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Today's News

  • Leonard commits to Western

    Wednesday was national signing day and many of the top high school athletes from across the country committed to the universities where they’ll compete at the next level.
    Los Alamos had several athletes commit to colleges during the early signing period. Ashlynn Trujillo (New Mexico Highlands University, basketball), Brianna Montaño (New Mexico Highlands, volleyball), Sarah Lott (University of Utah, swimming), Lane Saunders (Eastern New Mexico University, baseball) and Connor Mang (University of New Mexico, baseball) all signed early.
    Like them, Charlotte Leonard had already made up her mind that she would be attending Western State Colorado University after graduating from Los Alamos.
    On Wednesday, however, Leonard made it official. The mid-fielder signed her letter of intent to play soccer for the Mountaineers next year.
    “She’s a coach’s dream,” Los Alamos head girls’ soccer coach Gary Ahlers said. “She’s a high-energy player and will attempt to do anything you ask her.”
    Leonard, who also plays club soccer Albuquerque’s Rush ’98 Nero, said Western’s coach, Jeremy Clevenger, first contacted her when she was a freshman.
    He wanted to see her play, so Leonard and teammate Emily Hopkins attended Western’s summer camp.

  • Pajarito reopening Townsight after rat attack

    Last Saturday, the crew at Pajarito Mountain went over to the Townsight lift and tried to fire the lift up for the weekend. There was a problem, however, and the lift didn’t move.
    “That baby wouldn’t go,” Pajarito’s General Manager Tom Long said.
    After some trouble shooting, Pajarito’s crew found out was wrong with the lift — a pack rat had climbed up the top tower and chewed up all of the safety wires.
    “We had to totally re-wire the tower,” Long said.
    He said they finished rewiring it last Sunday and it will be spinning this weekend. They also got the problem rat out of the tower.
    “The lift is all set to go and we’ll run it Saturday and Sunday,” Long said.
    In roughly the last decade, Long said that this is the third incident of a pack rat climbing a tower and chewing up the wires. Additionally, the rats carry leaves and sticks up and make nests in the towers.
    When the Townsight lift reopens this weekend, however, people won’t be thinking about rats.
    They’ll be thinking about the 10 inches of new snow that’s just been sitting there.
    A storm hung around on the ski area Sunday night through Tuesday, when the ski area was closed. When it reopened Wednesday, a line of people was waiting for first tracks.

  • LA boys lose nail biter against Del Norte

    The Los Alamos boys’ basketball team nearly knocked off Del Norte Wednesday night. In the end, however, the Knights were two points ahead of the ’Toppers, and won the game 67-65.
    Del Norte jumped out to a 21-12 lead in the first quarter, but Los Alamos fought back and won the next two quarters. The ’Toppers outscored the Knights 17-14 in the second and 22-15 in the third to take a 51-50 lead into the fourth.
    Los Alamos couldn’t sustain the lead, though.
    The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Los Alamos. The Hilltoppers moved to 8-14 overall and 1-3 in District 2-5A after Wednesday’s defeat.
    Del Norte improved to 9-11, 2-2.
    Also on Wednesday, Bernalillo beat Española Valley 47-45.
    Bernalillo also beat Capital while Los Alamos and Del Norte both defeated Bernalillo.
    After one round of district games, Capital remains in first place with a 19-3, 3-1 record. Bernalillo, Española Valley and Del Norte are all 2-2 in the district.
    With as much parity as there is in the district, however, Los Alamos could easily move up in the final standings.
    Los Alamos’ next game is Saturday. The ’Toppers will host Capital at 7 p.m.
     

  • Measure supports storing spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are considering a pair of nonbinding measures that would signal support for the development of a temporary storage facility to house spent nuclear fuel that has been piling up at reactors around the nation.

    The Senate Conservation Committee approved one of the memorials on a 6-3 vote during Thursday's meeting. The other is awaiting consideration by the full House.

    Neither holds any legal weight, but supporters said Thursday that an endorsement from the state Legislature would help in what is likely to be a competitive process as the federal government weighs proposals for what to do with thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel.

    "The bottom line is we think this is a great project for our part of the state," said John Heaton, a former state lawmaker and chairman of the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, a consortium of city and county governments that has partnered with an international firm in the race to build an interim storage facility.

    "As most of you who live in rural communities know, it's tough out there and we have to make our own way," Heaton told the committee.

    The project would result in about 150 jobs and capital investment of more than $1 billion, he said.

  • Today in history Feb. 4
  • LA girls move into three-way tie for first

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team completed its first round of District 2-5A games Tuesday, beating Del Norte 45-30.
    Del Norte had previously beaten Española Valley, the team that gave Los Alamos its lone district loss. Now all three of those squads share the lead in the district standings.
    "It was huge," Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. "Now we have a three-way tie and it's whoever wants it. There's a lot of parity between those three teams."
    The game was a low-scoring, defensive battle. Both teams utilized a full-court press and traps throughout the game.
    "To hold a team like Del Norte to 30 (points), that's phenomenal," coach Trujillo said.
    See Friday's Los Alamos Monitor for the complete story.

  • Scientists in Germany switch on nuclear fusion experiment

    GREIFSWALD, Germany (AP) — Scientists in Germany flipped the switch Wednesday on an experiment they hope will advance the quest for nuclear fusion, considered a clean and safe form of nuclear power.

    Following nine years of construction and testing, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald injected a tiny amount of hydrogen into a doughnut-shaped device — then zapped it with the equivalent of 6,000 microwave ovens.

    The resulting super-hot gas, known as plasma, lasted just a fraction of a second before cooling down again, long enough for scientists to confidently declare the start of their experiment a success.

    "Everything went well today," said Robert Wolf, a senior scientist involved with the project. "With a system as complex as this you have to make sure everything works perfectly and there's always a risk."

    Among the difficulties is how to cool the complex arrangement of magnets required to keep the plasma floating inside the device, Wolf said. Scientists looked closely at the hiccups experienced during the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland more than five years ago to avoid similar mistakes, he said.

  • New Mexico Senate panel approves REAL ID compromise

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A key New Mexico Senate committee passed a measure Tuesday that lawmakers called a workable compromise aimed at making the state compliant under federal regulations for identification.

    After nearly a four-hour meeting where various proposals were presented, the Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 8-1 to combine a bipartisan bill with a recently passed version out of the Republican-controlled House as pressure mounted to pass a fix that meets the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.

    The combined bill would allow all New Mexico residents to apply for REAL ID-compliant licenses or obtain a "driver's authorization card."

    Under the proposal, immigrants in the country illegally would be allowed to apply for the permit card but could no longer get a New Mexico driver's license.

    Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said the move was needed to get a compromise out of the full Senate and get it back in the House in time before the 30-day Legislative session ends in less than three weeks.

    "The citizens of New Mexico are ready for us to act," said Ingle, who co-sponsored a bipartisan bill similar to the one the committee passed. "It gets us to a point."

  • Candidates vie for secretary of state post after scandal

    SANTA FE (AP) — The fall election for New Mexico secretary of state will pit Democratic Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver against Republican state Rep. Nora Espinoza of Roswell in the wake of a scandal that landed the state election agency's former chief in jail.

    A primary registration deadline passed Tuesday with no other major party contenders for secretary of the state. Aspiring candidates also filed declarations ahead of June 7 primaries to run for two high court vacancies and three U.S. congressional seats.

    Toulouse Oliver ran for secretary of state in 2014 and was defeated by Republican incumbent Dianna Duran. She supports changes designed to boost voter registration and increase campaign finance disclosures and auditing.

    Espinoza is a strong supporter of photo ID requirements for voters, and her candidacy could inject broader social issues into the election season. The five-term state representative is sponsoring legislation during the current session that would allow business owners to refuse service to customers whose sexual orientation goes against the religious beliefs of the owner.

  • Show your love for youth in February

    WOW – February and the month known for love.
    This month, I am asking you to show your love for youth with a fun fundraising idea for our local non-profit 501-C-3, Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA). C’YA became official after writing the 100 Best Communities for Young People grant for Los Alamos with our official non-profit status recognition in June of 2014.
    I had an idea based on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but cheaper, easier and a whole lot sweeter.
    The idea is for you to bake a plate of cookies for anyone or donate $5 to Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA). We have an account with Los Alamos National Bank or donations can be sent to 77 Isleta Drive in Los Alamos.
    We plan to use the funds specifically to recognize youth in a small but meaningful way throughout the year. The idea gained a hold after no youth were recognized for the 2015 Community Asset Awards, the seventh year we will host the awards.
    We plan to do the Cookie Plate Challenge throughout February and then launch a youth winner in March, and follow that with a monthly recognition all year long. We plan to do it throughout the year and still include youth in the Community Asset Awards done at this time each year.