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Today's News

  • Bank lays off 26 as part of realignment

    Los Alamos National Bank CEO John Gulas said the 26 layoffs announced last week were part of the bank’s overall plan for continued financial stability.
    “The biggest goal was to make sure we have a sustainable organization,” Gulas said.
    The layoffs extended throughout the organization, with customer service being the least affected, and all six of LANB’s branches remain open.
    Gulas could not provide an exact figure of how many of those workers worked at the White Rock branch and the main headquarters in Los Alamos, but said due to the fact that the bank’s headquarters were in Los Alamos County, “It would probably be more in Los Alamos County because this is our biggest office.”
    Each worker received severance payment and aid in finding employment.
    Earlier this year, Gulas also eliminated may positions through attrition. Those included the chief operating officer position and the chief wealth officer position.
    “We were very cautious when we were hiring to make sure we were taking this target into consideration. We used a lot of attrition to get where we needed to be,” Gulas said.

  • County hires new airport manager

    The county has hired Cameron Humphres to be Los Alamos Airport’s new manager, county officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

    Humphres, who previously who spent 19 months as a manager for Santa Fe Municipal Airport, is very familiar with Los Alamos. His grandfather lived in Los Alamos and built an airplane here.

    “I spent the most impressionable years of my life at the airport with him,” Humphres said in a written statement.  “Those experiences would become the catalyst for a career in airport management and military service.”

    Humphres will begin his new job Nov. 6. Before working in Santa Fe, Humphres worked for eight years as executive director of the Rapid City Regional Airport in South Dakota. Humphres also holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine and instrument ratings.

    Humphres also worked as a B-1 bomber test pilot and as an A-10 mechanic., and has experience as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. Humphres has accreditation from the American Association of Airport Executives and he also has a master’s degree in aviation business administration.

    Humphres will be replacing Los Alamos Airport Manager David Ploeger, who retired earlier this month.

  • Burke eyes council post for next election

    Los Alamos resident Brady Burke has thrown his hat in the ring for a seat on Los Alamos County Council next year, sensing people are looking for more responsive government.
    “I get the idea that the government has sort of lost touch with the voters. There’s that disconnect, that people feel they don’t have a voice,” Burke said.
    Burke admits in the past he was not politically active, but that all changed in May when county residents voted against the county raising $20 million through a sale of general obligation bonds by a slim margin.
    The money was to go toward funding five projects which included a recreation center in Los Alamos and a splash pad in White Rock’s Piñon Park. The bond came with a property tax increase.
    Though the voters rejected the bond sale, it was enough for Burke to get involved.
    Burke said didn’t like that shortly after the sale, county voted to go ahead and build some of the projects anyway using the additional $13 million the county has in its capital improvement fund.

  • Science standards debate fills S.F. hall to capacity

    SANTA FE – Hundreds appeared Monday in Santa Fe for the single public hearing scheduled to comment on controversial science standards proposed by the state’s Public Education Department.
    Throughout the morning, no one spoke in favor of PED’s proposal, many saying the department’s rewritten version of the national Next Generation Science Standards, known as Next Gen, were politically motivated.
    The hearing was overseen by Kimberly Ulibarri, a PED hearing officer. Monday was the last day to submit comments.
    Two Los Alamos schools officials, Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and board member Andrea Cunningham, had signed up to speak, but due to a lengthy interruption from a false fire alarm and problems managing the hearing’s sign-in sheets, the two didn’t speak. A second board member was called on to speak.
    Next Gen science standards were developed in 2013 by a consortium of 26 states, including people in New Mexico, and other organizations, such as National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Research Council.
    Changes made at PED include replacing references to climate change with “temperature fluctuations,” removes mention of the earth’s age as 4.8 billion years, and tweaks instruction on evolution.

  • NNSA finishes W80-1 alteration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has completed the First Production Unit (FPU) of the W80-1 Alteration (Alt) 369. This accomplishment is an important step toward maintaining nuclear capabilities that will help deter attacks on the United States and its allies.
    “The dedicated team at Pantex went above and beyond to complete this milestone before fiscal year 2017 came to a close,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. “NNSA can now successfully kick off fiscal year 2018 by entering full production for the W80-1 Alt 369. Such modernization efforts are key to maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.”
    The W80-1, a warhead carried by the air-launched cruise missile, was first introduced to the stockpile in 1982. An alteration is a change to a component that does not alter the weapon’s operational capability.
    The Alt 369 replaces Limited Life Components in the warhead.

  • Santa Fe Sheriff still investigating fatal crash

    Investigators are looking for any witnesses to the driving behavior of Elias Arellano, 18, who was driving a Chrysler Sebring convertible on Friday afternoon prior to a fatal wreck on U.S. 84/285.
    Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigators said they would like to hear from anyone who might have witnessed his driving behavior. Investigators said he lost control of the vehicle around 3 p.m. on Friday and caused the death of a 72-year-old Espanola woman, Lucy Fresques.
    Arellano and a juvenile who was a passenger in his vehicle were ejected from the convertible and weren’t wearing seat belts, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
    Fresques was driving a southbound Acura sports utility vehicle that was struck head-on by the convertible driven Arellano, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
    Also injured was Fresques’ husband, Robert, 74.
    Arellano’s vehicle had been northbound when it crossed into the southbound traffic, near Buffalo Thunder Resort.
    That section of highway lacks barriers between northbound and southbound lanes.
    He was taken by ambulance to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
    The investigators said they believe Arellano lost control of his vehicle.

  • State Briefs 10-18-17

    Miners make extra room at WIPP

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Federal contract workers are expected to begin mining operations at the nation’s nuclear waste dump in New Mexico for the first time in three years following a radiation release that contaminated part of the underground repository.
    The U.S. Energy Department announced Tuesday that the work to carve out more disposal space from the ancient salt formation where the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is located will begin later this fall.
    The contractor that runs the repository says the work is expected to be done in 2020.
    In all, workers will remove more than 112,000 tons (101,605 metric tons) of salt, making way for a total of seven disposal rooms. At 300 feet long and more than 30 feet wide, a room can hold the equivalent of nearly 10,400 55-gallon drums.

    Motorist allegedly tries to run over cop

  • You Can See Clearly Now

    Nick Washington of HEI replaces a lamp in the Smith’s Marketplace parking lot Tuesday morning.

  • Talk with a Councilor is Thursday

    Los Alamos County announced that a pair of members of the County Council will host a booth at the Farmer’s Market on Thursday.
    This is an informal setting open to residents who would like to stop by with comments, concerns or questions. They will be available from 9-11 a.m.  

  • Science standards meeting fills state hearing room

    Hundreds appeared Monday in Santa Fe for the single public hearing scheduled to comment on controversial science standards proposed by the state’s Public Education Department.

    Throughout the morning, no one spoke in favor of PED’s proposal, many saying the department’s rewritten version of the national Next Generation Science Standards, known as Next Gen, were politically motivated.

    The hearing was overseen by Kimberly Ulibarri, a PED hearing officer. Monday was the last day to submit comments.

    Two Los Alamos schools officials, Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and board member Andrea Cunningham, had signed up to speak, but due to a lengthy interruption from a false fire alarm and problems managing the hearing’s sign-in sheets, the two didn’t speak. A second board member was called on to speak.

    Next Gen science standards were developed in 2013 by a consortium of 26 states, including people in New Mexico, and other organizations, such as National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Research Council.

    Changes made at PED include replacing references to climate change with “temperature fluctuations,” removes mention of the earth’s age as 4.8 billion years, and tweaks instruction on evolution.