Today's News

  • Relay for Life to take over Ashley Pond this weekend

    Twelve teams walking for Los Alamos Relay for Life will be circling Ashley Pond Park beginning Saturday morning until evening to battle cancer.

    The relay is the annual fund raising event for the American Cancer Society and takes place in hundreds communities across the nation.

    The Los Alamos relay involves teams of people who have asked donors to sponsor them from around the community.

    All teams are asked to have a team member on the circuit from 10 a.m. until the closing ceremony at 8:30 p.m.

    While team members are walking, the rest of the community can enjoy some activities, including bounce houses, a silent auction, dunk tank, Zumba, and demonstrations of equipment with Los Alamos firefighters and police officers.

    Before the main event, sponsors will honor cancer survivors with a Survivor’s Lap, followed by a Caregiver’s Lap for all of those who take care of people with cancer.

    An opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., registration starts at 8 a.m.

    A luminaria ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Purchase of a luminaria to remember a loved one, someone who is fighting cancer, or someone who is supporting a person with cancer, can be purchased.

    A donation of $10 to the American Cancer Society is suggested.  Credit cards are accepted.

  • Hilltoppers record third shutout win

    When they are at their best, the Los Alamos High School varsity football team spreads the ball around and keeps the defense on its toes with a deceptive triple-option rushing attack.

    That was the recipe for success in their 47-0 win over Gallup, who appeared overmatched from the opening kickoff to the final whistle as Los Alamos improved its record to 3-2 this season.

    The Hilltoppers began spreading the ball around on its first drive of the game, as quarterback Dylan Irish got things started with a 19-yard run and running backs Ryan McNeil and Jack Stewart both picked up big gains as LAHS easily moved the ball inside the 20-yard line.

    McNeil picked up another big run to get inside the 5-yard line, and walked into the end zone untouched on the next play to put the Hilltoppers up 6-0 following a missed extra point attempt.

    Stewart put an end to Gallup’s next offensive series with a third down sack, forcing a punt on a drive that had begun near midfield.

    On that punt, Stewart was back deep to return the kick. However, instead of picking it up on a bounce at the 20-yard line, he let it bounce, hoping it would go out of bounds. Instead, the ball bounced backward and settled at their 5-yard line, forcing them to go 95 yards to score.

  • Smoke in LA from small fire in Jemez Ranger District Monday

    A lightning-sparked fire on Peggy Mesa in the Jemez Ranger District allowed fire managers to burn excess fuel in the forest Monday, according to the Santa Fe National Forest.

    The smoke in Los Alamos and White Rock on Monday came from the 1,022-acre Deer Creek Fire on the mesa – a site where fuel wood slash, timber killed by insects and trees cut down to reduce density burned in a controlled manner after a lightning hit over the weekend.

    Due to rain in the area, the fire set by Mother Nature was given an additional boost with aerial ignition to complete the entire portion set for management with a low-intensity burn, according to a press release provided by the Santa Fe National Forest.

    Smoke was visible in Albuquerque on Monday, as well.

    Besides reducing fuel that could stoke a high-intensity fire, the Deer Creek Fire was intended to provide protection for historical and culture sites, as well improving forest health, wildlife habitat and range conditions, according to the service.




  • New science standards may not be enough

    New science standards proposed by the state’s Public Education Department for elementary through high school students may not do enough to combat ignorance of science, according to a resolution proposed by Jenny McCumber, president of the Los Alamos Schools Board.

    Instead, the PED should embrace the original Next Generation Science Standards, with some specific additions about New Mexico-related phenomenon, McCumber’s proposal says.

    The board will discuss the resolution at its monthly work session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Mountain Elementary, 2280 North Road.

    Other items include reports on the scope and costs of two construction projects, a closed discussion on the evaluation of the superintendent, report on education goals from Mountain Elementary staff, and a proposal to bar vaping from school grounds.

    The state education department drew fire last week after its new proposed standards, called New Mexico STEM-Ready Science Standards, were released in mid-September. While the proposal appears to have included Next Gen standards, omissions may have diluted its rigor, said Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos and chair of the House of Representatives’ Education Committee. She commented last week.

  • Residents get update on gun bill legislation

    A bill requiring background checks for the sale of guns at gunshows and over the internet may get a hearing in 2019, according to gun control advocates who spoke at a Voices of Los Alamos meeting Monday night.

    Members of a group affiliated with Everytown, called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, were there, along with Taryn Nix, a political advisor to State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard.

    Moms Demand Action representatives urged the audience to get involved, to meet with their legislators about the bill and other gun control related issues.

    “If you want to go online and buy a gun online you do not need any type of background check whatsoever. There’s a lot of transactions happening out there,” said New Mexico Moms Demand Action volunteer Maggie Byers to the audience about what’s happening in the state. “Why would you steal a gun if you don’t have to? You can go online, you can get one in Albertson’s parking lot for $50. We want to address the fact that New Mexico has largely ignored the people that are arguing this.”

  • Texas firm awarded $19M for storing New Mexico nuclear waste

    LOS ALAMOS (AP) — A Texas firm is being awarded a contract worth more than $19 million to continue storing radioactive waste from a federal laboratory that was initially intended to be disposed of at an underground government site in southern New Mexico.

    The U.S. Energy Department had the containers sent to Waste Control Specialists in Andrews County, Texas, after a 2014 radiation release forced a nearly three-year closure of the government's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

    The repository resumed operations earlier this year, but the two-year storage order allows for the waste to remain in Texas until shipments to the repository ramp up.

    Los Alamos National Laboratory initially sent 582 barrels of waste to Texas, including 113 containers similar to one that caused the radiation leak at the repository. Investigators say that container was inappropriately packed and caused a chemical reaction.

  • Atomic City Update: Derby Dames skate school coming soon

    Since I arrived in Los Alamos a few months ago, one of the groups that I have been most impressed with is the local roller derby team, the Los Alamos Derby Dames. After spending time with them at some practices and attending their home matches this season, it is clear that nobody has as much fun as they do, while also doing a lot of good for their members and the community as a whole.

    The team was started in 2011, and was accepted into the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s Apprentice program.

    While the team enjoys having success, they are more concerned with the development of their players.

    According to the mission statement on the team’s website, “LADD strives to promote the empowerment of all women by providing positive athletic role models and creating a community-based sport for those of any skill level.”

    The most important thing I’ve learned about roller derby is that all of the competitors are an extended family.
    No matter the result of a match, they all hang out afterward and laugh.

    Everyone is able to become a part of this family.

    All you have to do is attend the team’s skate school, which begins with new member orientation on Oct. 10 at Mountain Elementary School.

  • New Mexico governor wants politicians off investment council

    Wire and Staff Report

    New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she supports removing elected officials – including the state governor – from a council overseeing the investment of $21 billion in state funds amid concerns about political donations from investment firms hired by the state.

    Martinez announced her support Tuesday for changes to the composition of the New Mexico State Investment Council that would remove any appearance of impropriety when it comes to campaign or political donations from private firms that are paid to invest state money.

    Martinez previously vetoed a bill that would have removed her from the investment council while keeping two other elected officials in place – the state treasurer and land commissioner.

    State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn disagreed with the governor, saying he and Martinez's disagreements stem from their backgrounds.

  • LANS gets 6-month extension on legacy cleanup contract

    The Department of Energy has given the company that manages and operates Los Alamos National Laboratory a six-month extension on its legacy cleanup bridge contract, the department announced Tuesday.

    The cleanup contract extension will enable a smooth transition to a new legacy cleanup contract, the DOE said in a news release.

    This contract is separate from the operations and management contract, which is expected to go out for bid later this year. The National Nuclear Security Administration is working on a draft request for proposals for the operations and management contract.

    The legacy cleanup contract for Los Alamos National Security will now end March 31, 2018.

    The total value of the six-month contract extension is about $65 million, according to the DOE.

  • New Mexico receives road money as part of settlement

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico has received almost $27 million from the U.S. Energy Department as part of a settlement reached over a radiation release that forced a nearly three-year shutdown at the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository.

    State officials and the agency signed the agreement in early 2016 over dozens of permit violations stemming from the 2014 release of radiation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad two years earlier. At the time, the total $74 million settlement was the largest ever negotiated between a state and the Energy Department.

    Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement Monday that the settlement was meant to hold the federal government accountable for mistakes made at the repository and at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where workers inappropriately packed a container of waste in which the contents reacted. The container burst after it was placed underground for permanent disposal.

    Twenty-two workers at the repository were exposed, and monitors at the surface recorded low levels of radiological contamination. Officials maintained that nearby communities were not at risk.