Today's News

  • Holiday Inn Express sells for $8.8M

    The Holiday Inn Express in Entrada Business Park has sold for $8.8 million to Connecticut-based BPM & Company, Colliers International, the company that helped broker the deal between BPM and Los Alamos Lodging, announced late Tuesday.

    The new owner has no plans to make major changes to the property, according to Colliers representative Jon Grantham.

    Grantham said the property would remain the Holiday Inn Express.

    “They will be doing some renovations, but it should be the same hotel,” Grantham said.

    Los Alamos Lodging sold the property to fund two other hotels it is building outside of Los Alamos County, Grantham said.

    “The property has been performing well and we were happy to assist in the transaction at a price that was desirable for both buyer and seller. We really believe this was a win-win for both parties,” Grantham said.

    According to its website, BPM owns one Hampton Inn in Sulphur, Louisiana, a Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Concord, North Carolina, a Resident Inn Extended Stay in Little Rock and one in Southern Pines NC and a Peaks Resort & Spa in Telluride, Colorado.

    BPM also manages two investment funds and “several non-real estate investments.”

  • Police Beat 9-1-19

    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.

    Aug. 13
    2:58 p.m. — David Martinez, 33, of Los Alamos, was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center for driving on a revoked license. Suspect was later released.

    Aug. 19
    8:30 p.m. — Los Alamos police investigated the theft of a firearm. The case is still active.

    Aug. 20
    11:13 a.m. — Los Alamos police cited/summoned a suspect for identity theft.

    Aug. 21
    10:55 a.m. – Los Alamos police referred a case of simple battery to another agency.

    9:50 p.m. – Richard I Pena, 39, of Dixon, was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center on a magistrate court warrant. He was released on a $500 bond.

    Aug. 22
    5:39 a.m. – Daniel O. Hoffman, 59, of Rio Rancho, was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center on a magistrate court warrant. Suspect is still in custody.

  • Juul Labs facing scrutiny from federal and state officials

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — With e-cigarette giant Juul Labs facing a mounting number of state and federal investigations into its marketing and sales practices, a top Trump administration official pledged Friday to use all of the government’s regulatory and enforcement power “to stop the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.”

    The Associated Press has learned that the attorneys general in Illinois and the District of Columbia are examining how Juul’s blockbuster vaping device became so popular with underage teens.

    The company’s rapid rise to the top of the multi-billion dollar U.S. e-cigarette market has been accompanied by accusations from parents, politicians and public health advocates that Juul fueled a vaping craze among high schoolers.

    In addition to the ongoing inquiries in Illinois and the district, which had not been publicly disclosed before, four other state attorneys general are probing or suing Juul.

  • Retired New Mexico Chief Justice Charles Daniels dies at 76

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Authorities say former New Mexico Chief Justice Charles Daniels has died.

    Chief Justice Judith K. Nakamura issued a statement Sunday on behalf of the state Supreme Court about Daniels' death, calling him "a titan of the law."

    A cause of death wasn't immediately released, but the Albuquerque Journal reports the 76-year-old Daniels had been ill for several months.

    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says Daniels led New Mexico's highest court "with clarity and conviction, leaving a legacy rivaled by few."

    Daniels was on the state Supreme Court from 2007 until his December 2018 retirement.

    He was chief justice from 2010 to 2012 and from 2016 to 2017.

    State Attorney General Hector Balderas called Daniels "a champion of fairness and equality."

    Daniels is survived by his wife, four children and seven grandchildren.

  • District takes first step to move sixth graders to middle school

    The Los Alamos School Board voted Thursday to apply for $3 million in public school funding to create staff housing and to move the district’s sixth-graders to the Los Alamos Middle School.

    The school administration will apply for $2 million for staff housing and $1 million to add a wing onto the middle school.

    The request will go to the New Mexico Public School Capital Outlay Council by the Friday deadline. The administration expected to know in October if it is awarded the funding.

    The board and the administration agreed that moving the school district’s sixth-grade classes to a new wing at the Los Alamos Middle School was the first priority.

    The school district board has not yet held a public hearing about moving the sixth-graders to the middle school.

    Superintendant Kurt Steinhaus told the board that, of course, there would be time to talk to the public about the changes if the district should be awarded the funding, but they need to apply now to beat the Sept. 6 deadline.

    “I think it’s important first to talk about it as soon as we know about it, and if we’re going to do something in this area, we need time to talk to our community of Los Alamos our teachers, our principals our parents about what this might mean in Los Alamos,” Steinhaus said.

  • 9 LANL waste containers denied shipment to WIPP

    Nine containers full of transuranic waste are stuck at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plutonium Facility after the Carlsbad Waste Isolation Pilot Plant refused to take them in back in July.

    The containers, which hold waste items such as gloves, tools and other items that have come into contact with radiological materials, were scheduled to be shipped to WIPP during the week of July 26.

    The Department of Energy’s contractor N3B that operates WIPP inspected the drums at LANL prior to the shipping date and determined that the drums contained materials that could combust.

    N3B Spokesman Todd Nelson said that there was never a chance the containers would have made it to WIPP in the condition they were in.

    “N3B evaluates all containers prior to shipment, and if necessary, remediates them to meet the WIPP waste acceptance criteria,” Nelson said.

    Nelson said N3B took prior steps to ensure compliance.

    Seven of the containers are owned by N3B, two of them are owned by Triad National Security, the lab’s management and operations contractor.

  • More West Nile Virus cases being seen throughout Southwest

    By ANITA SNOW Associated Press

    PHOENIX — West Nile Virus is increasingly being detected around the U.S. Southwest following a rainier winter, with a record number of cases in Arizona's Maricopa County and seven deaths statewide this year, the latest public health data showed Friday.

    Numbers from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Arizona has the most cases of any state this year.

    Arizona's updated public health statistics this week list Maricopa with more cases of infected people than any county, with 135 of 138 confirmed and probable cases statewide.

    It said seven people had died. The department cautioned on its chart that the numbers are subject to change.Southern Nevada has also emerged as part of the "hot zone" for the virus, with 28 cases reported in the area around Las Vegas as of last week. A scattering of cases was also reported in other states including California and Utah.

    Dr. Cara M. Crist, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said on her blog that about 20 West Nile Virus cases are usually reported statewide by this time. Crist said the agency "is working closely with local health departments, vector control agencies and the CDC to increase our surveillance of these mosquito-borne diseases."

  • Letter to friends, neighbors, constituents about plan to run for reelection

    New Mexico State Senator, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos

    To all my friends, neighbors and constituents.

    First and foremost let me remind you of the extraordinary work I’ve been able to accomplish over the course of the last 34 years. I was able to secure millions of dollars for our communities surrounding the counties of Taos, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe.

    I was the primary sponsor of Capital Outlay legislation to our community. I carried the GO bonds that provided funding for universities, colleges, libraries and senior facilities across the state.

    I take a great deal of pride in sponsoring needed legislation for our acequias. During the course of my tenure in office, I’ve been instrumental in carrying legislation necessary to advance and protect our acequias across the state.

    I’m also proud for securing funding for our Taos County veterans. Today we have sufficient monies to complete the Taos County Veterans Cemetery.

    There are those who would advocate that seniority is not important to our district. I will remind you the legislature is set up on the principle of seniority and a member is assigned to the best committees, both standing committees as well as interim committees.

  • EPA moves to revoke rules on oil industry methane leaks

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration moved Thursday to revoke regulations on methane leaks from oil facilities, a proposal environmental advocates said would renounce key federal authority to regulate the climate-damaging gas.

    The proposed rule follows President Donald Trump’s directions to remove “unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

    Exxon Mobil and some other oil giants — wary of blowback from growing public concern over global warming — joined environmental groups in urging the Trump administration to drop the rollback on methane controls, although several state-level and national industry groups welcomed the easing.

    The step would be the latest in a series unwinding the Obama administration’s efforts to cut climate-changing emissions from the oil, gas and coal industries, including a 2016 rule regulating oil-industry methane leaks as a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act.

  • DOE Report: LANL’s Beryllium program needs improvement

    According to a report from a Department of Energy agency, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management needs to make more improvements in the way beryllium is stored and handled at the laboratory.

    The latest report was from a follow up inspection performed in April by the Office of Enterprise Assessments. The report, which was produced by the Office of Enterprise Assessments, was released Aug. 22.

    One of the findings of the report found that the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos field office “is not conducting effective oversight of the chronic beryllium disease prevention program, or of other safety and health programs at LANL,” according to a statement in the report.

    However, the Office of Enterprise Assessments also said the lab’s Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program has improved since an inspection in February 2018 done by the Office of the Inspector General.
    But problems remain. The Enterprise Assessments office said in the August report that “issues persist in the areas of beryllium inventory records and hazard assessments, sampling plans, beryllium postings and the release and repurposing of former beryllium areas.”