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Today's News

  • Eggcelent memories

    Baby Riley Klements sits with the Easter Bunny Saturday at the Easter Egg Hunt event at Ashley Pond Park, sponsored by the Elks Lodge. SKIP WECKSUNG/Monitor

  • Wildfire Day 2019 mixes fun, fire safety

    Los Alamos Wildfire Day 2019 got off to a roaring start Friday with games and fun activities for the kids and a little bit of education when it comes to protecting their homes for adults. 

    As far as John Klumppwas concerned though, the day was all about his three-year-old son Sam having a good time.

    “It’s all about getting Sam out of the house,” John said. “We got to sit in the helicopters… His favorite part was getting to steer.” 

    The Los Alamos Fire Department used the day to let people know about its upcoming Wildfire Mitigation Plan, where the presented to the public seven mitigation projects they are going to carry out in various neighborhoods through May 2021. They include Walnut Bench, Villa Bench, Ponderosa Estates Range Road, North Horse Stable Bench, Lower Loma Linda, Camino Redondo and Camino Uva.

    According to Wildland Division Chief Kelly Sterna, they were going to start as soon as this Monday marking the trees. They are also doing a home assessment program for residents that are interested. 

  • Storkan to celebrate 35 years in business

    Dr. Gary Storkan, a Los Alamos chiropractor, will celebrate 35 years of helping people in the community with their aches and pains at a special event Friday.

    The event will be held with his guests from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at Project Y, 150 Central Park Square celebrating.

    Storkan is also using the celebration to let people know about a new piece of high tech he’s added to his practice, the FX 635 laser from Erchonia. 

    The equipment is in practice at his office, Storkan Chiropractic, at 2610 Trinity Drive, No. 22.

    The laser is used to treat back pain and foot pain, especially plantar fasciitis, according to Storkan. 

    “Erchonia is the best laser company in the country and they have 16 out of the 17 Federal Drug Administration studies approved,” Storkan said of his new machine. 

    Storkan’s practice revolves around a technique called Total Body Modification that he says has been around with much success for a long time. 

  • New Mexico invests millions to bolster census participation

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico is launching multimillion-dollar effort to ensure its heavily Hispanic and Native American population gets an accurate count in the 2020 census.

    Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Tuesday that draws on her Cabinet and advocacy groups to encourage participation in the upcoming census.

    Lujan Grisham says the U.S. Census Bureau's new emphasis on counting residents via the internet and by telephone is likely to overlook people in remote, rural areas without reliable communication infrastructure.

    State Demographer Robert Rhatigan says that could shrink New Mexico annual, multibillion-dollar share of federal spending on health care, educational programs, transportation and housing.

    U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Coordinator Sergio Martinez says the 2020 census takes a "self-response" approach.
     

  • US judge will consider Nevada's new bid to block plutonium

    By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal judge in Reno has agreed to expedite consideration of Nevada's latest bid for an emergency order to block any shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to the state.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also has agreed to hear oral arguments in August on Nevada's appeal challenging the Reno judge's earlier refusal to prohibit any more shipments of the highly radioactive material from South Carolina.

    The U.S. Energy Department asked Judge Miranda Du earlier this month to dismiss Nevada's lawsuit because the shipment already has occurred, arguing that the case is now moot.

    Du issued an order late Monday refusing to dismiss the case and putting those proceedings on hold until the appellate court rules.

    She ordered DOE to respond to Nevada's latest emergency motion by Thursday and Nevada's lawyers to reply by noon Monday.
     

  • Council OKs more funds ahead of budget adoption

    County Council tentatively approved nearly $3 million in funding requests for the Public Works Department Tuesday, including an hourly Atomic City bus route between downtown Los Alamos and the White Rock Visitor area on the weekend.

    The council approved the options with the caveat that council will revisit the bus route issue in 2020 when the ACT and Public Works has had time to evaluate the best route for the service.

    The route would be designed to help commuters navigate the construction happening on NM 502 to Knecht Street, which will peak in 2020.

    “Having additional time to plan and to apply for grants always helps,” Public Works Director Philo Shelton said to the council.

    The biggest item OK’d for Public Works was $1 million in design improvements for the State Road 4 intersection.

    The council also approved $16,000 for a custodial position at Fuller Lodge to make sure the lodge is open every weekend for tourists, regardless if there is an event going on.

  • Feds investigate RCLC grant funds

    The Department of Energy’s Inspector General’s Office is investigating how the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities uses grant funds received yearly from the Department of Energy.

    The grant makes up almost half of the $200,000 in contributions the coalition receives to operate.

    The rest of the coalition’s operational funding is supplied by nine communities the coalition represents.

    The RCLC represents nine communities in northern New Mexico impacted by the activities of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Eric Vasquez, the coalition’s executive director, emphasized last week the RCLC was not being investigated by the Inspector General’s office, but the coalition’s annual grant was.

    “We have informally been told that the IG is investigating the handling of the grant process, but that’s all we know,” Vasquez said in a text message. “We have never been formally notified about any investigation.”

    The communities represented by the coalition are Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Taos, Taos County, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Rio Arriba County, Santa Clara Pueblo and Jemez Pueblo.

    The DOE Inspector General’s Office would neither confirm nor deny it was investigating the grant process.

  • Chimayo remains beacon of hope

    For some people, the pilgrimage to Santuario de Chimayo is just a walk, something a tradition to be carried out every year. For others, however, it’s a time of penance. It’s a time of honoring the memories of friends and relatives that died during the year.

    Even in a crowd of thousands that came to the sanctuary to give blessings and thanks, Victor Guzman stood out.

    Dressed in his blue and white tribal colors, he danced through the entrance of the sanctuary, only to come to a rest near the entrance of the church. Guzman came all the way from Anthony to give thanks and pray for hope.

    “First of all, family. There’s evil forces coming in and separating family in general,” he said.

    “Also, for the world, for everybody. We are slowly drifting away from God. Also, to ask for forgiveness,” Guzman said.

    Cornelia Garcia, despite being elderly, decided to do the walk this year, as she’s done for many years before. This time she got a ride to the sanctuary since she walks with the aid of walker.

    This year was different for her.

    “I’ve had quite a few deaths in my family this year,” Garcia said.

    Garcia listed three people she lost this year, including her son, her brother and a grandson.

  • Industrial customer dumps chlorine into county system

    An industrial facility has apparently dumped massive amounts of chlorine into Los Alamos County’s drainage system beginning in October.

    This facility was warned by the Department of Public Utilities to stop but has continued dumping chlorine directly into the sewer.

    The county is unable to treat the contaminated water before the effluent is released from the wastewater plant in White Rock.

    The effluent is discharged into the Rio Grande River.

    As a result, the  Department of Public Utilities was issued an administrative order by the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the violator.

    The EPA gave the Department of Public Utilities 30 days to respond to the violations.

    “To get an idea of how much chlorine was involved, it was diluted in a million gallons of water at the plant, water that has a chlorine demand associated with it because of all the organics in it, yet we were still violating going out the back end of the plant,” said Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities Manager Tim Glasco Wednesday during a Board of Public Utilities meeting.

    Glasco said the plant is also not designed to actively filter excess chlorine out of the wastewater before it is dumped into the river.

  • Hunters find locked gates during turkey season

    Turkey hunters who are trying to access the hunting area in the southwest corner of the Valles Caldera National Preserve and areas of the Santa Fe National Forest this year are having a tough time. 

    The roads to the main hunting grounds remained locked Friday with only 11 days left in the season.

    Hunters could still access the area on foot and by horse or mountain bike in the Valles Caldera, but those who want to hunt turkeys in the Santa Fe National Forest are locked out until the snow melts.

    “Most hunters tends to equate no access when we restrict vehicle access, but there’s other ways they can get around,” said Valles Caldera Spokeswoman Kimberly DeVall.

    In the Valles Caldera, the best hunting grounds for the Merriam Turkeys are in the southwest corner, but the one road still has snow on it. Also, the wind storm last month knocked down many trees on the preserve and along the road that still need to be cleaned up, DeVall said.

    Turkey hunting is allowed through permits awarded by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. If hunters draw a permit through the lottery system, they have from April 15-30 to hunt turkeys in the state.