Today's News

  • June’s heat above average

    June was abnormally warm in the Los Alamos area, including a heat wave that occurred near Father’s Day, according to weather specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The heat wave was a result of a strong upper-level ridge of high-pressure located over the southwest states.
    From June 18-20,daily maximum temperature records were tied or broken, reported David Bruggeman, meteorologist with LANL’s Environmental Protection and Compliance Division.
    Since officials started keeping records in 1910, the recorded maximum temperature in Los Alamos was 95.2 degrees. On June 19, the temperature reached 95.5 degrees. The maximum temperature record in White Rock (since 1964) was tied on June 19 at 100.8 degrees.
    The minimum temperature measured in Los Alamos was above average each night, except for one night at the beginning of the month.
    The mean minimum temperature was 57.1 degrees (6.8 degrees above average), the warmest mean minimum temperatures in June since 1956.
    The National Weather Service defines the monsoon season from June 15 to Sept. 30. The trend of below-average precipitation continued through June.

  • Customers could see 10% water rate hike

    Los Alamos residents could soon be paying more for water.
    On June 15, Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities Staff presented a draft water rate ordinance to the Board of Public Utilities which calls for a 10-percent across-the-board increase in water rates.
    Under the proposed ordinance, service charges for households with 1-1/4 inch meters would go from $7.93 to $8.72 per month, and 1-1/2-inch meters rates would increase from $25.12 to $27.63.
    Commodity charge increases will vary based on the season and the amount of water used. Those using 9,000−15,000 gallons would see an increase from $4.45 per 1,000 gallons to $4.90 during peak season and from $4.19 to $4.61 in the off-season. Those using under 9,000 gallons will pay $4.61 (up from $4.19) in both peak and non-peak seasons.
    According to the staff report, cool weather and moderate rainfall has “created a trend toward reduced water sales.”
    The department has traditionally budgeted for a 1.5-percent increase in sales every year. The FY2016 projection was for 850,000 kilogallons (kgal). That has been projected downward to 704,000 kgal. Reduced sales have left the utility’s cash balance $845,000 lower than projected.
    As revenues drop, costs for operating and maintaining a complex water production and delivery system continue to increase.

  • Judge says ethics violations relevant to criminal charges

    SANTA FE (AP) — A New Mexico district court judge says some prior admissions to violations of Senate ethics rules and the state constitution by a disgraced former senator can be used to determine whether the lawmaker should stand trial on criminal charges.

    State District Judge Brett Loveless on Thursday denied a request to exclude a March 2015 agreement between a Senate ethics subcommittee and former Sen. Phil Griego, signed as he resigned from office. In the document Griego acknowledges violating a constitutional prohibition on benefiting from a state contract.

    The New Mexico attorney general's office alleges Griego used his role as a senator to profit from the sale of a state owned building.

    Defense attorney Thomas Clark says the ethics violations have no bearing on criminal accusations against Griego of fraud and bribery.

  • Today in history July 7
  • Annual ACI draws a crowd

    Los Alamos’ premier Fourth of July golf tournament lived up to the billing this past weekend at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course.
    The Annual Atomic City Invitational was filled some of the areas most talented and golf-crazed players. This year’s ACI included a closest to the pins, chipping, putting, long drive and smoking gun competitions.
    The men’s long drive winner was Jason Norman, while Mick Irving claimed the senior and Margot Liberty won the women’s long drive. Larry Rich won the chipping contest, while Bruce Norman finished first in the putting contest. Curtis Norman won the smoking gun contest.
    The invitational also included 13 flights that golfers played in a span of four days.
    Eric Trujillo won the Men Championship flight. Doug Cramer finished first in the Seniors Championship flight.
    Cale Jones was first in the First Men flight, while Phil Pendorf won the First Seniors flight. The Second Men flight was claimed by Brett Kniss and Brodie Anderson won the Senior White Tee Championship flight. Eddie Sanchez claimed the Championship Super Senior flight and Lance Lackas won the Third Men flight. Jason Cox won the Fourth Men flight, while Larry Hults won the First Super Senior flight.
    Chanet Fiorina won the Ladies Championship flight, while Anna Swertfeger won the First Ladies flight.

  • New Mexico announces more ‘record-breaking’ tourism

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico saw record-breaking tourism for the fourth year in a row and created more than 2,500 related tourism jobs last year, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday.
    The governor and state tourism officials said 700,000 more trips were taken in New Mexico last year, bringing the total number of visitors to 33.4 million.
    Those numbers, based on survey data from research firm Longwoods International, point to a steady increase of travel to New Mexico since Martinez took office in 2011.
    “New Mexico True allows us to showcase adventures all around the Land of Enchantment that truly feed the soul like no other state is able to do,” Martinez said. “As a result, we’re breaking tourism records and sharing our unique culture, scenic vistas, unrivaled ski slopes and, of course, our green chile.”
    Last year, Martinez said half a million more people visited New Mexico in 2014 than in 2013 and credited the state’s New Mexico True campaign. That campaign has featured the state’s famous outdoor locations and New Mexico celebrities, such as mixed-martial arts fighter Carlos Condit.
    New Mexico True advertisements have been spotted in airports around the country, including at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

  • No charges for Clinton, FBI says – despite biting criticism

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI lifted a major legal threat to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign Tuesday, recommending no criminal charges for her handling of highly classified material in a private email account. But Director James Comey’s scathing criticism of her “extremely careless” behavior revitalized Republican attacks and guaranteed the issue will continue to dog her.
    Comey’s announcement effectively removed any possibility of criminal prosecution arising from Clinton’s email practices as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she intended to accept the recommendations of the FBI and of career prosecutors.
    But the FBI director’s blistering televised statement excoriated her handling of national secrets, contradicted her past explanations about her emails and ensured she will remain on the defensive about voters’ views of her trustworthiness and judgment.
    GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said the statement provided more evidence against “Crooked Hillary” and showed anew that “the system is rigged.” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said the decision not to prosecute simply defied explanation.

  • Sheehey focuses on future growth

    Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series profiling candidates running for local and state offices.

    Los Alamos County Councilor Pete Sheehey’s goal in running for reelection in November is helping the county prepare for a spate of hiring at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and increased tourism sparked by the area’s new national parks.
    A high priority for Sheehey is creating housing for the estimated 2,000 vacancies LANL will be filling in the next five years. Although it is unlikely all those new hires will choose to live in Los Alamos, Sheehey believes the town could grow by 2,000 people in the next few years.
    Although he sees a need for a range of housing options, Sheehey believes the focus should be on affordable housing for new families and seniors.
    “We need to get this done sooner rather than later, because if people are moving in and they take a job here, can’t find anything acceptable and buy a place in Santa Fe or wherever, then we’ve lost that chance,” Sheehey said. “So the sooner we have nice places available, and just a better set of choices for people, the better this town can be.”

  • Police Beat 7-6-16

    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, served a court summons, or issued a citation.


    June 28

    9:04 a.m. — Michelle Frye, 28, of Los Alamos  was arrested on a charge of vaccination of dogs and cats required at the Los Alamos police station.


    10:00 a.m. — Cherry Lucero, 35, of Santa Cruz was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant. The original charge was shoplifting (less than $100) at Trinity Drive on June 22, 2015.


    11:47 a.m. — Miguel Perez, 21, of Espanola was arrested for larceny (less than $250) at the Los Alamos police station.


    11:50 a.m. — Juan Maldonado-Ranjel, 21 of Espanola was arrested on a charge of larceny (less than $250) at the Los Alamos police station.


  • Locals take on YMCA Fun Run

    Hundreds of Los Alamos and out-of-town runners competed in this year’s Los Alamos YMCA Firecracker Run on Monday.
    The 5K included 28 different categories.
    In the men’s nine-and- under category, Tor Leitner of Santa Fe finished first with a 28:15.3.
    Rafael Sanchez of Los Alamos won the men’s 10-13 with a 19:06.9.
    With a time of 20:22.0, Matias Fernandez of Velvarde won the men’s 14-17.
    James Aslam of Los Alamos finished with a 26:10.5 to win the men’s 18-22.
    In the men’s 23-29, Devin Kimball of Colorado Springs, Colorado finished first with the best overall time of 18:04.6.
    Philip Graybill of Los Alamos won the men’s 30-34 by finishing with a 21:54.3.
    A time of 32:42.1 gave Brandon Lattimore first place in the men’s 35-39.
    Stephan Sintay of Los Alamos ran a 21:01.4 to win the men’s 40-44.
    In the men’s 45-49, David Jackson of Santa Fe won by running a 24:02.7.
    Greg Gonzales of Los Alamos won the men’s 50-54 with a 26:54.3.
    Los Alamos native Danny Sorenson won the men’s 55-59 after running a 27:06.3.
    In the men’s 60-64, Mark Bjorklund of Los Alamos won with a 21:37.5.
    Paul Graham of Los Alamos won the men’s 65-69 after running a 26:07.7.