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Today's News

  • LAPS board passes immigrant resolution

     The immigration status of students at Los Alamos schools won’t be recorded, or reported to federal immigration officials, under a resolution approved Tuesday by the school board.

    After urging her fellow members to refrain from discussing the politics surrounding immigration, Board President Jenny McCumber asked them to instead consider the resolution as a way to support student wellbeing at the schools.

    The resolution would be the first step in creating a policy and, ultimately, rules for staff regarding keeping students’ status private.

    “We want to make sure staff has a process to follow and can competently follow it,” McCumber said.

    The board met Tuesday. 

    According to the resolution, personnel and third-party contractors are expected to not report students who may be undocumented immigrants to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

    A student’s immigration status, or visa status, is not part of their record, although the resolution also calls for Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus to determine if such records are being kept.

  • Traffic backup at Pojoaque intersection N.M. 4 and US 84/285

    Traffic on north and south bound US 84/285 near the Buffalo Thunder Resort is being diverted to frontage roads due to motor vehicle accident.
    The accident may have occurred around 3:30 p.m., and it wasn’t immediately clear whether there were any injuries.
    Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department will send out an alert once the southbound lane is open, said the department’s spokesman, Juan Rios.
    A camera at the overpass of US 84/285 and NM 4 showed southbound traffic backed up through Pojoaque around 4 p.m.

  • Citizen's group urges residents to take code enforcement survey

    The Los Alamos County Citizens in Action group released a survey this week for residents to take on code enforcement, and more than 700 residents have already responded.

    Helen Milenski, one of the group's co-founders, put the county on notice about the survey at the County Council meeting Tuesday.

    "So far I'm not going to speak to what the analytics are showing, but we are getting a very good and fair and broad response from not just a handful of rabble-rousers," Milenski said. "I think it would do all of the county some good to reflect on this matter."

    Milenski said the response has been overwhelming.

    "One of the interesting things that was told to me before I did this is that I wouldn't get much of a response, because nobody cares about it. Apparently only the people who care about it are a handful of rabble-rousers who are all on social media," she said. "I have had almost 700 responses in over 48 hours (since the survey was released Monday)."

    The group, which has criticized the strictness of the county's code enforcement policies on private citizens, is hoping to persuade the county to modify the code enforcement policies through its survey.

    Some people at Tuesday's meeting used the public session to discount their claims.

  • Roswell allows city employees to carry guns at workplace

    ROSWELL (AP) — Roswell city employees who have concealed-carry permits may now carry concealed weapons in the workplace.
    The Roswell Daily Record reports that the City Council voted 9-1 Thursday night to approve a resolution allowing the city manager to permit workers with concealed-carry permits to carry a concealed weapon on city property.
    Councilor Jason Perry says he proposed the resolution so employees can protect themselves. He cites an August shooting in the city library in Clovis in two people were killed and others wounded.
    Councilor Juan Oropesa cast the sole dissenting vote. He said having guns in the workplace can be dangerous if people get angry.
    Roswell previously prohibited its employees from carrying firearms on city property or their vehicles while on duty, except for police officers, firefighters and some others.

  • Education secretary visits Los Alamos

    New Mexico has a chance to be among those in the forefront to update science standards for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, said the secretary of the Public Education Department during a visit to Los Alamos on Tuesday.
    Adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, also known as Next Gen, would put New Mexico among 19 states to embrace new science instructional requirements and updated content, said Cabinet Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski.
    He was in town to congratulate schools in Los Alamos for being among 121 schools statewide earning the “A” designation.
    PED has taken fire – particularly from the Los Alamos school board, local scientists and engineers and students – for modifications proposed to Next Gen, which includes switching out content on the human causes of “climate change,” for “temperature fluctuations,” and other modifications. Most recently the agency was the target of a letter signed by 61 scientists and engineers, Fellows of Los Alamos National Laboratory, published as an advertisement on Monday.
    The letter said the proposed modifications had “no scientific rationale,” and would tarnish the state’s reputation.
    Ruszkowski expects more discussions throughout this week, culminating in a hearing in Santa Fe on Monday.

  • Fireman's Competition

    Los Alamos Fire Department firefighter David Apodaca participates in a competition at the training center in Los Alamos Monday.

  • Board OKs Barranca Elementary $14.8 million budget for construction

    Preliminary plans for renovation and additions at Barranca Elementary received approval of an estimated construction budget of $14.8 million by the Los Alamos Public School board on Tuesday.
    The project includes a new two-story classroom building for first through sixth grades, a cafeteria, administrative offices and a vestibule for two wings. The plan also calls for demolition of three wings of the current structure.
    The board approved the estimated budget, but the decision also entails putting off renovations of the field house and other structures at the football stadium until more funding is available.
    Initial estimates have risen from $12.7 million discussed last month with board members and FBT Architects to the current estimate, which includes furnishings and fixtures, said Assistant Superintendent Lisa Montoya, who is in charge of finance and operations.
    The project’s cost would come out of bond funds and state funding. 

  • Nearby burns scheduled for Monday

    Officials from the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Santa Fe National Forest are planning a pair of prescribed burns in the local area.
    Burns in the area could start as early as Monday, according to caldera and National Forest officials.
    At the VCNP, a burn will take place within about an 2,300-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district, near mile marker 30 off N.M. 4.
    The caldera burn will could take between 3-10 days to complete, depending on conditions.
    Meanwhile, starting early next week, the SFNF has plans for burns about 15 miles north of Los Alamos in a 2,500-acre treatment area, which is expected to take two or three days to complete. Additionally, another burn will take place in the Cuba Ranger District area, although that will be located in a smaller treatment area.
    All the planned burns will get rid of dead forest fuels and pre-cut limbs and other debris.
    For the burn at the VCNP, officials warn of possible traffic delays on N.M. 4, as well as for visibility issues for drivers.
    Both the caldera and the Santa Fe National Forest officials warn of potential health hazards to those with allergies, chemical sensitivities or cardiorespiratory issues.
    Smoke will likely be visible from the Los Alamos town site from both the burns at the caldera and in the Espanola Ranger District.

  • LAPD seeks help identifying robbery suspect

    The Los Alamos Police Department Investigations Section is asking for the public's help to identity a male robbery suspect connected to a robbery that occurred on Aug. 27 at about 8:30 p.m. at Smith’s Marketplace, 751 Trinity Drive, in Los Alamos. 

    The suspect is described as Hispanic, about 5-foot-8-inches to 5-foot-10-inches tall, and possibly between 25-30 years old. A witness told police they observed the male suspect leave in a vehicle that was a cark-colored full-size four-door pickup truck that, at the time, was missing the tailgate. 

    LAPD is offering a reward of up to $300 to anyone who has information on the identity of the male suspect that is depicted in this composite drawing. 

    Anyone with information can call L.A Crime Stoppers at 662-8282, or call LAPD dispatch at 662-8222 and ask to speak to Det. Robinson. 

    Reporting individuals can remain anonymous.

  • County files cease-and-desist order against sheriff

    Los Alamos County filed a temporary cease-and-desist order Thursday against Sheriff Marco Lucero in the First Judicial District Court, asking the court to order him to stop all law enforcement activities.

    The county is accusing the sheriff of violating the state constitution by carrying out the duties reserved for the police department.

    “The Respondent persists in his belief that he has a legal duty to engage in law enforcement activities and therefore the Respondent is likely to continue to engage in law enforcement activities” county attorneys said in the order.

    The county accuses Lucero of “making arrests, filing criminal complaints and conducting criminal investigations.”

    The county’s cease-and-desist order was filed in response to a motion Lucero filed in the same court Aug. 29, a motion requesting the court to order the Los Alamos County Council to restore the duties of the sheriff’s office.

    On May 24, 2016, council moved all process-serving responsibilities from the sheriff’s office to the Los Alamos Police Department, after Lucero expressed concerns for his deputies’ safety. The question of whether to retain a sheriff also stems from that issue.