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Today's News

  • US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

    The digital pill approved Monday combines two existing products: the former blockbuster psychiatric medication Abilify — long used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — with a sensor tracking system first approved in 2012.

    The technology is intended to help prevent dangerous emergencies that can occur when patients skip their medication, such as manic episodes experienced by those suffering from bipolar disorder.

    But developers Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and Proteus Digital Health are likely to face hurdles. The pill has not yet been shown to actually improve patients’ medication compliance, a feature insurers are likely to insist on before paying for the pill. Additionally, patients must be willing to allow their doctors and caregivers to access the digital information.

    These privacy issues are likely to crop up more often as drugmakers and medical device companies combine their products with technologies developed by Silicon Valley.

  • Turkey Gets His Day
  • Lab, county assure safety of drinking water

    Los Alamos County officials and the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management office issued a statement Monday assuring residents of the safety of the county’s drinking water.

    Public concern was raised over early November press reports stating that Los Alamos National Laboratory officials weren’t sure of the extent of a decades-old toxic chemical spill in Mortandad Canyon.

    The revelation was reportedly made at a hearing held between state lawmakers and LANL officials about the status of a toxic chemical cleanup operation in Mortandad Canyon. The spill is decades old and involves hexavalent chromium, an anti-corrosive agent that was flushed regularly into the canyon from the cooling towers of a LANL power plant from the early 1950s into the mid 1970s.

    The chemical is known to cause cancer in humans.

    LANL has been working to contain the spill, which is thousands of feet underground and threatens a regional aquifer, from reaching drinking water wells in Los Alamos County and the San Ildefonso Pueblo.

  • Lujan Grisham tells Senate leader to leave race

    By RUSSELL CONTRERAS and MORGAN LEE, Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday that Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla should end his bid for lieutenant governor over claims he harassed women as a city of Albuquerque supervisor.

    Padilla has long denied the harassment claims dating back to 2006 that he links to issues of a hostile workplace environment and not sexual harassment. But Lujan Grisham said in a statement to The Associated Press that Padilla should end his campaign as the decade-old allegations began to resurface on social media and amid sexual harassment cased involved other political leaders and celebrities.

    "My position on sexual harassment is clear: it is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by me or in my Administration. Michael Padilla's actions were wrong," Lujan Grisham said in a statement to The Associated Press. "There is no room for excuses and he should withdraw his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor."

    Two federal lawsuits say Padilla harassed women while managing the Albuquerque's emergency call center. Padilla was accused of making inappropriate comments and of asking women out on dates despite repeated rejections — claims he adamantly denies.

  • N.M. National Guard to deploy soldiers to Puerto Rico Saturday for relief efforts

    More than 115 Soldiers from the New Mexico National Guard's 111th Sustainment Brigade will deploy to Puerto Rico  Saturday to assist with ongoing Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

    The soldiers will assist a joint task force with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the next 30 days, working directly with FEMA to provide the command and control element to those already deployed in assistance efforts on the ground. They will help manage and monitor commodity and water distribution from the ports to regional staging areas and points of distribution at the 78 municipalities on the island, according to a press release issued by the New Mexico National Guard Friday. 

    The soldiers will also manage route clearing and the clearing of road debris to support points of distribution for medical assets and commodities.

    During this past year's hurricane season, the New Mexico National Guard has assisted in Houston, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

  • Scouts, letter carriers celebrate food drive’s 20th year Saturday

    This year, the Boy Scouts, Cubs Scouts and the Venture Scouts will team up Saturday with the Atomic City Letter Carriers to help collect food for people who are struggling in Los Alamos.

    Started nearly 20 years ago, the food drive has become an institution that thousands of residents participate in every year.

    Cub Scouts will be on hand outside of the Smith’s stores in Los Alamos and White Rock with a list of items if customers would like to donate a can of food or some other non-perishable item to the cause.

    Most of the donations go to LA Cares, the local food pantry. But it doesn’t stop there.

    Residents have already received a blue card from the Atomic City Letter Carriers, the Los Alamos mail carriers union, in the mail, asking to set out donations out by their mailboxes between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. tomorrow for the Boy Scouts to pick up. All goods collected Saturday day from Smith’s and participating neighborhood will be processed and repackaged at the Crossroads Bible Church.

    This year, LA Cares hopes to feed just over 200 people with the donations.

    The drive helps the scouts, too. By giving to others, the scouts learn how to help those who are going through hard times. It also teaches them civil responsibility.

  • Fusion Multisport is place to go for outdoor enthusiasts in Los Alamos

    For Brad and Rose Nyenhuis, the journey to opening Los Alamos County’s go-to spot for runners, cyclists, climbers and skiers began with a Craigslist ad.

    Before moving to New Mexico, the two of them lived in Chicago. Brad Nyenhuis owned a machine shop, and Rose Nyenhuis worked at a running store. But for years, they had sought an escape to the mountains, and thought opening a business would be the perfect opportunity.

    They looked for any kind of store for sale in Colorado, Utah and surrounding states, and one day stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for a man selling a bike shop in Los Alamos.

    Though the ad didn’t lead to a viable opportunity, the town grabbed onto them and didn’t let go. 

    “We loved the town, and we especially loved the people,” Brad Nyenhuis said.

    They decided they could find success in the area by starting a business aimed at the athletic community, specifically runners and bikers, a community they found to be well-represented.

    On Nov. 21, 2013, the business became a reality when they opened Fusion Multisport.

  • Local shops offer Los Alamos-inspired gifts

    If you’re interested in putting heart into the holidays, shop for a gift from the area’s wide range of museum gift shops.
    In most cases, part of the price of your a horno-shaped incense burner, carved wood tree decoration, locally sourced book or a squishy Einstein goes back to a good cause.

    Let’s begin the tour.

    The bookstore at the visitor’s center at Bandelier National Park has a nice selection of shady hats, ball caps and puzzles. Books are a big part of the store, but there’s a soft side, stuffed toys to remind you of brown and black bears, and mountain lions.

    What’s the best gift, though?

    Cecy Burciaga of the store says toys that capture the look of native birds, as well as their song. The cost ranges from $9 to $10.

    The store is part of the Western National Park Association network of stores at national parks and proceeds go to the association. Hours of the shop are the same as the visitor’s center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

    Bookworms and those who love them will have a field day at the newly remodeled Los Alamos History Museum Store. The remodeled store offers a feast for the eyes with well-lit nooks featuring historically significant items – not for sale, just for perspective.

  • Caffeination Station opens up virtual shop in Los Alamos

    For those looking for a unique gift to give this holiday season, they might want to make a virtual stop at Caffeination Station. Caffeination Station is where one can order hand roasted coffee right here in Los Alamos.

    Caffeination Station owner Conner Maxwell sells three different flavors of beans, Tanzanian, Colombian (medium and dark roast) and Ethiopian Harar. The Station doesn’t yet have a physical address, but can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/caffeinationstationNM) where customers can contact her for orders. She’s also available by email at caffeinationstationNM@gmail.com.

    One-pound bags are $13 and half-pound bags are $8.

    She also has an instagram page at caffeinationstationnm where customers can follow her progress in her new business venture.

    While Maxwell would like to open a coffee shop in Los Alamos someday, she decided to start things off as a roaster and see where that takes her. After all, she said, “the heart of the coffee business in the bean.” She also discovered that state regulations are much kinder to coffee roasters.

  • LA post office clerk can help send holiday packages with a smile

    If Los Alamos Post Office customers looking to ship holiday gifts are lucky, they may get post office clerk Ted Romero to help them out. For the past 20 years, Romero has been using his smile and his wits to help customers through one of the most stressful times of the year.

    Not only is Romero good at solving problems, he can also tell a great joke.

    Romero said he likes to joke with the customers because it helps take their minds off their worries, especially if the wait may be a little longer than expected.

    “Life is tense enough as it is,” Romero said.

    It also makes good economic sense.

    “If people get the service they want, they will keep coming back. There is more than one shipping option,” Romero said. “We like people to be happy.”

    Romero also is a resident of Los Alamos County, which sometimes leads to some strange interactions outside of work.

    “Some of my older customers sometime say ‘I know you from somewhere,’ and I’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, I met you at your niece’s bar mitzvah…” Romero joked.

    It’s then, though, they catch on to where they really met him, and everyone’s in on the joke.