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Today's News

  • Wallace named new LANL director

    Los Alamos National Laboratory’s new director Terry Wallace remembers when the front gate came down.

    He was a child back then. His father, Terry Wallace, Sr., worked at the lab. He loved the outdoors, played chess in the chess club and basketball at Los Alamos High School. His mother, Jeanette Wallace, was a Republican state representative for Dist. 43 for 22 years. 

    Wallce said he really loved Los Alamos, and the unique experiences the town offered him.

    “It was the greatest experience possible, but that’s probably because I didn’t know anything else,” he said.

    “By the time I left high school, I already had the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in mathematics,” he said.

    Wallace was appointed director of LANL and president of Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the company that manages and operates the laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the lab announced Tuesday. His appointment will officially take effect Jan. 1.

    Wallace first worked at LANL while getting his undergraduate degree at New Mexico Tech. He worked in the J-8 section of the laboratory, where they tested and monitored large explosions.

  • Court gives Congressman Steve Pearce access to campaign cash

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Rep. Steve Pearce won access to a $1 million stockpile of campaign cash that he raised while in Congress to use in his run for New Mexico governor, under a federal court ruling issued Tuesday.

    Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court Judge Judith Herrera blocked enforcement of limitations on campaign transfers from Pearce's federal campaign account to a state one. The preliminary injunction gave Pearce access to the campaign funds while underlying issues are litigated.

    The Secretary of State's Office has said that only $11,000 can be transferred by Pearce, based on a New Mexico law that limits campaign contributions to $5,500 in a primary election and again in the general election.

    Attorneys for Pearce contend that New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, has misinterpreted state law that limits campaign contributions, effectively violating Pearce's constitutional rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

    In her ruling, Herrera said it was likely Pearce will succeed during further litigation in showing that the $5,500 per-election limit on transfers is unconstitutional and obstructs free speech.

  • University of Texas moves ahead with LANL bid

    The University of Texas System regents narrowly approved a plan Monday for the university system to officially submit a bid to manage and operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Three regents voted against the bid, citing safety concerns at the lab and concerns about UT System spending.

    Regents Janiece Longoria, Kevin Eltife and Steve Hicks cited safety concerns and potential reputational and economic risks, according to reports. UT system regents had postponed the bid submission earlier this month without giving an explanation.

    Deputy Chancellor Daniel, appointed to lead the bid preparations said, “While the scale and the scientific assets of UT’s 14 academic and health institutions strongly position us to manage and operate the Lab, the Lab management role also creates an extraordinary opportunity for students and faculty to advance research and discovery. Moreover, UT institutions have the know-how to safely and securely advance the broader scientific mission of the Lab and serve as a good steward of the Los Alamos community.”

  • NNSA, Air Force complete two more B61-12 Life Extension Program qualification flight tests

    Two more qualification flight tests were completed with the B61-12 gravity bomb at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, government officials announced Monday.

    The tests, completed Nov. 7-8, were a continuation of a series of flight tests that will be conducted over the next three years.

    “These tests continue to demonstrate that the B61-12 meets requirements and marks another on-time achievement for the B61-12 Life Extension Program,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application.

    The tests involved releasing non-nuclear configured joint test assemblies from two F-15Es based at Nellis Air Force Base, demonstrating the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon and the weapon’s non-nuclear functions.

    The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory and manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants.

    The tail-kit assembly section was designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. 

    The B61-12 LEP is a joint NNSA and Air Force program that preserves a critical element of the U.S. nuclear triad.

  • LANL names new director

    Dr. Terry Wallace has been appointed director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and president of Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the company that manages and operates the Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the lab announced Tuesday. His appointment will officially take effect Jan. 1.

    The appointments were announced today by Norman J. Pattiz and Barbara E. Rusinko, chair and vice chair of the Los Alamos National Security (LANS) Board of Governors.

    “Dr. Wallace’s unique skills, experience and national security expertise make him the right person to lead Los Alamos in service to the country” said Pattiz. “Terry’s expertise in forensic seismology, a highly-specialized discipline, makes him an acknowledged international authority on the detection and quantification of nuclear tests.”

    Wallace, 61, will succeed Dr. Charlie McMillan, who announced in September his plans to retire from the laboratory by the end of the year.  Wallace becomes the 11th director in the laboratory’s nearly 75-year history.

  • NKorea launches intercontinental missile, spiking tensions

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea abruptly ended a 10-week pause in its weapons testing Tuesday by launching what the Pentagon believes was an intercontinental ballistic missile, a move that will escalate already high tensions with Washington.

    Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said that the missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1,000 kilometers (about 620 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan. Japan said it may have landed within 370 nautical kilometers (200 nautical miles) of its coast.

    The launch is North Korea's first since it fired an intermediate range missile over Japan on Sept. 15, and it appeared to shatter chances that the hiatus could lead to renewed diplomacy over the reclusive country's nuclear program. U.S. officials have sporadically floated the idea of direct talks with North Korea if it maintained restraint.

    An intercontinental ballistic missile test will be considered particularly provocative as it would signal further progress by Pyongyang in developing a weapon of mass destruction that could strike the U.S. mainland, which President Donald Trump has vowed to prevent.

  • New Mexico lawmaker derides Legislature's harassment policy

    SANTA FE (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker in New Mexico on Monday described an anything-goes atmosphere in the Statehouse where female lobbyists in particular are frequent targets of sexual harassment, urging leading lawmakers Monday to overhaul procedures for reviewing complaints of sexual misconduct.

    Rep. Kelly Fajardo of Belen said she has encountered sexually harassing behavior in the Legislature firsthand, but does not plan to file a complaint because it might politicize and sabotage efforts to reform policies and procedures for investigations. Current policies provide little assurance of impartial review or protection from retaliation, she said.

    "I'm very cognizant that we have to have solutions," said Fajardo. "What I've experienced is probably not as great (severe) as some of my colleagues."

    In a letter to legislative leaders last week she described stories she has heard "where legislators offered political support in exchange for sexual favors," without providing further details.

    Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf on Monday said he had not witnessed or heard of that kind of misconduct before and is taking the situation very seriously.

  • Atomic City Update: Youth coaches deserve more credit for the work they do

    As I sat at home this week eating turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and watching football and basketball, a thought occurred to me that really got me thinking: The people out on those courts and fields providing entertainment to the rest of the country aren’t with their families.

    It isn’t really a day off for them at all. This is true for countless Americans, whether they are serving in the armed forces or away on business of some kind. Thanksgiving, and holidays in general, are something that many take for granted, while a large number of people are forced to spend the day away from those they love.

    As I pondered that thought, another came to my mind, one that applies throughout the entire year.

    In every community around the country, coaches give up so much of their free time to help young athletes develop into better players, and better people.

    It’s something that isn’t given nearly the recognition it deserves. For the vast majority of these coaches, this is not a full-time job.

    For eight hours or more every day, they go to their full-time job, and then hop in the car and coach kids for another three hours or more.

    On top of that, they give up weekends throughout the season for these kids, and are always just a phone call away.

  • Pet of the Week 11-26-17

    A litter of six tiny kittens was transferred from an animal shelter in Moriarty to the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Nov. 17. The kittens are still trying to figure out where they are and what it’s all about.

    Animal shelter volunteers were going to attempt getting a picture of all six together but their curiosity level and willingness to make friends was just too strong.

    They said just two of them, Nikolai, a Russian Blue and Laka, a Bombay, was the limit, as far as pictures were concerned. Nikolai has grey fur, like two of her siblings, and Bombay has black fur, like two of his siblings.

    All of the kittens in the litter are spayed and neutered. They are also litter-box trained and have been vaccinated.

    While attentive and well-behaved, they seemed to have other things to do than sit for a picture. Nikolai and Laka seemed more interested in jumping off the table in an effort to get to know their new, older friends at the shelter.

    Very curious and active, Nikolai, Laka and the rest of the crew are also healthy, friendly with humans, and very anxious to explore the world outside the shelter.

    For those looking to provide a forever home for these curious kitties, they can, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.   

  • Free plays at senior centers next week

    The Betty Ehart Center will host a free play reading at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the White Rock Senior Center will have a free play Thursday of “Epiphany” by David MacGregor.

    The play is directed by Pat Beck and features Jim Nesmith and Pat Beck. It centers on a long-term couple’s discussing what (and who) is truly important in their lives. How can one man’s simple epiphany trigger such a reaction in his partner? Are we really hard-wired by biology to live only 30 years or so, and now that medical science lets humans live much longer, how does that affect the way we should live our lives?

    The readings are part of an ongoing partnership among the Senior Centers, Los Alamos Little Theatre, and playwright Robert Benjamin to bring live theater in enjoyable snippets every few months to the senior community.

    The readings are intended not only to be entertaining, but also to spark conversation about issues relating to aging.

    Previous readings include “I’m Herbert,” by Robert Anderson; “Final Gift,” “Fresh Out,” “Swerving” and “Too Soon,” by Benjamin; “MusicPoemMusic” by Elaine Jarvik; and an excerpt from “Not Quite Right,” co-authored by Jarvik and Benjamin.