Local News

  • Utilities investigate cause of power outage


  • New airport manager finds old home in LA

    For native son and Los Alamos County’s newest airport manager, it’s good to be home.

    Cameron Humphres, who spent two years managing the Santa Fe Municipal Airport started work as the manager of Los Alamos Airport Nov. 6.

    “How awesome is it to serve the very community where you were born and that gave you the impetus to pursue aviation in the first place,” Humphres said.

    Though Humphres’s family moved to Albuquerque when he was just 3 years old, ties to his family kept him coming back to Los Alamos throughout his childhood.

    He has fond memories of going to the airport with his grandfather to watch the planes take off and land, as well as at Kirtland Air Force Base, when Humphres’ father was in the Air Force.  His grandfather pursued aviation as hobby, but came to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the early days of the Manhattan Project as an electrician.

    When Humphres was a B-1 pilot in South Dakota, he flew in a training program with Paul Tibbets Jr., the grandson of Paul Tibbets, the 509th Composite Group pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb in combat over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

  • Sprucing Up Central Avenue
  • Regional coalition presses GRT tax issue with state

    The state legislature’s Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee agreed Tuesday something needed to be done to preserve the approximately $76 million in gross receipts tax paid through the Los Alamos National Laboratory to the state every year – but committee members just aren’t sure what.

    At Tuesday’s hearing, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities pressed the issue, since it now seems more than likely a non-profit contractor may be the winning bidder for LANL’s management and operations contract.

    The University of California is interested in putting in a bid, and University of Texas System and Texas A & M University are also interested. Many of the contractors listed on the National Nuclear Security Administration’s website are non-profits.

    In New Mexico, non-profit organizations are exempt from paying gross receipts tax.

    The RCLC wants the state legislature to eliminate that exemption.

    According to the latest data provided by the regional coalition, $76 million in gross receipts tax was paid to the state in 2015. Los Alamos County received $34 million of those taxes, and the state received $41 million.

  • LAPD accreditation process to continue Tuesday

    After two years of working to meet the standards of a national accreditation organization, Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone said his department is close.

    “We don’t think we’re perfect; we think we’re good overall, though,” the chief said this week.

    The department’s ability to comply with the standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA, will be the subject of a public discussion 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Los Alamos County Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave. Members of the public, as well as department personnel, are invited to attend.

    CALEA assessors are scheduled to arrive at the department on Monday – the hearing is part of their work looking at the department.

    Accreditation to New Mexico standards has lapsed, the chief said.

    The topics addressed by CALEA’s standards, and how agencies go about meeting them, usually include written documentation or directions on best practices of police work. A set of the generic standards, with 484 requirements, is available for review at the Police Department.


  • FBI: Customer fired at LANB bank robber

    The FBI confirmed Wednesday that a bank customer shot at a suspected bank robber on Tuesday outside the Los Alamos National Bank branch in White Rock.

    Further information regarding the customer wasn’t made available.

    Several witnesses reported hearing shots a bit before noon on Tuesday. An armed man dressed in all black, with his face covered, reportedly held up the bank and received an undisclosed amount of money.

    Herman Manzanares, owner of Herman’s Auto next door to the bank in White Rock, said he and his employees heard the shots.

    “We saw the guy run around to Rover and we saw the man who shot at him go back into the bank. We called 911 and so did the bank,” Manzanares said.

    A few minutes later police arrived; traffic snarled as heavily armed police sought the suspect.

    The small town – a bedroom community for nearby Los Alamos – shut down with residents asked to stay inside and school children locked inside their schools.

    “It was just chaos,” Manzanares said.

    Also Wednesday, the Los Alamos Police Department announced they are asking anyone in White Rock who may have any video or image surveillance – from anywhere in town – to contact them immediately.

  • Part-time jobs open at Aspen Ridge

    Locals looking for part-time employment on “the Hill,” may want to investigate another job title, “care assistant.”

    Under a pilot program at Aspen Ridge Assisted Living, potential employees will have an opportunity to work part-time, said Los Alamos Retirement Community Liaison Cynthia Goldblatt.

    The part-time positions provide flexibility, which is what at-home parents, retirees, and college students may be looking for, Goldblatt said.

    Applicants need to pass a background check, and would receive training to work beside people who are elderly.

    They assist at mealtimes, during activities and during other aspects of the person’s day. Residents participate in a variety of activities, including exercise, movie nights and supervised visits by therapeutic animals.

    The part-time aspect of the pilot project would allow people with other responsibilities to add to their income and develop new skills, as well as helping people in their community. In some cases, the potential employees have elderly relatives elsewhere; working at Aspen Ridge would provide a way to give back to their community.

    Goldblatt said anyone interested in the part-time positions should contact her at (505) 695-8981.

  • Tribal leaders take aim at oil and gas development

    BERNALILLO (AP) — Native American activists and tribal leaders from around New Mexico are joining the chorus of environmentalists who have been fighting for years to stop oil and gas development.

    This time, opponents are spurred by a proposed ordinance that would regulate drilling in one sparsely populated county.

    They are part of a groundswell as tribes across the U.S. organize around land issues, from a pipeline in North Dakota and the disputed boundaries of a national monument in Utah to concerns about the encroachment of energy development in an area of the Southwest dotted with archaeological sites tied to a civilization that gave rise to many of the region’s modern tribes.

    At a contentious meeting late last week, Ahjani Yepa of Jemez Pueblo spoke about the connection between her people and the land, spurring fellow activists in the crowd to raise their fists in solidarity.

    “As with many cultures and religions, we do not have a book to guide us. The land is our Bible. Once it is gone, you cannot print another copy,” she told members of the Sandoval County Commission.

  • LAPS, county discuss property transfer for new gym

    Space for basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer for all ages is at a premium in Los Alamos.

    However, the space crunch may get some relief following approval of a proposed transfer of land from the Los Alamos Public Schools district to the county.

    The proposed transfer – which must be approved by the state Board of Finance – was adopted by the school board last week.

    County Manager Harry Burgess said on Monday that the prospect of a new gymnasium close to the district’s middle school has been the subject of preliminary discussions between county officials and representatives of the school district.

    “We haven’t taken any action – any discussion would just be speculative,” Burgess said.

    However, the school board approved the proposal last week in order to get the matter on the Board of Finance’s next meeting agenda. The deadline for agenda items is Nov, 28 for the Board of Finance’s meeting scheduled for Dec. 19.

    The briskness could be attributable to the upcoming legislative session, where the county, if its council gives the go-ahead, may be able to ask for additional funds to build the gymnasium, Burgess said.

  • Competitive tennis could come to LA

    The Parks and Recommendation Board has recommended approval for competitive tennis to come to Los Alamos.

    The ball is now literally in the Los Alamos Public School’s court when it comes to having U.S. Tennis Association sanctioned competitions and high school tournaments in Los Alamos.

    At a Nov. 7 County Council work session, Parks and Recreation Board Chair Melanee Hand said any solution for achieving this goal will involve a partnership with the schools. The schools not only have the courts, but the space needed to create regulation courts.

    The recommendation will now go before County Council.

    Besides expansion possibilities, the Parks and Recreation board was asked by the County Council in January to assess the county’s eight tennis facilities for usage, repurposing, improvement and consolidation.

    According to the USTA, five courts are needed for USTA adult matches, six courts are needed for USTA matches and for high school and middle school, eight courts are needed for boys and courts teams playing on adjacent courts, and the New Mexico Activities Association recommends 12 court facilities for high school tournaments.