Local News

  • Labor secretary resigns

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official says Attorney General Eric Holder and the secretaries of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs will remain with the Obama administration as it enters a second term.

    The official said Holder, who leads the Justice Department, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki will remain with the administration amid changes to the Cabinet as President Barack Obama moves into his second term.

    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis submitted her resignation.

  • Video: Outside the Municipal Court during the LANL Six hearing
  • Martian rock from Sahara desert unlike others 



    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists are abuzz about a coal-colored rock from Mars that landed in the Sahara desert: A yearlong analysis revealed it’s quite different from other Martian meteorites.

    Not only is it older than most, it also contains more water. The baseball-size meteorite, estimated to be 2 billion years old, is strikingly similar to the volcanic rocks examined by the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity on the Martian surface.

    “Here we have a piece of Mars that I can hold in my hands. That’s really exciting,” said Carl Agee, director of the Institute of Meteoritics and curator at the University of New Mexico who led the study published online Thursday in the journal Science.

  • LA girls ranked ninth in state

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team is in the top 10 in the Class 4A rankings according to the latest MaxPreps.com hoops rankings.
    Los Alamos is sitting at No. 9 in Class 4A, thanks in no small part to an impressive four-game winning streak by the team.
    The MaxPreps.com rankings are based on several factors, including record and strength of victory.
    The Class 4A girls rankings this week are still very much top-heavy with the top three teams, Gallup, Santa Fe and Los Lunas, having lost just three games between them.
    Santa Fe, the odds-on favorite in District 2-4A this season, is undefeated so far. However, the Demons, who were ranked No. 1 earlier this season, slipped into the No. 2 spot. Gallup nipped Santa Fe in this week’s strength ratings, 29.4 to 29.3.
    In boys basketball, the Roswell Coyotes are the No. 1 team in Class 4A. The Coyotes, who are undefeated on the season, have an overall strength rating of 27.1 despite a shaky strength of schedule ranking (6.6).
    No. 2 in the boys rankings this week is Capital (20.8), a District 2-4A foe of Los Alamos and one of three 2-4A teams in the top 10 – Bernalillo at No. 5 and Española Valley at No. 8 are the others.

  • Toppers fall to Pojoaque

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team led most of the way against the Pojoaque Valley Elks Tuesday, but couldn’t hold on at the end.
    The Elks (8-3) outscored the Hilltoppers 24-13 in the final quarter to take a 46-37 victory at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Los Alamos held Pojoaque Valley to just 9 points in the first half and just 4 points in the second quarter. Unfortunately, Los Alamos (1-14) couldn’t take advantage of its big defensive showing on the other end, managing just 15 points itself.
    The Hilltoppers went into Tuesday’s game coming off their first win of the season, a 57-54 overtime victory against the Taos Tigers.
    Pojoaque Valley converted 15 field goals in the game to Los Alamos’ 9 and hit the only 3-pointer of the game.
    Skyler Veenis had 15 points for the Hilltoppers to lead all scorers. Simon Heath finished with 12 points and Franklin Archuleta had 7. Only four Los Alamos players got into the scoring column.
    Pojoaque Valley was paced by Matt Herrera with 13 points while Curtis Cordova finished with 12.
    Los Alamos starts District 2-4A play in less than two weeks.

  • Courtyard upgrades part of bond plans


    When school bond ballots arrive in the mail this week, Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt wants you to know that not all of the money is going toward Aspen Middle School.

    Much of the $20 million in this bond cycle is going toward maintenance and utility needs throughout the district, design of the new Los Alamos Middle School Gym, as well as some touch-ups to Chamisa and Mountain elementary schools.

    In this round of bond funding, Mountain Elementary will get new windows in one of its buildings and Chamisa will get a new roof for its arts classrooms.

    One of the standouts of this year’s bond issue is additions to the LAMS courtyard, which is being built right now as one of the last projects from the first bond cycle of 2009.  

  • DNFSB pushes seismic safety issue

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board continues to have the Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Lab in its crosshairs.

    In a Jan. 3 letter addressed to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, board chair Peter Winokur wrote, “The board remains deeply concerned with the seismic safety posture of PF-4 at Los Alamos.”

    Winokur cited a recent analysis performed by a LANL contractor which demonstrated that PF-4 was vulnerable to structural collapse.

    “The large plutonium inventory of PF-4, coupled, with the facility’s proximity to the public, creates the potential for very high offsite dose consequences if the building were to collapse. Structural upgrades necessary to fix the PF-4 vulnerabilities are currently projected to take several years to complete. In the interim, the potential for very high dose consequences remains.”

    NNSA spokesman Josh McConaha said in a statement, “NNSA acknowledges receipt of the DNFSB letter submitted to the Secretary of Energy on Jan. 3, 2013, regarding the seismic safety posture of the Plutonium Facility (PF-4) at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is working with LANL to respond to the actions requested by the Chairman. 

  • ‘LANL 6’ to serve no jail time -- Video Extra

    All of the self-proclaimed “LANL 6” received a light sentence in court Wednesday, each getting a year’s probation and a fine. 

    It could have been worse. The maximum sentence each could have received for their Aug. 6 2012 protest outside of the Los Alamos National Laboratory could have netted the defendants 179 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.

    On Aug. 6 of last year, the protesters were part of a Monday morning demonstration at the corner of Diamond Drive and West Jemez Road, the main entranceway to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

  • Rodgers, Izraelevitz to lead county council

    In the first order of business for Los Alamos County’s newly seated council, Geoff Rodgers and David Izraelevitz were elected unanimously as chair and vice chair, respectively.  

    Council then proceeded to adopt rules for notification of meetings by council, boards and commissions, the county hospital and the county indigent board. 

    Notice of council meetings and agendas must be posted at least 72 hours in advance. Changes to the agenda may be posted a minimum of 36 hours in advance, provided that a copy of the change is made available to broadcast stations and newspapers that have requested such notice. 

    All county boards, commissions and policymaking bodies must give notice at least 10 days in advance of the meeting date and agendas must be available at least 36 hours in advance.

    An emergency meeting may be called with 24-hour advance notice, unless threat of personal injury or property damage requires less notice. The notice must include the agenda or information on how the public may obtain a copy of the agenda.

  • Serial Killer Still Draws Them to Bar, Motel