Local News

  • Former lab tech gets 5 years

    ALBUQUERQUE — Former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, was sentenced Wednesday to 60 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
    Mascheroni was sentenced following his guilty plea for violating the Atomic Energy Act, as well as other crimes relating to his communication of classified nuclear weapons data to a person he believed to be a Venezuelan government official.
    Mascheroni, 79, is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Argentina.
    U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson handed out the 5-year prison sentence in court Wednesday.
    Mascheroni’s wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, 71, was sentenced in August to a year and a day of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release for her conviction on conspiracy and false statement charges.

  • Today in history Jan. 29
  • Early voting for school board and UNM-LA ends on Friday

    Friday is the final day of early voting for the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos advisory committee and the Los Alamos School Board.
    Polls will be open for early voting through 5 p.m. Friday. On election day, which is Tuesday, polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
    At Tuesday’s Los Alamos County Council meeting, County Clerk Sharon Stover said that 160 people have voted in the school board election during early voting.
    Election day voting centers are at the municipal building and White Rock Fire Station No. 3.
    Election results will be streamed live from council chambers beginning at 8 p.m. election day.
    Information on the election can be found on the county clerk’s web page losalamosnm.us/clerk.

  • Update 1-28-15

    'Topper Revue

    ’Topper Revue is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Los Alamos High School’s Duane Smith Auditorium.

    Candidate forum

    Los Alamos Public Schools will host a school board candidate forum Thursday. The forum will be from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Los Alamos High School speech theater. The event is open to the public.


    LANL scientist Nate McDowell will give a lecture, “Accelerating Global Vegetative Mortality,” 7 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library.

    School board

    A regular meeting of the Los Alamos School Board is scheduled for Feb. 10. The meeting will be at the LAPS administration board room. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m.


    The Española Valley Opera Guild will hold its 5th Annual Winter Posole Party Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at Anthony’s at the Delta, 224 N. Paseo de Oñate in Española. $12 adults, $6 children (12 and under). For more information call 505-753-8456.

  • N.Y. officials defend strict storm regulations

    NEW YORK (AP) — They appeared to be scenes from a frozen apocalypse.
    Streets across the nation’s largest city were empty, the only movement the changing traffic lights signaling to cars that weren’t there. The subway system was shuttered, the city’s pulse rendered still. Hardy souls who braved the snow were threatened with fines or arrest.
    And it could be the new normal.
    Though the snowstorm largely missed New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio staunchly defended their unprecedented, stringent restrictions, both saying they believed in landing on the side of caution and suggesting they would take such measures again.
    “Would you rather be ahead of the action or behind? Would you rather be prepared or unprepared? Would you rather be safe or unsafe?” de Blasio asked Tuesday at City Hall. “To me it was a no-brainer: we had to take precautions to keep people safe.”
    Before the heavy snows even reached New York, officials closed schools, shut down bridges and tunnels, canceled commuter rail service and, for the first time ever in a snowstorm, closed the city’s sprawling subway system at 11 p.m. Monday. A travel ban was put in place and drivers caught out on the roads were subject to arrest.

  • Poll: most would want U.S. health aid restored

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 6 in 10 Americans would want Congress to restore federal financial assistance for millions buying health care coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law if the Supreme Court invalidates some of those government subsidies, a poll said Wednesday.
    The finding by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that a complicated political landscape might await Republicans, who want to repeal and replace the law, should the court annul a crucial part of it later this year.
    The court will hear arguments in March in a case that will decide whether Obama’s 2010 law allows federal subsidies only in states that have established their own health insurance marketplaces, and not in states whose markets are run by Washington’s HealthCare.gov. The federal government runs the marketplace in 37 states.
    The court’s decision is expected in June.
    Should the court strike down the subsidies, Obama and Congress would have to decide what to do. Administration officials have sidestepped questions about their next move. Congressional leaders have made no decisions, but groups of top lawmakers in both the House and Senate have started considering options.

  • Trees at Aspen raise concerns

    The trees, and why 25 percent of them disappeared from the Aspen Elementary School campus, will be a topic for discussion in the next series of Los Alamos School Board meetings in February.
    Los Alamos resident Reid Priedhorsky spoke at a school board public hearing in January about what he says what he thinks happened to those trees. He also proposed remedies for the problem in a short presentation.
    “I’m here because of construction-related tree loss at Aspen School,” he said to the panel of school board members and administrators. “Of all the trees that were on Aspen campus when construction started, a quarter of them aren’t there any more...As a community member, I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
    Priedhorsky thought the biggest mistakes were citizens not being properly notified of intended changes to the landscape. He also thought that the construction company, Jaynes, didn’t make any significant efforts at mitigation.
    He said one example of that was that the company didn’t put down wood chips in the areas they were working to prevent the soil from becoming too compacted.
    “That was not done, and at least half of the trees we had on the playground are now gone,” he said.

  • Council gives nod to new art

    The lonely humpback whale on display at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will soon have some company.
    Artist Richard Swenson has offered to donate two more fish, a seal, a crab and a sea turtle to join his original donation.
    On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council accepted that donation, along with four other recommendations from the Arts in Public Places Board (APPB) for inclusion in the county’s public art collection. All recommendations passed 6-0. Councilor Steve Girrens was not in attendance.
    Swenson also donated two frogs to join his lizard at the White Rock visitor center.
    APPB has allocated up to $1,500 for plaques, a dedication event and installation — including special brackets to attach the frogs to the visitor center’s water catchment tank.
    APPB Chair Steve Foltyn has also donated two paintings by the late Dorothy Hoard, “Hikers in the Woods” and “Heading Home.” Hoard asked that her artwork be sold to benefit the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Foltyn purchased the pieces at a silent auction.
    “I think I probably don’t need to tell anyone what a true treasure Dorothy was to this community,” Foltyn said.

  • Today in history Jan. 28
  • Pot stash in van is found 13 years later

    ALAMOGORDO (AP) — An Alamogordo woman drove her van for more than 13 years and didn’t know there was marijuana hidden inside.
    Melodie Peil told the Alamogordo Daily News she bought a 1990 Chevrolet van at a local dealership in 2001 so she would have room to transport her daughter’s children.
    Until last Friday, Peil had no idea that on trips to softball games and on vacations out of town she had been transporting 13 ½ pounds of marijuana hidden in one of the vehicle’s side doors.
    A family friend discovered the marijuana when he removed a door panel to repair a broken handle.
    Inside a hole cut in the door was five bricks of marijuana covered in plastic wrap and foil.
    Police say the marijuana is so old that it’s worthless.