Today's News

  • Promotions for LAFD
  • Reward offered in theft of stolen equipment from Valles Caldera

    The law enforcement division of the National Park Service is still actively investigating the $26,000 theft of special firefighting equipment that happened last weekend at the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
    “We are taking leads as they come in,” said U.S. Park Service Law Enforcement Agent Mike Hardin.
    National Park Service law enforcement is offering an up to $2,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the individual or individuals that took the equipment.
    The equipment was taken from a staging area off of N.M. 4, Hardin said. The thieves cut a bolt on the outside perimeter fence to gain access to the facility.
    The theft happened over the July 23-24 weekend, between 6 p.m. Saturday night and 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
    Firefighters working the low-intensity Big Hat Fire in the preserve were using the equipment.
    Authorities said the specialized equipment that was taken may have been very valuable in a cost sense, but the equipment value was protecting the Jemez Mountains community.
    “The reward is secondary,” Hardin said. “What we really want is the stuff back, because it affects this fire crew’s ability to do their job. It was used to protect people’s houses out here.”

  • Del Norte opens WR branch

    Del Norte Credit Union was joined by a welcoming crowd of some 100 friends and customers Friday as it opened its White Rock branch.
    Before the opening, the credit union did business out of a building it leased at 35 Rover Boulevard. DNCU has been in White Rock since the mid 1970s under its current name.
    Del Norte Credit Union CEO Chuck Valenti, who was on hand to meet with the customers, said the move to a more permanent location was the right one to make.
    “We’ve been here a long time, we’ve been keeping a bit of a low profile, but it’s time to break out of that,” Valenti said.
    Crowds of customers, curiosity seekers and bank officials,mixed and talked with each other Friday afternoon as Daniel Sena of Daniel’s Cafe handed out free gelato and kids played with a beanbag game out in front of the new building. The event culminated in speeches and a ribbon cutting at 2:15 p.m. Also on hand were plenty of souvenirs for anyone that wanted them, including tote bags with the company logo on it.
    Valenti reminded the crowd of the credit union’s roots in Los Alamos County.

  • LANS responds to Irving lawsuit

    Attorneys for Los Alamos National Security have responded to a 2016 lawsuit from a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee where he said he was discriminated against because of his age and a prior lawsuit he filed against the company in 2013.
    The employee filed the new suit in April. Los Alamos National Security is the company that manages and operates LANL.
    “Defendant (LANL) has discriminated against the plaintiff by subjecting him to a hostile work environment, denying him promotional opportunities and promoting a younger, less experienced individual, interfering with his ability to perform his job duties and by giving plaintiff a negative evaluation and significantly reducing his promotional opportunities and merit raise,” said his attorney, Donald Gilpin, in the lawsuit.
    In his suit, the employee, Michael Irving, also claims that he was passed over for a promotion because of what was contained in the prior lawsuit he lodged against Los Alamos National Security in 2013.

  • No opt-out for Smart Meters

    At its July 20 meeting, the Los Alamos County Board of Public Utilities (BPU) voted 4–1 against an opt-out option for Smart Meters. Stephen McLin voted against the motion.
    According to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) staff report, distributed energy resources such as roof-top solar are changing the face of the industry, and new options such as micro-grids, distributed energy resource management technologies and demand response programs for managing peak electricity demand more efficiently and economically are on the horizon.  
    Rate structures are also changing to provide options such as demand/response, time-of-use metering and value of solar tariffs (which credits customers for home solar generation).
    Smart Meters, which allow two-way communication between the utility and the customer, are central to implementing those changes.
    DPU plans to replace all electric meters with Smart Meters in FY2018. Gas and water meters will also be replaced with remotely read meters.
    “When we get to the full deployment of these radio reads in our system, our plan is to not have meter readers at all anymore,” DPU Manager Tim Glasco told the board. “So that begs the question of what do we do if someone has strong feelings about having a radio transmitter on their meters at their house?”

  • Gov. Martinez announces departure of NMED Sec. Flynn

    Gov. Susana Martinez announced late today New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn would step down effective Aug. 12.

    Flynn served as Cabinet Secretary since 2013 and as Environment’s General Counsel from 2011 to 2013. Butch Tongate, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, will serve as acting Cabinet Secretary.  

    “Secretary Flynn has put his heart and soul into protecting our environment and always put New Mexicans first,” Martinez said in a press release sent late Friday.

    Martinez is credited with spearheading a number of settlements while secretary of NMED, including negotiating an agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory for the cleanup of legacy waste from the Manhattan Project and Cold War Era.

    Martinez also commended Flynn for his leadership in negotiating the settlement between the state and the Department of Energy during the Gold King Mine spill and taking action on the Kirtland Air Force base spill.

    Flynn also lead the state through the radiation leak at the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. Flynn negotiated the largest settlement in the history of the United States between the Department of Energy and any state for the accidental release of radiation — a total of $74 million, Martinez said.

  • Saturday Comprehensive Plan meeting cancelled

    Los Alamos County announced Friday that the Planning and Zoning Commission work session on the Comprehensive Plan, scheduled for Saturday, July 30, has been cancelled due to inadequate notice. A second work session, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6 in Council Chambers, in the Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave., will continue as planned. A date to reschedule the cancelled meeting has not yet been determined.

  • Honors roll in before Olympics

    Former University of New Mexico cross country and track & field standout Courtney Frerichs claimed a pair of Mountain West awards on Wednesday as the conference named her Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year.
    Frerichs, a native of Nixa, Missouri, had a stellar 2015-16 campaign in cross country and track & field for the Lobos, guiding the UNM women’s cross country team to its first national title last November before winning the NCAA title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in record time in June.
    She also shined in the classroom, compiling a 4.16 GPA and MW Academic All-Conference and MW Scholar-Athlete honors as she pursued a master’s degree in community health organization.
    While at UNM, Frerichs ran to two national titles in one year, winning a team title and an individual title as a Lobo.
    She helped the UNM women’s cross country to its first national title in November, taking fourth place overall as the highest finisher in program history.
    After sitting out the indoor season, Frerichs continued to shine outdoors, twice running under 9:30 in the steeplechase before capping her collegiate career by setting the NCAA record at the NCAA Championships.

  • ‘Granite Mountain’ needs extras Aug. 5

    The movie “Granite Mountain” will be shooting a large scene in Los Alamos on Aug. 5 and is seeking paid extras to work in the film.
    The production, starring Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges and Miles Teller, is the story of the real-life Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of wildland firefighters that courageously battled one of the worst wildfires in history to save an Arizona town.
    The production is looking for men, women and children, dogs and cats, people with horse trailers and boats and cars.  
    The crew is casting police officers, fire fighters and families evacuating their homes. Email a photo with name, height, weight and phone number to egabelcasting@gmail.com. Put Los Alamos in the subject line. Also include the year, color and make of your car.

  • Classical night at the library