Local News

  • N.M. Women Veterans Dental Program opens in Carlsbad

    The statewide New Mexico Women Veterans Smile Program is available for women veterans in Los Alamos.
    The program, begun by civilian volunteers and funded by the New Mexico Beverage Association, has served more than 15 women veterans. Dental Association Foundation Executive Director Linda Paul stated the program is looking for more women veterans from around the state.
    The Veterans Administration does not provide dental services to veterans unless they are 100 percent disabled or wounded in service. Some women veterans had not been to a dentist for years.
    Many dentists from around the state agreed to provide the services, including in Los Alamos. This care is donated by generous dentists in their own offices. Each patient receives a once in a lifetime benefit of a complete treatment plan that average $3,200/per case in donated care.
    The patient is not charged for this care. Funding is provided by the New Mexico Beverage Association.
    To apply, go to nmdentalfoundation.org, click on donated dental services, print the completed application form and mail to Donated Dental Services, PO Box 16854, ABQ NM 87191. If you need help with the application, call veteran Judy Quintana, 505-306-3756. 

  • Northern N.M. native supports nuclear deterrence

    TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – A 2004 Robertson High School graduate and Las Vegas, New Mexico native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission at Strategic Communications Wing ONE.
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Nikki Garcia credits her grandfather for influencing her decision to join the service.
    “My grandfather served in the Army during the Korean War,” Garcia said. “The stories he told made me want to contribute to our country and be like him.”
    The mission stems from the original 1961 Cold War order known as Take Charge and Move Out! Adapted as TACAMO and now the command’s nickname, today, the men and women of TACAMO continue to provide a survivable communication link between national decision makers and the nation’s nuclear weapons.
    The commander-in-chief issues orders to members of the military who operate nuclear weapons aboard submarines, aircraft or in land-based missile silos. Sailors aboard TACAMO E-6 Mercury aircraft provide the one-of-a-kind and most-survivable communication needed for this critical mission.

  • LAFD responds to California wildfire

    Three members of the Los Alamos Fire Department’s Wildland Division joined several fellow New Mexicans last week to help a neighbor in distress.
    They deployed to help fight California’s latest string of deadly wildfires – which now bears the name the October Fire Siege – along California’s northern coast.
    LAFD Wildland Division Chief Kelly Sterna, driver Van Leimer and firefighter Brian Palmer, along with one of the department’s sturdy wildland engines, were assigned to the Bear Fire in a place called Bear Creek Canyon north of Santa Cruz. They were asked to assist with water tending and clean up.
    The siege began on Oct. 8 and continues, resulting so far in 42 deaths, destruction of 8,400 structures and burned through 245,000 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire. As of Tuesday, more than 250 wildfires have led to the evacuation of 100,000 people. About nine fires are still active.
    The Bear Fire involved steep terrain with year-round homes in wooded areas, said Sterna. Members of fire departments in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, Corrales, and several other departments also deployed, he said. About 16 people throughout the state were involved in assisting – part of a mutual assistance agreement with California.

  • New Mexico Supreme Court ousts Aztec magistrate from office

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has removed Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Connie Johnston from office for misconduct that a state commission said included dishonesty, surreptitious recording of private conversations in the courthouse and abuse of her judicial power of contempt.

    The high court's order issued its order Monday following a hearing on the Judicial Standards Commission's April 10 petition seeking removal of Johnston from office.

    Her term was set to end in December of 2018.

    The commission's petition cited Johnston's "dishonesty shown in committing various acts of willful misconduct and throughout the commission's proceedings, including her false statements under oath as well as her concealment of surreptitious recordings that she was ordered to disclose but kept secret until midtrial when she perceived a personal advantage to disclosure."

  • LAPS considers policy on privacy of immigrant students

    Following approval of a resolution to guard the privacy of immigrant students by the Los Alamos Public Schools board earlier this month, on Thursday the board will take up first drafts of a policy and a regulation on the subject.

    The policy and regulation discussions, along with a report on Los Alamos Middle School academic progress and programs are slated for review by the board at its monthly work session, 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Los Alamos Middle School, 1 Hawk Drive.

    The board also plans to talk about guided discussions that have occurred throughout the district’s community on changing start times for high school students.

    The proposed policy and regulation supporting students’ safe access to public education – regardless of their or their family’s immigration status – was the subject of a resolution adopted by the board earlier this month. The drafts are identified as the first reading for the board and aren’t currently designated for action on Thursday. Policies and regulations usually go through at least three public readings prior to a vote by the board, said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

  • White Rock residents warned of burglary threat

    White Rock residents should take precautions to safeguard their homes from the threat of possible burglaries, according to the Los Alamos Police Department.

    The department’s Criminal Investigations Section said Monday it has credible information that residences in Los Alamos, specifically White Rock, may be targeted for burglaries very soon.

    “We are stepping up police presence in White Rock, although it won’t impact the police presence in Los Alamos,” said LAPD Commander Preston Ballew.

    Residents are urged to lock doors, maintain safe lighting and notice and report suspicious persons, vehicles or activities in your neighborhood, according to LAPD.

    “We asking them to watch out for any unusual activity in their neighborhoods,” said Ballew.

    For questions or concerns, or to make a report, contact Crime Stoppers at 662-8282 or LAPD Dispatch 662-8222.



  • N.M. icon Al Hurricane dies at 81

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Al Hurricane, known as the "Godfather of New Mexico music" for developing a distinct sound bridging the state's unique Hispanic traditions with country and rock, died Sunday.

    His son, Al Hurricane, Jr., told The Associated Press that his father died from complications related to a long battle against prostate cancer. Two of his daughters were at his side.

    He was 81.

    Hurricane, Jr. said his father had already said his goodbyes to his friends, fans and his children. "He didn't want people crying when it was his time to go," his son said.

    His death came two years after the elder Hurricane went on a farewell tour following his announcement he had Stage 4 prostate cancer and kept performing despite chemotherapy treatment.

    Born Alberto Nelson Sanchez on July 10, 1936, in the tiny village of Dixon, New Mexico, he was raised for a time in Ojo Sarco before moving to Arizona and later Albuquerque. He learned to play the guitar thanks to his mother and his father, a miner.

  • County Briefs 10-22-17

    Swim lesson registration opening Monday

    Registrations for November swimming lessons will be accepted at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center starting Monday.
    Swim lessons for all ages and abilities begin monthly at the aquatic center.
    Along with walk-in registrations, which will be taken at the front desk of the facility, they will also be taken online at losalamosnm.us. A schedule of lessons can also be found at the county’ website.

    Phone survey for DPU starts this week

    The county’s Department of Public Utilities announced Thursday that it will begin an automated telephone survey of customers this week.
    The survey is scheduled to begin as early as Monday, although the actual start date wasn’t announced.
    According to the county, customers may receive the calls between the hours of 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    The purpose of the survey is to assess the effectiveness of the DPU’s public awareness program, which is designed to promote natural gas safety. The county said the survey will allow DPU to measure and focus communication efforts to promote understanding of natural gas safety.
    Questions about the telephone survey can be directed to the DPU at 662-8333 or emailed to customercare@lacnm.us.

    Councilors will appear at summit, luncheon

  • Mountain School is higher priority

    An estimated $3.4 million worth of work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, wiring and roofing at Mountain Elementary School has been moved to the top of the list of capital improvements for the Los Alamos Public Schools.
    The public school board last week approved moving the ranking of capital improvements at its Mountain Elementary to the top.
    The improvement is part of the school district’s Five Year Facilities Master Plan, which is a document accessed by the Public School Facilities Authority (PSFA).
    The school, which opened in 1950 and was last renovated in 2000, had been third on the list.
    However, as the school district has begun finalizing renovations at Barranca Mesa Elementary School estimated to cost $14.8 million, the board met to consider the recommendation of Assistant Superintendent Lisa Montoya to remove Barranca Mesa from the top of the list and move projects at other schools forward.
    The change in ranking would assist in getting additional state funds for the work in a timely manner, said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus. Up to $1.8 million for state funding for “systems” may be available.
    A few board members expressed concern that moving Mountain Elementary from third to first would slight the two elementary schools in White Rock, which are also at the top of the list.

  • Last run of season for Chama’s train

    This weekend is the last chance to hop the train and enjoy a meal on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
    The 2017 season is wrapping up this weekend, with the last day of operation being Sunday, except for the Christmas-themed Santa Trains coming up in December.
    As for dining on the Cumbres and Toltec, a full turkey dinner, with mashed potatoes, gravy and side dishes, is on the menu, along with meat loaf, a salad bar and soup options, as well.
    The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad runs between Chama and Antonito, Colo. on a track that was built in 1880 for use by the silver industry.
    In 1970, Colorado and New Mexico refurbished the track and equipment and have been offering the railroad to sightseers ever since.
    The operating season for the railroad is from May through October.
    For more information about this weekend’s season-ending train rides, visit CumbresToltec.com.