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Local News

  • Rover Playlot closed until Friday

    Los Alamos County Parks Division has closed the Rover Playlot at 320 Rover Blvd. until Friday.

    The parks division is removing some wasps and do not want children there, according to a statement sent to media Wednesday.

  • Forum focuses on senior needs

    Twenty seniors came out to a Los Alamos Retirees and Seniors Organization meeting at the Mesa Public Library Tuesday to request improvements for infrastructure and programs.

    The plan was to get those needs back to the state’s Non Metro Area Agency on Aging, which is assessing the greatest needs of the senior programs in 32 counties it oversees. The agency will then gear its next budget toward fulfilling those needs.

    According to Los Alamos Retirees and Seniors Organization Executive Director Bernadette Lauritzen, the hearing represents a “one shot” opportunity for the county’s two senior centers to get their needs fulfilled.

    “Our opinion doesn’t matter, because we’re staff members,” Lauritzen said. “They want to hear from the community.”

    At the meeting, seniors brought up everything from getting a better partition wall at the Betty Ehart Center, better audio equipment for live performances, to more classrooms and exercise rooms at the county’s two senior centers, The Betty Ehart Center in Los Alamos and the White Rock Senior Center in White Rock.  

  • Marriott franchisee looking to build on 20th Street Extension

    The Los Alamos County Council was asked to lend its support Tuesday to a Marriott franchisee that wants to build an 86-room, extended-stay hotel with a conference center on 20th Street Extension. 

    This was the first time councilors were introduced to the project, with the idea that council would vote for the proposal at a public hearing Aug. 27. 

    “We won’t have a discussion and vote on the project for a minimum of two weeks,” Los Alamos County Council Chair Sara Scott said before the Tuesday meeting. 

    The project would take up six empty lots on 20th Street Ext. totaling three acres. 

  • Anti-nuke Plame still supports lab

    Former CIA operative and author Valerie Plame, who is a Democratic candidate for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, is a front-runner in the crowded field to replace Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, who is running for U.S. Senate.

    Plame, of Santa Fe, is the only national figure in the crowded field of Democratic candidates running for the open position. 

    She has so far taken in the highest contributions in the race, out raising First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna.

    Plame has made a name for herself nationally as an author, media commentator and public speaker on nuclear and cybersecurity issues. 

    Her identity as a CIA operative was leaked by an official in President George W. Bush’s administration in an effort to discredit her then-husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, a critic of the war in Iraq. Since then, she has moved to Santa Fe and recently entered politics as a candidate.

    Her stance against nuclear weapons and nuclear materials is well known through her public speaking and activism. 

  • NNSA: Nuke program ‘ultimate insurance policy’

    ALBUQUERQUE — The head of the U.S. agency that maintains the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal said Tuesday the country is facing the most complex and demanding global security environment since the Cold War.

    National Nuclear Security Administration chief Lisa Gordon-Hagerty outlined the challenges while speaking to hundreds of people gathered for a small business expo in New Mexico.

    She said Russia and China are investing significant resources to upgrade and expand their nuclear capabilities while trying to undermine U.S. alliances around the world. North Korea’s intentions remain unclear and in the Middle East, Iran is enriching uranium and has increased its nuclear stockpile beyond limits set by a 2015 accord.

    “Amidst this increasing international turmoil, the effectiveness and credibility of our nuclear deterrent reassures our friends and our allies and serves as the ultimate insurance policy against a nuclear attack, deterring those who would wish to harm us,” she said.

  • Lightning-caused fire closes part of Bandelier National Monument

    A lightning-caused fire reported Sunday in the Bandelier Wilderness has grown to 40 acres, the Bandelier National Monument reported Tuesday.

    The fire has not yet been contained.

    The fire is burning in pinyon juniper and grass, officials reported The fire has been low, and is slowly creeping in the grass and occasionally torching individual juniper trees.

    Rain fell at the site Sunday night and again early Tuesday, officials reported. Weather forecasts predict afternoon thunderstorm will continue throughout the week.

    The remoteness of the area and the rugged terrain are causing park managers to use a modified approach for fire suppression, according to fire officials at the monument.

    Archaeological sites and threatened and endangered species habitat are threatened and will be protected from the high-intensity fire.

    In other areas, fire will be allowed to burn out to natural boundaries, such as rock cliffs or areas with little or no vegetation.

    An area closure surrounding the Alamo Fire is in effect for Bandelier National Monument.

    The area that is closed includes the entire burro Trail and the area between the southwest rim of Frijoles Canyon to the Northeast rim of Alamo Canyon and from the Middle Alamo Trail south to the part boundary at the Rio Grande.

  • New Mexico governor plans summit on domestic terrorism

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be convening a summit to discuss ways to reduce the risk of domestic terrorist acts in the wake of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

    The first-year governor announced Monday that she'll bring together state legislative leaders from both political parties as well as public safety officials from within her administration.

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas also has been invited, and federal authorities are expected to give a briefing during the summit.

    The event is scheduled for Aug. 14.

    The governor says she wants to know what the state in partnership with local law enforcement jurisdictions can do to be a step ahead to ensure the safety of residents.
     

  • Mayo Clinic picks Viome in medical study

    The Mayo Clinic is using specialized diets developed by Los Alamos-based health science company Viome, a company that specializes in using bacteria to cure certain diseases, for a study to help cure certain disorders.

    The Mayo Clinic wants to see how the specialized diets developed by Viome can help in managing and perhaps in some cases, cure sleep disorders and obesity.

    “Viome is fundamentally changing healthcare in two aspects,” said Viome’s Chief Health Science Officer Momo Vuyisich. “One is, we are going to bring true preventative medicine to healthcare. Currently, healthcare is a symptoms-management system.” 

    According to Vuyisich, medicine is mostly offers a passive approach to disease, it only gets up to fight when a disease suddenly makes itself known through a heart attack or a dizzy spell. Viome, through a natural approach using foods that are available at the grocery store, has been researching ways to use those foods to cure some chronic diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and others, by changing the type of bacteria that resides in the digestive tract through diet. 

  • Haaland one of 12 sued by Covington Catholic teens

    Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) is one of 12 individuals being sued by eight Covington Catholic teens for defamation, their lawyers announced Thursday.

    The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky’s Kenton County Circuit Court against lawmakers, journalists/media figures and media personalities, according to a Law & Crime.com report published Thursday.

    Attorneys Robert Barnes and Kevin Murphy began the suit following an incident involving the teens that occurred Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C., when the group was approached by a Native American man, Nathan Phillips, who was banging a drum in the face of one of the boys, Nick Sandmann.  Sandmann was wearing a red baseball cap at the time that is often associated with President Trump supporters. 

    A video of the incident went viral and sparked widespread reaction.

    The lawsuit claims that the defendants jumped to conclusions about the teens, libeling the minors and publicly painting them as racists. 

    The minors are filing the lawsuit through their parents.

    Shortly after the incident, Haaland spoke to the press about the incident.

  • Sen. Martinez pleads not guilty

    State Sen. Richard R. Martinez (D-Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Los Alamos) skipped arraignment in Rio Arriba County Court Thursday preferring instead to enter a not guilty plea for aggravated driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.

    "I hereby give up my right to personally appear before the court for arraignment and I hereby enter a plea of not guilty to all criminal offenses," Martinez said in a written plea his attorney, David Foster, entered into the court record.

    Martinez was arrested June 28 after he ran his sports utility vehicle into the back of a vehicle in Espanola. While no one was seriously injured in the crash, Martinez was taken into custody for being intoxicated.

    According to Associated Press reports, Martinez refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene. He failed all the sobriety tests given to him.

    When officers told him that night that he was going to be arrested, Martinez reportedly said "Are you serious? Jesus Christ."

    Martinez remains free on his own recognizance. His conditions of release include no consumption of alcohol.

    Martinez has been senator for Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Sandoval County since 2001. He is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Senate Conservation Committee.