Today's News

  • New Mexico says more families eligible for child care help

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has launched a push to get more eligible families to apply for federally-funded child care assistance and announced Thursday the state will expand eligibility requirements until late May

    The Republican governor said the effort is needed to get families to seek assistance for a program that some might not even know exists.

    Under the new changes, New Mexico families earning as much as 200 percent of the federal poverty line — an increase from the previous 150 percent — may apply for the child care assistance program.

    That's means a family of four earning around $48,600 or less a year is now eligible. Before the expansion, the same family earning more than around $36,000 a year would not have been eligible for the services.

    The program subsidizes the cost of child care for low-income families who are working or going to school and need child care.

    "With this expansion, we will be providing safe and reliable child care to more families who need it the most," Martinez said. "This program is one of our most important resources for helping to prevent child abuse, and I encourage New Mexico families who need it to apply for our child care assistance."

  • Today in history April 21
  • Council OKs 7 budgets Monday

    The Los Alamos County Council tentatively approved seven departmental budgets on the first night of budget hearings Monday, including all requests for funding above and beyond the flat budgets each department put forward.
    All were approved by a 7−0 vote except for the budget for the sheriff’s department.
    During budget guidance, council asked County Manager Harry Burgess to present a flat budget this year, along with a list of optional additions.
    The probate court ($5,885) and the county attorney ($683,762) departments had no requests for additional resources. The attorney office’s budget has actually decreased due to a retirement.
    Councilor David Izraelevitz asked that $15,000 be added to the council budget to provide training opportunities for councilors. That was approved unanimously.
    The fire department budget increased 13 percent this year to $29,376,361, due to the terms of the Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
    The 10-year agreement changes the proportion paid by each entity. The split has been 80 percent DOE/20 percent county. That changes to 74/26 in the next fiscal year.

  • Teen Court gets budget boost

    The Los Alamos County Council tentatively approved the Municipal Court budget on Monday. Council unanimously approved not only the $461,010 flat budget for the department, but an additional $43,105 requested by Judge Alan Kirk.
    All departments were asked to report on what they were able to accomplish with their budgets this year (find those in attachment C in the agenda packet at losalamos.legistar.com). Kirk elaborated on his department’s achievements.
    One was reducing the amount of time it takes to put youth with misdemeanor offenses through Teen Court. In the past, the process went through the Juvenile Probation Office (JPO) and took eight to 10 months.
    “So here are kids that are being charged with very minor offenses, that are usually nonviolent misdemeanors, yet their family has been held hostage for eight months until they find out what’s really going to happen,” Kirk said.
     Now the court is working directly with the Los Alamos Police Department (LAPD) on a diversion program for nonviolent violations. The juvenile and their family are given the option to go through teen court. Once the offender completes the sanctions set by the court, the offense is removed from their record. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of offenders are choosing that option and are completing the program in four to six weeks.

  • Treasury official says Harriet Tubman will go on $20 bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years, a Treasury official said Wednesday.

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of Lew's official announcement, said that the 19th century abolitionist and a leader of the Underground Railroad, would replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president.

    Lew's announcement is expected to provide details on other changes being made to the $20, $10 and $5 bills.

    The decision to place Tubman's portrait on the $20 likely means that Lew has decided to keep Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, a victory for those who had opposed his initial plan to remove Hamilton.

  • Strategic Plan takes the cake

    The Los Alamos School Board adopted its new “Strategic Plan” last Tuesday during a regular meeting of the board. In January, the board decided to simplify and update the plan in order to better carry out the objectives of the board.
    In the past, because the document was so detailed and large, the board found itself only carrying out parts of the plan, according to School Board Vice President Jenny McCumber, who undertook the revamp of the plan.
    Three public hearings were held in Los Alamos and White Rock to get the public’s input.  
    McCumber led the revamp, with direction from the board and the public. The board opted to make the plan into more of a living document, which will allow the board to quickly test new ideas and discard the ones that don’t work. It will also allow the board to react to change more quickly than it has in the past.
    The vote to adopt the plan was unanimous.
    “I would like to express my appreciation to all the people who really worked hard on this,” said LASB President Jim Hall, who also specifically thanked McCumber. “Thank you very much for making this happen. I think it’s very worthwhile, and it will help us move forward.”

  • Police Beat 4-20-16

    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.

    March 12
    No time given — Desiree J Hyde, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested for allegedly contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    April 7
    4:28 p.m. — A 37-year-old Los Alamos woman reported that she was the victim of a burglary from a vehicle at Central Park Square.

    April 8
    9:03 a.m.  —  A 77-year-old Los Alamos man reported that he was the victim of a burglary from a vehicle at 40th Street.

    April 9
    9:41 a.m. — Denika Romero, 34, of Espanola was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant in Albuquerque. The original charge was fraud (more than $250, less than $2500) at Trinity drive.  

    4:24 p.m. — Zachary Sanchez, 31, of Los Alamos was arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated (blood alcohol concentration of . 16 or more) at the intersection of Canyon Road and Rim Road.

    April 11

  • Visits to New Mexico national parks see gains

    SANTA FE (AP) — National parks and monuments across New Mexico saw sharp increases in visitors last month.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns are among the parks that saw a rise in March.
    Carlsbad Caverns National Park spokeswoman Valerie Gohlke says people have come despite the broken elevators.
    Carlsbad received more than 51,000 visits, the best for the month of March since 2008.
    White Sands near Alamogordo recorded more than 71,000 visits, the highest since 2002.
    The U.S. Geological Survey estimates New Mexico’s national parks annually draw 1.6 million visits.

  • Is it really spring?

    Residents and commuters awoke this morning not to flowers and sunshine but to a snowstorm that dumped at least two to three inches of snow on Los Alamos County. Though everyone likely arrived safely to work and school today, there was one weather-related fender bender in the main parking lot of Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to Los Alamos Police Department Commander Preston Ballew.

    In this photo, residents brave the snow and the downtown traffic to get to their desinations.

  • Duane Smith Auditorium gets audio loop system

    Rotary Club of Los Alamos has managed to open up a whole new world for theatergoers that use hearing aids equipped with telecoils inside them.
    For the past two years the club, with the help of a company called GWC Looping, has been busy installing a gridded “audio loop” system beneath 14 rows of seating in the center front section of the Duane W. Smith Auditorium.
    The new system will be available starting this with Sunday’s performance of Concert Clarinetist Jon Manasse and Pianist Jon Nakamatsu, who will be playing various pieces from Brahms, Messager, Chopin, Debussy, P. D’Rivera, G. Goodwin and J. Novacek to Rotary Club at 4 p.m. Sunday.
    All theatergoes equipped with telecoil-optional hearing aids have to do is head for the center front section of seating in the theater, or rows that have the “blue ear” sign attached, the international symbol for deafness and hearing loss.
    Linda Hull, past president and current board member with the Rotary Club of Los Alamos said the club was inspired to get the system installed after a high school student, who happened to be hearing impaired, gave a talk to the club two years ago.
    The student was Chloe Keilers, a high school senior. She was also on hand to receive a Student of the Month Award from the Rotary Club of Los Alamos.