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Today's News

  • Police Beat 12-25-16

    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, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Dec. 1
    10:38 a.m. — Samuel Nasise, 47, of Los Alamos was arrested for driving a vehicle while under the influence of a drug in the 1000 block of Trinity Drive.

    11:59 a.m. — Garrett Eckhart, 35, of Los Alamos was arrested for shoplifting (less than $500) at the intersection of 44th Street and Urban Street.

    3 p.m. — Samuel Nasise, 47, of Los Alamos was arrested on a district court warrant in the 400 block of Manhattan Loop.

    Dec. 2
    2:45 a.m. — Christopher Begay, 22, of Los Alamos was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos police station.

    Dec. 4
    1:19 a.m. — Michael Brazfield, 46, of Los Alamos was arrested for discharging firearms at Primrose Lane.

    Dec. 5
    5:35 p.m. — Police reported that a 34-year-old Santa Fe woman was the victim of an accident with no injuries at Diamond Drive.

    Dec. 6

  • Panel of principals revisits homework issue

    A panel of experts is working on helping middle and high school students work smarter, not harder when it comes to homework. A group of principals from Los Alamos Middle School and High School made a presentation to the Los Alamos School Board about the issue. Their idea is to lessen the burden on students while making sure they grasp the material they’re studying at the same time.
    So far, the group has put in some “safety nets” for kids who are already struggling with homework. They plan to include online resources that go into time management and organization. In January, they will be asking teachers to talk to their students about other strategies to deal with homework.
    “We want to have the teachers talk to the students about making sure that they have a ‘homework buddy,’ homework group member Renee Dunwoody said. “That they have somebody in the class that they know they can talk to.”
    That “buddy” would then help them when they miss out on the homework assignment and get off track. They are also urging teachers to open up lines of communication with students.

  • Work at nuke dump to resume

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department on Friday authorized its contractor to resume the disposal of radioactive waste at an underground repository in southern New Mexico, setting the stage for the first barrel of waste to be taken below ground since a radiation release forced the facility’s closure nearly three years ago.
    Agency officials said the approval confirms that numerous corrective actions identified during a recent review have been completed.
    A team of Energy Department experts from around the nation found paperwork and documentation issues that needed to be fixed. The team also found procedural inadequacies regarding new requirements for accepting waste from national laboratories and other defense sites around the country.
    The department called the authorization a major milestone.
    “Safety has and will continue to be our number one priority,” department spokeswoman Bridget Bartol said, noting that workers at the site will complete minor maintenance on the walls and floors of the underground disposal area before waste-handling work resumes.
    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been closed since February 2014 when a radiation release contaminated a significant portion of the repository, where disposal rooms are carved out of a thick salt formation deep underground.

  • LA residents in the holiday mood

    It’s a good day for snowmen, as any Chamisa Elementary student will tell you. On Friday, there was snow on the ground and excitement in the air as students on their recess break busted out to finish their project … a family of snowmen (and women) out in front of the school.
    The Los Alamos Monitor also felt it was a good time to ask children and adults alike what the holiday season meant to them.
    Second grade student Joe Romero did his share of snowman building today, and was tired. However, he did have some things to say about Christmas, and that they did celebrate it.
    “We wait for Santa, then we eat, go to church, then go play and then open presents,” he said matter-of-factly.  
    Mom Melanie Rodriguez was helping put a head on one of the snowmen when she decided to chime in.
    “It means family time, and reunions,” she said. For the holidays, she said she and the rest of her family get together and cook.
    “We usually get together, cook a traditional plate from my country and pray to Jesus because for us, it’s like Jesus being born again,” she said.
    In Los Alamos, many shoppers at Smith’s enjoy the family aspect of the holidays.

  • No tennis courts at Mesa Meadows

    Although additional tennis courts were excluded from the 2017 recreation bond projects, Councilor James Chrobocinski assured advocates that he would work to make sure those are built.  
    One of the issues with the tennis courts was a lack of agreement about where to locate them. Western Area residents now have some assurance that those courts will not be built in a section of Western Area Park known as Mesa Meadows.
    Thirty-one members of Mesa Meadow Pool signed a petition asking the Los Alamos County Council to rule out building additional tennis courts at that location.
    Elizabeth West — who submitted the petition — presented it to council on Tuesday.
    “We certainly don’t object to more tennis courts if the community needs them, but we do object to them being located in Mesa Meadows,” West said. “Mesa Meadows is a greenspace that is used by residents. Just because it’s undeveloped doesn’t mean it’s not used.”
    West pointed out that the neighborhood already holds tennis courts, a soccer field, Sullivan Field and a pool.

  • Ahlers passionate about selling Los Alamos

    Los Alamos County’s new economic development administrator calls herself a “cheerleader” for Los Alamos.
    Joanie Ahlers joined county staff just 15 days ago, but she and her husband Gary moved to Los Alamos with their four children — Madison, Jordan, Gregory and Sienna — 16 years ago.
    “I am a Los Alamos fan. I think it’s a great place to live. We have great people, one of the most amazing climates, lots of things for kids to do, outside activities. All of my children played three varsity sports through high school,” Ahlers said. “So I think it’s a great family town. Now we just need to work a little bit more on improving our quality of life.”
    Ahlers’ primary background is in development and construction. Among other things, she and her husband have done commercial real estate development for the state of New Mexico.
    Ahlers hired on as Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) assets manager about five years ago, working to increase the schools’ supplemental revenue stream through managing their lease assets.

  • DWI planning council seeks greater community presence

    Los Alamos DWI Planning Council (DWI-PC) has heard the voice of the community and using the results from a community survey to drive some of its current projects.
    “The DWI Planning Council has been working diligently over the past year to develop new marketing materials and have a greater presence in the community to raise DWI awareness,” said Kirsten Bell, the DWI Coordinator. “The group has hosted tables at the Farmer’s Market, summer concerts at Ashley Pond, the health fair, county customer service fair and Red Ribbon Week activities at Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School.”
    December highlighted DWI Awareness Week across the state with the Los Alamos County Council issuing a proclamation and the program hosting a poster contest.
    The plans for 2016 aren’t over yet, with free transportation available to the community for one of the biggest celebratory weekends of the year. The DWI-PC along with Atomic City Transit has teamed up to offer free rides and some artistic education from the youth.
    At 7 a.m. Thursday, ACT will begin taking reservations to schedule free rides Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 starting at 6 p.m. Reservations will be taken for free service by calling 661-RIDE (7433).

  • School Board mulls starting school later

    By this time next year, there’s a real possibility that Los Alamos’ middle and high school students could be getting up a little later to go to school.
    The group of high school administrators and teachers assigned to the task, the “High School Schedule Work Group” is still working out the details, but based on discussions and studies the group has completed, school start times could be pushed up by as much as 50 minutes to an hour.
    Topper Freshman Academy Principal Carter Payne, who is also a member of the group, presented the group’s progress toward instituting later start times to the Los Alamos School Board.
    The group’s next step is to reach out to the public through surveys and community input. That could start as soon as March or April. The group has another meeting with the school board in January or February where it will present more data.
    During discussion about the proposed times, School Board Member Matt Williams wanted to know how the 50 minute shift in time would affect caregivers and parents having to come home around 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
    “Right now they can get home around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. but to get home by 3 p.m. or so is very difficult for people in that position,” Williams said.

  • Lab answers lawsuit

    Los Alamos Security LLC has responded to lawsuit by  former Los Alamos National Laboratory executive John Tapia.   
    “Following a comprehensive, two-month investigation by the laboratory into allegations of multiple policy violations, John Tapia was presented with the findings and opted to resign in lieu of termination,” a spokesman for the laboratory said.  “We are confident that we will prevail in the law.”
    The spokesman would not say what those policy violations were.
    Attorneys for LANS also filed a response in court Tuesday.
    “The LANS defendants deny the allegation … that Mr. Tapia was ‘forced to resign’ and admit that because Mr. Tapia resigned in lieu of termination for cause based on misconduct, Mr. Tapia could not seek employment with LANS, be granted a LANL access badge or work on laboratory property under contract with another employer,” LANS attorneys said.  

  • Council approves recreation bond projects

    More than 100 people showed up at Tuesday’s Los Alamos County Council meeting to weigh in on which projects would be included in the 2017 recreation bond.
    Those participants included many of the county’s youth teams involved with various sports. During an hour of public comments, both individuals and teams made one last plea for why the projects they supported are necessary.
    Council then debated how to proceed.
    Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (DPS), the consultants hired to scope the projects, had estimated that all seven projects — a splash pad at Piñon Park, a multigenerational pool, golf course improvements, ice rink improvements, improvements to the Overlook Park ball fields, additional tennis courts and a combined recreation center/indoor ice rink — would cost $35,058,300.
    Council had only allotted $27 million for the projects: $7 million from Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds coupled with a $20-million bond to be placed before voters for approval next May.
    Deputy County Manager Steven Lynne presented some reassuring numbers at the beginning of the meeting.