Today's News

  • LAPS discusses vacant land for community use

    With 35-plus acres of vacant land near the middle school, the Los Alamos Public Schools has property to share with a community facing a possible housing crunch.
    At the request of Board Member Steve Boerigter, the school board reviewed all of its vacant property Tuesday. The board also heard a report from Think New Mexico regarding its final report on changing the start time for students to encourage better sleep.
    Boerigter asked for the agenda item to review the property as the board approved a measure a few weeks ago to begin transfer of property near the middle school to the county for the development of new, community gymnasium.
    “I saw the 35 acres near the middle school and I thought `wow, that’s a big-sized chunk of land,” Boerigter said.
    Proposals of a new contractor to operate the area’s largest employer, Los Alamos National Laboratory, have brought on discussions about Los Alamos’ near perpetual housing shortage, he said.
    He would like the school district and the county to begin discussing the possibility of affordable housing on the property, he said.
    Board Member Andrea Cunningham said she would like to see a high-density mix of homes for teachers, first responders and other workers who would provide a benefit to the community.
    Other board members present agreed, noting that efforts should be made to keep the housing affordable, if built.

  • Whoa Ho Ho
  • Rivera to be evaluated

    A Los Alamos woman accused of stabbing and slashing her sister’s boyfriend will be examined for competency, Los Alamos Magistrate Pat Casados decided on Friday.

    Andrea Rivera, 30, will be evaluated to determine if she can assist in her own defense of three charges related to the Nov. 4 incident, which left Cory Kershner, 28, severely injured and Rivera’s sister, Sara Cooper, struggling to save him.

    Rivera appeared in Magistrate Court on Friday with her public defense attorney Kelly Golightley.

    A preliminary hearing to determine probable cause had been scheduled for Friday, but Casados agreed with Golightley’s motion to determine competency in front of a state district court judge. A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Friday in Casados’ courtroom.

    Rivera faces two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, third-degree felonies, and one count of tampering with evidence, also a third-degree felony, following the alleged attack at a Los Alamos apartment.

    Rivera allegedly attacked Kershner after the trio had been drinking alcohol. According to the account Rivera’s sister told police, Rivera became agitated and Kershner tried to calm her down after sending Cooper to a bedroom.

  • LAPS School Board approves opening negotiations with custodial contractor

    A proposal to privatize night-time custodial duties at the high school and middle school brought out several members of the Los Alamos Public Schools custodial staff Tuesday during a school board meeting.

    The board decided to give Assistant Superintendent Lisa Montoya permission to negotiate with SSC, a company headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., for a contract worth $447,000, but said they don’t want any current custodial staff to lose their jobs as a result.

    At the request of a reporter following the board’s vote, Quinn Taylor, assistant head custodian at Los Alamos High School, answered questions regarding concerns by custodial staff.

    There is at least one custodian who does not want to leave the night shift, because he or she has a day job as well, Taylor said. He’s concerned about the move, he said.

    “I’m not in favor of it – people are worried about what is going to happen,” Taylor said after the vote.

    In her presentation, Montoya said the district’s custodial staff has six to eight  vacancies, despite efforts to fill them. The current custodial staff is being asked to work overtime to cover the vacancies.

  • University leaders make case to keep managing Los Alamos lab

    SANTA FE (AP) — University of California leaders say that despite safety and operational lapses at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the university system alone has the experience and expertise to manage the nuclear weapons lab — a role the school essentially has had since the lab's inception.

    University officials were in Santa Fe last week to meet with the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, Santa Fe Community College and a representative with the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities to plead its case to continue to oversee the lab.

    Kim Budil, the University of California's vice president for national laboratories, said the lab "has consistently been rated for their excellence in science and in support of their missions" in the 12 years since the university began co-managing the lab as part of a consortium with three private companies, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported.

    The university has managed Los Alamos since the 1940s. Then-lab Director Pete Nanos temporarily shut down operations in 2004 after a student was injured and classified disks went missing. Thousands of other issues came to light, and the Department of Energy put the lab contract out for bid in response.

  • Mysterious structures in SF National Forest pose major fire danger

    Human-built cone stick structures, some two-stories tall, are popping up throughout the Santa Fe National Forest, causing a mystery for Forest Service officials.

    A volunteer showed Española Ranger District employees this seven or eight stick structures off Tesuque Peak Road at Aspen Vista.  And at least 10 more have been reported below the Aspen Vista picnic area. The mysterious structures have also  been spotted on the Winsor Trail and in the Big Tesuque drainage, officials reported Friday.

    Officials are concerned about the significant health and safety hazards posed by these structures.

    Santa Fe National Forest staff said the structures are elaborately constructed out of 1,000 or more individual sticks or logs.

    The wood is seasoned and dry, and the design is similar to a classic kindling pyramid but on a much larger scale, according to Forest Service officials.  And to worsen the fire danger, people appear to be using fire rings inside many of the structures.

  • Community Calendar 12-3-17

    Nature Yoga and Trail Run at 11:45 a.m. at the Nature Center.
Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Optional: Arrive at 10:30 a.m. to join Christa for a pre-yoga run. Admission: yoga or run for $7/$5 for members; yoga and run for $12/$8 for members.

    Feature Film: Mysteries of the Unseen World
at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover what is normally too fast, too slow, too small, or outside the visible spectrum. There is far more to nature than meets the eye. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    North mesa Stables welcomes the public to take a evening stroll through the stables. Leave the vehicle in the ball fields parking lot off North Mesa Road. Dogs must be on a leash. Owners decorate in the spirit of the holidays.
    Nature Playtime, Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of NM
at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join local families for fun, hands-on activities, hikes, games, and stories in nature. Free.
    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. the first three Tuesdays of each month in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive.  Eileen Sullivan, the new library director for Los Alamos County, will be the speaker.

  • Police Beat 12-3-17

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department records.
    Charges or citations listed in the Police Beat do not imply guilt or non-guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons or issued a citation.

    Nov. 20
    4:58 p.m. – Police were called on a report of man who was intoxicated.

    Nov. 21
    8:52 p.m. – Police arrested an individual on a probation violation.

    Nov. 22
    3 p.m. – Police were called to a report of animal bites. An animal was impounded.

    Nov. 23
    4:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.  – Two incidents of dog bites, respectively, were reported in Los Alamos.

    Nov. 24
    3:30 p.m. – Police reported finding a white purse at Ashley Pond.

    Nov. 25
    5 a.m. – Santana Casias, 22, of Española, was arrested in Rio Arriba County by a State Police officer on a warrant issued by Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk in connection to a traffic citation issued in October. The warrant was for $500 cash only.

  • Townsend tapped to lead House GOP working group

    New Mexico House Republican leadership tapped Rep. Jim Townsend (R-Artesia) Friday as chair of the newly formed Policy Development Working Group for the House Republican Caucus.

    The group will provide a forum to develop legislative proposals, offer policy recommendations, and set long-term strategic goals. 

    “New Mexicans want fresh ideas to solve the problems facing our state, and Jim Townsend is the right person for this job,” said House Republican Floor Leader Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque). “New Mexico continues to fall behind under the current Democrat legislative leadership. Instead of throwing more money at failed policies that are clearly not working, we need to set a new direction for our state. Rep. Townsend will help us find the right course to create a better New Mexico.”

    “I am excited by this opportunity to develop innovative solutions for New Mexico,” said Townsend. “The current plan offered by Democrat House and Senate leaders is just a continuation of stale policies that have put New Mexico at the bottom of all the good lists and the top of all the bad lists. We must embrace bold new strategies to turn our state around.”

  • Judge orders New Mexico department to release information

    SANTA FE (AP) — A New Mexico judge has order the state Department of Game and Fish to release the email addresses of individuals who applied for state hunting licenses in 2015 and 2016 to Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports Dunn requested the information involving roughly 80,000 hunters earlier this year, but the department redacted some contact information including email addresses, citing a new internal policy.

    Dunn filed a lawsuit in his personal capacity against the department in May.

    The judge in his ruling this week says the department did not cite a legitimate exemption when it redacted the requested information.

    Department officials say they disagree with the ruling and plan to appeal, claiming that releasing the information could put customers at risk for identity theft and other crime.