Local News

  • Cause of airline missile strike unclear

    LONDON (AP) — To figure out why a Malaysian jetliner fell from the sky, investigators will use the wreckage of any missile found to determine where it came from and who fired it, experts said Friday. That may be easier said than done in the middle of a war zone.
    The first international monitors to arrive on the scene, 24 hours after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 came down, found bodies strewn on the ground and restrictions from armed militiamen.
    That gives a sense of the formidable obstacles investigators face in deciphering a disaster scene spread over 20 square kilometers (eight square miles) of contested ground in eastern Ukraine — amid a conflict in which both sides have interests that may outweigh a desire to uncover the truth.
    “We are in a country that is at war, and that is in a war of communication,” aviation analyst Gerard Feldzer said in Paris. “Everyone is pushing a pawn.”
    All 283 passengers and 15 crew members aboard the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight were killed in Thursday’s crash. U.S authorities and aviation experts say the Boeing 777 was likely brought down by a ground-to-air missile, but so far there is no proof of who fired it. Ukraine and the insurgents blame each other.

  • Update 07-18-14

    Benefit breakfast

    Benefit breakfast for the American Cancer Society. 7:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Masonic Lodge, 15th Street and Canyon Road. $7 for adults and $3 for children.

    APP meeting

    The Arts in Public Places Advisory Board will meet July 24. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.


    Gordon’s Summer Concert Series. Raul Midon, with opening act Tiho Dimitrov Band. 7-10 p.m. today at Smith’s Marketplace.

    Council canceled

    The scheduled Los Alamos County Council work session, orginally set for Tuesday night in White Rock, has been canceled.

    Fly fishing

    A youth fly fishing clinic is set for 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Valles Caldera National Preserve in Jemez Springs. Price for participation is $15. Call 866-382-5537 to register.

    Farmers Market

    County officials announced there would be no councilors’ booth at Thursday’s Farmers Market. 

  • VA: Staff acted properly before vet’s death

    Albuquerque’s VA hospital responded properly when a veteran died after collapsing in the medical center’s cafeteria.
    Hospital staff faced scrutiny after the death of 71-year-old Jim Napoleon Garcia, who received CPR on the floor while an ambulance was called to take him to an emergency room 500 yards away.
    Gibson, speaking to reporters shortly after meeting with staff at Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center, said an initial review found staffers followed procedure in providing help to the Vietnam War veteran.
    “I thanked every single one of them individually,” Gibson said. “As I heard what they did, and I stood and looked at them in the eye, I was very proud.”
    Hospital emergency experts have said it’s standard for medical centers to require staffers to call 911, even when patients are near an emergency room. VA officials say such policy is in place at its hospitals across the country.
    Emergency response records show that an ambulance arrived to help Garcia about 10 minutes after the 911 call.
    Officials said VA staff along with Kirtland Air Force Base personnel immediately responded in providing basic life support to Garcia.

  • LA School Board reluctantly goes with custom eval

    Some choice.
    That seemed to be the general opinion of the Los Alamos School Board recently when it was faced with either adopting the New Mexico’s Department of Public Education’s teacher evaluation plan as is, or adopt one recently created by the district that NMPED would allow using its criteria and basic outline.
    At a June board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Gene Schmidt presented the board with its version of the plan which was created with the help of a special committee of teachers and administrators.
    “The board actually has a choice. The choice is to not accept this plan, and the state will choose one for us,” he said. “Accept this plan as the best of the limited flexible opportunities we have, and in the minority report, we will express our concerns.”
    In the end, the board decided to go with Schmidt’s recommendation, but only after discussing its differences with NMPED’s plan for about an hour. However, the board did not seem too enthusiastic about the school’s plan or the state’s, since the district had no choice but to work within the parameters of NMPED’s teacher evaluation plan.

  • Jemez governor explains lawsuit

    In 2012, the Pueblo of Jemez filed a lawsuit under the 1976 Quiet Title Act to reclaim its aboriginal right of ownership to the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
    U.S District Court Judge Robert Brack dismissed the lawsuit in September 2013, but the Pueblo has filed an appeal.
    On Friday, Jemez Gov. Joshua Madalena explained the pueblo’s position to the VCNP board of trustees. Madalena was governor in 2012 when the lawsuit was initiated.
    “The Valles Caldera belongs to the Jemez people,” Madalena said. “We were the first stewards. We were the first conservationists. We took care of the caldera when we arrived in this area.”
    The governor gave a brief history of the pueblo’s connection to the Jemez Mountains and the Valles Caldera, from its first 50 room “reconnaissance camp” adjacent to the caldera to its growth during the great migration of the 13th century into a 62-pueblo “empire” of 20,000 people.
    “There’s really no structure built within the caldera, because it is our church,” Madalena explained.

  • VIDEO: Malaysia Says Plane Did Not Make Distress Call
  • VIDEO: Significant Expansion of Gaza Offensive by Israel
  • Today In History, July 18
  • Ukraine: 295 on Malaysia plane shot down over east

     HRABOVO, Ukraine (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the aircraft.

    As plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village of Hrabovo, an Associated Press journalist counted at least 22 bodies at the wreckage site 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border.

    The Boeing 777-200ER plane, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, appeared to have broken up before impact and the burning wreckage — which included body parts and the belongings of passengers — was scattered over a wide area.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the downing an act of terrorism and called for an international investigation into the crash. He insisted that his forces did not shoot down the plane.

    President Barack Obama called the crash a "terrible tragedy" and talked about it on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The village of Grabovo is currently under the control of pro-Russia separatists and the area has seen severe fighting between the two sides in recent days.

  • Reaching the Goal

    Celebrating a record $592,849 raised for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) are (left to right) Tony Fox, Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation Scholarship Program Officer, Debra Wersonick, Community Giving Specialist for LANL’s Community Programs Office and Jeff Mousseau, LAESF campaign chair and LANL Director of Environmental Programs. Lab employees pledged a record $325,246 — up almost 7 percent over last year — and other donors brought total donations to $342,849. Los Alamos National Security, LLC matched employee giving with $250,000. “Our employees know first-hand that education can unlock opportunity for talented students who hold the promise to be future leaders in government, industry or the non-profit sector,” Mousseau, said. The number of LANL donors also increased by 5 percent over 2014. Funds raised this year will be used by the LANL Foundation to award scholarships to students in seven Northern New Mexico counties in 2015.