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Today's News

  • DOE ends participation in foreign talent programs

    The Department of Energy has issued an order that prohibits employees from participating in foreign talent programs following the indictment of a former Los Alamos Laboratory employee who allegedly lied about ties with the Chinese government through such a program.

    Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette signed the DOE order last week that prohibits all employees and contractors from the talent recruitment programs, limiting unauthorized transfers of scientific and technical information to countries that DOE considers a risk.

    Turab Lookman, a longtime scientist for Los Alamos National Laboratory, pleaded not guilty May 28 to charges that he lied about contacts he had with a state-run program in China that seeks to draw foreign-educated talent.

    Lookman entered the plea to charges of making false statements during a federal detention hearing in Albuquerque.

    A judge decided that Lookman could be released while he awaits trial on a $50,000 secured bond, despite a federal prosecutor’s argument that he posed a potential security threat if he tried to flee the country.

  • Police looking for alleged shoplifter

    The Los Alamos Police Department is looking for help from the public in identifying a woman suspected of shoplifting.

    The woman allegedly took several items from a local store in White Rock, according to police.

    Contact Los Alamos Police Detective Matthew C. Lyon at (505) 663-1795 or crime stoppers at (505) 662-8282 with information.

     

  • Trump says US will begin deporting millions

    By JILL COLVIN and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to deport millions of people living in the United States illegally, heralding a plan that could help energize his supporters just ahead of formally announcing his reelection bid .

    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement next week will "begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States," Trump said in a pair of tweets Monday night.

    "They will be removed as fast as they come in," he wrote.

    An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the U.S. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president's tweets.

    Other U.S. officials with knowledge of the preparations have said the operation was not imminent, and that ICE officials were not aware the president would make public sensitive law enforcement plans on Twitter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

  • Still writing, still winning

    New Mexico songwriter and former White Rock resident Michael R.J. Roth achieved is still out there writing songs, and teaching people about life and how to live it.  

    The Nashville Songwriters Association International Contest recognized his talent recently by awarded him first place in the lyrics-only division for his song, “The Price of a Song.”

    “There’s a song in the thunder and lightning, on the bloodthirsty edge of a knife, in a shot from a bottle of whisky pushing emptiness back in the night,” reads a part of the song.

    Roth said it is about the price people pay to achieve their goals, their dreams.

    “What I was trying to get at it is what it really takes to write a song. There’s a high cost to it,” Roth said.

    Roth knows a little bit about that. Roth who is in his 60s, has been writing songs for 40 years. However, his career took him out of songwriting for a while. Roth only recently began to enter contests again; he won and placed in quite a few of them. They include prizes from the Dallas Songwriters Association, Unisong, the Great American Song Contest the Austin Songwriters Group and others.

  • Study: New Mexico ties for last place in national child well-being ranking

    By BLAKE PATERSON Associated Press

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new report shows that the well-being of Alabama's children has failed to keep pace with the rest of the country.

    New Hampshire and Massachusetts received this year's top rankings. Louisiana and New Mexico are the lowest-ranked states.

    The report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Alabama 44th in the nation in the quality of life it provides for its children.

    The annual ranking measures states on 16 indicators from 2017 data covering topics like health, education and economic well-being.

    Alabama stayed the same or improved in all indicators, but its ranking still dropped because other states improved at a faster pace.

    Alabama showed the most progress in the education domain. It made small improvements in graduation rates and math and reading proficiency.
     

  • Lemonade Living gets new fence

    Thanks to a local donation, the Los Alamos-based non-profit Lemonade Living program was able to take a major step in building its own farm at the North Mesa Stables last Sunday.

    Volunteers for the organization that serves developmentally disabled and special needs children and young adults installed fencing to keep goats inside a pen at the organization’s farm at the stables, according to Melissa Arias, president and founder of Lemonade Living.

    “This is our first big step, that’s why it’s so exciting,” Arias said. “This is a major step we’ve been working toward for a really long time. There’s so many people who want to help out and bring things along and I’m really thankful for that.”

    With the installation of the fencing, the organization was able to allow someone to being in their goats Thursday. The goats are part of the cooperative and the owner will be teaching the kids about how to care for the animals and how to milk them.

    The program is geared toward teaching the children and young adults about how to raise the goats and participate in the Los Alamos County Fair and Rodeo.

  • Could oil and gas boom be killing our economic freedom?

    At a stop in Los Alamos on a speaking tour June 8, Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation spoke about how New Mexico’s oil boom could actually be killing New Mexico’s economic and civil freedoms. 

    He cited a 2018 report by the Fraser Institute depicting New Mexico as a state severely lacking in economic freedom.

    “We are not only in the least free quadrant, but we are surrounded by states that have a lot of economic freedom,” Gessing said.

    Gessing, president of the foundation, said there was a reason for this.

    “Now, I know taxes and spending are kind of intertwined, but in New Mexico they aren’t necessarily,” Gessing said. “Oil for example, drives spending without driving taxation. That’s a benefit to a lot of folks including the political class.”

    With a state Legislature armed with a billion-dollar surplus due to the oil boom, he said sometimes what happens is, unpopular policies are implemented without fear of any consequences.

    “If they have to pay the piper for the policies they put forth, they might not get re-elected. But, with oil, generating the kind of money it is, they can impose bad policies and not get called out on the carpet during an election year,” Gessing said.

  • All-woman team commands laser on Mars

    SUBMITTED TO THE MONITOR

    The laser that zaps rocks on Mars is commanded by a talented group of engineers and scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory—who also happen to all be women, a rarity in the engineering field.

    “It’s unusual, simply because engineering still tends to be male-dominated,” said Nina Lanza, a planetary scientist on the team who has helped recruit some other team members. “Typically on teams like this you’ll have a few women, but a majority are men. I don’t know of any other instruments on the Mars Curiosity Rover that has an all-female engineering team.”

    The team of five women is responsible for sending commands to the ChemCam instrument, which shoots Martian rocks with a laser to determine their chemical make-up. It was developed at Los Alamos in conjunction with the French space agency and played a key role in the discovery of the existence of an ancient lake on the Red Planet.

    The team meets daily with planetary scientists from around the world, who identify which rocks on the surface of Mars to zap and analyze. The engineering team then figures out what commands to send to the ChemCam instrument to make that possible.

  • Pebble Labs deal faces final approval this week

    Los Alamos County Council is one meeting away from giving approval to a large economic development project.
    Wednesday, the council will meet for a special meeting at 2:30 p.m., and is expected to authorize an ordinance that will allow the sale of $60 million industrial revenue bonds over a 20-year period.

    The bonds are to go for the expansion of Pebble Labs USA, a company the New Mexico Consortium helped grow out of its headquarters on Entrada Drive.

    Officers of Pebble Labs recently approached the New Mexico Consortium to buy the consortium building. According to Pebble Labs founder and science officer Richard Sayre, the company has plans to consolidate its workforce at Entrada Drive and then grow the workforce.

    At a packed meeting Tuesday, the council authorized giving an adjacent, 1.6-acre piece of land and a smaller piece of land that is also nearby to Pebble Labs USA through the Local Economic Development Act.

    The final decision on the bond package was delayed in order to rewrite certain passages in the ordinance.

  • In the Lab with Dana Dattelbaum

    LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY

    Leveraging her background as a prolific experimentalist and principal investigator, Dana Dattelbaum is setting the technical direction of the Dynamic Materials Properties Campaign (C2) at Los Alamos National Laboratory in innovative ways.

    C2 is part of a National Nuclear Security Administration program that conducts experimental science in support of the nation’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, which ensures the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear stockpile in the absence of weapons testing.

    As the Lab’s C2 program manager, Dattelbaum oversees research to develop enhanced predictive physics-based weapons models. Dattelbaum, who has almost two decades of weapons-relevant experience, intends to hone these efforts by exploring the potential for new x-ray free-electron light sources to illuminate mesoscale materials dynamics.

    The mesoscale is the very small spatial scale where a material’s structure strongly influences its large-scale behaviors and properties — including strength, stability under heat and pressure, compressibility, and durability in use over time.

    Mesoscale discoveries from improved modeling and computing capabilities