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Today's News

  • Duane W. Smith project moves ahead

    Los Alamos’ Duane W. Smith Auditorium, the second largest entertainment venue north of Albuquerque, is about to get a  $1.2 million facelift.
    Representatives from fbt architects met with the public Tuesday in the lobby of the 66-year-old auditorium to discuss how to modernize the building’s exterior.
    The other purpose of the meeting was to gather everyone’s ideas, comments and feedback before moving on to the building phase, which is scheduled for May 2017.
    The main goal of the architects firm’s plans is to make the lobby more functional, bigger and more open.
    The firm’s other goal was to visually integrate the 956-seat auditorium into the Los Alamos High School campus. When the school was redesigned several years ago by fbt architects, the auditorium, which was built in 1950, was not included in the redesign.
    The new plans feature 3,600 square feet of new construction to the front of the building.
    “We are essentially taking this lobby down and building a new lobby that is almost twice the size,” said fbt architect Sanjay Engineer.
    The facade will feature paneling on the windows that will mimic the facade of the high school, which is located behind the theater.

  • Family celebrates 50 years at El Paragua

    In 1958, 12-year-old Larry and 10-year-old Pete Atencio began selling beef tacos and red pork tamales on Española’s main street.
    Their mother Frances made the tacos and tamales. Their father Luis bought the boys a patio umbrella for their stand to protect them from the elements, but they spent much of their time running the food out to the line of waiting cars. A taco sold for 15 cents and tamales were 10 cents. The stand was only open during the summer months, and a good day’s sales totaled $20.
    At that time, Frances and Luis were working as a secretary and a plumber, respectively, and raising nine children.
    “Cuisine was always a part of my mother’s life, from her mother and her grandmother,” said Angela Atencio-Sanchez, president of the local chain’s umbrella organization, Las Brazas Enterprises. “Both my parents, they loved to give, and they loved to do it with food. So she would make this food and take it to her office for her coworkers. And they would tell her, ‘This is really good. You really should think about selling it.’”

  • Miles, founder of Monitor, dies at 95

    Dan Miles was a pioneer in many ways.
    He came to Los Alamos with the idea of starting a newspaper for a town that didn’t have one.
    He was one of the three founders of the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Miles started the newspaper with John Barnett and Mark McMahon in 1963, in a small office above a jewelry store.
    They started with nothing more than two typewriters, a headline machine and four employees.
    Miles was also a geologist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    He died Wednesday at his home in Los Alamos. He was 95.
    His daughter Beki Welsch recalled some of the memories of her father’s time at the newspaper.
    As the Monitor’s advertising executive, Miles once secured an ad for the liquor store… and it ended up being placed on the same page as the police blotter and the DWIs.
    “The liquor store immediately cancelled their ad,” Welsch said with a laugh. As the paper’s main financial backer and money man, that’s just one of the many ups and downs Miles experienced in the Monitor’s early years.
    There was a bust in the oil business at the time, and they thought it would be a good idea to start a paper in Los Alamos.

  • UNM president says he won’t seek a 2nd term

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — With declining enrollment and a smaller allotment from the cash-strapped state, the University of New Mexico is bracing to have $22.5 million less to spend in fiscal year 2017.
    The school also will be looking to hire a new president.
    Robert Frank announced Friday that he won’t seek to renew his contract after it ends on May 31, 2017. “I am pleased with what we have accomplished during my presidency, and it will be with great pride that I hand over the reins to the next president, who can build upon our successes,” Frank said in a statement.
    He was hired by UNM in January 2012.
    The Board of Regents now has eight months to choose the school’s 22nd president.
    Board President Rob Doughty said the search would begin no later than next spring, and an interim president would be appointed if a successor to Frank isn’t found in a timely manner.
    On Thursday, Frank announced the university will put a freeze on hiring, and all college officials will perform departmental audits of temporary and part-time staff positions. Those positions that aren’t deemed to be critical will likely be cut.
    He said the expected losses mean everything from programs to staff and administrative positions could face cuts, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

  • Range Road bus turn-a-round improvements

    Public Works crews are scheduled to start work Monday on a bus turn around on Range Road just north of the intersection of Aspen Drive. 
    The work will primarily be limited to the east shoulder of Range Road. Motorists and pedestrians should watch for increased heavy equipment in the area.
    The work is anticipated to last about one month, weather permitting.
    The project consists of a paved bus turn-a-round off Range Road, which will provide transit service to Ponderosa Estates.
     

  • Police Beat 9-25-16

    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.

    Sept. 9
    9:05 a.m. — Police reported that a 45-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of an accident with injuries at State Highway 4.

    2:27 p.m. — Police reported that a 76-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of an accident with no injuries at Trinity Drive.

    Sept. 11
    12:50 a.m. — Victor Medina, 34, of Los Alamos was arrested for aggravated battery, great bodily harm in the 2000 block of 37th Street.

    12:50 a.m. — Matthew Parrish, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of criminal damage to property (less than $1000) in the 2000 block of 37th Street.

    11:21 a.m. — Police reported that a 57-year-old Woodstock man was the victim of an accident with no injuries at Kiva Street.

    Sept. 12

  • LANB’s parent company enters into stock purchasing agreement

    Trinity Capital, the parent company of Los Alamos National Bank, has entered into a stock purchasing agreement with three private equity firms.
    Patriot Financial Partners, Strategic Value Bank Partners and Castle Creek Financial Partners will be acquiring a minority stake in LANB through a $52 million recapitalization plan.
    President and Chief Executive Officer John Gulas of Trinity Capital and LANB, said the transaction was a good sign for the bank, which is still recovering from the 2008 recession and an ugly episode of financial mismanagement that occurred several years ago.
    “We are encouraged that our new investors have confidence in our turnaround efforts,” Gulas said. “We believe this new capital enables us to address the most difficult remaining challenge in restoring the company to a safe and sound condition.”
    When the recapitalization deal is finalized in October, two of the companies, Castle Creek Capital and Patriot Financial, will have one representative each appointed to LANB’s board.
    Within a year of all parties signing off on the deal, Trinity Capital will also be able to offer current shareholders up to $10 million in stock.
    Once the deal is done, the bank will round a corner by putting a rocky decade of alleged fraudulent assets reporting and recession debt behind it.

  • Authority selects new CEO for Spaceport America

    UPHAM (AP) — An engineer who has held senior management and planning posts at White Sands Missile Range is Spaceport America's new CEO.

    The board of the authority that oversees the commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico announced Thursday the selection of Daniel Hicks to replace Christine Anderson.

    Hicks' 34 years as an Army civilian employee at White Sands has included working on strategic planning and numerous programs involving missiles, sensors and space.

    Hicks is expected to assume his new positon in November. He's a graduate of Las Cruces High School and New Mexico State University.

    Anderson resigned this summer after holding the position since 2011.

  • DOE: $4 billion, 20 years to clean up legacy waste

    Representatives from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities scored a victory in Washington, D.C. last week when they came away with an official cost and time estimate of what it will take to clean up all the waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The group lobbied the Department of Energy to create a document called a “Lifecycle Cost Estimate.” The DOE estimates that it’s going to take about $4 billion and 20 years, if Los Alamos receives the annual funding recommended in the report. DOE officials made clear the document is meant only as a guideline
    The document covers 955 sites from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War eras. About 5,000 cubic meters of legacy waste remain. About half of that is stored below ground.
    Coalition representative and Los Alamos County Councilor Kristin Henderson said the report will make all the difference in keeping the cleanup organized, properly funded and on time.
    “Every DOE site has a lifecycle baseline, and for a long time, Los Alamos didn’t,” Henderson said. “What that meant is, we didn’t have a published understanding of all the things that needed to be cleaned up, what kind of level they were going to be cleaned up to, how much it’s going to cost and how many years it’s going to take.”

  • Today in history Sept. 21