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Last updated 12:52PM ET
August 20, 2018
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First News: LANL to cut 400 to 800 jobs. (listen)
(KSFR) - The Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking to reduce its workforce by between 400 and 800 employees this spring through a voluntary separation program. LANL has submitted the proposal to the National Nuclear Security Administration which must give its approval before such action is taken. The workforce reduction plan comes as the federal government reigns in spending, with this year's lab budget more than $300 million lower than last year and future budgets expected to be the same or lower. Voluntary separation is seen as an attempt to avoid involuntary layoffs. Details of the voluntary program will be made available after NNSA approves the Lab's plan.

Alfred Lovato has been cleared of charges of leaving the scene of an accident. That ends the Santa Fe case stemming from a 2008 DWI hit and run downtown that killed pedestrian William Tenorio. Tuesday's verdict followed Lovato's acquittal on Monday on a charge of vehicular homicide. Though Lovato was only a passenger in the car driven by Carlos Fierro, prosecutors pushed their case on a theory of accomplice liability.
Fierro, who received a seven-year prison sentence for his role, testified at Lovato's trial that his friend did nothing to cause the accident.

A recently released study ranks New Mexico 4th in the nation for the quality of state laws that govern charter schools. The study was conducted by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and examined laws in the 42 states where charter schools exist. New Mexico jumped 16 places from last year's rank. The report specifically pointed to "Quality Control" when it comes to charter schools, saying other states can look to New Mexico to improve in areas such as transparency and performance based contracts. New Mexico has 80 charter schools across the state.

The state's Human Services department has announced changes for the state's Medicaid program hoping to trim costs by hundreds of millions of dollars over time. One of the myriad of proposed changes would have recipients be responsible for a co-pay if they use an emergency room for non-emergency situations. More than half a million New Mexicans are currently enrolled in Medicaid and more than an additional 150,000 are likely to be added by 2014 under full implementation of the federal Affordable Healthcare Act. New Mexico Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier will represent the plan to federal officials who must approve portions of the plan before some of the changes can be put into practice.

Weather for Santa Fe - sunny and dry for the rest of the week with daytime highs in the low-to-mid 50s. Overnight lows in the mid 20s. Temperatures cool slightly for the weekend.
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