Today's News

  • Main Hill, Truck Route closed for one hour

    Police have reported that the truck route, NM 4, and the Main Hill, NM 502 are temporarily closed. Police stated the route will open within an hour, or, between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Police, fire are conducting an investigation into a car accident that occurred at the "twin towers" on NM 502.

  • Ex-campaign manager sentenced in email case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former campaign manager for Gov. Susana Martinez to nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for charges related to the theft of the governor’s email.
    Martinez was among those gathered in the courtroom for Jamie Estrada’s hearing.
    The governor, in a letter submitted to the court, urged prison time for Estrada, saying he had “plundered some of the most private details of my life and the lives of many others.”
    Estrada faced up to a year and one day in federal prison. He had asked U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson to sentence him to probation rather than prison. His family members cried when the sentence was read.
    Estrada pleaded guilty in June to charges of unlawful interception of electronic communication and lying to FBI agents. He provided the hijacked email to the governor’s political opponents.

  • LANL receives recognition for safety excellence

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has received Star-level recognition from the Department of Energy as part of DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Los Alamos becomes the largest site in the DOE complex to receive VPP Star Status.
    “Hazards are part of our everyday work and achieving VPP Star recognition validates the evolution of worker-manager partnerships in making our laboratory safe,” said laboratory director Charlie McMillan “However, this accomplishment does not mark the finish line; we must continue the actions that brought us this far and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to our Integrated Safety Management System and our Strategic Plan values through programs such as our employee-led Worker Safety and Security Teams and our VPP Office.”
    Officials from the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration joined Laboratory managers and employees at a VPP Star flag raising ceremony Tuesday at the laboratory’s main technical area.
    Star is a status for DOE contractors who have and continue to implement excellent safety programs that systemically protect employees. It is based on an assessment of management commitment, employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control and safety and health training.

  • On The Docket 10-09-14

    Records from Los Alamos Municipal and Magistrate Court:

    Oct. 1

    Deborah Swartzentruser was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to wear a seatbelt. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.
    Oct. 2

    Reynal Martinez was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate, and failing to appear in court. Defendant was fined $25 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs. Sentence deferred until Dec. 2.

    Wendy J. Hahn was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of stopping, standing or parking in a prohibited or specified place. Defendant was fined $50.

    Andrea D. Herrera was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of petty larceny. Defendant was ordered to pay $60 in court costs as well as spend three days in the Los Alamos County Detention Center.

    Deidre L. Thorn was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Andres Gallegos was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to appear in court. Defendant was ordered to pay $65 in court costs. Sentencing deferred until Oct. 31.

  • Update 10-09-14

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at noon Friday at council chambers.

    Voters' forum

    Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos League of Women Voters presents back-to-back forums at Fuller Lodge today. At 5:30 p.m., a forum on the Structure-of-Government Charter Amendments will be held. At 6:45 p.m. there will be a forum for candidates for the Third Congressional District. That forum will feature Democratic Candidate Ben Ray Luján and Republican Candidate Jefferson Byrd.

    Viewing Party

    The “Manhattan” TV series viewing party and discussion is scheduled for 8-9:30 p.m. Sunday at Time Out Pizzeria on Central Ave.

    Studio Tour

    Los Alamos Artists Studio Tour. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday/ Start at Fuller Lodge to pick up tour brochure, then work your way around Los Alamos and White Rock to visit artists’ studios.

    Downtown Dogs

    A weekly walking group for dogs and humans. The walk starts from Pet Pangaea at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights for a stroll around Los Alamos. 

  • Cloud of secrecy lifted from Oppenheimer case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — After more than half a century of intrigue and mystery, the U.S. Department of Energy has declassified documents related to a Cold War hearing for the man who directed the Manhattan Project and was later accused of having communist sympathies.
    The department last week released transcripts of the 1950s hearings on the security clearance of J. Robert Oppenheimer, providing more insight into the previously secret world that surrounded development of the atomic bomb and the anti-communist hysteria that gripped the nation amid the growing power of the Soviet Union.
    Oppenheimer led the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which developed the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The secretive projects involved three research and production facilities at Los Alamos, New Mexico, Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Hanford, Washington.
    The once-celebrated physicist lost his security clearance following the four-week, closed-door hearing. Officials also alleged that Oppenheimer’s wife and brother had both been communists and he had contributed to communist front-organizations.

  • LAFD responds to WR furnace fire

    Fire crews responded to a furnace fire this morning in the 400 block of Cheryl Avenue. Just the gas furnace was damaged and no one was hurt. The Los Alamos Fire Department wants everyone to know that as the weather grows cooler, now would be a good time to check your furnaces, replace filters and make sure your fire alarms are in good working order.

  • Gas leak pinched at LAMS -- updated



    More details emerged Thursday regarding the gas leak that forced the Los Alamos Middle School to go into shelter for about an hour Wednesday.

    James Richardson, the deputy utilities manager for gas, water and sewer, said a contractor who was installing underground cable, accidentally drilled a one-inch hole into a four-inch medium gas main. The drilling took place on middle school property and Richardson estimated the leak was about 500 feet from the nearest building.

    Richardson said the call came in at 12:15 p.m. Richardson said it took crews 20 minutes to get to the site. It took 10 minutes to isolate the leak and another 20 minutes to pinch the leak.

    Richardson said that gas was restored to the school by 2:30 p.m. 

    “It’s always serious when there is a hole in the gas line,” Richardson said. “The middle school was sheltered and there was no danger to kids. … I am proud of our guys. They got on it fast. They isolated it and restored service quickly.”

    Richardson said the contractor followed proper protocol in contacting the 811 locate system before they started drilling. Richardson said DPU notified 811, telling them about possible lines.

  • P and Z approves ski hill subdivision

    On Wednesday, the Los Alamos County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a sketch plan for the consolidation and subdivision of 504.307 acres of land on Pajarito Mountain.
    According to the staff report, “The subdivision is the first step in supporting a transfer of land to different entities for the immediate purposes of continuing the land uses as a ski hill, other recreational uses, and other infrastructure such as communications towers, meteorological equipment and a government tower and generator.”
    The property is zoned W-2 Wilderness, and no changes to any of the land uses currently operating are proposed at this time.
    The new lot lines apportion the ski area between the Pajarito Recreation Group (PRG) and Los Alamos County.
    Tracts 1 and 3, at 68 ad 49 acres respectively, will be transferred to PRG.
    Tract 3 is the area on the mountain crest on which communication towers, meteorological equipment, etc., are situated.
    “That’s a revenue generator for us. So in the transaction with Pajarito Recreation Group, they would like to have that tract of land to help subsidize the operation of the ski area by collecting the revenues from those tower locations,” said Pajarito Mountain Ski Area General Manager Tom Long.

  • Testimony tossed in drug case

    On Wednesday, defense attorney Kari T. Morrissey successfully suppressed key testimony in an upcoming drug case involving defendant Rowena MacDonald, a Los Alamos resident.
    In November of 2013, MacDonald was caught up in a police sweep for crystal methamphetamine. In that operation, police arrested Los Alamos resident Daniel Hoth, Albuquerque resident David Simmons and others.
    Hoth was being targeted on a warrant when police pulled him over in White Rock with Simmons in the car. A search of the car turned up crystal meth in Simmons’ possession. Simmons later confessed to police he had more in a back pack that he allegedly stored at MacDonald’s house for safekeeping, about 42.7 grams.
    Police later searched her home and recovered the backpack that did have crystal methamphetamine in it. She was not arrested at the time. Police later called her to come to the station to talk about the incident. According to Morrissey, though they read her her Miranda rights before the interview, they also allegedly deceived her into thinking she didn’t need an attorney, and that they were treating her as a witness.
    During her conversation with police, she at first denied knowing anything about what was in the backpack, but later admitted that she did have a suspicion.