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Today's News

  • LAPS gets top spot in national report

    Los Alamos Public Schools have once again received a high ranking in a national study conducted through the U.S. News & World Report news magazine and website.
    The Los Alamos Public School District was ranked top public district in New Mexico. Los Alamos High School was ranked fourth in the state by the national magazine.
    The U.S. News & World Report’s “Ranking and Advice” issue and survey is a 30-year tradition of national magazine.
    LAPS’s rankings were noted in the “Education Rankings” section.
    “For public schools, we’re No. 1, because the other schools were charter schools and they’re able to get a higher ranking, because they’re smaller,” said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.
    Steinhaus said he found out about the achievement like everyone else, through the website at usnews.com.
    The publication has been coming out with the annual survey and ranking issue since 1983 as way to give its readers the best choice in whatever it is they’re seeking, whether that’s a new car, medicine or education.

  • Council OKs pay hikes

    During last week’s budget hearings, the Los Alamos County Council voted 6−1 to approve $428,674 to bring approximately 100 county salaries in line with the market. Vice Chair Susan O’Leary opposed the motion.
    County Manager Harry Burgess explained the reason for the request. According to personnel regulations approved by council, staff is required to conduct a market study comparing the county’s salary structure to other counties every four years, and to propose adjustments if appropriate.
    The Human Resources Division recommends positions for evaluation that have issues such as difficulties with recruitment.
    This year’s market study revealed several positions that were being compensated below market values, some as many as four or five grades below parity.
    According to Burgess, raising salaries for those positions also affects job “families.”
    “So if you have a certain position such as an equipment operator, it also typically moves parallel with an apprentice operator as well as a senior operator…We want to have appropriate spread between the various grades to incentivize people to promote through the ranks,” Burgess said.

  • NNSA manager optimistic about LANL budget

    National Nuclear Security Administration’s field office manager in Los Alamos Kim Davis Lebak talked with local leaders last week about next year’s budget, the status of the Los Alamos National Security contract, and various environmental and construction projects the NNSA will oversee.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory could receive more money for its billion-dollar budget than last year’s budget, Lebak said.
    President Barack Obama’s requested budget for LANL is $2.2 billion, compared to this year’s enacted budget of $1.95 billion.
    “That a nice, strong hardy budget,” Lebak said. “Our friends in Congress are doing their work was we speak... it’s a good solid budget, it’s strong, and we have tons of scope to do.”
    She also talked about the NNSA’s total budget, using numbers directly from president’s budget request to Congress.
    For fiscal year 2017, President Obama requested $12.9 billion for the NNSA, which is $357 million more than the enacted budget of 2016.

  • Council approves FY2017 budget

    Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved a fiscal year 2017 budget of $188,398,147 Monday.
    After four previous nights of wrangling over budget options proposed by each department, the vote for final budget approval proceeded without additional discussion.
    After the vote, several councilors applauded the process for this year’s budget hearings. Council had asked staff to present a flat budget, along with optional items for approval.
    Each department presented the flat budget as requested, then made their case for additional areas they felt required more funding.
    Some of those requests were new, such as the option to create a placeholder for a full-time county clerk’s salary (council will consider whether to change the clerk’s position to full time at a later meeting) or  $56,672 to staff the new kitchen at the White Rock Senior Center.
    Other requests were to restore funding that had been cut in order to maintain a flat budget. One such request was to return $29,677 to the Los Alamos Police Department’s budget in order to fully fund anticipated overtime. The Community Services Department asked for inflationary increases for contracts with service providers such as the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Family Strengths Network so they would not have to reduce services.

  • Foley commits to NMHU

    Los Alamos senior Sierra Foley signed her national letter of intent Tuesday to play college volleyball for New Mexico Highlands University. Foley led Los Alamos with 313 kills last year, averaging 4.1 kills per set. She also served 38 aces and blocked 28 shots to help Los Alamos finish 19-4 and reach the Class 5A state quarterfinals. She’ll join teammate Brianna Montaño on Highlands’ volleyball team.
     

  • Nukes Rugby Club reaches the state finals

    The Los Alamos Nukes Rugby Club scored a pair of playoff wins Saturday to earn a spot in the state finals.
    The Nukes beat El Paso Cathedral, 27-22, and then the Cibola Cougars, 17-5, in the semifinals.
    Los Alamos will now play the San Juan Spartans in the 10-man final at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
    San Juan is a new a club this year, comprised of players from Farmington, Aztec, Piedra Vista and Shiprock.
    The two squads met earlier in the season and Los Alamos pulled out a 12-5 victory.
    Now they’ll play for the blue trophy. The game will be streamed online on Rugby Saturday USA’s website.
     

  • Softball secures second place

    The Los Alamos softball locked up second place in District 2-5A Saturday by splitting its doubleheader against Del Norte.
    Los Alamos won the first game 6-5 in 10 innings and lost the second game, 13-3.
    “I was a little disappointed that we lost the second game, but the main thing was we needed to split to get second place and we did that,” Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said.
    In the first game, Los Alamos scored one run in the third and two in the fifth.
    Del Norte, however, rallied late. The Knights scored two in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie it, 3-3, and send the contest into extra innings.
    Neither team scored in the first two extra innings, but then Del Norte put the pressure on Los Alamos with a pair of runs in the top of the tenth.
    With their backs against the wall, Los Alamos scored three runs to get the key victory. Taylor Collins drove in the winning run for Los Alamos.
    “We didn’t hit the ball as well as we have been hitting lately, but we got key hits when we needed them,” Anaya said.
    Madeline Lockhart pitched all 10 innings for Los Alamos to get the win. She struck out 13 batters while only walking one.
    Makaela Jones had an RBI and scored three times. Hannah Mojica drove in two runs and scored once.

  • Baseball sweeps Del Norte to lock up title

    The Los Alamos baseball team just needed to win one game Saturday against Del Norte to win its eighth consecutive district title.
    The ’Toppers won both games, 8-1 and 9-4, to lock up the title.
    Both contests, however, were closer than the final scores.
    The first game was scoreless entering the bottom of the third inning. Some big hits and a little bit of luck, however, helped Los Alamos score three runs. James Neal walked to start the inning and then Connor Mang hit a triple deep into right field to bring him home.
    The next batter struck out, and then Mang headed home on a pitch. The batter, however, missed the sign to bunt and Mang was trapped in a pickle. It looked as if Mang would be tagged out, but Del Norte’s third baseman overthrew his catcher and Mang was able to run home and put Los Alamos up, 2-0.
    Later in the inning, Lane Saunders scored on a Zealand Waltersheid single and Los Alamos went up, 3-0.
    A throwing error after a dropped third strike helped Del Norte score in the fifth inning.
    In the bottom of the sixth inning, Los Alamos put the game out of reach with five base hits.

  • Hilltoppers shine in home track meet

    The Los Alamos boys’ and girls’ track teams defended their home turf Friday, winning both titles at the Los Alamos Invite.
    The Hilltopper girls finished first with 189 points, followed by Santa Fe (78), St. Michael’s (64), Taos (46), Pojoaque (39), Española Valley (12) and Capital (3).
    The Hilltopper boys scored 132 points to take first, followed by Taos (122.5), St. Michael’s (56), Capital (42.5), Española (36), Pojoaque (30) and Santa Fe (15).
    The 1600-meter medley relay led the way for the girls’ team, running the fastest state-qualifying time in Class 5A so far this season.
    Sienna Ahlers and Sophie Wood ran 200s, Elena Abeyta ran the 400 and Talia Dreicer anchored the team in the 800, combining to finish first in 4 minutes, 18.89 seconds.
    Wood also qualified for state in the triple jump, jumping 33 feet, 4 inches to take second behind teammate Elizabeth Lockhart (34-0).
    The boys’ 4x400 relay also punched its tickets to the state championships. Nathaniel Ortega, Hayden Walker, Koby Cotter and Miroslav Betts finished third in 3:31.08 to qualify for state.
    Macklin Cunico also improved his previous state-qualifying mark in the javelin.
    “It feels good to get improvements instead of just plateauing,” Cunico said.

  • Tennis teams score 2-5A titles

    The Los Alamos boys’ and girls’ tennis teams both earned the No. 2 seed at the Class 5A state championships after dominating performances at the District 2-5A championships.
    The Hilltopper boys shut out Española Valley, 9-0, to win the district while the girls beat the Sundevils, 8-1, to win their championship.
    The top-three singles players and doubles duos also qualified for state, and Los Alamos grabbed 10 out of those 12 spots.
    The Hilltopper boys claimed the top-three spots in both the singles and doubles tournaments.
    Thomas Chadwick won the district’s singles title, beating teammate JD Downing in the finals. Junseo Kim finished third to grab the district’s final spot at the state meet.
    In the doubles tournament, George Margevicius and Andrew Tang finished first, beating teammates Andrew Aboshousha and Alex Csanadi in the finals.
    Donald Poston and Martin Naud finished third to also qualify for state.
    The Hilltopper girls had four individual qualifiers, finishing first and third in both the singles’ and doubles’ tournaments.
    Sidra Hsieh-Ratliff won the singles bracket, beating Bernalillo’s Rachel Layden in the finals, 6-4, 6-0.