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Today's News

  • Pajarito Mountain ready for 'big summer party'

    Los Alamos County’s unofficial kickoff to summer will take place this weekend, as Pajarito Mountain hosts its annual SummerFest this Saturday.

    Jeffrey Bold, an employee with Pajarito Mountain, described the event as a “big summer party to celebrate the end of a successful ski season, and the beginning of a successful summer season.”

    SummerFest, which has been a tradition in Los Alamos for decades, features live music, 14 microbreweries, as well as access to the ski lifts for both hikers and bikers.

    In addition, there will be fun events taking place throughout the day, such as a disc golf tournament, downhill bike race, and a poker run.

    People participating in the poker run will receive a playing card each time they go up the ski lift, and can collect an unlimited number of cards while the ski lifts are open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    At the end of the day, the poker run participants will get together and compare cards to figure out who compiled the best poker hand throughout the day.

    One of the biggest draws of SummerFest is its array of local microbreweries in the Beer Garden, which contributes to an atmosphere Bland described as a “massive beer festival.”

    For $20, people will be able to access the area, and will be given a voucher for a free pint of beer.

  • LAPD ask for help in finding shoplifters

    The Los Alamos Police Department is seeking the identities of two suspects in a shoplifting case. It was reported on May 31, two women stole women’s shirts from a local business on Central Avenue.

    LAPD is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the following two female suspects as seen in the surveillance footage. They are also offering a reward of up to $150 to anyone who has information on the identity of the two suspects.  

    LAPD officer Gabriel Nieto was dispatched to Central Avenue around 4:53 p.m. and talked to the owner who explained that around 2:20 p.m., two females walked in and possibly took four women’s shirts.

    According to the incident report, one female was wearing white pants and a pink and black shirt with red/pink hair. The second female was wearing a blue or black skirt and white striped shirt with dark hair.

    In his report, Nieto said, “I spoke with an employee who approached the females as they walked in the store. The employee stated the females walked around the store eventually making their way to the women’s clothing. Both females then went into the dressing rooms and were asked if they needed any assistance,” which they stated, “No.”

  • County moves housing project forward

    Los Alamos County Council OK’d a key step Tuesday in getting a housing project started in White Rock, but not all councilors were entirely happy about it.

    Some questioned the developer’s planned price range of $300,000 to $400,000, and why, since the county was contributing $2 million to the developer to help in removing a troublesome layer of basalt at the site, council didn’t have any say in the project’s aesthetics. The developer paid the county $460,000 for the land.  

    “This is not even close to a moderately priced housing development and I want people to recognize that fact right now so we don’t have to address it a year from now when people actually see what’s being done in that area,” Councilor Chris Chandler said before casting the lone dissenting 5-1 vote on the project.

    Councilor James Chrobocinski was out of town.

    Chandler also asked why council didn’t have more of a say in planning the project, something at least one other county councilor, Antonio Maggiore agreed with.

  • Lightning causes house fire on Los Pueblos Street

    BY SARAH VON STERNBERG & TRIS DEROMA
    Monitor Staff Writers

    A lightning strike was the apparent cause of a house fire on Los Pueblos Street in Los Alamos Tuesday night.

    Clare Webber was home alone around 7:30 p.m. when she heard a loud lightning strike.

    “I screamed it was so loud,” Webber said.

    She started looking around to see where it hit, but found nothing. Her husband, Leo, later joined her for an evening of TV, when they smelled smoke. They finally located the source and called the police.

    “The house was filling with smoke but we can’t find where it’s coming from,” Clare Webber said. “I was looking out the window, turned around and the ceiling was turning brown above me on the second story.”

    The strike had hit the back side of the tallest roof of their house and caused a ceiling fire. Fire and police got there immediately around 9:30 p.m., shortly after they were called.

    The crews were able to locate the fire quickly. When they arrived, they found light smoke inside the house, but nothing on the outside. They quickly located the fire in a wall between the upstairs bathroom and hallway area.

  • Missing teen found

    Dylan Carman was reported missing on June 2 after he missed a flight to meet his father, Chris Carman, on the east coast. Dylan Carman was found at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Santa Fe and brought back to Los Alamos that night, according to police.

    “He was located by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office on Highway 14 south of the detention center,” said Los Alamos Police Department Commander Oliver Morris,

    “Our agency was notified and we made arrangements to pick him up from Santa Fe (Sheriff’s Office) and he was transported back to Los Alamos,” said Morris.

    Although Morris could not comment on the family’s situation, he assured the Monitor that Carman is being properly cared for.

    Chris Carman reportedly landed in Albuquerque in Thursday morning. When asked how he was feeling, Carman said, “Once I hug him it will feel real.”

  • Board addresses saftey concerns at LANL

    As the Los Alamos National Laboratory prepares to ramp up production of plutonium pits at its PF-4 facility, an oversight board created by Congress held a public hearing in Santa Fe Wednesday to gather information about whether the lab was capable of reaching its manufacturing goals in a timely and safe manner.

    Board members asked lab and National Nuclear Security Administration officials several questions during the six-hour hearing about LANL’s continual non-compliance with its Nuclear Criticality Safety Program.

    Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board member Joyce Connery noted at the hearing how the LANL Director Charlie McMillan paused operations in 2013 at the site after deficiencies were found in the lab’s Nuclear Criticality Safety Program.

    Connery also said that in 2016, LANL’s criticality program, a program designed to stop nuclear and radiation accidents, was still showing non-compliance.

    NNSA Associate Administrator for Safety Infrastructure and Operations James McConnell explained to the board the reasons behind the pause in 2013 and the non-compliance.

    “There are three main reasons we had to do that. McConnell was one of the officials who reported that LANL was non-compliant during that timeframe.

  • New Mexico Public Education Secretary Skandera to step down

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera is stepping down after seven years on a job where she tried to reform an education system in one of the nation's poorest states amid constant criticism from Democrats and teachers union over proposed reforms.
    Public Education Department spokeswoman Lida Alikhani confirmed Thursday that Skandera will resign on June 20 – surprising critics and supporters.
    "It has been such a privilege to be part of Gov. Martinez's team in the fight to lift up our students and schools," Skandera said in a statement. "The results we're seeing in New Mexico show what can happen when we choose to embrace reform and put kids first.
    It was not immediately clear if Skandera was resigning to take another job or why she was resigning with more than a year left on her tenure.
    Deputy Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski will serve as acting cabinet secretary, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said.
    Martinez said the state's students and schools are better because of Skandera's leadership and commended her for taking on teachers unions and "other entrenched special interests."

  • Sportsmen's club preps for Range Days

    The Los Alamos Sportmen’s Club will be hosting its first ever Open Range Days this weekend, giving the public a unique look at what the club has to offer.

    The event will include a gun show, along with demonstration classes, open gun and archery ranges and a barbeque lunch on both days.

    In years past, the sportsmen’s club has hosted a gun show somewhere in the community each year.

    This year, however, they felt it would be a better idea to combine all of the events they sponsor into a larger happening.

    “We want to invite the public down to see what we have to offer,” club member Steve Porter said. “We want to increase public awareness of what we do and what we’re about, and hopefully increase membership.”

    The Open Range Days will take place Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

    As part of the event, the Sportsmen’s Club will have an archery range open, as well as three pistol ranges and two shotgun ranges.

    One of the things the club is most excited to be offering is the opportunity to let the public test out machine guns at the event.

  • Smith’s collection is tops in state

    Smith’s Food and Drugstores have made the Los Alamos community and New Mexico proud with their recent fundraising efforts, to benefit the UNM Children’s Hospital.
    A variety of events took place to for the Children’s Hospital culminating is a silent auction and Frito pie lunch. “We would like to thank all of the people who donated to the silent auction and also the customers that bought the items,” said Smith’s Associate and Community Specialist Kathryn Fulton.
    The local Smith’s stores raised $16,294, making them first in the state of New Mexico. The store was also second in the Smith’s Division, which includes Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

  • Iyer named Distinguished Student of Service

    Los Alamos High School junior Radhika Iyer was honored recently by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos as a Distinguished Student of Service. Iyer is the daughter of Rashia and Srinivas Iyer.    
    Each school year, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects nine high school juniors to honor as a Distinguished Student of Service. Juniors are recognized in hopes of inspiring their interest in Rotary programs that fall during the summer following junior year.  Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, and, in particular, their service to the community.