Local News

  • Light snow touches down in Los Alamos County

    Winter made its entrance Monday with a light snow in Los Alamos County.

    Schools and the Los Alamos National Laboratory start times were not delayed. Los Alamos Public Schools follows a procedure during inclement weather to let media, students and parents know if the weather will effect start times.

    Announcements are usually made by 5:30 a.m. and will be sent to the media, district web page, LAPS School Messenger and information lines, according to school officials.

    Parents can call their schools for information: Aspen Elementary, 663-2277; Barranca Mesa Elementary, 663-2732; Chamisa Elementary 663-2472; Mountain Elementary, 663-2327; Piñon Elementary, 663-2682; Los Alamos Middle School, 663-2375; Topper Freshman Academy, 663-2512 and the Los Alamos High School, 663-2512.

    Parents can also call the district office at 663-2230. In general, if the Los Alamos National Laboratory is on a delay, schools will be delayed.

    If LANL is closed due to weather, the schools will be closed. When school is dismissed early or cancelled for the day, all afterschool programs including athletics (both home and away contests) and activities are cancelled. With a two-hour delayed start, buses will arrive at bus stops two hours later than the usual pickup time.

  • Democrats are dominating early voting in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — Democrats are dominating early voting across New Mexico, including the state's two largest metropolitan areas.

    Voting statistics from the Secretary of State's Office on Sunday showed that Democrats account for 56 percent of early ballots, though they make up 46 percent of registered voters.

    Absentee and walk-in voting at county clerks' offices started Oct. 9 to elect the state's next governor, a senator, three members of Congress, and a long list of statewide and judicial office holders. The election concludes Nov. 6.

    In Bernalillo County, which includes the city of Albuquerque, Democrats comprised 71 percent of the early vote and Republicans cast 16 percent of ballots.

    In Doña Ana County, including Las Cruces, Democrats cast 57 percent of ballots, while Republicans cast 30 percent.

  • Sheriff candidate fined $600 for missed report deadline

    The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office levied a fine against the Los Alamos County Republican’s candidate for sheriff, James Whitehead for  $600. The fine was for missing a Sept. 10 deadline filing for his first election campaign finance report.

    According to SOS Communications Director Alex Curtas, Whitehead was fined for missing the Sept. 10 deadline by 11 days.

    According to SOS policy, when a campaign finance report is due to the SOS office, a letter is sent out the day after the missed deadline informing him they missed the deadline. A 10-day grace period is assigned where the candidate is not fined.

    However, on the 11th day, if the report still isn’t completed, another letter from the SOS is sent to the candidate informing them that they still need the report, and that there will now be a fine assessed starting from the first late notification.

    “He is paid up now, “ Curtas said.

    When reached for comment Thursday, Whitehead referred all calls to his campaign manager, Todd Hawthorne. He said it was clerical errors that made them late.

  • White Rock breaks 3 max temps in September

    Special to the Monitor

    Thunderstorm activity during the first week brought cooler temperatures and much needed precipitation to the Los Alamos County region in September, but the remainder of the month had mostly above-average temperatures resulting in about three degrees above average temperatures in Los Alamos and White Rock.

    White Rock broke three maximum temperature records on Sept. 15, 17 and 18.

    The month started with promising rains as Los Alamos measured average precipitation within the first week, but the rain became relatively scarce for the remainder of the month.

    The amount of rain measured was enough to result in September as the first month this year to have above-average precipitation.

    But Los Alamos has recorded only 55 percent of normal precipitation for the year.

    The Climate Prediction Center is predicting above-average temperatures and above-average precipitation from October to December.

    The center continues to predict the onset of El Niño this fall, which would provide Los Alamos favorable conditions for a wet winter.

    Atmospheric conditions associated with El Niño will favor a wet winter as a matter of probability, but a wet winter is not a certainty.

  • Bids show RCLC contractor was not lowest bidder

    Bids for the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities show the winning bidder originally came in $48,147.96 higher than the lowest bidder, before the coalition board negotiated the costs down.

    Three entities submitted bids this year for the contract to manage the regional coalition. A contract was signed earlier this year with Chicanos Por La Causa, selecting Eric Vasquez as the new executive director.

    A company called Aspen Consulting, of Santa Fe, came in with a bid that was $128,619 a year to manage and operate the coalition. The winning bidder, Chicanos Por La Causa of New Mexico, based in Santa Fe, was $176,766.96 a year.  

    The third bidder, Akuthota Group LLC, submitted a bid for $192,000 a year.

  • Hiker injured in fall at Bandelier

    A hiker in the Bandelier National Monument who was either climbing up or down a ladder to one of the monument’s cave sites fell 15 feet and hit his head Wednesday, according to Bandelier officials. 

    The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. He was evacuated by helicopter to a nearby hospital. There is no available information on what hospital he was flown to or what condition he was in.

    According to the Los Alamos Fire Department report on the incident, a landing zone was established so Classic Air Medical could come in and fly the injured hiker out.

    “What I know is he sustained a head injury, and working with LAFD we were able evacuate him out of the area,” Bandelier Superintendant Jason Lott said.

  • Drug treatment program shows promising results in NM

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — A study released Thursday shows an initial reduction in arrests and other promising results from a pioneering drug treatment program in New Mexico in which police refer nonviolent drug users to comprehensive counseling and social services instead of arresting them.

    In 2014, Santa Fe became the second city in the nation after Seattle to implement the police-assisted diversion program for drug users that has since been adopted in at least 18 jurisdictions nationwide, with more preparing for launch.

    The evaluation by the New Mexico Sentencing Commission and the University of New Mexico found a roughly 30 percent decrease in arrests during the first six months among drug users diverted to the program when compared with the prior six months.

    The decrease in arrests did not last over a longer period of time, a pattern that advocates for the program said might be linked to a gradual reduction in attention to treatment.

    Emily Kaltenbach, a member of the program’s oversight committee and state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, called the evaluation results encouraging and noted indications of cost savings over incarceration-based strategies.

    Diversion program participants had no subsequent violent-crime charges, the evaluation said.

  • Fire Prevention Week
  • Los Alamos honors three for research, leadership with Fellows Prizes

    Three Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists will be honored Oct. 25 with the laboratory’s Fellows Prizes for 2018.

    Cynthia Reichhardt and Hari Viswanathan will receive the annual Fellows Prize for Research, and Kevin John will receive the Fellows Prize for Leadership.

    “I congratulate Cynthia, Hari, and Kevin for their outstanding achievements,” said John Sarrao, principal associate director for Science, Technology and Engineering at Los Alamos. “The Fellows Prizes recognize both exemplary research and leadership activities in support of the laboratory’s mission and national needs. Cynthia’s Fellows Prize for Research honors her computational achievements spanning from materials aging to phase transitions in non-equilibrium systems.

    Hari is recognized for his accomplishments in subsurface geosystems, which have applications in energy extraction technology. The Fellows Leadership Prize acknowledges Kevin’s significant leadership roles nationally and internally supporting medical isotope production, research, and infrastructure development.”

  • Community Winds to perform today, Saturday

    Saturday is the day to see “Travelogue of the Americas,” Los Alamos Community Winds’ latest offering.

    The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Bible Church, 97 E Road.

    Community Winds Conductor and Artistic Director Ted Vives said coming up with the concert’s Americas-based repertoire was one of those happy accidents.

    While picking out selections for the concerts, Vives noticed a theme.

    “I said ‘gee, these are all pieces from right here in the New World,’” Vives said. “…I didn’t go into it with this idea already in my head, it sort of built upon itself.”

    In addition to featuring music about the New World, most of the music was created by composers born after 1950, and except for one composer, they all hail from the New World. Composer Cory McBride, for example was born in 1985. He wrote Agua’s Realm in 2004, when he was just 16 years old.