Today's News

  • LANL drum was root of WIPP accident

    Drum 68660, shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad from Los Alamos National Laboratory was where all the trouble started.
    The Technical Assessment Team (TAT) 277-page report was released Thursday afternoon by the Department of Energy. The TAT’s mission was to find out the root cause of the problems that led to the breach of a waste drum at WIPP, which released radioactive fumes that sickened 21 workers in February 2014.
    The TAT’s overarching conclusion was that “chemically incompatible contents of Drum 68660 from Los Alamos National Laboratory in combination with physical conditions (e.g., the configuration of the materials in the drum) supported exothermic chemical reactions leading to a thermal runaway)….”
    Thermal and pressure effects resulted in the movement of material during the release event.
    Drum 68660, as far as TAT could determine, was the sole cause of the release. According to the report, the thermal runaway was internal in that drum and not cause by outside phenomena.
    According to the report’s fact sheet, Drum 68660 breached as a result of internal chemical reactions.

  • Suspicious card activity reported

    Los Alamos residents may have noticed some unwarranted charges or strange activity on their credit cards this month. Those residents are not alone.
    According to the Los Alamos Police Department, many local residents have experienced similar issues. Police are currently investigating a slew of complaints from residents about unwarranted charges, and they want to hear from anyone else that has seen suspicious card activity.
    LAPD said if a card had been declined, it might be a good idea to check email before calling the issuing company about it.
    One Los Alamos resident received a rude awakening recently when she tried to pay for a meal at a restaurant and her card was declined.
    A day later, she received an email from her company telling her that her card had been compromised.
    “This charge was not authorized so they cancelled my card and they are sending me a new card,” said the resident, who asked not to be identified. “I talked to the police and they are investigating it because many people in this town are having the same issue.”
    Those with suspicions about card activity can call LAPD Commander Oliver Morris at 662-8281. The department, according to a press release on the matter, is mainly focusing on credit cards, since this is where all of the fraud has occurred so far.

  • Library staff reports a successful year

    A 2015 survey show a high degree of satisfaction with the services of the Los Alamos public library system, according to the yearly report of the Los Alamos library board, which board Chair Michelle Grove presented to the Los Alamos County Council Tuesday.
    The library’s FY2015 Community Perception Survey showed that 97 percent of residents surveyed who use the library rated library services as good or excellent, and 98 percent rated availability of materials as good or excellent
    One remarkable statistic is the number of users. According to the survey, 87percent of citizens surveyed had used the library within the last 12 months.
    Compare that to the national average, and there’s no contest. According to the 2013 “The State of America’s Libraries” report by the American Library Association, 53 percent of Americans told the PEW Internet and American Life Project they had visited a library in the past 12 months.
    In FY2015 the Los Alamos County Library:

    • Checked out more than 396,000 items.
    • Had nearly 315,000 visitors.
    • Had approximately 27,000 computer uses and provided laptop access to many additional patrons.
    • Answered more than 26,000 reference questions.
    • Had more than 21,000 citizens attend programs at the library.

  • Police Beat 3-27-15

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.

    March 19
    12:22 p.m. — A 54-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of petty larceny at Trinity Drive.

    March 20
    8:34 a.m. — Robert Serrano, 54, of Santa Cruz was arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs in the 200 block of East Road.

    12:19 p.m. — A 56-year-old Las Vegas man reported to police that he was the victim in a car accident with no injuries on East Road.

    March 21
    11:52 a.m. — A 49-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of graffiti (less than $1,000) at Village Place.

    March 22
    12:26 a.m. — A 13-year-old Los Alamos girl was arrested for shoplifting (less than $100) at the Los Alamos Smith’s.

    12:29 a.m. — A 14-year-old Los Alamos girl was arrested for shoplifting (less than $100) at the Los Alamos Smith’s.

  • They've Got Spirit, How 'Bout You?

    Members of the Los Alamos High School cheer team is taking part in the state championship competition this weekend in Albuquerque. The team will perform at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at WisePies Arena.

  • Update 3-27-15

    "Mister Roberts"

    The play “Mister Roberts” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at Los Alamos Little Theatre. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Visit lalt.org for ticket information.

    LOL Los Alamos

    LOL Los Alamos, a comedy and music show, is scheduled for Friday at the Duane Smith Auditorium. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students, $15 for adults. The show is a fundraising event for the Los Alamos High School band programs.

    Community Winds

    The Los Alamos Community Winds will play at its “Marching In March” show Saturday at Crossroads Bible Church. There is a suggested donation of $10. It is scheduled for 7 p.m.


    There will be an opening reception for the Los Alamos Photographers Show Monday. The reception will be from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library. The show will run through May 2 at the library.

    Wildfire 2015

    Wildfire 2015 is scheduled for April 4. It will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. The event will include an opportunity for residents to register cell phone numbers with the Emergency Management department for emergency notifications. For more information, call 662-8304.

  • EM projects get recognition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A pair of Environmental Management projects that spared resources, increased the efficiency of radioactive waste processing, and saved more than $10.6 million were honored as recipients of DOE’s 2014 Sustainability Awards.
    The Department highlighted the projects at its Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina and Oak Ridge site in Tennessee as exceptional performance in sustainability. The annual awards program draws attention to DOE achievements that improve operations and save taxpayer money by reducing the department’s waste and its use of energy and water while improving the energy efficiency of government buildings and fleet management.
    EM’s waste disposition organization at SRS and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) worked with contractors Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP) and Canberra Industries to develop a new non-destructive radionuclide assay technique that resulted in more than $10.5 million in cost savings in transuranic waste processing operations.
    Now available to the entire DOE complex, the technique allowed the EM program at SRS to cut the amount of TRU waste requiring processing, repackaging, and transportation to EM’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for permanent disposal by 70 cubic meters.

  • NY police looking for 6 still missing

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police say they are trying to determine whether six other people reported missing are connected to the apparent gas explosion in the East Village.
    The six do not include the two people that police have already said remain unaccounted for after Thursday’s blast.
    Police officials said Friday that they don’t believe the six were inside the three buildings leveled by the explosion.
    Meanwhile, authorities are searching for restaurant worker Moises Lucon and diner Nicholas Figueroa after the blast. The building they were in was destroyed.
    Police Commissioner William Bratton says the search is “very complex.”
    At least 19 people were injured, four critically. Preliminary evidence suggests a gas explosion amid plumbing and gas work inside the building is to blame for the explosion.
    Restaurant diners ran out of their shoes and bystanders helped one another to escape the midafternoon blast, which damaged four buildings as flames shot into the air, witnesses said. Passers-by were hit by debris and flying glass, and bloodied victims were aided as they sat on sidewalks and lay on the ground, they said.

  • Councilor wants to enhance strategy

    Citing statistics from the 2014 Citizens Survey, Los Alamos County Councilor Susan O’Leary, offered recommendations for improving the county’s communication strategies.
    At Tuesday’s meeting, O’Leary pointed out that citizens’ views of county government rate lower than other measurements.
    “The county received extraordinarily high marks from citizens in almost every area surveyed,” O’Leary said, quoting statistics about 9 in 10 residents rating their quality of life either good or excellent and 87 percent rating overall quality of county services good or excellent.
    O’Leary contrasted that to ratings of 65 percent good or excellent for how the county communicates information, 54 percent for providing opportunities for citizen involvement in decision making, 52 percent for providing citizens the information needed to participate in county decisions, 51 percent for openness in the decision-making process and 46 percent for fairness in the decision making process.
    Fifty-six percent of residents found county government trustworthy, with just 12 percent considering it untrustworthy.

  • Drug offenders get probation

    Several suspects connected to a highly publicized drug sweep that took place in January were sentenced Wednesday in Los Alamos District Court.
    Though none of those sentenced received jail time — which was included in their sentence, but most were placed in custody and held for varying lengths of time when initially arrested — for the drug trafficking offenses they committed, each received lengthy probation sentences.
    Those appearing in district court were nabbed during the Los Alamos Police Department’s “Operation Genesis,” which netted nine suspects.
    Suspects sentenced in court Wednesday included Sarah Orr, Nicholas Hagermann and Brendon Brown.
    Hagermann, who was charged with trafficking in a controlled substance (a second degree felony), pled guilty in court. For pleading guilty, Hagermann gives up his right to a trial.
    In exchange, he will receive five years of supervised probation with drug court.
    Santa Fe resident Trevon Yates, 21, was also sentenced Wednesday in connection with an attempted heroin deal he tried to carry out in Los Alamos a few weeks after police concluded “Operation Genesis.” He received five years of supervised probation and drug court.