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Today's News

  • Los Alamos loses a legend

     He was born with so little, but in the end, had given the community he chose to settle in so much. Los Alamos lost one of its most influential residents Wednesday.

    Nerses “Krik” Krikorian was born on a Turkish roadside in 1921. He was a refugee of the Armenian genocide. He was an immigrant, a chemist and a family man. He passed away Wednesday at 97.

    Krikorian, had such an influence on what Los Alamos is today that in a way, he is still here. He helped found the Los Alamos United Church of Los Alamos, the J. Oppenheimer Memorial Committee and he also helped create the original county charter. 

    He did all these things while working as a chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and raising a family. These are just some of the reminders of Krikorian’s dedication to making what started out as a place to put a secret laboratory into a real, working community. 

  • School board votes in $37.9M budget

    The Los Alamos School Board voted 5-0 Tuesday to pass a $37.9 million budget for the 2018-19 school year.

    The budget includes a 4.5 percent raise for all staff and teachers starting July 1. Raises for teachers over the last four budgets totaled 10 percent overall.

    Other budget highlights included the addition of a student success coordinator at the Los Alamos Middle School, a middle school math coach and the addition of a part-time Native American liaison for the middle school.

    The board began working on the budget at the beginning of the year, and prioritized the budget according to the goals and directives included in the school board’s Strategic Plan. The board adopted the Strategic Plan in April 2016. The top three priorities of the plan are student well being, student learning and teacher and staff well-being and excellence.

    The suggestion to add a Native American liaison came from the district’s Native American Parent Advisory Council.

    “There was a need to coordinate more closely with the tribal governors and to provide training for culturally appropriate material for students,” said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

  • LA County Council passes $188M budget

    The Los Alamos County Council passed the proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 in the amount of $188,838,880 Tuesday following two nights of departmental budget hearings.

    The budget, which was arrived at under a flat budget moratorium by County Manager Harry Burgess, will be submitted to the state prior to the June 1 deadline, and will then be adjusted either up or down depending on the outcome of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s contract status. The outcome of the lab’s bid won’t be made public for at least a couple of months.

    Should the contract come back putting LANL in the for-profit category, the council would start considering budget options, or add backs, submitted by each department.

    “Although flat budgets are easy to listen to and easy to approve, I think we’d all rather be fighting over a list of add backs at this point,” said Councilor Antonio Maggiore. “So I look forward to the contract getting resolved and being able to hack this out in the true, usual fashion and get a little more for the community.”

    But should the contract outcome be not-for-profit, the councilors would then have to look for cuts in the budget.

  • Road to be closed Tuesday

    Torreon Road in Los Alamos will be closed for a sewer repair Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Local access will be provided for residents and deliveries.
    Contact Cartwrights Plumbing for any questions or concerns at 505-982-2511.

  • New Mexico unemployment rate drops to 5.6 percent in March

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's unemployment rate is down as state officials report an increase in private sector jobs.

    The Department of Workforce Solutions' monthly report released Friday says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in March, down from 5.8 percent in February and 6.3 percent a year ago.

    New Mexico's total nonagricultural payroll employment grew by 8,900 jobs between March 2017 and March 2018, for an increase of just over 1 percent.

    The year-over-year increase in private sector employment was nearly equally split between service-providing industries and goods-producing industries.

    Mining and construction added 3,000 jobs for largest year-over-year jobs increase for an industry, while professional and business services added 1,900 jobs and leisure and hospitality employment increased by 1,900 jobs.

    Among other industrials, retail trade lost 1,100 jobs.
     

  • Seoul: N. Korean leader removes major nuclear sticking point

    BY FOSTER KLUG
    Associated Press

    SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that his rival, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, isn’t asking for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula as a precondition for abandoning his nuclear weapons. If true, this would seem to remove a major sticking point to a potential nuclear disarmament deal.

    North Korea, a small, authoritarian nation surrounded by bigger and richer neighbors, has always linked its pursuit of nuclear weapons to what it calls a “hostile” U.S. policy that is embodied by the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, the 50,000 stationed in Japan, and the “nuclear umbrella” security guarantee that Washington offers allies Seoul and Tokyo.

    Although Moon reported that North Korea isn’t asking for the U.S. troops to leave, he said the North still wants the United States to end its “hostile” policy and offer security guarantees. When North Korea has previously talked about “hostility” it has been linked to the U.S. troops in South Korea.

  • Marijuana debate stirs up governor's race in New Mexico

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca on Thursday called for the expansion of New Mexico's medical marijuana program and for legalization of recreational use, saying the poverty-stricken state is missing out on millions of dollars in tax revenues and jobs that could be spurred by the industry.

    Apodaca released his plan solidifying his position as a supporter of legalization as the race for governor heats up.

    Apodaca pointed to New Mexico's history as the first state to allow for research and experimentation with marijuana as a therapeutic drug. It was his father, then-Gov. Jerry Apodaca, who signed that legislation in 1978.

    The research program stalled and it wasn't until 2008 that New Mexico rolled out its medical cannabis program.

    "Why are we shooting for being the last to legalize cannabis for adult use?" Apodaca said.

    The push for legalization comes as New Mexico's medical marijuana program has grown exponentially in just the last two years. Producers licensed under the program reported record sales of more than $86 million in 2017 and the number of patients enrolled now tops 50,000.

  • Police Beat 4-15-18

    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.

    April 4
    8:20 p.m. – Los Alamos Police  investigated a tailgating incident in Los Alamos. Investigation is inactive.

    April 5
    10:50 a.m. – Los Alamos Police cited a pet owner for having two dogs roaming off the owner’s property, third offense.

    2:30 p.m. – Los Alamos Police referred a Los Alamos High School teen to juvenile authorities after finding drug paraphernalia on the teen’s person.

    5:35 p.m. – Hallie May Schwenk, 19, of Grants was arrested by Los Alamos Police on a magistrate court bench warrant and released.

    8:20 p.m. – Los Alamos Police investigated possible vandalism to a vehicle.

    April 6
    12:38 p.m. – Los Alamos Police investigated an unlocked storage unit that was supposed to be locked. Investigation is inactive.

    April 7

  • Forecasters: Storm to worsen New Mexico wildfire conditions

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Forecasters say a storm system approaching New Mexico will produce dangerous wildfire conditions in western New Mexico Thursday afternoon and evening and that blowing dust will reduce visibility along east-west oriented routes such as Interstate 40.

    The National Weather Service says key impacts from expected strong winds is that existing or new wildfires will likely spread rapidly and be hard to control and may send burning embers long distances.

    A briefing paper issued Thursday morning says isolated dry thunderstorms may start new fires across central New Mexico with the threat worsened by gusty and erratic winds.

    Meanwhile, snowfall accumulations in New Mexico's northern mountains are forecast to range from 2 to 6 inches with slick road conditions expected in the mountains.
     

  • Los Alamos resident helps veterans through horse therapy program

    Two weeks ago, Sabrina Larsen visited the North Mesa Stables with one of her friends. Her friend, who is a veteran, was brushing his horse and telling her how much it helped him deal with the after effects of war, she said.

    “It kind of resonated with me,” Larsen said.  

    Then, when she read an article in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s “Community Connections” newsletter about a program to donate horses to a therapy program for veterans, she decided to look into it.

    A Los Alamos County resident and horse owner, Larsen contacted Healing America’s Heroes, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that funds fly fishing trips and a horseback riding program for veterans suffering from mental and physical injuries they obtained during their service.

    Larsen’s own father-in-law, Richard Larsen, and her father, Thomas Granich, are also veterans. So, the program was a good match.

    One of the program’s board members, Don Brooks, said it is amazing what the program has done for the veterans that have gone through the program. Many of them come to the program without any confidence and depressed, affected by post traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries they’ve suffered during combat.

    So far, 46 veterans, men and women, have gone through the program.