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Today's News

  • 1st human case of plague this year in New Mexico is reported

    SANTA FE (AP) — The state Department of Health has reported the first human case of plague in New Mexico this year.
    Health officials say a 63-year-old Santa Fe County man is currently hospitalized with the bacterial disease.
    They're conducting an environmental investigation at the man's home to look for ongoing risk and ensure the health of his immediate family and neighbors.
    Health Department staff also is going door-to-door near the man's home to inform them about plague found in the area and educate them on reducing their risk.
    Plague generally is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals including rodents, wildlife and pets.
    So far there have been 10 dogs and five cats with confirmed plague in New Mexico this year.
     

  • LANL preps for TA39 cleanup

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory will begin testing soil at the bottom of North Ancho Canyon for two weeks in June, in preparation for a cleanup of waste left over from three former storage areas at the site.  

    Areas to be targeted include a section that was used for storing capacitors and two former waste stockpile areas. The area, because of its isolation and steep walls, is used to test explosives.

    The soil, according to studies and reports done by LANL, contained higher-than-normal concentrations of PCPs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

    Once sampling has determined the extent of the waste’s location, the next step will be to remove a foot of soil at the site. If further testing still reveals higher-than-normal concentrations of the waste, the process will be repeated until all soil samples show concentrations that are small enough not to endanger human health.

    “The accelerated corrective action (ACA) planned at Technical Area 39 by the Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office and its contractor, Los Alamos National Security, is moving forward with the availability of funding,”

  • Sheriff's resolution postponed

    A resolution on restoring funding and services to the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office has been pulled from the Los Alamos County Council’s Tuesday night agenda.

    The reasons given were two of the County Councilors will be out on travel. Though five members is enough to have a quorum, some councilors speculated that the resolution, which was put forward by Pete Sheehey, was pulled so all members will have a chance to discuss and vote on it. Sheehey could not be reached for comment.

    Though he had not spoken to Sheehey about the decision to take the resolution off the agenda, Councilor Rick Reiss said

    Sheehey was probably waiting for the time when council could have a full quorum to discuss the matter.

    “I believe he thinks it’s important that all councilors be there,” Reiss said.
    Councilors on travel thought that whatever the reasons were for the item being pulled they were glad it was done.

    “I’m glad the issue has been delayed so that I can be a part of the discussions,” Chrobocinski said.

    The Los Alamos County Sheriff, Marco Lucero was officially stripped of most of his duties, personnel and budget in a council vote last year.

  • Seniors make progress closing budget gap

    The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization has made some headway toward patching a $70,000 shortfall in its fiscal 2018 budget, which starts in July.

    The organization has managed to raise $18,000, thanks to price adjustments to some services, donations from its membership and guidance from Los Alamos Community Services. The group  put out the call in early May to its membership for donations of $25 or more.

    “We are also working with county government to explore ways to reduce our shortfall,” LARSO Executive Director Pauline Schneider said. “They are working with us to figure out the best way that they can be helpful. We definitely don’t want the community to think that it’s them that’s shorting us money, because it’s definitely the state.”

    LARSO officials decided to make the appeal when it saw a decline in state and federal funding coming for fiscal year 2018.

    Programs still threatened by the shortfall include the popular lunch programs at the Betty Ehart Center and the White Rock Senior Center.

    Last year, the food budget for senior services was $91,000. Funding for food comes from state and federal funding.

  • Local homeless man booked for assault

    Ryan Barnes, 39, has had frequent brushes with the law over the past few yeas in Los Alamos. Although he has family in town, Barnes has been homeless off and on during the time and has repeatedly gotten into trouble.

    It has been reported that Barnes possibly received head trauma at some point in his life and has been having difficulties since.

    Barnes’ latest tangle with the law occurred around 8 p.m. April 26, when he was arrested for disorderly conduct after allegedly assaulting a resident on 600 San Ildefonso Road.

    Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Andrew Goldie responded to a report of a male individual attempting to enter a residence in an apartment complex.

    In his report Goldie said, “Upon arrival, I met with Ryan Barnes, who was yelling profanities at a male subject in front of (the apartment).” As Goldie approached Barnes, it was evident that he was intoxicated.

    According to Barnes, he had permission to stay in the apartment, but then the apartment owner changed his mind and said that Barnes could not stay there.

  • Tourism group discusses LA's future economic development

    About 25 newly appointed members of Los Alamos’ Tourism Work Group met for the first time Thursday, all of them eager to get started on ways to bolster tourism through economic development.

    “This is going to be a brainstorming environment, there are no bad ideas,” Tourism Work Group Chair Susan O’Leary said. O’Leary is also vice president of the Los Alamos County Council.

    The main goal of the project is to help with a master tourism and economic development plan that will be presented to Los Alamos County Council in eight to 10 months.

    The committee was created to take advantage of the recent tourism opportunities that have happened in Los Alamos over the past couple of years, mainly the federal government’s creation of the Manhattan Project Historical Park.

    “That project I think is what made Los Alamos realize that we have an opportunity to take that project and combine it with Bandelier (National Monument) the Valles Caldera, the Bradbury Museum and all of the other amenities that we have and really do something big here with tourism and economic development,” O’Leary said.

  • Janecky dedicates life to LA gymnastics

    For nearly four decades, Louise Janecky has dedicated herself to the gymnastics community of Los Alamos.

    Janecky, known as Loui, has been the director and head coach of the Los Alamos School of Gymnastics since 1981. All told, she has been involved as a gymnastics coach around the country since 1976.

    Recently, she has been re-elected to her position as the Region three chair of the USA Gymnastics Xcel National Committee, a position she has held since 2013.

    In this role, Janecky not only takes part in the rule-making process for USA Gymnastics, but also assists in the education of coaches and judges both regionally and nationally.

    Janecky also plays a leadership role in state and regional competitions, traveling to conventions to educate gymnastics professionals both in lectures and in hands-on coaching clinics.

    All of this in addition to her hands-on role as the head coach of the Los Alamos School of Gymnastics, a role in which she completely immerses herself.

    “She cares deeply about these kids,” Los Alamos School of Gymnastics board member and parent Ann Gardner said.

    “She makes sure they work hard and holds them responsible, and she loves them to death.”

  • Top athletes recognized for performance and character

    In addition to the Athlete of the Year awards, other athletic awards were handed out during the Honors Convocation.

    Along with earning Athlete of the Year recognition from the Los Alamos Sports Association, Sienna Ahlers was also presented with the Iron Athlete Award, which was given to her by Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer coach, and her father, Gary Ahlers.

    His oldest daughter Madison, a 2011 alumna of LAHS, created the award.

    She wanted to honor a student athlete who valued hard work and commitment, both in the classroom and on the playing field.

    In addition to those two awards, Ahlers was also presented with the three-sport athlete award, along with Kaitlin Bennett, Kenidee Hatler and Elizabeth Lockhart.

    Lockhart was also the recipient of a Los Alamos Golf Association Scholarship, along with Faith Koh.

    Mike Lippiatt, who presented the award, explained that the association normally only gives out one scholarship, but that they felt that both of these girls were worthy based on what they had accomplished throughout their high school careers.

  • LAHS Athletes of the Year named

    Sienna Ahlers and Nicholas Quartieri were honored as the Los Alamos High School Athletes of the Year at this week’s Honors Convocation.

    Gene Mortensen and Mike Maez-Cote, members of the Los Alamos Sports Association, gave the awards to Ahlers and Quartieri.

    The Association is made up of members of the local Los Alamos sports media, including representatives from KRSN, The Los Alamos Daily Post and the Los Alamos Monitor.

    Each year, the group gives these awards to a male and female athlete who displays excellence on the playing field, going above and beyond to perform at the highest level.

    “We’ve had a pretty good look at all the athletes throughout the year,” Mortensen said at the ceremony. “So we feel qualified to pick a senior boy athlete and a senior girl athlete and name them the athlete of the year.”

    Ahlers was a standout at Los Alamos High School in soccer, and also participated in basketball and track and field in her high school career.

    According to Mortensen, she scored 58 goals throughout her varsity soccer career, and collected 39 assists. She was also first-team all-state and first-team all-district in soccer.

    She will be heading to Wingate University in North Carolina on a soccer scholarship next school year.

  • Free swimming this weekend at Piñon Park

    Piñon Park Pool will hold the first of its open-to-the-public free swim days this Sunday and Monday in White Rock.

    “It’s an opportunity for the community to try out the pool for free with no guest passes or membership required.” said Leilani Christensen, president of Piñon Park Pool Association’s Board of Directors.

    Anyone can visit the pool this weekend and enjoy the crystal-clear water, diving board, slides, kiddie pool, outdoor play area, snack bar and lounging and picnic facilities from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday and 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m. on Monday.

    Children under 18 attending this event must be accompanied by a parent.

    Christensen hopes the free swim days will lead to some participants purchasing 2017 memberships, but there is no obligation.

    This year, fees for Piñon Park Pool have been reduced from last year’s prices. With four options based on number of family members (one to four or more) on the membership, the cost to swim for the summer ranges from only $300 for an individual to $450 for a family of four or more.

    The pool opened for the 2017 swim season on May 27 and is proving to be a popular place for families to spend time together and cool off as the weather heats up.