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Today's News

  • Girls’ basketball improves to 3-0 in district play

    As their junior seasons move along, Becca Green and Natalie Gallegos continue to improve and become more deadly near the basket. Saturday night against Taos, the duo dominated the undersized Tigers, leading the Hilltoppers to a 53-27 victory.

    Last season, the duo played key roles on the Hilltopper varsity team, but struggled to understand their offensive responsibilities, leading to mistakes.

    With head coach Lanse Carter teaching them the correct way to play near the basket, LAHS has developed into a state tournament contender, thanks in large part to the play of its matchup-wrecking forwards.

    Playing a largely-undersized Tigers’ team at Griffith Gymnasium, Green and Gallegos made their presences felt early and often, combining for all 14 Hilltopper points in the first quarter. In transition, Green was unstoppable, and in the halfcourt offense, Gallegos was perfect, scoring when Green was double-teamed.

    LAHS jumped out to a 24-14 halftime lead, and there was never any doubt of who was in control. Green and Gallegos each had 10 points at the half, combining for 20 of the team’s 24 points. The other scoring output came from Alex

    Calderon, who has emerged as a top guard for LAHS thanks to her ability to handle the ball and finish at the basket.

  • Hilltoppers drop third straight district game

    Facing one of the top 10 teams in Class 4A on the road, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team continued to struggle to find consistent sources of offense, falling to Taos High School 59-48.

    Since district play began, offense has been hard to come by for the Hilltoppers, as leading scorer Gavin Campos fouled out of the first two district contests. Though he returned to form Friday against the Tigers, finding secondary sources of offense continued to evade LAHS.

    Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first quarter, as LAHS knocked down only three shots, and Taos found the bottom of the basket five times. Campos scored 5 points in the opening quarter, but went only 1-3 at the free throw line. The Hilltoppers trailed 11-7 after the first quarter.

    LAHS woke up offensively in the second quarter, as Campos connected on a deep three-point basket and Matthew Owen scored on a layup and a midrange jumper. Taos was deadly offensively in the quarter, though, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and extending its lead to 32-21 heading into the halftime break.

  • LAHS hockey dominates final home games

    With a four-game sweep last weekend, the Los Alamos High School hockey team took over first place in the Rio Grande Hockey League with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

    The Hilltoppers hosted Telluride and Durango for two games apiece at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. They were the final home games of the season for LAHS, which will play its final four regular season games on the road.

    Facing Telluride, which has also been near the top of the standing all season, the Hilltoppers looked like a poised and battle-tested team. After leading 5-2 after the first two periods, Telluride made a furious comeback, scoring three goals in a row to tie the score 5-5.

    Though some teams would have allowed that to rattle them, the Hilltoppers did the opposite. Carson Schramm gave LAHS the lead right back a minute later, and the Hilltoppers held on for a 6-5 victory.

    The second game against Telluride was far less dramatic, as LAHS jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a 5-1 victory.

    The second two games of the weekend against Durango proved to be little challenge for the Hilltoppers. The team dominated Durango 8-2 in the first game, and cruised to a 4-0 win in the second game to earn the four-game home sweep.

  • Gonzales leads LAHS to top spot in District 2-4A

    In the classroom, Michaela Gonzales is only a sophomore. But on the basketball court, she is a leader and a key player in the LAHS girls’ basketball team’s turnaround this season.

    It didn’t take long for first-year head coach Lanse Carter to realize he had someone special in Gonzales. In one of his first meetings with the team last summer, Gonzales gathered around a team full of players older than her and with more experience and said, “We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

    At the time, she may not have known how true that statement was. By leading her team to a 55-48 comeback victory on the road over Pojoaque Valley Tuesday night, she helped strengthen the winning culture developing around the program, and lifted the Hilltoppers to first place in District 2-4A.

    Heading into district play this season, the Elkettes were the unquestioned favorites. The team was 18-3 overall prior its matchup with the Hilltoppers, though both teams were 3-0 in district play.

  • Fun with Music
  • County council OKs leadership plan

    The Los Alamos County Council approved its Strategic Leadership Plan Tuesday, a plan that includes seven prioritized areas for the next year.

    Those areas include: increasing the amount and types of housing options; enhancing support and opportunities for local businesses; addressing long-term building vacancies in key areas of the community; protecting and maintaining open places, recreational and cultural amenities; supporting improving public health; investing in infrastructure and planning for appropriate levels of county services.

    County leadership said that their ratification of the areas it wants to concentrate on this year is just the start of an ongoing collaboration with the public.

    “As we move forward with that engagement, we will be looking for ideas. There’s a lot of good smart caring people in this community and we want to make sure we get all great ideas we can to really make progress on some of these,” Council Chair Sara Scott said after the ratification of the plan.

    Vice Chair Pete Sheehey said when the plan gets posted up on the Los Alamos County website, this is the public’s chance to give its input and to tell council how it should fulfill these priorities.

  • Contractor: RDX level in new well has two-times allowable limit

    Los Alamos contractor N3B confirmed Tuesday that it has found twice the allowable New Mexico Environment Department’s limit of RDX, a chemical used in the manufacturing of high explosives, at a monitoring well on lab property.

    The new monitoring well is located at a cleanup site at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in well R-69 at Tech Area 16.
    The area is located in the southwestern area of the lab property

    The well had 16 parts per billion of the RDX chemical, the contractor reported to the Los Alamos County Council Tuesday.

    Another well at the site, R-68, had already been tested by the contractor. That well contained 14 parts per billion.
    N3B received the new monitoring results Tuesday.

    NMED’s allowable tapwater screening level limit is 7.02 parts per billion.
    RDX Project Manager Peter McGuire told councilors that the new findings pose no danger to the public and steps have been taken to keep the RDX away from the public drinking water supply.

    “The Department of Energy also samples for the public supply wells. RDX has never been detected in any of the public supply wells or any of the wells that are outside the network of wells,” McGuire said.

  • Cleaning up after storms costs $477K

    The cost of the December and January Storms have totaled nearly half a million dollars, according to the county’s official estimates.

    The county shelled out $477,050 in December and January to plow and move snow off the streets, almost twice the amount it budgeted for. The county only budgeted $253,692 for the task, assuming that Los Alamos County was going to have an average winter. Most of the extra cost went to hiring outside contractors and overtime. The cost for the contractors was $294,777 and the overtime was $47,172 through Jan. 22.

    To cover the costs of the snow removal, County Council Jan. 29 voted to take $113,563 from the county’s General Fund to cover the cost. 

    “Sounds to me like county management’s been very pragmatic is saying we need to have some funds available if we get more snow,” County Chair Sara Scott said. “Again, we wouldn’t anticipate another one like this, but  looking ahead and planning is in place and is appropriate.”

  • Arkansas Guard troops moving from New Mexico to Texas

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson has ordered Arkansas National Guard troops deployed along the Mexican border in New Mexico to relocate to Texas to help with border security there.

    Up to eight Arkansas troops and two helicopters have been deployed in New Mexico since May 2018 to help secure the nation's southwestern border. Hutchinson says he has directed Adjutant General Mark Berry to shift those troops to Texas, where the security needs are greater.

    Earlier this week, New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham ordered the New Mexico National Guard withdrawn from border deployment and directed troops from other states to return home.

    Last week, Arkansas troops and one of the state's LUH-72 Lakota helicopters helped federal officials seize 136 pounds of marijuana and arrest four men along the New Mexico border.
     

  • US Marshals search for attorney wanted for murder

    The U.S. Marshals-led Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is searching for a man wanted for the murder of his mother in DeKalb County, Georgia.

    The man has removed an ankle monitor and has failed to appear and surrender himself to authorities for a previous conviction in Cobb County.  

    Richard V. Merritt, a disbarred attorney, was being monitored by law enforcement via an ankle monitor and was scheduled to surrender Feb. 1 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail in Cobb County, where he had been convicted of stealing money from clients and elder abuse.

    On Feb. 2, Merritt's elderly mother was found dead, having been violently killed, according to law enforcement. Her vehicle was missing and Merritt's vehicle was recovered at the scene.    
    The vehicle he may be driving is a 2009 silver Lexus RX350, bearing a Georgia tag CBV 6004.

    Law enforcement said he may have shaved his head or changed his appearance, and should be considered armed and dangerous. The public is asked not to engage with him.

    Anyone who sees him is asked to contact law enforcement immediately.