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Today's News

  • Robert Ward arrested for domestic battery

    Robert M. Ward, of Santa Fe, was arrested and charged on multiple charges Saturday related to his third offense of aggravated battery of a household member.

    He was booked into the Santa Fe Adult Detention Facility in Santa Fe at 5:03 a.m. Saturday. Ward was denied bail and remained in custody Sunday, according to the detention facility website.

    Ward’s charges include aggravated battery of a household member and conspiracy of aggravated battery of a household member, both are third offenses; false imprisonment and interference with communications. Bond was denied for the false imprisonment charge.

  • L.A. Liquors officially opens Friday

    L.A. Liquor had its grand opening Friday, just in time for the May kickoff of the concert series at Ashley Pond Park and Memorial Day weekend.

    Whether it was behind the register or outside serving their customers free Indian food, co-owners John Chhina and his son Ricky were happy their customers were happy. Though Friday was the store’s official opening, L.A. Liquor has been open for three weeks.

    The Chhinas just didn’t open a regular liquor store, though. Like a fine cocktail, they put a twist of their own, by adding an Indian grocery to it.

    “They love it,” John Chhina said.

    John Chhina is retired, but when he saw the success his daughter Many was having with the Subway store on Central Avenue, he decided to try his hand. He loves Los Alamos, saying he likes how quiet it is and friendly.

    Ayan Biswas and friend Supratim Basu said the store has been a lifesaver to them.

    They said before L.A. Liquors arrived, they and their families would have to take four-hour, monthly trips to Albuquerque to get the ingredients they needed.

    “We’ve been waiting for this,” Biswas. “We would buy things to last a month. Now, we can come here and buy in smaller amounts. Biswas said it has saved them so much in time and gas that it’s worth it.

  • LAPS School Board approves new pre-K program

    New Mexico’s pre-K initiative is coming full circle for Kurt Steinhaus. And he couldn’t be more proud.

    Steinhaus, the superintendent of Los Alamos Public Schools, played an integral part in getting the initiative passed in 2005 when he was serving as the Deputy Secretary of Education under then-Gov. Bill Richardson.

    The program is now being implemented in the district Steinhaus oversees for the first time following Thursday night’s vote of approval by the school board during its meeting held at Piñon Elementary School.

    “It feels really good to have been a part of getting it launched at the state level and now, as a school district superintendent, I get to implement it,” he said. “I’m really excited to get to do that.”

    The program was launched statewide to ensure that every child in New Mexico has the opportunity to attend a high quality early childhood education program before moving up to kindergarten.

    “One of my jobs was to conduct the research, write the pre-K bill and then testify in the Senate and House Education Finance Committees in getting the bill passed,” Steinhaus said. “But it was a team effort. A lot of people worked on it together.”

  • Debate breaks out over nuclear waste shipments

    The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations debated Thursday whether to use a site in southeast New Mexico to temporarily store the nation’s nuclear waste.

    Heated words were exchanged as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried to block funding for a nuclear waste interim storage program touted by Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA).

    Graham, upset over U.S. Energy Department Secretary Rick Perry’s order to shutter the MOX facility at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site, said the committee and the rest of Congress needed to support the facility and its original purpose, which was to recycle nuclear reactor waste.

    Graham and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) voiced their opposition to the DOE’s plan to reuse the MOX facility for plutonium pit manufacturing.

    Plutonium pits are used as triggers for certain weapons.

  • Scott hopes to draw on work experiences as county councilor

    Working inside a granite mountain in Russia that housed three nuclear reactors may not be comparable to serving on the Los Alamos County Council, but Sara Scott believes there are similar processes to be used for achieving positive results in each situation.

    Scott, an inorganic chemist who retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory about five years ago, is running for a seat on the Los Alamos County Council as a Democrat in the June 5 primary.

    She has lived in Los Alamos for about 30 years with her husband, Brian, and children Jennifer, Benjamin, Luke, Anna and Nora.

    “I love Los Alamos. It’s a great place.” Scott said. “I’ve raised kids here, I’ve worked here, I’ve volunteered here and I want to give back. I’m taking this very seriously and I’m working really hard as a candidate.”

    Scott started with LANL doing research, then moved into analytical chemistry work and then over to the nonproliferation portion of the lab.

    One of the projects she worked on was a joint effort between the United States and Russia.

  • YMCA to host annual Golf Classic Friday in LA

    BY ISAAC FASON
    lanews@lamonitor.com

    Beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, the YMCA will host the Y Annual Golf Classic at Los Alamos Golf Course.

    The event will begin with a shotgun-style start, with each group teeing off from different holes. In order to promote fun, the event will be played scramble-style. Every player in the group will tee off, but the players will all take their next swing from the location of the best shot.

    This year Kelly Myers, a realtor at RE/MAX, and Lou Santoro, an insurance agent at State Farm will sponsor the Y Annual Golf Classic.

    Registration will be available online up until June 1 at https://app.eventcaddy.com/events/the-family-ymca-annual-golf-classic. The cost is $95 per player.

  • Tourism group mulls move of Los Alamos Visitors Center

    The newly-formed Tourism Implementation Task Force wasted no time Wednesday picking out its first project – relocating the Los Alamos Visitors Center from it’s present location, the Central Park Square Shopping Center.

    The relocation of the visitors center will ultimately be up to Los Alamos County Council, but it will be the task force’s job to present the council with a scope of options and locations.

    Acting Chairwoman Linda Matteson said Design Workshop, the consultancy the county had worked with to revamp its tourism and economic development program, strongly suggested relocating the center.

    “Almost from day one, they said that’s not a good spot,” Matteson told the commission. “It’s a perfectly lovely building, a perfectly lovely space, but they said it was in a place where people don’t expect to see a visitor’s center.”

    The members of the task force agreed to put the project on the next meeting’s agenda, which will be at noon June 5 in Room 330 of the County Municipal Building.

    Task force member and Los Alamos History Museum Executive Director Heather McClenahan thought the visitors center should be graded on such factors as visibility, accessibility and parking.

  • State game agency: Bears on the move as they look for food

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Game and Fish Department says drought conditions may prompt more encounters between bears and humans.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a lack of green growth that provides food for bears means they may move around more, resulting in so-called "conflict activity."

    The department on Friday warned campers of increased bear activity in the Jemez Mountains, including multiple sightings of bear cubs.

    Meanwhile, department bear and cougar biologist Rick Winslow says there have been other bear-related reports in other areas of the state, including killings of chickens in Placitas and Raton.

  • Misaligned drum prompts brief evacuation at WIPP

    CARLSBAD (AP) — The U.S. government's only underground nuclear waste repository was briefly evacuated after a drum of waste was found to be misaligned inside its packaging.

    The contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico activated its emergency operations center after the discovery was made Thursday night.

    The Carlsbad Current Argus reported that officials determined conditions were stable and no radiation was released. The emergency operations center was deactivated three hours later.

    Shipments to the repository resumed in 2017 following a nearly three-year closure that stemmed from a radiation release by a container of waste that was improperly treated at Los Alamos National Laboratory before being shipped to the repository.

    That previous incident highlighted safety and security concerns at both the lab and repository and resulted in a costly recovery.
     

  • Big Horn sheep population increases in LA County

    A herd of big horn sheep in Cochiti Canyon is expanding into Bandelier National Monument and other parts of Los Alamos County, according to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    The sheep were originally part of a herd transferred from Wheeler Peak in 2014.

    The Game and Fish Department started the project with 45 sheep. The sheep were moved because the 2011 Las Conchas Fire severely damaged the herd’s habitat.

    The herd started with 35 females and 10 males, and through the years sheep from other herds in New Mexico were added to vary the DNA. The herd now numbers between 105 and 115.

    “We have ewes in Bandelier National Monument, ewes on Los Alamos National Laboratory property as well, so we’re getting expansion of the population like we hoped, the department’s Wildlife Division Chief Steven Liley reported to the department’s Game Commission Tuesday.

    The commission held its meeting at the Holiday Express Inn at Entrada Business Park in Los Alamos.

    According to Liley, even though ewes have been spotted near Bandelier, most of the population is preferring the bordering Santa Fe National forest, which could be good news for hunters in a few years.