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Today's News

  • Operation Hilltopper set for Monday

    Emergency first response organizations in Los Alamos County have, for the past year, been training their personnel, polishing their plans and tweaking their equipment in a comprehensive effort aimed at preparing to deal with a scenario that nobody hopes will ever arise – an active shooter loose at a school.

    Operation Hilltopper, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Monday, is a full-scale exercise designed to test police, fire, emergency medical support, Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos High School personnel and their abilities to adequately respond to just such an event.

     Toward that end, the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management is letting residents living in the vicinity of Los Alamos High School know that on the day of the exercise, from 8 a.m. to noon Monday they will see a significant number of emergency vehicles around the high school and the hospital.

    In addition, observers are likely to hear gunshots (only blanks, no live ammunition will be used) and even the screams of actors portraying victims. 

    “We would also like to give residents an advanced heads-up regarding possible traffic delays, especially at the Canyon/Diamond intersection while this exercise is taking place,” the county said in its press release. 

  • Update 10-05-12

    Night in Italy

    Tickets are available for “A Night in Italy” fundraiser for Assets in Action. The event takes place Oct. 20 at the Hilltop House Hotel. Tickets are $40 each and proceeds benefit youth development programs. Additional information is available by calling 661-4846 or by email at AssetsInAction.info.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. The board meets monthly. More information can be obtained by calling 662-8173.

    Elk festival

    The Valles Caldera will hold its annual event Oct. 6-14 with the headquarters at the Visitor Center. Daily festival activities will include elk viewing, elk education booths and various demonstration booths. This event is free and open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 for a work session at the White Rock Fire Station No. 3.

    Scottish dance

    The Scottish Country Dance will be from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Monday at Fuller Lodge.

  • No 'wow' factor in San Juan water project

    Los Alamos County Council heard details about the Department of Public Utilities plan to tap into the county's San Juan/Chama water rights at Tuesday's meeting. Cost was only one factor in selecting a preferred alternative.

    Robert Fowlie, project manager for CDM Smith, and Kelly Collins, principal and senior environmental scientist, gave details on the feasibility study they conducted for the county. Fowlie praised DPU's efforts.

    "It was quite a pleasure to work with an engaged client with a highly qualified staff of engineers. This is not always the case,” Fowlie said.

    In fact, the preferred alternative the county will pursue came about during a brainstorming session with staffers.

    The 2010 feasibility study was initiated to explore the possibility of sharing resources with San Ildefonso Pueblo or Santa Fe, two options that had opened up after a 2004 study had been conducted.

    The 2004 study recommended using either collector wells or raised bores to collect shallow ground water near the Rio Grande. The "wow" factor for engineers was tunneling through the mesa to pump water to White Rock.

  • Packed house at Fuller Lodge

    It’s one of the most highly attended candidate forums every election and this one was no exception. It was a packed house at the Fuller Lodge Thursday as about 200 residents attended the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos candidate forum.

    In attendance were candidates for county clerk Sharon Stover (R) and Nathan Hjeim (D) as well as county council candidates Peter Sheehey (D); Michael Redondo (D); and Kristin Henderson (D);  Marc Clay (R); Vincent Chiravalle (R) and Steven Girrens (R).

    The audience also had a chance to hear representatives talk for and against proposed amendments to the charter.
    Margaret Calef, president of the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos, thought the event went well.

    “I thought it was very good; a nice variety of questions and interesting answers,” she said.

    She also added that with this forum, candidates from both parties seemed to be on the same page regarding the larger issues.

    “There seemed to be a lot consensus on how to move the county forward,” Calef said.

    The section of the forum that featured the candidates for county council seemed to be the most lively as many of the issues discussed would impact Los Alamos directly.

  • NNSA pursues PF-4 scrutiny

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and the National Nuclear Security Administration have been going back and forth regarding the seismic integrity of LANL’s Plutonium Facility.

    In a letter to DNFSB Chairman Peter Winokur from NNSA's top security official, DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, he tells Winokur the NNSA and LANL have been working methodically to evaluate PF-4 to understand how the facility would perform if subjected to an earthquake.,

    “This effort has already resulted in several structural improvements to assure the safe operations of PF-4. As part of a deliberative process outlined in national consensus codes and standards, NNSA and LANL have progressed from relatively simple calculations and modeling approaches to more sophisticated methods (referred to as static nonlinear pushover analysis), to provide additional detail and confidence that we have identified all the facility structural elements that require upgrading.

    "The initial results of the nonlinear pushover analysis are complete and have undergone an independent peer review. The final report thoroughly/documenting the methodology and the results will be issued as soon as the peer review comments are addressed,” Poneman wrote.

  • Southwestern U.S. trees face rising drought stress, mortality

    Combine the tree ring growth record with historic information, climate records and computer model projections of future climate trends, and it paints a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States.
    That’s the word from a team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona and several other partner organizations.
    Described in a paper published in Nature Climage Change. “Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality,” the team concluded that in the warmer and drier Southwest of the near future, widespread tree mortality will cause forest and species distributions to change substantially.
    The researchers aligned about 13,000 tree core samples with known temperature and moisture data, further blending in known historic events such as documented mega droughts that drove the ancient pueblo indians out of longtime settlements such as Mesa Verde, Colo.

  • Candia wins final Pace Race of the season

    Roxana Candia was the top finisher and top predictor in the final Pace Race of the 2012 season Tuesday night.
    The Pace Race, an event which is run weekly during Daylight Savings Time hours, is hosted by the Atomic City Roadrunners. Pace Races are run at various sites around Los Alamos County.
    For the final race of the season, participants were given the option to run 1 mile, 1.5 miles, 2 miles or 3 miles.
    Candia finished with a prediction error of 7 seconds on the 3-mile course and was also the fastest finisher on that course with her time of 23 minutes, 8 seconds.
    Following Candia, Duane Marr was 12 seconds off. David Kratzer (19 seconds) and Zach Medin (21 seconds) were also among the top predictors Tuesday.
    Marin Kelly was the fastest finisher for 1 mile (8:07), Jackie Marr was the top finisher for 1.5 miles (19:31) and Christie Kelly was the fastest on the 2-mile run (20:28).
    The Atomic City Roadrunners will co-sponsor the Turkey Trot Nov. 18 starting at Los Alamos Middle School.
    More information about the club can be obtained by calling Ted Williams at 672-1639 or visiting the club's website, atomicrunners.com.

  • LA's late goal sinks Bears, 1-0

    Coming off back-to-back games where the effort wasn’t what they needed it to be, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers didn’t get off to an auspicious start Thursday.
    But playing against the La Cueva Bears, the Hilltopper girls soccer team made up for it with a big second half.
    Los Alamos couldn’t get on the same page offensively and needed some big plays on the defensive side during the first half of Thursday’s game to hang with the Bears. In the second half, however, the Hilltoppers finally got their powerful offense rolling, culminating in one of the team’s best individual efforts of the season, leading to the game winner.
    With the game scoreless in the 76th minute, La Cueva’s near-miss shot on a corner kick chance rolled out to the right side of the field where Catie McDonald tracked it down. McDonald dribbled the length of the field down the right hash mark, deftly split two well-positioned La Cueva defenders converging on her and smashed a shot toward the La Cueva post.
    La Cueva goalkeeper Sam Johnson blocked McDonald’s initial shot but didn’t have time to grab the ball out of the air. Instead, the ball bounced straight to Hilltopper Allison Rooney who had simply to send it back into the open net.

  • People in the News 10-05-12

    Bohn is ‘queen’ at Gore Canyon

    Jessie Bohn, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was the youngest competitor and posted the fastest time in the women’s kayak division in the Gore Canyon race Aug. 18.
    Bohn, who had the fastest women’s time of all crafts down the course and was awarded “Queen of Gore Race 2012.”
    The Gore Canyon race , which runs approximately five miles, is held every August on the Class IV-V section of the canyon on the Colorado River near Kremmling, Colo.
    The race is down river race for kayaks, rafts and any other river craft that can make it through the canyons rapids. It includes the Class IV and V rapids Gore, Pyrite, Tunnel Falls and Kershbaum.
    In all, 33 crafts including kayaks and rafts competed in the race.
    Bohn has been kayaking since she was 8 years old and has been taking on  Gore Canyon since age 14. She is a member of the Colorado Kayak Supply Women’s Squad Team.

    London fires his third ace

    Roger London earned a career hat trick as far as holes-in-one go.
    London, of Los Alamos, scored his third career ace Sept. 11 at Los Alamos Golf Course. He hit his ace on the No. 15 hole with a 9-iron from 152 yards out.
    Witnesses to the hole-in-one were Spike Jones, Donna Crook Jones and Linda Gallegos.

  • Rams total 9 sacks in 17-3 upset victory

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Without his favorite target, Sam Bradford seemed lost. The top pick of the 2010 draft completed a measly seven passes.

    The St. Louis Rams defense was there to pick him up — by continually knocking down Kevin Kolb.

    The Rams (3-2) totaled nine sacks, their most since 1998, in a 17-3 victory Thursday night that ended the Arizona Cardinals' early unbeaten run.

    "They've played great all year," Bradford said. "They've kept us in a lot of games. Fortunately, we were able to make the big play in the fourth quarter to go up two scores, but all the credit tonight to our defense."

    Danny Amendola made a spectacular one-handed grab for a 44-yard gain on an underthrown ball that set up Bradford's touchdown pass to Lance Kendricks' on the Rams' opening drive.

    Bradford misfired on five consecutive passes before Amendola injured his right shoulder making a diving attempt on a 22-yarder that was initially ruled a catch but was overturned after the Cardinals challenged. Amendola used his left arm to fling his helmet on the way to the X-ray room and had his arm in a sling after the game, when he was not made available to reporters.