Today's News

  • Today In History For June 8th
  • Only 1 of 7 next-gen tankers flying as fires burn

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — As fire season heats up, the U.S. Forest Service remains able to use only one of seven large, state-of-the-art air tanker planes it contracted last month to fight wildfires.

    The other six planes have yet to be certified, a process that could take as much as two more months under the contract terms, according to U.S Forest Service spokesman Mike Ferris at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

    "They could come on sooner," Ferris said Friday. "They just have to go through the steps to get them certified."

    The Forest Service announced May 6 it was contracting five companies for the seven "next-generation" air tankers. The Forest Service has awarded the next-generation contracts twice in the past year — the agency did so last year but started the process over after two companies that didn't get contracts filed protests.

    One of the protesters was 10 Tanker Air Carrier, which flies two DC-10 passenger jets modified to drop fire retardant. The company won a contract in the latest round to fly one of its planes.

  • Thompson Fire Traffic Advisory


    From the Arizona Incident Command Team battling the Thompson Ridge Fire:

    We would like to encourage everyone to limit activity and travel on Highway 4 from Jemez Springs to Los Alamos and Highway 126 to Cuba due to heavy fire traffic in and around the Thompson Ridge Fire.  Heavy police presence from the Sandoval and New Mexico State Police Departments will be in the area to monitor traffic.

  • Udall, Heinrich concerned about power lines

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are urging federal officials and utility companies to find ways to prevent wildfires.
    Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have sent letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Interior Department and several utilities and electric cooperatives.
    Their concerns stem from two wildfires that are burning in the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico. The fires have charred dozens of square miles in just one week after being sparked by downed power lines.
    Udall and Heinrich say current regulations should be reviewed and improvements made.
    They say extra attention to vegetation management along rights of way and quick responses to downed lines will be important steps in preventing the kinds of fires that can threaten homes, other infrastructure and forests.

  • SF martial arts instructors bring Jiu-Jitsu to the Hill

    Jiu-Jitsu is a Japanese term meaning “the gentle art” which was coined sometime in the 17th century. At the time, the term referred to a variety of martial arts disciplines; however, the art, as it’s known today, is credited to Japanese Samurai who developed it as a defense against armored opponents. Since armor was difficult to penetrate with weapons, practitioners learned that the most effective way to neutralize an enemy was to use pins, joint locks and throws.

    In modern times, it is practiced for fitness, strength and self-defense; and it is also a staple of American military and law enforcement’s training regimens. One of the most popular styles is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This particular discipline dates back to 1914 Rio de Janeiro where Jiu-Jitsu Master, Mitsuyo Maeda, met and trained Carlos Gracie Sr.

    Gracie and his family used Jiu-Jitsu to gain the upper edge during regular street fights in their neighborhood. The Gracie Family spent years developing their very own style of Jiu-Jitsu, making them a household name in Brazil and eventually spreading it across the world. One of the brothers, Rorian Gracie actually went on to join an investing partnership that formed what is now the Ultimate Fighting Championships. The UFC was originally developed to specifically market Jiu-Jitsu.

  • King sidesteps formal opinion on gay marriage

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Two Santa Fe men filed a lawsuit Thursday to force New Mexico courts to decide the politically thorny issue of whether gay marriage is legal in the state.
    The lawsuit filed on behalf of Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson asks a state district court to order the Santa Fe County clerk to issue them a marriage license. The case lays the groundwork for the gay marriage dispute to potentially soon end up before New Mexico’s highest court.
    The challenge came the same day that New Mexico Attorney General Gary King — who is running for governor in 2014 — declined to issue a formal opinion on whether same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico. An internal legal analysis by his staff, however, concluded that state law doesn’t allow same-sex marriage, but is vulnerable to a constitutional challenge.
    In March, two other same-sex New Mexico couples filed lawsuits in Bernalillo County to force New Mexico courts to rule whether same-sex marriage is legal. The lawsuit, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, claims the current ban on same-sex marriage violates the New Mexico Constitution.
    State Rep. Brian Egolf,

  • Update 06-07-13

    Sound meeting

    County staff and the consultant will present the findings from the updated noise analysis, review the sound wall location, recommended alignment, and the appearance of the wall. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. June 11 at the airport terminal building.

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    ChamberFest will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on Central Avenue.


    The Warren Hood Band from Austin, Texas will perform at 7 p.m. today at the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street.


    Effective June 4, Kiwanis will meet at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church at 3990 Trinity Drive. Kiwanis meets each Tuesday from noon until 1 p.m. On June, 4, Dennis Gill, a past president of Los Alamos Kiwanis, will brief new members-and bring older members up to date-on the history, goals, and statistics of Kiwanis International and its affiliates. 

  • Plane crash claims LANL engineer -- updated

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 66-year-old New Mexico cruise ship passenger was killed when a small sightseeing plane in southeast Alaska crashed on the side of a steep mountain, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

    Thomas L. Rising of Santa Fe was among seven people aboard the Pacific Wings de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver that went down near the town of Petersburg on Tuesday. The other five passengers aboard the single-engine floatplane were members of the same family and also traveling on the same National Geographic cruise ship, according to Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska regional office. He didn’t know the family’s hometown or age range.

    According to Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rising was a research and design engineer and he had been in that position for approximately the past 13 years .

    USA Today reported that Rising took the flight by himself while wife remained on the cruise ship.
    Two family members were seriously hurt, one with a broken back and one with a broken leg. The four other people, including the pilot, had minor injuries.

  • County halts work on wells

     County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers and Utilities Board Vice Chair Tim Neal jointly announced Friday all activity will cease on the proposed test wells in White Rock Canyon to develop the County’s San Juan/Chama water rights.  

    The hiatus is intended to give councilors time to better understand issues surrounding the San Juan/Chama water rights, determine appropriate policy steps, and provide direction to the Board of Public Utilities, according to a statement released by the county.  

    Public concerns over the test wells were voiced during a May 23 Special Board of Public Utilities meeting and on the county’s “Open Forum” page.   Rodgers emphasized that the community as a whole owns the water rights and therefore, it is important for the council to weigh in on this issue. 

    “The councilors are committed to thoroughly examining and evaluating the 40-year Water Plan, the county’s San Juan/Chama water rights, and previous council policy direction to the Board of Public Utilities,” he said.

  • Crews talk of saving Caldera Historic District

    Tuesday night was a rough one on the Valles Caldera. Fire crews were having a fairly easy time fending off the flames when the unexpected happened. The smoke plume from the Thompson Ridge Fire suddenly collapsed, sending a storm of high winds and fire toward the Valles Caldera Historic District.

    “It has all that energy that’s going straight up,” said Lindsay McElfresh, a structural and group trainee for the U.S. Forest Service. “But then, it starts to lose all that energy when it begins to cool down, and it will just fall.”

    But all that energy has to go somewhere, and Tuesday night into the wee hours of Wednesday morning it was headed straight for the historic district, which included the historic Baca Ranch, located between a slope populated with old growth forest and the Valle Grande, which is mainly a vast meadow of dry, yellow grass.

    It was quite a battle, according to firefighter Vas Naiker, an engine captain with the Valles Caldera crew. Luckily, they had some backup systems in place.

    “The (DC-10 Tanker) had already done a drop, but the fire had gotten around it,” he said. “When it came around the corner, we activated the defense systems.”