Local News

  • On the front lines of Los Alamos 311 center

    They are the first people encountered at the Los Alamos County municipal building. They answer the 311 information phone lines. They take utility payments and property tax payments, they handle banner permits and the county’s “lemon lot” permits. They also serve as notary publics and manage the sale of cemetery plots and arrange for internments.
    All these duties fall to the 311 Customer Care Center staff, who are often the first point of contact between county residents and county services.
    “Those people are so good. I needed some information yesterday and they really went out of their way to find out,” said resident Chris Judson. “They always come through for me. Every time I’ve ever dealt with them it’s been so positive. They really deserve kudos.”
    The Los Alamos Monitor sat down with Billing and Service Specialist Tracey Alarid to learn more about what the job entails.
    “My day is always very extremely busy, but it’s different every day,” Alarid said.
    Judson’s experience of having a 311-staffer track down information is not unusual.

  • Trinity Capital to pay 1.5 million in federal penalties

    The Los Alamos National Bank and its parent company, Trinity Capital Corporation, have agreed to pay $1.5 million in fines. In exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commissio will drop the charges it levied against the bank and Trinity for accounting fraud.

    “Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Trinity agreed to provide ongoing cooperation and to pay a $1.5 million penalty, which takes into account the company’s significant remedial measures and cooperation during the investigation, The SEC said in a written statement.

    According to the SEC, Trinity underreported the net losses to its shareholders by $30.5 million. SEC officials said the company reported its 2011 income as $4.9 million, when actually the bank suffered a $25.6 million loss.

    In its investigation of the bank and Trinity Capital, the SEC directly blamed William Enloe, Trinity Capital’s CEO at the time, former chief credit officer Jill Cook and former lending officer Mark Pierce.

    The SEC’s complaint also blames Trinity’s former CFO Daniel Bartholomew and vice president of internal audit Karl Hjelvik for not installing proper internal auditing controls and failing “to ensure the bank’s books and records were reasonably accurate.” 

  • Schedule of Public Works projects set for Los Alamos

    Note: For more information about the projects listed below, please email lacpw@lacnm.us, call 662-8150, or visit the “Projects” link at www.losalamosnm.us. Please slow down and use caution within the construction work zones. Please note the below information is based on a schedule provided by the contractors and may change due to weather or other delays.
    Western Area
    Improvements Phase 3:
    Paving operations will begin on Monday, Sept. 21 on 43rd Street (north). Residents are asked to park vehicles in their driveways during paving hours.
    Work hours will begin 8 a.m. Residents can expect flagging operations. Crew members will be available to escort residents through the work zone if emergencies arise.
    20th Street/Fuller Lodge Improvements:
    The north bound lane will remain closed through Wednesday. On Thursday, the contractor will change the traffic control to allow for paving on the south bound lane. Motorists will use the north bound lane. Signs will be in place to help guide motorists through the detour. To access local businesses please follow detour signs.
    On Friday, the contractor plans to close 20th Street north of the Deacon Street intersection to the parking lot across from the Teen Center. This will allow for the contractor to construct new concrete pedestrian crosswalks.

  • Museum caper suspect pleads 'guilty';


  • UNM-LA enrollment enrollment continues to rise

    University of New Mexico-Los Alamos officials announced Friday campus had seen an increase in enrollment this fall, contrary to a statewide enrollment decline at colleges and universities.
    Unofficial census numbers compiled after the first 21 days of the fall semester show that 964 students are enrolled at UNM-LA this fall semester. This is up 11 percent over last fall, which was up 13 percent over the preceding year.  
    In a recent report to the UNM-LA advisory board, Interim Executive Director Cindy Rooney reported total student credit hours had also increased 9 percent.
    “We have 6,019 (student credit hours) this fall, which is an increase of 9 percent over last fall, which was 4 percent higher than the preceding year,” Rooney said, according to the release.
    The university had seen growth in online classes, web-enhanced, traditional classes and hybrid classes.
    “Our unique programs in EMS, Fire Science, and other STEM fields prepare students for successful careers and are known for their excellence. We also have very strong transfer degree programs,” Rooney said.
    For more information about UNM-LA, call 662-5919 or visit losalamos.unm.edu.

  • Cone Zone: 10-4-15

    Western Area Improvements Phase 3:
    Remaining work including sidewalks and small drainage improvements, landscaping, cleanup and punch list items are scheduled for final completion by mid-October.

    Ice Rink Parking Improvements:
    Motorists might experience delays as the new parking area is constructed please allow extra time while driving through this segment under construction. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limit and be on the alert for workers and equipment.

    Sherwood Blvd. /La Vista Drive:
    Roadway construction continues on the eastside, drivers will continue to travel on the new paved asphalt as new construction continues on the east. Southbound traffic only on Sherwood, please pay attention to traffic signals. Northbound traffic closed at Aztec.
    This will remain until pavement is complete on the east side.
    RMCI continuing on subgrade prep for sidewalks, Utility Verification and Traffic Control management will be on going. Large equipment and truck will be continuous throughout the project. All business are open and accessible from Sherwood.

    Utilities Projects:

    North Community Non-potable Water Improvement Project Arizona Avenue:

  • Court Docs 10-4-15

    Sept. 23
    Evgeny A. Kikinzon was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Eliverio Acosta paid $120 in fines for stopping, standing or parking in prohibited and/or specified spaces.

    Sept. 24
    Cynthia Sandoval paid a $50 fine for stopping, standing or parking in prohibited and/or specified spaces.

    Daniel Hoth paid a $50 fine for stopping, standing or parking in prohibited and/or specified spaces.

    Danny Romero was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to use seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Cesar Aguilar-Sierra was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to use seatbelts and failing to pay fines or court costs.  Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $130 in court costs.

    Damien X Sundby was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Stephanie Chavez pled no contest in the Los Alamos Magistrate Court to criminal trespass.

  • LASB picks student liasons

    The Los Alamos School Board has picked four high school students to be the  liaisons for the high school. The senior liaisons are John Rees, Reece and Deanna Gutierrez, junior liaisons will be Claire DeCroix and Neal DeHerrera.
    The board recently voted to approve all four candidates, who will be starting their new appointments in October.
    The board also picked student Jennifer Wang as an alternate.
    The decision to have students join the LASB as liaisons was made in May of this year, in an effort to include the students at the high school on board decisions that affect them.  
    According to Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus, the students start Wednesday.
    “We’re going to meet with them over at the high school and have an orientation with them on how the board works,” he said.
    Los Alamos School Board Vice President Matt Williams will also be at orientation. He has also extended an open invitation to any high school student who wants to talk issues with them over lunch.
    Their first meeting will be the Oct. 13 board meeting.
    Steinhaus, as well as the board, agreed early on that they would prioritize the agenda for the students so they wouldn’t have to stay for the whole board meeting, which start at 5:30 p.m. and usually last four or five hours.

  • Making 'em Shine
  • Stuck students study at center

    Thanks to the Academic Support Center at Los Alamos High School, students from every grade and every background are now able to get help with their schoolwork the moment they need it. Started this year, the center is open when the school is, from 7:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m. every day when school is in session.
    The center is located in Room E-108 at the high school and staffed by Julie Parkinson, Brent Collom, Sherri Smith and Daniel Baggett.
    Collom and principal Brad Parker recently gave a presentation to the school board, explaining what the Academic Support Center is all about.
    Collom said the main idea behind the center is to get the students the help they need when they need it. That means if they’re in class, and they’re stuck on a problem, students can go to the ASC to get help. Most often, the student will be back in class a few minutes later.
    “We’re trying to use what are called strategic tutoring methods, where the students bring in an assignment from their classroom teacher,” Collom told the board. “We’re helping them finish their assignment, to get the assignment done, but we’re also embedding skills into that assignment.”
    The skills they teach them, they hope, will carry over into the solving problems by themselves, Collom added.