Today's News

  • County OK’s home buyer program

    Los Alamos County Council took the final steps Tuesday night in implementing the county’s affordable housing program.
    The council voted unanimously to approve a set of policies and procedures for the Homebuyer Assistance Program.

    The approval paves the way for The Los Alamos Housing Partnership to officially start the program immediately.
    The council initially approved the program in July, on the condition council review the program’s policies and procedures for approval in September.

    Councilor James Chrobocinski liked the thoroughness the Los Alamos Community Development Department and the housing partnership integrated into the set of rules and regulations governing the program.

    “The Los Alamos Housing Partnership has a strong track record of being a very positive partner with the county and addressing affordable housing issues and rehabilitation,” Chrobocinski said. “I’m very happy they produced a very thorough set of policies and procedures that should help us move forward in achieving our council goals.

  • Residents, county eye bump in tourism

    Residents and county tourism officials met Wednesday at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos to discuss ways to deal with what officials say is a recent bump of tourism.

    More than 100 Los Alamos County residents showed up to the meeting at the student center to give their take on how Los Alamos should capitalize on the new increase in tourists.

    Since the addition of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, tourism has increased in Los Alamos County, according to a marketing firm hired by the county.

    The Denver-based marketing firm says the recent additions of the Manhattan National Historical Park and the Valles Caldera to the national parks system, tourism has caused an increase of 6 percent in the last decade and a lodgers’ tax revenue increase of 13 percent. This was cited on the company’s website. 

    “Things have changed for us, we’ve been discovered,” Los Alamos County’s tourism work group chair Susan O’Leary said. 

    With the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park attracting more visitors to Los Alamos, the county hired a marketing firm, Design Workshop, out of Denver, Colorado, to develop strategies on how to capitalize on the new tourism boom.

  • Girl's soccer gets back in win column

    The hot start to the season continued for the Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team Tuesday evening as they defeated Taos High School 10-4 at Sullivan Field.

    The Hilltoppers entered the game looking to get back in the win column, following their double overtime loss to St. Michael’s High School on the road Aug. 31.

    In the early going, it appeared LAHS might be in a bit of trouble, as Taos took a 1-0 lead just nine minutes into the game. Hilltopper goalkeeper Ashley Atencio misplayed a shot taken by Taos striker Cora Cannedy and watched it sneak into the back of the net.

    The Hilltoppers responded quickly and aggressively, however. Alissia Haagenstaad tied the score in the 15th minute, and Alyssa Parker gave them the lead six minutes later.

    Head coach Ann Cernicek was impressed by the response, and feels it bodes well for them moving forward.

    “That is so mental,” Cernicek said. “They don’t let that kind of stuff get them down. They know they can score. They know they can get back down the field and they know our game plan. So I was glad to see that response.”

    Cernicek added that she feels the best kinds of teams are the ones who show an ability to come back when they go down, and don’t let the score change the way they play the game.

  • Boy's soccer cruises past Taos

    The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team got back in the win column Tuesday afternoon, defeating Taos High School 4-0 at Sullivan Field.

    There were many question marks heading into the contest, as the Hilltoppers are without their top two goalkeepers, sophomore Jacob Majors and freshman Jaxson Martines, due to injuries.

    Majors broke a finger in last week’s loss against St. Pius that is expected to be the end of his season, while Martines is dealing with a dislocated finger that should allow him to return to the field in a few days.

    In their absence, the team is using defensemen Alex Bullock and Cid Rice in goal, a position they both just started learning last week.

    Bullock said that although it is a big adjustment for both of them, they are picking it up quickly.

    “When you’re getting ready for goalkeeper, it’s just a lot of repetition,” Bullock said. “Cid and I have only been playing goal for about a week, so it’s all about getting that muscle memory down and making sure we make a good decision.”

    Rice started the game in goal for the Hilltoppers, but was not forced to play an active role as LAHS controlled the possession and consistently kept the ball on the other end of the field. Rice did not face a shot on goal in the first 40 minutes.

  • LAHS scores high on ACT

    The Los Alamos High School graduating class of 2017 received their test scores from the ACT (American College Testing) they took last school year.

    Based on the report, LAHS had higher scores than in the past five years, and higher than the state as a whole.

    More specifically, LAHS students scored over 30 percent better in every category than the rest of New Mexico, the greatest difference being 38 percent in math and science.

    Since the ACT exam is designed as a way of predicting student success in college, the high scores indicate that a larger percentage of Los Alamos graduates are likely to succeed in college, according to Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

    “I was pleased to see that over a five-year period, the Los Alamos school is on a path of doing better and better,” said Steinhaus, in reaction to the newly released scores.

    The ACT is a set of curriculum-based tests to measure educational development in English, mathematics, reading, and science, and is used to measure how prepared a student is for the first year of college coursework.

    Each year, ACT provides an analysis of high school graduates college and career readiness.

  • DOE: Half of legacy waste cleanup incomplete

    The Department of Energy released an update Tuesday on how toxic waste legacy cleanup is progressing at 14 sites, including Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    According to the DOE, legacy waste, which is toxic waste generated before 1999, is the Office of Environmental Management’s responsibility.

    The DOE had identified 2,100 cleanup sites at the lab’s 40 square mile property. Only 10 percent of the sites remain to be investigated. Half of the legacy cleanup is complete, according to the report.

    That includes waste sites in Los Alamos Canyon.

    “Earlier this summer, two contaminated sites, the final legacy sites to be cleaned up along Los Alamos Canyon, were cleaned up on DOE property in what was the laboratory’s original footprint,” said Los Alamos EM Public Affairs Specialist Steven Horak. “The contaminated soil was primarily associated with legacy outfalls and surface disposal from the Manhattan Project and early Cold War research and site management activities.”

  • Hurricane Irma likely to be far worse than monster Andrew

    BY SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For an entire generation in South Florida, Hurricane Andrew was the monster storm that reshaped a region. Irma is likely to blow that out of the water.

    Bigger and with a 90-degree different path of potential destruction, Irma is forecast to hit lots more people and buildings than 1992's Andrew, said experts, including veterans of Andrew. At the time Andrew was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history with damages of $26.5 billion in 1992 dollars (about $50 billion in current dollars), according to the National Weather Service.

    "The effect of Irma on the state of Florida is going to be much greater than Andrew's effect," said Weather Channel senior hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross, who was a local television meteorologist hailed as a hero during Andrew.  "We're dealing with an entirely different level of phenomenon. There is no storm to compare with this. Unless you go way back to 1926."

    Kate Hale, Miami-Dade's emergency management chief — who grabbed national attention during Andrew by beseeching "where the hell is the cavalry on this one?" — said by nearly every measure Irma looks far worse.

  • Watchdog agency: US nuclear dump running out of room

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A government watchdog agency says the only underground nuclear waste repository in the United States doesn't have enough space for radioactive debris left over from decades of bomb-making and research, much less tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium.

    A Senate committee requested the review from the U.S. Government Accountability Office amid concerns about ballooning costs and significant delays related to a 20-year-old pledge the U.S. made with Russia to dispose of extra plutonium from its stockpiles.

    The agency found that officials with the U.S. Energy Department haven't analyzed or planned for expanding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico and that regulatory approval for doing so would take years.

    The findings and recommendations from the Government Accountability Office were released this week following a lengthy review of documents and interviews.

  • USS New Mexico arrives for maintenance, upgrades


  • Hilltoppers fall to Moriarty in rout

    Coming into Friday’s home opener, the Los Alamos High School varsity football team was riding high, winning their opener 37-0 over Pojoaque High School and showing flashes of brilliance on offense and defense.

    When Moriarty High School came onto Sullivan Field, they made sure those feelings wouldn’t last long after the opening kickoff, picking apart the Hilltopper defense and wreaking havoc on the offense en route to a 46-0 blowout.

    The game was delayed by over an hour at the start because of heavy rain and lightning in the area, which caused the players on both teams to clear the field twice during warm-ups.

    When the game was finally able to get underway, Moriarty wasted no time picking apart the LAHS defense. They gained yardage in large chunks on their first drive to get inside the 20-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs after an ill-timed illegal block in the back penalty, giving the Hilltoppers the ball and reason to believe they could stop Moriarty.

    That feeling didn’t last long, however, as Hilltopper running back Jack Stewart fumbled the ball on their second play of the game, giving possession right back to Moriarty.

    The Pintos were able to take advantage, scoring a touchdown on a run to the left side just three plays later.