Today's News

  • LANL scientists honored for exceptional work

    Four Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists were honored at the Los Alamos Medal ceremony April 12 for their distinguished achievements that have impacted the success of the laboratory and the nation, either through mission accomplishments or enhancing the laboratory’s distinction.

    The Los Alamos Medal is the Laboratory’s highest distinction.

    “There have been only 13 awardees since the Medal was established 17 years ago,” said Terry C. Wallace, Jr., director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “And today’s medal winners are the first since 2014.”

    Past medal winners include Hans Bethe and Harold Agnew.

    This year, the Medals were awarded to Howard Menlove, who helped establish the laboratory’s technical expertise in nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation that became the foundation for international nonproliferation programs; and three members of the Human Genome Project team at Los Alamos – Scott Cram, Larry Deaven, and Robert Moyzis – who were instrumental in motivating the Department of Energy to formally initiate the Human Genome Project in 1987.

  • UNM-LA offers bystander intervention workshop

    Solace Crisis Treatment Center Education and Prevention Department Manager Jess Clark will present “Bystander Intervention Workshop: Learning How To Safely Take Action” from 9-11 a.m. April 27 at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, Building 5 in Wallace Hall.

    The goal of Bystander Intervention workshops is to help participants develop bystander efficacy, or the confidence to intervene in a situation of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

    Workshop participants will learn about bystander theory and practice different strategies for intervening in various situations, from hearing someone telling offensive jokes or making inappropriate sexual comments to witnessing harassment or even violence in public.

    The information in this presentation applies to many topics in addition to sexual violence, such as bullying and helping those in need.

    The workshop is a collaboration between Solace Crisis Treatment Center and the UNM-LA grant from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

    Dr. Kristy Nadler was awarded the grant for UNM-LA from the OVW at the U.S. Department of Justice. The OVW grant provides $300,000 over three years to organize effective sexual misconduct prevention, education and response for the UNM-LA community.

  • County opens budget hearings

    The Los Alamos County Council opened hearings Monday night on its 2019 budget, the final draft of which is to be submitted to the state by June 1. Several departments presented their budgets, which were arrived at under a flat budget mandate by County Manager Harry Burgess because of the uncertain future of the status of the Los Alamos National Laboratory's contract.

    "My direction to staff has been to prepare a flat budget within the general fund," Burgess said. "As everyone knows we're facing an uncertain future with respect to the laboratory's management, not knowing if it's going to be a for-profit or not-for-profit prime contractor and the impact that would have on the county's revenue sources."

    The council heard budgets from 12 departments on Monday night and was scheduled to hear four more budgets Tuesday night.

    The process is expected to carry over to Monday and Tuesday nights of next week.

    For the most part, you will see overall the same level of expenditures as last year with minor deviations," Burgess told the council.

    "That was our goal, a flat budget within the general fund because the general fund is largely dependent on that gross receipts tax that is at risk with respect to the turnover at the lab."

  • Los Alamos resident helps veterans through horse therapy program

    Two weeks ago, Sabrina Larsen visited the North Mesa Stables with one of her friends. Her friend, who is a veteran, was brushing his horse and telling her how much it helped him deal with the after effects of war, she said.

    “It kind of resonated with me,” Larsen said.  

    Then, when she read an article in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s “Community Connections” newsletter about a program to donate horses to a therapy program for veterans, she decided to look into it.

    A Los Alamos County resident and horse owner, Larsen contacted Healing America’s Heroes, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that funds fly fishing trips and a horseback riding program for veterans suffering from mental and physical injuries they obtained during their service.

    Larsen’s own father-in-law, Richard Larsen, and her father, Thomas Granich, are also veterans. So, the program was a good match.

    One of the program’s board members, Don Brooks, said it is amazing what the program has done for the veterans that have gone through the program. Many of them come to the program without any confidence and depressed, affected by post traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries they’ve suffered during combat.

    So far, 46 veterans, men and women, have gone through the program.

  • Trujillo: Campaign finance complaint is baseless

    An Alcalde woman filed a complaint against State Rep. Carl Trujillo D-46 Monday with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office. The complaint alleges Trujillo is hiding campaign contributions to his 2018 reelection campaign.

    “I believe that Mr. Trujillo has violated New Mexico campaign finance laws by willfully concealing specific contributions to his 2018 reelection campaign, in violation of state law.

    The Secretary of State’s Office has yet to notify Trujillo of the complaint.

    Trujillo’s accuser, Denie Cordova, specifically alleges that he hid finances coming from a telecommunications company and sources from New Mexico’s oil and gas industry.

    “Mr. Trujillo failed to disclose thousands of dollars on his campaign finance reports from donors related to CenturyLink and the oil and gas industry, which is against the law,” Cordova said. “Because his failure to disclose these contributions relate to these two industries solely, I believe his failure to disclose was willful.

    Cordova speculated in her complaint that Trujillo was allegedly hiding the funds so the oil and gas industry would not appear to be the largest contributor to his campaign.

  • New Mexico runs out of vehicle registration stickers

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division has run out of the special paper required to print new vehicle registration stickers.

    Agency spokesman Ben Cloutier confirmed Tuesday that the division ran out April 9 as the contract for the paper provider expired. The contract has since been renewed and registration stickers for all affected customers are expected to be mailed by the end of the month.

    Cloutier says the agency apologizes for any inconvenience and that temporary registrations printed for customers will serve as validation until they receive their stickers in the mail.

    The Motor Vehicle Division has notified law enforcement about the situation in the event a driver is stopped for not having a current sticker.

    It's unclear how many motorists were affected by the paper shortage.

  • IRS gives taxpayers extra day to file after website issues

    By SARAH SKIDMORE SELL, AP Personal Finance Writer

    Americans are getting an extra day to file their taxes after key elements of the IRS website crashed on deadline day.

    The IRS said that individuals or businesses with a filing or payment due Tuesday now have until midnight Wednesday to complete the task.

    Earlier Tuesday, Americans who had waited until the final day to file online got an unwelcome surprise: The agency's website for making payments and gaining access to other key services was down due to what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later described as a "high-volume technical issue."

    The website was back online late Tuesday.

    "This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers," Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said in a statement. "The IRS appreciates everyone's patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation."

    No additional paperwork is needed to get the one-day extension, the IRS said.

    The IRS snafu also caused problems for popular third-party tax preparers such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block. Both said that they would hold on to customer tax returns and file after IRS system reopened.

  • Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92

    By MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press

    HOUSTON (AP) — Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

    Mrs. Bush brought a grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, often appearing in her trademark fake pearl chokers and displaying no vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.

    "What you see with me is what you get. I'm not running for president — George Bush is," she said at the 1988

    Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan.

    The Bushes, who were married Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who had a child who was elected president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

    "I had the best job in America," she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. "Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun."

  • Woman killed in Southwest Airlines emergency landing identified as New Mexico banker

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Family, friends and community leaders are mourning the death of a bank executive on a Southwest Airlines jet that blew an engine as she was flying home from a business trip to New York.

    Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two, was well known in New Mexico, where she had built a career over more than two decades in community relations and communications after graduating from the University of New Mexico.

    Gov. Susana Martinez called Riordan "an incredible woman who put her family and community first" and said her loss would be felt across the state.

    "The hearts of all New Mexicans are with the Riordan family," Martinez, a Republican, said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Before starting with Wells Fargo in 2008, Riordan had worked for the University of New Mexico hospital system in public relations and for Citi Corp.

    At Wells Fargo, she was the vice president for community relations and was in charge of managing employee volunteer and board service to nonprofit groups in New Mexico and parts of Texas. She also served on numerous boards and oversaw the annual United Way community campaign.

    Mayor Tim Keller said his thoughts and prayers were with Riordan's family.

  • Forecasters warn of rare, life-threatening wildfire weather

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Forecasters warned of dangerous, life-threatening wildfire conditions in parts of the Southwest and Southern Plains on Tuesday, as a forestry official warned firefighters battling a terrifying deadly blaze in Oklahoma that it would be a "historically critical day."

    Gusty winds and low humidity in drought-stricken areas will create dangerous fire conditions in parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Speheger said such conditions haven't been seen in at least a decade.

    By early afternoon Tuesday, temperatures that were projected to reach the mid-90s had reached 88 degrees (31 Celsius) with humidity at 6 percent. Wind gusts forecast to hit 40 mph (64 kph) were at 24 mph (39 kph). The forecast includes northwestern Texas and the Texas Panhandle where firefighting aircraft are stationed in Amarillo, Abilene and surrounding areas.

    "With these conditions, wildfires can spread rapidly, present control issues for firefighters and pose a real threat to public safety," said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford.