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Local News

  • Workers fired, disciplined after LANL shipment violation

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory has fired employees, and suspended and imposed “compensation consequences” for others after lab employees shipped nuclear material by air, against regulations.

    “Our response to this incident is not business as usual,” said a lab spokesman. “Toward that end, all of those involved from the individual contributor level up the management chain have been held accountable through actions that include terminations, suspensions, and compensation consequences. Furthermore, we are transferring the responsibility for fissile nuclear material shipments to a different organization within the laboratory.”

    The shipped material was either plutonium or uranium, according to the scientific classification of fissile nuclear material.
    The disciplinary actions were carried out sometime last week, the spokesman said. The spokesman declined to give details and numbers about how many were fired, suspended and reprimanded.

    “I cannot get into the details about personnel action. Personnel actions are an internal matter, the details of which we don’t share,” the spokesman said.

  • On the Docket 7-9-17

    May 16
    James David McHardy was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    May 17
    Terra Shepherd was found guilty of failure to display a current and valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs. Defendant was also found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit and was sentenced to community service in lieu of fines.

    Samuel Nasise was found guilty of failing to yield/stop at a traffic sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Donald Bryson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs. Defendant was fined $500 and must pay $490 in court costs. He was also sentenced to DWI school, community service and substance abuse assessment.

    Paul Vincent was found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs. Defendant was fined $500 and must pay $290 in court costs. He was also sentenced to DWI school, community service and substance abuse assessment.

  • Police Beat 7-9-17

    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.

    June 21
    2:15 p.m. — Desiree Nitz, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested on a district court warrant.

    3:55 p.m. — David Rael, 39, of Los Alamos was arrested on a district court warrant.

    June 22
    2:56 p.m. — Patrick Barela, 21, of Espanola was arrested on a magistrate court warrant.

    June 23
    10:26 a.m. — Joe Arsenio Martinez, 51, of Rio Chama was arrested on a district court warrant.

    June 24
    5:40 p.m. — LAPD investigated a report of embezzlement. Case is still active.

    7:14 p.m. — LAPD investigated a report of embezzlement.

    June 25
    11:43 a.m. — Los Alamos Police reported a package was taken from a homeowner’s mailbox.

    June 27
    8:11 a.m. — LAPD investigated a report of money taken from a victim.

    June 28

  • 139 teachers nominated for Golden Apple Award

    139 teachers from middle schools in 27 communities across the state have been nominated for the 2018 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. These dedicated teachers have been recognized by their students, parents, peers, administrators and communities for their exceptional ability to inspire students to learn, think and create.

    In July, nominated teachers will have the opportunity to submit their applications for the Golden Apple Award. After a rigorous application process, these finalists will receive site visits from the Golden Apple Selection Committee in the fall.

    “Getting nominated for the Golden Apple Award is just the first step in a rigorous process,” says Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico Executive Director Brian O’Connell. “Only seven teachers will eventually receive the award, so it is very competitive. Being nominated is an important way for communities to recognize their most exceptional teachers. We are so honored to recognize and celebrate these nominees all across the state.”

    Nominees include Dana Kline, Sherri Bubblitz, Megan Rains, and Jill Gross from Los Alamos Middle School.

  • Hike Anniversary Trail with Craig Martin

    Are you fascinated by the history of Los Alamos? On July 15 at 9 a.m., join Craig Martin for a one-mile hike along one of the original roads used during the Manhattan Project. Once traversed by Dr. Oppenheimer and General Groves, Anniversary Trail features remnants of Project Y and the Los Alamos Ranch School. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to walk the path of history.

    Anniversary Trail encompasses the origins of Los Alamos. Retrace the steps of scientists, learn about the transportation of atomic materials, and identify the Los Alamos Ranch School’s Breakneck Trail.

    The outing is expected to last an hour and a half, and space is limited to 20 participants. Register now to save a spot on this unforgettable historic journey.

     Craig Martin is the former Open Space Specialist for the County of Los Alamos.
    He is a writer, musiciand and an avid hiker. His books include Los Alamos Place Names, Valle Grande, A History of the Baca Location No. 1 and 100 Hikes in New Mexico, all of which have helped preserve the history of the area and acquaint us with the importance of the landscape.
    The Los Alamos Trails app is a result of his many years of exploring.

  • PEEC sponsors Summer Family Evenings

    Join PEEC on Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. for a special visit from the New Mexico Wildlife Center. This Summer Family Evening program, sponsored by Del Norte Credit Union, is perfect for families who want to learn about local habitats, responsible rehabilitation, conservation and biology, and what to do if you find an injured wild animal. The Wildlife Center will also bring along its rescued raptor and owl ambassadors, allowing participants to meet these amazing creatures in person.

    The New Mexico Wildlife Center, located in Española, was founded in 1986 by Dr. Kathleen Ramsay. It has grown from its original purpose of rehabilitating birds into its current mission to treat all animal species in New Mexico.

    Because many animals cannot be released back into the wild, the Wildlife Center also operates a wildlife sanctuary, housing over 30 animals. Visitors are welcome Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    PEEC’s final Summer Family Evening, Eclipse Night, will take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center on Wednesday, July 26 at 6:30 p.m.

    Join local astronomers to learn more about the upcoming solar eclipse, including its historical and scientific roots.

  • PBS Science Cafe: Invisible Universe Discovered

    Want to learn more about the Hubble Telescope? On July 15 at 10 a.m., come to the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium for a presentation on one of NASA’s most ambitious experiments.

    After watching NOVA: Invisible Universe Revealed, Dr. Rick Wallace will discuss the astronomical significance of the Hubble’s findings, including cosmic expansion and supermassive black holes.
    Don’t miss this unique opportunity to uncover the invisible mysteries of our Universe.

     Rick Wallace has a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of California at Santa Cruz (Lick Observatory), with concentration in numerical calculations of stellar explosions, nuclear fusion, and formation of the elements.

    He has also served as a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory for over 30 years.
     A reservation is required for this event, so please RSVP to Rose Poston at (505) 277-2396 or rposton@newmexicopbs.org.

    Admission is free. For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call (505) 662-0460. This program runs from 10 a.m. to noon.
     

  • Naturalized Americans stand proud

    BY WREN PROPP

    The annual Fourth of July naturalization ceremony here on Tuesday was a little more crowded than usual, said Los Alamos resident Nancy Bartlit.

    “I think more people have children and they’ve brought their families,” said Bartlit. She and her husband, John, were among about 150 people attending the ceremony.

    Fifteen new citizens of the United States, and a young woman who wished to affirm her citizenship as an adoptee, took an oath dispensed by representatives of the New Mexico Field Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Naturalization Service, with full addresses from Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott and Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz.

    The ceremony was one of 65 scheduled throughout the United States on Monday and Tuesday. The new citizens in New Mexico were among approximately 15,000 nationwide preparing to take the loyalty oath. Bandelier has been a site for the Fourth of July naturalization ceremony for about six years. Natives of eight countries became U.S. citizens on Tuesday at the national monument.

  • DPU set to present the future of power

    As a couple of major developments in Los Alamos County’s power supply looms,  Department of Public Utilities officials will have a discussion with the public this week on the future of the county’s power supply.

    DPU officials will be presenting details of a plan of what that future may look like during a townhall-style meeting at the White Rock Public Library on Wednesday.

    “I want to stress that this is a plan, that these are just recommendations. This is not something that the Board (of Public Utilities) and County Council actually adopt,” Utilities Manager Tim Glasco said. “This is just advice from experts to help us use that information for making decisions in the future on what resources we’re going to buy and and how we’re going to run things.”

    The pending retirement of power plants in DPU’s supply chain that no longer keep up with the market, the uncertain viability of new nuclear technology and the uncertain future of an energy agreement between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the DPU are driving factors behind the report.

  • Man gets 8 years for sex with minors

    Christopher Davis, 24, was sentenced Thursday afternoon to eight years in prison following his admission that he had sexual encountered with two underage girls.

    District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sentenced Davis following a plea agreement. The maximum she could have imposed under the agreement was 10 years.

    Davis was arrested on June 17, 2014 in Los Alamos. He was charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, criminal sexual communication with a child and child solicitation by an electronic communication device.

    The case began when the sheriff’s office in Anoka County, Minnesota, investigated a report of sexual assault against a 14-year-old female. As a result of the investigation, the police recovered a cell phone and Internet conversations between the young girl and an adult male identified as Davis, who was living in Los Alamos at the time.

    Anoka County then involved the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in furthering the investigation. After Davis was picked up in Los Alamos following a search warrant, he admitted to sexual encounters with two local underage girls whom he had met at the White Rock Kite Festival.