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Today's News

  • Officers recognized for service

    County Council recognized Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun and Cpl. Doug Ehler for their years of service on Tuesday. Both officers are retiring from the Los Alamos Police Department. Left to right: Ehler’s fiancé Stephanie Scrimshaw, Cpl. Doug Ehler, Chief Wayne Torpy and Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun.

  • State launches literacy website

    Gov. Susana Martinez announced that the state has launched a new website that will provide new support for parents and educators working to teach students how to read.
    The “New Mexico Reads to Lead” website provides information from across the country on the best strategies to help students with literacy. Unique support is available, in English and Spanish, for students at each grade level to provide targeted help for children no matter their current reading skill. In addition, the website will begin to collect proven strategies from New Mexico teachers to share with their colleagues across the state and also highlights community literacy programs which help support local reading efforts.
    Parents will have access to a recommended reading list for students at their child’s ability level. In April, Gov. Martinez announced the “New Mexico Reads to Lead” initiative, a direct investment in early childhood education and early childhood reading interventions designed to assist teachers and parents in identifying struggling students and helping them to read at grade level.

  • Report: NM gains initially with Medicaid expansion

    SANTA FE, (AP) — New Mexico’s costs of expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul will be offset initially by additional tax revenues because of increased spending on medical services, according to a legislative committee analysis released Thursday.
    The Legislative Finance Committee released its staff projections as lawmakers began to consider what will be one of the biggest issues confronting Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislature next year.
    Policymakers must decide whether the state can afford the long-term costs of expanding the eligibility of Medicaid to potentially cover nearly 170,000 low-income New Mexicans by 2020.
    About a fourth of the state’s population currently receives medical care through Medicaid, which covers uninsured children, the disabled and the poor. The state and federal government jointly finance Medicaid.
    The Human Services Department estimates it will cost the state about $413 million from 2014 through 2020 to expand Medicaid as called for under federal law. An additional $6 billion in federal money should flow into the state to cover those medical services during the same time.

  • County launches online forum

    Los Alamos County has launched a new online public comment forum called “Open Forum.” Open Forum will be moderated by Peak Democracy and is another tool as the County continues its efforts to expand ways that citizens can voice their opinions about a variety of topics.
    County councilors and county staff will review comments and incorporate them into the decision-making process
    “We have heard feedback from our residents that more and more of them are interested in the convenience of online public comment forums as an option to attending public meetings,” County Administrator Harry Burgess said. “Open Forum is being established in response to those suggestions, and has the added benefit over sending the county email comments about a project or issue because you will have the ability to see what others are saying about the topic or issue. That is a new feature we have not previously offered in our public participation process. Making it easier for citizens to participate in the county decision-making process from the privacy and convenience of their own home is important to ensuring that the county’s decisions reflect public opinion.”

  • Luján announces $2.6 million grant

    Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) has announced that Science Education Solutions of Los Alamos will receive a $2.6 million award from the National Science Foundation.  
    The organization, which is active in a wide range of programs to help learners of all ages discover and understand the world through science, will use the funding to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education with high school students.
    “Educating students in the STEM fields is vital to a stronger economy that depends on innovation and big ideas,” Luján said.
    “Our young people need to have the skills and training to compete in a global economy, and this grant will help Science Education Solutions invest in proven methods of enhancing STEM education for our students. Already Science Education Solutions has increased students’ interest in STEM in New Mexico, and these funds will help it expand its important mission.”
    The grant, which is estimated to last for five years and provide funding of $2,697,291, will fund a project titled, “Creating a Community of Practice Around a Proven Teen Science Café Model.”

  • Update 09-28-12

    Bulk item pickup

    At 8 a.m. Monday, brush and bulk item collection begins for town site residents with Monday or Tuesday trash service. Items placed out late will not be collected. For more information, visit losalamosnm.us/gogreen.

    Court closed

    The Los Alamos Municipal Court Clerk’s Office will be closed Sept. 26-28 for staff to attend training. Payments due during this period may be mailed to Los Alamos Municipal Court, 2500 Trinity Dr., Ste. C, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544 or some payments may be paid online at citepayusa.com.

    Bus stop change

    Effective Saturday, the free Atomic City Transit shuttle service to Bandelier National Monument pick up/drop off location is moving from the corner of N.M. 4/Rover Blvd. to the new White Rock Visitor Center Complex, located at 115 N.M. 4.

    Quilt market

    The Los Alamos Quilt Market will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road. There will also be a silent auction and winners will be announced at 3 p.m. Free admission. For more information, visit losalamos.com/lap/.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

  • Curiosity finds signs of water

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NASA rover Curiosity has beamed back pictures of bedrock that suggest a fast-moving stream, possibly waist-deep, once flowed on Mars — a find that the mission’s chief scientist called exciting.

    There have been previous signs that water existed on the red planet long ago, but the images released Thursday showing pebbles rounded off, likely by water, offered the most convincing evidence so far of an ancient streambed.

    There was “a vigorous flow on the surface of Mars,” said chief scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology. “We’re really excited about this.”

    Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory developed some of the payload on the Curiosity Rover.

    The discovery did not come as a complete surprise. NASA decided to plunk Curiosity down inside Gale Crater near the Martian equator because photos from space suggested the spot possessed a watery past. The six-wheeled rover safely landed Aug. 5 after a nail-biting plunge through the Martian atmosphere.

    Present day Mars is a frozen desert with no hint of water on its radiation-scarred surface, but geological studies of rocks by previous missions suggest the planet was warmer and wetter once upon a time.

  • Fall events set for Saturday

    Bandelier National Monument and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area are both hosting events Saturday.

    After a year’s hiatus due to the Las Conchas fire, Bandelier National Monument’s Fall Fiesta is back with both new and familiar activities for the whole family. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Nature through Art and Culture.”

    “We’re looking at really tying together the Native cultural aspects with the Spanish cultural aspects of the region and to do concerted outreach and to make this sort of the destination event for that outreach,” Public Information Officer Rod Torrez said. “We will also include the natural history of the park as part of it as well. I think hopefully we’ll have something that covers a wide range of Bandelier’s history.”

    The event will include Pueblo and Hispanic cultural demonstrations, games, traditional dancing and arts at the park. Artist demonstrations will include tinwork and pottery. Gary Roybal demonstrates moccasin making while his son, also Gary, exhibits his turkey calls. Turkeys played a big part in Bandelier’s history.

    Friends of Bandelier and representatives from Valles Caldera National Monument will focus on the park’s natural history, and a group with rescued raptors will be on hand.

  • Major Piece of Middle School Completed

    Mornings for students, parents and middle school officials just got a little less hectic this week, as the “bus loop” at the Los Alamos Middle School became open for business.

    Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt said he was there the day the loop opened, because he didn’t want to miss it.

    “It was a very special moment for us, I’m very proud of what we accomplished,”
    Schmidt said, adding that it was one of many planned improvements to the infrastructure of the Los Alamos School District.

    “What we’re trying to do whenever possible is separate parent drop-offs, student/pedestrian walks and bus drop-offs,” Schmidt said.

    Not only will it increase safety, Schmidt said, but having a dedicated pick-up and drop-off area for buses will cut down on the confusion at peak parking times. “It avoids a lot of confusion in terms of right-of-way, when you have cars coming in, buses coming in, staff and kids walking through, it does a nice job of organizing the traffic flow pattern,” Schmidt said.

    Now that the bus loop is open, parents and pedestrians will have their own entrance to the school while the 13 buses used to transport students from Los Alamos and White Rock will have their own drop-off site from Hawk Drive.

  • CMRR meetings grind to a halt

    The folks in charge of building the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility are acting like the project will be deferred for five years.

    That may be the case or maybe not.

    The House and Senate Armed Service Committees put funding in for the project for the FY13 budget, but a continuing resolution passed by Congress last week earmarked no funding for the CMRR-NF.

    In fact, Steve Fong of the Los Alamos Site Office who helped run the project said $120 million of the $200 million in funding earmarked for the project has returned to Washington.

    Fong made the statement at a semi-annual public meeting that was required by a settlement agreement brokered by the New Mexico Environment Department between a coalition of six activist groups and the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Fong then announced this would be the final meeting.

    That did not sit to well with some of the activists.

    “We don’t believe these meetings should end,” said Joni Arends from Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety in Santa Fe. “We need to get everybody to the table and have a discussion about this.”