• District financial report gets an 'A'

    Among the more serious findings of a yearly audit of the millions of dollars in state and federal funding that flows through the Los Alamos Public School System: LAPS spent $12 more than it should have in special education. The firm conducting the audit also found that a $78 check that was not cashed, was not taken off the books in a timely manner.

    According to Griego Professional Services LLC, an accounting firm approved by the New Mexico State Auditor’s Office of Management and Budget, that was very good news to the LAPS officials. The auditor was hired by the Los Alamos Board of Education.

    During the presentation, J.J. Griego, principal at GPS LLC, thanked District Finance Officer John Wolfe and others for making the huge task easier.

    “The audit went very well this year and we were able to be in and out earlier than ever this year,” Griego said. “That’s in no short order to Mr. Wolfe, the finance department as well as all the departments we worked with including the federal programs, the state programs and pretty much everybody else.”

    However, Griego also made it clear he works for the school board.

  • AG finds LAPS board erred

    The New Mexico Attorney General’s office found that the Los Alamos Board of Education violated the Open Meetings Act following an inquiry by the Los Alamos Monitor last June.

    The school board, however, adopted a resolution in a June 28 meeting intended to cure the OMA violations regarding the May 24 meeting and the AG’s office was satisfied with that, but also pointed out other areas of concern.

    In its letter, Assistant Attorney General Mary Smith wrote, “A public body can legally correct prior mistakes and effectively give legal force to its prior invalid actions.”

    But Smith also said the board did violate the OMA “regarding the agenda for, actions taken at and the minutes of its May 24, 2012 meetings.”

  • Super spellers
  • Lecture hall bears Wallace’s name

     Jeannette Wallace’s children, Dr. Terry Wallace and Janice Parra, cut the ribbon on the plaque at the dedication of  Jeannette Wallace Hall at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos. 

  • UNM-LA dedicates lecture hall in Wallace’s name

    The community is invited to pay tribute to the memory of Jeannette O. Wallace from 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday in room 505 (Building 5) at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.

    In honor of her service to the Los Alamos community and commitment to education, the faculty and staff of UNM-Los Alamos will dedicate UNM-LA’s newest lecture hall in her name. The dedication will take place at 1 p.m.

    Wallace, a longtime community leader, died from illness in April 2011. She was serving her 11th term as a New Mexico State representative, which she won at the age of 76. Since 1991, Wallace served New Mexico District 43 which covers Los Alamos, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties. Wallace was a member of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee as well as the Health and Government Affairs committee and the Printing and Supplies committee. She had previously served on the Los Alamos County Council and was one of the co-founders of the Leadership Los Alamos program.

    Campus Resources Director Lisa Wismer worked with Wallace’s family and artists Don Taylor and Ken Nebel to design the plaque for the lecture hall. The plaque will be unveiled at the dedication.

    Directions and parking for the dedication can be found at la.unm.edu/PR/campus_map.html.

  • Seen @ The Scene: LAMS construction

    Workers brave the cold temperatures as construction continues at the Los Alamos Middle School.

  • Vigil honors victims

    As the crowd huddled with their candles in the cold twilight at Ashley Pond Friday evening, Soumyo Lahiri-Gupta, president of the Los Alamos High Student Council, started reading the names many of the attendees were already too familiar with, even though Newtown, Conn. is 2,000 miles away.

    As he made his way down the list of names and ages of victims in the horrific tragedy from just one week ago, some looked straight ahead and some bowed their heads in silent prayer. Many also wept.

    Gupta organized the candlelight vigil, saying it was something he had to do.

    “It reminded me of Columbine,” he said. “People needed to think about this, they needed to let their sadness out, because no matter who you are, this affects everyone.”

    Featured speakers at the event included county council Chair Sharon Stover and Superintendent of Schools Gene Schmidt.

    “Tonight, we’re here because we care about others,” Schmidt said to the crowd. “It is my belief that love is stronger than hate,” Schmidt told the crowd. “It is my belief that light is stronger than darkness. That’s why we’re here today with our candles.  …My guess is that there are many candles burning tonight for the children of Newtown, Connecticut.”

  • LAMS student suspended for having knife

    A routine inspection of a middle school student’s backpack took a dark turn Dec. 19 when police found a folding razor knife, a metal pipe and a rock inside the backpack.

    It all started when Principal Rex Kilburn told the school’s resource officer to take the student out of his morning class. Kilburn told the officer the student may be carrying a knife of some sort on his person.

    When the student, described in the police report as a 13-year-old male was interviewed, he at first allegedly denied he had a knife on him.

    But when Kilburn inspected the backpack he found the knife as well as the rock and a metal pipe in his backpack.

    The student told Kilburn the pipe was a piece of his parent’s piano and that he wanted to use it to replace a part missing of the school’s orchestra piano. The rock was something he just liked to kick on the way home, the student said.

    While waiting for the child’s mother to come to the school, other students came forward and stated that the 13-year-old was allegedly threatening to kill another student, and was also allegedly trying to recruit other students to help him do it.

  • Middle school goes vertical

    Steel has started to go up at Los Alamos Middle School, as part of their construction project.

  • Apply now for LANL Foundation scholarships

     Northern New Mexico students aiming to pursue four-year college degrees are eligible for tuition help ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund.
    Scholarships will be announced in March for the next school year. The deadline for applications is Jan. 22.
    The fund, which has awarded $3.3 million since 1998, is administered by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Funding comes from donations by LANL employees, contractors and a matching amount from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.
    Awards are based on academic performance, leadership potential, critical thinking skills and career goals. Financial need, diversity and regional representation are also part of the selection process.
    Students interested in scientific or other careers may be linked with internships at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Eligible students must live in Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Taos, San Miguel, Sandoval or Mora counties.
    Requirements and applications are online at lanlfoundation.org.