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Today's News

  • Española man arrested on suspicion of drug possession

    Police reportedly found heroin on a suspect while he was being checked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center April 9.

    The suspect, Brandyn Valdez, 22, of Española was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

    Police first came in contact with Valdez when a call came in regarding a vehicle driving in and out of a marked lane on East Jemez Road as he was driving toward White Rock.

    Police reportedly pulled Valdez’s car over. Valdez was driving a white pickup truck. Police and Valdez pulled into a parking lot off of Sherwood Boulevard, where police arrested Valdez on suspicion of driving with a suspended license, a charge he was previously cited for earlier in the month.

    While being booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center, police allegedly discovered suboxone, heroin, and drug paraphernalia hidden on his person that Valdez allegedly didn’t tell the officer who arrested him.

    A preliminary hearing for Valdez’s case is set for May 11 in Los Alamos Magistrate Court.

  • Starbucks to close stores for an afternoon for bias training

    By ALEXANDRA OLSON and JOSEPH PISANI, AP Business Writers

    NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks, trying to tamp down a racially charged uproar over the arrest of two black men at one of its stores in Philadelphia, plans to close more than 8,000 U.S. stores for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training for nearly 175,000 workers.

    The announcement Tuesday comes after the arrests sparked protests and calls for a boycott on social media. A video shows police talking with two black men seated at a table. After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren't doing anything wrong. Philadelphia-area media said the two were waiting for a friend.

    Starbucks, which once urged its employees to start conversations about race with customers, found itself through the looking glass, under fire for its treatment of black people.

    The company reacted from a high level: Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson called the arrests "reprehensible" and said he wanted to apologize to the two men face to face. The company and a lawyer for the two men said they did meet, and Johnson delivered the apology. Starbucks also said the employee who called police no longer works at the store, but declined to give details.

  • LANL scientists honored for exceptional work

    Four Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists were honored at the Los Alamos Medal ceremony April 12 for their distinguished achievements that have impacted the success of the laboratory and the nation, either through mission accomplishments or enhancing the laboratory’s distinction.

    The Los Alamos Medal is the Laboratory’s highest distinction.

    “There have been only 13 awardees since the Medal was established 17 years ago,” said Terry C. Wallace, Jr., director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “And today’s medal winners are the first since 2014.”

    Past medal winners include Hans Bethe and Harold Agnew.

    This year, the Medals were awarded to Howard Menlove, who helped establish the laboratory’s technical expertise in nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation that became the foundation for international nonproliferation programs; and three members of the Human Genome Project team at Los Alamos – Scott Cram, Larry Deaven, and Robert Moyzis – who were instrumental in motivating the Department of Energy to formally initiate the Human Genome Project in 1987.

  • UNM-LA offers bystander intervention workshop

    Solace Crisis Treatment Center Education and Prevention Department Manager Jess Clark will present “Bystander Intervention Workshop: Learning How To Safely Take Action” from 9-11 a.m. April 27 at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, Building 5 in Wallace Hall.

    The goal of Bystander Intervention workshops is to help participants develop bystander efficacy, or the confidence to intervene in a situation of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

    Workshop participants will learn about bystander theory and practice different strategies for intervening in various situations, from hearing someone telling offensive jokes or making inappropriate sexual comments to witnessing harassment or even violence in public.

    The information in this presentation applies to many topics in addition to sexual violence, such as bullying and helping those in need.

    The workshop is a collaboration between Solace Crisis Treatment Center and the UNM-LA grant from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

    Dr. Kristy Nadler was awarded the grant for UNM-LA from the OVW at the U.S. Department of Justice. The OVW grant provides $300,000 over three years to organize effective sexual misconduct prevention, education and response for the UNM-LA community.

  • New Mexico runs out of vehicle registration stickers

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division has run out of the special paper required to print new vehicle registration stickers.

    Agency spokesman Ben Cloutier confirmed Tuesday that the division ran out April 9 as the contract for the paper provider expired. The contract has since been renewed and registration stickers for all affected customers are expected to be mailed by the end of the month.

    Cloutier says the agency apologizes for any inconvenience and that temporary registrations printed for customers will serve as validation until they receive their stickers in the mail.

    The Motor Vehicle Division has notified law enforcement about the situation in the event a driver is stopped for not having a current sticker.

    It's unclear how many motorists were affected by the paper shortage.
     

  • IRS gives taxpayers extra day to file after website issues

    By SARAH SKIDMORE SELL, AP Personal Finance Writer

    Americans are getting an extra day to file their taxes after key elements of the IRS website crashed on deadline day.

    The IRS said that individuals or businesses with a filing or payment due Tuesday now have until midnight Wednesday to complete the task.

    Earlier Tuesday, Americans who had waited until the final day to file online got an unwelcome surprise: The agency's website for making payments and gaining access to other key services was down due to what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later described as a "high-volume technical issue."

    The website was back online late Tuesday.

    "This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers," Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said in a statement. "The IRS appreciates everyone's patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation."

    No additional paperwork is needed to get the one-day extension, the IRS said.

    The IRS snafu also caused problems for popular third-party tax preparers such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block. Both said that they would hold on to customer tax returns and file after IRS system reopened.

  • Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92

    By MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press

    HOUSTON (AP) — Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

    Mrs. Bush brought a grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, often appearing in her trademark fake pearl chokers and displaying no vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.

    "What you see with me is what you get. I'm not running for president — George Bush is," she said at the 1988

    Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan.

    The Bushes, who were married Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who had a child who was elected president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

    "I had the best job in America," she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. "Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun."

  • Woman killed in Southwest Airlines emergency landing identified as New Mexico banker

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Family, friends and community leaders are mourning the death of a bank executive on a Southwest Airlines jet that blew an engine as she was flying home from a business trip to New York.

    Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two, was well known in New Mexico, where she had built a career over more than two decades in community relations and communications after graduating from the University of New Mexico.

    Gov. Susana Martinez called Riordan "an incredible woman who put her family and community first" and said her loss would be felt across the state.

    "The hearts of all New Mexicans are with the Riordan family," Martinez, a Republican, said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Before starting with Wells Fargo in 2008, Riordan had worked for the University of New Mexico hospital system in public relations and for Citi Corp.

    At Wells Fargo, she was the vice president for community relations and was in charge of managing employee volunteer and board service to nonprofit groups in New Mexico and parts of Texas. She also served on numerous boards and oversaw the annual United Way community campaign.

    Mayor Tim Keller said his thoughts and prayers were with Riordan's family.

  • Forecasters warn of rare, life-threatening wildfire weather

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Forecasters warned of dangerous, life-threatening wildfire conditions in parts of the Southwest and Southern Plains on Tuesday, as a forestry official warned firefighters battling a terrifying deadly blaze in Oklahoma that it would be a "historically critical day."

    Gusty winds and low humidity in drought-stricken areas will create dangerous fire conditions in parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Speheger said such conditions haven't been seen in at least a decade.

    By early afternoon Tuesday, temperatures that were projected to reach the mid-90s had reached 88 degrees (31 Celsius) with humidity at 6 percent. Wind gusts forecast to hit 40 mph (64 kph) were at 24 mph (39 kph). The forecast includes northwestern Texas and the Texas Panhandle where firefighting aircraft are stationed in Amarillo, Abilene and surrounding areas.

    "With these conditions, wildfires can spread rapidly, present control issues for firefighters and pose a real threat to public safety," said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford.

  • Lab building evacuated Monday as hazmat crews remediate bulging drum

    Los Alamos National Laboratory partially evacuated workers from the Sigma Building around Monday as hazmat workers responded to the building.

    “At 2:30, p.m. today Laboratory personnel and the Los Alamos Fire Department responded to a report of a bulging drum at the Sigma facility,” according to a laboratory spokesman. “The drum has been rendered safe. The area has been isolated and access control established. There is no threat to workers or the public.”

    All workers in the building were safe from the incident, and the area where the evacuation took place was confirmed safe, according to the spokesman.

    The Sigma building develops materials and components using engineering and metallurgical science in support of national security, according to the LANL website. This science includes a scope that spans alloys, ceramics and compounds from uranium to hydrogen, the website said.