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Local News

  • Hitchhiking cat 'Mata Hairi' headed home to Oregon

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A well-traveled cat named "Mata Hairi" will soon be reunited with her owner after spending nearly 10 months traveling thousands of miles with a hitchhiker who rescued her from the rain.

    The feline adventure started in Portland, Ore., when the cat's owner, Ron Buss, let her out of the house on Sept. 1. The cat, white with patches of dark gray, usually left for no more than a couple of hours at a time, but this time she didn't return.

    When Michael King, who has been homeless since 2003, spotted Mata Hairi, she was crouched under a table at a cafe, trying to stay out of the pouring rain.

    "I see cats all the time," King said. "I don't pick up cats. I don't want a cat, especially a full-grown one.

    And he definitely didn't want to haul around the needed food and bowls that would add 20 pounds to his pack.

  • LA's top cop ready to call it a career

    Wayne Torpy, Los Alamos’ police chief for the past eight years, announced his impending retirement Monday afternoon. Torpy who suffered a stroke several months ago and then later underwent open heart surgery, cited the after effects of his medical ordeal as the motivation behind his decision to retire.

    During his time at the helm of the LAPD, Torpy oversaw the construction of the Los Alamos Justice Center, gained accreditation for the department, and restructured the ranks to flatten the management structure.

    That streamlined management structure may have some unintended consquences given the recent abrupt departure of a top commander. County officials have denied requests from the Los Alamos Monitor under the state's Inspection of Public Records Act to reveal the reasons for the commander's separation from the department. The state attorney general's office is currently reviewing the matter to determine the legality of those denials.

    Torpy characterized his decision to retire as “the hardest decision I made in my life.”

  • Raw: India Floods Wash Away Apartment Building

    Authorities in India say monsoon flooding has washed away an apartment building in the northern part of the country. The severe flooding has left at least 23 people dead, and 50 people missing.

  • Police: NM woman unmasks robber, finds grandson

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say a New Mexico woman who confronted a masked intruder in her home stumbled upon a shocking discovery when she ripped off his disguise — the robber was her grandson.

    KRQE-TV reports that 22-year-old Thomas Clark is facing robbery charges after police say he stole his grandmother's purse during a bizarre robbery at an Albuquerque home.

    According to police, the woman confronted the Clark, dressed in black with a purple bandana over his face, last week when he broke into her home.

    Police say the woman yanked off the mask but Clark pushed her and fled with her purse.

    He was arrested later at his parents' home.

    Police say he confessed and said he did it for casino money.

    It was unclear if he had an attorney.

  • Today in History for June 17th
  • Thompson Ridge remains 80% contained, weather cooperates

    The Thompson Ridge wildfire that's charred nearly 24,000 acres in the Jemez Mountains west of Los Alamos during the past two weeks is now 80 percent contained with little growth in new fire activity, according to a Monday morning update.

    For the third consecutive day fire activity was restricted to unburned fuels within the interior where a total of four acres have burned since Friday. Minimal fire activity is expected today as crews continue rehab, mop up and patrol of the perimeter.

    The Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team will be joined on the line by members of the Albuquerque Zone Type III Incident Management Team who will assume management of the fire at 6:00 am Tuesday.

    The fire will continue to smolder through the interior where unburned fuels remain. Interior fire potential will increase Wednesday and Thursday with increasing temperatures and drying southwest winds.

    Rehabilitation of fire damage will be addressed by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team. Specialists of different disciplines will work with the various agencies and pueblos affected by the fire to assess damage and recommend actions.

    All points of entry to the Valles Caldera National Preserve are closed to public access due to fire activity. The Fenton Lake State Park is also closed to the public.

  • Today in History for June 16th
  • Valles Caldera possible transfer questioned

    The head of the New Mexico Game and Fish Department and members of the state Game Commission don’t like the idea of turning over management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service.
    They met with representatives from U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s office on Friday to discuss pending federal legislation concerning the 89,000-acre preserve in northern New Mexico.
    Udall and retired Sen. Jeff Bingaman first proposed the transfer in 2010 in hopes of getting more consistent funding to preserve the area.
    The federal government bought the former cattle ranch just west of Los Alamos in 2000. It’s a popular spot for hiking and fishing.
    Department of Game and Fish representatives, including Director Jim Lane and State Game Commissioners, met Friday with representatives of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall to discuss the Department’s concerns with proposed legislation that would transfer management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service.

  • Dragon Machine focus of talk

    Richard E. Malenfant talks about the history and significance of the Dragon Machine at the next Bradbury Science Museum “Brown Bag Luncheon Series,” presentation from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
    The Dragon Machine was the first nuclear reactor to demonstrate a divergent chain reaction supported by prompt neutrons alone. The machine was constructed in 1944 and used for experiments that were essential to the Manhattan Project. As part of National Safety Month, the talk also will include information about the non-fatal accident of February 1945 and the accidents with fatalities in August 1945 and May 1946.
    Malenfant joined the critical experiments facility at LANL in 1961 and is now a member of the Critical Experiments Safety Committee.
    The talk is in the auditorium of the Bradbury Science Museum. It is open to the public and attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. 

  • Huber on the job 47 years

    For someone who says she does not like change, Shirley Huber, office specialist for the Information Management Department, has seen more than her share of it in her 47 years with Los Alamos County.

    “I started November 15, 1965,” Huber says without hesitation.

    Huber’s first position was as a clerk typist in the finance department. That changed when the county decided to start its own IBM section, the forerunner of today’s IM Department.

    When some of the staff went to Zia Company to see the new equipment, Huber began playing with the keypunch machines. That caught the attention of Merle Pawley, who contacted Huber’s supervisor. Huber was trained on keypunch and verifier machines and became one member of the three-person staff in the new IBM section.

    Keypunch machines were a critical component in those days. The machines precisely punched holes into punch cards based on what the operator entered. Those cards contained the data the computers processed. Verifiers were used to verify that the correct information was entered on the punched cards.

    Needless to say, a lot could go wrong with that system.