Today's News

  • Today in history Nov. 27
  • AVID earns place in LA Middle School

    The program is called “Advancement Via Individual Determination” or AVID, and the Los Alamos School Board was sold on it during a recent presentation.
    Started 30 years ago by a teacher in San Diego, representatives of the national school program came to Los Alamos recently to see if the Los Alamos Public Schools would be interested in what they have to offer.
    The program specifically targets the “academic middle” – students who aren’t in special education programs or enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Education program.
    AVID representatives told the board it could be the answer for Los Alamos’ middle school students who have college as a goal, but may need a little help getting there. The program would help students’ writing and reading skills, as well as critical thinking skills so they will be ready for college when they get there.
    About a month ago, Los Alamos Middle School officials were tasked by the board to survey staff and parents to see if AVID could work at the middle school. At that meeting, a regional director for AVID, Denise Campbell, made a presentation on how middle school students could benefit from AVID.
    Recently, Middle School Assistant Principal Ana Vargas Gutierrez and Principal Mike Johnson presented their findings to the board.

  • Open space specialist has passion for trails

    Los Alamos County’s new Open Space Specialist, Eric Peterson, brings seven years of experience to the job.
    Peterson spent two years as caretaker of Bernalillo County’s Bachechi Open Space and five years managing Albuquerque’s foothills open space. He was hired in July to replace retiring Open Space Specialist Craig Martin.
    “It’s been exciting. I’m always busy, which is great. There’s never been a dull day being open space specialist, which I really look forward to,” Peterson said.
    “I’ve got plenty of energy and lots of ideas that Craig kind of left, and some ideas that I’ve spun off of Craig’s open space plan, from a lot of the trail building to open space standards, how we just run the open space division here, being kind of a one-man crew.
    “It takes your attention from every angle and you have to kind of be involved in every aspect of the Open Space Plan.”
    Peterson has been working to implement the trail signage plan Martin developed. Peterson just completed two pilot projects in White Rock Canyon and on Deer Trap Mesa Trail. He will move forward with the rest of the plan in the spring after assessing user feedback.

  • On the Docket 11-27-15

    Nov. 18
    Joseph Fawcett was fined $50 for failing to display a current, valid registration plate while parked.
    Nov. 20
    Aaron N. Martinez was found guilty by Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to appear. The defendant was fined $50 and $65 in court costs.
    Laura E. Oberg was found guilty of speeding 11-15 mph over the limit. Defendant was fined $75 and $65 in court costs.
    Magili Cook was found guilty of speeding 1-5 mph over the limit. Defendant was fined $30 and $65 in court costs.
    Matthew T. Reiten was found guilty of speeding 11-15 mph over the limit. Defendant was fined $75 and $65 in court costs.
    Nov. 23
    Robert M. Martinez pleaded no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to yield to a pedestrian. Defendant must pay $65 in court costs.
    Christian Chavez was found guilty of speeding 6-10 mph over the limit and failing to pay court costs and fines. Defendant was fined $75 and $130 in court costs.
    Skyler R. McCall was found guilty of speeding 6-10 mph over the limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

  • Ex-LA officer fights charge

    It appears former Los Alamos Police Department Officer Jordan Redmond, who was recently fired from the Los Alamos Police Department for reportedly accepting an “honoraria” payment from the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos while on duty, is not going quietly.
    He has entered a not guilty plea in magistrate court. His pretrial hearing is Dec. 15.  
    “I’m not guilty of the charges,” Redmond said when contacted by phone. “I believe the process will demonstrate my innocence as I am a man of great integrity.”
    Redmond, who worked as a school resource officer at Los Alamos High School, also has garnered quite a bit of support from the community. He has a Facebook page at “I Stand With Officer Jordan.” He also has a Go Fund Me page also titled “I Stand With Officer Jordan.” Both pages were set up by Los Alamos residents who feel strongly that Redmond is innocent.
    A statement on both Facebook and Go Fund Me pages declares:

  • F-16 fighter jet crashes near Holloman; pilot safe

    SALINAS PARK, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say an F-16 fighter jet from an Air Force base in Arizona crashed while on training mission in New Mexico, but the pilot safely ejected.

    The Fighting Falcon went down about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday near Salinas Peak, some 45 miles northwest of Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Officials from Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, say emergency response teams found the pilot in good condition.

    An Air Force team will investigate the cause of the crash. Officials say the pilot is from the base in New Mexico and the F-16 was part of the 54th Fighter Group at the base in Arizona.

    Luke is making room for F-35 jets and shifting many F-16s to Holloman for training missions.

  • Girl, 3, battles severe scoliosis

    Bethany Hayward’s concerns for her daughter Lorelei began during pregnancy.
    Ultrasounds revealed a thickness in Lorelei’s neck. Doctors informed Hayward it could be any one of a number of catastrophic diseases, and the best-case scenario would be Down’s syndrome. They urged her to abort.
    Hayward refused, and Lorelei was born with the umbilical cord wrapped three times around her neck.
    “Other than that, she was perfect,” Hayward said.
    But before too long, Hayward noticed a dip in Lorelei’s back. The first doctor Hayward went to said Lorelei was fine, but the problem got worse. The second doctor she visited diagnosed a severe scoliosis.
    Since then, 3-year-old Lorelei has spent her life in casts and braces. She has had nine casts so far, and the problem actually got worse when she was recently placed in two braces.
    Lorelei’s spine is now at an 82 percent curvature. It is compressing her lungs and displacing her organs. Doctors fear that if nothing is done, the spine will eventually crush her lungs and heart.
    The only option remaining is to surgically insert Magec growing rods along Lorelei’s spine. She will be only the third person in New Mexico to receive this relatively new technology, which consists of magnetic rods that can be lengthened as she grows.

  • Use of any remaining school funds discussed

    While the main issue at a recent Los Alamos School Board meeting was what school to fund and how to do it, some related issues cropped up, too.
    Some parents, educators and school board members wanted to know what would happen to remaining funds once the renovation of Barranca Mesa Elementary School was completed.
    “The one thing I ask of the school board is this: Please be willing to release funds that the remaining schools need for vital upgrades,” said one resident, who added that Piñon Elementary School needs a new heating and air conditioning system and the school’s running track needs to be upgraded.
    “Our PTO has money to upgrade the track behind the school, but this project has been put on hold for years by the board,” she said.
    She said if the board does pick Barranca, which it did, it should make plans to create a group to create a long-range plan for both Piñon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary, especially because there are plans in the works to build more housing in the area.
    “There’s a lot of unanswered questions, and like (school board member) Dr. Matthew Williams said, we need to have some scenarios in place,” she said. “...There are many people in White Rock that would be interested in providing input for such a group.”

  • Thanksgiving holiday closures in Los Alamos

    Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    Los Alamos Visitor Center will be closed Thursday.
    The RTD “Blue Bus,” including the RTD Chile Line in Taos, will not be in operation  Thursday and Friday.
    The RTD Mountain Trail will be in operation. The Mountain Trail route will transition to its winter schedule on Thanksgiving Day in celebration of the opening of Ski Santa Fe. The service will operate on its weekend/holiday schedule throughout the four-day weekend. For more information visit RidetheBlueBus.com.
    County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    No trash pickup on Thursday and Friday. Set out trash Wednesday.
    Los Alamos Public Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    Los Alamos County Magistrate and Municipal Courts will be closed Thursday and Friday.  
    The First Judicial Santa Fe District Court, which serves Los Alamos, will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    U.S. Post Office in Los Alamos will be closed Thursday.
    Bandelier National Monument will be open Thursday. The Visitor Center will be open its usual hours, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and trails are open dawn to dusk.

  • LA’s Strickfaden honored as year’s top tourism professional

    Los Alamos native Georgia Strickfaden did not want to take the path of least resistance and work for Los Alamos National Laboratory or another big company, as so many of those she grew up with did.
    After a stint as a school teacher, Strickfaden started Buffalo Tours in 1985, with a focus on introducing visitors to the remarkable history of her hometown. She eventually expanded into offering tours of the entire state, always trying to give her customers glimpses into aspects of New Mexico they might not be aware of.
    The New Mexico Hospitality Association recently named Strickfaden the 2015 Tourism Professional of the Year. New Mexico Tourism Department Secretary Rebecca Latham − last year’s recipient − presented the award.
    “It’s very nice, but very surprising that a little van tour company in Los Alamos would beat out all these others,” Strickfaden said.
    The four other finalists for the award were Jennifer Bales, director of sale and service for the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau, Richard Holcomb, president of Cliff Dweller Digital video production company, Cynthia Delgado, director of marketing for Tourism Santa Fe and Jack Brennan, race director for Tour of the Gila bicycle race.
    A tourism association in Arizona did the judging.