Today's News

  • LA delegates join GOP Convention

    Two Los Alamos residents are among New Mexico’s contingent of delegates at this week’s Republican Convention. Lisa Shin is an elected delegate and Kelly Benner was chosen as an alternative delegate.
    Shin also has a three-minute speaking slot about midway through Thursday night’s program, which begins at 7 p.m. EDT.
    “I’m thrilled and honored, because I didn’t expect anything like that,” Shin said. “I thought there would be like elected officials. There’s so many people that they could choose from, and for me to be an outsider and unknown, just a layperson, it’s pretty incredible. So I’m pretty excited.”
    Shin has created a website called Korean Americans for (Donald) Trump (ka4trump.com). Shin is second generation Korean American. Her parents migrated to America about 40 years ago and became naturalized citizens.
    “That’s just something I started to try to get my message to Koreans, because I am Korean. And I want to give a positive message that Trump’s economic plan and proposals for job growth and better trade deals, I think these could really benefit the Korean community as well.”
    According to Shin, Asian Americans have historically had low voter turnout. One of her goals with the website is to get them more involved.

  • Today in history July 20
  • ScienceFest puts the fun in science

    Even those whose eyes glaze over when someone starts talking science could find something to love at the Los Alamos ScienceFest. Crowds flocking to last week’s event could play with robots, learn what produces the colors in their plasma TVs and challenge themselves on a drone obstacle course.
    ScienceFest, an event produced by Los Alamos MainStreet, has become the county’s signature event. A Los Alamos County Council proclamation declaring July 14-17 as “Los Alamos ScienceFest Weekend” states that “ScienceFest provides an opportunity for the community to take pride in its science heritage, to celebrate its unique relationship between science and creativity, to inspire the next generation to carry it forward, and to celebrate the evolution of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.”
    “It’s an outstanding event with a great organization led by Suzette Fox (MainStreet executive director) and others,” said council Chair Rick Reiss. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for visitors to become acquainted with our community, and for us to show off what a wonderful community we have. Local businesses enjoyed a steady stream of out-of-towners and the community will benefit from the dollars spent here.”

  • Public input low for new wildfire protection plan

    Few people provided input to the county’s new wildfire protection plan, but officials in charge of the update are comfortable that what they did get was enough.
     Most of the information came from an online survey residents were asked to fill out, said Matt Piccarello, the county’s coordinator for the plan.
    Only 40 surveys were returned.
    “That was our primary method for getting public involvement, since sometimes it’s difficult to get people to show up for meetings,” he said. “They can fill out a survey on their own time.”
    Piccarello and his organization, The Forest Stewards Guild, distributed surveys to many Los Alamos-based organizations, such as the North Mesa Stable owners, The Los Alamos County Open Space and Trails Page, and the Los Alamos County Fire Department’s web page on the county website.
    Piccarello said he’s not surprised that after all that, they only got 40 back. He said that when it comes to planning meetings about plans, that’s usually what happens.
    “To be honest. It doesn’t surprise me. Any kind of community process is like that, unless it’s some very controversial issue,” Piccarello said. “To get people to try and show up for a planning meeting is a challenge.”

  • Cause of WR fire identified

    A summons has been issued to a Daniel Griego, 32-year-old White Rock man, after investigators traced a brushfire to his property.
    Investigators reported the brushfire originated at Griego’s residence, at the 300 block of Potrillo Drive.
    “Fire investigators (Stephen) Rinaldi and (Adrian) Martinez, along with Fire Marshall (Jeff) Wetteland conducted an examination of the scene and the associated fire patterns, which indicated that the area of origin was located in the north quarter of the property located at 330 Potrillo Drive,” said Rinaldi in his report on the investigation.
    Investigators determined that someone had dumped a pile of hot ashes on a compost pile, which set off the Monday, July 5 brushfire that consumed about two acres of brush and part of the roof of a home at 1 Cherokee Avenue.
    Through thermal imaging, investigators determined the temperature of the ashes on the pile was 150 degrees at the time of the investigation, which began just after the fire was extinguished.
    Griego met with fire officials and walked the property with them after they had determined the cause. Griego told investigators he and his family had a party on July 4 on the property.

  • Spaceport authority director resigns

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The head of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority is resigning, saying she still believes in the commercial space industry and that Spaceport America has a role to play.

    Christine Anderson announced her resignation in a memo Tuesday to the authority's board and Gov. Susana Martinez. She said it was a difficult decision but she wants to pursue "other life adventures."

    Anderson took over as executive director five years ago as the spaceport was just getting off the ground.

    She has lauded successes in building a multimillion-dollar launch site and bringing new infrastructure to a remote stretch of desert in southern New Mexico, but delays by anchor tenant Virgin Galactic left the spaceport scrambling for revenue in recent years and the lack of activity helped to fueled lawmakers' skepticism of the venture.

    Anderson has repeatedly countered the criticisms of whether flights would ever get off the ground.

  • Today in history July 19
  • GOP kicks off convention with nod to 'troubling times'

    CLEVELAND (AP) — Braced for uncertainty and struggling for unity, Republicans opened their convention to nominate Donald Trump for president on Monday as dissident delegates pursued one last chance to deny him and the nation reeled from yet another outburst of violence.

    A day after a deadly ambush of police in Louisiana, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus welcomed delegates to the convention hall with a brief acknowledgement of the "troubling times" swirling outside. The chairman called for a moment of silence out of respect for "genuine heroes" in law enforcement.

    "Our nation grieves when we see these awful killings," he said.

    Weeks of racial tensions and violence are shadowing the Republicans' long-awaited showcase of their presidential pick and putting both participants and the convention city on alert.

    True to form, Trump himself provided the first curveball of the week, announcing he will make an unexpected swing to the convention hall Monday night to introduce his wife, Melania, on the first night of speeches.

    "I want to watch," Trump said on Fox News. "It is going to be very exciting."

  • Today in history July 18
  • Pipe fitter accused of taking copper from lab

    Police arrested a Los Alamos Laboratory pipe fitter July 14 for allegedly stealing $15,000 to $20,000 in copper fittings and pipe from tech areas 3, 48 and 35.  
    The suspect, Joshua J. Montoya, 22, of Velarde, was arraigned in court Friday.
    Montoya was charged with one count larceny (over $2,500 but less than $20,000). He was released Friday after posting a portion of a $5,000 cash/surety bond.
    LANL officials reported to the Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General July 12 that some of the copper was taken sometime between the night of July 9 and the morning of July 12.
    Investigators were able to trace the copper to Gallegos Scrap Metal LLC, a scrap yard in Española.
    The scrap yard’s owner, Tim Gallegos, reportedly told investigators July 13 that Montoya sold him the copper. Investigators were able to match Montoya to the sales records and driver’s license information Gallegos kept of the sales.  
    After a more thorough examination of the records, LANL investigators and the Los Alamos Police Department reported they determined Montoya had stolen copper materials from LANL several times a week since May 31.