Local News

  • Court gives Congressman Steve Pearce access to campaign cash

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Rep. Steve Pearce won access to a $1 million stockpile of campaign cash that he raised while in Congress to use in his run for New Mexico governor, under a federal court ruling issued Tuesday.

    Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court Judge Judith Herrera blocked enforcement of limitations on campaign transfers from Pearce's federal campaign account to a state one. The preliminary injunction gave Pearce access to the campaign funds while underlying issues are litigated.

    The Secretary of State's Office has said that only $11,000 can be transferred by Pearce, based on a New Mexico law that limits campaign contributions to $5,500 in a primary election and again in the general election.

    Attorneys for Pearce contend that New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, has misinterpreted state law that limits campaign contributions, effectively violating Pearce's constitutional rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

    In her ruling, Herrera said it was likely Pearce will succeed during further litigation in showing that the $5,500 per-election limit on transfers is unconstitutional and obstructs free speech.

  • University of Texas moves ahead with LANL bid

    The University of Texas System regents narrowly approved a plan Monday for the university system to officially submit a bid to manage and operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Three regents voted against the bid, citing safety concerns at the lab and concerns about UT System spending.

    Regents Janiece Longoria, Kevin Eltife and Steve Hicks cited safety concerns and potential reputational and economic risks, according to reports. UT system regents had postponed the bid submission earlier this month without giving an explanation.

    Deputy Chancellor Daniel, appointed to lead the bid preparations said, “While the scale and the scientific assets of UT’s 14 academic and health institutions strongly position us to manage and operate the Lab, the Lab management role also creates an extraordinary opportunity for students and faculty to advance research and discovery. Moreover, UT institutions have the know-how to safely and securely advance the broader scientific mission of the Lab and serve as a good steward of the Los Alamos community.”

  • NNSA, Air Force complete two more B61-12 Life Extension Program qualification flight tests

    Two more qualification flight tests were completed with the B61-12 gravity bomb at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, government officials announced Monday.

    The tests, completed Nov. 7-8, were a continuation of a series of flight tests that will be conducted over the next three years.

    “These tests continue to demonstrate that the B61-12 meets requirements and marks another on-time achievement for the B61-12 Life Extension Program,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application.

    The tests involved releasing non-nuclear configured joint test assemblies from two F-15Es based at Nellis Air Force Base, demonstrating the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon and the weapon’s non-nuclear functions.

    The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory and manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants.

    The tail-kit assembly section was designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. 

    The B61-12 LEP is a joint NNSA and Air Force program that preserves a critical element of the U.S. nuclear triad.

  • LANL names new director

    Dr. Terry Wallace has been appointed director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and president of Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the company that manages and operates the Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the lab announced Tuesday. His appointment will officially take effect Jan. 1.

    The appointments were announced today by Norman J. Pattiz and Barbara E. Rusinko, chair and vice chair of the Los Alamos National Security (LANS) Board of Governors.

    “Dr. Wallace’s unique skills, experience and national security expertise make him the right person to lead Los Alamos in service to the country” said Pattiz. “Terry’s expertise in forensic seismology, a highly-specialized discipline, makes him an acknowledged international authority on the detection and quantification of nuclear tests.”

    Wallace, 61, will succeed Dr. Charlie McMillan, who announced in September his plans to retire from the laboratory by the end of the year.  Wallace becomes the 11th director in the laboratory’s nearly 75-year history.

  • NKorea launches intercontinental missile, spiking tensions

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea abruptly ended a 10-week pause in its weapons testing Tuesday by launching what the Pentagon believes was an intercontinental ballistic missile, a move that will escalate already high tensions with Washington.

    Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said that the missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1,000 kilometers (about 620 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan. Japan said it may have landed within 370 nautical kilometers (200 nautical miles) of its coast.

    The launch is North Korea's first since it fired an intermediate range missile over Japan on Sept. 15, and it appeared to shatter chances that the hiatus could lead to renewed diplomacy over the reclusive country's nuclear program. U.S. officials have sporadically floated the idea of direct talks with North Korea if it maintained restraint.

    An intercontinental ballistic missile test will be considered particularly provocative as it would signal further progress by Pyongyang in developing a weapon of mass destruction that could strike the U.S. mainland, which President Donald Trump has vowed to prevent.

  • New Mexico lawmaker derides Legislature's harassment policy

    SANTA FE (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker in New Mexico on Monday described an anything-goes atmosphere in the Statehouse where female lobbyists in particular are frequent targets of sexual harassment, urging leading lawmakers Monday to overhaul procedures for reviewing complaints of sexual misconduct.

    Rep. Kelly Fajardo of Belen said she has encountered sexually harassing behavior in the Legislature firsthand, but does not plan to file a complaint because it might politicize and sabotage efforts to reform policies and procedures for investigations. Current policies provide little assurance of impartial review or protection from retaliation, she said.

    "I'm very cognizant that we have to have solutions," said Fajardo. "What I've experienced is probably not as great (severe) as some of my colleagues."

    In a letter to legislative leaders last week she described stories she has heard "where legislators offered political support in exchange for sexual favors," without providing further details.

    Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf on Monday said he had not witnessed or heard of that kind of misconduct before and is taking the situation very seriously.

  • Good night, night: Light pollution increasing around globe

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The world’s nights are getting alarmingly brighter — bad news for all sorts of creatures, humans included.

    A German-led term reported Wednesday that light pollution is threatening darkness almost everywhere. Satellite observations during five Octobers show Earth’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2 percent a year from 2012 to 2016. So did nighttime brightness.

    Light pollution is actually worse than that, according to the researchers. Their measurements coincide with the outdoor switch to energy-efficient and cost-saving light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Because the imaging sensor on the polar-orbiting weather satellite can’t detect the LED-generated color blue, some light is missed.

    The observations, for example, indicate stable levels of night light in the United States, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. But light pollution is almost certainly on the rise in those countries given this elusive blue light, said Christopher Kyba of the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences and lead author of the study published in Science Advances.

  • Jail Report 11-26-17

    Jail Beat items are compiled form public information contained in Los Alamos County Detention Center records.
    Charges or citations listed in the Jail Beat do not imply guilt or non-guilt.

    Nov. 15
    Wayne Carl Mosley, 66, of Los Alamos, was arrested and jailed on one count of criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13, a first-degree penalty, one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor, a child under 13, a second-degree penalty, and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, fourth-degree felony. Mosley was released Nov. 17 following a hearing with Magistrate Pat Casados on conditions of release, which include no contact with the victim or victims. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 15, according to court records.

    Nov. 17
    Hazel Bucholz, 19, of Jemez, was in jail following the serving of a magistrate court bench warrant by Sandoval County Sheriff’s office. As of Tuesday, Bucholz was still in jail.

    Nov. 18
    Brianna M. Garcia, 24, of Santa Fe, was arrested on a charge of trespass by a Los Alamos Police officers at Smith’s Marketplace. She also faced magistrate court bench warrant served by Los Alamos Police. She was released following the setting of a $306 bond.

    Nov. 19

  • Police Beat 11-26-17

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department records.
    Charges or citations listed in the Police Beat do not imply guilt or non-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.

    Nov. 15
    11:48 a.m.— Police officers arrested an individual or individuals on allegations of possession of controlled substance and tampering with evidence.
    1:33 p.m. — A person at a residence reported fraud. Police listed the case as “active.”
    5:39 p.m. – Police responded to a report of a suicide.

    Nov. 16
    12:20 p.m. — A police officer witnessed two dogs barking for more than 10 consecutive minutes and citation was issued.
    3:53 p.m. — Police responded to an unattended death.
    4:28 p.m. — Someone reported a case of fraud.

    Nov. 17
    12:24 p.m. – Someone reported that their property and items on the property had been damaged.

    Nov. 18
    3:50 a.m. – A windstorm blew over a tree on to a fence and a roadway near United Church of Los Alamos.
    12:45 p.m. — Police responded to a report of larceny.

  • Ohkay Owingeh still needs help with housing project

    The Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo has collected about $150,000 of the $500,000 the pueblo was hoping to collect in order to finish a 12-year-old housing rehabilitation project.

    A $500,000 tax credit has been awarded to the Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority to incentivize tax contributions.
    The credit will allow donors who contribute to the project to get a tax credit on any New Mexico tax obligation equal to half of one’s contribution to the project.

    If someone owes $10,000 in state income tax, for example, and they give $5,000 to the pueblo project, then their tax bill would be only $5,000.

    Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority needs $3.5 million to complete the project.

    The Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority is confident they will accomplish this goal.

    “I feel we really made some strides in the past couple of weeks,” Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority Development Officer Leslie Colley said. “We’ve finally got the ball rolling on these final groups of houses.”