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Public Safety

One Million Curies Of Radioactive Material Recovered

on December 22, 2014 - 12:13pm

Rick Day of LANL's International Threat Reduction Group and the Off-Site Source Recovery Project (OSRP) holds a non-radioactive training mockup of what a typical cobalt-60 source might look like. The source is similar to what OSRP team members recovered from a site in Maryland in late 2014, putting the number of Curies recovered as part of the project above 1 million since the project began in 1999. OSRP recovers and disposes of unwanted radioactive sealed sources, eliminating a potential threat that could be used by terrorists to create 'dirty bombs.' Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Los Alamos

DOE Announces 22 New Projects To Enable Emissions Reductions And Improve Energy Efficiency

on December 20, 2014 - 2:15pm

DOE News:
  • ARPA-E Invests $60 Million to Detect and Measure Methane Emissions and Develop Local Thermal Management Systems


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced $60 million in funding for 22 innovative new projects aimed at detecting and measuring methane emissions and developing localized thermal management systems that reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings.
The projects are funded through ARPA-E’s two newest programs: Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions

LAHS Students Dismissed Today Without Incident

on December 19, 2014 - 11:19am

LAHS News:

Los ALamos High School students were released from this morning's Shelter in Place and from school at 10:50 a.m. today without incident, Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn said.

The Shelter in Place was based on an anonymous threat posted on a Facebook page.

According to the LAHS website, the school took the action of sheltering the students in place as a precaution. Police are investigating the matter.

Today was the last day of finals at the high school and as school began, LAHS was initially evacuated due to a false fire alarm.

LAHS Under Shelter In Place Due To Anonymous Threat

on December 19, 2014 - 10:14am

LAHS News:

Los ALamos High School is now in Shelter in Place based on an anonymous threat.

According to the LAHS website, all students and staff are safe and the school is taking this action as a precaution.

LAHS will remain in Shelter in Place until 10:50 a.m. when the students are dismissed for the day.

Parents needing to pick up their son or daughter for an appointment should follow the usual protocol of coming to the main office with identification to check in and then to sign out their child. 

"We appreciate your patience as we continue our last day of final exams.

News Alert: False Alarm At Los Alamos High School

on December 19, 2014 - 9:57am

LAHS News:

Los Alamos High School Principal Debbie Belew-Nyquist just announced that the high school was evacuated this morning due to a fire alarm.

It turned out to be a false alarm and Belew-Nyquist said all students and staff are safe and back in the building.

Los Alamos Police Blotter: Dec. 11 To Dec. 17, 2014

on December 18, 2014 - 4:58pm

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.

Dec. 11 at 9:27 p.m. / A 53-year-old Los Alamos man reported that he was assaulted on Sioux Street.


Dec. 11 at 10:07 p.m. / Police arrested Kenneth Hagedorn, 33, of Los Alamos at 1200 Sioux St., and charged him with aggravated assault.

Dec. 12 at 12:06 p.m. / A 59-year-old Los Alamos man reported that someone damaged his property.

Los Alamos Medical Center Earns Patient Safety Award

on December 18, 2014 - 2:01pm
LAMC Patient Safety Award. Courtesy photo
LAMS News:

Los Alamos Medical Center (LAMC) was recently recognized by the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) Partnership for Patients campaign.

The HEN campaign project was designed to help identify solutions to reduce hospital acquired conditions and readmissions, and then provide those solutions to hospitals and other health care providers. LAMC received the award for meeting and improving all patient safety goals and core measures across the entire hospital system.

“We improved by 89 percent over the past three year period, moving from the

LAFD Schedules Prescribed Burn In Bayo Canyon

on December 18, 2014 - 1:40pm

Conducting a pre fire burn assessment, from left, Los Alamos Fire Capt. Dan Devall, Capt. James Pepe, Los Alamos resident Marv Alme and Driver Engineer Mike Lewis. Courtesy photo

LADF News:

The Los Alamos Fire Department has scheduled a prescribed burn Jan. 9-10 near Los Alamos in Bayo Canyon.

LAFD Willand Division Chief Ramon Garcia explained that prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring the ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity.

CEMRC Releases Final Summary Report On WIPP

on December 18, 2014 - 1:11pm

WIPP News:

The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center (CEMRC) has posted its final summary report regarding the Feb. 14 radiological event that occurred at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

CEMRC is a division of the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University that provides independent monitoring of the WIPP facility.

Following the radiological release that occurred at WIPP, CEMRC increased its monitoring activities – both at the WIPP site and in the surrounding area.

USNRC Public Document Room Holiday Closure

on December 18, 2014 - 10:11am


The USNRC Public Document Room will be closed, along with the rest of the Federal government, Friday, Dec. 26.

This closure is in addition to the Christmas Day holiday Thursday, Dec. 25. It will open again Monday, Dec. 29.

The mission of NRC's Public Document Room is to help the public find and obtain NRC information in the agency's extensive electronic, paper, and microfiche collections. Located in Rockville, Md., it is staffed by reference and technical librarians.

Methane Gas Extractor Placed At Landfill To Decrease Levels

on December 18, 2014 - 9:37am


Residents might notice a large piece of equipment that recently arrived at the Los Alamos County Eco Station. It is a methane gas extractor that will be used to reduce higher than acceptable methane gas levels.

The extractor works like a vacuum system, which pulls the landfill gas through the landfill material and vents the methane gas through the stack. Staff expects that the methane extraction unit will be in place for the next six months or until methane levels decrease to an acceptable level.

Higher than desired methane levels have been detected, which range from 0.0 to 41

Students Create 'Don't Text and Drive' Posters

on December 17, 2014 - 1:05pm
Los Alamos High School Driver's Education Teacher Scott Pomeroy works with students to educate each other and the community through poster presentations. By texting '#X' students tell their friends that they will be driving and won't respond until they have reached their destination. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen
Another of the posters created by LAHS Driver's Education students. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen

Udall Addresses New Cuba Relations; Prisoner Release

on December 17, 2014 - 11:35am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released a statement today on the president’s announcement that he has taken steps to normalize relations with the country of Cuba and has secured the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, who had been held in a Cuban jail since 2009. 

In November, Udall traveled to Cuba with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., where they met with Cuban officials as well as religious and business leaders to discuss the impacts of the embargo and travel restrictions on American and Cuban families.

Snow Message From LAPS Superintendent

on December 17, 2014 - 9:53am

LAPS News:

Road conditions are snow covered and slippery. The bulk of the storm is expected to pass through by noon. Los Alamos County road crews are sanding and plowing the roads. 

If your children are already at school, the safest place for students and staff are to remain in school. This will give the County time to clear the roads.

At this time our plan is to release all schools at their normal Wednesday dismissal time. As always, parents may choose to pick up their children early.

It is important to remember that any closure or early dismissal is coordinated with the Los Alamos

Valles Caldera Prescribed Burn Dec. 16-17

on December 16, 2014 - 10:35am

VCT News:

The Valles Caldera Trust is planning to implement a prescribed pile burn today and Wednesday, Dec. 17.

The prescribed pile burn will be on 75 acres of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, north of N.M. 4 in the Banco Bonito area near mile marker 30. The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and the chance for future catastrophic fire and for the restoration of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Because of the location and elevation, smoke from the burn may be visible from all directions coming into the Jemez Mountains area.

Local Police Ramp Up Enforcement For Holiday Safety

on December 16, 2014 - 9:35am

LAPD News:

Starting now and continuing through the holidays, the Los Alamos Police Department will be conducting traffic enforcement, focusing on accident related violations to include seatbelt enforcement.

The public can help reduce the risk of vehicle crashes by adhering to posted speed limit signs, allowing enough room between them and the vehicle they are following and driving with caution when inclement weather threatens.

Officers also will be on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday season. To report potentially impaired drivers, dial #D-W-I, or #-3-9-4.

Citizens in Los

State Supreme Court Reverses Environment Department’s Attempt To Block AG From Water-Rule Hearings

on December 15, 2014 - 7:01pm

  • Court allows hearing to remain in Roswell in split decision

The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously struck down the Water Quality Control Commission’s unprecedented decision to block the Attorney General’s Office from upcoming hearings on the rule that protects New Mexico water from industrial dairy waste.  

On another issue, a writ filed by New Mexico Environmental Law Center representing Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, the court, in a split decision, allowed the commission to hold its only hearing on the dairy rule in Roswell.

The Sierra Club wants a hearing in Roswell,

County Turning Off Streetlights To Enhance Farolitos Viewing

on December 15, 2014 - 12:04pm


The Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division will be turning off the power to various streetlights to enhance the viewing of holiday farolitos.

The streetlights will be turned off Wednesday, Dec. 24 and will be restored Friday, Dec. 26.

For safety purposes, the County requests that all vehicles and trailers be moved to off street parking during the time that lights will be off. If this is not possible, it is recommended that the vehicles and trailers be silhouetted by farolitos.

Reprimanded Los Alamos Surgeon Practicing In Iowa

on December 14, 2014 - 1:24pm

John Dirk Wassner, M.D.


Former Los Alamos surgeon John Dirk Wassner was granted reinstatement of his permanent Iowa medical license subject to a Consent Agreement Dec. 8.

Wassner, 67, who studied medicine at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, was disciplined by the New Mexico Medical Board, which issued him a public reprimand Oct. 3, 2013 for failing to report an adverse action taken by a healthcare entity in violation of the New Mexico Medical Practice Act.    

Under the terms of the Dec.

New Mexico’s Drug Overdose Fatality Rate Drops 16 Percent

on December 14, 2014 - 10:06am

Gov. Susana Martinez

SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez has announced New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased 16 percent between 2011 and 2013.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased from first in the nation in 2009 to third in 2012. New Mexico has now fallen below West Virginia and Kentucky in drug overdose death rates. This is the first time since 1992 that New Mexico has not been ranked first or second nationally in drug overdose fatality rate.

“New Mexico continues to

Moniz Announces Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group

on December 13, 2014 - 8:04am

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

DOE News:

  • Partnership to Deepen Relationship Around Critical Nuclear Energy Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Building on President Obama’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Tribal Nations, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced Friday the formalization of the Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group (NETWG), providing a forum for Tribal Leaders to engage with the Department on a wide scope of nuclear energy issues. 

“Through the Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group, the Department hopes to incorporate the unique and important

School Officials Look Into Complaints Issued Against Los Alamos High School's Head Wrestling Coach

on December 12, 2014 - 6:59pm

Bob Geyer


The conduct of Los Alamos High School's Head Wrestling Coach Bob Geyer is being investigated following complaints by parents and students of "aggressive and bullying behavior".

"We have received complaints and we are looking into those complaints," Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt confirmed this afternoon with the Los Alamos Daily Post. "Anytime a complaint is received against a staff member or coach it is investigated. We cannot go into any further detail because this is a personnel matter."

Parents have contacted the Los Alamos Daily Post to express concern about

Los Alamos Police Blotter: Dec. 4 To Dec. 10, 2014

on December 11, 2014 - 10:50am

LAPD News:

The following information is provided by the Los Alamos Police Department.

Neither arrests nor charges indicate a conviction, and neither means that a person is guilty of the charges filed against them.


Dec. 4 at 9:23 a.m. / Police arrested Gloria Ortiz, 53, of Santa Fe near Diamond Drive and Range Road and charged her with operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. / A 12-year-old Espanola boy reported that he was battered on Hawk Drive.



Dec. 5 at 10:25 a.m.

WIPP Waste Techs Encounter Abnormal Odor

on December 10, 2014 - 10:57am

WIPP News:

Late last week, four waste handling technicians at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) were performing surface temperature measurements on transuranic waste containers in the Waste Handling Bay when they encountered an abnormal odor. 

The odor was described as a “cleaning solution-like” odor, similar to odors that have been detected in the past when opening shipping containers during routine waste operations at WIPP.

Employees stopped work, notified their supervisor and left the area.

Los Alamos DWI Planning Council Meets Thursday

on December 10, 2014 - 8:38am

Recently the committee gathered to celebrate their work and look at future projects and goals. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen


Education is key in the prevention of drinking and driving or other impairments and the local DWI Planning Council (DWIPC) has been working on the issue for a decade in our community.

In order to apply for and receive this grant money, the Los Alamos County Council established the DWIPC through a resolution in 2004. The DWIPC advises the County Council on its DWI plan and spending of DWI grant funds. 


The DWIPC will receive $64,000 for 2015 and the