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Today's News

  • Garcia Richard intros education amendment

    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba), may be new to the legislature, but she’s managed to get everyone’s attention with a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to adequately fund New Mexico’s schools.

    The amendment would reduce the number of children per classroom in all New Mexico school districts by the 2020-21 school year, a task that may take about $800 million in new construction and new hires to accomplish, according to an impact report prepared by the Legislative Finance Committee.

    Since it is an amendment to the constitution, that means that if it passes the legislature, it will become a referendum that will go before voters.

    “This is why I’m interested in putting this forth as a constitutional amendment,” Garcia Richard said. “It takes it to the people that should have a part in this decision-making process. It takes it to the parents; it takes it to the educators, bottom-line, to all the taxpayers. It’s for them to make the decision.”

    If it passes that test, then the amendment will be gradually phased in, starting in the school year 2015-16.

    Though 2020 may seem like a long way off, Garcia Richard said serious commitment to funding New Mexico’s public schools need to start now.

  • Enloe retires, leaves lasting legacy

    The year was 1971.

    And Bill Enloe thought for sure he was going to get drafted.

    With the Vietnam War in full swing, he had just graduated from Eastern New Mexico University and immediately after getting his degree, he was handed a 1-A draft designation.

    He walked into the Los Alamos National Bank to close his accounts, resigned to his fate.

    “I actually knew the vice president of the bank and I was closing out my accounts,” said Enloe, who was the captain of the 1966 Los Alamos High School football team that won the state championship.

    “I mentioned what was going on and she said, ‘Why don’t you work here until you are actually drafted?’ I don’t know if it was fate or bad luck. They put a moratorium on the draft a few months later.”

    And the rest, they say is history.

    In August 1971, the bank was eight-years-old with one branch office, $15 million in assets and 12 employees. Today, LANB has six branch offices, $1.6 billion in assets and 350 employees, and it has also become the largest community bank in New Mexico.

    On Feb. 1, Enloe, 64, the chief executive officer of LANB, announced his retirement after 42 years at the bank.
    Enloe worked his way up the LANB ladder and became president in 1979.

  • Two face numerous drug charges

    A Los Alamos woman and a Colorado man face a number of charges, including drug trafficking, after being arrested at the Motel 6 on Trinity Drive early Thursday morning.

    Leona Bjarke, 23, of Los Alamos, was arrested on a probation violation, Bjarke and Connor Fox of Colorado Springs also face charges of trafficking controlled substances, marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Los Alamos police were advised Wednesday night that Bjarke had an active probation violation warrant and the probation officer also said that Bjarke was staying at the Motel 6 after receiving a call from her parents.

    At 6:10 a.m. Thursday, LAPD went to the Motel 6 to investigate.

    Upon searching their room, police officers found a glass pipe, meth containers, unidentified prescription pills, marijuana, baggies and photo identification cards. Police also confirmed Bjarke had a probation violation.

    Bjarke and Fox were arrested and transported to Los Alamos Detention Center.

    As of press time, it was not known if they were still being detained at the detention center.

    There was no record of the case on the New Mexico courts website. 

  • Another ’Topper Revue in the books

    ‘Topper Revue emcees (not in order) Orli Shlachter, Gary Cooper, Monica Poston, Cassidy Reeves, Dallin Parker and Daniel Hill, all Los Alamos High School seniors, hosted the annual talent show. Those who missed it will have to wait until next year, as the last show was at 7 p.m. Saturday. This year’s show featured musical talent, dance, vocalists, skits and poetry, all performed by LAHS students.

  • LA Fire Department receives state grant

    The New Mexico Fire Protection Grant Council has awarded the Los Alamos Fire Department a $79,913 State Fire Protection Grant. The award boosts LAFD more than halfway toward its goal of replacing outdated handheld communication devices.

    The FPG is earmarked for critical needs of municipal and county fire districts with a goal of improving the district’s Insurance Services Office rating.

    This is the first year LAFD competed for funding. Until 2011, when eligibility was extended to all New Mexico certified fire departments, only ISO Class 7, 8, 9 and 10 departments could apply for the award. LAFD has an ISO class 1 rating.

    More than 100 grant applications were submitted with requests for more than $9 million in funding.

    The grant requires a 20 percent match from the county, which totals $15,983. The match will come from LAFD’s FY13 budget. Council approved the match as part of the consent agenda during its meeting Jan. 29.

    The $95,896 project fund will purchase 68 Harris PS400 portable radios with the required battery support equipment. LAFD began the replacement project by purchasing 18 of the radios with its FY2011-2012 budget.

  • Update 02-10-13

    Movie premiere

    The premiere of Los Alamos resident Samantha Filer’s films, “The Sword of Arundel,” will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church, 715 Diamond Dr. The show is free.

    Council meeting

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Shrove Tuesday

    Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Dr., invites the community to a Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) pancake supper, from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $4 for children, $8 for adults and $20 for a family. 

  • Scrap metal plan draws fire

    SANTA FE (AP) — The federal government is drawing opposition from the steel industry and others for its proposal to commercially recycle scrap metal from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other nuclear sites.
    The Department of Energy recommends that scrap metal exposed on its surface to radiation be recycled if the metal is uncontaminated or if radiation levels are low enough. The department released a draft environmental assessment in December.
    According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the proposal includes about 350 metric tons of scrap metal at Los Alamos.
    The scrap would include metal from file cabinets, tools, equipment and structural steel from demolished buildings. It would be mixed with other scrap metal and melted down for use in new products.
    The head of a steel producers group said the proposal could risk contamination of food cans, building beams and car parts.
    “Scrap metal that is potentially contaminated by radiation should not be released into the general stream of commerce. Period,” Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a Jan. 30 statement.
    A public comment period on the draft assessment ends Monday.
    In 2000, Bill Richardson, who was U.S. energy secretary at the time, decided against allowing sales of contaminated scrap metal.

  • Lawmakers seek reformer

    Members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham, are asking President Obama to nominate a candidate to lead the Nuclear National Security Administration who will work with Congress to reform the agency and maintain the highest scientific and technical capabilities at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.
    In a letter to President Obama, the federal lawmakers who represent the two labs say, “The NNSA has recently suffered from a series of ongoing management, security and budgetary problems and effective new leadership is needed now to restore the confidence of the public and of their representatives in Congress.”
    “We believe there is an opportunity now to make substantial improvement in NNSA’s management and oversight responsibilities and we urge you to nominate someone with the leadership ability to help guide the transformation.”  
    In their request, they emphasize the need to maintain adequate budgets for LANL and SNL in light of current federal budget constraints to support and grow the missions of the labs, maintain a strong employee workforce and complete environmental cleanup.

  • Fiber cutover, Feb. 15-18

    Beginning Feb. 15, the county’s Information Management staff will work with crews on the REDI Net fiber network to jointly conduct a fiber cutover from existing county fiber located at Ashley Pond Park east along Central Avenue to the new Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave.
    The fiber move is the first step in the process as county staff begins to prepare for the move of servers and then county computers into the new Municipal Building at the beginning of May. The cutover will not impact those county facilities frequently used by the public, such as the 311 Customer Care Center or the library.
    County services located south of the park on Trinity Drive or in Central Park Square are not impacted. Other county facilities east of Ashley Pond Park, including staff in the TRK building, the fire stations, or at Pajarito Cliffs Site, will be impacted only after 3 p.m. Friday, which will bring down their phone and Internet service. Because the schools’ administration building shares the county’s fiber network, their facility located just south of Trinity Drive will be without phones or Internet on Friday after 3 p.m. Schools are not in session Feb. 15.

  • Science Fair Results

    Physical Science
    Elementary Division

    Shawnee English, Aspen Elementary, Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos $10, Los Alamos Schools Credit Union $10

    Mrs. Gallegos and Mrs. Martens, Aspen Elementary, Los Alamos Heart Council $25, CB Fox $10 gift card, Mountain PTA $10
    Ellie Hurst, Aspen Elementary, Los Alamos Garden Club $15

    Joshua Levine, Aspen Elementary, Chamisa PTO $5

    Mrs. Martens class, Aspen Elementary, American Association of University Women $15, CB Fox and $10 gift card, Mountain PTA $10

    Mrs. Martens and Mrs. Lathrop-Diesberg, Aspen Elementary, CB Fox $10 gift card, Mountain PTA $10

    Steven Strevell, Aspen Elementary, Los Alamos Schools Credit Union $10

    Dana Urbatsch, Aspen Elementary, Los Alamos Garden Club $10, Los Alamos Master Gardeners $15, Chamisa PTO $5