Today's News

  • Los Alamos lab running out of storage for nuclear waste

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Los Alamos National Laboratory has only a narrow time frame before it runs out of room to store its nuclear waste.

    The lab's radioactive transuranic waste is supposed to be sent to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, but that site was shut down last year after the underground storage area was contaminated, reported the Albuquerque Journal. Transuranic waste can include items like protective boots and gloves, machinery and sludge.

    A Los Alamos waste drum at WIPP popped open because it contained an incorrectly packed mix of combustible materials, creating an estimated half-billion dollars of clean up work. The state Environment Department fined the lab $36.6 million for the accident and DOE cut its fee to the lab's contract operator by 90 percent.

    The Los Alamos lab is expected to reach its maximum waste storage capacity sometime in the federal fiscal year that begins in fall 2016, according to a report from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

    The storage facility was initially slated to reopen in March 2016. This summer, however, the U.S. Department of Energy said safety concerns and equipment setbacks delayed the opening indefinitely.

  • LASB picks student liasons

    The Los Alamos School Board has picked four high school students to be the  liaisons for the high school. The senior liaisons are John Rees, Reece and Deanna Gutierrez, junior liaisons will be Claire DeCroix and Neal DeHerrera.
    The board recently voted to approve all four candidates, who will be starting their new appointments in October.
    The board also picked student Jennifer Wang as an alternate.
    The decision to have students join the LASB as liaisons was made in May of this year, in an effort to include the students at the high school on board decisions that affect them.  
    According to Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus, the students start Wednesday.
    “We’re going to meet with them over at the high school and have an orientation with them on how the board works,” he said.
    Los Alamos School Board Vice President Matt Williams will also be at orientation. He has also extended an open invitation to any high school student who wants to talk issues with them over lunch.
    Their first meeting will be the Oct. 13 board meeting.
    Steinhaus, as well as the board, agreed early on that they would prioritize the agenda for the students so they wouldn’t have to stay for the whole board meeting, which start at 5:30 p.m. and usually last four or five hours.

  • Burgess names Andrus as interum CEDD director

    County Administer Harry Burgess announced on Tuesday that Housing and Special Projects Manager Paul Andrus will serve as interim director of the Community and Economic Development Department until a replacement can be found for Anne Laurent. Laurent has accepted a position in Park City, Utah.
    Read Burgess' farewell to Laurent in Friday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Making 'em Shine
  • Court Docs 10-4-15

    Sept. 23
    Evgeny A. Kikinzon was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Eliverio Acosta paid $120 in fines for stopping, standing or parking in prohibited and/or specified spaces.

    Sept. 24
    Cynthia Sandoval paid a $50 fine for stopping, standing or parking in prohibited and/or specified spaces.

    Daniel Hoth paid a $50 fine for stopping, standing or parking in prohibited and/or specified spaces.

    Danny Romero was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to use seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Cesar Aguilar-Sierra was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to use seatbelts and failing to pay fines or court costs.  Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $130 in court costs.

    Damien X Sundby was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Stephanie Chavez pled no contest in the Los Alamos Magistrate Court to criminal trespass.

  • Cone Zone: 10-4-15

    Western Area Improvements Phase 3:
    Remaining work including sidewalks and small drainage improvements, landscaping, cleanup and punch list items are scheduled for final completion by mid-October.

    Ice Rink Parking Improvements:
    Motorists might experience delays as the new parking area is constructed please allow extra time while driving through this segment under construction. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limit and be on the alert for workers and equipment.

    Sherwood Blvd. /La Vista Drive:
    Roadway construction continues on the eastside, drivers will continue to travel on the new paved asphalt as new construction continues on the east. Southbound traffic only on Sherwood, please pay attention to traffic signals. Northbound traffic closed at Aztec.
    This will remain until pavement is complete on the east side.
    RMCI continuing on subgrade prep for sidewalks, Utility Verification and Traffic Control management will be on going. Large equipment and truck will be continuous throughout the project. All business are open and accessible from Sherwood.

    Utilities Projects:

    North Community Non-potable Water Improvement Project Arizona Avenue:

  • Correction 10-7-15

    In an article that ran in the Oct. 2 edition of The Monitor, “Trinity Capital to pay 1.5 million in federal penalties” it was erroneously reported that two former bank officials, Karl Jelvik and Daniel Bartholomew were found guilty of certain allegations alleged by the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Hjelvik’s and Bartholomew’s attorneys, the two have neither admitted nor denied the allegations against them. The Los Alamos Monitor regrets the error.

  • UNM-LA enrollment enrollment continues to rise

    University of New Mexico-Los Alamos officials announced Friday campus had seen an increase in enrollment this fall, contrary to a statewide enrollment decline at colleges and universities.
    Unofficial census numbers compiled after the first 21 days of the fall semester show that 964 students are enrolled at UNM-LA this fall semester. This is up 11 percent over last fall, which was up 13 percent over the preceding year.  
    In a recent report to the UNM-LA advisory board, Interim Executive Director Cindy Rooney reported total student credit hours had also increased 9 percent.
    “We have 6,019 (student credit hours) this fall, which is an increase of 9 percent over last fall, which was 4 percent higher than the preceding year,” Rooney said, according to the release.
    The university had seen growth in online classes, web-enhanced, traditional classes and hybrid classes.
    “Our unique programs in EMS, Fire Science, and other STEM fields prepare students for successful careers and are known for their excellence. We also have very strong transfer degree programs,” Rooney said.
    For more information about UNM-LA, call 662-5919 or visit losalamos.unm.edu.

  • Police search for museum robbery suspect

    Los Alamos Police issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in the Sept. 25 robbery of the Los Alamos Historical Museum.
    Police are looking for William Ryan Skelton, 30. According to police, Skelton is 5-feet, 11-inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. He’s been charged with larceny and criminal damage to property.
    At about 3:30 p.m. Sept. 25, museum officials reported a robbery at the museum, where the museum’s donation box had been broken into.
    The police department is urging the public to report any sightings of Skelton to LA Crime stoppers at 662-8282. The suspect was last seen driving a blue 1994 single cab Toyota truck bearing New Mexico plate number NGM286.
    According to the arrest warrant, police tracked the suspect on the day of the robbery to the Totavi gas station at the foot of the “main hill” off NM 501. Police sighted the suspect, and the suspect also saw the police, according to a report.
    “The male in the white t-shirt and blue jeans looked right at me and I saw his facial expression was scared,” said one of the officers in a statement found in court documents. “He ran to his truck and started the engine.”

  • Hometown writer to return for ‘The Martian‘