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Public Safety

  • Intrusion embarrasses 'Fort Knox of uranium'

    OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials like to refer to the Y-12 National Security Complex as the Fort Knox for highly enriched uranium, which is why an unprecedented incursion by an 82-year-old nun and two fellow protesters has critics mocking the notion that the weapons plant is secure.

    Operations resumed last week after being shut down over the embarrassing incident 18 days earlier. The Department of Energy has called on the contractor that runs the sensitive facility just west of Knoxville to explain why it shouldn't be replaced.

    Y-12 makes uranium parts for every warhead in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, dismantles old weapons and is the nation's primary storehouse for bomb-grade uranium.

    Officials insist that despite the more than two hours that the protesters went unchallenged on the facility, there was never any danger of them getting to materials that could be detonated on site or used to assemble a dirty bomb.

  • Super Blitz wraps up with sobriety checkpoints

    Just because summer is almost over, don’t think the state and local police are slowing up on their DWI checkpoint strategy.
    On the contrary, state and local law enforcement plan to be ever more vigilant now that school and related school activities have started up again. They are also keeping an eye on Labor Day Weekend as well.
    According to a press release issued by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, the state police plan on running their program through Sept. 4, and some of those checkpoints may include state roads leading into Los Alamos.
    “During this final summer Super Blitz, state police officers throughout New Mexico will conduct 25 sobriety checkpoints and 67 DWI saturation patrols to deter drunk driving and arrest those who choose to drive after drinking,” said a statement in the release.
    On the local side, Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun also said the LAPD may run some checkpoints too, though he couldn’t specifically say where.
    He also said residents may want to know that the checkpoints aren’t where they make most of their arrests.
    “We’re fairly consistent in that we make about 50 to 60 DWI arrests a year,” said Purtyman. “But, from the number of checkpoints we do a year, we only make one or two arrests.”

  • Purtymun 'enjoyed every last minute'

    After 24 years of service to Los Alamos, Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun is retiring from the force. According to Purtymun, it was simply the right time to do so. 

    Besides exceeding all of the department’s requirements and goals for retirement by at least a year, Purtymun decided it wouldn’t be fair to his fellow officers to stick around any longer.

  • Dishwashers Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

    More than a million GE dishwashers are being recalled because of heating elements that can fail and cause fires. The recall includes about 1.3 million GE, GE Adora, GE Eterna, GE Profile and Hotpoint dishwashers.

  • Police Beat 08-07-12

    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.

    July 26

    10:38 p.m. ­­–– A 46-year-old Los Alamos woman reported a burglary of her vehicle in the 100 block of La Mesa Circle.

    July 27

    4:09 p.m. –– Donavan Vanwijkweijer, 18, was arrested on a warrant issued by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court, 2500 Trinity Dr.
    July 29

  • Cone Zone 08-05-12

    Pavement Preservation Program

    Crews will be working to finish on Cañada Way then moving to Rover from Carlsbad to Grand Canyon, and the Longview.
    Flyers will be distributed 48 hours in advance of work beginning in the immediate area. Once construction gets to your area, please ensure that all vehicles are parked off-street.
    Expect flagging operations, minor delays, and typical construction activity. Please note that progress may be slowed by rain or mechanical delays.
    Other Los Alamos streets included in this year’s program include Range Road and North Mesa Road from Hawk Drive to just east of the Posse Lodge.

    Eastern Area 2 Concrete, Paving and Utility Project – Phase 1

  • Flash Flood Watch Noon to 10 p.m. today

    FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON MDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING...

    THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

    * A PORTION OF NORTH AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO... INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS... CHUSKA MOUNTAINS... FAR NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... JEMEZ MOUNTAINS... LOWER CHAMA RIVER VALLEY... NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS... NORTHWEST PLATEAU... SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS... WEST CENTRAL HIGHLANDS... WEST CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND WEST CENTRAL PLATEAU.

    * FROM NOON MDT TODAY THROUGH THIS EVENING

  • Western wildfire recovery likely to take years

    DENVER (AP) — A once-thriving Colorado neighborhood of homes and healthy trees has been reduced to a barren expanse of ash and debris. Across the state, a river prized for its trout, rapids and pristine water instead flows as an oily, black brew every time rain falls on nearby slopes charred by wildfire.
    In New Mexico, the Santa Clara Pueblo is seeking volunteers to fill sandbags for fear the American Indian village of 3,100 will be washed away by runoff from mountainsides left denuded by a blaze last year.
    Wildfires across the West are burning homes, businesses, bridges and other infrastructure necessary for everyday life — and the disaster isn’t over when the wildfire is snuffed out and the firefighters go home.

  • Officials prep for massive casualty drill

    Though the meeting at White Rock Fire Station No. 3 looked like just another casual get together between town officials, it was anything but.

    County, emergency and school officials met in White Rock Tuesday to dress rehearse for an event no one hopes ever happens; a mass shooting at Los Alamos High School. Officials are calling it “Operation Hilltopper.”

    In October, the school is going to be ground zero for the town-wide emergency drill, a drill designed to test for weak spots in the way Los Alamos responds to a mass casualty event.

    The White Rock meeting was about smoothing out the details before the main event Oct. 8.

  • Almost entire Cuba fire department quits

    CUBA, N.M. (AP) — Almost the entire volunteer firefighting department in Cuba has quit, raising concerns about protection for the small northern New Mexico town.

    KOAT-TV reports that 18 of the town's 21 firefighters turned in their helmets Tuesday night.

    Some firefighters told KOAT they quit because of a lack of support. They say the city has refused their requests for new equipment and EMT training.