Local News

  • FEMA estimates 25 percent of Florida Keys homes gone

     LOWER MATECUMBE KEY, Fla. (AP) — With 25 percent of the homes in the Florida Keys feared destroyed, emergency workers Tuesday rushed to find Hurricane Irma’s victims – dead or alive – and deliver food and water to the stricken island chain.

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    As crews labored to repair the lone highway connecting the Keys, residents of some of the islands closest to Florida’s mainland were allowed to return and get their first look at the devastation.

    “It’s going to be pretty hard for those coming home,” said Petrona Hernandez, whose concrete home on Plantation Key with 35-foot walls was unscathed, unlike others a few blocks away. “It’s going to be devastating to them.”

    But because of disrupted phone service and other damage, the full extent of the destruction was still a question mark, more than two days after Irma roared into the Keys with 130 mph winds.

  • Household income finally tops 1999 peak

    WASHINGTON — In a stark reminder of the damage done by the Great Recession and of the modest recovery that followed, the median American household only last year finally earned more than it did in 1999.

    Incomes for a typical U.S. household, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to $59,039, the Census Bureau said. The median is the point at which half the households fall below and half are above.

    Last year’s figure is slightly above the previous peak of $58,665, reached in 1999. It is also the first time since the recession ended in 2009 that the typical household earned more than it did in 2007, when the recession began.

    Trudi Renwick, the bureau’s assistant division chief, cautioned that the census in 2013 changed how it asks households about income, making historical comparisons less than precise.

    Still, the Census data is closely watched because of its comprehensive nature. It is based on interviews with 70,000 households and includes detailed data on incomes and poverty across a range of demographic groups.

  • Saturday events to mark Ranch School anniversary

    History will repeat itself Saturday when Boy Scout Troop 22 will host a formation ride and perform a flag ceremony to Fuller Lodge to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Los Alamos Ranch School. 

    Fuller Lodge was an original part of the school. The event will also kick off the Los Alamos Historical Society’s annual gala. 

    A committee planning the event for the past year came up with the Boy Scout ride in. 

    “Everybody at the table got really excited about that idea,” Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan said. 

    The scouts have been training for the event. 

    To help with the equestrian grand entrance, the gala enlisted the help of horse owners like Lisa Reader with the training. The troop was already being trained and reconnected with its horse riding past before the gala committee called about the ride in. The ride in will be similar to ones that occurred at Ranch School graduations in the early days of the school’s existence.

  • LA Garden Club celebrates 70 years

     The Los Alamos Garden Club celebrated its 70th anniversary Saturday in the Memorial Rose Garden next to Fuller Lodge. It was a bright, sunny day, but plenty of shade covered the seats to create a pleasant afternoon of festivities. Delicious refreshments were served with the beautiful backdrop of roses from the garden.  

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    “Our club was founded on Jan. 19, 1947, two years before I was born,” Club President Joyce Zaugg mentioned as everyone chuckled, “and we have been flourishing ever since.”

    The Los Alamos Garden Club has a long-standing reputation in the community that began in 1947 after 11 local residents gathered together with the goal to create a more beautiful natural environment following the end of World War II and the newly privatized town. 

  • LA, local leaders meet with D.C. officials

    Government officials from Los Alamos and regional leaders are in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with congressional lawmakers to voice their concerns about the National Nuclear Safety Administration’s draft request for proposals for the next management and operations contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

    “Our community has had some real challenges in communicating our interests, and just meeting and communicating with the potential bidders,” said Andrea Romero, the executive director of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.

    Two weeks ago, The National Nuclear Security Administration, the government agency overseeing the bidding process, allowed Romero a 24-hour notice to put together a meeting between potential contractors and regional leaders. 

    The contractors visited Los Alamos to tour the lab Aug. 24. 

    Though the meeting was successful in helping regional and county representatives get their point across about how important the lab’s financial support to the community was, only two potential contractors showed up to the meeting.  

  • Pete Domenici, longest-serving NM senator and strong supporter of LANL mission, has died

    Associated Press and Staff Report

    Former Republican Sen. Pete V. Domenici, a six-term senator who was known for his work on budget and energy issues and support of the state's national laboratories, died Wednesday. He was 85.

    Domenici died at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, his son Pete Domenici Jr., said. The senator had undergone abdominal surgery in recent weeks.

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan released a statement to the Monitor Wednesday about Domenici’s contributions to the lab.

  • Accident on Diamond Drive Tuesday causes traffic delays

    Traffic was delayed Tuesday about 5 p.m. following a two-car accident on Diamond Drive.

    A blue BMW sedan driven by a 17-year-old girl was headed northbound on Diamond Drive about 5 p.m. Tuesday when her car collided with red Volkswagen SUV driven by a 72-year-old woman who was driving south on Diamond Drive. The 72-year-old woman was attempting to make a left turn onto Orange Street.

    No injuries were reported, no citations were issued at the scene, according to Los Alamos Police.

  • New Mexico attorney general fights call to serve as witness

    SANTA FE (AP) — State prosecutors are asking a court to reject an unusual effort to call New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas as a witness at a high-profile corruption trial being prosecuted by his office.

    Balderas is being listed as a potential witness as an October trial date approaches for former Sen. Phil Griego on allegations that he used his position as a state senator to profit from the 2014 sale of a state-owned building in downtown Santa Fe without proper disclosure.

    Balderas spokesman James Hallinan on Monday described the maneuver as a "last ditch effort by Phil Griego's defense attorney to delay the trial."

    Defense attorney Thomas Clark is listing Balderas as a trail witness and highlighting a $1,500 campaign contribution by Griego to the attorney general's 2014 campaign.

  • Russ Gordon Day
  • Man attempts to steal liquor bottle

    A 21-year-old man from Santa Fe, Lance Pena, was arrested for attempting to shoplift a $9.65 bottle of vodka from Smith’s on Aug. 29.

    Around 10 a.m. that day, Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Leandro Gallegos was dispatched to Smith’s for a suspected shoplifting incident.

    Gallegos met with the Loss Prevention Officer, Melissa Chamberlin, and the offender, Pena. Next to Pena, there was a plastic bottle of Premier Vodka on Chamberlin’s desk.

    Chamberlin stated that Pena took the bottle off the shelf while inside Smith’s and concealed it inside his pants.\

    According to the incident report, Pena then walked around the store before walking past all points of sale without attempting to pay for the liquor.

    “Lance admitted that he tried to steal the bottle of Premier Vodka,” said Gallegos in his report. Apparently, Pena thought if he were cooperative with law enforcement and the loss prevention department, he would simply be charged with trespassing and let go.

    That was not the case, however, and Gallegos promptly arrested Pena for shoplifting. After conducting a search of Lance, it was found that he did not have any cash or cards on his person to pay for anything from Smith’s.