Today's News

  • Judge sets stage for county sheriff decision

    A First District Court judge in Santa Fe declined to grant  Los Alamos County Council its request for a temporary restraining order Tuesday that would have prevented County Sheriff Marco Lucero from carrying out his duties. 

    The county filed its request for the temporary restraining order in October in response to Lucero’s lawsuit that asked the court to have the county restore the funds the County Council transferred to the Los Alamos Police Department. 

    The funds effectively shut down the sheriff’s office. As a result, Lucero was forced to let his deputies and administrative staff go.

    The County Council found that the sheriff’s office was an unnecessary duplication of law enforcement activities. 

    Judge Francis Mathew’s decision Tuesday set the stage for a hearing in May on the issue. 

  • History on Tap set for Monday at UnQuarked

    Join the Los Alamos History Museum for History on Tap Monday to learn about the FERMIAC.

    History on Tap, part of the On Tap series presented by the Los Alamos Creative District, is 5:30 p.m. Monday at UnQuarked, 145 Central Park Square.

    Join the Los Alamos Historical Society for an engaging discussion over food and drinks with Dr. Todd Urbatsch about the FERMIAC. Urbatsch will be demonstrating LANL’s museum-quality replica of this analog computer. Enrico Fermi and L.D.P. King created the FERMIAC in 1947 to study the paths of neutrons using the Monte Carlo method.

    More information about History on Tap and other Historical Society programs and events can be found at losalamoshistory.org and by following the Los Alamos History Museum on Facebook.

  • Los Alamos County Little League registration now open

    Registration is now open for Little League Baseball and Softball.

    Sign-ups will run through March 9.

    Early registration is encouraged to make sure enough uniforms and equipment are ordered for the upcoming season.
    To register, visit lalittleleague.org.

    The cost of registration is $75 for the season with a $10 discount for additional siblings. Continuing with a very successful program in 2017, any child who will play in the little league for the first time will be admitted to the league for free, to encourage participation in baseball and softball.

    Need-based scholarships are also available. More information can be found on the Los Alamos County Little League website.

    All ages and levels of play are welcome.

    T-ball teams are co-ed and all girls, ages 4-7. Minor leagues are ages 7-11. Major Leagues are ages 9-12. Girl’s softball teams are up to age 16.

    Baseball try-outs will be March 17, March 21 and (tentatively) March 22.

    The season start dates are: April 28 for opening season; practices start the week after Spring Break; games start the second or third week of April (weather dependent).

  • LAPS open enrollment gets easier

    The process of enrolling students in Los Alamos Public Schools for 2018-19 just got a lot more convenient.

    The district is making changes to the way it conducts its open enrollment period, which begins at 7:30 a.m. Monday and ends at 5 p.m. on May 4.

    This year the district is giving parents and guardians two options for open enrollment.

    The first allows them the opportunity to submit an online application through the district’s website at laschools.net/home/registration.

    “We’re hoping more people will start registering online and that this new way to do it will make it easier,” said Susan Odegard-Fellows, the administrative assistant to Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Accountability Kelly Taylor.

    “It’s very difficult for a lot of people to get here with the paperwork during that time. We’re hoping we can eventually convert over to where it’s all done online.”

    Odegard-Fellows wanted to remind those who would be trying the new online registration that the electronic application won’t be available until 7:30 a.m. March 5.

  • DOE says Tetra Tech will stay in cleanup contract

    The Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Office Thursday responded to a nuclear and environmental safety group’s request to reconsider the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s choice of contractor to clean up waste generated by the laboratory between the Manhattan Project era and 1999.

    A nuclear watchdog group released information earlier this week, raising concerns about allegations of fraud surrounding Tetra Tech prior to the LANL work.

    A Department of Energy spokesman said Thursday the Department of Energy would continue to monitor and evaluate Tetra Tech’s work.

    “The Department of Energy conducted a thorough review of the proposals submitted for the new Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract. DOE closely monitors and evaluates its contractors’ performance to ensure that work is performed safely and efficiently, and will continue to do so with Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos LLC,” said a DOE spokesman, who asked not to be named.

    The watchdog group, Nuclear Watch, pointed to several earlier reports made regarding the company’s work.

  • Police arrest 1 in Pajarito Cliffs Site case

    A man arrested by Santa Fe police last week is believed by authorities to be responsible for a string of crimes over the past few months, including several break-ins at the Los Alamos County Pajarito Cliffs Site.

    Antonio Trujillo, 30, of Santa Fe, was arrested on Feb. 21 after leading officers on a chase in a stolen car in Santa Fe. According to authorities, he is suspected of numerous break-ins as well as car thefts and incidents of credit cart fraud.

    Court documents filed in Santa Fe and Los Alamos counties show the Feb. 21 incident wasn’t the first time Trujillo led police on a chase. The first was on Feb. 17 after a break-in at the Pajarito Cliffs Site.

    Arrest affidavits show the Los Alamos police, who had been monitoring the site after several break-ins, were watching the facility in the early morning hours of Feb. 17 when a gray Jeep with two men inside pulled up to one of the buildings at 3:30 a.m.

    When an LAPD officer intervened to stop the attempted break-in, the two men started to flee in the Jeep. According to the New Mexico State Police, the officer fired shots with an AR-15 at the Jeep as the men fled the scene, apparently hitting two of the vehicle’s tires.

  • A Banner Day
  • Nuclear waste facility application OK’d near Carlsbad

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted a nuclear power plant part manufacturer’s proposal Wednesday to build a high-level, underground nuclear waste facility in southeast New Mexico.

    Holtec International plans to initially store up to 8,680 metric tons of waste at the site.

    The 1,045-acre facility, if approved, would be located in Lea County, 12 miles away from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. Los Alamos National Laboratory stores its transuranic waste at WIPP.

    Waste stored at the proposed facility would originate at nuclear reactors across the country, and would be in the form of spent nuclear fuel rods – high-level radioactive waste – and reactor-related waste greater than class c waste, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    The facility would be named the Hi-Store Consolidation Interim Storage Facility.

    Holtec also applied for a 40-year waste storage license.

    The facility would be built on 1,045 acres of unoccupied land that is mainly used for cattle grazing, according to Holtec’s application. The land is owned by Eddy Lea Energy Alliance, a company created by Lea and Eddy Counties, Holtec and the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs for the purpose of building the facility.

  • LANL responds to beryllium report

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory has already taken steps to correct criticisms about the lab’s beryllium safety program made in a Feb. 20 report from the Department of Energy’s Office Inspector General, according to a lab spokesman.

    In it’s February report, the DOE’s Inspector General’s office found some federal guidelines outlined in the Los Alamos National Laboratory Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program were not followed, putting lab workers at risk.

    “The IG report cited record-keeping issues dating back a year, and not worker exposure or safety concerns. That said, these record-keeping issues have been addressed,” a lab spokesman said, who asked not to be named.

    The spokesman also said the Los Alamos National Laboratory has added more personnel resources to the program, corrected the process of how beryllium is tracked through the facility, and increased management oversight.

    In the report, Deputy Inspector General Michelle Anderson said the lab failed to create plans that would prove areas where beryllium was present were safe for other uses.

    The lab also didn’t keep accurate enough records of beryllium operation locations and contamination areas, according to the report.

  • District 2-5A fills state basketball tourney with contenders

    Though Los Alamos High School failed to make the state championship tournament in either boys’ or girls’ basketball, the Hilltoppers’ district rivals will be well represented.

    District 2-5A will have three teams in the boys’ tournament and two teams in the girls’ tournament.

    The boys’ tournament, which begins at home sites March 3, features No. 1 seed Española Valley, No. 4 seed Capital and No. 11 seed Del Norte.

    Española Valley enters the tournament as the undisputed favorite in the tournament after going 25-1 in the regular season. The team also went undefeated in district play, going 8-0 and winning the district tournament. The team’s only loss of the season came against Rio Rancho High School in mid-January.

    Most impressively, the Sundevils defeated No. 4 seed Capital three times in the regular season in convincing fashion, 83-65 in Española, 90-66 in Santa Fe and 75-63 in the district tournament championship game.

    Española Valley will kick off the tournament at home Saturday against Valencia High School, the tournament’s No. 16 seed.