Today's News

  • Mortandad Canyon chromium plume may be wider than expected

    Chromium levels five times the acceptable state limit was detected in an injection well located in Mortandad Canyon at a chromium spill on Los Alamos National Laboratory property.

    The spill, located in the western part of the Pajarito Plateau in the eastern section of LANL property, has been monitored since its discovery in 2004. The injection well was supposed to mark the spill’s outermost boundary.

    Last year, David Rhodes, director for the office of quality and regulatory compliance at the Environmental Management Office in Los Alamos, described the plume as being circular, and about a half-mile in diameter, according to a 2016 Los Alamos Monitor article.

    Members of Nuclear Watch New Mexico discovered the chromium level numbers in a search of a public database maintained by LANL.

  • Ex-electrical engineer at Los Alamos gets prison in tax case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A former electrical engineer who worked at New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory for almost 30 years has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for filing false tax returns.

    Prosecutors say 62-year-old Darryl Gutierrez of Santa Fe also was ordered Tuesday to pay more than $174,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Gutierrez was indicted in November 2015 on one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws and 10 counts of making and subscribing false tax returns.

    A jury convicted him on all 11 counts in March 2017.

    Prosecutors say that between November 2010 and January 2011, Gutierrez filed 10 false federal income tax returns for tax years 2000 to 2009 seeking a refund when he owed the IRS about $125,000.

  • Powerful earthquake hits central Mexico, collapses buildings

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 55 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.

    Dozens of buildings collapsed into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. A column of smoke rose from a structure in one central neighborhood in the capital.

    Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City.

    At least 11 others died in Puebla state, according to Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the state's Interior Department.

    Gov. Alfredo del Mazo told the Televisa news network that two people died in the State of Mexico, which also borders the capital: a quarry worker who was killed when the quake unleashed a rockslide and another person who was hit by a falling lamppost.

    There were no immediate official reports of deaths in the capital, but journalists witnessed some people who had apparently died.

  • At UN, Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea


    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Donald Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if the nation's "Rocket man" leader does not abandon his drive toward nuclear weapons.

    Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd of world leaders on Tuesday that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said that Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life."

    "Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," said Trump, using a belittling nickname for the North Korean leader. He said of the U.S.: "If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

  • Giant antennas in New Mexico search for cosmic discoveries

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Employing an array of giant telescopes positioned in the New Mexico desert, astronomers have started a massive surveying project aimed at producing the most detailed view ever made of such a large portion of space using radio waves emitted from throughout the Milky Way and beyond.

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory announced the project this week, saying the Very Large Array will make three scans of the sky that's visible from the scrubland of the San Augustin Plains.  It is one of the best spots on the planet to scan space, with 80 percent of the Earth's sky visible from the location.

    The array works like a camera. But instead of collecting light waves to make images, the telescopes that look like big satellite dishes receive radio waves emitted by cosmic explosions and other interstellar phenomenon.

    Astronomers expect the images gathered by the array will allow them to detect in finer detail gamma ray bursts, supernovas and other cosmic events that visible-light telescopes cannot see due to dust present throughout the universe. For example, the array can peer through the thick clouds of dust and gas where stars are born.
    Scientists involved in the project say the results will provide valuable information for astrophysics researchers.

  • UNM-LA reports drop in enrollment

    Across the state, higher education enrollment has been declining and the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos did not buck that trend for fall 2017.

    At the advisory board meeting Monday evening, UNM-LA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Cindy Rooney presented the board members with the current enrollment numbers and how they compare to previous years.

    The total number of students, as of Sept. 9, was 937, which was a drop of 116 students from 2016, when UNM-LA had 1,053 students.

    Rooney reported that between 2012 and 2017, the campus had overall growth of 31 percent.

    As reported in the media, most higher education institutions had overall declines during that period.

    “We do have a decrease this fall, due to fewer students from other UNM campuses taking classes at UNM-LA,” Rooney said.

    However, UNM-LA continues to show enrollment growth in UNM-LA degree seeking students, non-degree students, and dual credit and concurrent enrollment students.

    Rooney went over the theories conjectured as to the enrollment decrease statewide, which include declining number of students graduating from high school, the deduction in lottery scholarships and the improving economy.

  • Senate backs bill to pump $700 billion into military

    By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday. The measure authorizes $700 billion in military spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea's growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed.
    The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but President Donald Trump hasn't threatened to veto the measure. The bill helps him honor a pledge to rebuild an American military that he said had become depleted on former President Barack Obama's watch.
    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other national security hawks have insisted the military branches are at risk of losing their edge in combat without a dramatic influx of money to repair shortfalls in training and equipment.

  • Farewell Cassini: Saturn spacecraft makes fiery, final dive

    AP Aerospace Writer

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in the skies above Saturn on Friday in a final, fateful blaze of cosmic glory, following a remarkable journey of 20 years.

    Confirmation of Cassini’s expected demise came about 7:55 a.m. EDT. That’s when radio signals from the spacecraft – its last scientific gifts to Earth – came to an abrupt halt. The radio waves went flat, and the spacecraft fell silent.

    Cassini actually burned up like a meteor 83 minutes earlier as it dove through Saturn’s atmosphere, becoming one with the giant gas planet it set out in 1997 to explore. But it took that long for the news to reach Earth a billion miles away.

    The only spacecraft to ever orbit Saturn, Cassini showed us the planet, its rings and moons up close in all their splendor. Perhaps most tantalizing, ocean worlds were unveiled on the moons Enceladus and Titan, which could possibly harbor life.

    Dutiful to the end, the Cassini snapped its last photos Thursday and sampled Saturn’s atmosphere Friday morning as it made its final plunge. It was over in a minute or two.

    Program manager Earl Maize made the official pronouncement:

  • Quilt show set for next weekend

    The Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild will host its biannual Quilt Show “Tomorrow’s Heirlooms” from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 22 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road.

    The Quilt Show alternates each September with the Quilt Market. Brenda Edeskuty is the Quiltinista (chair) for this year’s Show.

    The Los Alamos Piecemakers invite the public to come out and see handmade quilts of all types including wall hangings, table runners, bed quilts of various sizes and holiday decorations. There also will be wearable art, art quilts, hand-knit items, jewelry and other hand-crafted items.

    There will be a full slate of vendors including Atomic City Quilts from Los Alamos, Santa Fe Quilting, Bob’s Sewing and Vacuum, Ryan’s Sewing and Vacuum, Sewing Center of Santa Fe, Thread Bear from Las Vegas, Jemez Bear Paw Quilt Guild, Jeanne Robinson, LAP Cluster Material Girls, and Nicole Dunn/Micki Taylor.

    There will also be a Silent Auction with handmade items for sale at the show. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m. Saturday.

  • Local man arrested for DWI

    Los Alamos resident Kent Pegg, 53, was arrested on Sept. 7 for driving while intoxicated after multiple attempts of denying being intoxicated to the police officer.

    Around 9:30 a.m., Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Monica Salazar-Casias was dispatched to 771 Central Ave. in reference to a subject who was possibly intoxicated in his vehicle.

    The reporting party described the vehicle as a green Jeep and when Salazar-Casias came upon the vehicle, she reported she could see a man, later identified as Pegg, sitting behind the wheel and appeared to be asleep, as his head was drooping forward and his chin was touching his chest.

    “I asked him what was going on, and he said he was going to work at the Los Alamos Fitness center,” stated Salazar-Casias in her incident report.

    Pegg denied having any alcohol in his system, but drank two and a half shots of vodka the night before, according to the report.

    Pegg reportedly had difficulty pulling out his wallet and ID. Salazar-Casias also noticed that Pegg had watery, red eyes and could smell alcohol on his person, so she conducted a Standardized Field Sobriety Test.