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Today's News

  • Mason: Off to a ‘pretty good start’

    Taxes and transition were among the topics addressed by Los Alamos National Laboratory Director-Designee Thomas Mason Monday during his visit to the Secret City.

    Mason, who was at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for 19 years – 10 as its director – made the Monitor his first stop after meeting with LANL employees earlier in the morning as part of the transition process that will see Triad National Security, LLC, take full management control of the lab by Nov. 1.

    “So far I think we’re off to a pretty good start,” Mason said. “We got the notice to proceed on July 3 that said transition starts on July 5. That gave us a couple of days to book our plane tickets and get out here for last Monday. Then we jumped right in and began getting ourselves oriented.”

    Mason said there was a lot of legwork that had already been done by the time he arrived in Los Alamos.

  • State governors caught in crossfire of Trump's trade war

    SANTA FE (AP) — State governors are looking for ways to court foreign investment and commerce in the shadows of President Trump's aggressive use of tariffs in trade disputes with countries including China and U.S. neighbors.

    Discussions about economic ties with China were scheduled for Thursday as more than 20 state governors gather in New Mexico's state capital for a National Governors Association meeting.

    The U.S. and China are threatening a trade war over American complaints that Chinese companies steal trade secrets and force U.S. firms to hand over technology in return for market access.

    President Trump has slapped tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, provoking retaliatory measures by Canada, Mexico and U.S. allies in the European Union.

    Brookings Institution Fellow Joseph Parilla says governors can resort to direct diplomacy on trade and employment.
     

  • State searches for probationer, woman in danger

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A state judge has issued a $500,000 warrant for the arrest of a probationer who is believed to have left northwestern Montana with a woman who may be in danger.

    Marco Antonio Guzman, 45, was to appear Wednesday in District Court in Missoula for hearings in three felony cases, including one charging him with assaulting a Frenchtown woman.

    District Judge Leslie Halligan issued the arrest warrant and the U.S. Marshal's Service issued an alert saying Guzman left the Libby area on July 9 with a woman named Sandra Carris, who was not considered a "willing participant" in the travel.

    They were traveling in a white Dodge Ram pickup truck with New Mexico license plate 393 PTK and towing a travel trailer, also with New Mexico plate. Carris, who is from Mimbres, New Mexico, is listed as a missing and endangered person. He has ties to Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, southern Texas and Florida.

    Guzman is described as Caucasian, 6 feet, 1 inch (186 centimeters) tall, weighing about 300 pounds (136 kilograms). He is bald and has brown eyes.

    Guzman's other open cases include a petition to revoke his sentence in a 2012 case where he defrauded an 80-year-old man out of a cabin and money. He also faces a deceptive practices case from 2017 for conning a man out of several thousand dollars.

  • ScienceFest loaded with experiments

    This year’s ScienceFest seemed to have more experiments going on than ever before, much to the delight of parents and their kids.

    On Saturday, the five-day festival’s Discovery Day, thousands flocked to exhibits at Ashley Pond Park, Bradbury Science Museum and Fuller Lodge to see what was happening.

    “It’s all hands on, so they can play with all the stuff,” said Jacob Aldersebaes, who was heading to Ashley Pond Park to stop by the large number of booths set up at the park with his son Sebastian, 4, and Sebastian’s friend Felix. “It’s not like a museum where you have to stand behind glass or a rope. Here, they can actually play with it.”

    And play they did.

    At the Bradbury Science Museum booth, Ada Mjolsness, 7, was hooking wires to a small motor that she powered with a hand crank as mom and dad watched.

    “It’s an amazing event. We’re shocked at how many things there are to do,” said Ada’s mother, Lora. “They can actually, touch, feel and experiment. To me that’s the key to getting kids interested in science. It’s about teaching them what an experiment actually is and noting the results of it.”

  • Fleur de Lys makes it official Saturday

    Patrons snacked on lemony macarons painted as uranium yellowcake, crackers spread with French pâtés and drank champagne and pastis French summer drink, as County Councilor Antonio Maggiore welcomed the owners of Fleur de Lys to Los Alamos Saturday.

    The French tearoom and grocery store has actually been open for six months, but owners Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux wanted to make sure everything was in place before the official grand opening.

    With ScienceFest happening throughout Los Alamos and the fact that in France Saturday was Bastille Day, which is French National Day, the Remillieuxs thought it would be a perfect time to celebrate.

    Also, Marcel Remillieux said, they wanted to make sure everything was in place inside the store. Since Fleur de Lys opened in February, the Remillieuxs have added a counter and dining space to their store and learned to make pastries, adding many more items to the menu. Those items include crepes, sandwiches, quiches and home baked croissants.

    When they first opened, they relied on a French pastry shop in Santa Fe to supply product, but since then the community has reached out to help them grow and become even more popular.

  • Electric car show brings spark of ingenuity to ScienceFest

    BY ISAAC FASON
    lanews@lamonitor.com

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities hosted an electric vehicle show Saturday at the Nature Center as a part of Los Alamos ScienceFest.

    The show contained a wide range of electric vehicles, including a 2018 Tesla 3, a 2015 Nissan Leaf, a 2018 Chevrolet Volt, a 2013 Toyota RAV4 and many more.

    The vehicle that possibly stood out the most among the sleek modern vehicles, however, was a 1981 Jet Electra Van owned by Jim Redman.

    Redman has owned the vehicle for “about 4-5 years, I bought it from a guy up in Taos,” he said.

    In terms of everyday utility, the van is not as reliable compared to the more modern cars at the show.

    “This is just a fun vehicle, a classic vehicle to drive around,” said Redman. “I would like to drive it more but there’s always a project with it. Mostly I like to use it for driving around town, going grocery shopping, something like that.”

    Even though the van is not Redman’s primary vehicle, many people in Los Alamos have seen it.

    “I drive this usually in the parades, so it is fairly well known around town and I was invited to come show it off today,” Redman said on his involvement in the show.

  • New Mexico AG seeks to void Hispanic land grant transfer

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is seeking to void a 2003 land transfer from a historical Hispanic land grant on grounds it was illegal.

    Balderas announced Wednesday his office has filed a complaint against the Colorado-based nonprofit group Al Frente de Lucha over a title transfer of property belonging to La Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico.

    La Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla land grant was established in 1831 by Mexico to encourage ranchers to settle in the New Mexico territory. The Spanish government also made similar grants before 1821.

    A 2016 state audit found the La Merced board approved the sale of assets without board approval.

    Al Frente de Lucha did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press.
     

  • Authorities probing cyber attack against city of Alamogordo

    ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a possible cyber attack against the city of Alamogordo.

    The Alamogordo Daily News reports Alamogordo City Administration discovered that the city's finance department was the victim of the fraudulent emails after city finance employees were misled by official looking emails from a contractor.

    Officials say the fraudulent emails asked to make changes to account information that led to payments being redirected to a fraudulent vendor account.

    City Attorney Petria Schreiber says no resident's information was compromised or given out.

    Schreiber says city officials turned over the case to the police department, FBI and IRS.
     

  • County mulls budget options as Triad takes reins

    Los Alamos County officials are hoping for the best but have already started preparing for the worst where the tax status of new Los Alamos National Laboratory management group Triad National Security, LLC, is concerned.

    Triad, after a four-month transition period, will take over full management and operational responsibility of LANL on Nov. 1.

    In the meantime, the county is still awaiting word on whether or not Triad will manage as a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, which will have a direct impact on the Los Alamos County budget following the transition period.

    Wednesday night, the county council met in special session to begin discussions on what, if any, items could be cut out of the budget in the event of a not-for-profit filing. The discussion contained a lot of speculation since the county has not yet received a solid indication of the tax status.

    “We initially thought we would have more information by this date because it was after the notice to proceed was to be issued,” said County Manager Harry Burgess. “We’d been told we would received that information once the notice had been issued and that’s what we were banking on when we scheduled this meeting.”

  • Public gets first tour Manhattan Project sites

    Submitted to the Monitor

    The U. S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office and Los Alamos National Laboratory partnered with the U. S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, for a pilot tour of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Los Alamos Thursday and Friday as part of  ScienceFest.

    “I believe today’s tour provided a meaningful experience to all the participants and we look forward to planning the next one,” said Steve Goodrum, NNSA Los Alamos field office manager.

    The tours featured a visit to the Pond Cabin, which served as an office for Emilio Segrè’s Radioactivity Group studying plutonium; a battleship bunker used to protect equipment and staff during implosion design explosives testing, and the Slotin Building, site of Louis Slotin’s criticality accident.

    The sites became accessible to the public through guided tours. The sites are “behind the fence,” or on secure government property that is otherwise not accessible without security clearance.

    About 100 members of the public from around the nation were able to participate in the tours, which are the first of their kind at Los Alamos.