Today's News

  • 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.

  • New golf course manager begins on Monday

    Sam Logan will begin his tenure as the Los Alamos Golf Course manager Monday.
    Logan comes to Los Alamos with nearly 20 years of golf course management experience, which includes work with the PGA Tour/Tournament Players Club, the International Management Group, Troon Golf and Four Seasons resorts.
    He has been named the “Most Admired Operator in the Golf Business” by Golf Inc. magazine.
    He also earned the “Best New Facility” award from Troon during his seven years with them.
    His pre-golf career included a full career in the United States Army.
    He comes to Los Alamos with customer service ideas gleaned in the private sector.
    He is also a PGA member.
    Logan was selected for the position several weeks ago and is moving here from Columbia.
    His wife and son will join him this summer after the school year finishes.

  • LA lacrosse eliminated in first round at state

    The New Mexico High School Lacrosse Association expanded its playoffs this year from four teams to six teams.
    After finishing fourth in the regular-season standings with a 9-5 record, that meant Los Alamos had to play and extra playoff game and begin its state tournament in the quarterfinals instead of the semis.
    The top-two seeds, Santa Fe Prep (14-1) and Sandia Prep (10-2) got byes into the semis while No. 4 Los Alamos had to take on No. 5 Rio Rancho (7-7) and No. 3 Sandia (9-4) had to play No. 6 Coronado (Texas) (4-7) in the quarterfinals.
    Los Alamos and Rio Rancho split their series during the regular season, one game apiece.
    The ’Toppers won the first match, 11-10, but Rio Rancho won the re-match, 14-13.
    The rubber match Tuesday at Overlook Park would not only give the winner the season series victory, it would also give it spot in the semifinals.
    Unfortunately for Los Alamos, Rio Rancho scored a 10-5 upset to against the Hilltoppers to end Los Alamos’ season.
    Rio Rancho will now take on Santa Fe Prep for a spot in Saturday’s championship game.
    Sandia beat Coronado 1-0 in the other quarterfinal. Sandia will now play Sandia Prep in the semifinals.

  • LA tennis players score all-state honors

    Two Los Alamos doubles teams and one singles player earned all-state honors Thursday at the Class 5A tennis championships.
    Both Los Alamos squads had a doubles team place third at the tournament while Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff scored her second-straight all-state honor in girls’ singles. After finishing third last year, Hsieh-Ratliff reached the third-place match again this year.
    Doubles teams Katya Skurikhin and Lauryn Anaya and George Margevicius and Andrew Tang also made it into the third-place matches this year.
    Singles players Thomas Chadwick and Junseo Kim and doubles team Alex Csanadi and Andrew Aboshousha were all one win away from placing, but got eliminated in the quarterfinals.
    To reach the third-place match, Hsieh-Ratliff, the No. 3 seed, won her first round match against Goddard’s Noor Osmani in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
    In the quarterfinals, Hsieh-Ratliff took on No. 6 Elise Ballard of Farmington. The first set was tight, but Hsieh-Ratliff managed to win it 7-6 (4). After the long first set, Hsieh-Ratliff shut out Ballard in the second set, 6-0, to move on to the semifinals.

  • LA baseball, softball ready to begin state

    New Mexico will crown its final state champions of the school year over the next two weeks.
    This weekend, the chase for the blue trophies in baseball and softball both begin.
    The No. 7 seeded Los Alamos baseball team will host No. 10 Moriarty in the first round, beginning at 4 p.m. today.
    The No. 11 Los Alamos softball team, meanwhile, will travel to Gallup to take on the No. 6 seeded Miyamura Patriots.
    The structure of each tournament, however, is completely different.
    In baseball, the first round is a best-of-three showdown. After that, the tournament turns into a single-elimination bracket.
    Softball is run almost the opposite way. The first round is single elimination and then the bracket turns into double elimination. After the first round, the winners move on in the championship bracket while the losers can still fight their way back through the consolation bracket to win the state championship.
    Both Los Alamos teams start with tough tests in the first round.