Today's News

  • Judge to decide county email, privacy complaint

    Santa Fe District Judge Gregory Shaffer said Wednesday he would issue a decision soon as to whether emails authored by Los Alamos County Council member Susan O’Leary can remain private.

    “The court is going to take the matter under advisement,” Schaffer said. “I’ll issue my own written opinion on the emails at issue on or before May 7.” 

  • LA Gun Show remains popular with locals

    The Los Alamos Gun Show went off without a hitch this weekend as gun sellers, gun buyers, gun traders and a few political candidates stopped by the event. 

    The gun show has been a steadfast county tradition that has successfully withstood the tides of politics in the 10-plus years of its existence. 

    The show’s founders speculated that the reason it is so popular is that there aren’t a lot of places nearby where people can purchase a firearm.

    “This is a great family event, and we have a lot of active sportsmen in here,” said one of the founders of the event. “There’s not a lot of options to buy guns, so we enjoy being able to bring this to the enthusiasts in the area. It’s very popular event.”

    The organizer also had an opinion about the recent attempts to add more regulation to gun shows and protests against the gun show in general that have cropped up through the years. 

  • PED heralds new options for computer science students

    New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski couldn’t have picked a better place to make an important announcement Tuesday.

    Ruszkowski made an appearance at the annual Supercomputing Challenge Awards ceremony at the Church of Christ in Los Alamos, announcing that a series of computer science courses can now count toward high school graduation credits. 

    “Historically, when we talk about math credits, and science credits, that you have to earn, courses focused on things like computer science were not allowed to count toward that high school graduation requirement,” Ruszkowski said. “What I’m announcing today is that ends today.” 

    When the applause and cheers coming from middle and high school students that came from all over the region faded, he explained further what that exactly meant.

    “Scientific Technologies, mathematical modeling, fractal math AP (Advanced Placement) Computer Science and AP Computer Science Principles may be utilized in some cases for math credit, in some cases for science credit, in some cases for either or,” Ruszkowski said.

  • NNSA: Lab contract could be awarded by May

    The contract worth more than $2 billion annually to operate and manage the Los Alamos National Laboratory could be awarded as soon as April or May, according to publicly available documents from the National Nuclear Security Administration. 

    All bids are now finalized for the contract, according to press reports. 

    The University of California announced  it had finalized its bid for the contract Friday, according to University of California Media Specialist Stephanie Beechem. 

    “We have submitted our final bid, just like the other teams,” Beechem said. 

    “It’s my understanding that all teams have submitted their final bids at this time,” a spokesperson for the University of California wrote in an email to Weapons Complex Morning Briefing earlier this week.

    Beechem could not reveal any background information on the nature of their bid. 

  • Plutonium pit misplaced at LANL; corrective actions taken

    Los Alamos National Laboratory officials said Monday lab personnel have taken corrective actions in the wake of a March incident involving a misplaced plutonium pit. 

    The pit was placed in a glovebox inside the lab’s plutonium pit manufacturing facility that was not designed to hold it, according to a March 23 Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board inspection report. 

    A laboratory spokesman said Monday that the pit has since been removed and workers have received additional training because of the incident. 

    No one was hurt, and the report also noted that there were no other radioactive materials in the box the plutonium pit could have reacted with, which could have caused a nuclear criticality event.

    Plutonium pits, manufactured at the laboratory, are about the size of a softball and are used as triggering mechanisms for nuclear weapons. 

  • New Mexico education officials pursue school retention plan

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico public schools officials are moving forward with a proposal that would require schools to administer improvement and intervention plans and in some cases hold back students who have literacy skills below grade level.

    Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski is proposing the new rule that focuses on reading proficiency based on a state assessment and would apply to schools teaching students in kindergarten through third grade.

    Schools would be required to retain students if they fail to reach reading proficiently following a variety of steps that aim to help struggling students. The proposal would allow some exemptions to retention.

    Members of the Legislative Education Study Committee voiced concern about the proposal at their meeting Monday, saying it's similar to legislation that lawmakers have previously rejected.

  • Union for political campaigns expands to New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — The staff for Democratic congressional candidate Debra Haaland in New Mexico has unionized under an upstart national guild for election-campaign employees, announcing a new contract Monday that was negotiated through collective bargaining.

    The contract secured by the Campaign Workers Guild includes a minimum $15-an-hour wage for part-time workers and a $3,000 minimum monthly salary for full time staff, along with workplace guarantees that include procedures for reporting sexual misconduct, according to campaign staff and a union official. Additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.

    Angie Poss, a field director for Haaland's campaign, said collective bargaining was an opportunity for staff and the candidate to live by the values they espouse.

    "We're leading by example," Poss said. "We don't just support the right to unionize, we support our own rights and are taking that power into our own hands."

    She insisted the campaign will remain competitive as Haaland seeks the Democratic nomination to succeed Democratic

    U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor.

    "You don't have to work 80 hours a week on a campaign to be effective," Poss said.

  • Lacrosse falls to Sandia Prep in OT

     Battling Sandia Prep was the least of the Los Alamos High School boys’ lacrosse team’s problems Thursday night at Dara Jones Field, as high-powered wind gusts wreaked havoc on the players, the fans and especially the ball. The elements made the game unpredictable and exciting, though the home fans went home unhappy as the Hilltoppers lost 8-7 in overtime. 

    It was a back-and-forth contest from the opening face-off, as neither team was able to create separation. Offense was made difficult by the wind, as every pass had to be made carefully, and long passes were nearly impossible to complete. 

    The Hilltoppers took the early lead, as Peter Janke got LAHS on the board with the first goal of the game. 

    After Sandia answered back with a goal, Jacob Dunwoody gave the Hilltoppers a 2-1 lead with a goal of his own before the end of the first quarter. 

    Sandia once again answered back with a goal, and Ryder Davenhall came right back with his first goal of the game to give LAHS a 3-2 lead. 

    The back-and-forth game continued as Sandia tied the score 3-3 before Janke gave LAHS the lead back.

  • Atomic City Update: Cutting men’s soccer would be a mistake for UNM

    This week, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted 6-1 in favor of a budget that will require the university to cut sports programs in the near future. As someone who believes sports are an important part of society, especially on college campuses, this is not the kind of news I like to hear. 

    Particularly concerning is that one of the main sports being considered for the cuts is the men’s soccer program, which has been one of UNM’s most successful programs since the turn of the century. If a program had a long history of losing, and was making the school very little money I think it would be fair to consider letting it go, but that’s far from the case here. 

    The team has played in two Final Fours, one national championship game and has been a conference champion seven times since 2001. That is more success than many programs around the country could expect to have in 50 years of competition. 

  • Such a Goose