Today's News

  • Prescribed burn in Jemez Mountains today causes visible smoke in LA area

    A prescribed burn north of NM 4, near mile marker 30 in the Jemez Mountains is causing  smoke to be seen in the Los Alamos region today.

    The burn will continue for three to eight nonconsecutive days. Smoke may be visible from Los Alamos at various times during the burn, and brief disruptions to traffic may occur in the area. The fire is being conducted by the National Park Service to thin out a build up of fuels in the area. The National Park Service expects that the burn will decrease the chances of larger wildfires breaking out in the Banco Bonito District, according to a press release.

    Motorists are urged to use caution in the area and those looking for information on health impacts from the smoke can call 1-888-878-8992.

  • Santa Fe Botanical Gardens opens Ojos y Manos

    On Oct. 22, the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens opens Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands. Chief Operating Officer Clayton Bass calls the Phase 2 section of the garden “a singular destination.”
    “There is nothing like this in Santa Fe,” Bass said. “Santa Fe has many, many cultural treasures, but this is certainly unlike anything we have.”
    The new garden has many standout features.
    For one thing, the staff believes it is the largest garden planted exclusively with native plants, unadulterated with other flora suited to this climate zone.
    Landscape architect Gary Smith, who designed Phase 2, overlaid the design to incorporate as much of the original landscape as possible. Bass points to junipers, piñon trees and other plants that were left undisturbed.
    Bass pointed to the flora surrounding one of the side paths and said, “So much of this island – it was all here. We’ve added just a few things. We are working very gently with the land because there’s such an abundance of beauty here already.
    The original plants are augmented by new plantings, such as several species of native New Mexican oak, which were nearly driven to extinction by early settlers.

  • Ecuador: We have 'temporarily restricted' Assange's internet

    QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador's government acknowledged on Tuesday that it cut off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's internet access at its embassy in London after the whistleblowing site published a trove of damaging emails from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

    The foreign ministry said that while it stands by its 2012 decision to grant Assange asylum based on legitimate concerns he faces political persecution, it respects other nations' sovereignty and doesn't interfere or support any candidate in foreign elections.

    "The decision to make this information public is the exclusive responsibility of the WikiLeaks organization," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

    The recognition of the action comes less than 24 hours after WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had cut off Assange's access to the internet on Saturday after the publication of Clinton's speeches to Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs.

  • GOP VP hopeful Mike Pence has Albuquerque rally on Thursday

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican vice presidential hopeful Mike Pence is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Albuquerque on Thursday night.

    According to the campaign website of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, Pence's rally will be held at 6 p.m. at Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa.

    Organizers say doors for the event will open at 4 p.m. and tickets are available online on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    The Indiana governor previously held campaign events in Albuquerque and Roswell in August to rally support for Trump.

    Trump hasn't been back to New Mexico since a May rally in Albuquerque.

    That event drew a large crowd and also sparked a late-night protest that led to multiple arrests.

  • Today in history Oct. 18
  • Teachers speak out against policy

     It was standing room only inside the Los Alamos School Board’s meeting place Tuesday as more than 100 residents and teachers took to the podium to voice their anger and frustration over teacher evaluation scores.

    The teachers received their latest, annual evaluations from the New Mexico Public Education Department last week, and many reported inaccuracies and faulty data. 

    They were also there to report about the changes the department made to their sick days/time off policy in which the department has limited teachers to three days when school is in session before “points” begin to be taken off their evaluation scores. NMPED also made the new attendance retroactive to July 1. It also made it mandatory for all New Mexico school districts to count attendance toward a teacher’s evaluation. Before that, teachers could choose either counting attendance or student surveys for their evaluation. 

    Evaluations now work like this: 5 percent, teacher attendance; 5 percent, student surveys; 40 percent, observations; 50 percent, test scores. 

  • Local candidates rely on small donations, self-funding

    The second general campaign finance reports released on Tuesday revealed few surprises in the Los Alamos County council and clerk’s races. 

    Local candidates are relying on small campaign contributions ranging from $20 to $500 dollars, with most of those coming from local donors. Several of the candidates are donating and/or loaning their campaigns money. 

    In the council race, incumbent Steve Girrens (R) is entirely self-funding. Girrens has donated $950 to his own campaign since the start of the primary. His spending is well below other candidates at $253.

    Patrick Brenner (R) is also largely self-funding. The majority of his $1,777 year-to-date total – $1597 – comes from loans and contributions from himself or his business, EDJ ink. Brenner has spent $1,626 since the primaries began. 

    Chris Chandler and Antonio Maggiore, both Democrats, show the largest year-to-date totals, at $4,785 and $4,025, respectively.

    Nearly $1,100 of Chandler’s total is from donations or loans to herself. Chandler also had the largest number of expenditures, at $2,562.69.

  • Miles, founder of Monitor, dies at 95

    Dan Miles was a pioneer in many ways.
    He came to Los Alamos with the idea of starting a newspaper for a town that didn’t have one.
    He was one of the three founders of the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Miles started the newspaper with John Barnett and Mark McMahon in 1963, in a small office above a jewelry store.
    They started with nothing more than two typewriters, a headline machine and four employees.
    Miles was also a geologist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    He died Wednesday at his home in Los Alamos. He was 95.
    His daughter Beki Welsch recalled some of the memories of her father’s time at the newspaper.
    As the Monitor’s advertising executive, Miles once secured an ad for the liquor store… and it ended up being placed on the same page as the police blotter and the DWIs.
    “The liquor store immediately cancelled their ad,” Welsch said with a laugh. As the paper’s main financial backer and money man, that’s just one of the many ups and downs Miles experienced in the Monitor’s early years.
    There was a bust in the oil business at the time, and they thought it would be a good idea to start a paper in Los Alamos.

  • UNM president says he won’t seek a 2nd term

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — With declining enrollment and a smaller allotment from the cash-strapped state, the University of New Mexico is bracing to have $22.5 million less to spend in fiscal year 2017.
    The school also will be looking to hire a new president.
    Robert Frank announced Friday that he won’t seek to renew his contract after it ends on May 31, 2017. “I am pleased with what we have accomplished during my presidency, and it will be with great pride that I hand over the reins to the next president, who can build upon our successes,” Frank said in a statement.
    He was hired by UNM in January 2012.
    The Board of Regents now has eight months to choose the school’s 22nd president.
    Board President Rob Doughty said the search would begin no later than next spring, and an interim president would be appointed if a successor to Frank isn’t found in a timely manner.
    On Thursday, Frank announced the university will put a freeze on hiring, and all college officials will perform departmental audits of temporary and part-time staff positions. Those positions that aren’t deemed to be critical will likely be cut.
    He said the expected losses mean everything from programs to staff and administrative positions could face cuts, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

  • Range Road bus turn-a-round improvements

    Public Works crews are scheduled to start work Monday on a bus turn around on Range Road just north of the intersection of Aspen Drive. 
    The work will primarily be limited to the east shoulder of Range Road. Motorists and pedestrians should watch for increased heavy equipment in the area.
    The work is anticipated to last about one month, weather permitting.
    The project consists of a paved bus turn-a-round off Range Road, which will provide transit service to Ponderosa Estates.