Local News

  • School reform group to host free movie

    A group of residents interested in changing how high school is taught in Los Alamos are urging the community to come out and see a movie that explains what they’re trying to accomplish.
    Called “Most Likely to Succeed,” the movie talks about the start of public education, where public education is today and where it should be headed.
    The film will be screened three times, starting at 7 p.m. Friday in the Duane W. Smith Auditorium.
    The other dates and locations are Sunday at the White Rock Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 15 in the  Duane W. Smith Auditorium. Admission is free for all screenings.
    “The film encourages each school to reimagine its future by leveraging the passions, expertise and aspirations of the community,” said Mountain Elementary School Teacher Michel Altherr. “It’s a very, organic, grassroots and participatory process.”
    According to Los Alamos Super School group member Ken Holmes, there will be a short, 30-minute panel discussion with the audience afterward, when viewers of the film will be invited to submit suggestions and questions to the panel. The discussion will be moderated by Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus.

  • Tribe on front lines of fight

    ALBUQUERQUE — The tribal community of San Ildefonso Pueblo sits in the shadow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the nation’s premier laboratories and the birthplace of the atomic bomb.
    The tribe is on the front lines of a battle to rein in contamination left behind by decades of bomb-making and nuclear research.
    Pueblo Gov. James Mountain says he’s encouraged that New Mexico regulators, under a revamped cleanup proposal, have identified as a priority a plume of chromium contamination at the tribe’s border with the lab.
    San Ildefonso Pueblo, in northern New Mexico’s high desert, has a tribal enrollment of about 750. Its members are known for their artistry, creating jewelry, paintings, traditional black-on-black pottery and other works.
    Groundwater sampling shows increasing chromium concentrations at the edges of the plume, indicating it’s migrating through an area considered sacred by the tribe and closer to the Rio Grande, which provides drinking water to communities throughout the region.
    The plume has stretched about 1 mile into the upper part of the regional aquifer, and is about a half-mile wide and 100 feet thick.
    It’s about a half-mile from the closest drinking water well.
    “Without a doubt, it definitely raises concerns,” Mountain said.

  • Today in history April 6
  • LA to get $32M for roads, water

    Los Alamos will receive $32 million to upgrade roads and storm drainage systems in and around the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The news was announced at a press briefing from Gov. Susana Martinez in White Rock Monday. Using LANL’s current waste monitoring systems as a background near a commuter lot on NM 4, Martinez said it was the largest settlement between a state and the Department of Energy to date.
    “The agreement requires the Department of Energy to pay $74 million for projects in and around Los Alamos and Carlsbad – projects that do more than put safety first,” she said at the briefing.
    For Los Alamos, she said $10 million of those funds will go toward new equipment that will monitor the watershed in and around Los Alamos and another $10 million will help fund the replacement of aging waterlines and meters at the laboratory.
    “And, we’re making sure that the transport of nuclear waste is done safely and securely,” she said. “Forty-six million dollars will be used to fund repairs on roads that are used to transport the waste, with $12 million for roads that are in Los Alamos, such as right here on State Road 4 and East Jemez Road.”

  • Student groups eye University of New Mexico 'racist' seal

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Two Native American student groups want the University of New Mexico to change its official seal which depicts a frontiersman and a Spanish conquistador.

    The Daily Lobo reports (http://goo.gl/y5PQkx) that the Red Nation and Kiva Club say the seal is racist toward Native Americans because it reflects the state's violent past.

    Both groups plan to submit a petition to the Board of Regents to abolish the seal.

    Policy and Administrative Planning director Pamina Deutsch says the seal was ratified by the Board of Regents in September 1969.

    The groups also are demanding the reconstruction of the Native American cultural center, formation of a council of elders at the Board of Regents comprised of leaders from surrounding pueblos and the demand of tuition waivers for federally recognized tribes.

  • Today in history April 5
  • Today in history April 4
  • Trinity Site draws thousands of visitors, some protesters

    WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (AP) — Thousands of visitors from around the nation recently visited the spot of the world's first atomic test during a special one-day opening of the Trinity Testing site.

    The Alamogordo Daily News reports visitors to the Trinity Testing site were greeted by a small group of protesters Saturday who say the secret atomic blast in the New Mexico desert 70 years ago caused lasting health problems.

    July marked the 70th year anniversary since the Trinity Test in New Mexico took place as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret World War II nuclear development program out of the then-secret city of Los Alamos. It came as nearby Tularosa residents now say they were permanently affected by the test and want acknowledgement and compensation from the U.S. government.

  • Police Beat 4-3-16

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    March 23
    8:53 a.m. — Police reported that a 15-year-old Los Alamos female was the victim of criminal sexual penetration.

    4:52 p.m. — Police reported that a 40-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of an accident with no injuries at the intersection of Diamond Drive and Ridgeway Drive.

    March 24
    7:39 a.m. — Police reported that a 56-year-old Los Alamos man’s vehicle was hit by another vehicle while he was driving at the intersection of Diamond Drive and North Road.

    11:39 a.m. — Police reported that a 51-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of criminal damage to property (less than $1,000) at San Ildefonso Road.

    March 25
    1:30 a.m. — A 29-year-old Los Alamos man received a summons March 25 for allegedly committing aggravated battery against a household member and false imprisonment.

  • LA man accused of sexual relations with youth

    A 62-year-old Los Alamos man has been charged with having sexual relations with a former Los Alamos youth.
    The alleged victim, now in his 20s, first contacted Los Alamos Police in 2013 about the allegations, where he accused Los Alamos resident Lee Weinland of various acts of molestation that occurred when the victim lived next door to Weinland several years ago.
    The victim, now living in Austin TX, told police he decided to contact the LAPD because he was having post traumatic stress disorder flare ups, which “would include feeling like his skin was on fire, prickles on his skin, felt like everyone was watching him and a lot of fear and anxiety,” which led to him getting help from doctors.
    Police later obtained early documentation and interviews recorded in the case that verified that Weinland and the victim were neighbors during the time the victim lived in Los Alamos.
    Police also interviewed Weinland’s ex-wife, who told police that while they did spend most of their time with the victim at his family’s residents at that time, she did not know if Weinland directly spent any time with (the victim), and that she did not believe Weinland “would have acted in that manner.”
    Police charged Weinland with four counts of sexual penetration in the first degree (child under 13.)