Local News

  • LANL Director Charles McMillan announces plans to retire at end of year

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charles McMillan announced Tuesday his plans to retire at the end of year.

    McMillan informed LANL employees during an in-person, all-employee meeting, according to a release.

     “It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Director these past six years. Every day, I have been in awe of the people of this great Laboratory and what we have been able to contribute to this nation’s security,” McMillan told employees, according to the release.

    “Charlie McMillan has led Los Alamos National Laboratory with a rare combination of commitment, intelligence and hard work,” said Norm Pattiz, Chairman of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the management and operations contractor for the lab. “Because of his passion for the Lab, its missions and its people, he agreed to stay on as Director at the Board’s request, past his originally planned retirement date. We appreciate Charlie’s commitment and believe he has put this iconic institution in a strong position to continue serving the country for many years to come.” 

  • Police Beat 9-3-17

    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.

    Aug. 22
    9:40 a.m. — An individual reported two holes were drilled into the gas tank of a van near La Vista Church.

    9:45 a.m. — Police arrested two juveniles at LAHS. One individual was arrested for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. The other individual was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

    11:09 a.m. — Brandon Garcia, 41, of Española was arrested on a two magistrate court bench warrants and also a district court warrant.

    Aug. 23
    9:16 a.m. — LAPD reported a mailbox which appeared to have been backed into.

    11:15 a.m. — Los Alamos Police investigated a report of larceny.

    1 p.m. — An individual was cited for an animal which displayed menacing behavior.

    Aug. 24
    10:08 a.m. — Garrett J. Eckhart, 36, of Los Alamos was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant.

  • On the Docket 9-3-17

    July 13
    Andrew Temple was fined $75 for speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Sven Vogel 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.

    Daniel Kaleb was fined $25 for speeding one to five miles an hour over the speed limit and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Juanes Maldonado 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.

    July 24
    Wei Wen pleaded no contest for failing to display a current and valid registration plate and for failing to appear in court. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $130 in court costs.

    Siri Darshan Khalsa 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.

    Lawrence Salazar was fined $50 for speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Mahavir Jain was fined $50 for following another vehicle too closely and must pay $65 in court costs.

  • Smith’s hit with another shoplifting incident

    Just two days after the shoplifting and crash incident that resulted in two arrests, Smith’s Marketplace suffered another shoplifting attempt.

    Around 4:43 p.m. on Sunday, Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Monica Salazar-Casias was contacted by the Smith’s Loss Prevention Officer, Melissa Chamberlain, regarding a female and two males who she suspected were trying to shoplift. She also reported that the same group had been in the store on Aug. 25, and apparently had taken some items.

    A female, who later identified herself as Maria Tafoya, was wearing a pink shirt and a male in a gray-and-black plaid shirt and cap was behind her.

    Chamberlain reportedly stopped Tafoya before she left with a grocery cart full of items. Tafoya had reportedly passed the checkout point and made no attempt to pay for the items.

    Salazar-Casias and Cpl. Boe were in the Smith’s parking lot when they reportedly saw a man and woman that matched Chamberlain’s description, so Salazar-Casias pulled up next to them and asked what was going on. Tafoya replied, “Nothing,” and denied taking any items from the store.

  • Potential LANL contractors meet with county leadership

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities met Wednesday with representatives from two contractors considering bidding on Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management and operations contract.

    The meeting was arranged at the last minute at a local restaurant by RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero for potential contractors.

    Others at the meeting included County Council Chair David Izraelevitz, councilors James Chrobocinski and Chris Chandler, and County Manager Harry Burgess.

    The contractors were in town touring LANL and meeting with the officials from the lab’s oversight agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration.

    CEO Eric Sundin, from Virginia-based Internal Computer Services and David E. Daniel, deputy chancellor of the University of Texas System were the only contractors who attended Wednesday’s meeting.
    Romero arranged the meeting so contractors could learn how much northern New Mexico relies on the lab’s economic and philanthropic commitment to the region.

    Daniel said he appreciated the effort.

    “I thought it was a great meeting. I sincerely appreciate the locally elected officials, the community reaching out to prospective offerors. I made many great connections today,” Daniel said.

  • LA Makers: A space to share

    Special to the Monitor

    Of all places the makers’ space trend might be nurtured, Los Alamos and White Rock should have been on the map some time back.

    However, until a year ago, the idea of sharing tools, practice and expertise in a space – a relaxed classroom – wasn’t well known here, said Los Alamos Makers founder and biologist Prisca Tiasse, Ph.D.

    In a town where home workshops are legend and legendary, Tiasse has discovered there’s also a desire to share.

    “Even though they have their own shop, they like the idea of community; they like coming together and helping,” said Tiasse.

    Los Alamos Makers offers opportunities to learn or share skills such as coding, sewing, woodworking and soldering – an important component of simple computer board construction.

    Children, teenagers and adults want to learn skills they haven’t acquired at home or in a more formal classroom, she said. Makers’ spaces had their beginning in big cities, among those who wanted to make or repair things but lacked space for tools and their own workshops, she said.

  • Hilltop property could open as hotel in a year

    The new owner of the former Hilltop House Hotel on Trinity Drive said plans are underway to open the property as a hotel again in a year.

    The renovation would bring back to life the shuttered brown-and-blue building that greets visitors at the gateway to Los Alamos.

    According to Kuzi Mutsiwegota, of Atomic City Investments, the company that bought the 78-room hotel in 2015, their goal is to try and get the hotel open within a year. Their main obstacle right now he said is bringing the 44-year-old building up to current building code standards.

    “We are working as aggressively as we can to get it open,” Mutsiwegota said. “..We are trying to have everything taken care of appropriately,” Mutsiwegota said.

    Since taking over the project, Atomic City has been working with the county to  bring things up to code.

    “We’ve had some preliminary meetings about our plans, and they seem to be happy with that, but the reality is we have to show them specifics that they can then vet against code. Once we get through that process, we will really begin to green light it,” Mutsiwegota said.

  • Fatalities reported in accident at state land oil pad site in Loving Friday

    The State Land Office has reported an accident involving fatalities has occurred on state trust lands south of Loving today.

    Welders working on frac tanks, tanks involved in oil production operations at the oil well pad site, were involved in the accident that resulted in the reported fatalities, according to Deputy Commissioner Laura Riley.

    “I know there are fatalities. I can’t confirm how many,” Riley said.

    The State Land Office was notified of the accident at about 3:30 p.m.

    The site is about 5 acres in size and is located away from residents, according to very early estimates, Riley said.

    Riley will be monitoring the ongoing situation, she said.

    “It is with great sadness that I learned of the tragic accident and loss of life on State Trust Lands in Eddy County,” said State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn in a statement issued late today. “On behalf of the State Land Office, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims.  The investigation is unfolding and my staff is monitoring the situation and cooperating with authorities as needed.”

  • Chamisa to hold yard, bake sale for Hurricane Harvey victims

    Chamisa Elementary School is planning to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey this September with a yard and bake sale.
    The sale will be in the Chamisa Elementary School parking lot Sept. 16.

    The sale’s organizers looking for people to loan them tables for the event and baked items.    

    They are also looking for gently used backpacks, school supplies and stuffed animals to take to the students of an elementary school, Port Aransas School, that was flooded during the storm.

    The donations, baked items and the tables can be dropped of Sept. 15, or on the day of the event.

    Residents dropping off items before the event can contact Tammy Jaurique at 623-341-0663 or contact her by email at tajaurique@gmail.com. Lindsay Young, at 806-290-6991, can also take in donation, tables and items for the sale. Her email is lindsayyoun@gmail.com.

    The idea started through some families that recently moved from Texas who knew of relatives caught up in the hurricane.

  • Congress eyes vote next week on aid for Harvey storm

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Congress is gearing up for a vote as early as next week on a multibillion-dollar down payment on relief aid for Harvey.

    White House and congressional aides said Thursday an emergency request to replenish rapidly shrinking aid reserves is coming from the Trump administration as early as Friday and that votes in both the House and Senate would quickly follow.

    Members of the Texas and Louisiana delegations are pressing for immediate action when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill next week from their summer recess, and they have pledges from top GOP leaders such as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that the House will quickly respond. McCarthy told lawmakers from Texas and Louisiana on a conference call late Wednesday, “We are with you,” a GOP aide said Thursday.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency is spending existing disaster aid reserves — just $2.1 billion as of Thursday – at a high rate.