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Today's News

  • Isaac aims at north Gulf Coast after raking Fla.

    KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Tropical Storm Isaac churned toward the northern Gulf Coast early Monday and promised to give the Republican National Convention a good drenching after lashing the Florida Keys with wind and rain but apparently causing little damage.

    The National Hurricane Center predicted Isaac would grow to a hurricane over the warm Gulf of Mexico and possibly hit late Tuesday somewhere along a stretch that starts west of New Orleans and runs to the edge of the Florida Panhandle. That would be one day shy of seven years after Hurricane Katrina struck catastrophically in 2005.

    In the Florida Keys, Monroe County Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin said there were no injuries and few reports of damage as the storm crossed near Key West on Sunday.

    Much of the rest of South Florida remained under a tornado watch early Monday as the remnants of Isaac moved across the area.

    In Tampa, flooding prompted the closure of several main roads early Monday including three near downtown where the Republican convention was to be held.

  • Gulf Coast Residents Prepare for Isaac
  • Today in History for August 27th
  • Gulf Coast Residents Warned About Isaac
  • Raw Video: Isaac Being Felt in Florida
  • Today in History for August 26th
  • Work on LAGC clubhouse begins

    After delays and setbacks that will push its opening back by nearly a year, the county broke ground on the new golf course community building under stormy skies Friday.

    “A project like this is not possible without vision, passion and a goal,” Council Vice Chair Geoff Rodgers said. “Many times I think the county council gets credit for leadership on projects like this, but it’s really the citizens who champion these projects that deserve the credit. When I speak in terms of passion for a project like this, it’s those people that I have in mind.”

    One of the people Rodgers specifically thanked for their commitment was project sponsor and former Golf Course Manager Dennis McCloskey.

    “We started on this project 14 years ago, before the Cerro Grande fire,” McCloskey said. “We stuck with it. We had all the backing of the groups. It was really nice to see the turnout at the public meetings in support of this project.”

  • School Board tackles LAMS gas line issue

    The Los Alamos School Board voted Thursday to have a construction firm tear up all the old sections of a gas line currently underneath the middle school campus.

    The gas line, which is about 1,000-feet long and runs from the northern end of the middle school campus to the southern end, had been threatening the $18 million construction project since Monday when construction crews accidentally ruptured the line. Though no gas has run through the line since Monday, air pressure tests on the line have revealed multiple leaks.

    “It was very easy to build consensus on this,” Los Alamos Public Schools Board President Kevin Honnell said. “When you find something that’s already a problem and it’s only going to get worse over time, now is the time to fix it. After all, you’re building an entirely new school.”

    Board member Melanie McKinley, who represents White Rock, said it just makes sense to her.

    “I was confused as to why they didn’t replace this entire aging infrastructure when they first started construction,” McKinley said. “To me, it seemed an easy decision to make. When you’re in there doing all this work, you replace all of it.”

    It’s estimated the cost to replace all the existing lines will be about $20,000.

  • Plan B would require $800M

    A little more information has trickled out concerning the Los Alamos National Security LLC’s proposal for plutonium sustainment without the help of a new Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility.

    This is better known as Plan B when it comes to the CMRR project.

    NNSA and the Obama administration have made it known they want to defer the project for five years and the House and Senate appropriators on the Energy and Water committees agreed, zeroing out funding for the project.
    Defense committees, though, have pushed funding for the project in their budget proposals.

    It’s likely nothing will be decided until after the election and if that is the case the lab will continue to run on a Continuing Resoluation.

    In the meantime, NNSA and lab officials are ironing out details for Plan B as part of its plutonium strategy.

  • Los Alamos researchers study climate change

    SANTA FE (AP) — For a plant physiologist whose research points to a looming disaster in the world as we know it, Nate G. McDowell is a surprisingly upbeat guy.

    “I’m excited. This is such an awesome project,” said McDowell, a Los Alamos National laboratory staff scientist, as he gave a tour of his latest research site near Bandelier National Monument.

    In a way, McDowell’s getting to do what he loved as a boy growing up in Washington state’s Olympic rainforest — run around in the woods. Only now, his play has evolved into critical research modeling the death of New Mexico pinons and junipers as temperatures climb and drought deepens.

    McDowell steps inside one of the cylindrical plexiglass and steel chambers near two of the trees he’s likely to kill in his research. It is blisteringly hot inside already at 9:30 a.m. He confesses to loving trees, “dead or alive.”

    “I do think about that (killing trees),” McDowell said, acknowledging a twinge of guilt now and then. “But we have to kill the trees to understand how they die. Not a lot of them, just a few.”