Local News

  • The snake whisperer

    Snake Wrangler Dusty Webb does not call himself a snake whisperer, but others have. And listening to him describe what he does, it is hard not to see him that way.

    Webb’s company, Badass Critters, provides rattlesnake abatement, wrangling, handling and training. Webb has worked on numerous film, commercial and television shoots, providing his snakes for plot elements and capturing and relocating snakes from location. 

    Webb has been involved with the film industry for about 25 years, but his career as a rattlesnake wrangler started almost by accident. When he was working on the History Channel’s “Black Blizzard” series, they needed snakes. Webb caught one and the photo ended up on a film industry union website.

    That led to the role of snake wrangler for “Breaking Bad” for four seasons. Webb has also worked on “Magnificent Seven,” “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trial” and the television series “Longmire.” “Manhattan,” “The Preacher,” “Night Shift” and “Better Call Saul.” And those are only a few of his many credits. 

  • Re-opening of History Museum topic of History on Tap Dec. 1

    Join the Los Alamos History Museum for History on Tap at 5:30 Dec. 1 at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square, for an engaging discussion about the new History Museum campus led by Museum Educator Aimee Slaughter.
    Learn the inside story of how museums create new exhibits and get a sneak peek into what to expect in the renovated History Museum.
    History on Tap, part of the On Tap series presented by the Los Alamos Creative District.
    Also, don’t miss the Dec. 30 grand re-opening of the Los Alamos History Museum! The festivities start at 10 a.m. in Fuller Lodge, with special guest speakers, surprises and refreshments. Explore exhibits, artifacts and activities that share stories of Los Alamos history, from the Ancestral Pueblo era through the Cold War as you experience the new History Museum campus for the first time. Begin with the new galleries in the Guest Cottage and continue to the Romero Cabin and the Ancestral Pueblo site on the way to the Harold Agnew Cold War Gallery in the Hans Bethe House.
    More information about History on Tap and other Historical Society programs and events, visit losalamoshistory.org and follow the Los Alamos History Museum on Facebook.

  • LALT to hold play reading Dec. 3

    Los Alamos Little Theatre announces a staged reading of “After You’ve Gone,” a new work by Santa Fe-based playwright Mark Dunn.
    The staged reading will be 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St., Los Alamos.  
    Admission is free for this one-time event.
    “After You’ve Gone,” which takes its title from a song first published in 1918, introduces the audience to Adele Pike, who has just buried her husband of 36 years, and her two daughters and son-in-law.
    Amidst the leftover casseroles, cakes and pigs-in-a-blanket brought by her Southern friends and neighbors, Adele confronts the appearance of a former lover, and her family learns more about her in an evening than they had in the previous three decades.
    “I wrote an early draft of this play several years ago when I was writing about Greenwich Village during World War I,” Dunn said. “I have long been fascinated with how gay people throughout the history of this country were able to reach out, find one another and express their love in such a sexually buttoned-down country. This play looks at the complications of same-sex love at a time in which such love wasn’t accepted or understood.”

  • LANL has successful turkey drive

    Los Alamos National Laboratory held its annual Bring a (frozen) Turkey to Work Day Monday, in partnership with the Food Depot of Santa Fe.
    The drive is something the lab has done for years. The Food Depot partners with 145 other agencies throughout northern New Mexico to ensure that people in the area don’t go without food this week, according to LANL spokesman Steve Sandoval.
    Lab employees and contractor Cray Computers donated 475 frozen turkeys, which are packaged with nonperishable food items also donated by lab employees during the food drive.
    Food Depot personnel were onsite Monday and have already taken the frozen turkeys to Santa Fe for distribution via their partners.

  • NM Dem chair won’t seek second term

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democrats in New Mexico will be able to get new leadership as the head of the party has announced she will not seek a second term.
    Democratic Party of New Mexico state Chairwoman Debra Haaland said Tuesday that she will step down in April, when the party will elect a new state leader.
    On Tuesday the party’s 24-year-old vice chairman, Juan Sanchez of Belen, declared his interest in the position.
    Haaland’s decision to step down comes after a number of Democratic victories around the state during this year’s election and a presidential election cycle where Haaland was accused of showing favoritism toward eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
    State GOP Chairwoman Debbie Maestas has also announced she will not seek re-election.

  • San Ildefonso Road tunnel to close

    San Ildefonso Road Pedestrian tunnel at the Diamond Drive roundabout will be closed starting Monday for about three weeks as the tunnel undergoes rehabilitation.
    Crews from GM Emulsion will remove the existing concrete slab in the tunnel and construct a structural shotcrete lining around the tunnel.
    The rehabilitation work is necessary to remediate the corrosion of the existing corrugated steel plate around the perimeter of the tunnel. For questions about the work, call 662-8150 or email to lacpw@lacnm.us.

  • US businesses cheer judge’s overtime ruling

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Businesses around the country on Wednesday cheered a court decision blocking the Obama administration’s sweeping new overtime rules, but many had already raised salaries or ordered managers to stick to a strict 40-hour workweek to avoid costs they expected to incur starting next week.
    An injunction issued Tuesday by the federal court in the Eastern District of Texas prevents the Department of Labor from mandating overtime pay for salaried employees who make less than about $47,500 a year — a dramatic jump from the old threshold of $23,660.
    More than 4 million workers would have been newly eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the rule, which now faces far more uncertainty from Donald Trump’s incoming administration.
    The ruling giving businesses a reprieve “is a little late for a lot of people’s taste,” said Tom Gimbel of Chicago-based LaSalle Network, a staffing firm that advised companies on how to prepare for the new rule.
    Wal-Mart, for example, raised entry-level managers’ starting salaries by $3,500 in September to stay above the threshold.

  • Council to review bond projects, water plan

    The Los Alamos County Council will hear an update on scoping for the 2017 recreation bond projects and a presentation on the revised long-range water supply plan at its regular meeting Tuesday.
    Also on the agenda is a citizens’ petition requesting the installation of two speed humps on North Road in front of Mountain Elementary School.
    For details on the recreational bonds projects, read “Weigh in on rec bond projects Thursday” in the Los Alamos Monitor’s Nov. 16 edition and “Residents look at Rec bond package,” published Nov. 21.
    See “County to hold meeting on water supply plan Tuesday,” published Nov. 14, and “Water supply plan weighed by public,” published Nov. 21, for more on the long-range water supply plan.
    For Tuesday’s complete agenda packet, go to losalamos.legistar.com.
    Tuesday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

  • NM mulls partial closure plan for WIPP

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico regulators have received a formal proposal from the U.S. Department of Energy to close part of the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository due to safety and contamination concerns.
    The repository has been shuttered since February 2014, when a chemical reaction inside an inappropriately packed drum of waste triggered a radiation release.
    The closure halted the shipment of tons of Cold War-era waste from sites across the country, stalling a multibillion-dollar cleanup campaign by the Energy Department.
    The incident also resulted in an overhaul of policies and procedures, costly work to mitigate the contamination, and a multimillion-dollar settlement with the state of New Mexico for numerous permit violations.
    Under the proposal to close part of the underground area, federal officials want to install a series of steel barriers that would permanently seal off disposal rooms and other main corridors in the southern end, reducing the chance of waste disposal and mining activities stirring up dust and contamination.
    The barriers would reduce the footprint of the contaminated areas by about 60 percent, officials said.

  • Teachers treated to special event

    With a live jazz band playing in the background and multiple prize giveaways happening every hour, it wasn’t a typical teachers event, and that suited the teachers just fine.
    Nov. 18 was “Teacher Appreciation Day,” a day when the community reached out to teachers of Los Alamos and collectively said “We care.”
    “The intent was pretty straightforward, to let teachers know they’re appreciated.” Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said. “It was organized by the District Parent Council and the school board as a way to say thank you to our teachers. One of the things that’s hard to explain is how hard a teacher works.”
    Over 100 people attended the event, where 100 gift bags filled with certificates and items from local business were given away. And, over $1,500 in gift certificates were given away.
    While the school always has an annual teacher appreciation event, this one was different. This one featured more of a personal touch from the community, as prizes, gift certificates and direct praise from parents and students was included.
    Parent District Council member Suzette Fox described the event as a “big hug” from the community to the teachers that educate its children.