Local News

  • Police alert public of phone scam

    The Los Alamos Police Department is warning residents about the latest phone scam lighting up the phone lines of Los Alamos County.
    Scammers are apparently using the name of a Los Alamos Police officer in an effort to extort people.
    “We think the suspect actually got the name of one of our officers off a website or a press release,” an LAPD spokesman Cmdr. Oliver Morris said. “They called a citizen claiming to be that officer.”
    The suspect would introduce themselves as an officer with the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Department, then demand legal fees or other monetary compensation associated with a case or a traffic citation the victim has.
    “Our officers would never call any citizen demanding money,” Morris said. “We don’t collect money for bonds, fees, nothing. We don’t do that.”
    Morris recommends just hanging up the phone if a call like that comes through. Residents can also share information anonymously by calling the department’s non-emergency number 662-8222 Residents can also report crimes by visiting the Los Alamos County Police website and clicking on the “crime tip” link on the left side of the page.

  • Fundraiser set for single mom battling cancer

    The community is invited to join family, friends and coworkers of Valerie Martinez for a Frito pie night dinner Jan. 7 to help raise funds to pay for her cancer treatment.
    Martinez is a 28-year-old single mom who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in late November. She was immediately sent to University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, Colorado to begin treatment for this aggressive form of cancer.
    Martinez’s young son Xaedyn attends Pinon Elementary and is being cared for by her parents during her ongoing treatment. This keeps them here and Martinez alone in Colorado while she receives treatment.
    Funds are being raised to help with her medical bills and the expenses for her parents to travel to Colorado on weekends to visit.
    The Frito pie dinner will include all-you-can eat homemade chili, and all the delicious toppings for Frito pie. Hot dogs will also be available for those craving a good ole chili dog.  
    Homemade frozen casseroles will also be available for purchase for future nights when time is short or the cook needs a night off.
    For more information, contact Martinez at 662-8867 or Bernadette at 929-3322.
    Donations can also be made at Vest Orthodontics, 3250 Trinity Drive, suite A.

  • Lawsuits, strategic plan part of big year in Los Alamos

    There were some happy moments and tragic ones for Los Alamos this year. Here are a just a few of those moments.
    District passes, approves Strategic Plan
    The Los Alamos School Board, under the leadership of Jenny McCumber and Matt Williams, got the district’s unwieldy “Strategic Plan” under control and on track this year, pledging to stick to the plan for the betterment of students, teachers and the district.
    The plan contains goals and directives to improve the wellbeing and learning environment of teachers and students alike.
    To learn more about the plan, visit laschools.net and search for “strategic plan.”
    District chooses next school
    After much back-and-forth over which of the district’s aging elementary schools to pick for reconstruction, the community finally decided on Barranca Mesa Elementary in Los Alamos. The public is scheduled to give it’s official permission this January when residents decide whether to fund the project with general obligation bonds through a special, mail-in ballot election.
    Lawsuit resolved
    A 2013 lawsuit that involved accusations of racism and on the job harassment was resolved this year.

  • Democrats in state House to reconfigure committee structure

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Incoming Democratic leaders in the New Mexico House plan to reconfigure the chamber's committee structure by creating new committees and eliminating others.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Democratic leaders plan to make committee changes just as Republicans did two years ago.

    Democrats reclaimed control of the House in November.

    One change would involve creating a House Labor and Economic Development Committee.

    Democrats had objected two years ago to a GOP push to abolish a labor committee and replace it with the House Business and Employment Committee.

    Another change would involve bringing back the House Taxation and Revenue Committee, which had been recast as the House Ways and Means Committee after Republicans won control of the House in 2014.

  • Exhibits allow visitors step back into the Cold War era

    Along with the reopening of the Los Alamos History Museum, the Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) celebrated the opening of the new Harold Agnew Cold War Galleries at the Hans Bethe House Friday.
    LAHS Executive Director Heather McClenahan explained that Bethe lived in the historic house on Bathtub Row only six months – the shortest residency on record.
    “But the work he did was incredible throughout his life, and he served as a mentor and a teacher to many Los Alamos scientists,” McClenahan said. “He also served as the conscience for the scientists. He said, if we’re going to be working on weapons of mass destruction, we need to have a say in how they’re used. So he really served a great role.
    “So we wanted to honor him by calling the house after him.”
    The new galleries focus on the era after the Manhattan Project, when Los Alamos was changing from a military facility focused on the war effort to one of the United States’ leading national laboratories.
    Visitors are introduced to the Cold War era as they enter a living room with period furnishings and an early television set playing news footage of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the moon landing, duck and cover and other events from that period.

  • Community celebrates reopening of LA History Museum

    Fuller Lodge was filled to capacity Friday morning as residents and people from all over the country came to see the Los Alamos History Museum’s grand reopening.
    The event included special guest speaker Clifton Truman Daniel, the grandson President Harry S. Truman. Truman was the first and only U.S. president to deploy nuclear weapons in war.
    The other surprise wasn’t in the program, but was just as welcomed. Near the end of the event, local accountant James Dinkel came forward with a $100,000 check. He presented the check on behalf of the estate of Dr. Zenas “Slim” Boone and his wife Irene to Dennis Erickson. Erickson is co-chair of the “History is Here” campaign. The campaign raises money to preserve and protect the buildings that make up Los Alamos’ historic legacy, including the museum.
    Daniel shared anecdotes with the audience, including a story about the time Truman’s 4-year-old son Daniel and his 2-year-old brother turned off the TV so Truman could read Thucydides’ “History of the Peloponnesian War” to them. He also talked about coming to terms with his grandfather being president of the United States.

  • Feds seek to protect geothermal features at Valles Caldera

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Underground pockets of boiling water and steam in a northern New Mexico national preserve that represent the heart of an ancient collapsed volcano could get extra federal protection under a new effort by the National Park Service aimed at limiting or preventing tapping the geothermal energy from neighboring land.

    Federal officials said last week that the Valles Caldera National Preserve would become the 17th U.S. park unit with designated thermal features if approved. A monthlong public comment period will end Jan. 26.

    Yellowstone, Crater Lake and Hawaii Volcanoes already are on the list of parks with federally protected geothermal features.

    Dubbed the "Yellowstone of the Southwest," Valles Calderas is home to vast grasslands, the remnants of one of North America's few super volcanoes and one of New Mexico's most famous elk herds. The bear-claw shaped ring of mountain peaks that form the caldera also is culturally significant to neighboring Native American tribes.

    Its visible geothermal features are nowhere near as striking as Yellowstone's geysers and consist mainly of above-ground, pungent smelling sulphur springs.

  • Today in history Dec. 30
  • States face off over future of Obama global warming plan

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two weeks after officials in two dozen states asked Republican President-elect Donald Trump to kill one of Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature plans to curb global warming, another group of state officials is urging Trump to save it.
    Democratic attorneys general in 15 states plus four cities and counties sent a letter to Trump asking him to preserve Obama’s Clean Power Plan, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the lead author, announced Thursday.
    The letter was a rebuttal to one sent this month by Republican officials from West Virginia and 21 other states and Democrats from the coal-producing states of Kentucky and Missouri urging Trump to issue a Day 1 executive order declaring the Clean Power Plan unlawful and prohibiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing it.
    The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants, the nation’s largest source of the pollution, by about one-third by 2030. Opponents say the Environmental Protection Agency lacks authority to implement the rules. The plan is already the subject of a legal fight.

  • Los Alamos offers New Year’s Eve events for all

    There will be plenty to do New Year’s Eve in Los Alamos for kids and adults alike.
    In the daytime, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center will show a planetarium feature Saturday at 2 p.m. Called “Exploding Universe,” the event is open for all ages. The planetarium show documents the formation of the universe as we know it today in stunning cinegraphic and audio detail that only a planetarium show can bring. PEEC doesn’t recommend the show for kids under 4.
    Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children. The show starts at 2 p.m. PEEC is located at 2600 Canyon Road, Los Alamos. The show is about 40 minutes long and there’s seating for 50. PEEC can be reached at 662-0460.
    In the evening, around 4:30 p.m., those interested in a light show should head to Pajarito Mountain for the annual Pajarito Ski Area’s Torchlight Parade.
    The event starts around 5:30 p.m. Residents are allowed to bring their own food and beverage of choice, sit out on the Pajarito Ski Lodge’s patio and watch the staff come down the mountain via Lumberyard Run (the main run in front of the ski lodge) on skis with torches in hand to usher in the new year.