Today's News

  • Triple slaying in El Rancho becomes homicide probe

    State police are now investigating the deaths of three people in a town located between Los Alamos and Santa Fe as a triple homicide.

    Three people were found dead Sunday evening in an El Rancho home, about 15 miles east of Los Alamos. Although specific details of the case will continue to be withheld based on the fact that it is an ongoing criminal investigation, investigators did learn through the Office of the Medical Investigator that the victims had not been shot. 

    The Associated Press said that according to state police, all three were related and have been identified as Lloyd Ortiz, 55, Dixie Ortiz, 53, and Steven Ortiz, 21.

  • No containment yet on fire

    Crews from the Santa Fe National Forest are responding to a wildfire in Pacheco Canyon north and east of Santa Fe near Tesuque. The fire is reported to be about 3,800 acres at this time and burning actively.
    Smoke is visible from Los Alamos, Santa Fe, U.S. Highway 285 and I-25 north of Santa Fe.
    Los Alamos County fire officials said they have been made aware of the wildfire, located in a remote section of the forest and that no response by local firefighters is anticipated at this time.
    The fire, which started Saturday, is moving away from populated areas, according to officials. As of 9 p.m. Monday, there was no fire containment.
    The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is under investigation.

  • Council ponders the future of Progress Through Partnering

    When Los Alamos County adopted a new set of strategic goals in 2005, the second highest priority was to improve intergovernmental relations. Progress Through Partnering (PTP) was one of the programs developed to implement that goal.

    With the Los Alamos National Laboratory Contract Change, also in 2005, the county received additional Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) revenues. Council decided to contribute some of the additional revenue to projects that would help neighboring communities as well as advance the county’s strategic goals.

  • Anti-nuke protesters busted as prayer vigil concludes

    Officers from the Los Alamos Police Department arrested five protesters at 12:45 p.m. Monday after they reportedly crossed into a secure area (Pajarito Corridor) on Los Alamos National Laboratory property.

    The protesters are part of the Trinity Nuclear Abolition organization out of Albuquerque. They told authorities that they wanted to get to the CMRR building to conduct a prayer vigil.

    “Los Alamos National Laboratory fully supports the right of peaceful assembly and fully supports the right to free speech,” LANL spokesman Kevin Roark said. “The laboratory routinely cooperates with activist organizations to facilitate protest activities on laboratory property, but will not tolerate illegal or unsafe actions.”

  • FDA issues graphic cigarette labels

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In the most significant change to U.S. cigarette packs in 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday released nine new warning labels that depict in graphic detail the negative health effects of tobacco use.

    Among the images to appear on cigarette packs are rotting and diseased teeth and gums and a man with a tracheotomy smoking.

  • Crunch time looms as Biden-led budget talks resume

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner offered a bullish assessment Tuesday of the chances of success for Vice President Joe Biden and a bipartisan band of lawmakers trying to craft a deal to slash the federal budget and raise the debt limit.

    "We are going to avoid a default crisis, no doubt about that. It is not going to happen," Geithner told a group of business executives. "We are going to have a bipartisan deficit reduction framework. The question is what is going to be the shape of that framework."

  • Cycling: Calvert, Park are top finishers at 2011 Tour de LA

    It was again a tight finish in the top Tour de Los Alamos men’s category.
    The Tour de Los Alamos, celebrating its 39th year, was held Sunday on a 27-mile loop course winding from downtown Los Alamos, past the Back Gate, through White Rock and back up the Truck Route.
    Damian Calvert, one of the top cyclists in the state, who was nipped by just one second in the 2010 Tour, came out on top in a photo finish against Ryan Blickem. Calvert and Blickem tied to the hundredth of a second in the men’s pro/1/2/3 divison.
    Calvert, who just a week earlier won the Pajarito Punishment, won his first Tour de Los Alamos since 2007. Calvert’s winning time was 3 hours, 40 minutes, 8 seconds on the three-lap, 81-mile course.

  • DOE puts out request for WIPP management contract

    CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The Department of Energy is taking bids for management of the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico.

    Contractor Washington TRU Solutions LLC currently oversees the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, where plutonium-contaminated waste from defense projects is buried in rooms excavated in vast underground salt beds. It's contract was extended last year through 2012.

    DOE says it anticipates awarding a five-year contract with an annual value of $135 million a year and an option for a five-year extension.

  • Judge approves settlement over Indian royalties

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Monday approved a $3.4 billion settlement over mismanaged Indian royalties in a case that represents the largest settlement ever approved against the U.S. government.

    Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont., claimed in the 15-year-old suit that for more than a century, U.S. officials systematically stole or squandered billions in royalties intended for American Indians in exchange for oil, gas, grazing and other leases.

    U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, in approving the settlement after a daylong hearing, said the legitimacy of Cobell's claims could not be questioned.

    "The government mismanaged these resources on a staggering scale," Hogan said.

  • Crews fight Santa Fe fire, more bans imposed in NM

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters banked on cooler temperatures and slightly less gusty winds Monday for help in slowing wildfires burning around New Mexico, as the state's top land manager issued an open-ended ban to prevent fires on millions of acres of state trust land.

    The ban announced Monday by Land Commissioner Ray Powell was simple and straight forward: No fireworks, open fires or smoking until further notice.

    The ban covers the state's 13 million acres, or more than 20,300 square miles, of trust land.