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Today's News

  • Spaceport authority director resigns

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The head of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority is resigning, saying she still believes in the commercial space industry and that Spaceport America has a role to play.

    Christine Anderson announced her resignation in a memo Tuesday to the authority's board and Gov. Susana Martinez. She said it was a difficult decision but she wants to pursue "other life adventures."

    Anderson took over as executive director five years ago as the spaceport was just getting off the ground.

    She has lauded successes in building a multimillion-dollar launch site and bringing new infrastructure to a remote stretch of desert in southern New Mexico, but delays by anchor tenant Virgin Galactic left the spaceport scrambling for revenue in recent years and the lack of activity helped to fueled lawmakers' skepticism of the venture.

    Anderson has repeatedly countered the criticisms of whether flights would ever get off the ground.

  • Little League regional coming to LA

    North Mesa Sports Complex will be home to the top junior little league softball teams in the Southwest.
    Los Alamos County Little League will host the Little League Junior Softball Southwestern Regional July 23. It’s the first time Los Alamos will host a Little League regional.
    “We found out in January that we would be hosting it,” said Robbie Harris, who’s the softball vice president for Los Alamos County Little League. “We put in the bid in the fall and luckily we were able to get it.”
    The regional includes the state champions from New Mexico, West Texas, East Texas, Colorado and Louisiana. Los Alamos received an automatic bid for hosting the regional, while Deming won the right to represent New Mexico after winning the state championship. Junior Little League softball consists of players ages 13-14.  
    “The great thing is that all teams will get to play atleast five times,” Harris said. “It’s also great that all the little league teams from the area will also be in town to experience it.”
    Harris said North Mesa Park was a better option to host the regional instead of Overlook Park in White Rock. Proximity to concession stands was a factor that Harris detailed as to why North Mesa Park was the better option.

  • Free writing workshop for kids Monday

    PBS New Mexico will hold a free writing workshop from 2:30-3 p.m. Monday at the Mesa Public Library.
    The workshop, which is open to kids from kindergarten to third grade, will be led by author Mary Saunders. At the workshop, kids will learn how to write and illustrate their own story.
    At the end of the workshop, kids will have a chance to enter the N.M. PBS Kids Writers Contest, which is open through July 31. Entry forms will be available online at newmexicopbs.org or at the Mesa Public Library. There will also entry forms available at the local McDonald’s.
    The postmarked deadline for entry at July 31. A total of 12 winners will be chosen: three from kindergarten, first, second and third grades. However each child gets a certificate for entering.

  • Cause of WR fire identified

    A summons has been issued to a Daniel Griego, 32-year-old White Rock man, after investigators traced a brushfire to his property.
    Investigators reported the brushfire originated at Griego’s residence, at the 300 block of Potrillo Drive.
    “Fire investigators (Stephen) Rinaldi and (Adrian) Martinez, along with Fire Marshall (Jeff) Wetteland conducted an examination of the scene and the associated fire patterns, which indicated that the area of origin was located in the north quarter of the property located at 330 Potrillo Drive,” said Rinaldi in his report on the investigation.
    Investigators determined that someone had dumped a pile of hot ashes on a compost pile, which set off the Monday, July 5 brushfire that consumed about two acres of brush and part of the roof of a home at 1 Cherokee Avenue.
    Through thermal imaging, investigators determined the temperature of the ashes on the pile was 150 degrees at the time of the investigation, which began just after the fire was extinguished.
    Griego met with fire officials and walked the property with them after they had determined the cause. Griego told investigators he and his family had a party on July 4 on the property.

  • N.M. congressman likes Trump's VP pick

    SANTA FE (AP) — Members of New Mexico’s delegation to the GOP convention reacted to Donald Trump’s announcement today of his vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
    Republican Rep. Steve Pearce on Friday described Pence as a solid conservative and strong person of faith who would bring a tireless work ethic to the vice presidency.
    New Mexico Republican Party Chairwoman Debbie Maestas calls Pence an excellent pick to join with Trump.
    An alternate New Mexico delegate to the Republican National Convention says the selection of Pence as a vice presidential running mate is unlikely to make up for Trump’s shortcomings on the campaign trail.
    Former New Mexico state Sen. Rod Adair on Friday described Pence as a cautious pick that is unlikely to dramatically improve Trump’s popularity. The Republican from Roswell is traveling to the convention in Cleveland with the New Mexico delegation as an alternate in case other delegates drop out unexpectedly.
    Adair says that a Republican candidate other than Trump might be far ahead in the polls against Democrat Hillary Clinton, and that Pence is “sort of a blah choice.”

  • Pokémon hiding at Rose Chocolatier’s ScienceFest booth

    By Mandy Marksteiner

    Special to the Monitor

    The Pokémon were probably attracted by the smell of rich dark chocolate Fudgesicles. Or maybe they were just wanted to play with all the colorful boxes with their handcrafted bows.

    And now that ScienceFest is underway, they’re nibbling on the Devil’s Food cake, swiping the salted caramel truffles, and tasting the lemon tarts.

    “Pokemon have taken over my Science Fest booth. We have to catch them all!” said Marguerite McClay, owner of Rose Chocolatier.

    This week, Pokemon GO players can enter to win prizes at Rose Chocolatier’s Science Fest booth.

    Los Alamos kids, parents,and all Pokémon fans are invited to download Pokémon GO on their mobile devices (pokemongo.com/en-us/) can win a prize from Rose Chocolatier.

    Just be sure to stop by the Rose Chocolatier booth at ScienceFest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The booth will be located on the sidewalk directly across from the Fuller Lodge Art Center. Show us your Pokémon GO “Pokédex” and you can to enter the drawing.

  • Today in history July 15
  • T-Board OKs new 2M bus schedule

    The Los Alamos County Transportation Board unanimously approved a new schedule for the 2M Atomic City Transit (ACT) route to White Rock at its July 7 meeting.
    The change will extend the route all the way to the transit center, addressing one of the main complaints from riders after the new ACT schedule was implemented in January.
    The route will now loop counterclockwise via Grand Canyon Drive and Meadow Lane. However, the 2T route will continue to serve Sherwood and run bidirectional in that area.
    ACT, a division of the Public Works Department, based its recommendations on responses to a rider survey and an Open Forum survey on the county website, available at losalamosnm.us/gov/Pages/PublicCommentForum.aspx#peak_democracy.
    The division received 198 survey responses. Of those, 91 respondents listed this route adjustment as their number one choice, with 74 identifying it as their second choice. An option to combine the 2M/2T routes received 81 first choice responses and 78 second choice votes. Only 38 people listed keeping the route as it is now as their first or second choice.
    Survey takers wanted bidirectional service continued in White Rock, with 33.4 percent identifying that as very important and 36.3 percent calling it somewhat important.

  • School board decreases fees for nonprofits

    The Los Alamos School Board voted Tuesday to charge nonprofits a $5-an-hour monitor fee instead of the proposed $15.30 an hour by the Los Alamos Public Schools.
    The compromise was led by LASB Vice President Jenny McCumber.
    “I would vote that we approve the policy as presented, but clarify that instead of the $15.30-per-hour cost going to the nonprofit organization, that we would just charge them $5 per hour,” she said at the board meeting.
    The board voted in a policy that will introduce actual, paid building monitors for when community groups and organizations are using the district’s facilities, such as a school gym or the Duane W. Smith Auditorium.
    For profits will still have to pay $15.30 an hour for a monitor.
    The policy was proposed by LAPS Chief Operations Officer Joan Ahlers in May, after a series of incidents on school grounds made it clear that an official monitor hired by the school was needed.
    Before the policy, it was up to each organization to assign its own monitor, but that method proved inconsistent as the number of lockouts, vandalism and accidents started to accumulate.

  • Gov. Martinez sets her own agenda at GOP convention

    SANTA FE (AP) — A testy and guarded relationship between Donald Trump and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez shows little sign of change as she and other GOP delegates make their way to the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland.

    Martinez was withholding her endorsement of Trump as of Friday even as she leads her state's 24-member delegation to the convention, where — shy of a rebellion and last-minute rule changes — she and the others are obligated by New Mexico's primary election results to cast their first-round ballots for Trump.

    In declining to endorse Trump, Martinez also will stay clear of the speaker's podium and the full public spotlight of the convention. That won't stop Martinez from working the aisles and backrooms in her role as a second-term governor and chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, a major fundraising arm dedicated to the election of GOP governors across the country.

    Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez indicated in an email that the governor will be busy offstage touting recent reforms to New Mexico and holding a series of meetings with other governors and leaders.