Today's News

  • Los Alamos aims to become ‘bicycle friendly’

    For nearly three years, Los Alamos County’s Public Works Department has been taking steps to make the county a Bicycle Friendly Community. By the end of this year, it may be a reality.

    Each year, the League of American Bicyclists accepts applications from communities around the country and determines whether they qualify as “bicycle friendly.”

    According to its official website, the League “represents bicyclists in the movement to create safer roads, stronger communities and a bicycle-friendly America.”

    Currently, 416 communities around the country are recognized as bike friendly, and more than 100 communities have earned honorable mention status. There are multiple tiers included within the label of bicycle friendly, ranging from bronze status to platinum.

    In New Mexico, Santa Fe is recognized in the silver tier, while Albuquerque and Las Cruces are in the bronze tier.

    In 2016, Los Alamos County submitted an application for consideration, and was given an honorable mention recognition, with guidelines on how they could earn medal status in the future.

    Eric Martinez, the county engineer for Los Alamos County, said that the county looked at all of the recommendations the League of American Bicyclists gave to them, and began working toward accomplishing them.

  • 19-year-old died rock climbing in White Rock

    A local teen tragically fell to his death Sunday after losing his footing in the White Rock Canyon. News of the heartbreaking death has not only pained the community, but also had people questioning the safety of that area.

    County officials confirmed Monday that 19-year-old hiker as Trevor Matuszak, of Los Alamos, died from his injuries.

    Matuszak was hiking with two friends in the area known as Hell’s Hole, a treacherous cave located on the side White Rock Canyon.

    According to the accompanying hikers, Matuszak lost his footing in a steep portion of Hell’s Hole and fell into the canyon. The area was too perilous for the hikers to climb down in order to reach Matuszak, so they called 911 for help.

    Los Alamos Fire Department and Los Alamos Police Department officers were dispatched to the canyon at about 5:30 p.m. Emergency response crews trained in rock climbing under hazardous conditions were able to rappel to the scene of the accident, with assistance from LAPD.

    Rescue crews were able to reach Matuszak, but determined that he had apparently died of his injuries in the fall. Crews were able to retrieve his body from the canyon just before nightfall.

    LAFD and LAPD crews safely rescued the other two hikers accompanying Matuszak out of the canyon.

  • Jobless rates fall below 4 pct. in nearly half US states

    Associated Press and Staff Reports

    WASHINGTON — Hiring rose last month in 14 U.S. states in June, and the unemployment rate fell to record lows in two states, evidence that the job market is getting tighter across much of the country.

    New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped slightly by .2 percent to 6.4 percent. The state ranked second highest for unemployment in the country.

    The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates fell in 10 states and rose in only two. Rates were stable in the other 38 states.

    After five years of steady hiring, unemployment rates have fallen below 4 percent in 23 states. Unemployment that low suggests that those states are at "full employment," when nearly everyone who wants a job has one and the unemployment rate reflects the normal churn of hiring and firing.

    Alaska had the highest jobless rate at 6.8 percent, followed by New Mexico at 6.4 percent.

    Colorado and North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rates in June at 2.3 percent each. The rates in North Dakota, at 2.3 percent, and Tennessee, at 3.6 percent, set new lows.

    The rate has fallen below 3 percent in five states: Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire and North Dakota.

  • A compromise on the LA sheriff’s office

    Los Alamos County Councilor

    The County Council will consider the role of the Sheriff in Los Alamos in a Special Session Wednesday, July 26 at 6 pm at the LA Municipal Building.  After a contentious campaign, Los Alamos voted last November to keep an elected Sheriff.

    I believe a majority on Council now accepts that our citizens want a functional Sheriff’s Office. I am proposing a Resolution (losalamosnm.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6435726/File/20170726_Resolution%2017-08_Sheriff.pdf) to return a reasonable set of duties to the Sheriff’s Office.  This resolution is a compromise that acknowledges the wishes of the majority to preserve a functional elected sheriff’s office, while respecting the concerns of those who voted to eliminate the office.  

  • Pearce declares for governor, says ‘new leadership’ needed

    With the July 10 announcement by Congressman Steve Pearce that he is running for governor, the field of substantive candidates seems complete.
    Before going further, one point of context should be specified; I like Steve Pearce. I met him about 20 years ago during his two-term apprenticeship as a legislator from Hobbs. I found him smart and personable. He asked good questions. Since then, he has shown himself to be firmly committed to ideas and prone to the occasional grand gesture.
    One question for Pearce won’t disappear. It’s whether he can win a statewide general election. He won a statewide Republican U. S. Senate primary in 2008 when he beat then Congresswoman Heather Wilson, hardly a trivial opponent, for the privilege of getting soundly beaten by Democrat and now Sen. Tom Udall.
    Wilson, who beat a series of nonentities while she was in Congress (incumbency helps) lost a second Senate race to a formidable opponent, Martin Heinrich.
    Pearce’s ideas form a second question. Call him a staunch conservative. For sure he will be toast if he only presents voters the standard list of right-wing talking points. He will also be toast if he allows Democrats to cast him as a conservative caricature.

  • Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

    By KEN THOMAS and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned Friday, ending a rocky six-month tenure that made his news briefings defending President Donald Trump must-see TV. He said Trump's communications team "could benefit from a clean slate" as the White House seeks to steady operations amid the Russia investigations and ahead of a health care showdown.

    Spicer quit in protest over the hiring of a new White House communications director, New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, objecting to what Spicer considered his lack of qualifications as well as the direction of the press operation, according to people familiar with the situation. Scaramucci, a polished television commentator and Harvard Law graduate, quickly took center stage at a briefing, parrying questions from reporters and commending Trump in a 37-minute charm offensive.

    As his first act on the job, Scaramucci announced that Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be the new press secretary. She had been Spicer's deputy.

  • Senior softball all-stars head to regionals

    After winning the state championship last weekend, the Los Alamos County Little League Senior Softball team has advanced to the regional championships this weekend in Vidalia, Louisiana.

    “I know the girls are really excited to be moving on to the next level,” said Robbie Harris, the team’s coach.

    The regional tournament will get underway on Saturday.

    In the team’s first game, they will face Arapahoe Little League, from Aurora, Colorado.

    The game will begin at 8 a.m.

    The team’s second scheduled game will take place against Vidalia Girls Softball Little League from host city Vidalia, Louisiana on Sunday at 7 p.m.

    As the team heads into the tournament, Harris believes they are ready to compete against the strong competition.

    “When I look at our team, we really are strong across the board,” Harris said. “We have good hitting, good fielding and good pitching.”

    The Southwest regional is made up of teams from New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas and two teams from Texas.

    The winner of the regional tournament, which will run through Wednesday, will advance to the Senior League Softball World Series, which will take place in Lower Sussex, Delaware July 31-Aug. 6.

  • National awards recognize LA leadership in nuclear safeguards

    Two Los Alamos National Laboratory employees were recognized Monday by the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management for their contributions to the nuclear safeguards profession. Nancy Jo Nicholas, the Laboratory’s associate director for threat identification and response, was recognized with the Edway R. Johnson Meritorious Service award. Martyn Swinhoe, a physicist in the safeguards science and technology group, received the Vincent J. DeVito Distinguished Service award.

    Nuclear safeguards is the field devoted to keeping nuclear materials secure and ensuring they are used for peaceful purposes –such as for medicine and energy – and not for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. LANL is celebrating 50 years of work and world leadership in nuclear safeguards.

  • State Briefs 7-21-17

    Immigrant advocates convene in N.M.

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Around 200 student immigrant activists from around the country are coming to Albuquerque to strategize on how to respond to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
    The advocates are scheduled to meet at the University of New Mexico from Thursday to Sunday for a series of trainings and workshops aimed at protesting stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump Administration.
    Some advocates also are worried the administration may end a program designed to give temporary status to immigrant students who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

    Pearce challenges decision to limit use of campaign cash

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican Congressman Steve Pearce sued New Mexico’s lead elections regulator on Thursday to seek access to a $1 million campaign war chest as he runs for governor in 2018.
    The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office informed the Pearce campaign this week that only $11,000 could be transferred from his federal election campaign account to a state campaign account.

  • US says ban on laptops in airplane cabins has been lifted

    DALLAS (AP) — The ban on laptops in the cabins of planes flying from the Middle East to the U.S. is over, as federal officials say that large airports in the region have taken other steps to increase security.
    Those measures include checking electronic devices to make sure they don’t contain a bomb, and pulling more people out of airport lines for additional screening.
    A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that all airlines and airports with flights departing for the U.S. had met the agency’s first phase of new security measures, which were announced in late June but not described in any detail.
    In March, the U.S. imposed a ban on laptops in the cabins of planes coming into the country from 10 Middle Eastern airports. This week, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was the last of the 10 to comply with U.S. security measures and exit the laptop-ban list.
    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the laptop ban was a “pause,” a stopgap measure until airports could make other security improvements. It grew from fear that terrorists were working on bombs that can be hidden in devices such as laptop and tablet computers.