Today's News

  • Money taken from local child development center

    A longtime bookkeeper at Ark Child Development, a ministry of First United Methodist Church, is suspected of taking some $3,500 from the center, but no charges have been filed.

    Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Monica Salazar-Casias was dispatched to the center on Diamond Drive June 24 to investigate the complaint of stolen money.

    Salazar-Casias made contact with the reporting party, who reported that on June 16, an employee had taken money from a teacher’s wallet.

    All parties involved in the case asked to remain anonymous.

    According to the police report, the reporting employee was aiding another teacher when she said she noticed the suspect employee in a classroom across the hallway go into a
purse and pull out $60.

    The witness said she confronted the suspect, who reportedly first denied the accusation, but the witness said she eventually told the suspect that she had seen the suspect remove the money from a purse.

    “(The suspect) stated that it was a big temptation and she couldn’t help herself,” according to the police report.
    The suspect offered to pay the stolen money back, or more, and begged her accuser not to send her to prison.

  • Council to decide on sheriff office

    Los Alamos County Council is set to vote on a resolution Thursday that, if passed, will restore all duties to the sheriff’s office removed by council last year when it sought to abolish the office. The resolution also seeks to add some extra duties.

    The resolution is sponsored by Councilor Pete Sheehey, who wants to restore to the sheriff’s office civil process duties, including lien and eviction processing.

    The office now only maintains the sex offender registry. New duties will include assisting the Los Alamos County Police Department with prisoner transport and courthouse security.

    Sheehey predicts that if council votes in his resolution, the new budget for the office will be about $200,000 a year, and will include a full time undersheriff with certified law enforcement training. Since January, the sheriff’s office has only been staffed by Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero, who has been carrying out his limited duties on an annual $15,000 budget.

    “What I’m proposing is that we put process serving back and we add some limited duties which basically are prisoner transport and providing security at the court building and courtroom,” Sheehey said. Lucero would also get an administrative assistant.

  • Forecasters: Flooding likely in New Mexico through weekend

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Forecasters say flash flooding is likely in New Mexico through the weekend due to monsoon moisture and a weather disturbance moving westward across the state.

    The National Weather Service says thunderstorms are expected over central and western New Mexico into Friday evening and then become more numerous Saturday, Sunday and into early next week.

    According to the weather service, the likelihood of flash floods is strongest Friday in western New Mexico and across New Mexico from the southwest to the northeast Saturday.

    The forecasters say there's also a possibility that multiple instances of flash flooding will occur across central and eastern areas on Sunday.

    Also, the potential for flash flooding may linger over the south-central mountains and the eastern plains on Monday as the disturbance moves into Texas and Mexico.

  • Jobless rates fall below 4 pct. in nearly half US states

    Associated Press and Staff Reports

    WASHINGTON — Hiring rose last month in 14 U.S. states in June, and the unemployment rate fell to record lows in two states, evidence that the job market is getting tighter across much of the country.

    New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped slightly by .2 percent to 6.4 percent. The state ranked second highest for unemployment in the country.

    The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates fell in 10 states and rose in only two. Rates were stable in the other 38 states.

    After five years of steady hiring, unemployment rates have fallen below 4 percent in 23 states. Unemployment that low suggests that those states are at "full employment," when nearly everyone who wants a job has one and the unemployment rate reflects the normal churn of hiring and firing.

    Alaska had the highest jobless rate at 6.8 percent, followed by New Mexico at 6.4 percent.

    Colorado and North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rates in June at 2.3 percent each. The rates in North Dakota, at 2.3 percent, and Tennessee, at 3.6 percent, set new lows.

    The rate has fallen below 3 percent in five states: Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire and North Dakota.

  • Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

    By KEN THOMAS and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned Friday, ending a rocky six-month tenure that made his news briefings defending President Donald Trump must-see TV. He said Trump's communications team "could benefit from a clean slate" as the White House seeks to steady operations amid the Russia investigations and ahead of a health care showdown.

    Spicer quit in protest over the hiring of a new White House communications director, New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, objecting to what Spicer considered his lack of qualifications as well as the direction of the press operation, according to people familiar with the situation. Scaramucci, a polished television commentator and Harvard Law graduate, quickly took center stage at a briefing, parrying questions from reporters and commending Trump in a 37-minute charm offensive.

    As his first act on the job, Scaramucci announced that Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be the new press secretary. She had been Spicer's deputy.

  • Red Cap Ambassadors and Manhattan Project Historical National Park to meet today

    Attention all red capped Ambassadors, you are asked to be at the pavilion on Ashley Pond at 10:30 a.m. today for the first event of the Los Alamos Ambassadors, with more to follow. Every one is invited to this event, not just the red cappers.

    In an effort for the Los Alamos Ambassadors to be fully equipped to guide visitors on Los Alamos history, Chief Park Ranger Kirk Singer will address the Ambassadors on the importance of the new national park in telling the story of Los Alamos and he project to win World War II.

    The National Park here is one of three sites in the Unites States that worked to develop the bomb that ended World War II. (Thank you very much Los Alamo).  The other two sites are in Hanford, Washington, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

    There is still a lot of work to be done to have a fully mature program and exhibits in the park. Currently, Singer is trying to provide a means to allow visitors to have an escorted bus tour inside he wire at the lab so as to see historical places not now available.

  • State Briefs 7-21-17

    Immigrant advocates convene in N.M.

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Around 200 student immigrant activists from around the country are coming to Albuquerque to strategize on how to respond to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
    The advocates are scheduled to meet at the University of New Mexico from Thursday to Sunday for a series of trainings and workshops aimed at protesting stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump Administration.
    Some advocates also are worried the administration may end a program designed to give temporary status to immigrant students who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

    Pearce challenges decision to limit use of campaign cash

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican Congressman Steve Pearce sued New Mexico’s lead elections regulator on Thursday to seek access to a $1 million campaign war chest as he runs for governor in 2018.
    The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office informed the Pearce campaign this week that only $11,000 could be transferred from his federal election campaign account to a state campaign account.

  • National awards recognize LA leadership in nuclear safeguards

    Two Los Alamos National Laboratory employees were recognized Monday by the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management for their contributions to the nuclear safeguards profession. Nancy Jo Nicholas, the Laboratory’s associate director for threat identification and response, was recognized with the Edway R. Johnson Meritorious Service award. Martyn Swinhoe, a physicist in the safeguards science and technology group, received the Vincent J. DeVito Distinguished Service award.

    Nuclear safeguards is the field devoted to keeping nuclear materials secure and ensuring they are used for peaceful purposes –such as for medicine and energy – and not for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. LANL is celebrating 50 years of work and world leadership in nuclear safeguards.

  • US says ban on laptops in airplane cabins has been lifted

    DALLAS (AP) — The ban on laptops in the cabins of planes flying from the Middle East to the U.S. is over, as federal officials say that large airports in the region have taken other steps to increase security.
    Those measures include checking electronic devices to make sure they don’t contain a bomb, and pulling more people out of airport lines for additional screening.
    A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that all airlines and airports with flights departing for the U.S. had met the agency’s first phase of new security measures, which were announced in late June but not described in any detail.
    In March, the U.S. imposed a ban on laptops in the cabins of planes coming into the country from 10 Middle Eastern airports. This week, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was the last of the 10 to comply with U.S. security measures and exit the laptop-ban list.
    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the laptop ban was a “pause,” a stopgap measure until airports could make other security improvements. It grew from fear that terrorists were working on bombs that can be hidden in devices such as laptop and tablet computers.

  • County sells another piece of A-19

    County Council approved selling another piece of A-19 land in White Rock to a real estate developer in hopes of getting the long-stalled project off the ground.

    The decision to sell the land was made during council’s regular meeting July 11.

    The development at A-19 has been plagued by delays. Contractors walked off the job in May 2016 after a thick layer of basalt was discovered beneath the site.

    The county negotiated a deal in June, agreeing to pay the developer, the A-19-A-1 Acquisition Group, $2 million to break up the basalt and install utilities.

    Council agreed July 11 to sell 12.76 acres in the northern section for $460,000 to the A-19-A-1 Acquisition group. The parcel is on the north side of NM State Road 4, between the intersections of Sherwood Boulevard and New Mexico State Road 4.

    The county has been working with the A-19-A-1 group to build housing in that area in anticipation of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s recent announcement to hire thousands of workers to fill an upcoming retirement gap. The homes are expected to cost between $300,000 and $400,000.