Today's News

  • Today in history April 18
  • VIDEO: Third graders rock their recorders

    A group of Mrs. Teague's third grade students give a stellar performance of "Here Comes A Blue Bird" on their recorders for the school board during a school board work session at Pinon Elementary School.

  • Budget meetings to start

    The Los Alamos County Council fiscal year 2017 budget hearings get underway Monday from 6–10 p.m. in council chambers. Hearings continue April 19, 25 and 26.
    Council directed staff to prepare a flat General Fund expenditure budget for fiscal year 2017 and provide options for 3-percent growth. To meet that goal, proposed expenditure total $186 million, below fiscal year 2016 adopted budget expenditures of $193.2 million.
    The good news is that for the first time in the past five fiscal years, spending at Los Alamos National Laboratory is expected to increase, which will positively impact county revenues.
    General Fund revenues are projected to be $3 million higher, or 5 percent, than in the fiscal year 2016 adopted budget, for a total of $61.3 million. Increases in GRT make up the majority of the budgeted increase revenue, offset by a projected decrease in user charges and investment income.
    Expenditures for the proposed budget total $48.4 million, a $933,000 (2 percent) increase over the fiscal year 2016 adopted budget.
    Several of budget increases are balanced by offsets, although some of those offsets may be included in the options list.
    The Administrative Services budget is 1 percent higher than last year’s budget at $67,294, offset by lower transfers to the CIP fund for Information Technology projects.

  • Española vehicle explosion likely caused by cigarette

    ESPANOLA (AP) — Authorities say a vehicle explosion in Española that injured two people was ignited when a lit cigarette came into contact with a canister of oxygen.

    New Mexico State Police said Saturday that Henry Wilton and Eric Lucero are hospitalized with severe injuries at an Albuquerque hospital.

    According to Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo, Wilton was driving a Jeep Friday morning that was carrying 15 oxygen canisters.

    Lucero, the only other passenger, reached back while holding a lit cigarette in his hand to stop a canister from leaking.

    Police say the canister blew up, causing the car to become engulfed in flames.

    Both men were able to escape the vehicle before three other canisters exploded.

    There were no other injuries.

    Two vehicles sustained damage from debris from the scene.

  • 2016 crime on downward trend

    The Los Alamos Police Department released its first quarter crime report for 2016 Friday, which showed the crime rate in Los Alamos County remained steady.
    Crime categories in the report are determined by the FBI Uniform Crime Report Program, according to Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone. The two categories are “crimes against persons” (violent crime) and “crimes against property.”
    The report which was compiled and organized by the LAPD’s record department, violent crime –  which included rape, robbery and aggravated assault and murder – were up from four offenses in 2015 to six in 2016.
    “It is an increase, but when you’re dealing with such small numbers, just one or two cases can show a dramatic increase but overall the numbers remain relatively low,” said LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone.
    However property crime fell from 42 crimes committed in the first quarter of 2015 to 32 in the first quarter of 2016.
    Overall, the combination of both categories of crime in the first quarter of 2016 saw a 17 percent decrease from statistics recorded in the first quarter of 2015.

  • Boutique Air pulls LA-ABQ service

    Boutique Air has terminated its contract with Los Alamos County to provide service from the city to Albuquerque after the end of April, the county airport manager announced Friday.
    “We’re certainly disappointed in this turn of events, as it’s been part of our economic development strategy to facilitate airline service to the community,” County Manager Harry Burgess told the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Los Alamos County Airport Manager David Ploeger received a letter Thursday from Shawn Simpson, CEO of Boutique Air. Boutique and the county entered into a contract last November to provide three flights a day between the Los Alamos airport and the Albuquerque Sunport.
    According to a release from the county, the letter came after conversations between Simpson and Ploeger about low passenger counts for the commercial airlines service, and the need for Boutique Air to reposition the plane that was serving Los Alamos for higher, more efficient usage in other cities that it served.
    Under the contract with the county, either party has the ability to terminate with 15 days written notice. Simpson said that flights are booked through the month of April and therefore Boutique expects to fly the route through April 30, according to the release.

  • Candidates file campaign finance reports

    Candidates for local and statewide office filed their first campaign finance reports April 11. Candidates are required to file reports detailing their contributions, expenditures, loans and in kind contributions four times during the primary season and four times for the general election.
    Reports from the two candidates for the New Mexico House of Representatives District 43 revealed some contrasts.
    Incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard (D) has raised $18,668 to date. Garcia Richard received $1,000 from the Committee to Elect Brian Egolf and had an opening balance of $2,151.53. The rest came from 98 individual donors, the majority giving between $50–$250. One donor gave $500 and two others contributed $1,000 each.
    Garcia Richard had $7,064 in expenditures. Her largest expenditures were three totaling $3,861 to Voter Research, Inc. and $2,000 to the New Mexico House Democratic Campaign Committee. Her campaign also donated $500 to the Family YMCA. Most of her other expenditures were to ActBlue for processing fees.
    Garcia Richard’s Republican challenger, Sharon Stover, raised  $9,575 and spent $70.65 for a post office box and checks.

  • Investment group to meet Thursday

    Investment Group at BESC. This is an informal group that meets weekly at the Betty Ehart Senior Center at 10 a.m. Thursdays.  The purpose of this group is primarily to share knowledge and information.
    Investment strategies, stock and mutual fund tips may be discussed, as well as general discussions about the economy, except politics are usually avoided. This group does not invest any shared funds as a group and is not an investment club in that sense. A new group that restricts it’s subject matter to options trading also meets at BESC, but meets at 10 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays twice a month. Anyone interested in attending can contact Harry Watanabe at 662-6284, Don Blossom at 984-9995, or just show up at the meetings.

  • Graduation event seeks volunteers

    Volunteers are needed to help with events for the community-sponsored, all-night senior graduation celebration known as SAN (Senior Appreciation Night), for shifts that begin at 6 p.m. May 28.
    SAN was created as a fun, safe alternative to dangerous celebrations for graduates. The event is in its 32nd year and typically serves 350 students.  
    Volunteers are needed to work a two-to three-hour shift at an early evening barbecue, to hand out games at the Los Alamos YMCA Teen Center, to help at United Skates, Wild West Photos, a late-night carnival and to chaperone movies beginning at 12:30 a.m.
    Volunteers may email Diana Martinez at dmartinez@laymca.org, or call at 662-3100.
    SAN was created in 1984 by several community volunteers and organizations.

  • LAHS Naval Junior ROTC celebrates

    The Los Alamos High School Naval Junior ROTC Unit celebrated many accomplishments during the month of April.
    The program held their annual awards ceremony, senior recognition, unit birthday and received the results of their annual inspection of the entire unit.
    Lieutenant Commander, Wes Shumaker, is celebrating another successful year with the LAHS unit and one might believe he has the “Midas touch,” but there’s a lot of wisdom and dedication behind his continued success.
    “Keep the bar high, reward and acknowledge those that put out the effort and also be flexible with changes that occur,” said Shumaker. “We continually look for those that have the desire and drive to lead in the future and provide them with the opportunities to develop themselves.”
    One such highlight of their success this year was when the unit traveled to Albuquerque to compete in the New Mexico State Drill and Air Rifle Championships. They returned home with class 5A state championship banners for both precision air rifle and fitness and placed second over in the competition sweepstakes.
    That meet wasn’t a one-time success as the unit again recently received acknowledgement of being a, “Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors.”