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Today's News

  • Halloween tips for pets

    If Halloween is spooky for you, just think of it from a dog’s perspective: Costumed creatures, sugary treats and things that go “boo” in the night — oh my. These simple precautions from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, however, can make the festive event fun.
    • Watch out for candy. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous to dogs and cats. And some candies contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can also cause problems. Pumpkins and corn might not be life-threatening but can upset stomachs.
    • Lighted pumpkins are fun but be careful that Fido doesn’t knock over all your work and start a fire. And curious kittens run the risk of getting burned by candles.
    • Dress-up can be fun for critters, but not all of them love it as much as you do. Watch the stress level, and only put on costumes that don’t restrict movement or hearing or impede the ability to breathe, bark or meow. Consider a colorful bandanna if all else fails.
    • Keep dogs and cats in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be stressful.
    • If you can’t resist bringing your critter along for trick-or-treating, make sure he or she can be seen from the road.

  • Renowned cellist to perform with LASO

    Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra fans are in for a treat this year when the orchestra welcomes premier cello soloist Wendy Warner to the stage Nov. 4, at Crossroads Bible Church. 

    Together, with longtime friend and LASO Conductor David Chavez, they will present the Saint-Sens Concerto No. 1.

    Warner came to fame when she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony at 14. In 1990, she won the top prize at the Fourth Annual Rostropovich Competition four years later.

    Chavez first met Warner when he was playing with the then New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. At the time, she was a guest soloist, performing a cello concerto by Dvorak.

    “Wendy and I have sustained a wonderful friendship over the years, and I am lucky to have kept my relationship with her,” Chavez said.

    This season, Warner has performed with orchestras and musical groups in China and Peru. In the U.S. she has performed with symphonies in Wichita Kansas and other places in the U.S.

    When she’s not traveling, she teaches music at the Schwob School of Music in Columbus, Geogia.

  • Water regulators making waves as water grab flows

    When three members of the Interstate Stream Commission resign abruptly, we need to pay attention.

    When they point fingers at the State Engineer, we need to be worried. The two agencies are our water watchdogs.

    The ISC oversees New Mexico’s participation in interstate stream compacts, protects and develops the state’s water and does water planning. The State Engineer regulates water rights and serves as ISC secretary.

    The ISC has withered with an exodus of staffers blamed on both State Engineer Tom Blaine and the administration’s budget cuts. It’s an open secret in the water world that Blaine wants the traditionally independent ISC under his thumb.

    Blaine meanwhile has opened the gate to the state’s biggest water grab.

    The ISC in recent months has lost its director, Colorado River bureau chief, special projects bureau chief, general counsel, acting general counsel, and Middle Rio Grande Basin manager. It has just two senior staffers left.

    When Blaine hired Deborah Dixon in early 2015, she was senior vice president at Bohannan Huston, a major engineering firm. “Ms. Dixon is an outstanding engineer who has valuable experience working in water projects in New Mexico,” Blaine said.

    Blaine fired Dixon in June without a word to commissioners.

  • Volleyball heads to Albuquerque tonight

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team got neither the win it needed or the help it needed to move up from the District 2-5A basement to get a home match.

    Los Alamos fell in three sets to Capital Saturday and the Espanola Valley Sundevils defeated the Del Norte Knights, relegating the Hilltoppers to the No. 5 seed in the district tournament, which starts tonight.

    The Hilltoppers will take on Del Norte's Knights in Albuquerque this evening. The winner of tonight's match will meet Espanola Valley, which ended up third in the 2-5A standings, Tuesday night in the valley.

    Los Alamos finished the regular season with a record of 5-15 and won just one regular season district match. Del Norte took both contests between the two teams, winning six of the seven sets they played against each other.

  • Air Force officer says he was disciplined for his beliefs

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — An Air Force colonel said he was wrongly disciplined after refusing to sign a certificate of appreciation to the same-sex spouse of a retiring master sergeant.

    Leland Bohannon, who cited his religious beliefs for not signing the document, was relieved of his command of the inspection agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico following his decision in May.

    A superior officer also sent a letter recommending against his promotion after an Equal Opportunity complaint against him was substantiated, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

    The certificate is an unofficial document that’s traditionally given to the spouses of retiring military members, and it’s not legally required to be given.

    The First Liberty Institute, a religious liberties group, is representing Bohannon. The group is demanding that the complaint against Bohannon be reversed and that related unfavorable materials are removed from his service record.

    After Bohannon was asked to sign the certificate, he consulted with others on the base and he filed a religious accommodation request that would excuse him from the signing.

    The request was returned without action six weeks later, according to an appeal letter sent to the Air Force this month by the institute.

  • Science Says: Jack Frost nipping at your nose ever later

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Winter is coming ... later. And it’s leaving ever earlier.

    Across the United States, the year’s first freeze has been arriving further and further into the calendar, according to more than a century of measurements from weather stations nationwide. Scientists say it is yet another sign of the changing climate, and that it has good and bad consequences for the nation. There could be more fruits and vegetables — and also more allergies and pests.

    “I’m happy about it,” said Karen Duncan of Streator, Illinois. Her flowers are in bloom because she’s had no frost this year yet, just as she had none last year at this time either. On the other hand, she said just last week it was too hot and buggy to go out — in late October, near Chicago.

    The trend of ever later first freezes appears to have started around 1980, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of data from 700 weather stations across the U.S. going back to 1895 compiled by Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

  • Police Beat 10-29-17

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department records.
    Charges or citations listed in the Police Beat do not imply guilt or non-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.

    Oct. 18
    Midnight – Police arrested Thea Medina, 39, Ranchitos, on an allegation that she was driving on a suspended license and had a warrant held by State Police out of Rio Arriba County. Police stopped the vehicle because it was speeding.

    Oct. 19
    12:51 p.m. – Police arrested an individual on an allegation of reckless driving.

    Oct. 20
    10:20 a.m. – Police reported an office observed Jaime Jose Castillo, 20, Los Alamos, driving through a parking lot, allegedly smoking marijuana. When stopped, police reported they found more of the substance in the vehicle.
    10:57 a.m. – Someone turned in a pellet gun for destruction to the Police Department.
    3 p.m. – Someone reported that they had been the victim of fraud when they received notice from a collection service for an overdue bill, for a television service they didn’t order.

  • Workers contaminated upgrading glovebox

    Workers in the plutonium facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory were hit with ariborne radioactive contamination Sept. 23 from a glovebox after they removed a plug in the box that let the contamination out into the room they were working in.
    Three workers were exposed, including one that was exposed to radiation on his chest. According to a report on the incident issued by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, all the workers were tested.
    “Nasal smears were all determined to be negative and the workers were placed on special bioassay (tested and monitored),” the report read.
    They were unharmed by the accident, according to a LANL spokesperson Friday, who asked for his name not to be used.
    “The worker that received skin contamination was successfully and thoroughly decontaminated -- mostly by washing off the contamination with water,” the spokesperson said. “None of the three workers received any measurable dose, and there was no risk to the public. The facility’s safety systems worked as designed.”

  • Casados announces bid for fifth term

    Long-time Los Alamos Magistrate Pat Casados announced Friday she would be seeking a fifth term to the post.
    A Democrat, Casados said she’s decided to run for another four-year term with a hope that a new governor in the Roundhouse at the end of next year will help stick up for the state’s judiciary.

    “I want to be around to see what the next governor will do for the judiciary. We’ve got to have more support,” she said in an announcement on the pavement outside the Los Alamos Justice Center.

    Casados said she expects opposition – she has bested repeat opponent Greg Ahlers in the past.

    The judiciary, along with the executive branch and the Legislature, has faced budget cuts. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, a former district attorney in Las Cruces, and lawmakers, have been criticized for their lack of support of the state’s third branch of government.

    Martinez ends her second term next year. The governor is limited to two, four-year terms. Magistrates do not face the same restriction. Casados was first elected in the early 2000s.

    Asked if there was a specific gubernatorial candidate she would support, Casados declined to say. Cuts to the judiciary have weakened programs originally intended to serve the public.

  • Death in a small town

    Ryan Barnes, 39, was someone’s brother, someone’s son.

    But he was an outcast – disfigured and damaged from a severe brain injury, a homeless alcoholic who forgot to take his medications and often had brushes with the law.

    Barnes of Los Alamos died Oct. 18 in Española in a stranger’s front yard. His sister, Christine Byers, 48, said she believes it was heroin that killed him, even though it wasn’t his drug of choice.

    He was her brother, even though they weren’t related by blood – her dad married Ryan’s mom.

    “When Ryan was normal he was a wonderful man, just full of energy and life. I’ll never forget that smile,” she said, speaking through her tears.

    When he was drinking, his behavior was aggressive and violent. He had several run-ins with the law in Los Alamos, faces charges of trespass and burglary. In 2015 he was charged with indecent exposure after allegedly dropping his pants in front of a glass window at a local wine bar, filled with patrons. He pleaded “no contest,” and was sentenced to a treatment facility in Santa Fe, but was seen around town a month later.

    Some people looked at him, as he walked around Los Alamos, as someone to fear because of his appearance and reputation.