Today's News

  • Feds: $2.7M in grants available for New Mexico businesses

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Small businesses in New Mexico working on new innovations that could help the U.S. Energy Department will be getting a boost thanks to $2.7 million in federal grant funding.

    The agency announced the grants this week. In all, officials say $116 million in grants will be awarded nationwide for research and development through a technology transfer program aimed at helping small businesses.

    The projects in New Mexico range from the development of a special membrane to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions to research on soil, fuel cells, particle accelerators and high-energy physics.

  • LANL defends plutonium production in wake of report

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is fighting back this week in the wake of a critical report on safety issues at its plutonium production facility.

    The report by Patrick Malone and Jared Bennett of the Center of Public Integrity was published beginning Sunday and describes a safety review shutdown in 2013 that has slowed work on the manufacture and testing of new and existing plutonium pits at LANL.

    An internal LANL memo obtained by the Los Alamos Monitor sent to employees Monday at the facility assured PF-4 employees that the facility is safe and ready to expand its plutonium pit manufacturing program.

    “Since 2013, PF-4 programmatic operations and safety management programs have successfully completed seventeen independent external assessments – nine Contractor Readiness Assessments and eight Federal Readiness Assessments,” said LANL Principal Associate Director of Operations and Business Craig Leasure in the memo. 

    Leasure also assured workers that PF-4 has the full support of the Department of Energy in its efforts to ramp up plutonium pit production.

  • Baby’s first bake sale nets nearly $600

    Twelve-week old Rachel Parkison and mom Laura, a teacher at Los Alamos Middle School assisted with a bake sale for Los Alamos High School teacher Joy Handsberry on Monday. with a successful community fundraiser.
    Handsberry has had a re-occurrence of her cancer and community members and former students rallied to support with, “better living  through baked goods.”
    A GoFundMe account has also been set up by a friend.
    The sale raised $592.55.

  • Assets in Action: Teaching children to step up

    As a society, I think we are in a crisis situation, for which many may be unaware.
    Words really do matter and we need not only be aware, but have the discussions, teach our children and step up when we see ugly things taking place.
    The news this week highlighted 17-year-old Michelle Carter and the role she played in her boyfriend’s suicide.
    I find so many things wrong with this situation, but think there needed to be a consequence in order to ignite a nationwide conversation. We need to have the conversation!
    Recently at a community meeting, I was approached by a health professional that asked what we are going to do locally to make a change. I believe that many don’t even know one needs to be made here.
    We still need to teach children the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” At the same time, we need to teach kids that what you say can have a dramatic impact on another person.
    There are many local youth that don’t hesitate to tell a peer, “You should just drink bleach and die.”
    You might think it would be a certain type of student that would say that, but it can be anyone. That is why we need to have the conversation with all of our kids.

  • Community Calendar 6-21-17

    Chamber Breakfast at 9 a.m. in the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos campus, building 2, room 230. Panel discussion on progress on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

    Summer Family Evening: Orienteering
at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Learn to find your way with a map and compass and take a journey by following clues along the way. Del Norte Credit Union sponsors this evening of family fun. Cost is $0 for member families, $5 for non-member families.
    Lenton Malry will speak at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library as part of the Authors Speak series.
    Summer Constellations
at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover and identify constellations and planets visible in our night sky this summer, and enjoy their beauty from our planetarium. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children
    Feature Film: Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. See prehistoric sea creatures come to life, and follow fossil hunters to remote locations as they excavate the remains of some of the most awe-inspiring creatures of all time. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

  • Malry to speak at library Thursday

    “Let’s Roll This Train” is a memoir by one of New Mexico’s leading educators and public servants, Dr. Lenton Malry. Malry will give a talk at Mesa Public Library, 7 p.m. Thursday, in the Upstairs Rotunda.
    Malry is a great storyteller, and he has an inspiring story to tell, having been raised in the segregated South at a time when access to housing, education, employment and recreation were limited for Black people.  His family prized education and public service.
    It was his passion for education that led him to first become a teacher, then to become the first African American to receive his Ph.D. in education from the University of New Mexico, and on to become the first African American school principal in Albuquerque.
    He was the first African American elected to the New Mexico Legislature and the first African American Bernalillo County Commissioner.
     He served in the New Mexico legislature from 1968 to 1978, where his proudest accomplishment was a bill that provided for kindergartens in all New Mexico public schools. Malry was influential in changing New Mexico from a state where in 1962, covenants were still in place restricting African-Americans from purchasing a home, to a state where diversity is respected and celebrated.
    Malry’s talk will be followed by a book-signing.

  • UNM football assistant resigns to accept upstart prep position

    Charles McMillian, defensive passing game coordinator and safeties coach, has stepped down from his post after three seasons to become the first head coach at St. Francis Episcopal, a new prep high school in the Houston area, announced head football coach Bob Davie.

    McMillian was a key factor in helping UNM’s improved defense. The team recorded just four interceptions prior to his taking over as the defensive passing game coordinator.  
    Since then, they have recorded 33, and the safeties have exactly half of all UNM interceptions over the last two seasons. Last year UNM’s passing defense shaved over 20 yards off its average from a year ago, down to 222.3 yards per game.

    Overall, that defense helped UNM to a school record-tying 16 wins over the last two years, and a school record 11 conference wins over that same span.

    “It’s really the perfect opportunity for my family,” said McMillian.  “I have always wanted to be a head coach at the high school level.  It will be a chance to take many of the things I’ve learned from New Mexico and my other coaching stops and implement them with a brand-new high school program. It’s a very exciting time.”

  • Report puts New Mexico at No. 34 for education spending

    SANTA FE (AP) — A report by the Census Bureau ranked New Mexico as 34th in the nation for its public education spending.
    The Census Bureau released its findings last week, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2sxtvxe). The report took from nationwide data from 2014-15. New Mexico spent $9,752 per student during those years, 14 percent less than the national average for that period, according to the Census Bureau.
    In comparison, Utah spent around $6,500 per student, while New York invested a hefty $21,206.
    Experts found that despite those amounts, the state's proficiency scores and graduation rates are behind New York's by less than 10 percent while Utah's graduation rate passes New Mexico's by 12 percent. Utah students also beat New Mexico students' reading proficiency scores by 19 percent.
    Bruce Baker, a Rutgers University professor and expert in education finance, told The New Mexican that the disparities can be a result of the different economies and demographics in the two states. About 1 in 3 New Mexico children are from impoverished families compared with 12.5 percent of the low-income Utah children, according the report.
    "In New Mexico, you have an extreme poverty population, and there is not money to target resources in those areas," Baker said.

  • Local golfers perfrom well at NM senior tour event

    Several Los Alamos natives were among the top finishers this past week at the Northern New Mexico Senior Men’s Golf Association Tournament held at the Los Alamos County Golf Course.

    The tournament, which had a total of 62 entrants, was the only event of the Senior Men’s Golf Association’s of the year held at Los Alamos County’s course, giving locals an opportunity to compete against their peers without having to travel far from home.

    The tournament was broken up into multiple divisions, or flights, based on the abilities of the participants.

    There were a total of five flights, each with at least eight entrants.

    In addition, championships were handed out in each flight for the person with the lowest gross score, as well as the lowest net score.

    The net score took into account a person’s handicap, while the gross score did not. It represented the actual score the golfer collected while on the course.

    Tournaments like this are broken up in this way to allow more golfers to compete for awards, instead of just the top group.

    In the first flight, Ken Koch, of Los Alamos, was the runner-up with a gross score of 83, finishing five strokes back of the top finisher, Chuck Padilla, from Las Vegas.

  • Cajete Fire 87 percent contained

    The Cajete Fire is 87 percent contained, according to forest service officials.

    Also, the Central Incident Command, the national interagency command that took over management of the fire from local management Thursday, will be cutting its firefighting force down from 416 members to around 105 members according to the U.S. Forest Service.

    The fire, which has burned 1,412 acres, will be downgraded from a type 1 incident to a type 3 incident. A type 3 incident still calls for fire fighters from teams from all over the country to fight the fire.

    When it becomes a type 4 incident, local command will assume control of fighting and managing the fire.

    As of Tuesday, the 13 fire engines, one bulldozer, three water tenders and six helicopters have been used to fight and contain the blaze.

    Incident command was still battling fire on Los Griegos Mountain by flying crews in by helicopter. Incident command is also beginning to repair the landscape where fire fighting activities have been taking place.

    “They still have firefighters up there today, and they are being used to secure that line,” U.S. Forest Service Spokeswoman Julie Anne Overton said.

    At some point this week, crews are expected to switch to just watching the remaining fire burn itself out.