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Today's News

  • Aquatomics find success at Cactus Classic

    The strong start to the long course season continued for the Los Alamos Aquatomics at the Cactus Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona, as many swimmers came home with personal victories and personalbest times. 

    This was the first long trip of the season for the Aquatomics, and the first with the team for head coach Mark Scott, who said, “we travel well, had a lot of fun and swam fast.”

    Though the team posted strong performances consistently, it had to battle extremely hot temperatures all weekend as the temperature on the deck reached a sweltering 112 degrees on Sunday afternoon. 

    Despite the heat, Scott said the swimmers “adapted well and fast.”

    One of the Aquatomics’ most impressive swimmers at the meet was Allison Amrani, who posted five top-10 finishes. In the 10-and-under 400-freestyle, she finished in third place with a time of 6:04.19, a 41-second improvement over her previous personal best. That time was good enough to earn her another Western Zone qualifying time, a meet she will compete in at the end of the season. 

    Orion Henderson had a great meet, finishing in the top-10 in all of his events, including a second-place finish in the 200-backstroke. 

  • Thunder, hail possible during commute

     The National Weather Service is advising Los Alamos County to be on alert for intermittent hail and thunderstorms between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. tonight.

    “There is a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms over far northeast New Mexico this afternoon and evening, where large hail and damaging winds are possible. Elsewhere, isolated thunderstorms are possible from the southwest mountains northeast through Socorro County to the central highlands and southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Some of these storms will be dry with gusty outflow winds and little rainfall,” NWS forecasters said.

  • Secretary of State candidate JoHanna Cox announces withdrawal from race

    Republican Secretary of State nominee JoHanna Cox announced Wednesday her withdrawal from the race, citing her need to attend to personal matters involving her family.

    “As a single mother who runs her own law practice, it was never easy to balance my full-time commitments with the demands of a statewide political campaign,” Cox said. “At this point, I must withdraw my candidacy to place my full focus on my responsibilities to my family."

    She said she was unable to continue because her family required her full attention. Cox, an Albuquerque attorney, was running for the office against incumbent Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat.

    The state Republican Party plans to convene its state central committee as soon as possible to select a new nominee to run against Toulouse Oliver in the Nov. 6 general election. Former state rep. Sandra Jeff is also running as a Libertarian candidate for secretary of state.

    Cox said she decided to run for office because she “believed the system of government and the will of New Mexico voters are undermined when elected officials use their position to wield political influence rather than serve the public.”

  • N.M.’s delegation fights to keep LANL’s plutonium pit plan on track

    A federal judge’s June 7 decision to side with South Carolina in blocking the Department of Energy’s plans for the Savannah River Site should not affect the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s own plutonium pit manufacturing plans, congressional officials said Tuesday.

    In May, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced a plan to divide plutonium pit manufacturing between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The plan called for LANL to manufacture 30 plutonium pits per year by 2025 and the Savannah River Site to manufacture 50 pits per year by 2030, adding 80 pits to the nation’s nuclear stockpile each year.

    The plan included the shutdown and retooling of the Savannah River Site’s MOX facility, a facility that was being built to transform plutonium into reactor fuel.

    The plan was unpopular with New Mexico’s northern New Mexico congressional delegation, prompting the delegation to immediately take steps to ensure LANL’s continued role in plutonium pit production.

  • Inaugural pride festival an event for ‘everybody’

    Organizers of the first Los Alamos Pride Festival want their event to reflect the same belief of their community, the ideal that Los Alamos is for everybody.

    “The purpose is to be making a statement in Los Alamos, the statement that we support everybody,” said George Marsden, the assistant director of the Los Alamos Teen Center. “This community is for everybody and this would be a great chance to experience this in Los Alamos.”

    The event will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Fuller Lodge.

    “For me, coming from the standpoint of someone who works with youth in the community, the big thing is that this is a chance to let LGBTQ+ youth know that they’re important, that they matter, that they’re amazing just how they are and for just who they are,” Marsden said. “That’s a major issue around the country, but certainly a major issue in our community. Lots of those youth don’t feel valued, they don’t feel OK and that leads to kids having a hard time and higher suicide rates, things like that.”

    The festival will feature a karaoke sing-a-long, lawn games, face/body painting, a coming out door, a story time blanket and an over the rainbow bubble challenge, as well as an education station and information provided by local LGBTQ+ organizations and partners.

  • Pongratz takes seat on council

    Los Alamos County Councilors appointed veteran councilor and active community member Morris “Morrie” Pongratz to fill a vacant council seat Monday.

    The seat was vacated in early May by Councilor James Chrobocinski, who left his position due to illness.

    Starting in the 1980s, Pongratz served six terms on Los Alamos Council and one term on the Los Alamos School Board.

    According to Pongratz’ letter of intent to the Los Alamos County Council, Pongratz last held public office in 2007.
    Recently, Pongratz has worked with the youth of Los Alamos as a member of the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club, The Los Alamos Health Council, the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation and other organizations.

    Some of Pongratz’s testimony to council Monday involved the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s recent management and operations contract, awarded to the nonprofit group Triad National Security LLC, and how the change would affect Los Alamos County.

    The council candidates were asked by councilors about which issue or issues the candidates would like to see county council focus on in the next six months.

    “I think the answer is pretty clear, the budget and the impact of the new LANL contract,” Pongratz answered.

  • ‘Hoping for a breakthrough’

    BY DAVE MENICUCCI
    Special to the Monitor

    A two-year agreement has been reached for the improvement and use of a pond in the Jemez Mountains for fishing events dedicated to mobility limited anglers.

    The anglers who will participate include disabled and infirm people, wounded veterans, many seniors and anyone who has limited ability to walk.

    The agreement was signed June 8 between Dennis Trujillo, a land and pond owner in La Cueva, and Dustin Berg, chief executive officer of Global Opportunities Unlimited, a non-profit corporation in Bernalillo that is dedicated to helping mobility limited people enjoy outdoor activities.

    The pond is on the west side of Highway126, about six-tenths of a mile north of NM 4. The deal paves the way for

    Trujillo and Global to share equally the costs to improve access to the pond, especially for anglers in wheelchairs or who use walkers.

    According to the terms of the deal, made public at the signing ceremony, Global will be allowed to exclusively use the pond on a regular basis for both youth and adult mobility fishing events.

  • New Mexico medical marijuana board short of members to meet

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico's medical marijuana advisory board had to cancel a May meeting to consider recommending program changes because it lacked enough members.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board hasn't had a full roster of members for years and that its membership recently dropped to two members, one short of the three needed for a quorum.

    The canceled May meeting was one of two the panel holds annually to consider possible changes such as adding new health conditions that allow patients to qualify to use medical marijuana.

    The Health Department said it was working with the New Mexico Medical Society to recruit new members and reviewing applications for three vacancies.

    The department said it anticipates the board will meet again in early summer.
     

  • New Mexico feels the heat as June temperatures rise

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — National weather forecasters have issued a heat advisory for parts of southern New Mexico, saying more triple-digit temperatures were expected across the region.

    New Mexico is coming off of its third warmest May on record as climate predictions for June show greater than average chances that the state will see above average temperatures again this month.

    In Las Cruces, officials on Monday closed Municipal Court early because of a lack of air conditioning. They reported that temperatures inside the building were between 85 and 90 degrees and were expected to rise as the day progressed.

    All hearings set for the afternoon were being rescheduled.
     

  • Police Beat 6-10-18

    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.

    May 24
    11:32 a.m. – Rebecca Renee Ward, 18 was booked into L.A. County jail for careless driving and property damage. She was later released.

    12:17 a.m. – Los Alamos police issued a citation/summons for simple domestic battery.

    May 26
    3:56 p.m. – Paul Joseph Springfield, 44, was booked into the L.A. County jail on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction. He was later released on an $819 bond.

    May 30
    2:02 p.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a domestic violence call of an argument between a parent and child that was reported by a third party after the fact. No charges were filed and the case is inactive.
    10:34 p.m. – Los Alamos police responded to an aggravated assault charge. The case is still active.

    May 31