Today's News

  • LAPS to get new website

    By next school year Los Alamos Public Schools’ website is going to have a new look to it. It will also have features that will make it easy for the school to share information with the public.
    According to the district’s website coordinator, Pierce Jones, the new website will be up and running sometime this summer. The website was designed by a committee comprised of teachers, staff, administration and members of the business community.
    Jones said there were three things the schools and the committee wished to accomplish with the new website: semantics, engagement and relatedness.
    As far as semantics is concerned, Jones said it was important that they use words that are more descriptive so people will want to click on the link. That means words and titles for menu items such as “home” or “basic facts” will be replaced with phrases like “Discover LAPS” and other call-to-action phrases. There will also be a section for prospective residents where they will be able to see all the stats that show off all the good things about the district, like average grade scores, number of scholarship winners, or athletic championships.
    “It will highlight an important story, something great that has happened that’s happened in our district,” Jones said.

  • ‘Spamalot’ in the running for Popejoy Awards

    The cast of Los Alamos High School’s production of Monty Python’s “Spamalot” was ecstatic when they learned this week that they had been nominated in several categories for the inaugural Popejoy Awards.
    The Popejoy Awards website (popejoyawards.org) states that “Our goal is to inspire and honor excellence in high school musical theater, and to recognize the importance of musical theater and arts education. We will use a competitive adjudication process to find the highest caliber of high school musical theater talent in New Mexico.”
    Winners in the May 8 competition will compete for scholarships at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) in New York City.
    “Spamalot” was nominated for Best Production, Best Director (LAHS drama teacher David Daniel) and Best Ensemble. Devon McCleskey (King Arthur), Max Herrmann (Lancelot) and Camille Rousculp (Patsy) received Best Actor and Best Actress nominations.

  • Rising IT costs raise questions

    The Los Alamos County Council approved the $7,525,176 Administrative Services budget plus $208,000 in optional items by a 4–3 vote on Monday, with councilors James Chrobocinski, Steve Girrens and Pete Sheehey opposing the motion.
    The optional items were $69,080 for IT network replacements, $106,920 for routine desktop hardware and software replacements and $32,000 for an investment advisor.
    The Information Management Division’s (IM) budget received especially close scrutiny. Chair Rick Reiss in particular questioned the county’s IT costs.
    Reiss asked if the division repurposed older equipment.
    IM Division Manager John Roig affirmed that they did, but added, “The problem with it is that the vendors themselves, after a certain amount of time, won’t support the equipment any more.
    “So your maintenance becomes that you have one or two extras laying around, so that when this one fails you pull another one off the shelf and plug it in, but it’s still unsupported by the vendor.”
    Roig also pointed out that when something such as a new phone system is installed, older equipment may not support that technology and have to be replaced.

  • O’Leary challenges county fleet replacement

    The Los Alamos County Council this week tentatively approved the remaining departmental budgets, but tabled discussion on parking lot items and adoption of a fiscal year 2017 budget.
    Council tentatively approved the Los Alamos Police Department budget of $7,952,256, plus  $262,077 in optional budget items, plus budgets for Public Works, the Department of Public Utilities and Administrative Services.
    The $30,132,463 Public Works budget and four of the five proposed options received tentative thumbs up. Those are:
    • $160,000 to replace the Mesa Public Library HVAC unit.
    • $53,000 to restore funding for pavement preservation and facilities maintenance contractual services.
    • $105,000 for an industrial tractor with boom mower to maintain county right of ways and reduce hand labor.  
    • $48,000 to implement a Recycle Bank points program to promote recycling and help to reduce waste generation.
    A $325,000 option for constructing new hangars at the airport was not approved on the grounds that the county should explore options for private investment first.
    Vice Chair Susan O’Leary asked how staff determined when fleet vehicles needed to be replaced.

  • Today in history April 29
  • Bjorklund has top prediction in Pace Race

    Mark Bjorklund was the top predictor in this week’s Pace Race, which was held in the Western Area. Bjorklund finished with just an 18-second differential to lead the predictors.
    Burton Krohn was 27 seconds off his predictions while Allison Chan and Georgia Pedicini tied at 34 seconds off.
    On the one-mile course, Billy Strother was the first finisher at 9 minutes, 47 seconds. His sister Savanna Strother was the top female, recording a 10:09.
    Ryan Smeltzer ran a 25:54 to finish first in the three-mile race. Roxana Candia was the first female to finish in 27:56.
    Next Tuesday’s Pace Race will take place at Piñon Park in White Rock, across from Smith’s on Sherwood Boulevard.
    It will be the “staggered start” race where participants will leave at different times depending on their predictions with the ultimate goal of everyone finishing together. One-and three-mile courses will be available.
    For more information call 672-1639 or visit atomicrunners.com

  • LA softball falls to Bernalillo

    The Los Alamos softball team was unable to give Bernalillo its first district loss of the season Wednesday. The Spartans jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first two innings and held on to win the game, 10-3.
    Los Alamos is now 13-11 overall and 6-4 in District 2-5A. Los Alamos is also MaxPreps’ No. 11 ranked team in Class 5A.
    Bernalillo is now 20-3, 10-0.
    Los Alamos still controls its destiny in the district. Two wins Saturday over Del Norte (8-14, 4-6) will lock up second place for Los Alamos.
    Those games will start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in White Rock.

  • ’Toppers suffer first district loss

    The Los Alamos baseball team lost its first district contest of the season Wednesday at Bernalillo.
    Trailing by one run, the Hilltoppers loaded the bases in the seventh inning, but a strike out ended the game and gave Bernalillo the 7-6 victory.
    The loss, however, doesn’t have much of an impact the district standings. With just two games left, Los Alamos and Del Norte will both head into Saturday’s doubleheader with 9-1 district records.
    Los Alamos, however, won the first game so Del Norte will need to win both of Saturday’s games to move ahead of Los Alamos in the district standings.
    The games will start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Bomber Field.
    Sunday, the brackets for the state tournament will be released.
    Los Alamos is currently ranked No. 8 in 5A by MaxPreps.

  • Hilltoppers sweep district golf titles

    The Los Alamos boys’ and girls’ golf teams both cruised to District 2-5A titles Wednesday at the Los Alamos Golf Course.
    The Hilltopper girls shot a 364 to win their team title. The score was the girls’ fifth state-qualifying leg in 10 attempts this year, giving them two more than the required three legs needed to advance to the Class 5A state championships, which will be held May 9-10 at Farmington’s Piñon Hills course.
    The Hilltopper boys weren’t too far away from qualifying for state. The boys shot a 328 to win the district tournament, just nine shots above a state-qualifying leg. Any district champion who shoots a qualifying leg at the district tournament automatically qualifies for state.
    Finishing behind the Hilltopper boys were Del Norte (385), Capital (471) and Española Valley (no score).
    Española Valley also competed in the girls’ tournament, but didn’t post a team score there either.
    Individually, Los Alamos also claimed both district titles and nine of the 10 first-team all district spots.
    Jennifer Necker, who will also compete at state as an individual, shot an 80 to win the girls’ championship.
    Eighth-grader Henry Poston shot a 79 to win the boys’ title, just one shot above a state-qualifying leg.

  • Application filed for high-level nuclear waste site in Texas

    DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas-based company has submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to construct and operate an interim storage site in West Texas for high-level nuclear waste from around the country.

    Waste Control Specialists, which submitted the application Thursday, had notified the NRC last year of its plan to seek the license to build the facility in rural Andrews County that would store spent fuel rods from power plants. There's currently no such disposal site in the U.S.

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the review process is expected to take about three years.

    Rod Baltzer, president and chief executive officer of Waste Control Specialists, says the license submittal puts his company on track for completion of the facility as early as 2021.