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Today's News

  • LA resident convicted of killing wife released from prison

    Jack Markham, 64, was released from prison Monday, nine years after killing his wife in their Los Alamos home.

    In 2008, Markham shot his wife, Robin Markham, three times in the chest Aug. 4, 2008, inside their Los Alamos home. In May 2009, he was convicted of second-degree murder.

    Markham did not explain in court why he killed his wife. He received 15 years with five suspended followed by two years mandatory probation and he must pay restitution for his wife’s funeral expenses upon his release.

    “He was supposed to serve 10, and I believe it’s only been nine, and I’m a little disappointed,” Robin Markham’s friend Geri Perrault said Monday. “I’m curious myself, as to why he’s being let out. I don’t have any good comments to say about that, nothing good to say.”

    Articles in the Los Alamos Monitor at the time indicated that a struggle between the Markhams took place before the shooting. Evidence presented at the 2008 trial detailed that Robin Markham was missing several fingernails and that there were bruises found on several parts of her body.

    “She did everything for that man,” Perrault said. “I still don’t know why, even after talking with his family, why he did what he did, he never did say.”

  • 19-year-old died rock climbing in White Rock

    A local teen tragically fell to his death Sunday after losing his footing in the White Rock Canyon. News of the heartbreaking death has not only pained the community, but also had people questioning the safety of that area.

    County officials confirmed Monday that 19-year-old hiker as Trevor Matuszak, of Los Alamos, died from his injuries.

    Matuszak was hiking with two friends in the area known as Hell’s Hole, a treacherous cave located on the side White Rock Canyon.

    According to the accompanying hikers, Matuszak lost his footing in a steep portion of Hell’s Hole and fell into the canyon. The area was too perilous for the hikers to climb down in order to reach Matuszak, so they called 911 for help.

    Los Alamos Fire Department and Los Alamos Police Department officers were dispatched to the canyon at about 5:30 p.m. Emergency response crews trained in rock climbing under hazardous conditions were able to rappel to the scene of the accident, with assistance from LAPD.

    Rescue crews were able to reach Matuszak, but determined that he had apparently died of his injuries in the fall. Crews were able to retrieve his body from the canyon just before nightfall.

    LAFD and LAPD crews safely rescued the other two hikers accompanying Matuszak out of the canyon.

  • New Mexico student reading scores up, math stagnant

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico student reading tests scores across the state rose slightly, but math scores remain stagnant, according to results released Monday.

    The new numbers show around 29 percent of students tested this spring are proficient or better in reading, and about 20 percent are proficient or better in math. That was a slight jump in reading scores from 2016 while math results fell .2 percentage points.

    Still, the results revealed that since the introduction of assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, less than a third of all New Mexico students are proficient.

    More than 80 percent of New Mexico public school students from grade 3 to 11 aren't proficient in grade-level math.
    And around 71 percent aren't proficient in reading.

    The tests, administered by New Mexico and 10 other states, are designed to show how well schools helped students from grades 3 to 11 meet Common Core standards.

    New Mexico Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski said tests with more rigorous standards are what the 21st Century economy will require and all schools have the choice to make improvements.

  • Senate committee OK’s funds for key LANL programs

    The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation Tuesday that, if passed by the House and Senate intact this fall, would bring $38.4 billion in funding to New Mexico – much of that going to the state’s national laboratories.

    The funds would also go to support the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nuclear waste treatment plant in Carlsbad, and various federal water restoration projects within the state.

    Los Alamos National Laboratory programs funded by the committee include the B61 nuclear weapon life extension program at $788.5 million, $200 million for plutonium pit manufacturing and $161 million for the supercomputer development program.

    Sandia and Los Alamos National laboratories are working on ways to extend the B61 program’s life by at least 20 years.

    Sandia is working on adding a guidance system to the tail and LANL’s role is to update the weapon’s other components.

    The first completed B61 unit is due in March of 2020. The project’s estimated cost is $8.1 billion. The life extension program is being managed by the National Nuclear Safety Administration.

    The appropriations committee also added millions in funding to help bolster the laboratory’s aging infrastructure.

  • Waste water plant failure imminent

    Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities officials recommended to the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities Wednesday to make plans to replace the White Rock Waste Water Treatment Plant as soon as possible.

    “It’s clear, with the risk assessment, the financial analysis, the cost benefit and the lowest impact to our ratepayers long term is to build a new plant as fast as we can,” said Deputy Utilities Manager James Alarid.

    During a presentation on the status of the plant Alarid explained that a major component at the plant has failed at the 50-year-old plant this July.

    Alarid proposed to the board they start designing a new plant in fiscal year 2020 and start building the plant in fiscal year 2021.

    Funding for project is expected to come through an 8-percent water rate increase the board recently approved but the

    Los Alamos County Council has yet to pass. The council is expected to take a vote on the increase Aug. 8.

    “Of course, the wildcard in all of this is it’s dependent on multiple year rate increases,” Alarid said. “...It’s pretty much necessary for any path forward.”

  • Voices of LA to meet Monday

    Voices of Los Alamos invites the community to attend their upcoming meeting on Monday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church.

    Voices of Los Alamos is a political action group affiliated with the Indivisible Movement that focuses on fueling a progressive grassroots network.

    This action group was created as a way for Los Alamos residents to voice their concerns over the current political events, both at the state and federal level, and give people a space to come together, discuss and come up with an action plan.

    Every month covers a different topic, ranging from the environment, the 2018 elections, immigration and health care in order to gather ideas and opinions.

    Co-organizers Elena Giorgi and Cristina Olds spoke with the LA Monitor about what the meeting will cover and why they think LA residents should attend.

    First on the agenda for Monday’s meeting includes updates on the Michelle Lujan Grisham fundraiser in Los Alamos, the Sheriff’s Office debate and the Council on immigrant resolution.

    On July 15, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham attended a fundraiser at LA resident Kyle Wheeler’s house. Lujan Grisham was born in Los Alamos and is running for Governor in the 2018 election. Olds will review her notes from that fundraiser and apprise attendees of Lujan’s goals.

  • Smith’s pharmacist for national service award

    Sometimes the people doing the most incredible things can be found right in the neighborhood grocery store. One such person is Smith’s pharmacist, Katie Fry.

    Fry was nominated for a national level, Smith’s Community Service Award by Diane Ogborn, Phar.D, RPH. Ogborn is a clinical pharmacist and diabetes instructor for the pharmacist diabetes certification course provided by Smith’s.

    When Ogborn overheard Fry talking during a break at the training session, the pair spent their whole lunch hour talking about her work in Haiti and viewing pictures on Fry’s phone.

    Fry first went to Haiti with the Friends of the Children of Haiti (FOTCOH) in July of 2012, and this September will make her fifth trip in six years.

    “I love seeing how Friends of the Children of Haiti makes a difference in the lives of the people of Cyvadier and the surrounding communities,” said Fry. “The simple treatment of scabies and worms to make a child or adult more comfortable, to provide lifesaving antibiotics to treat severe infections and to see a malnourished child become a healthy weight and start to develop as expected in ways we take for granted here.”

  • Police Beat 7-23-17

    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.

    July 12
    1:30 a.m. — LAPD reported an individual that was taken to the Los Alamos Medical Center due to a dog bite.

    7:30 a.m. — Los Alamos Police Department investigated a report of shoplifting at Smith’s Marketplace.

    July 13
    7:52 a.m. — Celso Ramos, 37, of Santa Cruz, was arrested on a magistrate and district court warrant.

    8:37 a.m. — LAPD reported a golf ball thrown at the entrance window of the Barranca Mesa pool.

    2:12 p.m. — LAPD pursued a reckless driver and discontinued due to the safety of others.

    5:39 p.m. — Los Alamos Police Department arrested a male involved in a car accident for driving on an invalid/revoked license.

    6:30 p.m. — LAPD cited an individual for public disturbance.

    7:40 p.m. — Malcom R. Torres, 23, of Santa Cruz, was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license.

  • On The Docket 7-23-17

    June 6
    Judith Clendenen-Fisher was found guilty of improper regulation of weeds, brush piles, refuse and rubbish, as well as failure to appear in court. The sentence was deferred and the defendant must pay $120 in court costs.

    Mary Greene was found guilty of failure to obey a traffic signal. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Elaine Guenette was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Jan Tice was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Donald Finley was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    June 8
    Kristan Berg was found guilty of an improper turn, failure to pay and failure to appear in court. The defendant was fined $75 and must pay $130 in court costs. The defendant’s license was also suspended.

    Henry Flores was found guilty of following another vehicle too closely, which resulted in an accident, and was sentenced to community service.

  • 2017 Sectional Duplicate bridge tourney set for July 28-30 in LA

    The 56th annual Los Alamos Sectional Duplicate bridge tournament will be July 28-30 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

    Last year’s tournament attracted more than 150 bridge players from within New Mexico and from surrounding states. More than 100 players were from outside Los Alamos County.

    The tournament starts at 2 p.m. on July 28, with stratified and 499er pair games. Another stratified pair game is scheduled for 7 p.m. that day.

    Saturday, July 29, the schedule will include stratified and 499er pair games at 9 a.m., as well as a compact knockout team game. The 2 p.m. schedule on that day is the same.

    On Sunday, July 30, the tournament will host a stratified Swiss team and a 499er stratified Swiss team event starting at 9:30 a.m.

    Lynn Yokel from Seattle will serve as the tournament director in charge and Jerry Fleming will be the local tournament chairman.

    Duplicate bridge is a competitive but friendly bridge game where several foursomes play the same hands. Their scores are determined by how well they did compared to others who held the same hands.