Today's News

  • AG Balderas won't be entering race for New Mexico governor

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas will not be entering the race for governor and instead will focus on his re-election as the state's top prosecutor.
    The Democrat ended the speculation Tuesday with a statement that detailed the work his office has done — from pursuing internet criminals who target children to recovering Medicaid fraud dollars.
    Balderas also said his office has a responsibility to hold the federal government accountable. He pointed to recent filings against President Donald Trump's travel ban and the sale of federal coal leases.
    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is limited to two terms. No Republican has entered the race, though U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce says he may pursue the GOP nomination.
    The Democratic nomination is being sought by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, former media executive Jeff Apodaca and Peter DeBenedittis of Santa Fe.

  • Republicans propose fix for New Mexico state budget

    SANTA FE (AP) — Leading Republicans in the New Mexico House of Representatives on Tuesday outlined a proposal to resolve the state's budget crisis by suspending construction projects and withdrawing money from a state pension fund.
    Democrats who hold the majority of seats in both chambers have yet to come forward with a budget plan for a special legislative session that begins May 24. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has called lawmakers back to the capital to resolve a feud over how to solve the state's budget crisis, and signaled her support Tuesday for the House Republican plan.
    The governor last month vetoed all spending for the legislative branch and institutions of higher education for the fiscal year starting July 1, emphasizing her opposition to companion tax increases. Martinez has since indicated she would consider select tax revenue increases if they lower overall rates.
    The House Republican budget plan would shift $63 million in capital outlay money to bolster the state general fund, said GOP House minority leader Nate Gentry of Albuquerque. It would also claw back $12.5 million in pension money set aside for the state's unsalaried legislators.

  • Forecasters warn of dry, windy weather in New Mexico

    Forecasters warn of dry, windy weather in New Mexico
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning about increased fire danger in New Mexico thanks to more dry and windy conditions.
    A red-flag warning will be in effect Tuesday from noon until the evening hours for the northeast and east-central plains.
    Forecasters say a low-pressure system racing from Southern California toward New Mexico is expected to reach the state late Tuesday.
    Ahead of the system will be strong winds and very dry air that will combine for critical fire weather across much of the central and southern parts of New Mexico. The winds are expected to shift further to the east later Tuesday.
    Officials say any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, and outdoor burning is being discouraged.

  • Kerr to host meeting Thursday on new LA Ambassador program

    Longtime Los Alamos County resident Vernon Kerr is hosting a special meeting at the Mesa Public Library Thursday and residents are invited.
    A free hat is involved, but there’s one catch – he would like those interested to know a little something about Los Alamos and be willing to share it. Experts on the Manhattan Project can apply, as well as those who know what the best time to visit the dog park in Overlook Park, or what flavor of bagel to wrap a Ruby K’s sandwich in.
    “One of the things I’ve noticed, sitting waiting for the bus, watching people go by… there are tourists in this town,” Kerr said. “I figured we’ve got enough retired people around here that if they have the kind of time where they could talk to people, I’m offering them, and others in similar circumstances, to come downtown and talk to the tourists.”
    While Kerr is mostly looking for retirees with a lot of free time during the day, anyone can apply.
    “Whoever shows up I’m going to enlist, and I’m going to give them a red cap,” Kerr said. Each person that shows up will get a red baseball cap with gold lettering on it that says “Los Alamos AMBASSADOR.”
    Kerr hopes all 46 or 50 of the hats go swiftly. There is a lot at stake.

  • Nerses ‘Krik’ Krikorian reflects on his career as a scientist and intelligence analyst

    LANL Communications Staff

    When Nerses “Krik” Krik Krikorian was born on a Turkish roadside in 1921, the future looked bleak. His parents were fleeing the Armenian genocide that would ultimately claim 1.5 million lives. They spent the next four years moving from country to country with nothing but the clothes on their backs, trying to find a permanent home.

    Along the way, in Aleppo, Syria, his mom gave birth to his brother. “It’s a tortured way of living because you don’t belong anywhere,” recalled Krikorian. They finally found refuge in Canada. When Krikorian was 4 years old, they moved to the United States, settling in Niagara Falls, where his father became a factory worker and his mom a homemaker, and where his youngest brother was born. 

    Today, at age 96, Krikorian lives in a brightly lit condominium in Los Alamos, surrounded by his vast art collection and family photos, marveling at his good fortune. When he started kindergarten in Niagara Falls, he barely spoke English. Sixteen years later, he graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and began a job at Union Carbide, working in a lab that made highly enriched uranium. For what purpose, Krikorian wasn’t sure.

  • Chamisa Elementary hosts seventh annual wax museum

    The halls of Chamisa Elementary School were filled Wednesday with famous scientists, musicians, actors and much more.
    The actual celebrities may not have been there, but the third- and fourth-graders posed as these famous people for their annual wax museum, a project intended to help them learn the process of researching.
    In order to meet their Language Arts standards, third-grade teacher Sharon Jiron came up with the idea of doing a wax museum research project to meet those standards. Megan Lee was in charge of getting the fourth-graders ready and Jiron took charge of the third-graders for this event.
    The Chamisa students represented a wide range of people like Christopher Columbus, Derek Jeter and Shirley Temple, just to name a few.
    “The third-graders chose famous people and fourth-graders did people from New Mexico,” said Jiron.
    Each student stood in their own space, defined by a hula-hoop on the ground, next to the person’s name and a short description of their wax figure.

  • On the Docket 5-14-17

    March 22
    Willie Cordova was found guilt for failing to display a current a valid registration plate. Defendant must pay $75 fine and $65 in court costs.

    Ladonna Philips was found guilt for failing to display a current a valid registration plate and speeding six to 10 miles and hour over the speed limit in a school zone. Overall, defendant must pay $125 fine and $130 in court costs.
    March 23
    Clinton Harlow was found guilty through Citepay of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant must pay $50 fine and $65 in court costs.

    Christi A. Olguin was fined $50 for failing to obey traffic signal. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Liviu Popa-Simil pleaded no contest for failing to yield/stop at a sign and must pay $65 in court costs. Sentence deferred until May 23.

    Deborah J. Barnes was found guilty for failing to yield/stop at a sign and display a valid registration plate. Defendant must pay $75 fine and $130 in court costs.

    Aaron Martinez pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentence deferred until May 23. Defendant sentenced to defensive driving school and must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • Cyberattack wave ebbs, but experts see risk of more

    LONDON (AP) — The "ransomware" cyberattack that has hit companies and governments around the world ebbed in intensity on Monday, though experts warned that new versions of the virus could emerge.
    Thousands more infections were reported Monday, largely in Asia, which had been closed for business when the malware first struck Friday. The cases were more contained, however, than the systemic outbreak that last week paralyzed computers running factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems around the world.
    Many of the 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries were still struggling to recover from the first attack of the so-called "WannaCry" virus.
    Carmaker Renault said one of its French plants, which employs 3,500 people, wasn't reopening Monday as a "preventative step."
    Britain's National Health Service said about a fifth of NHS trusts — the regional bodies that run hospitals and clinics — were hit by the attack on Friday, leading to thousands of canceled appointments and operations. Seven of the 47 affected trusts were still having IT problems Monday.

  • Santa Fe progressive launches run for New Mexico governor

    SANTA FE (AP) — Alcohol-prevention teacher Peter DeBenedittis of Santa Fe is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor of New Mexico.
    DeBenedittis formally announced his candidacy Monday, describing himself as a progressive Democrat and political outsider who does not owe favors to past political contributors.
    A New Mexico resident since 1995, DeBenedittis wants to pursue policies that expand early childhood education and provide universal health insurance coverage, while increasing taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. He has not previously run for public office.
    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's cannot run for a third term in 2018. The Democratic nomination also is being sought by businessman Jeff Apodaca and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
    No Republican has entered the race, though U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce says he may pursue the GOP nomination.

  • Reluctant lawmakers set sights on fix for N.M. budget

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are reluctantly returning to the budget negotiation table with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez as time runs short to restore billions of dollars in vetoed spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
    The state Supreme Court on Thursday refused a request by lawmakers to rescind the governor’s vetoes of all funding for the legislative branch and state institutions of higher education.
    A special legislative session is set for May 24. Elected officials will have to shore up anemic tax revenues or agree to a new round of spending cuts at state agencies or public schools.
    Here’s a glimpse of what lies ahead:
    Tax Shortfall
    Lawmakers and the governor largely agree on a $6.1 billion state budget that would slightly increase spending, particularly for public schools and cash-strapped courts. They remain at odds over how to fill a roughly $150 million shortfall in revenues.
    Lawmakers in March approved higher registration fees for interstate trucking and increased taxes for some hospitals, online sales and retail gasoline and diesel sales. Martinez vetoed the tax hikes and lambasted lawmakers.