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Today's News

  • LA couple ready to expand ‘Famine to Feast’

    When the Famine to Feast entity first started out, it was all about directly getting food to the people that needed it the most. Through the organization’s website and app, residents arranged to have unused food they don’t need to be delivered to the people that do.
    The organization has since expanded on that idea to include clothing, toiletries and other household items.
    Local couple Jaret and Jen McDonald started Famine to Feast about a year ago after they realized they were going to have to throw away much of the unused food they bought while on a vacation.
    With no time to drop it off at a food bank before leaving, they thought there had to be a better way.
    “We intended Famine to Feast as a person’s last stop,” Jaret McDonald said. “They were either going to throw out the food, or find somebody like us to come and get it.”
    Now, a year later, they are ready to expand Famine to Feast to include other locations, and other items.
    The McDonalds recently conducted presentations in Santa Fe, Austin, Texas and Los Angeles to get the word out about Famine to Feast and how people can use it to help their neighbors in need. It has not been hard to find volunteers in the cities they’ve visited to help get the word out.

  • Legislators to sue gov. over vetoes

    BY MORGAN LEE
    Associated Press

  • Dance for a Cure set for tonight at Posse Lodge

    BY WREN PROPP
    Special to the Monitor

  • UNM-LA advisory board OK’s proposed budget

    University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Advisory Board met Monday to review the proposed budget for school year 2017-18 at the University Drive campus.
    Chairperson Steve Boerigter opened the meeting with the hope that “everyone in the Los Alamos community attends advisory board meetings, they were elected to serve you.”
    The board tried to gather as much information as possible, build the budget and make the best use of the funds available.
    The first order of business was to give an overview of fiscal year 2018 budget.
    UNM-LA CEO Cindy Rooney explained, “This budget was built on the best information available at the time,” which was that a 1-to-1- and-half percent cut was possible.
    Director of Business Operations Lisa Wismer explained the process of building the budget given the numerous uncertainties. They began by taking the beginning budget of FY 2017 and then integrated the guidelines and prepare a plan for FY 2018. Wismer explained how they made sure to look at key programs that they felt were imperative and how to offer them some stability.
    The goal was to build a budget that would allow some flexibility but also accommodate for the unknown.

  • Council tables immigrant resolution

    After some residents stormed out of Council Chambers, Los Alamos County Council decided Tuesday night to table a resolution that called for the just treatment of immigrants and refugees.

    Council voted unanimously to send the resolution, written by Councilor Pete Sheehey, to be discussed and possibly modified by a council subcommittee.

    Many residents who attended Tuesday’s public hearing were angry and said they feared Los Alamos National Laboratory might lose federal funding if council passed the resolution.

    “For a resolution that supposedly does not change current policy, the timing could not be worse,” resident Lisa Shin told the council. “Just days ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that sanctuary cities risked punitive measures in addition to cuts in federal funding. If the intent of this resolution is for Los Alamos not to be a sanctuary city, then it should include specific language to clarify this fact.”

    Others praised Sheehey and the council for bringing the resolution forward.

  • Two dogs involved in attack on smaller dog captured

    Los Alamos Animal Control Officers located and seized two dogs Tuesday that are suspected of killing a smaller dog, according to the Los Alamos Police Department.

    The owner of two shepherd-type dogs has been cited, according to LAPD Commander Preston Ballew. The attack happened March 29 on Acoma Lane.

    “Charges have been filed through the Los Alamos Magistrate Court,” Ballew said Wednesday.

    The owner, Leslie Sherman, was cited with three counts; two are dangerous dog acts, one for each dog, and the third count is a petition to court for the seizure of the dogs, according to the police report.

    Los Alamos Dispatch received a call at 1:17 p.m. March 29 about a possible dog attack, so Los Alamos County Police Corporal Sheldon Simpson and Senior PSA Officer Robert Aragon went to the residence to investigate the reported dog attack, according to the report.

    “…A witness observed (two) large dogs, one brown and the other black, come into the yard where a smaller dog was,” according to Ballew. “The (two) large dogs killed the smaller dog and left the area.”

  • Los Alamos National Bank warns of ATM data skimmers

    SANTA FE (AP) — Los Alamos National Bank employees have found scanning devices used to steal bank card information at two drive-thru ATMs in Santa Fe.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that bank officials say the two so-called "skimmer" devices have been removed from the ATMs. Police also removed cameras that had been installed above the machines to record customers entering their PIN numbers.

    Los Alamos National Bank President and CEO John Gulas said Wednesday that he believes the scam began last week, though it's unclear when the skimmers were installed.

    Police have identified a suspect based on surveillance video. Anyone with information about the skimmers is asked to call Santa Fe police.

  • UNM regents delay Los Alamos campus tuition hike decision

    The University of New Mexico Board of Regents has postponed the decision to grant a 4-percent tuition increase at the Los Alamos campus indefinitely because of state education budget uncertainty, university officials said Wednesday.

    A UNM budget summit scheduled for Thursday was canceled because university officials are concerned that Gov. Susana Martinez will veto House Bill 2, a bill that distributes funds to the state’s colleges and universities, according to a memo sent to the university’s community.

    “The UNM Budget Summit scheduled for April 7 has been canceled due to the possibility of House Bill 2 being vetoed and a special session being called,” the memo said.

    UNM-LA officials reached Tuesday said they plan to go forward with a budget review for 2017, even though it looks like the proposed tuition hike has been postponed indefinitely.

    All decisions made by the UNM-LA Advisory Board must be approved by the UNM Board of Regents, which includes tuition increases and annual budgets.

  • LANL employee pleads no contest in theft of tools

    A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee from Española pleaded no contest to larceny and tampering with evidence Monday in First Judicial Court in Santa Fe.
    Richard Atencio, 52, was arrested April 4, 2016, for the theft of lab tools in September 2015. One of the tools was found to be radioactive.
    All employees who may have had contact with the tools were tested and decontaminated without incident.
    Police caught Atencio north of Tech Area 18 attempting to dump the items on the side of the road.  
    Items recovered at the scene included a band saw valued at $5,493, and two dollies valued at $7,180.
    Police were able to match the exact price of the items through records kept by LANL. Other stolen items included a box of pipe fittings, two pairs of work gloves, a bottle of liquid cleaning agent, a yellow roll of tape, a silver metal transport hitch, two rolls of white tape, blue and silver tow rope, and a green water hose.
    One of the tools was found to be radioactive, which prompted all employees who may have had contact with the tools to be called to TA 54 to be tested.
    According to the district attorney, all items were recovered and returned to LANL. Atencio was then charged with larceny and attempting to tamper with evidence.

  • LANL releases cultural artifacts plan

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory has released its Cultural Resources Management Plan, a plan designed to streamline the process of identifying and protecting cultural and historical sites on its property.
    The plan is the end result of an agreement with the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Concerning Management of the Historic Properties of Los Alamos National Laboratory on how to manage, preserve and protect the sites.
    Without the agreement or the plan, the numerous sites would bog down LANL’s work efforts.  
    “Absent (the agreement), routine operational tasks such as mowing and facilities maintenance would be subject to six- to eight-week project approval timelines through the (NNSA) Field Office and from the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO),” LANL’s Cultural Resources Management Plan said.
    Spread out over the 40 square miles of the Pajarito Plateau, Los Alamos National Laboratory has about 1,886 known sites of cultural and historic value.
    The sites range from places where arrowheads and stone tools were found – dating between 9500 BC to 5500 BC – to buildings and sites from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.