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Today's News

  • Gloomy Weather Can't Stop Mardi Gras
  • Charred body found in rubble of burned Big Bear cabin

    BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) — The extraordinary manhunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of three murders converged Tuesday on a mountain cabin where he was believed to have barricaded himself inside, engaged in a shootout that killed a deputy and then never emerged as the home went up in flames.

    A single gunshot was heard from within, and a charred body was found inside.

    If the man inside proves to be Christopher Dorner, the search for the most wanted man in America over the last week would have ended the way he had expected — death, with the police pursuing him.

  • Snow makes for slippery commute

    Commuters on Diamond Drive had to take it slow today because of an accident that happened at the corner of Diamond and Club Road. According to police, Robert Hill, who was pulling out in his red Mazda 6 from Club and looking to go left on Diamond, failed to stop for a blue Saturn sedan driven by a teen heading north on her way to school. There were no injuries, and no other passengers. Hill was cited by police for failing to yield. LAPD also responded to an accident call in White Rock this morning but there were no injuries or citations issued.
     

  • Police Beat 02-12-13

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Jan. 31

    2:30 p.m. — Police reported a 78-year-old woman was the victim of a fraud (between $250 and $2,500).

    Feb. 1

    3:31 p.m. — A 48-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police criminal damage to property on Hawk Drive.

    Feb. 4

    Police reported that a 32-year-old woman was the victim of a larceny (less than $250) in the 1900 block of Central Avenue.
    5:43 p.m. — Anthony Baca, 41, of Los Alamos was arrested on a district court warrant.

    Feb. 5

    8:11 a.m. — Police reported a 47-year-old Chimayó man was the victim of breaking and entering in the 100 block of Rover Boulevard.

    7:32 p.m. — Peter Blossom, 37, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (aggravated: refusal to submit to chemical testing) in the 3700 block of Arkansas Avenue.  

  • DPU employees honored by state

    Three Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities employees garnered “Outstanding Operator of the Year” awards from the New Mexico Water and Wastewater Association.
    Pipefitter Jeff Romero of the Gas, Water, Sewer Division earned “Water Distribution System Operator of the Year,” Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Jennifer Baca earned “Wastewater Operator of the Year” in the Laboratory Technician category while Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Chris Lopez earned “Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year.”
    GWS Shop Supervisor and newly-elected NMWWA President David Gomez presented the award plaques to his fellow DPU associates at the January 30 awards banquet in Las Cruces, citing their outstanding performance and dedication.
    The NMWAA is a non-profit scientific and educational organization, which promotes proper design, construction, operation, performance evaluation, and management of water and wastewater utilities.

  • Update 02-12-13

    Bandelier burn

    Weather permitting, the fire crew at Bandelier National Monument is planning a pile burn to be done at 9 a.m. Wednesday.  The pile of wood debris is near the park entrance along N.M. 4

    Council meeting

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

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14 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. today. Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $4 for children, $8 for adults and $20 for a family.

    Birthday celebration

    Chamisa Elementary will celebrate its 45th birthday with two events Wednesday. The first, at 11:30 a.m., will include cupcakes and sixth graders selling jewelry, baked goods and fruit. The evening event will be a community potluck at 6 p.m., with a dessert contest.  

  • Capital projects on the chopping block

    The Los Alamos County Council will have a discussion during its Feb. 19 meeting to decide which capital projects approved for design and construction in May 2012 will move forward or be deferred.
    The 7 p.m. meeting in council chambers was moved from a work session in White Rock to a regular session in Los Alamos so that the session can be televised.
    Due to budget shortfalls, council gave the staff budget guidance on Jan. 29 to defer up to $12.5 million in capital project costs and delay projects up to four years for some of these eight approved projects:
    Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess released information about the upcoming Council discussion regarding capital projects.
    The only projects that will be considered for deferral are the eight projects approved in May 2012. They are:
    • Ashley Pond Park
    Improvements
    • Teen Center
    • Nature Center
    • Eastern Area Sound
    Wall
    • Golf Course improvements
    • White Rock Civic Center (as modified)
    • Canyon Rim Trail and Ice Rink improvements.
    The purpose of the discussion is budgetary— projects will not be revisited during this meeting for a reduction/change in scope of work.  

  • New process speeds conversion of biomass to fuels

    Scientists took a major step forward recently toward transforming biomass-derived molecules into fuels. The team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers elucidated the chemical mechanism of the critical steps, which can be performed under relatively mild, energy-efficient conditions. The journal Catalysis Science & Technology published the research.
    “Efficient conversion of non-food biomass into fuels and chemical feedstocks could reduce society’s dependence on foreign oil and ensure the long-term availability of renewable materials for consumer products,” said John Gordon, one of the senior Los Alamos scientists on the project.
    “Also, efficient conversion could decrease the production of greenhouse gases. However, current technologies to convert biomass into fuels require extreme conditions of high temperatures and high pressures, both of which make the conversion process prohibitively expensive.”
    The study provides important insight into a critical step in biomass fuels synthesis and it may enable the design of better, non-precious-metal catalysts and processes for large-scale transformation of biomass into fuels and commodity chemicals.
    For more than a century, chemists focused on a “more is better” approach, adding functionality to molecules, not removing it.

  • Self-sufficiency fund has more wins than losses

    When the topic of the Self-Sufficiency Fund (now renamed as the Economic Vitality Fund) comes up, a common perception seems to be that the fund’s investments have been money down the drain. However a closer look at the fund’s successes and failures would appear to contradict that assessment.
    The Self-Sufficiency Fund was created when the United States Congress decided that the Department of Energy should stop making yearly assistance payments to the county to compensate for the loss of property taxes and gross receipts taxes the county would normally receive from an entity the size of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Sen. Pete Domenici argued for a one-time payment large enough to help the county invest in projects that would create a revenue base in years to come. Congress approved a transfer of $22.6 million from the DOE to the county for that purpose in the early 1990s.
    Some of the fund was transferred to the Airport, Fire and Water Funds to finance initial improvements associated with assuming operation of those systems from DOE.
    Other expenditures built foundations for economic development, such as preparing the Trinity Site and other land transfer projects for development.
    A large portion of the fund lay dormant and earning interest for several years as the county assessed how to use it most effectively.

  • LAPS' Dean to retire

    After 42 years of helping children as well as her fellow educators rise to their full potential, Los Alamos Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Paula Dean is retiring.

    “It will be very nice to have some time for other things,” she said. “As I told Gene (Dr. Gene Schmidt, LAPS superintendent) it’s like starting in a new life path. In my letter I also said I will be looking over my shoulder to see how the Los Alamos Schools are doing.”

    She said her immediate plans are to take a brief time out before looking for the next opportunity, whatever that may be.

    Dean came to New Mexico in 1998 and started her career with LAPS as the director of Curriculum and Development.

    She then spent a brief stint in Santa Fe as an assistant superintendent. She then became principal of Barranca Mesa Elementary for four years before becoming assistant superintendent for the past three years.

    “I worked in many districts over a very long career (Dean was a teacher and principal in Illinois before coming to Los Alamos) and this is the best functioning district I was ever in,” Dean said of the Los Alamos School District. “I was very happy to get back to Los Alamos.”