Local News

  • LAPS Odyssey Project moves to next round

    Los Alamos’ own “super school movement” picked up some momentum this week as news spread that the committee leading the movement had made it past the second round of a contest sponsored by the “XQ Institute.”  
    The group qualified for the next phase, putting them in a pool of 348 teams from 41 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico that were approved to work on the development phase of the project.   
    Los Alamos will find out later this year if it has won the grand prize – a share of a $50 million grant shared between five winners across the country. The funds will help carry out the group’s education reform plans.
    The committee called its contest entry the “Odyssey High School Project.”
    At a Sunday screening of a special movie about school education reform at the White Rock Presbyterian Church, audience members as well as members of the LAPS Odyssey School Project were abuzz with excitement about the news.
    Los Alamos High School President Jim Hall was optimistic about the proposal.
    “It’s really great,” said Hall. “It’s a real affirmation of the quality and the process.”

  • Today in history April 12
  • Today in history April 11
  • Electricity-rate increase plan spurs protest in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — Environmental activists are staging a protest in Santa Fe as state utility regulators consider a proposed 14 percent rate increase by New Mexico's largest electric utility.

    Public hearings began Monday on the proposal from Albuquerque-based Public Service Company of New Mexico to increase annual revenues by $124 million. The environmental group New Energy Economy rallied about 50 people under a morning drizzle to protest PNM's plan outside the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

    Consumer advocates object to PNM's new ownership stake at the Palo Verde Nuclear Station in Arizona along with investments in pollution-control equipment at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. PNM says its investments are cost-effective.

    PNM also wants to revamp customer bills as it seeks to ensure recovery of infrastructure spending amid declines in anticipated energy sales.

  • Los Alamos reaches final round in Odyssey School project

    Los Alamos’ “Odyssey High School Project” just took a giant step toward reality Friday when Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus received word from the “XQ Institute” that they reached a crucial goal.

    The Los  Alamos group topped 1,200 schools across the U.S. and are now in a pool of 50 finalists for the next round. The five school districts that win this final round will receive $10 million each from the institute to help fund and implement a “new” high school.

    “After careful review, we are so excited to tell you that we think your Odyssey High School design is truly substantial and promising, and we are including you in the running to take it to the next level! You should be incredibly proud,” said a spokesperson for the XQ Intitute in a note to the group.

    Steinhaus released the written statement to the media about the milestone.

    In the beginning of the school year, the group put together a contest entry for the institute, an organization of education specialists and entrepreneurs looking to change the way high school is taught in the U.S.

    According to its website at xqschool.org, the organization is looking to fund five U.S. school districts who have the best proposal to do that.

  • On the Docket 4-10-16

    March 30
    Selina M. Branch pled guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding one to five miles an hour over the speed limit in a school zone. Defendant was fined $30 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    March 31
    Dominic Crandall pled guilty at the time of traffic stop to speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Steven A. Martz was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.


  • Police Beat 4-10-16

    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.

    March 27
    10:08 a.m. — Dulcinea Medina, 39, of Española was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos police station. The original charge was reckless driving on Central Avenue, Oct. 24, 2015.

    March 29
    2:36 p.m. — William Garrett, 30, of Los Alamos was arrested for possession of a controlled substance in the 3000 block of Trinity Drive.

    11:20 p.m. — Austin Gardner, 22, of Albuquerque was arrested on a charge of resisting/evading/obstructing an officer and refusing to stop vehicle in the 600 block of Trinity Drive.

    March 30
    3:33 a.m. — A 17-year-old Los Alamos male was arrested for marijuana possession (less than one ounce) at the intersection of 35th Street and Villa Street.

    11:06 p.m. — Burgandy Brock, 24, of Los Alamos was arrested for driving while under the influence at the intersection of Diamond Drive and University Drive.

    April 1

  • Water is Life
  • Jemez Pueblo man sentenced for murder

    The A 31-year-old Jemez Pueblo man was officially sentenced to life in prison March 30 for a murder he committed on the night of Dec. 28, 2011.
    On that night, tribal police said they first encountered the suspect, Gavin Yepa, near the intersection of NM4 and Southern Street. Yepa had flagged down their police cruiser and told them “there was a woman at his house that was not breathing.”
    Yepa took the police to his house, and sat down on the his couch while they investigated. Police said in their report that once inside, they saw a large amount of blood on the floor that went from the master bedroom, across the living room and into an other bedroom, where the body of Yepa’s victim was found on the floor.
    The woman was naked except for a partially-removed bra, was later identified as Lynette Becenti, 43.  
    Police declared Becenti  dead. They took Yepa into custody, and noted that he was intoxicated and his clothing was disheveled. Once in custody, further examination of his body revealed numerous scratches and abrasions, as if he had been in a fight.
    Through later interviews of Yepa’s friends, police were able to piece together the events leading up to Becenit’s murder. One of them said they picked up Yepa that night in their car and offered to take him to a store in San Ysidro.

  • Sotomayor: Still tilting at windmills

    The first question St. John’s College President Mark Roosevelt asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor during her Worrell Lecture series appearance Wednesday related to her childhood love of reading.
    Roosevelt asked if she still had time to read “with your ridiculously busy schedule” and which books have meant the most to her.
    Books, for Sotomayor, “have made me think of human nature, of life, of ideals, of discoveries – things that I would never on my own come to. I want to see the world through other people’s eyes, and I don’t have enough hubris to think that I will find this on my own, or find the richness that other people have discovered completely on my own.”
    She named three in particular that have most affected her.
    The first is the Bible, which “opened for me an understanding of the person that I wanted to become.”
    “I don’t think the choice of whether you do good in life or bad – or caring about whether you do good in life – is inherent. People assume it is, that somehow we’re born innately good, but I’m not sure that’s true,” Sotomayor said.
    Sotomayor keeps a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare in her office, which she opens periodically to mull over a passage.