Local News

  • Crews chase 30 unattended campfires in the Jemez Mountains over Memorial Day

    Crews from the Santa Fe National Forest extinguished 41 abandoned campfires last Memorial Day weekend – 30 of those were in the 240,000-acre Jemez Ranger District.

    Forest officials estimate the district may have had about 2,000 visitors this Memorial Day weekend, many of them using the district’s five campgrounds.

    Forest service officials were able to extinguish them through routine patrols and keeping a special focus on the area.

    “In addition to the district’s fire protection officer, there was another office assigned to him, and we had additional forest law enforcement officials assigned to the Jemez and a crew from Arizona,” said Acting Santa Fe National Forest Public Affairs Officer Julie Overton.

    The crew patrolled NM 4 with a water truck and whenever they would see smoke or a fire, they’d put it out. Memorial Day weekend is often the biggest weekend, since it’s the weekend that marks in many people’s minds the official end of winter.

    “People are ready after the winter to get back into the woods,” Overton said.

    Other big weekends include Mother’s Day weekend July 4 and Labor Day.

    The crews were also armed with brochures on fire prevention tips.

  • Star seniors presented with scholarships

    The Duane Smith Auditorium was humming with students and parents Tuesday evening as Los Alamos High School seniors on the cusp of graduation were presented with their hard-earned scholarships.

    Morrie Pongratz was master of ceremonies for the convocation and welcomed the crowd. Pongratz introduced the LAHS administrative team, who were in attendance to shake each students hand.

    School board members and superintendent Kurt Steinhaus were also present. After looking over the convocation program, Steinhaus said, “I saw a couple things that were missing. A ‘thank you’ to the proud moms and dads.”

    He then asked the students to stand and give a round of applause to the parents.

    LAHS Principal Brad Parker received a warm welcome from the crowd and he responded, “All I can say is when you work with great people, it makes it easier to do your job well. I’ve gotten probably a lot more than I’ve given here. Thank you for letting me be here.”

    Pongratz recognized the educators in attendance and people working behind the scenes of the program.

  • Nuclear waste transport contract awarded to Colorado company

    CARLSBAD (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department has awarded a contract worth up to $112 million to a Colorado company for transportation services at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.
    The agency announced the contract with CAST Specialty Transportation, Inc. on Thursday. CAST already maintains a terminal in southern New Mexico to support transport operations for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
    Under the new contract, CAST also will be responsible the shipment of waste to the repository from federal facilities across the nation as part of the Energy Department's multibillion-dollar cleanup program.
    The waste includes gloves, tools, clothing and other materials from decades of bomb-making and research.
    The repository recently began accepting shipments following a nearly three-year closure that resulted from a radiation release in one of the underground disposal rooms.

  • Today in history 6-1-17
  • Hawaii, parts of Southeast, Southwest face summer fire risk

    DENVER (AP) — Forecasters say Hawaii and pockets of the Southeastern and Southwestern United States could face above-normal danger of significant wildfires this summer.
    The National Interagency Fire Center's summer outlook released Thursday shows the risk on the Big Island of Hawaii is expected to be above normal through September.
    Forecasters say western Nevada faces above-normal fire danger from July through September. The risk will be high in inland Southern California in July and in parts of Northern California during August and September.
    Southeastern Arizona and western New Mexico could have above-normal risk in June.
    Forecasters say fire danger will be below normal through July in the Rocky Mountains and in a large swath of the Eastern U.S. from Texas to the Atlantic. The risk will return to normal in late summer.

  • Dem gets calls to resign on Trump Facebook post

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is calling on a Democratic public education commissioner to resign over his social media post supporting a bloody, beheaded image of President Trump.

    Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan said Thursday that Tim Crone crossed the line when he applauded and encouraged "a sick stunt." Lonergan says the governor is demanding that he apologize and step down from the commission.

    Crone wrote on Facebook late Wednesday that he endorsed comedian Kathy Griffin's posting of the Trump image and called the Native American-owned Route 66 Casino a "loser, redneck" venue for canceling an upcoming Griffin show over the video.

    The 70-year-old Crone told The Associated Press his remarks "were intended as a joke" and were directed at friends.

    He later edited the Facebook post.

    Griffin, who helped with CNN's New Year's Eve coverage, has apologized, saying that the brief video was "too disturbing" and wasn't funny.

    Route 66 Casino, a casino operated by Laguna Pueblo, announced Tuesday that it was canceling a July 22 performance by Griffin.

    Crone was elected to the commission's District 10 seat in November as a write-in candidate.

  • New Mexico casino cancels Kathy Griffin performance

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A casino in New Mexico has scrapped a scheduled performance by comedian Kathy Griffin after she posted online a bloody image that resembled President Donald Trump.
    Route 66 Casino, a casino operated by Laguna Pueblo, announced late Tuesday on social media that July 22 performance by Griffin was canceled.
    Griffin, who helped with CNN's New Year's Eve coverage, has apologized, saying that the brief video was "too disturbing" and wasn't funny.
    Griffin appears in a video posted online Tuesday holding what looks like President Donald Trump's bloody, severed head.
    She described the project as an "artsy fartsy statement" on Instagram and says she does not condone causing harm to others.

  • ‘Halos’ found on Mars widen time frame for potential life


  • Memorial Day celebration honors those who ‘gave all’

    Not even threatening storm clouds looming in the distance could stop the hundred or so people wanting to pay their respects at Los Alamos’ annual Memorial Day event. Things went off without a hitch Monday in an event that featured a flyover by the Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol, state and county proclamations, rifle salutes from the Navy JROTC, a bagpipes rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Ethan Aulews, and other happenings.

    For others, the main event was just honoring their loved ones, dead and living, who served.

    Barbara Buchen came out to honor her husband, John.

    “It means honoring those who have served our country, especially those that have died,” Buchen said. Her husband served in the Navy in World War II as a radar trainer at Navy Pier in Chicago, located on the shore of Lake Michigan. “He used to joke that no Japanese subs got through on Lake Michigan,” Buchen said. 

    Held at Guaje Pines Cemetery every year by the Knights of Columbus, this year’s speaker was
    U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Pryor “Doc” Dougherty.

    Dougherty spent 30 years in the Army, where he served three tours in Vietnam and tours in Somalia, Germany and Korea.

    Dougherty’s talk was about resolve, focus and God.

  • Davis to be sentenced for sex with minor

    Christopher Davis, 24, has been summoned to the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe on July 6 before Judge Mary Marlowe Summer to be sentenced on four charges of sex with a minor.

    Davis was arrested on June 17, 2014. He pleaded guilty in February to criminal sexual penetration of a child between the ages of 13 and 16, which is a fourth-degree felony.

    The incidents occurred on or between April 20 to May 19 in the county of Los Alamos.

    According to Special Agent Jay Ratliff, a law enforcement officer with the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, the case began when the sheriff’s office in Anoka County, Minnesota. Officers there investigated a report of a sexual assault of a 14-year-old female.

    As a result of the investigation, the police recovered a cell phone and internet conversations between the young girl and an adult male identified as Davis.

    Davis was living in Los Alamos at the time. Anoka County then involved the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in furthering the investigation. After Ratliff picked Davis up in Los Alamos on a search warrant, Davis then admitted to sexual encounters with two local under aged girls, according to police.