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Today's News

  • Aquatomics dominate at VAST June Open

    As the season slowly begins to wind down for the Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team, the results continue to get more and more impressive. 

    At the team’s latest meet, the VAST June Open in Albuquerque, the Aquatomics won more than 25 races between prelims and finals, and had countless top-five finishes across all age groups. 

    As has been the case throughout the season, Ming Lo was one of the top competitors for the Aquatomics, collecting three first-place finishes in finals, and finishing in the top-five in each of his races. 

    He continues to improve throughout the season, dropping 49 seconds in the 400 individual medley. 

    Equally impressive was Fayrouz Mourad, who won two of her races in the finals, and also finished in the top-five of each of her races. 

    Allison Amrani won the 9-10 50-breaststroke and the 10-and-under 100-backstroke. She also finished in the top-five of five other races. 

    Duncan Henderson had seven top-three finishes, including a first-place finish in the 200-freestyle. 

  • McMillan wins Firecracker 5K Fun Run

    More than 200 people kicked off their Fourth of July celebrations at the Firecracker 5K Fun Run, which has become an annual tradition in Los Alamos County. 

    The run, organized by the YMCA, brought together people of all ages. Some were dressed in creative costumes, some ran with their dogs and others rolled strollers through the streets.

    The overall winner of the event was Erik McMillan, from the United Stated Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He finished the run in 17:17.27, and competed in the 18-22 age group. 

    Finishing second overall was Casey White of Los Alamos, who completed the race just six seconds after McMillan. White was competing in the 35-39 age group. 

    Steven Strevell, who finished second last year behind his brother Josh, earned third place at this year’s event with a time of 17:54.77. He ran with his dog Branson, who won the race with Joshua last year. 

    Strevell was joined in the race by several of his teammates on Los Alamos High School’s cross country and track and field teams, including Duncan Fuehne, Elijah Velasquez, Noah Bridgewater, Konstantin Nelson and Norissa Valdez. 

  • Alex Kirk Donates To UNM-LA Summer Program

    Pro basketball player Alex Kirk visited the UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) campus on June 13 to make a $1,000 donation to UNM-LA Community Education’s Summer Program for Youth (SPY). UNM-LA Community Education Program Coordinator Mike Katko said, “With this support from Alex, we will be able to add a component about living a healthy lifestyle to our regular programming.”

    The donation was made from the Alex Kirk Foundation, whose mission is “To raise awareness in our communities, families, schools and local agencies to foster the recognition and growth of physical activity for boys and girls.” 

    A local success story, Alex played basketball for Los Alamos High School and The University of New Mexico Lobos prior to starting his professional career. 

    He has played with the NBA, and for teams in Italy, China and Turkey, and he will return to Alvark Tokyo in Japan for a second season in the fall.

    During the short time he is in his hometown this summer, Alex has awarded three scholarships, sponsored basketball camps in Los Alamos, Española, and Clayton, provided funds to support the local junior golf program and helped refinish the floor of the basketball court at the Española Teen Center.

  • Atomic City Update: Loyalty has disappeared from professional sports

    For sports fans, July 1 is one of the most exciting days of the year. It’s the day NBA and NHL free agency begin, and the entire sports world is buzzing as players choose their new teams and fans can begin daydreaming about what the upcoming season might look like. 

    Fans go crazy when a player doesn’t choose their teams, and dance in the streets when a highly coveted free agent chooses to play in their city. General managers hold conference calls where they highlight all of the positive traits of the players they acquired, while ignoring any of the glaring weaknesses their team may still have. 

    There is perhaps more sports talk on that day than nay other day of the year, and it is always circled on my calendar. 

    However, that day also exposes a problem in sports, one that gets worse every year. 

    There is no loyalty in sports anymore, and as someone who grew up hearing about so many players in different sports spending their whole career in one place, that’s sad. 

  • No time to bake? Borrow a baker

    Today’s busy schedules can make it hard to find the time to come up with baked goods for that special occasion: a birthday cake for the big party, cookies for the Little League postgame celebration or a loaf of banana nut bread for the potluck get-together.

    Maybe it would be easier to borrow a baker to help out with the baking.

    And that’s where Chantielle Hanson can lend a hand, as well as a mixing bowl, recipe, ingredients and even the actual baking.

    “I’ve been baking since I was probably 8 years old and have always really enjoyed it,” Hanson said. “I was a high school teacher for five years and then I had kids – four total – and stayed home with them. Now they’re old enough – the youngest one is starting kindergarten – that I actually have time to do something I really enjoy.”

    And that is opening a business out of her house called Borrow a Baker in which she fills orders for baked goods and teaches classes to help others learn the intricacies of baking.

  • Attorneys determined to complete RCLC investigation

     Independent attorneys investigating an ethics complaint involving spending practices of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities between 2016-2018 said they would finish the investigation whether or not they get paid.

    In February, allegations surfaced that the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities then-executive director, Andrea Romero, made between $1,800-$2,000 in unauthorized travel expenses while coalition members were on a September business trip to Washington D.C. to talk to LANL officials and New Mexico’s Congressional representatives about the community’s interests. 

    The allegations were made by an organization called Northern New Mexico Protects.

    In February, Los Alamos County Council member Susan O’Leary filed an ethics complaint in an effort to see if any county councilors or other county officials also knowingly participated in any expense abuses in connection with their work on the coalition during 2016-18. 

  • Senator visits LANL, talks tech tranfer

    On a campaign stop in Los Alamos Thursday, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich visited with Los Alamos Laboratory officials to get an update on how the lab’s transition to a new contract is proceeding. 

    The lab’s new contractor, Triad National Security LLC, passed the 30-day protest period Wednesday without any objections raised by the other bidders. 

    “These moments where you transition managing and operating contracts are really important for making sure we maintain the quality of the work force and the talent pool,” Heinrich said. “Everything else is replaceable at our national labs. It’s really the talent that makes them what they are and that needs extra attention every time you transfer from one manager to another.”

    Heinrich also said he believes the lab’s workforce is good hands with LANL Director Terry Wallace.

    “My impression is that Terry has been bending over backwards to make sure that transition is as smooth as possible and that has absolutely been the right approach,” Heinrich said. 

  • Heinrich urges Democrats to get involved

    Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich likes the momentum his party is picking up in Los Alamos County and urged a crowd of supporters to continue the unified fight heading into the November general election. 

    Heinrich spoke at a Democratic Party meet and greet event at UnQuarked, which was also attended by Christine Chandler, the party’s candidate for the District 43 House of Representatives race, and municipal judge candidate Elizabeth Allen, as well as county council candidates Sara Scott, James Robinson and Randall Ryti.

    “The purpose of being here tonight is to urge all of you to become part of a coordinated campaign,” Heinrich said. “I’ve been through too many campaigns in New Mexico where this group was off doing this thing, and this group was doing that thing, and the delegation was doing something else and the governor’s candidate had their own operation … this is the first truly unified effort I’ve ever seen.

    “So we’re here today,” he continued, “to say please sign up and get involved.”

  • Management shift begins at US nuclear weapons lab

    LOS ALAMOS (AP) — The U.S. government on Monday cleared the way for a new management team to begin taking over one of the nation's top nuclear weapons laboratories as it looks to rebuild its reputation.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration issued an official notice to proceed to Triad National Security LLC , marking the beginning of a transition at Los Alamos National Laboratory that will take about four months.

    Made up of Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute, Texas A&M University and the University of California, the management team was announced as the winning bidder in June of a coveted $2.5 billion-a-year contract to manage the northern New Mexico lab.

    The University of California has played a key management role at the lab since it was created as part of a top-secret effort during World War II to build the atomic bomb. The federal government opted to put the contract up for bid following missed goals and a string of safety lapses involving the handling of plutonium and radioactive waste.

    The new contract also comes as the U.S. has tasked the lab with building at least 30 plutonium cores a year. The cores are used to trigger nuclear weapons, and the work is complex.

  • Santa Fe National Forest opening Monday

    The Santa Fe National Forest is opening Monday at 8 a.m., according to Santa Fe National Forest Public Affairs Officer Bruce Hill.  Cibola and Carson National Forests remain closed. Officials also asked for the public's patience  "as it will take some time to remove barriers and open gates for forest access Monday," Hill said.

    “We noticed conditions starting to improve two weeks ago when moisture levels increased due to higher humidity,” Forest Supervisor James Melonas said. “The recent rain is the beginning of what we can expect to be a good monsoon season. The Carson and Cibola National Forests are closely monitoring local conditions to determine the safe timing for the lifting of any closures and restrictions.”  

    Fire restrictions have been downgraded to stage 2. Stage 2 restrictions include no building, maintaining, attending or using a camp, charcoal, coal, or stove fire. Use of fireworks, explosives or smoking is also prohibited. Offroading on federal lands is also prohibited, as is use of a chainsaw.    Penalties include a maximum fine of $5,000 for an individual, $10,000 for an organization. A maximum sentence of six months in jail could also be considered.