Today's News

  • Heavy smoke damages Orange St. duplex

    Fire officials said it all started when duplex owner Maria Mojica heard a “popping sound” downstairs.

    “She went down to investigate and she saw smoke and flames coming from the side of the dishwasher,” said Los Alamos Fire Department Capt. Jason Lopez.

    Los Alamos Fire Department crews were dispatched around 1 p.m. Friday to respond to a call in the 3000 block of Orange Street.

    “We made entry into the house at about 1:12 p.m.,” said Battalion Chief Justin Cassel.

    No one was hurt during the fire, though the kitchen sustained heavy fire damage. The entire house also received a lot of smoke damage.

    “The whole house was full of smoke when we arrived and flames were rolling out of the kitchen by the time we made entry,” Lopez said.

    Deputy Chief Justin Grider said the situation was under control by 1:20 p.m.

    Grider said the heavy smoke affected two families and the homeowner was the one who made the 911 call. Mojica was outside the duplex when fire crews arrived on the scene, and no one was injured in the fire.

    Lopez said electrical fires are pretty rare.

  • Small Business Saturday benefits United Way

    Andy Fox presents the United Way’s Kristy Ortega with a check for $2,025.61 Saturday. C.B. Fox broke the single-day sales record that day in its 32-year-history.

  • Update 11-30-12

    Arts and Crafts

    The Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Knights of Columbus Hall on DP Road. The event runs until 3 p.m.

    Kiwanis meeting

    Kiwanis meets each Tuesday, noon to 1 p.m., at the Masonic Temple, on Sage, near the intersection of 15th and Canyon. On Dec. 4, Linda Deck, director of the Bradbury Science Museum, will speak on the current displays at the museum.

    Sponsor a family

    The Family YMCA is sponsoring four families for the holidays and welcomes the community to participate by taking part in the Giving Tree. For more information call the Y at 662-3100.

    DWI council

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

    Have a news tip?

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

  • School board election set for Feb. 5

    School superintendent Gene Schmidt said it’s not too soon to begin thinking about the School Board election slated for Feb. 5.

    Two White Rock positions will be up for election. Current Piñon Elementary School Board representative Dawn Venhaus and Chamisa Elementary School Board representative Melanie McKinley announced that they would not seek reelection.

    A special information night is set for Dec. 4 at the Chamisa Elementary School Library. The informational meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. Board position one represents the west side of White Rock, Pajarito Acres and the Royal Crest Trailer Court of Los Alamos. Board position two represents the west side of White Rock. Both Board positions are for four years.

    According to school superintendent Gene Schmidt, board members have a wide range of responsibilities. A major function of any School Board is to develop and adopt policies that spell out how the school district will operate.

    The Board is also responsible for designating the chief executive, as well as planning and setting short- and long-range goals. The Board, in consultation with the superintendent, is responsible for approving and adopting an annul budget that will provide the financial basis for the buildings, furnishings, staff, materials and equipment needed to carry out education programs.

  • DOE hosts Native American celebration

    November is Native American Heritage Month, but every day is an opportunity to learn more about the ethnic and cultural groups with roots that date back thousands of years here in this land that became the United States.
    As President Barack Obama said in a November 2012 proclamation:

    “As the first people to live on the land we all cherish, American Indians and Alaska Natives have profoundly shaped our country’s character and our cultural heritage.”

    This week, DOE held a celebratory event recognizing contributions Native Americans have made to this country and to DOE’s mission. The keynote speaker was Patty Talahongva, a veteran journalist and member of the Hopi tribe.

    Talahongva is a founding member of the Hopi Education Endowment Fund and past president of the Native American Journalists Association.

    Also during the event, Senior Advisor for Environmental Management David Huizenga spoke about EM’s ongoing relationships with tribal groups across the country. EM has cooperative agreements with more than a dozen tribes throughout the U.S. near various EM field sites. Huizenga emphasized his personal commitment to visit with the tribes on their lands and in their communities to better understand their values, cultures and concerns.

  • Housing Manager Brings Experience

    After nearly 20 years of living and working in the Denver metropolitan area, Paul Andrus and his wife Rebecca (Becky) decided they were “open to finding a new adventure.” So when a position as housing and special projects manager with the Community and Economic Development Department opened up, Andrus decided to investigate it.

    “It really promised a change of scale of community. It brought us more into the real outdoors, the mountains,” Andrus said. “And through the process of researching the position, the community of itself was very intriguing to me. And as I progressed through the interview process, it became more and more evident that this really was the place that we wanted to be.

    “I really enjoy the concept of living and working in a walkable community, being just minutes away from the school, able to walk to the school where my kids are going to go or riding my bike to work, perhaps.”

    Andrus is originally from western New York. He earned his master’s degree in urban and regional planning, with an emphasis in economic development, from the University of Colorado, Denver.

  • Infrastructure debate surfaces

    What began as a routine contract approval hearing turned into anything but, at a recent Los Alamos Board of Education meeting. Problems zeroing in on the school district’s aging infrastructure quickly took center stage.

    It all started when the Los Alamos Public School District’s purchasing manager, June Gladney, informed the board that the district has secured a contractor to repair the roof at Piñon Elementary’s “200” building, without the school board’s official approval. Usually, the school board would have a small debate about the specifics of the proposal, but this time, in order for LAPS to take advantage of state funding, the project had to be completed by the end of December.

    That is why the school district decided to go ahead with the project with little input from the board, merely requiring board President Kevin Honnell’s signature to start the project off before the board had time to look into the specifics of the contract.

    “To this end, the department has been very proactive to meet the Dec. 28 deadline,” Gladney told the board. “PSFA (Public School Facilities Authority) funding expires Dec. 31.  There is no getting around that, and that means this project has to be finished by Dec. 28, and that is what we told the contractor.”

  • Church Listings 11-30-12

    Baha’i Faith
    For information, e-mail losalamosla@gmail.com. For general information, call the Baha’i Faith phone at 1-800-228-6483.

    Bethlehem Lutheran
    Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, a member of the ELCA is at 2390 North Road. 662-5151, bethluth.com. Worship services are at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m., with coffee and doughnuts served between services during our Education Hour of classes for all ages. The preaching is biblical by our Pastors Bruce Kuenzel and Nicolé Ferry, the music is lively, children are welcome and abundant and a well-staffed nursery is provided.  All are welcome. Come Join the Family.

    Bryce Ave. Presbyterian
    The church is located at 3333 Bryce Ave. The Rev. Henry Fernandez preaches, bapca.org, info@bapca.org. For information, call 672-3364.

    Kannon Zendo, 35 Barranca Road. kannonzendo.org. Henry Chigen Finney, 661-6874. Meditation in the Zen tradition will be offered Wednesday evenings at the Kannon Zendo in Los Alamos.

    Calvary Chapel
    Sunday school classes for all ages at 9:15 a.m. Join us at 10:30 a.m. for worship and a study of the Biblical Jesus as He relates to people in our look at the Gospel of Exodus.

  • Annual TOTH sale slated for Wednesday

    For some, Shop on the Corner’s annual Christmas Sale has become a Los Alamos holiday mainstay.
    The thrift shop event attracts bargain hunters, collectors and hobbyists from throughout Northern New Mexico.
    The Christmas Sale features hundreds of new and gently used items, which the volunteer staff set aside all year.
    Holiday decorations, festive and new clothing, toys and games, books and music, linens, china and glassware, jewelry, leather goods and gifts are some of the featured items.
    This year’s sale will be from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 5.  Shop on the Corner is located on the lower level of Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, off Canyon Road.
    Scores of shoppers attend the Christmas Sale each year, where they can purchase items to trim a tree, decorate a home, dress for the holidays and find gifts and stocking stuffers for everyone on their list at thrift store prices.
    Shop on the Corner has been a regular event for more than four decades.
    The thrift store’s mission is to help Los Alamos County residents recycle their usable clothing and household items; to provide an inexpensive market for the Northern New Mexico community to purchase these items on a budget; and to use the proceeds to donate to local and regional charities and other worthy causes.  

  • Police close to catching vehicle break-in suspect(s)

    Police said they are close to finding out who is behind a rash of car break ins that occurred earlier this month.

    The thief or the thieves’ method has been to commit eight or more car break ins within an hour then disappear for a week.

    The latest round of break-ins occurred a couple of weeks ago, where the would be thieves hit four or five cars on Nov. 15 then did the same thing Nov. 20.

    The Nov. 20 break-ins occurred within a three-block area of Oppenheimer Drive, and the Nov. 15 break-ins occurred within a three-block area of Camino Medio.

    Both crime sprees occurred within  an hour time period.

    Capt. Randy Foster thinks these latest sprees are connected to the ones that happened earlier in the month.

    “We’ve been following up on some leads and we’re hoping to make some arrests real soon,”  Foster said. “We believe they are all being committed by the same people.”

     if you have any information, call the Los Alamos Police Department at 662-8226. Anonymity will be respected.