Today's News

  • Maggiore tapped for council ticket

    The Democratic Party of Los Alamos County Central Committee voted unanimously on Sunday to appoint Antonio Maggiore to replace Councilor Kristin Henderson on the party ticket for the Los Alamos County Council race. Henderson withdrew her candidacy last week.
    According to local party Chair Robyn Schultz, Maggiore was the only candidate to come forward for consideration. He ran for a place on the ticket during the 2016 Primary election, losing to Henderson, Councilor Pete Sheehey and Chris Chandler by just 34 votes.
    “It’s certainly unexpected. It’s really quite humbling to be given a second chance so quickly,” Maggiore said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get a second chance to get my views out there and hopefully represent the community.”
    Maggiore recognizes the challenge he faces running against not only his fellow Democrats but Republicans Jaret McDonald, Steve Girrens, and Patrick Brenner for the three vacant seats.
    “I feel like I’m two months behind everyone else – because I am – which is OK. I like a challenge and will do my best to live up to everyone’s expectations,” Maggiore said.

  • Board firms up Barranca Mesa plan

    The Los Alamos School Board has set a plan and a path forward about how it wants to renovate Barranca Mesa Elementary School.
    At a special board meeting Thursday night, they set a January window for the bond sale that would raise money for construction, officially decided they were going ahead with the reconstruction of Barranca Mesa Elementary, and set specific dates for meetings with the public to discuss the new plan.
    The board will combine, if approved by the voters in January, the $13.5 million from the bond sale with $7.6 million left over from a previous bond sale that was used to build Aspen Elementary School.
    The board then will take $12.3 million from the combined funds for use toward the reconstruction of Barranca Mesa and use the rest to fund major construction projects at each of the other schools. Schools high on that list included Mountain Elementary, Piñon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary.
    Approval of the new strategy was unanimous.
    The first meeting where the board will introduce the plan to the public will be in White Rock on Sept. 8. The district is still working on a time and location for that meeting. The second meeting will be on Sept. 13 at the regular school board meeting. That will be at the district offices, located at 2075 Trinity Avenue, Suite V.  

  • Valles Caldera hosts Park Service’s centennial

    America’s newest national preserve, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with activities that highlighted VCNP’s abundant ecological resources and enjoyment of the outdoors.
    “We’re a little bit of a newcomer to the park system, so it’s really a point of pride for me to be here for the centennial and representing the National Park Service, and sharing this wonderful place and getting it on the map for all New Mexicans and all Americans,” Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos said.
    NPS turned 100 on Aug. 25, but most parks held celebrations over the weekend, including Valles Caldera and Bandelier National Monument.
    The preserve’s friends group, Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation (NMWF) helped organize Saturday’s event.
    Los Amigos invited the New Mexico Wildlife Center to the event. Center volunteers introduced visitors to a turkey vulture and a Long-eared owl. The friends group also organized face painting and a performance by Black Eagle, a Grammy Award winning musical group from Jemez Pueblo. Jackie Raye Anderson demonstrated en plein air painting.

  • 8 LANL entries finalists in prestigious R&D 100 Awards

    Windows that double as solar panels, anti-hacking software that stops hackers, and an artificial lung are some Los Alamos National Laboratory entries that made it into the final rounds of a contest known as the “Oscars of Invention.”
    LANL, in partnership with other organizations and universities, have eight entries in the prestigious “R&D 100 Awards.”
    They include: a software suite that streamlines getting developed carbon dioxide capture technology into the marketplace; a truly random number generator for computer security; software that simulates real-world experiments; software that bridges “cloud storage” with older computer technologies; software that heads off computer attacks before they start; a new materials designed to enhance the effectiveness of particle accelerators; an artificial lung designed to screen for drugs and toxic agents; and windows that double as solar panels.  
    The R&D 100 Awards is a contest organized by R&D magazine. The judging panel is selected by the editorial staff of the magazine. Panelists include a cross section of top scientists, researchers, developers and experts in research and development. Winners will be announced Nov. 3.

  • Gun safes to be installed at middle, high schools

    At Thursday’s special school board meeting, Police Chief Dino Sgambellone requested the police department be allowed to install a gun safe inside Los Alamos Middle School and the Los Alamos High School.
    Sgambellone said that if an active shooter incident should occur at the schools, he felt it best that his officers have appropriate weaponry on the premises. Too many times he said, valuable time and strategy options are lost if an officer has to go out to his or her car and get what’s needed to stop a shooter.
    The cases will be bolted down and in a secure area, Sgambellone said.
    Only officers will have access to the case, and the cabinet will only be stocked with the appropriate type and number of weapons and equipment needed to counteract a threat to the school.
    When asked about what types of weapons would be stored in the safe, Sgambellone said it would be weapons that are more powerful and effective than the side arms officers normally carry.
    “It will be stocked with shotguns and AR 15s,” said Sgambellone. “The reason for that is, and this isn’t in all cases, but in some layouts of schools a pistol is not an appropriate weapon because of the long hallways. Also, a pistol does not always appropriately counter what is brought to these types of situations.”

  • US Agriculture Department says it has closed offices in five states

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Agriculture Department said Tuesday it had closed offices in five states after receiving anonymous threats that it considered serious.

    USDA spokesman Matthew Herrick said in a statement that the department had received "several anonymous messages" late Monday that raised concerns about the safety of USDA personnel and facilities. He said six offices were closed Tuesday morning until further notice.

    Herrick said the department is working with the FBI and federal and local law enforcement to determine whether the threats are credible.

    In an email to employees, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA is closing the offices "due to the serious nature of these threats." He did not characterize the threats or say how they were received, but asked employees to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.

  • Anti-wrinkle vibrator forces plane evacuation in Albuquerque

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Authorities say an anti-wrinkle vibrator forced a Southwest Flight to evacuate in Albuquerque.

    KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports Albuquerque Aviation Police say passengers were ordered off the plane on Monday after a "Bar 24K Golden Anti-Aging Skin Roller" was discovered in the seat back of a passenger's seat.

    Authorities say the flight crew moved the items to the galley and Albuquerque Aviation Police conducted a full sweep of the plane.

    No other suspicious items were found. No arrests were made.

    The item was reportedly left in the Albuquerque International Sunport Lost and Found.

  • Latina Style ranks LANL as one of the best places to work

    Latina Style magazine Monday named the Los Alamos National Laboratory as one of the 50 best places for Latinas to work.

    The magazine based its rankings on companies that have actively provided career opportunities for Latinas, especially when first starting out in the workplace.

    LANL was ranked 43 on the list. Over 800 companies were reviewed. Marriott International was ranked No.1.

    Latina Style congratulated LANL for making major gains since the last survey, for having Latinos on its board of directors, and for having recruitment programs that specifically targeted Latinas for careers at the lab.

    LANL Director Charlie McMillan said the lab’s commitment to Latinas is strong and will continue to grow.

    “This recognition from Latina Style magazine speaks to our commitment to making the Laboratory an employer of choice for Latinas and other women who are considering careers at scientific and technical institutions,” McMillan said. “We are striving to attract a workforce that more closely resembles the nation as a whole. We are honored to receive recognition indicating that we are moving in the right direction, though we will not be fully satisfied until we meet all of our diversity goals."

  • Henderson withdraws from race

    Los Alamos County Councilor Kristin Henderson, who was seeking reelection this year,  announced on Friday that she is withdrawing from the race.
    “Basically, it’s just a timing thing,” Henderson said. “I have so appreciated being on council, and I have felt since the beginning that it’s an honor to be one of the people making these kind of decisions for the community.”
    Henderson cited wanting more time to spend with her 11- and 14-year-old daughters and to devote to her career as her reasons for withdrawing.
    “For the last four years I’ve worked full time and I’ve had kids at home, and I think I’ve done a good job on council,” Henderson said. “To do that for four years is one thing, but to think about eight years in a row is another.”
    Henderson hastened to add that she did not want to give the impression that the demands of serving on council could only be met by retirees.
    “I don’t want there to be a message of, women can’t do that, because they can,” Henderson said. “I’ve been working full time, kids at home, on council for the last four years, and it was fine….I think the most important thing about being on council is the perspective people have and the outlook they have.”

  • Today in history Aug. 30