Today's News

  • LAPS test scores show LA still on top

    The results from last year’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, or PARCC, have some statewide districts disgruntled.

    It is no secret that New Mexico’s educational system trails behind other states in the nation, but the Los Alamos School district remains on top.

    Overall, less than a third of New Mexico students aren’t proficient in math and English Language Arts.

    Los Alamos, however, scored well above state average in math and English Language Arts.

    When compared to the data from the previous year of testing, grades five, six, seven, nine and 10 increased proficiency in English Language Arts. About 56 percent of fifth graders are proficient in English Language Arts, which is an increase from 42 percent. Grades three, four, eight and 11 decreased in this area. The most notable was a 12 percent decrease in English Language Arts proficiency among eighth graders.

    Grades three, four and six through 10 decreased in math proficiency, the most notable being a fall to six percent of eighth graders being proficient in math.

    Eleventh graders increased their percent of proficiency by 10 percent from last year’s testing scores.

    Los Alamos Schools overall had a higher proficiency percentage than most schools in New Mexico.

  • LANL cybersecurity experts recognized for work

    Quantum-cybersecurity expert Ray Newell received the 2016 Richard P. Feynman Innovation Prize at a July 20 ceremony celebrating the “Super Power of the Entrepreneur.”

    Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers Miles Beaux and Nataliia Makedonska, and post-doctoral researchers Jessica Kubicek-Sutherland and Vamshi Chillara were also recognized for their exceptional research presentations at DisrupTech, an event that brings together investors, business leaders and others in the community to learn about disruptive technologies – those technologies that could potentially up-end the way we live and work – being developed at Los Alamos.

    “Increasingly, disruptive technology change is driven by entrepreneurs and corporations,” said Duncan McBranch, chief technology officer at Los Alamos. “They are tackling problems once limited to superpower nations – like global public health and space exploration. When the laboratory collaborates with the private sector, we can combine our transformative technologies with new business models to change the world.

    The Feynman Innovation Prize and DisrupTech were created to celebrate our scientists’ role in creating technologies that can help further the laboratory’s mission while simultaneously making the world a better place.”

  • LAPS board reacts to draft lab contract

    The Los Alamos Public School board met on Monday to review and discuss the draft request for proposal documents for the Los Alamos National Lab Management and Operation Contract Competition.

    LAPS noticed that the documents did not mention the obligations for the successor to provide support to the Los Alamos schools in the amount of $8 million each fiscal year.

    This obligation is covered under Public Law 105-85, the “Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005.”

    LAPS drafted a comment to address the missing language for the main purpose of making the potential contractor aware of the $8 million and avoid any unwanted surprises.

    LANL Foundation Treasurer Bill Wadt and Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Sullivan were present to discuss the comment that Wadt drafted with the help of Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

    Wadt offered to help draft the comment because he has extensive experience working on Management and Operation contract issues, dating back to 1992.

    Wadt informed the school board that the original language was developed by Maury Pongratz in an effort to protect the school district when the LANL contract was up for competition in 2005-2006.

  • Council tables sheriff’s resolution, opts for study

    Los Alamos County Council, in a special meeting Wednesday, voted to table a resolution by Councilor Peter Sheehey that would have restored the duties of the Los Alamos County sheriff.

    The council instead decided to approve Councilor James Chrobocinski’s plan to create a commission to further study the issue.

    “I’m concerned that a resolution getting us back to basically where we were before is not going to be any sort of permanent solution,” Chrobocinski said. “No one was happy with it before, and restoring things the way they were isn’t going to solve anything.”

    Chrobocinski instead said he wanted to see the sheriff’s duties written into a charter amendment, a move that would make it more difficult for future county councils to take away the powers of the sheriff.

    In January, Los Alamos County voters approved a referendum to have council restore the office of the sheriff. In November 2016, the county voted to have the Los Alamos Police Department take over most of the sheriff’s office duties. The move left Sheriff Marco Lucero with no staff and only one duty, to manage the sex offender registry.

  • Power restored in White Rock

    The power was restored in White Rock at 6:53 p.m. Wednesday after more than four hours. The Public Service Company of New Mexico and The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities determined the cause of the outage to be a lightning strike that hit a building within the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “We had to coordinate with LANL and PNM to get the system back up," DPU Spokesperson Julie Williams-Hill said. Earlier in the day, PNM and LANL thought there may have been a break in a transmission line outside of the county’s power grid.

    White Rock experienced a total power failure at 2:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., the county set up portable generators at the major intersections in White Rock to handle the traffic from the 5 p.m. commute.

    Williams-Hill thanked the utility companies involved in finding the source of the problem. “Thank you PNM, LANL and all our customers in White Rock,” Williams-Hill said in an update on the DPU's Facebook page.

  • Interior secretary to visit Las Cruces amid monuments review

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is scheduled to visit Las Cruces this week in connection with the Trump administration's review of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

    Zinke is slated Thursday to take part in a public meeting at the Las Cruces Convention Center with the mayors of Las Cruces, Mesilla, Anthony and Sunland Park.

    The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument are among 27 monuments where a review ordered by President Donald Trump might remove protections previously considered irreversible.

    The review is rekindling a fierce debate about oversight of lands marked by ancient petroglyphs and towering mountain spires.

    The New Mexico Cattle Growers Association is urging Trump to eliminate certain large-scale national monuments.

  • Pre-trial set for Santa Cruz man

    Santa Cruz resident Celso Ramos, 37, of Santa Cruz, was arrested July 13 in Los Alamos on a magistrate and district court warrant on charges relating to possession of heroin.

    In early 2015, Ramos was arrested as part of a series of drug trafficking arrests that took place in Los Alamos on Feb. 17-20, 2015, and yielded several prescription drugs and slightly more than two ounces of heroin (58.2 grams).

    According to court documents, police were called to a White Rock neighborhood because Ramos and a 29-year-old woman named Deanna Doss were seen acting suspicious.

    LAPD first received reports of the couple “walking up and down driveways.”

    Police made contact with the couple in the parking lot of the Smith’s grocery store in White Rock.

    When questioned and searched, police found four fully loaded syringes of heroin in his backpack. The amount of heroin in the syringes turned out to be more than 2 ounces. While searching Ramos at the detention center, police discovered an additional 2.5 grams of heroin, according to the report.

    Ramos was charged with trafficking controlled substances (possession with intent to distribute, narcotic or meth, first offense), possession of a controlled substance (felony narcotic drug) and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • Domino’s donates to local fire victim

    Domino’s presented a check for $1,486.21 to Bonita Rogozinsky Tuesday, whose home was almost destroyed by a fire on June 24.

    The pizza franchise was touched by her plight and decided to donate 100 percent of its profits from sales on July 20 to help with the cost of rebuilding her home.

    Rogozinsky held back tears as close friends arrived one-by-one to show their support during the intimate ceremony.

    “We really wanted to help,” said Domino’s Regional Manager Vincent Alton as he addressed the small crowd. “We were extremely pleased with the turnout.”

    The turnout translated to about double the normal amount of orders on a typical Thursday, and Alton said he was proud of all the hardworking employees who took on the challenge. Rogozinsky thanked them and gave each one a warm hug.

    Rogozinsky and her beloved pets escaped without injury, but the fire destroyed about 75 percent of her home and insurance will not cover the full cost of the loss. She had recently purchased the house and had owned it for less than 24 hours.

    General Manager Celesta Lasater learned about Rogozinsky’s situation after she had called to cancel a pizza she had ordered just minutes before.

    Wanting to help, Lasater received permission from her superiors to organize this fundraiser.

  • State News Briefs 7-26-17

    New Mexico adjusts rules for dark-money groups in politics

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico campaign finance regulators are making some adjustments as they move forward with a proposal for more detailed financial disclosures from nonprofit advocacy groups that attempt to influence elections.
    In response to public comments, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Tuesday released revised rules aimed at so-called dark money groups that can spend unlimited amounts to influence elections and ballot measures when acting independently.
    Several conservative-backed groups with a statewide and national presence say Toulouse Oliver is overstepping her authority by requiring that independent expenditure groups disclose their contributors.
    Toulouse Oliver says New Mexicans have a right to know who is paying for ads that attempt to influence their vote. Revisions rules would raise the spending threshold to $2,500 before independent expenditure groups must reveal their contributors.

    New Mexico to get $18M from Volkswagen emissions settlement

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico is set to receive $18 million following a settlement connected to the Volkswagen smog device emissions scandal.

  • Preserving friendships

    Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz handed over a Proclamation of Friendship to History Museum Director Judith Stauber Monday, who shook his hand enthusiastically. 

    The proclamation is an offering of friendship between the Los Alamos History Museum and its Japanese counterparts, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Museum, in order to preserve and understand the history behind the different perspectives of the Manhattan Project story.

    Stauber and Board Member Michael Redondo are looking forward to traveling to Japan in early August to personally deliver the proclamation and the 1,303 handmade origami cranes to the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Stauber and Redondo will also attend memorials on Aug. 6 and 9, the anniversaries of the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, respectively.