents or near misses since 2000. Republican reps. Joe Barton of Texas and de Whitfield of Kentucky asked for a report 18 months ago after Security breaches and safety concerns at Northern new Mexico s los Alamos National Laboratory. The gag also reviewed Albuquerque based Sandia National laboratories and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The Gao report released wednesday blamed a lax attitude toward safety procedures weaknesses in identifying safety problems and then correcting them and inadequate oversight by site offices of the National nuclear Security administration a department of Energy division that oversees the labs. The Gao recommended the Nensa retain Independent Federal oversight and ensure that efforts to improve safety be measured by the outcome not the process. It also recommended annual Progress reports to Congress. John Broehm an Nensa spokesman in Washington d.c., said Agency officials generally agreed with the recommendations but Felt the report Quot was a Little misleading Quot in its implication that the labs have major problems. Quot a lot of it is worker safety is. Nuclear safety Quot he said. Quot we take nuclear safety and worker safety very seriously. But when you look at the size and scope of what we do we feel the numbers Are pretty Good Quot Broehm said. A spokesman for los Alamos Kevin Roark said the lab showed significant safety and Security improvements in fiscal 2007, reducing the number of incidents and injuries by 30 percent. Quot we feel that we be come a Long Way toward changing the safety culture at the lab but we realize there s always room for improvement Quot he said. The Gao said it found Little indication that the Nensa or contractors that manage the labs had followed a 2003 directive calling for a disciplined approach toward improvements. The report also criticized the Nensa s heavy Reliance on contractors own safety management controls for oversight. It noted the Agency was strengthening oversight and taking other Steps but said those efforts were still under Way and it was too Early to see what effect they might have. Accidents and nuclear safety violations contributed to temporary shutdowns at both los Alamos and Lawrence liver More in 2004 and 2005. But safety problems persist the report said. Good Samaritans beware watch out for false charities during the holidays a by Cornelia de Bruin a tie daily times Farmington the Holiday season is hitting its stride but with its High Points come multiple requests from organizations seeking contributions. Joyce Donald of the farming ton better business Bureau office wants Consumers to be careful. Quot be a smart donor no matter whether you Are a consumer or a business Quot Donald said. She warns Consumers that people who collect for look alike charities those whose names Are similar to Well known charities hit hard during the first couple of weeks in december. Donald who is Busy herself collecting donations to buy 800 turkeys for the Echo food Bank said it s hard to refuse somebody who has a Good pitch. Quot people like to do their bit but we want it to go to where it should Quot she said. Legitimate charities adhere to National standards for Charity accountability which provide information better business bureaus use to answer Consumers questions about them. About 30 percent of the charities from which information was sought do not provide it according to Wise giving a publication of the better business Bureau s Wise giving Alliance. Donald said Consumers should be wary of charities that use vague appeals excessive pressure and want Cash. She urges Consumers to Check whether the organization is tax exempt insist on details about How its donations Are used and keep records of their donations. Contact the bbb s Wise giving Alliance , for information about National charities or the local bbb serving your area for information about local charitable groups. Cornelia de Bruin Oil company by pleads guilty to environmental crime in Alaska a by Jeannette j. Lee a the associated press Anchorage Alaska the Alaska subsidiary of Oil giant by pc pleaded guilty on thursday to a Federal environmental crime for failing to prevent a crude spill across a Swath of delicate Tundra in America s largest Oil Field. The guilty plea by by exploration Alaska inc. Is part of a settlement with the government Over a 2 0,000-gallon spill at the Prudhoe Bay Field in March 2006. It was the largest spill Ever in the vast Oil Rich Region of Arctic Alaska known As the North slope. Under the agreement by pleaded guilty to one violation of the clean water act a Misdemeanour and will pay $20 million in fines for allowing the pipeline to corrode. The company will also be under probation for a maximum of three years. Quot we believe the sentence contained in the plea agreement is both fair and just Quot said James Wilk Buxa s vice president and chief of staff at the arraignment in . District court in Anchorage. Quot we have taken Many actions to learn from these events and make changes to mitigate the risks of similar events in the the settlement was one of three struck last month Between the London based Oil and Gas giant and Federal investigators in the Resolution of several probes in the . By has agreed to pay another $353 million in fines and restitution Over the manipulation of Energy markets in the Midwest and a refinery explosion that killed 15 people in Texas. The problems in Alaska came to Light a ter the March 2006 spill prompted the Fri and the environmental Protection Agency to open an investigation into maintenance practices at the 30-year-old Field. Alaska attorney general Nelson Cohen told the court. They found that thick Black sludge caked along the Bottom of a1 Grille the associated press James Wilk by exploration Alaska inc s up chief of staff in Alaska left walks with chief of Security Billy Andrews right into the Federal court building thursday in Anchorage Alaska. The Leaky pipe was protecting colonies of bacteria that produce a corrosive acid. The acid had eaten an Almond sized Hole in the steel Over the course of several years. The presence of sludge helped the government prove that by had Quot neglected to run cleaning and inspection devices called Quot pigs Quot through the pipeline creating a Quot wonderful environment for microbes to develop in the Bottom of the pipe Quot Cohen said. The spill went undetected for several Days despite repeated warnings from a leak detection alarm. The crude eventually spread across a Large Patch of Tundra and onto one of the thousands of Frozen lakes and Ponds characteristic of Northern Alaska. A second pipeline started leaking in August 2006 for the same reason prompting by to halve production at Prudhoe Bay to 200,000 Gallons a Day for several weeks. The company is not being charged for the resulting 1,000-gallon spill because of its willingness to cooperate with the investigation Cohen said. For years the company denied allegations that a culture of Cost cutting was hurting the Quality of maintenance on the network of steel pipes at Prudhoe Bay. But millions of company documents and interviews with scores of North slope employees told a different Story prosecutors said
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