Today's News

  • School bond passes 4,283 to 1,784

    The taxpayers of Los Alamos have voted to let the Los Alamos Public School System spend another $20 million in general obligation bonds, according to the County Clerk's Office.

    The unofficial ballot count was 4,283 to 1,784. The money will allow continued construction and renovation to go on at the Los Alamos Middle School as well as allow planned renovations and construction take place at Aspen Elementary over the next five years. Other priorities will be design plans for new music and choral facilities at Los Alamos High School, completing the Los Alamos Middle School courtyard, as well as design plans for the new Middle School gym.

    At the beginning of January, 13,826 ballots went out to the public and only 6,186 came back, but that was enough to overcome the apathy. Of the 6,186, ballots, 6,067 were validated as of Tuesday night.

    Many residents today braving the cold to shop at Smith’s had much to say about the bond vote.

    “I voted ‘yes,’” resident John Roberts said. “I voted ‘yes’ because it was going to be spent on school facilities.”

    Others didn’t seem to be aware they got a ballot in the mail, while others said they did but they never bothered to vote.

  • School district fights back at vandalism


    Officials will conduct a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Suite 5 near the school administration building at 2075 Trinity Drive with the Los Alamos School Board to discuss recent vandalism at Piñon Elementary.

    The aim is to get the board to approve a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

    The vandals apparently struck Jan. 25, spray-painting the front of the school with “vulgar and inappropriate words and phrases,” LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt said in a written statement.

    “As a community, we should not put up with this senseless disregard and marring of our public property,” Schmidt said.

    The district is asking anyone who has information about the incident to call the police at 662-8222. Anonymity will be respected.

  • Wallenda Crosses Fla. Tightrope 200 Feet High
  • Police Beat 01-29-13

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Jan. 17
    10:16 a.m. — A 68-year-old Los Alamos man filed a complaint with police that someone might have stolen his coin collection, a coin collection that may be worth more than $20,000. Police said the case remains active until the man makes further inquiries. He also told police the collection might also be somewhere else.

    1:25 p.m. — Kendal Christensen, 35, of Los Alamos, was arrested on a warrant from Los Alamos Municipal Court.

    Jan. 18

    7:15 a.m. — Dawna Russom, 22, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol on Diamond Drive. She was also charged with driving with an open container, driving without a license and improper turning.

    8:58 a.m. — Los Alamos Middle School officials reported vandalism to school property totaling less than $1,000. The damage was to a fiber optic cable at the school, valued at $400.

  • LAFD fire call

    The Los Alamos Fire Department, along with the Los Alamos Police Department, responded to a call Sunday on 34th Street, in regard to a propane gas grill flare up. Firefighters on scene checked the propane tank to ensure that it was not going to explode and quickly defused the situation.

  • Update 01-29-13

    Brisket night

    The LAHS NJROTC will host brisket night from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at the Posse Lodge. A $10 donation includes barbecue pork, potato salad, baked beans, corn, a cookie and drink. Proceeds go toward competition travel.

    LALT deadline

    The deadline for receiving proposals for plays to be performed in the 2013-14 Los Alamos Little Theatre season is Thursday. Visit lalt.org for instructions.

    County Council

    There will be a County Council meeting at 7 p.m. today in council chambers.

    Pancake breakfast

    The Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge will hold a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. The cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and younger.

    Garden club

    The Summit Garden Club will meet, with guest Kimberly Tanner speaking on the topic of “Starting plants from seed, in a very, very small space.” Visitors welcome. For more information, call Nancy Nunnelly at 662-4950.

  • Gun restrictions stall in legislative panel

    SANTA FE (AP) — A proposal requiring criminal background checks of people buying firearms from private sellers stalled Monday in the Legislature.
    The measure failed on an 8-8 vote in the House Judiciary Committee, with one Democrat joining Republicans in opposing it.
    However, supporters hope to revive the measure.
    Rep. Miguel Garcia, an Albuquerque Democrat who sponsored the bill, said he and others will consider revamping the bill and then try to bring it up for another vote later.
    The debate over the gun legislation comes a month after a Connecticut school shooting that claimed 26 lives.
    Federal law requires background checks for sales by licensed dealers in stores or at gun shows. However, the law doesn’t cover firearm sales between private individuals, whether at a gun show or someone’s home.
    Garcia’s proposal would have required background checks of private gun sales, including at gun shows.

  • Computer parts probe continues

    Court papers allege that somebody fraudulently obtained more than $1 million in parts from Dell Computers by making hundreds of calls while pretending to place orders for Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the alleged fraud reportedly started in 2007 and continued until 2010.

    The case was turned over to the Secret Service that year after a Dell security investigator contacted Albuquerque police.

    Two Albuquerque men were indicted last May on 131 state counts each of fraud up to $20,000. Ronald Campus and Allan Friedt have pleaded not guilty.

    The newspaper reported that a caller who identified himself as Andy Tyler made more than 600 calls to Dell between 2007 and 2009, using serial numbers of the lab computers to place orders.

    It appears a Dell Computers security agent broke the scheme.

    According to the affidavit obtained by the newspaper:

    The U.S. Secret Service got the case in February 2010 from the Albuquerque Police Department, which had been contacted by Don Samuels, a Dell security investigator.

  • Chamisa third graders to return Wednesday; K-2 to return Thursday


    A combination of warm temperatures, tree leaves and ice is to blame for Monday’s flooding problems at Chamisa Elementary, according to school officials.

    The flooding mainly affected the K-3 classrooms in the school’s “primary pod,” severely damaging ceilings and carpeting in the school. Two classrooms in another part of the school were also damaged.

    School was canceled Monday and Tuesday. But Chamisa Elementary School principal Debbie Smith announced this afternoon that “we will begin bringing back students tomorrow on a staggered basis (third grade Wednesday and the Kinder through second on Thursday). We are relocating those classes within the school on a temporary basis.”

    • Third graders will resume classes Wednesday.  Smith and the teachers will meet third grade students and any interested parents in the gym tomorrow at 8:20 when school starts.  “We will be temporarily relocating the students to different spaces in the school,” Smith said.

    • Kindergarten through 2nd grade students will resume classes on Thursday. Smith and the teachers will meet students (and interested parents) in the gym Thursday morning at 8:20 to direct them to temporary classroom locations in the school.

  • Fourth time's a charm

    Los Alamos has seen three attempts to bring commercial air service to the county fail since the Department of Energy stopped subsidizing air service in 1995. Airport Manager Peter Soderquist has no intention of letting a fourth attempt meet the same fate.

    Soderquist, who conducted extensive research before even floating the idea of trying again to the Los Alamos County Council, has detailed a plan that includes right-sized aircraft, scheduling that corresponds with key flights at the Albuquerque International Sunport and fares that compete with other means of transportation.

    Soderquist plans to highlight the differences between this venture and earlier ones when he brings the contract for a new carrier before council Feb. 12.

    Two key issues that caused earlier airlines to fail have been addressed in the contract Soderquist is working out with New Mexico Airlines, which presented the most promising response to the county’s Request for Proposals.

    One key element is utilizing right-sized aircraft. Mesa Airlines, the second failed attempt, had an operating cost of $1,600 an hour due to the size of the aircraft. Mesa had a cancellation rate of 20 percent, largely due to the high price of flights.