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Today's News

  • Friends of Shelter break ties with county shelter

    Los Alamos Friends of the Shelter has dissolved its partnership with the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, walking away from a 18-year relationship.

    “We’ve tried to work with the shelter, but we felt there just seemed to be too many obstacles to getting volunteers in there, a lot of requirements for training and other things that made it really, really difficult to work with them,” Friends President Wendee Brunish said. “We wanted to partner with them, we wanted to help them out, but we just didn’t feel like we were really treated as a valued partner, so we decided to focus our efforts elsewhere.”

    The Friends have been partners with the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter since 1999. Service the Friends provided the shelter included paying for medical care, supplies, foster services and adoption promotion.

    The Los Alamos Friends of the Shelter provided the list of the potential adoptees that appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor every Sunday.

    “We’ve been discussing it for quite a while. We felt our time had come to work on other things,” Brunish said. “Our mission is to help animals and to save animals, and if all your efforts go toward overhead for your volunteer program… we felt we could focus our efforts better elsewhere.”

  • Contract competition to begin for LANL

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The competition for a multibillion-dollar contract to manage the troubled Los Alamos National Laboratory is beginning after a week in which the northern New Mexico facility was hit with criticism for its record of safety lapses.
    The National Nuclear Security Administration on Tuesday posted online its intent to conduct a competition for the management and operation contract. The agency is expected to release more details about the request for proposals in the coming weeks.
    The current $2.2 billion contract for Los Alamos National Security LLC to manage the lab ends in 2018. Some critics have said the bidding process will offer an opportunity to make changes at Los Alamos.
    Just last week, federal officials announced an investigation into the improper shipment of nuclear material from the lab. This follows other reports about the mishandling of plutonium and radioactive waste.
     

  • New Mexico set to announce more record-breaking tourism

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is expected next week to announce record-breaking tourism numbers for the southwestern state.
    The Republican governor is scheduled to unveil the state's latest tourism figures on July 5 at the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
    Last year, Martinez said around 700,000 more trips were taken in New Mexico in 2015.
    Martinez said half a million more people visited New Mexico in 2014 than in 2013 and credited the state's New Mexico True campaign. That campaign features the state's famous outdoor locations and New Mexico celebrities.
    New Mexico True advertisements have been spotted in airports around the country.
    Martinez is scheduled next month to visit Ruidoso, Roswell and White Sands National Monument as part of her tour to announce tourism numbers.
     

  • Eastern New Mexico University president retiring

    PORTALES (AP) — The longtime president of Eastern New Mexico University says he is retiring on July 1.

    Steven Gamble has presided over the small school for 16 years and has seen its enrollment grow by nearly 70 percent to a little over 6,000 students since 2001.

    Gamble will be replaced by Jeff Elwell of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Elwell is currently the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences there.

    The school says Gamble will still work quarter-time at the school in some capacity.

  • Governor orders flags at half-staff for fallen firefighter

    NARA VISA (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered flags to fly at half-staff Tuesday in honor of a volunteer firefighter who died from injuries suffered while battling a brush fire in eastern New Mexico.

    The executive order issued Monday said the community of Nara Visa could have been put in jeopardy had John Cammack and his fellow firefighters not stopped the blaze late last week.

    The 74-year-old Cammack was a career veterinarian and served as a volunteer firefighter for nearly 30 years.

    Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard tells The Eastern New Mexico News (http://bit.ly/2tP5amr) that Cammack was severely burned after falling from a fire engine after the winds shifted and the flames changed direction.

    It took three local fire departments more than 10 hours to corral the flames.

  • LA man arrested after road dispute involving gun

    Paul Geisik, 23, of Los Alamos was arrested on Sunday for aggravated assault against another driver.

    Los Alamos Police Department Corporal Michael Weiss was patrolling on June 18 when he received a call from dispatch concerning a reckless driver on San Ildefonso Road around 7:23 p.m. A caller had reported to dispatch a white BMW driving dangerously and brandishing a handgun.

    After Weiss caught up with the car in question, the white BMW pulled into a driveway, which turned out to be the home of Geisik’s father.

    Due to the possibility of a weapon being involved, Weiss waited for another unit to assist before approaching the vehicle. Once Corporal Eric Wilhoit arrived, Weiss approached the car and identified the driver as Geisik.
    Geisik’s father came out of the house and walked down to the vehicle while Weiss confirmed that Geisik had a gun in the vehicle.

    “I asked Paul what kind of gun was in the vehicle and he began to respond, ‘38 special,’ at which point Paul’s father interjected and told Paul not to answer any of my questions,” said Weiss in his report.

    Geisik then reportedly expressed that he wanted an attorney. Weiss had Geisik step out of his car and noticed the 23-year-old visibly trembling, Weiss said in the report.

  • House ethics panel launches inquiry of 2 Dems, plus aide

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics committee said Monday it is investigating complaints against two veteran Democratic lawmakers and the top aide to a third Democrat.

    Reps. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and John Conyers of Michigan, senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, are under investigation, the ethics panel said.

    The panel also is investigating Michael Collins, chief of staff to Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

    The independent Office of Congressional Ethics recommended the investigations, although the exact nature of the allegations is not clear.

    The ethics panel said in a statement that the inquiries do not in themselves reflect any judgment of wrongdoing.

    Joe Shoemaker, a spokesman for Lujan, said the ethics inquiry was "the result of a frivolous complaint, filed by a highly partisan outside group" about activities during a sit-in last year by Democrats urging House votes on gun control.

    The complaint "is without merit," Shoemaker said. "Congressman Luján is committed to abiding by House rules, is confident he has done so in this case and looks forward to a timely resolution by the Ethics Committee."

  • LAHS students present survey data to school board

    At the most recent Los Alamos Public School board meeting, a presentation was given by four Los Alamos High School students representing a leadership group involved with Risk and Resiliency Assessment Project for Students, also known as RAPS.

    RAPS was developed to include youth voice in interpreting the data from the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, or the YRRS.

    Every two years, high school and middle school students from all over New Mexico provide information about their health behaviors.

    RAPS gives the students the opportunity to analyze the most recent data from their school or community, present those data to community members and advocate on behalf of their peers and communities.

    “The ultimate goal of RAPS is for young people to make positive change in New Mexico schools and communities,” states RAPS’ website.

    Topic areas for the YRRS include risk behaviors related to alcohol and drug use, unintentional injury, violence, suicidal ideation and attempts, tobacco use, sexual activity, physical activity and nutrition.

    On March 18, 15 students from Los Alamos High School reviewed the results of their school’s 2015 YRRS data.

  • BPU OK’s hike in water rates

    The Los Alamos County Board of Utilities voted Wednesday to raise potable water and sewer rates by 8 percent for next year.

    The next step will be to present the rate hikes to Los Alamos County Council for approval, which will probably be in August.

    Based on recommendations from a series of Department of Public Utilities presentations Wednesday, the Board of Public Utilities voted to raise the sewer rates and water rates.

    The department had two presentations, one for sewer and one for water. For each one, it presented four alternatives that generally call for an 8-percent increase starting in 2018. Each of the alternatives then proposes various rate hikes on top of the 8 percent through 2027.

    The board unanimously forwarded both water and sewer increases on to Los Alamos County Council for final consideration and approval. For 2018, residents’ monthly sewer bills will be $47.46. For water, the rate will be $39.30.

    Los Alamos resident Brady Burke criticized the department for basing both increases on a projected 2.5 percent per-year increase in household income.

  • Police Beat 6-25-17

    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.

    May 17
    9:20 a.m. — Elijah Meason, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested for forgery.

    1:39 p.m. — Daniel Rodriguez, 38, of Santa Fe was arrested on a magistrate court warrant.

    1:58 p.m. — A woman brought a pellet gun into the Los Alamos Police Department to be destroyed.

    May 18
    9:24 p.m. — LAPD reported a runaway juvenile.

    May 19
    12 p.m. — LAPD arrested a male individual for trying to steal alcohol from Smith’s Marketplace.

    May 20
    8:45 a.m. — Los Alamos High School personnel reported a person in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

    7 p.m. — LAPD reported a case of domestic violence, but no charges were filed.

    May 21
    6:30 p.m. — Los Alamos Police cited an individual for a dog bite.

    May 22