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Today's News

  • Officials break ground on power station project

    County, federal and Los Alamos National Laboratory officials broke ground on a project Wednesday that will eventually replace the TA-3 Substation, a power station that has been supplying power to Los Alamos County and the lab for over 50 years.
    Besides supplying power to the town, the substation has also been supplying power to “mission critical” areas of the lab. It is located near Diamond Drive and Tech Area 3.
    “This project will help revitalize the lab’s electrical infrastructure by providing reliable service and sufficient capacity to enable DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) and NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) to fulfill mission-critical missions at LANL,” said NNSA Federal Project Director Bonita Rogozinsky in a press release. “In addition to enhancing LANL operations, the new substation ensures sufficient electrical capacity to support Los Alamos County operators.”
    Rogozinsky, NNSA Los Alamos Field Office Manager Kim Lebak, officials from the US. Army Corps of Engineers, and Gardner Zemke, the contractor in charge of carrying out most of the project, met in front of the substation to thank all involved and to tell the public what the new substation will mean once it’s built.

  • County to explore urban bike path

    In response to a citizens’ petition, the Los Alamos County Council voted 6–0 on Tuesday to direct staff to investigate options for building an urban bike path through downtown Los Alamos and return with a recommendation for action within 90 days. Councilor Kristin Henderson was not in attendance.
    The petition submitted by Brenda Fleming requested a paved, two-lane path accessible to bicyclists, wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.
    Fleming suggested a path leading from the Canyon Rim Trail to Central Avenue, past storefronts, museums, Ashley Pond and Fuller Lodge to the nature center and aquatic center, with a possible extension to residential areas.
    “This would just be an awesome opportunity to increase tourism for families, bikers, wheelchairs, anyone who wants to enjoy nature in our town, increase accessibility,” Fleming said.
    “I think it would actually help our local businesses be exposed, especially if we added paths that led to the co-op and some of these other hidden places. I think it would just be a great addition to our town.”
    Approximately 85 people supported Fleming’s proposal through both physical and online petitions.

  • Council concerned for safety of deputies

    During April’s budget meetings, Los Alamos County Councilors asked Sheriff Marco Lucero to elaborate on a statement in his report that read, “The sheriff’s office does not have a budget to cover and properly protect deputies.”
    Lucero told council that his deputies were at risk because his department did not have radio communication devices. He backed up his argument by describing how two officers he worked with in Santa Fe County were killed serving a restraining order.
    Lucero estimated that supplying radios for the department would cost approximately $10,000, and, by a 4–3 vote, council tentatively approved money for it.
    At the next hearing, council asked Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone if LAPD had radios that the sheriff’s department could use. According to Sgambellone, his department provides Lucero with a radio on semi-permanent loan and that his deputies are able to sign out radios when they are in the field or covering events.
    When council was wrapping up loose ends on April 26, Councilor Steve Girrens moved to eliminate funding for the radios, since the department was able to utilize LAPD devices.
    Councilor Pete Sheehey – who had confirmed the cost with Sgambellone – made a substitute motion to approve $3,000 for one radio for the department.

  • Trujillo sentenced in 2015 beating case

    An Española man was sentenced in court Wednesday for severely beating his ex-girlfriend in June of 2015, and for two other altercations he had with her later in the year, one in Rio Arriba County.
    Adrian Trujillo, 27, accepted a plea agreement where he will be placed on supervised probation and enroll in a domestic violence program approved by the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department. Trujillo also won’t be allowed to have any contact with the victim except at court hearings and supervised custody visits with his child.
    Trujillo agreed to plead guilty to two counts of battery against a household member in exchange for the probation. All other charges against him will also be dropped.
    Those charges include: false imprisonment, aggravated battery against a household member (great bodily harm), assault with intent to commit a violent felony against a household member and interference with communications.
    Those charges were in connection with a June 10, 2015, arrest, when Trujillo severely beat his pregnant and now ex-girlfriend. According to police, Trujillo showed up at the victim’s house early in the morning demanding to be let in. When she tried locking the front door after answering it, Trujillo went around the house and found a way through a bathroom window, where he gained entry.  

  • Putting art in place
  • County econ administrator Fisher dies

    Los Alamos County’s Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher died suddenly Wednesday, according to the county. The following is a statement from County Manager Harry Burgess.
     “I was shocked and saddened to learn last night of the unexpected death of our county employee, Greg Fisher. Greg was our Economic Vitality Administrator and was involved in a variety of economic development projects and initiatives here in our business community as well as businesses in northern New Mexico. He was actively involved with economic development at the state level, and well-known in many communities across New Mexico, having worked in Portales before moving to Los Alamos several years ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s daughter Maya this morning, as well as his family and friends. He was passionate about bringing new economic development and tourism opportunities to Los Alamos, and will be greatly missed.”

  • Petersen wins third in challenge

    Los Alamos Middle School student Lillian Petersen won third place for her project, “Detecting Climate Change Through Means and Extremes.”
    Petersen’s study aggregated data from thousands of weather stations around the world, which she processed and analyzed with a Python program she wrote to find overall changes and trends in climate around the world.
    She also won the Community Impact award for working with the Bradbury Science Museum to make a traveling exhibit that will be shown in museums across the country.

  • New York production company seeks LA student films

    New York City-based documentary production company Radical Media has asked Los Alamos middle school and high school students to send their original films for possible screening at the Los Alamos Teen Center next week.
    Radical Media producer Theodora Christakis has requested students grades 7-12 to submit their film shorts via e-mail link to christakis@radicalmedia.com by 5 p.m. May 5 to be considered for the screening. 
    Film submissions should be approximately 5-10 minutes in length, contain no profanity and are original works (including music). Students whose films are selected would have their films projected onto a wall or screen outside the Los Alamos Teen Center and would be invited to participate in a question and answer session following the screening.
    Radical Media is participating in the XQ Super School Project Bus Tour that is traveling to cities across the nation to inspire communities to rethink education. Los Alamos Public Schools are participating in this initiative.
    The film screening will be part of several activities planned during the group’s visit to Los Alamos May 10-11.

  • NNSA manager optimistic about LANL budget

    National Nuclear Security Administration’s field office manager in Los Alamos Kim Davis Lebak talked with local leaders last week about next year’s budget, the status of the Los Alamos National Security contract, and various environmental and construction projects the NNSA will oversee.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory could receive more money for its billion-dollar budget than last year’s budget, Lebak said.
    President Barack Obama’s requested budget for LANL is $2.2 billion, compared to this year’s enacted budget of $1.95 billion.
    “That a nice, strong hardy budget,” Lebak said. “Our friends in Congress are doing their work was we speak... it’s a good solid budget, it’s strong, and we have tons of scope to do.”
    She also talked about the NNSA’s total budget, using numbers directly from president’s budget request to Congress.
    For fiscal year 2017, President Obama requested $12.9 billion for the NNSA, which is $357 million more than the enacted budget of 2016.

  • Council approves FY2017 budget

    Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved a fiscal year 2017 budget of $188,398,147 Monday.
    After four previous nights of wrangling over budget options proposed by each department, the vote for final budget approval proceeded without additional discussion.
    After the vote, several councilors applauded the process for this year’s budget hearings. Council had asked staff to present a flat budget, along with optional items for approval.
    Each department presented the flat budget as requested, then made their case for additional areas they felt required more funding.
    Some of those requests were new, such as the option to create a placeholder for a full-time county clerk’s salary (council will consider whether to change the clerk’s position to full time at a later meeting) or  $56,672 to staff the new kitchen at the White Rock Senior Center.
    Other requests were to restore funding that had been cut in order to maintain a flat budget. One such request was to return $29,677 to the Los Alamos Police Department’s budget in order to fully fund anticipated overtime. The Community Services Department asked for inflationary increases for contracts with service providers such as the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Family Strengths Network so they would not have to reduce services.