Local News

  • New Mexico officials seek money for campaign finance system

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico election officials requested nearly $1 million on Friday to replace an online campaign finance information system.

    The current system cannot be adapted to meet public calls for transparency or new legal requirements approved in February, state Elections Director Kari Fresquez told lawmakers in Santa Fe.

    “We believe that to do the system right, it’s going to cost $985,000,” Fresquez told a legislative committee on technology.

  • LAHS to host financial aid information night Tuesday

    Los Alamos High School will host a Financial Aid/FAFSA Information Night on at 6 p.m. Tuesday beginning in the Speech Theater. 

    All interested students and parents are encouraged to attend.

    Cindy Black, guidance counselor at LAHS, and Jenny Duran, financial aid officer at UNM-LA, will provide information about FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), CSS Profile, Scholarships, Grants, Work Study programs and loan programs. 

    “This is an important first step for seniors and parents in planning how to pay for college,” said Mrs. Black. “With the skyrocketing costs of higher education, it is important to explore all the options available.”

    The LAHS MacLab will also be open for parents to complete the FAFSA form. FAFSA opened Oct. 1.

    For more information about the Financial Aid Information Night, please contact Connie Goettee in the Career Resource Center at 663-2595 or c.goettee@laschools.net.

  • Ahlers tapped for economic development position

    Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess announced Friday that Joanie Ahlers was selected for the position of Economic Development Administrator. 

    Ahlers has been the chief operations officer for Los Alamos Public Schools for over four years, with oversight of six departments and responsibilities involving leased facilities, construction of new projects, custodial and maintenance operations, managing fixed assets, and technology and data integration.  

    Ahlers is also co-owner of Courthouse Properties LLC, a privately held firm that performs real estate development for the State of New Mexico, specializing in design/build of office space and magistrate courthouses. Prior to joining the school district, Ahlers was also co-owner of North Mesa Builders in Los Alamos, providing new construction and remodeling services for homes. 

    “I am excited to welcome Joanie to our staff to take charge of our economic development division,” said Burgess.

    Ahlers’ first day of employment will be Dec. 5.

  • Prescribed burns continue in Valles Caldera next week

    National Park Service fire managers successfully treated 478 acres with prescribed fire in the Banco Bonito district of the Valles Caldera National Preserve,  north of NM 4 near mile marker 30. 

    Because the weather forecast for Thursday through Sunday is not favorable for smoke dispersion, fire managers will not conduct more fire starts during this time.

    Fire personnel are patrolling and monitoring the treated portion of the planned 1,200-acre prescribed burn area to ensure the fire continues to provide resource benefits in a safe manner. Ignitions may begin again as early as Monday if the forecast improves.  

    This was the second successful prescribed fire on the preserve this year. In May, fire managers successfully treated 1,250 acres of grassland in the Valle Grande.

  • Police Beat

    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.

    Oct. 5

    11:35 p.m. — Stuart Gwyn, 31, of Los Alamos was arrested for driving a vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor at Trinity Drive.

    Oct. 6

    3:44 p.m. — Daniel Delgado, 30, of Santa Fe was arrested for possession of a controlled substance on State Highway 4.


    10:48 p.m. — Mark Sisneros, 22, of Santa Fe was arrested for unlawful use of a license, driving when privilege to do so has been revoked at the intersection of Diamond Drive and University Drive. 


  • On the Docket

    Oct. 6

    Antonio Maldonado-Rodriguez was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.


    Dominic Browning pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant’s sentence deferred until Dec. 4. Defendant was also sentenced to defensive driving school.


    Aurore V. Loranger pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court following too closely and causing an accident. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $65 in court costs.


    Nicole C. Kowalski was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $40 and must also pay $65 in court costs.


    Tai B. Bixby  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.


  • US internet repeatedly disrupted by cyberattacks on key firm

    LONDON (AP) — Cyberattacks on a key internet firm repeatedly disrupted the availability of popular websites across the United States Friday, according to analysts and company officials. The White House described the disruption as malicious.

    Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. said its server infrastructure was hit by distributed denial-of-service attacks, which work by overwhelming targeted machines with junk data traffic. The attack had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites from across America and even in Europe. Among the sites apparently affected were Twitter, Netflix, and Sony's PlayStation Network.

    The level of disruption was difficult to gauge, but Dyn provides internet traffic management and optimization services to some of the biggest names on the web, including Twitter, Netflix and Visa. Critically, Dyn provides domain name services, which translate the human-readable addresses such as "twitter.com" into an online route for browsers and applications.

  • Photos show European Mars probe crashed, may have exploded

    BERLIN (AP) — Europe's experimental Mars probe hit the right spot — but at the wrong speed — and may have ended up in a fiery ball of rocket fuel when it struck the surface, scientists said Friday.

    Pictures taken by a NASA satellite show a black spot in the area where the Schiaparelli lander was meant to touch down Wednesday, the European Space Agency said. The images end two days of speculation following the probe's unexpected radio silence less than a minute before the planned landing.

    "Estimates are that Schiaparelli dropped from a height of between 2 and 4 kilometers (1.4-2.4 miles), therefore impacting at a considerable speed, greater than 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph)," the agency said.

    It said the large disturbance captured in the NASA photographs may have been caused by the probe's steep crash-landing, which would have sprayed matter around like a blast site on Earth.

    "It is also possible that the lander exploded on impact, as its thruster propellant tanks were likely still full," the agency said.

  • County truck takes out light
  • League forum spotlights council candidates

    Citizens posed questions to Los Alamos County Council candidates at the Oct. 13 League of Women Voters of Los Alamos (LWVLA) candidate forum.
    Republican candidates Patrick Brenner, Jaret McDonald and Steve Girrens and Democratic candidates Pete Sheehey, Chris Chandler and Antonio Maggiore all participated.
    The first question was whether candidates supported the transition to clean energy. McDonald, Sheehey, Chandler and Maggiore all gave an unqualified “yes.”
    McDonald said that to make the transition, council would have to work together and look at the economic impact.
    Sheehey suggested that the NuScale small modular nuclear reactor the Department of Public Utilities is currently considering could be an option, but that there are many uncertainties regarding cost. He also advocated for incorporating more solar into the county’s power mix.
    “If towns in Texas can be generating 30 to 50 percent of their energy with renewables, we can too,” Sheehey said.
    Chandler advocated for withdrawing from the San Juan Generating Station agreement as soon as possible and opposed replacing that with more coal generation. She supported DPU’s investigation of the NuScale project and said she would support it if it were economically feasible.