Local News

  • Rina weakens after Cancun area resorts empty

    CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Rina weakened to a tropical storm Thursday after many tourists had already abandoned Cancun and other Caribbean resorts ahead of what once threatened to be a Category 3 storm.

    Rina was forecast to be near or over Mexico's most popular tourist destinations of Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya later Thursday or early Friday before curving back out to sea. Additional weakening is forecast in the next 48 hours.

    In Playa del Carmen, the closest spot where Rina will sweep through, people were walking on the street while the sky was still clear on Thursday.

  • Jackson doctor's defense case drawing to a close

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The defense of the doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death will shift Thursday away from personality to the science that his attorneys hope will prevent the physician from being convicted.

    The final witnesses testifying for Dr. Conrad Murray will be fellow doctors, one an expert in addiction and the other in the powerful anesthetic that the Houston-based cardiologist was giving Jackson as a sleep aid.

  • Update 10-26-11

    Council meeting

     The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m., Nov. 8 at the council chambers.

    Court closed

    Los Alamos Magistrate Court will close from today until Thursday for new computer system training.

    Pancake breakfast

    The Kiwanis Fall Pancake Breakfast will be held 7-11 a.m. Saturday at Betty Ehart Senior Center.

    Drug dropoff

    Los Alamos police are hosting a prescription drug depository booth from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, in the Los Alamos Medical Center east parking lot.

    Kiwanis meeting

  • Leisure pool vote off to choppy start

    The County Clerk’s Office issued 13,053 ballots to registered voters last week. As of this morning, 2,825 residents have voted in the special general obligation bond election to decide whether Los Alamos County should fund construction of a leisure pool addition on the eastern side of the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

    “We’ve gotten 832 ballots back as undeliverable,” Chief Deputy Clerk Sheryl Nichols said. “Twenty ballots that have been mailed back or dropped off at our office are unsigned and two voters died before returning their ballots so they have been classified ineligible.”

  • Local resident played key role in heat pipe technology

    (Second of a two-part series)
    Project Manager Steve Huebner delights in demonstrating the new solar thermal domestic hot water heat pipe design for the Justice Center and the Animal Shelter. When he started explaining the design to Capital Projects Division Manager Daniel Erickson, he was astounded when Erickson said, “My dad made the first working heat pipe. He used to work on them in our garage.”

    In 1963, Physicist George Grover came up with the idea for a modern heat pipe, inspired by earlier inventions such as the Perkins Tube used in locomotive boilers and ovens. Grover was a physicist, not an experimentalist, and did not know how to implement his idea. He confided the idea to T. P. Cotter, one of his team members, and swore him to secrecy.

  • WR visitor center costs skyrocket

    The Los Alamos County Council tackled an ambitious agenda during a regular session Tuesday. Here is a recap of pivotal council action taken during the meeting with more in-depth coverage of key issues in Thursday’s edition:
    • Council voted 4-3 to approve an additional $1,127,697 for the construction of the White Rock Visitors Center project and awarded the contract for $2,464,000 plus gross receipts tax to Gerald Martin. Councilors Vincent Chiravalle, Geoff Rodgers and David Izraelevitz voted against the motion.

  • Lab officials speak out on CMRR

    The Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility was a hot topic of conversation Tuesday morning as the Los Alamos National Laboratory hosted a community leaders breakfast.

    During a question and answer session with lab director Charlie McMillan and NNSA Los Alamos Site Office head Kevin Smith, they were questioned by an individual, who asked  about the controversy surrounding the “new bomb factory” being built at CMRR.

    “It is not a bomb factory. We don’t make bombs up here,” McMillan said. “The weapons are put together in Texas. “We won’t make them in the new CMRR and we don’t make them at PF4.”

  • Autio offered Bernalillo County Attorney job

    The revolving door at the highest levels of Los Alamos County government continues to spin.

    “I can’t tell you I don’t have mixed feelings about this,” said Acting County Administrator Randy Autio about the news that he has been appointed county attorney in Bernalillo. “It was just so much harder than I imagined for my wife and I to be away from our family – Albuquerque really is our home.”

    Autio was one of nine candidates interviewed by Bernalillo County Commissioners last Thursday. In all, there were 18 applicants for the job that was vacated by Jeff Landers when his contract with the county lapsed in September.

  • Autio gets nod to become Bernalillo County Attorney

    Interim Los Alamos County Administrator Randy Autio may be heading back down south soon.

    Bernallilo County Commissioners tapped Autio to become the county attorney in a meeting Tuesday. Autio emerged as the top candidate from among a field of 18 applicants.

    Autio's salary and contract have yet to be negotiated.

    Autio came to Los Alamos in mid-2010 as the new county attorney hired to replace Mary McInerny who retired from the post. By December, Autio found himself elevated to interim county administrator after Anthony Mortillaro's contract with the county was terminated.

  • Some spooky science Friday at Bradbury

    Are you ready for some spooky science? Then climb into your costume and head on over to the Bradbury Science Museum for “High-Tech Halloween!” Back for its 18th year, the creepy-cool event is from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.
    A number of ghoulish activities, which are not  part of the museum’s regular programs, are sure to delight big and small.
    Apart from being fun, these activities teach kids important scientific principles and applications, said science educator Gordon McDonough. Among many others, they include:
    • Bicycle-Wheel Gyro: Sit and spin to experience angular momentum and learn how this phenomenon is used to orientsatellites