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Local News

  • Loope’s mental health resources to be evaluated

    The Los Alamos County District Court has ordered an evaluation on the mental health services an inmate is getting while in custody on a probation violation.  

    Marion Loope, 36, of Los Alamos, was granted the request by First Judicial Court Judge Jason Lidyard.

    “This is simply an evaluation to see what mental health needs are present and then get an assessment as to whether her needs can be met in the current facility,” Lidyard said.

    Lidyard set a status hearing for the results June 26. From there, he said, it will determine what happens next with Loope’s probation violation, where an evidentiary hearing has been set for July 29.

    Loope is in custody for violating her probation on a previous simple battery case in 2018 for hitting another woman. In that case, she received a year’s probation, in lieu of a sentence of one year, three months and 14 days.

    She violated that when, on May 9, she allegedly hit a woman again.

    During a hearing Wednesday, Lidyard said this was the second time Loope made the request for an evaluation of the facilities, saying she made the same request before during her 2018 simple battery case.

  • Fuller Lodge Art Center to open ‘MapMaker’ exhibit today

    Fuller Lodge Art Center will open its fifth exhibit of the year, “MapMaker,” from 5-7 p.m. today.
    Maps reveal a trace of their creators and the art center will feature a live cartographer in this month’s exhibit.

    Andi Kron has made maps in the Los Alamos area since 1979. Originally an art major at Syracuse University, she became interested in geology after a trip out west and changed majors her junior year of college. After graduation, she worked in Albuquerque developing geologic illustrations and eventually made her way to Los Alamos assisting geothermal exploration with the Hot Dry Rock program.

    After four years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kron went to graduate school, dropped out and went to live on a kibbutz in Israel for nine months.

    Coming back to Los Alamos the ‘80s, she eventually started her own company, “cARTograpy by Andrea Kron.” Her first project was the FieryCanyon, an art poster depicting the Grand Canyon that took 30 days to print in Chicago.

  • Pension obligations weigh on school finances in N.M.

    BY MORGAN LEE
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Pension burdens are weighing on the financial health of local governments and school districts across New Mexico as contributions to the state’s two major public retirement funds lag behind pension obligations, analysts for a major credit ratings agency told a panel of legislators on Thursday.

    Moody’s analysts previously warned that pension reforms this year did not increase contributions sufficiently to reduce the problem of unfunded pension liabilities. On Thursday, they explained to legislators that pension problems are affecting financial burdens and risks for local governments and school districts.

    “No one is left untouched in this conversation,” Moody’s Analyst Heather Correia said. “Local government credit ratings have gone down because of this pension burden, the state’s rating has gone down. ... Cities, counties, school districts — it doesn’t matter.”

    New Mexico lawmakers this year increased taxpayer contributions to two major pension plans by 0.25% of annual salaries and delayed the accrual of pension benefits for new school workers overseen by the Educational Retirement Board.

  • Pride Week ends with Pride Festival today

    Pride Week is almost over, but some in the community hope the celebration leaves a lasting legacy.

    The week will culminate with the Pride Festival, which is from 4-7 p.m. today at the Central Park Square Park quad at 145 Central Park Square.

    Sponsored by Los Alamos Pride, the main features of the event will include a karaoke booth, food and a Coming Out Ball, where people can share their experiences.

    The theme of the festival is “Be Your Own Hero.”

    Festival organizers have set up a special booth at the event where people will have a chance to create there own superhero costumes and perhaps do a little acting, and get to wear a rainbow or two.

    The week began with a concert Tuesday at Ashley Pond Park by New Mexico drag band Hella Bella, and the Los Alamos Jazz Project.

    There was also a potluck dinner and a performance by Quinn Fontaine at the Los Alamos Unitarian Church.

    At Tuesday’s concert, Boomerang store owner Anna Dillane did her best to give out as many rainbows as possible. Dillane, who helped plan the concert, was proud of her community as she painted rainbows on people from 2-years-old to 80.

    “It was so beautiful, so unifying and so generous of them to let me make giant rainbows on their cheeks,” Dillane said.

  • Nonprofits seek funds from N3B

    Nonprofits came from miles around to Fuller Lodge Wednesday to find out how they might get a slice of the $400,000 available in charitable funds being offered by a lab waste contractor.

    N3B, a Department of Energy contractor in charge of cleaning up legacy waste at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, announced Monday that it wanted to share $400,000, or 5% of its annual earned fee, with nonprofits in Los Alamos County and the greater northern New Mexico region.

    N3B’s aim is to spend 50% of those funds on education, 20% on arts and culture, 20% on health and human services and 10% on civic and economic development.

    Frazer Lockhart, regulatory and stakeholder interface manager at N3B said they tailored the distribution to where the company saw the most need.

    “It was somewhat of a subjective evaluation,” Lockhart said. “We knew we wanted education to be our theme… we wanted to have a kind of focus.”

    Having a focus was important Lockhart said because they are much smaller than the other major source of nonprofit funds in the community, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, of which they are not a part.

  • N3B to host meeting today

    Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos (N3B) is making $400,000 available to support northern New Mexico nonprofit organizations for calendar year 2019.

    The company has about $400,000 earmarked for education-related programs in the region. The money can go toward arts and culture; health and human services; and civic, community and economic development activities.

    N3B will hold a community forum at Fuller Lodge from 5:30-7:30 p.m. today. The purpose of the meeting is to present the program guidelines, discuss how to submit a funding request and answer questions.

  • Civil rights group seeks probe of Hispanic hiring at UNM

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The New Mexico chapter of the oldest Hispanic civil rights group in the U.S. is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate hiring practices at the University of New Mexico.

    At its statewide convention in Albuquerque on Saturday, the New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens endorsed a resolution calling on the state attorney general, state auditor and U.S. Justice Department to look into how the university is hiring administrators. Advocates said those hiring practices discriminated against Hispanics, especially those from New Mexico

    Executive Director Ralph Arellanes said university President Garnett Stokes did not follow through on promises to include Latinos on search committees for key positions.

    “LULAC and many Hispano organizations across New Mexico are outraged by the continued abuse of power, discrimination, mistreatment and disenfranchisement,” Arellanes said. “This has been a longstanding problem with the University of New Mexico in the past and it has only grown and expanded under the leadership of (Stokes).”

    University spokeswoman Cinnamon Blair said the school was aware of the resolution.

  • LAHS grad opens new barbershop

    BY ISAAC FASON

    The Los Alamos Monitor

    Los Alamos High School Alumni Joe Abeyta hosted an art pop-up at the soft opening of his new barbershop Friday night. 

    Abeyta gave EDo’s Barber Shop its unique name to honor the area where it is located.

    “I named the shop EDo’s because it is conveniently located in Albuquerque’s Historic Huning Highland Neighborhood, also known as East Downtown or EDo! I also really like the way it sounds,” Abeyta said. “I think it might be one of Albuquerque’s most unique neighborhoods and I’m really excited to be a part of the community now.”

    Abeyta’s four siblings -- Adrian, Esteban, Elena and Anna -- also attended Los Alamos High School, and helped push Abeyta towards this career. 

    “I started cutting hair over 10 years ago when I was in middle school. And the only reason why I started doing it was because Adrian would force me to cut his hair. I would borrow my grandpa’s clippers and practice on him,” Abeyta said.

  • New brewpub set to open in Los Alamos

    A new brew pub is expected to open in downtown Los Alamos this summer.

    Boese Bros Brewpub, located inside the old UnQuarked Wine Room location at 145 Central Park Square, is beginning to take shape. 

    The Boese Brothers have two locations in Albuquerque. One is in Northeast Heights. Brothers Sam and George Boese finished construction on the taproom and opened the location in November 2018. This was the brothers’ second location.

    The original location is in southwest Albuquerque. 

    The brothers also have a sister taproom with New Mexico Hard Cider in Santa Fe called Desert Dogs Brewery and Cidery.

    At the NE Heights brewpub, they serve 12 beer and cider taps and sandwiches. 

    The other location offers beer and cider also, and serve three different types of panini sandwiches, including turkey and green chile, a cubano and a three-cheese grilled cheese. They also offer Frito pie and tacos. 

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce sent out a heads-up Tuesday saying the Boese Brothers Brewpub could be up and running by July.

  • Representative defends need for Holtec project

    On the same day Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to the Department of Energy coming out against a proposed interim nuclear waste storage facility for southern New Mexico, John Heaton was in Española telling the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities on why the state needs the facility. 

    Heaton, the vice president of the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, spoke to the coalition Friday. He couldn’t understand why the governor and others are against the project. 

    Heaton helped bring the project to the region through a 1,000-acre land purchase. 

    He told the Los Alamos Monitor after the meeting that it doesn’t make sense that a few people would be willing to thwart economic development in a region that desperately needs it. 

    “The governor can’t keep beating this stuff up,” Heaton said. “We’re a nuclear state. We have two national laboratories; we got the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, we got one of the few nuclear engineering programs in the United States… I mean, my goodness.