Today's News

  • DPU set to present the future of power

    As a couple of major developments in Los Alamos County’s power supply looms,  Department of Public Utilities officials will have a discussion with the public this week on the future of the county’s power supply.

    DPU officials will be presenting details of a plan of what that future may look like during a townhall-style meeting at the White Rock Public Library on Wednesday.

    “I want to stress that this is a plan, that these are just recommendations. This is not something that the Board (of Public Utilities) and County Council actually adopt,” Utilities Manager Tim Glasco said. “This is just advice from experts to help us use that information for making decisions in the future on what resources we’re going to buy and and how we’re going to run things.”

    The pending retirement of power plants in DPU’s supply chain that no longer keep up with the market, the uncertain viability of new nuclear technology and the uncertain future of an energy agreement between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the DPU are driving factors behind the report.

  • Man gets 8 years for sex with minors

    Christopher Davis, 24, was sentenced Thursday afternoon to eight years in prison following his admission that he had sexual encountered with two underage girls.

    District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sentenced Davis following a plea agreement. The maximum she could have imposed under the agreement was 10 years.

    Davis was arrested on June 17, 2014 in Los Alamos. He was charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, criminal sexual communication with a child and child solicitation by an electronic communication device.

    The case began when the sheriff’s office in Anoka County, Minnesota, investigated a report of sexual assault against a 14-year-old female. As a result of the investigation, the police recovered a cell phone and Internet conversations between the young girl and an adult male identified as Davis, who was living in Los Alamos at the time.

    Anoka County then involved the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in furthering the investigation. After Davis was picked up in Los Alamos following a search warrant, he admitted to sexual encounters with two local underage girls whom he had met at the White Rock Kite Festival.

  • 21-year-old male arrested after flipping truck

    At approximately 8:00 p.m. Sunday evening, a truck flipped at the intersection of Diamond Drive and Ridgeway Drive.
    According to Los Alamos Police Department Commander Preston Ballew, the driver was a 21-year-old male from Hernandez, Bobbyray Sisneros. He had two passengers, 20-year-old Irene Garcia-Gandara from Los Alamos and a 22-year-old male from Hernandez.

    Sisneros and his passengers were all transported to Los Alamos Medical Center for minor injuries.

    “Sisneros was cited for speeding, open container and arrested for suspicion of DUI,” stated Ballew.

    Garcia-Gandara was issued a citation for minor in possession of alcohol.

    The vehicle was towed from the scene.

  • Hazmat Challenge to test responders’ skills

    Ten hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri will test their skills in a series of graded, timed exercises at the 21st annual Hazmat Challenge Saturday through July14 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “The Hazmat Challenge provides a training venue for laboratory and regional Hazmat responders where they are able to test and expand their technical response capabilities in a demanding but safe environment,” said Jeff Dare, Group Leader for Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Emergency Response Group. “The scenarios this year will provide unique challenges for the teams.”

    Held at Los Alamos’ Technical Area 49, the event requires participants to respond to simulated hazardous materials emergencies involving aircraft, rail and highway transportation, industrial piping, a biological lab and a confined space event. The finale of the Hazmat Challenge is a skills-based obstacle course. Teams are graded and earn points based on their ability to perform response skills through a 10-station obstacle course while using fully encapsulating personal protective equipment.

  • Deadline looms for county response to IPRA complaint

    Los Alamos County has until Monday to turn over emails to Patrick Brenner and Lisa Brenner, who are suing the county for alleged violations of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.

    The suit was filed by Attorney A. Blair Dunn on June 2 in Los Alamos Magistrate Court. The complaint accuses the county of withholding emails that were sent by council members on May 15. According to Blair, the county had until May 31 to supply all the emails requested.

    Patrick Brenner and Jennifer Brenner are suing members of Los Alamos County Council and Custodian of Records Barb Ricci after they were not supplied with emails requested in an IPRA request filed June 2. 

    According to Dunn, state law says the county has until Monday to supply the requested emails. As of Thursday, Dunn said he has had no communication with the county.

    “They have not responded to the complaint in court yet, and I haven’t heard anything from them either,” Dunn said.
    If the county does not file a response, Dunn said the Brenners would win their suit by default.

    “We are then entitled to a default judgment, where we get an order from the court telling them to produce the documents we’ve asked for and they have to pay for attorney’s fees,” Dunn said.

  • Fourth of July celebration awes thousands

    The Fourth of July was celebrated with a bang on Tuesday evening at Overlook Park. The Los Alamos Kiwanis Club and Los Alamos County put on their annual Independence Day festivities where fireworks, food, bouncy houses, great music, and a whole lot more entertained the estimated 8,000 people that attended.

    Many vendors provided great food, like Smokin’ Bear Barbecue, North Shore Shaved Ice Company and Houdini’s Kettle Corn.

    This is the fourth year Houdini’s Kettle Corn has participated the event and it has been a success every time.

    According to employee Shannon Steinfadt, the lines for kettle corn are unstoppable once the evening cools off at these outdoor events.

    Chaz’s Marshmallow Shooters has sold three years in a row at the Fourth of July celebration. Chuck Hill, who manned the booth, said that it was a good event and a “good crowd from Los Alamos.”

    The marshmallow shooters are especially popular with the youngsters in the park.

    A few sports teams held fundraisers like Corrina Hughes’ rugby team and the Los Alamos Youth Football League.

    Every year, the Kiwanis Club sponsors the special Fourth of July celebration and Steve Boerigter is the chairman for that specific committee.

  • FUMC to host Maker Fun Factory

    A summer kids’ event called Maker Fun Factory VBS will be hosted at First United Methodist Church of Los Alamos from July 24 to July 28.

    At Maker Fun Factory, kids discover that God made them – and for a purpose! Kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and devour yummy treats, experience one-of-a-kind Bible adventures, collect Bible Memory Buddies to remind them of God’s love, and test out Sciency-Fun Gizmos they’ll take home and play with all summer long.

    Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through something called God Sightings. Each day concludes with the Funshop Finale that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to join in daily for this special time at 11:45 a.m.

    Kids at Maker Fun Factory VBS will join a missions effort to fund the digging of effective clean water wells for remote villages in Peru.

    Maker Fun Factory is for kids from 3 to 12 years old and will run from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. each day.
    For more information, call 662-6277 or visit FirstInYourHeart.org.

  • Secretary of State’s power grab on nonprofit privacy

    We all know how a bill becomes a law, right? A lawmaker writes a bill, the legislature passes it, and then the governor signs it.

    At least, that’s what New Mexico’s Constitution says. Unfortunately, losers in the legislative process are increasingly willing to ignore that process, and a rulemaking currently underway in Santa Fe shows how.

    This spring, the New Mexico Legislature considered imposing new donor disclosure rules on nonprofit organizations. The measure was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez over privacy concerns. Now Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is attempting to impose those rules by bureaucratic fiat, using a regulation to enact what couldn’t be done through the normal lawmaking process.

    Bureaucratic rulemakings can serve an important function. They help to implement and clarify laws that are passed by the Legislature.

    But here, instead of implementing the law, the Secretary of State’s office is enacting rules that were rejected in the constitutional lawmaking process. Although pitched as “political disclosure,” as Gov. Martinez wrote in her veto message in April, “the broad language in the bill could lead to unintended consequences that would force groups like charities to disclose the names and addresses of their contributors in certain circumstances.”

  • Babies produce gains, almost 21,000 leave Farmington

    In the population game here, what counts is domestic migration, the movement of people to and from the state and our 33 counties from other places in the United States.

    Domestic migrants are important because they are at the margin, responding to opportunity in New Mexico, or, if they leave, to opportunity elsewhere. Migrants are dynamic. They are betting the family fortune, financial and otherwise, on moving, an activity that is a royal pain.

    Metropolitan Farmington, which is San Juan County, is the big domestic migration story since the 2010 census, but not in a good way. Farmington saw 20,955 people depart for other states, according to Census Bureau data from April 2010 to July 2016. That’s a net figure; some move in, others leave. In Farmington leavers beat arrivers every year since 2010.

    In Farmington’s “vital events” column, other new arrives – 11,561 babies – outnumbered the people who died by 5,650 for a natural increase gain offsetting about a quarter of the migrant departures. That left Farmington’s six-year population loss at 14,966, or 11.5 percent of the 2010 population of 130,045.

  • LANL to hire 2,400 in next few years

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory is working to replace an expected upcoming wave of 2,400 vacancies with recent graduates from northern New Mexico.  

    The lab is working with colleges and universities in the region to achieve this goal and has hired 1,000 workers since July 2016.

    “The Laboratory continues to use an integrated budget and attrition model to guide our five-year staffing strategy, which was completed in 2016. That strategy envisions around 2,400 vacancies being created and filled between 2016 and 2020,” LANL’s Human Resources Director Susan Harris said. “We continue to refine our budget and attrition models, so actual numbers may change slightly. To date, our hiring has kept pace with attrition.”

    The lab expects to be hiring across the board.

    “It hasn’t really hit one area more than the other. We’re seeing it across the laboratory,” LANL Community Partnership Office Director Kathy Keith said of the lab’s needs.

    LANL has already started meeting with the presidents of several northern New Mexico colleges and universities about how the students’ and the laboratory’s needs could be met.