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Today's News

  • Aquatomics find success at Cactus Classic

    The strong start to the long course season continued for the Los Alamos Aquatomics at the Cactus Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona, as many swimmers came home with personal victories and personalbest times. 

    This was the first long trip of the season for the Aquatomics, and the first with the team for head coach Mark Scott, who said, “we travel well, had a lot of fun and swam fast.”

    Though the team posted strong performances consistently, it had to battle extremely hot temperatures all weekend as the temperature on the deck reached a sweltering 112 degrees on Sunday afternoon. 

    Despite the heat, Scott said the swimmers “adapted well and fast.”

    One of the Aquatomics’ most impressive swimmers at the meet was Allison Amrani, who posted five top-10 finishes. In the 10-and-under 400-freestyle, she finished in third place with a time of 6:04.19, a 41-second improvement over her previous personal best. That time was good enough to earn her another Western Zone qualifying time, a meet she will compete in at the end of the season. 

    Orion Henderson had a great meet, finishing in the top-10 in all of his events, including a second-place finish in the 200-backstroke. 

  • Thunder, hail possible during commute

     The National Weather Service is advising Los Alamos County to be on alert for intermittent hail and thunderstorms between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. tonight.

    “There is a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms over far northeast New Mexico this afternoon and evening, where large hail and damaging winds are possible. Elsewhere, isolated thunderstorms are possible from the southwest mountains northeast through Socorro County to the central highlands and southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Some of these storms will be dry with gusty outflow winds and little rainfall,” NWS forecasters said.

  • Secretary of State candidate JoHanna Cox announces withdrawal from race

    Republican Secretary of State nominee JoHanna Cox announced Wednesday her withdrawal from the race, citing her need to attend to personal matters involving her family.

    “As a single mother who runs her own law practice, it was never easy to balance my full-time commitments with the demands of a statewide political campaign,” Cox said. “At this point, I must withdraw my candidacy to place my full focus on my responsibilities to my family."

    She said she was unable to continue because her family required her full attention. Cox, an Albuquerque attorney, was running for the office against incumbent Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat.

    The state Republican Party plans to convene its state central committee as soon as possible to select a new nominee to run against Toulouse Oliver in the Nov. 6 general election. Former state rep. Sandra Jeff is also running as a Libertarian candidate for secretary of state.

    Cox said she decided to run for office because she “believed the system of government and the will of New Mexico voters are undermined when elected officials use their position to wield political influence rather than serve the public.”

  • Hurricane's remnants to drop precipitation on New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Remnants of a hurricane that's now a tropical storm are expected to reach New Mexico and expected to provide some precipitation.

    The National Weather Service says sub-tropical moisture "will create a favorable set up for widespread rainfall, locally heavy at times, Saturday into Saturday night."

    According to the hazardous weather outlook released Wednesday, there are isolated risks of thunderstorms before the possibility of daily rounds of afternoon thunderstorms begin late Friday and continue into Saturday.

    Forecasters say the main hazards from numerous showers and thunderstorms will be frequent lightning, strong and gusty winds, heavy downpours and flash flooding.

    The weather service says areas recently burned by wildfires will be especially susceptible to flash floods and debris flows late Friday night into Saturday.
     

  • Exxon Mobil, Plains All American plan Permian Basin pipeline

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. and Plains All American Pipeline have agreed to build a pipeline to transport crude from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

    Tuesday's announcement by Irving-based Exxon Mobil and Plains All American, with headquarters in Houston, did not include financial details.

    Both companies have signed a letter of intent to transport crude oil and condensate from sites in West Texas. The pipeline would originate in both Wink and Midland, with delivery points in Webster, Baytown and Beaumont.

    The companies say the goal would be to ship more than 1 million barrels per day. Officials plan to use existing pipeline corridors to help limit potential community and environmental disruptions.

    Further details weren't immediately released.
     

  • New Mexico regulators consider $2B transmission project

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Developers of a $2 billion transmission project aimed at getting renewable energy from New Mexico and Arizona to large markets in the American Southwest are looking to clear one more regulatory hurdle as they seek state permission for the massive project.

    SunZia quietly submitted its application in March for approval of locations and right of way widths for the massive power lines, triggering a public hearing process that began Wednesday before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in

    Santa Fe. Over the next five days, numerous consultants and concerned ranchers will be testifying.

    The project has been years in the making and not without controversy as disputes initially rose over its proximity to a U.S. military installation and environmentalists raised concerns about effects on wildlife.

    It took federal land managers years to review the project's potential effects on everything — from the rural desert landscape the lines would cross to historical resources scattered throughout several counties in the southern half of the state. White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base and officials at New Mexico's spaceport also weighed in.

    In Arizona, regulators gave their approval for the lines in 2015 following more than a dozen public hearings.

  • N.M.’s delegation fights to keep LANL’s plutonium pit plan on track

    A federal judge’s June 7 decision to side with South Carolina in blocking the Department of Energy’s plans for the Savannah River Site should not affect the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s own plutonium pit manufacturing plans, congressional officials said Tuesday.

    In May, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced a plan to divide plutonium pit manufacturing between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The plan called for LANL to manufacture 30 plutonium pits per year by 2025 and the Savannah River Site to manufacture 50 pits per year by 2030, adding 80 pits to the nation’s nuclear stockpile each year.

    The plan included the shutdown and retooling of the Savannah River Site’s MOX facility, a facility that was being built to transform plutonium into reactor fuel.

    The plan was unpopular with New Mexico’s northern New Mexico congressional delegation, prompting the delegation to immediately take steps to ensure LANL’s continued role in plutonium pit production.

  • Tourism group picks visitor center sites

    Los Alamos County’s Tourism Task Force has developed a long list of possible locations to move the visitor’s center.
    The group decided to make the relocation its first priority last month, in order to provide visitors with a more visible space.

    The task force came up with a list of 21 possible sites June 5, and will prioritize the list in the next few months, before the list is submitted to county council for approval.

    Locations include: the Smith’s Marketplace parking lot, the Mari-Mac parking lot, the Shriner’s building on Trinity Avenue, a vacant parcel on 20th Street, a vacant property on Deacon Street, West Ashley Pond, The center’s present location at 109 Central Park Square, 1789 Central Ave., Main Gate Park, Hilltop, the “old Smith’s” at Mari-Mac Shopping Center, Fuller Lodge, the Los Alamos Post Office, 1010 Central Ave., 1350 Central Ave., the C.B. Fox Mattress Store, 104 Central Park Square, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Community Programs Office and 110 Eastgate Drive.
    The task force came up with the unofficial list during a brainstorming session. Some task members were assigned a site, where they will come up with a list of desirable criteria for each one. Those with highest points of desirability will be considered for the visitor center’s new location.

  • Inaugural pride festival an event for ‘everybody’

    Organizers of the first Los Alamos Pride Festival want their event to reflect the same belief of their community, the ideal that Los Alamos is for everybody.

    “The purpose is to be making a statement in Los Alamos, the statement that we support everybody,” said George Marsden, the assistant director of the Los Alamos Teen Center. “This community is for everybody and this would be a great chance to experience this in Los Alamos.”

    The event will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Fuller Lodge.

    “For me, coming from the standpoint of someone who works with youth in the community, the big thing is that this is a chance to let LGBTQ+ youth know that they’re important, that they matter, that they’re amazing just how they are and for just who they are,” Marsden said. “That’s a major issue around the country, but certainly a major issue in our community. Lots of those youth don’t feel valued, they don’t feel OK and that leads to kids having a hard time and higher suicide rates, things like that.”

    The festival will feature a karaoke sing-a-long, lawn games, face/body painting, a coming out door, a story time blanket and an over the rainbow bubble challenge, as well as an education station and information provided by local LGBTQ+ organizations and partners.

  • LANL designates restricted airspace where unauthorized drone flights prohibited, including additional ‘No Drone Zone’

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has deployed a system to counter all unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems over its restricted airspace and an additional Federal Aviation Administration-designated “No Drone Zone.”

    The system is government-authorized and is in a testing phase.

    “All airspace over the laboratory is protected right now against unauthorized drone or UAS flights,” said Michael Lansing, head of the laboratory’s security operations. “We can detect and track a UAS and if it poses a threat we have the ability to disrupt control of the system, seize or exercise control, confiscate, or use reasonable force to disable, damage or destroy the UAS.”

    LANL worked in collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration and FAA to implement the system.

    With legal authority granted by Congress through the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the NNSA has the enhanced ability to protect its facilities from any UAS that may pose a threat to the safety or security of assets and personnel, according to LANL.

    The Counter-UAS program at Los Alamos will be the blueprint for future programs at three other NNSA sites.

    Systems are planned for the Pantex Plant in Texas, the Y-12 facility in Tennessee, and the National Nuclear Security Site in Nevada.