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Today's News

  • New report critical of LANS, LAFO in accident

    Phase II of the report detailing the accident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant was harshly critical of the procedure at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The accident that caused the shutdown of WIPP in February 2014 was a preventable one. Moreover, the follow-up report, released Thursday, placed much of the blame on LANL and its parent company.
    Thursday’s report was released by the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management.
    In the new report, the Accident Investigation Board was tasked by DOE to determine the cause of the TRU waste container failure.
    The board stated in the report that “if LANL had adequately developed and implemented repackaging and treatment procedures that incorporated suitable hazard controls and included a rigorous review and approval process, the release would have been preventable.”
    The March Phase I report, detailing the accident, concluded that an incompatible mix of materials in the now-infamous Drum 68660, which was shipped to the WIPP site near Carlsbad from Los Alamos, was the culprit of the leak.
    Since the accident over a year ago, normal operations at the WIPP site have been stopped. No plans have been announced as to when the facility might be operating again.

  • Today in history April 18
  • Today in history April 19
  • Environmental Sustainability Board to study plastic bag ban

    Passions ran high on Tuesday as the Los Alamos County Council considered a citizens’ petition with 153 signatures advocating for a ban on single-use plastic carryout bags in retail establishments.
    Mark Jones, chair of the Pajarito Group of the Sierra Club and Barbara Calef, president of the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos (LWVLA), stressed that they were not asking council to vote on whether to ban plastic bags, but to direct the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) to study the issue and make recommendations.
    “The approach of the league is to study all sides of an issue and then seek consensus on a position,” Calef said. “We hope that the public hearings will lead to consensus in the community on this issue. But even if they do not, they will inevitably raise consciousness.”
    Council approved that request by a vote of 4-3. Councilors James Chrobocinski, Steve Girrens and Rick Reiss voted against the motion. Chrobocinski and Reiss had proposed taking no action, but the substitute motion put forth by Councilor Susan O’Leary and Vice Chair David Izraelevitz received the majority vote.

  • Schools look to revamp ‘zero tolerance’ policy

    School administration officials recently announced at a school board work session that they are going to be making some major changes to their “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies.
    “We have three policies we are going to be addressing alcohol and drug use, student conduct and discipline, and threatening,” said Assistant Superintendent of Schools Gerry Washburn. “We are going to be addressing all three of these policies at the same time, since they are all related, one way or another to the mental health issues we are dealing with, with our students.”
    Washburn further said LAPS is going to concentrate on two areas in the policies — rehabilitation and counseling, as well as criminal activity.
    “Our policies, as written, are written from a perspective of zero tolerance. There really is no differentiation made between a student making an error and a student engaging in criminal intent,” Washburn said, adding that the policies are pretty rigid and do not give law enforcement nor school officials leeway in deciding a student’s fate.

  • Budget hearings start Monday

    Los Alamos County Budget hearings are scheduled for 6 p.m. April 20, 21, 27 and 28 in council chambers at the municipal building.
    The first 30 minutes and last 30 minutes of each of the sessions will be reserved for public comment on any portion of the proposed budget. During that time, public comment will be the primary activity. After all public comment has been received, if time remains, other budget topics may be discussed.
    Comments may also be sent to lacbudget@lacnm.us or countycouncil@lacnm.us or mailed to Los Alamos County Manager, 1000 Central Ave., Suite 350, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544.
    The meetings will be broadcast live via Internet streaming at losalamosnm.us.
    Copies of the proposed budget are available for inspection by the public at both libraries and the 311 Customer Care Center. A copy of the full budget is available online at the county’s website, losalamosnm.us.
    Agenda:
    • Introduction and Overview
    • Long Range Financial Projection
    • Budget Summaries
    • Parking Lot — Outstanding / Unresolved Items
    • Tentative Approval of FY16 Proposed Budget (April 27)
    • Possible Adoption of the FY16 Budget (April 27)
    • Tentative Approval of FY16 Proposed Budget (April 28)

  • The Best of the Science Fair

    Twenty-seven science students from the Los Alamos Public Schools District were honored for their accomplishments at Tuesday night’s Los Alamos School Board meeting.
    “These are all of our students who made it from our local fair to our regional fair and then onto our state fair,”  Los Alamos Science and Engineering Fair Organizer Dawn Brown said at the meeting. Students from six out of the seven schools in the district managed to place, Brown added.

    Top left: Junior Division, sixth through eighth grade winners.
    Above: International Division winners.
    Bottom left: Senior Division, ninth through 12th grade winners. TRIS DEROMA/Monitor

  • Police Beat

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.

    April 9
    4:31 p.m. — Ryan Barnes, 37, of Los Alamos was arrested for assault at the intersection of 29th Street and Trinity Avenue.

    April 10
    11:40 a.m. — Ryan Barnes, 37, was arrested for assaulting a police officer on Rover Boulevard.

    5:33 p.m. — Police reported that a 19-year-old Los Alamos woman was injured in a car accident on N.M. 502.

    9:39 p.m. — William Garrett, 29, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance on 40th Street.

    April 11
    6:41 p.m. — Trevor Orr, 47, of Los Alamos was arrested for criminal trespass at the Mesa Public Library.

    9:32 p.m. — Chandler Lauritzen, 19, of Los Alamos was arrested for larceny (more than $250, less than $500) on Isleta Street.

    April 12
    4:09 p.m. — Rodney Hapney, 48, of Phoenix was arrested for criminal trespass on Potrillo Drive.

    April 13

  • State briefs 4-17-15

    ‘Manhattan’ production resumes in Santa Fe

    SANTA FE — New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced today that the second season of WGN America’s hit drama series “Manhattan,” produced by Lionsgate Television, Skydance Television and Tribune Studios, has begun filming in Santa Fe.
    Production will continue through the end of July, and employ more than 120 New Mexico crew members and approximately 2,800 New Mexico background extras throughout the season.
    Created and written by Sam Shaw and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Thomas Schlamme, “Manhattan” will premiere its sophomore season this fall on WGN America. “I could not be more excited about the return of ‘Manhattan’ to Santa Fe,” said Santa Fe Mayor Javier M. Gonzales. “With each new season we continue to grow our skilled workforce and film economy. Welcome ‘Manhattan!’”

    Jail transport officer accused of sex assault

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Authorities say a jail transport officer is accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate in Albuquerque.
    Metropolitan Detention Center officials say Enock Arviso resigned his position Thursday.

  • Gimme Shelter