Today's News

  • Fireworks show still on despite restrictions

    As Los Alamos County struggles through its first heat wave of the summer, the county is taking no chances when it comes to fire hazards. The county issued stage 2 fire restrictions Thursday, urging all county residents to use care when smoking and cooking outdoors.

    The only exception the county has made was to the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club and its annual July 4 Fireworks Show in Overlook Park.

    The Kiwanis have a state permit to have fireworks at the show. The Kiwanis also have a long association with the Los Alamos Fire Department in planning the show, according to Kiwanis Club members involved with the fireworks show.
    The fire department also performed cleanup operations and evaluation of the area for fire hazards at Overlook Park earlier this month.

    “We sent our recruits down there and already mitigated the area,” Los Alamos County Fire Marshal Jeff Wetteland said. “The recruits cleaned up garbage and cleared the area of dead foliage that would easily catch.”

    The Kiwanis have a strong relationship with the LAFD as a result of planning past shows.

  • LA community gathers to remember Undersheriff John Horne

    Los Alamos Undersheriff John N. Horne was honored Wednesday morning at his home church of Calvary Chapel Los Alamos. It was a somber but heartfelt event with many community members in attendance to remember him and celebrate Horne’s life.

    Horne was born Feb. 15, 1963, and passed away June 15, according to his obituary. He died in his home in Los Alamos.
    As people stepped forward to view Horne one last time, his father, John, and family sat in the front row receiving hugs and offers of condolences.

    Pat Kestell, the Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel, opened the service by welcoming the packed church and said, “Clearly there were many lives that were changed because of John.”

    The pastor and many others wore tropical print in honor of Horne because, according to Kestell, “When he wasn’t wearing his uniform, he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.”

    Horne’s sister, Debbie Barnes, talked a little bit about Horne’s career and the hobbies he enjoyed. Horne grew up in Los Alamos and worked for the Los Alamos National Lab.

    “My brother had a really creative mind. He envisioned and built many mechanical projects with precision that many wouldn’t even imagine,” Barnes said.

  • 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.