Today's News

  • A new beginning

    Students of all ages walked, biked, bussed or drove to their respective school Thursday morning for the first day back to school.

    While some may have dragged their feet a bit as they approached the building, others practically skipped inside.
    Regardless of the enthusiasm level, the beginning of a new school year is always full of promise: new classes, new teachers and maybe even new friends.

    Another school year means another chance to excel as a student and grow as a person.

    Some students look forward to diving into a challenging new course, while for others the excitement comes from diving into a swimming pool. The possibilities are endless.

    The first day back is not only exciting for the students, but also for the teachers and staff. When asked what she likes about the first day of school, Mountain Elementary School Principal Jennifer Guy said, “The kids’ excitement and enthusiasm, the teachers are excited, and just the energy in the air. It’s really great.”

    Guy also commented on the state of the returning kids, saying, “Some are nervous, some are excited…but I think the parents are more nervous than the kids.”

  • Senate candidate makes stop in LA

    In his bid to unseat Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in the 2018 senatorial race, businessman Mick Rich is taking his fight straight to the middle class.

    When he talks healthcare, border security, the economy or any other topic, Rich tends to keep his focus on the New Mexicans in the middle. 

    Nowhere is this more clear than when he talks about utility rates.

    “Right now, here’s where we are at on this. They’re looking at subsidizing large customers to move here and subsidize their electrical rates. And the people at the bottom, they’re getting their rates subsidized by different programs to help the disadvantaged. So, who pays full freight? The average, hard working New Mexican.” Rich said. “Right now, we have a system that’s unfair. What we need to do is consider that we have fair utility rates for everybody, not just for the people at the top and the bottom.”

    He does admit, however, that he’s facing an uphill battle when it comes to helping the middle class. Part of the problem, Rich says, is that Heinrich and other members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation haven’t done enough to defend New Mexico’s economic interests, especially when it comes to military project.

  • Low contract fee could spell trouble for northern New Mexico, advisor warns

    An advisor to the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities expressed concern about a one percent performance fee in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s draft request proposal for the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management and operations contract. The one percent fee is two percentage points lower than what the current contract is now.

    “...The other big concern is that they set the fee base so low,” John Jekowsky told the board Aug. 11.

    The first point Jekowsky made is that the low fee may not be enough to attract the right type of company or organization that could run a nuclear laboratory effectively. He also doubted that even if the NNSA reestablished the three percent performance fee that is in the current contract the NNSA has with Los Alamos National Security LLC, it still might not be enough to attract the best and the brightest.

  • Male arrested for shoplifting entire outfit

    Jacob Romero, a 32-year old from Alcalde, was arrested on Aug. 11 at Smith’s Marketplace for shoplifting, and after being searched, was also charged with drug possession, concealing his identity and an outstanding warrant.

    Around noon that Friday, Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. L. Gallegos was dispatched to Smith’s in reference to a shoplifting incident and was met by the store manager, who informed Gallegos that a man wearing black pants had tried on a pair of pants, shoes and a shirt in the changing room inside the store.

    The male then left all points of sale without attempting to pay for the items.

    A store employee informed Gallegos that the suspect was inside the store and possibly wearing the shoes he stole.

    “I watched a bald male in a striped shirt and black pants walk through the front of the store,” said Gallegos in his police report. The suspect complied when Gallegos asked him to step inside.

    The man identified himself as Christopher Romero and gave a date of birth that came back valid with no warrants. Romero said that he purchased the shoes from Shoe Depot in Española.

  • Tennessee site marks milestone with shipment to US nuke dump

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A processing center for radioactive waste in Tennessee has made its first shipment in five years to the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository, marking another milestone as the U.S. gets its multibillion-dollar cleanup program back on track.

    Cleanup of contaminated tools and other debris from decades of nuclear research and bomb-making at sites around the nation was sidelined in 2014 when a radiation release forced the closure of the southern New Mexico repository.

    Shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant resumed in April following an expensive recovery effort and a major policy overhaul. Officials said that the initial pace would be slow and methodical.

    Repository officials confirmed Friday they are now receiving between three and four shipments a week, most of them coming from the Idaho National Laboratory.

  • Organizers set dates for annual Gathering of Nations powwow

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Organizers of one of North America's most prominent American Indian powwows say they're already gearing up for next year's event.

    They are kicking off their promotional campaign for the 2018 Gathering of Nations today with the release of the event's official poster.

    The 35th annual event takes place April 26-28 at the state fairgrounds in Albuquerque. The Miss Indian World Talent Competition will be held downtown at the city's convention center.

    New for next year will be a parade featuring Native American riders in full regalia. Organizers say the parade is meant to recognize the importance that the horse culture holds for some tribes.

    The gathering usually draws tens of thousands of people, including dancers, singers and drummers representing tribes from across the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

  • Strategist Steve Bannon leaves White House

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon, a forceful but divisive presence in President Donald Trump's White House, is leaving.

    Trump accepted Bannon's resignation on Friday, ending a turbulent seven months for his chief strategist, the latest to depart from the president's administration in turmoil.

    White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday would be Bannon's last day on the job.

    "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," she said in a statement confirming reports of Bannon's departure.

    A combative and unorthodox Republican, Bannon was a key adviser in Trump's general election campaign, but he has been a contentious presence in a White House divided by warring staff loyalties.

    The former leader of conservative Breitbart News has pushed Trump to follow through on his campaign promises and was the man behind many of his most controversial efforts, including Trump's travel ban and decision to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement.

    But Bannon repeatedly clashed with other top White House advisers and often ran afoul of the president himself.

    Bannon offered his resignation to Trump on Aug. 7, according to one person close to the adviser.

  • Thrills, competition mark this year’s LA County Rodeo

    There’s something about rodeo on a summer afternoon.

    “We’re from a small town, we’ve always been to rodeos, so we wanted to bring the kids here to experience it,” said one mother.

    Their favorite event was the third event on Saturday, the “Muttin Bustin’ competition. This was where kids six years and younger rush into Brewer Field and try to ride a sheep. Mom approved, though her children did not participate. “They came for the Muttin Bustin’ that’s what the kids came for. Maybe they will be in it next year, if we can talk them into it,” she said.

    Another child, Makiah, 4, tried it, but might not be back to ride the sheep. “It was really scary,” she said.

    Makiah was there with her 2 1/2-month-old brother, Levi and her parents, Saree and David.

    This year’s rodeo held many other “firsts” for others. 

    The Los Alamos County Rodeo was the first one Tammy and Arlin Lepp managed by themselves. The couple bought the business last year, and this was the first year putting the rodeo on by themselves, along with a staff that included their grown children, Kalob, 25, and Katie, 21.

  • Santa Fe to review role in events that celebrate history

    SANTA FE (AP) — Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales wants the city to review its involvement in events that celebrate or recognize historic events and people.

    His request for the city manager to compile a report follows a rally against racism that prompted hundreds of people to gather on Santa Fe's historic plaza in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    The review will include the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe , in which northern New Mexico's Hispanic residents mark the reoccupation of the city by Spanish conquistador Don Diego De Vargas following a Native American revolt. The fiesta has been carried on for more than 300 years.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that long-running summer art markets and the annual burning of Zozobra will also be reviewed.

  • Lab worker released after accident

    The power briefly went out in Tech Area 35 Thursday when an electrical worker working on installing a fire alarm in one of the area’s buildings cut into a conduit inside one of the buildings. No one was injured, but the worker was sent to an area hospital for evaluation.

    Questions about the incident sent to the National Nuclear Security Administration were referred back to the management at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “No electric shock. No injury. As a precaution only, one subcontractor employee was taken to LAMC and evaluated with no medical attention needed,” LANL Spokesman Kevin Roark said.

    “The worker was not hurt or shocked”, said George Isaacs, the president of Pueblo Electric, the company that employed the subcontractor. As of Tuesday, the worker was not yet approved to return to work.

    According to Isaacs, the worker cut into a three quarter inch, 20 amp circuit.

    “It was the same size circuit you’d plug in your hair dryer or vacuum to at home,” Isaacs said.
    The accident tripped the circuit breaker, which cut the power to the building. Isaacs said all safety procedures were otherwise followed.