Today's News

  • Candyman expansion heralded; more music, less gas

    When the Candyman – an iconic music store in Santa Fe – began stocking a few counters with guitar strings, reeds and other musicians’ necessities at the Los Alamos Music Academy on DP Road last year, the building’s light-filled foyer captured his imagination, said Rand Cook, co-owner along with his wife, Cindy.

    Light pours in from the two-story block of windows and plants thrive in the atrium.

    “I wanted to fill it with guitars,” Cook said.

    His vision has come true.

    Without displacing LAMA, the Cooks expanded the selection of items to include electric and acoustic guitars, ukuleles and banjos, cymbals and other percussion instruments, along with a broader selection of electronics.

    Room 102, which used to be a music room for students, now provides a visual feast of guitars and other stringed instruments.

    The expansion was completed recently, in time for holiday shoppers, and is actually the second time the Cooks have expanded at the location.

    Last spring, the store expanded its hours to help those looking for equipment and supplies outside of the hours open for LAMA students.

  • Health care options expanded for some New Mexico vets

    ALAMOGORDO (AP) — Specialized care for some veterans in southern New Mexico will be more accessible thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation say the agency is giving veterans in Alamogordo the new option to seek advanced care at the VA medical center in El Paso, Texas.

    Until now, veterans in Alamogordo needing specialized care have been referred to the Albuquerque VA hospital, which is more than three hours away.

    U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce and Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urged VA officials to make the administrative changes after hearing from veterans who said they were delaying or foregoing care because the drive to Albuquerque was too difficult.

    Several members of the state Legislature also advocated for the change.

  • Diamond Drive closure today

    Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division will close the northbound and southbound lanes on Diamond Drive at the Los Alamos County Fire Department from 1-3 p.m. today to install new firetruck crossing signs

    Motorists are asked to proceed with caution through these work zones.

  • LAFD personnel deployed to California wildfires

    For the third time in the past four months, personnel and equipment from the Los Alamos Fire Department were sent west to help battle wildfires in California.

    The LAFD’s Wildland Fire team has joined a task force of fire fighting agencies from New Mexico to work on the wildfires in California as of Thursday morning.

    Some wildfires there have scorched more than 100,000 acres this week near Ventura, Calif., and Los Angeles, fed by fierce Santa Ana winds and dry vegetation.

    LAFD Captain Tim Johnson, Driver Engineer Van Leimer and Firefighter Brian Palmer left Thursday morning in the fire department’s Brush 1, a Wildland Engine. Brush 1 is one of two county-owned wildland firefighting apparatus, according to a prepared statement by Wildland Division Chief Kelly Sterna.

  • Sheriff: 3 dead in New Mexico school shooting

    AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A shooting at a New Mexico high school left two students and the suspect dead Thursday, authorities said as schools throughout the small town shut down for the day.

    Police did not release any details about the shooter but confirmed the other two people who were killed attended Aztec High School. No other injuries were reported, officials said.

    "The families of the victims were notified immediately. They are in our thoughts and prayers," state police said in a statement on social media.

    State and federal authorities are investigating what led to the shooting and did not immediately release any details about the circumstances. A news conference was planned.

    The school of about 900 students was cordoned off as authorities cleared the campus and teens were taken to another location.

    A crowd of nervous parents gathered outside City Hall in the moments after the shooting to wait for more information as officers tried to reassure them about the safety of their children.

    Despite the closure of all schools in Aztec, authorities said there were no other credible threats to students at the high school or other schools in the neighboring communities of Bloomfield or Farmington.

  • New Mexico Legislature won't release harassment records

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature is declining to release records about two complaints of sexual harassment involving Statehouse maintenance staff.

    Legislative Council Service Director Raul Burciaga on Thursday said the documents are exempt from public disclosure under provisions of the state Inspection of Public Records Act regarding matters of opinion in personnel files.

    Legal representatives for the Legislature say there have been only two formal complaints of workplace harassment, in response to public records request about complaints dating back to January 2013. None involve lawmakers or lobbyists.

    It is unclear how the complaints were resolved.

    New Mexico lawmakers are preparing to rewrite anti-harassment policies for the Statehouse that were adopted in 2008.

    Female lobbyists and elected officials say sexual harassment goes unchecked in the Capitol amid ineffective complaint procedures.

  • Aztec shooting victims in thoughts, prayers of LAPS school officials

    The deadly shooting Thursday at a public school in the Four Corners is deeply troubling, said the Los Alamos Public Schools board and the superintendent.

    The shooting left three people dead – two students and the alleged – at Aztec High School in Aztec Thursday morning.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and the LAPS school board said following a request from the Monitor for a statement.

    The victims, their families and the entire Aztec community are in their thoughts and prayers, they said in the prepared statement.

    They also wished to acknowledge the quick actions of the school staff and Aztec’s first responders.

    The eight Los Alamos schools are updating safety plans and conducting training sessions to educate staff and students in response to an active shooter or other safety threat, according to the statement.

    The district has been training with a standard response protocol called Lock Down, Lock Out Evacuate, and Shelter in Place. More details are available at a website: iloveuguys.org/srp.html.

  • House passes stopgap spending bill to avert weekend shutdown

    By ANDREW TAYLOR and ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Thursday passed a stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown this weekend and buy time for challenging talks on a wide range of unfinished business on Capitol Hill.

    The measure passed mostly along party lines, 235-193, and would keep the government running through Dec. 22. The Senate was expected to swiftly approve the measure as early as Thursday night and send it to President Donald Trump.

    The vote came as Trump and top congressional leaders in both parties huddled to discuss a range of unfinished bipartisan business on Capitol Hill, including the budget, a key children's health program and aid to hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida — and, for Democrats and many Republicans, protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

    "We are here to make progress. We have some important issues that we share with you," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told Trump at the White House, ticking off issues including the opioid crisis, funding for veterans and an expired children's health insurance program. "All things that have bipartisan support in the Congress."

    Trump relied, "That's very true."

  • Interior delays Obama-era regulation on methane emissions

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department said Thursday it is delaying an Obama-era regulation aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands.

    A rule being published in the Federal Register delays the methane regulation until January 2019, saying the previous rule is overly burdensome to industry. Officials said the delay will allow the federal Bureau of Land Management time to review the earlier rule while avoiding tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs to industry that may turn out to be unnecessary.

    The action marks at least the third time the Trump administration has moved to delay or set aside the Obama-era rule, which was imposed last year. The rule forces energy companies to capture methane that's burned off or "flared" at drilling sites because it pollutes the environment.

    An estimated $330 million a year in methane is wasted through leaks or intentional releases on federal lands, enough to power about 5 million homes a year.

    Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a leading contributor to global warming. It is far more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide but does not stay in the air as long.

    A federal judge threw out an earlier bid to delay the rule.

  • Polaris Charter School proposal draws crowd

    Organizers of a proposed charter school for middle school-age students in Los Alamos welcomed more than 100 people to an introductory reception Friday night at Fuller Lodge.

    Jamie Civitello, a parent, said she came out on a busy night to learn more about the Polaris Charter School proposal.

    “I support land-based learning and I’d like to have more options,” she said, after thumbing through a large book – one of many materials set out, along with instructional games, to engage children and their parents at tables set up for that purpose.

    Meanwhile, children examined different types of rocks under magnification or picked up simple coding techniques on a lap top computer to move around a plastic creature.

    Organizers of the proposed Polaris Charter School, for students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades said they’ve got quite a journey ahead of them to reach their goal of opening the school by August 2019.

    They face an initial deadline in January for a notice of intent to the state Public Education Department, then a full application in June.

    Funding, a facility, and whether Polaris will be a “local” charter school authorized by Los Alamos Public Schools or the state Public Education Commission are still unknown, organizers said.