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Local News

  • Fire Marshal Thompson retires

    Clearly not delighted to be the center of attention during a Friday farewell event held in his honor, Los Alamos Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Michael Thompson thanked others.

    He spoke of his gratitude for being allowed the opportunity to serve his community and the Los Alamos Fire Department.

    “I’ve enjoyed my time here,” he told officials and colleagues gathered inside the Fire Administration Offices. “I have fond memories of so many of you. With time, maybe the memories will fade for you but not for me.”

    Acting County Administrator Randy Autio presented Thompson with a Nambe plaque at Friday’s event. He spoke of Thompson’s calming manner when he joined him in his truck to survey the Las Conchas Fire.

  • For staff, it’s all about acting

    Randy Autio became Los Alamos County Attorney in July of 2010. In less than five months, the county council terminated Anthony Mortillaro and named Autio Acting County Administrator. Autio has now held that role longer than his official one.

    “I came up here to have a little bit slower pace, and that is not what happened at all. It’s been quite a year,” Autio said.

    Autio soon made the difficult decision to dismiss Assistant County Administrator Diana Stepan and asked Steven Lynne and Anne Laurent to serve as Acting Assistants. Their staff is filling their positions. Other key positions have also become vacant and have interim staff until a new administrator is hired. Autio calls it “the cascade effect.”

  • Bush to be in NYC to mark 10th anniversary of 9/11

    NEW YORK (AP) — The ceremony at the World Trade Center site marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks will be a solemn but stately event that will include two presidents and a chance for victims' families to view the names of loved ones etched into the memorial, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

    President Barack Obama and Bloomberg will be joined by the leaders in charge during the 2001 attacks, including former President George W. Bush, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former New York Gov. George Pataki. Current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will also be there, he said.

  • Tropical system leaves little rain in dry Texas

    McALLEN, Texas (AP) — The storm that many had hoped would bring some relief to parched areas of South Texas passed Saturday after dropping less than an inch of rain — good news only for the cotton farmers who were ready to resume their harvest.

    The National Hurricane Center said its 4 a.m. CDT advisory on what was once known as Tropical Storm Don would be its last as the remnants passed into northern Mexico. Don had failed to live up to even low expectations by tropical storm standards and was downgraded earlier to a tropical depression.

    "There's really not much left of it," said Barry Goldsmith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville. "It's a done deal."

  • Valles Caldera to open Saturday

    Summer recreation returns to the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) at 8:00 am tomorrow more than a month after the Las Conchas Fire suspended all activities on the Preserve. The Santa Fe National Forest will ease fire restrictions for the Preserve and the surrounding Jemez Mountains, which were under Stage III restrictions since June 24th. Effective tomorrow the new Stage I restrictions will limit some activities such as campfires and smoking because rainfall has yet to compensate for the effects of the drought. All areas burned in the La Conchas Fire will remain closed.

  • Motorcyclist still critical after crash on NM 502
  • Six schools fail to make AYP

    For the third straight year, Los Alamos Public Schools have come up short in the effort to make adequate yearly progress. Of the seven schools in the district, only one — Chamisa Elementary — met the standards set forth by the federal school rating system.

    LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt said that even though the majority of schools failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards, the schools are the best in the state when it comes to reading and math.

    “Each year the target gets higher,” Assistant Superintendent Paula Dean said. She said each subgroup in a school (which includes male, female, Hispanic and Caucasian students as well as others) has to meet AYP standards, otherwise the entire school will fail.

  • High tech interns learn sustainability

    On Thursday morning, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student interns gathered at the San Ildefonso Visitor Center, where they met Tribal Council member and Farm Mentor Timothy Martinez.

    The visit to San Ildefonso is one of several field trips for the LANL Student Sustainability Challenge, which is exploring issues like food security with this year’s  theme of “Sustainability is National Security.”

  • Runway rehab winding down

    Those heroic helicopter pilots have flown their magnificent machines with the dangling buckets across Los Alamos skies for what is hoped to be the last time.

    Now that the Las Conchas Fire is 95 percent contained, the two enormous orange C-130 slurry bombers and several smaller firefighting helicopters based at the Los Alamos County Airport are off to fight the next blaze.

    “Helicopters have a specific role in wildland fire fighting,” said Fire Chief Doug Tucker. “Their ability to shuttle water and their pinpoint precision was invaluable to our crews on the ski hill and other areas during the recent fire.”

  • 'Extreme Makeover' comes to NM

    Do you know a family whose home deserves an Extreme Makeover, or a family who simply deserves a home?  If so, the producers of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition want to hear from you.
    Ty Pennington and his crew have been all across the map and now they want to drive that famous bus to New Mexico!
    “We are looking for the deserving people and inspiring families that America can really root for,” says Supervising Casting Producer Adam Drucker.  
    The show is looking for deserving families in the Santa Fe and Los Alamos area.