Local News

  • NASA to abandon trapped rover Spirit 

    LOS ANGELES — Spirit, the scrappy robot geologist that captivated the world with its antics on Mars before getting stuck in a sand trap, is about to meet its end after six productive years.
    Spirit has been incommunicado for more than a year despite daily calls by NASA. The cause of Spirit’s silence may never be known, but it’s likely the bitter Martian winter damaged its electronics, preventing the six-wheel rover from waking up.
    The space agency tried every trick to listen for Spirit to no avail. Project manager John Callas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the last commands will be sent up Wednesday. Though orbiting spacecraft will continue to listen through the end of May, chances are slim that Spirit will respond.

  • State Briefs 05-25-11

    Lawmakers suing over line-item vetoes
    SANTA FE — Lawmakers are going to court to challenge line-item vetoes by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, including her rejection of higher taxes on businesses to shore up the state’s unemployment compensation fund.
    At issue are constitutional questions about the powers of the governor and Legislature.
    Democratic Rep. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque says two lawsuits are to be filed Wednesday with the state Supreme Court.
    The governor vetoed a tax increase on businesses but left provisions in the same bill to reduce jobless benefits.
    A line-item veto is allowed only with an appropriation bill, and lawmakers say the unemployment bill didn’t allocate money for programs.

  • Seen at the Scene: Kite Festival

    The Kite Festival was last weekend at Overlook Park in White Rock. Attendees had the choice of purchasing ready-to-fly kites, or making their own. Adults staffed the kite hospital to help with repairs.

  • Update 05-25-11

    No trash collection
    No trash or recycling collection May 30. If Monday is your normal trash day, put trash out by 8 a.m. Wednesday June 1.

    DPU meeting
    The Board of Public Utilities will have its regular meeting at 5:30 today at the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.

    Authors Speak
    The Authors Speak Series, featuring Demetria Martinez and scheduled for Thursday at the Mesa Library, has been canceled.

    Farmers market
    Several Los Alamos County Councilors will be at the Farmer’s Market 9:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday to visit with citizens about current projects and issues.

  • High winds cause power problems

    Gusty and erratic winds up to 45 mph caused contacts between trees and electric lines resulting in power outages Tuesday.
    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities electric line crews were dispatched following initial reports of intermittent, power blinks at North and Barranca Mesas at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. A Ponderosa pine, falling against the overhead power lines at El Gancho Street on Barranca Mesa, caused the fault, which was repaired by 4:45 p.m. when continuous power was restored to North and Barranca Mesas.
    Power also was lost in the Aspen School neighborhood at 4:15 p.m. A tree near 34th Street area had contacted a line, which crews quickly fixed; prior to leaving for the El Gancho site.

  • Trinity Drive showdown

    Close to 200 people packed council chambers and overflowed into the alcove and an adjacent meeting room in the Community Building last night to debate two petitions with opposing viewpoints on proposed modifications being studied for Trinity Drive.

    At issue is a plan under consideration to reduce Trinity Drive to two lanes and replace stoplights with up to eight roundabouts. The price tag for which could reach $40 million.

    Local residents Joyce Cady and William Mead presented the county council with citizen petitions. Cady’s presentation stressed the negative impact on commuters, as well as the hazards roundabouts pose to bicyclists and pedestrians, especially the deaf or visually impaired.

  • Philippines braces for typhoon, evacuation ordered

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials began evacuating thousands of residents in areas prone to floods and landslides Wednesday as Typhoon Songda roared toward the country's northeast.

    Government weather bureau chief Graciano Yumul said the typhoon is likely to make landfall Friday afternoon over Aurora and Isabela provinces. It has already brought heavy rains to the Philippine archipelago's eastern seaboard.

    Yumul said the typhoon was packing winds of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour and gusts of 100 mph (160 kph).

  • Official: Storms killed 4th in Ark.; toll at 14--video extras

    KANSAS CITY, Mo (AP) — A violent storm system rumbled through the central U.S. on Wednesday, spawning tornadoes that turned homes into splintered wreckage, killing at least 14 people and hampering rescue efforts in a city slammed by a massive twister days earlier.

    The new system, which followed closely behind the one that spawned the massive twister that struck Joplin, Mo., and killed more than 120 people, moved into the Oklahoma City area Tuesday evening as worried commuters rushed home from work.

    Several tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma City and its suburbs, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 70 others, authorities said. Among those killed was a 15-month-old boy, and searchers were looking for his missing 3-year-old brother.

  • Electronic poster display project

    The Los Alamos Teen Center is the beta test site for the Chamber of Commerce electronic poster display project. Los Alamos High School Sophomore Paul Montoya sits near the new display Monday, which features among several other posters, information and a photo of slime mold, the subject of a presentation that will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.

  • Update 05-24-11

    No trash collection
    No trash or recycling collection Monday May 30. If Monday is your normal trash day, put trash out by 8 a.m. Wednesday June 1.

    Fractal challenge
    A recognition reception and award winner’s announcement of the Los Alamos Public Schools student competition “Fractal Challenge” is set for 5:30-7:00 p.m. Wednesday in the youth gallery downstairs at Mesa Public Library.

    Farmers market
    Several Los Alamos County Councilors will be at the Farmer’s Market 9:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday to visit with citizens about current projects and issues.