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Today's News

  • Man lures underage girl with Neflix login

    A 24-year-old Washington state man waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Friday on allegations that he swapped a login to a Netflix account for pornographic selfies of a 15-year-old Los Alamos girl, then sent a few of his own.

    Charges against Tyson Collins of Centralia, Washington, include solicitation of a child with an electronic device, causing a child to engage in sexual exploitation, criminal sexual communications with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    The charges will be heard in District Court.

    Collins appeared briefly in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Friday to waive the first hearing on the charges, which are fourth degree felonies.

    The charges stem from a report by the 15-year-old girl and her father, who said the girl came in contact with Collins in mid June on an app called Whispers. The girl had sent a message that she wanted a Netflix login, according to court documents.

    Collins allegedly responded, saying at first that the girl could have access to his Netflix and Hulu accounts for $100, but that he also wanted to see a photo of her.  She sent him a photo, although she wondered why he wanted it, according to the documents.

  • Community Calendar 10-27-17

    TODAY
    Trick–or–Treat on MainStreet will haunt downtown Los Alamos again on from 4-6 p.m. During the event, Main Street and Central Avenue, from 15th to 20th Streets, are closed to auto traffic and become a safe pedestrian area where local businesses and organizations distribute candy to costumed families. At 4 p.m., LAHS Olions will present live statues; 4:30 p.m. performance by High Flyers; 5 p.m. performance by Dance Arts Los Alamos; 5:30 p.m. Pet Costume Parade.

    Knights of Columbus Haunted House from 6-10 p.m. at 104 DP Road. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for kids, under age 4 are free.

    Pajarito Prewpub and Grill Costume Party with live music by the Bus Tapes from 8 p.m.-midnight. Ages 21 and older.

    Los Alamos Teen Center Halloween Party.

    Sugar Skull Painting Event from 6:30-9 p.m. at UnQuarked Wine Room.

    High Tech Halloween from 4-6 p.m. at the Bradbury Science Museum.

    Gentle Walks
 at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free.
    SATURDAY
    Acid Canyon Clean-up Day
from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Join the County’s Open Space Specialist and other volunteers to clean up the leftover fencing below the nature center in Acid Canyon. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Proposed science standards shift again

    New science standards proposed by the state’s public education department for kindergarten through 12th grade continued to catch flak on Thursday, even as the secretary designate announced Wednesday night he was rolling back on the controversial changes to national standards he had earlier stood behind.

    Educators and scientists lined up on Thursday in front of the Legislative Education Study Committee in Santa Fe to blast, in general, the proposed STEM-Ready Science Standards proposed by the Public Education Department Secretary Designate Charles Ruszkowski.

    The PED’s original proposal, released to the public about five weeks ago, was an edited version of national standards developed called Next Generation, but Ruszkowski’s edits included changes to instruction and content regarding evolution, climate change and the age of the earth.

    Late Wednesday, however, Ruszkowski said that he had heard the criticism – including an eight-hour public hearing in mid-October where few voiced support of his proposal – and he planned to replace his STEM-Ready with Next Generation, with six additions, according to the Associated Press. The additions include instruction on local accomplishments in science and industry.

  • NNSA releases RFP for lab contract

    The National Nuclear Security Administration released its final request for proposals Wednesday for the management and operations contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The final RFP includes a 1-percent fixed performance fee for the contractor and language for a community commitment plan.

    Bidders have until Dec. 11 to submit proposals.

    When the NNSA announced the draft RFP, over 20 contractors, including the University of California, the University of Texas System, Bechtel, General Dynamics and others responded. Many toured the lab over the summer.

    The University of California issued a statement Wednesday following the NNSA’s release of the final RFP.

    “The university is strongly committed to Los Alamos’ scientific and technological excellence, driving the lab’s culture of operational excellence, and ensuring the continued high quality and integrity of its critical national security missions,” University of California Vice President for National Laboratories Kimberly Budil,  said in a written statement.

  • Student arrested for threatening to ‘shoot up school’

    A 17-year-old Los Alamos High School student who threatened on Oct. 18 to “shoot up the school” returned to school this week.

    The student, a male from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, was released from juvenile custody by Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer in First Judicial Court in Santa Fe Wednesday on conditional release.

    The student will attend an alternative education program in the Los Alamos Public School District’s administration building on Trinity Drive.

    The juvenile will not be allowed to have any type of weapon on his person or a backpack on school grounds, as part of his conditions of release.

    He also must wear a monitoring bracelet and have no contact with LAHS Principal Carter Payne. He will also be required to stay at least 100 yards away from Los Alamos High School, located on Diamond Drive.

    LAHS officials also requested a trespass order, barring him from all LAPS properties and activities, allowing him to only attend classes at the Trinity Drive administration building.

    The court made one exception to the 100-yards rule, allowing him to attend welding classes at UNM-LA.
    The student was out on another conditional release from a Sept. 12 incident for allegedly making threats against Payne and for allegedly possessing drug paraphernalia.

  • GOP targets environmental rules after wildfires

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are targeting environmental rules to allow faster approval for tree cutting in national forests in response to the deadly wildfires in California.

    Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Thursday that lawmakers will vote next week on a bill to loosen environmental regulations for forest-thinning projects on federal lands. The GOP argues the actions will reduce the risk of fire.

    The Republican bill makes needed changes to forest management and "includes reforms to keep our forests healthy and less susceptible to the types of fires that ravaged our state this month," McCarthy said.

    California has declared a public health emergency in the northern part of the state, where fires that began Oct. 8 have killed at least 42 people, making them the deadliest series of wildfires in state history. Authorities have warned residents returning to the ruins of their homes to beware of possible hazardous residues in the ashes, and required them to sign forms acknowledging the danger.

    The GOP bill is one of at least three being considered in Congress to address wildfires. Republicans and the timber industry have long complained about environmental rules that make it harder to cut down trees to reduce fire risk.

  • NNSA releases final request for proposals for lab contract

    The National Nuclear Security Administration released its final request for proposals Wednesday for the management and operations contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The final RFP includes a 1 percent fixed performance fee for the contractor and language for a community commitment plan.

    Bidders have until Dec. 11 to submit proposals.

    When the NNSA announced the draft RFP, over 20 contractors, including the University of California, the University of Texas System, Bechtel, General Dynamics and others responded. Many toured the lab over the summer.

    The University of California issued a statement Wednesday following the NNSA’s release of the final RFP.

    “The university is strongly committed to Los Alamos’ scientific and technological excellence, driving the lab’s culture of operational excellence, and ensuring the continued high quality and integrity of its critical national security missions,” University of California Vice President for National Laboratories Kimberly Budil,  said in a written statement.

  • Valles Caldera prescribed burn in progress

    From the U.S. Forest Service:

     

  • Partridge resigns from Chamber of Commerce

    Mike Maez-Coté
    mcote@lamonitor.com

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new Chamber manager following the resignation of Manager Nancy Partridge.

    The chamber confirmed Wednesday that Partridge resigned, but declined to say when she resigned and when her last day was.

    The chamber began advertising for her position on its website at approximately noon Tuesday. The job posting is on the chamber’s website, LosAlamosChamber.com.

    Neither Partridge, whom the Los Alamos Monitor contacted Wednesday morning, or Patrick Sullivan, the Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director, would comment on her resignation.

    Partridge said she did not think her resignation was newsworthy.

    Sullivan said he hoped the search for Partridge’s replacement would move “relatively quickly.”

    For the time being, Sullivan said, those who need assistance from the chamber should contact Member Services Coordinator Ufemia Rios.

    Partridge was hired in August 2014 to the post, returning to the area after working in Denver, most recently with the Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute before returning to Los Alamos, where she was born and raised.

  • US considers higher entry fees at 17 popular national parks

    By FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The National Park Service is considering a steep increase in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, mostly in the U.S. West, to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects.

    Visitors to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and other national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the fee of $30 for a weekly pass. At others, the hike is nearly triple, from $25 to $70.

    A 30-day public comment period opened Tuesday. The Park Service says it expects to raise $70 million a year with the proposal at a time when national parks repeatedly have been breaking visitation records and putting a strain on park resources. Nearly 6 million people visited the Grand Canyon last year.

    "We need to have a vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids' grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. "Shoring up our parks' aging infrastructure will do that."