Today's News

  • Softball hopes to flip the script at state

    For four years in a row, it has been the same story for the Los Alamos High School softball team. Every year since 2014, the Hilltoppers have done enough to get into the state championship playoffs, but have been beaten by double digits in the first round. 

    This year, as the No. 10 seed, LAHS has a chance to reverse that curse as it takes on No. 7 seed Aztec High School on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals. 

    This is the highest the Hilltoppers have been seeded in the tournament in recent memory, after earning the No. 11 seed each of the past two years. 

    All of the games at the 2018 State Softball Championships will be played at a neutral site, beginning at Cleveland High School for the first two rounds. 

    The top four seeds at the tournament receive a bye to the second round, and will play the winners of the four play-in games in the quarterfinals. 

    All of the first round games will be played at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and the quarterfinals will follow at 12:30 p.m. 

  • Air Force: Use of training device started Kirtland wildfire

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The Air Force says an investigation has determined that use of a military training devise that simulates the noise and visual flash of ordnance explosions started a March wildfire on a Kirtland Air Force Base range.

    Base officials say training procedures have been changed so that ground burst simulators aren't used or are replaced by non-hazardous equipment during periods of high fire hazard.

    Also, when ground burst simulators or similar devices are used, Air Force personnel must have fire prevention and containment equipment on hand.

    The fire occurred March 4-5 it burned over 100 acres.

  • University of New Mexico announce new health system CEO

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The University of New Mexico has chosen a new CEO for its Level 1 trauma center and academic medical center.

    The university announced Tuesday that Kate Becker will serve as the new CEO for the university health system.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports Becker is a lawyer-turned-hospital administrator and currently serves as the president of SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital, an academic hospital and Level 1 trauma center serving eastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

    Becker is replacing Steve McKernan, who retired last fall after 21 years in the role.

    She will take over as CEO starting July 15.

    She will earn $620,000 annually and can make up to 25 percent more in incentive pay.

  • State of Education set for Monday at LAHS

    The public is invited to a State of Education speech at Los Alamos Public Schools Monday.

    The presentation is hosted by the District Parent Council and will be from 5:30-7 p.m.

    The LAPS School Board and Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus will speak at the Los Alamos High School Speech Theater.

    This event is open to all parents, staff, students and interested community members. The evening will include special presentations by the High School Bel Canto Choir, a slide show of student artwork and a video of LAPS students.

    Light snacks prepared by parents and LAHS students will be available, along with water and tea.

  • Council seeks letters of interest to fill vacancy

    The Los Alamos County Council is accepting letters of interest from residents to fill the unexpired term of Councilor James Chrobocinski, who resigned last week. His term will expire Dec. 31.

    Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of Los Alamos County, and cannot be employed by the county.

    Those interested need to submit a letter of interest explaining their background, experience and why they are interested in the position. Letters of interest must be received no later than May 31 at 5 p.m.

    The letter should be submitted to Harry Burgess, county manager, 1000 Central Ave., Suite 350, Los Alamos, NM 87544.

    The letter can also be e-mailed by the deadline to lacmanager@lacnm.us.

    Any person submitting a letter must attend a special council meeting at 6 p.m. June 11 in Council Chambers, and be prepared to respond to questions from councilors. The council expects to interview applicants and then make their selection that day.

  • New details emerge in April 29 brush fire

    According to a witness at the scene, a brush fire that broke out near the Ponderosa Pines Apartments April 29 could have been a lot worse.

    Though the Los Alamos County Fire Department was fast to respond, there were two people already at the scene using a garden hose, a shovel and whatever other tools they had available to put the fire out.

    The second witness to arrive was leaving the Mesa Public Library when he saw the smoke.

    “I looked down and saw a lot of smoke and thought ‘that isn’t right,’” he said.

    The second witness and another person arrived at about the same time and proceeded to try to put the fire out.

    While the other person had a shovel, the second grabbed a bucket to find some water. Finding none, he used the bucket’s bottom to help stamp out the fire.

    According to the second witness, they had it about 80 to 90 percent controlled by the time the fire department arrived.

    “If we wouldn’t have been there, that place would’ve probably went up,” he said.

    It was still tough going, though.

    “The more we would stamp, the more it would start up someplace else,” the witness said.

  • Libertarian Party targets legal pot, no state tax

    Behind their campaign for marijuana legalization, direct funding for public education and abolishment of state and federal taxes, there is a philosophy that Libertarian Party members think will appeal to the disenfranchised.

    According to A. Blair Dunn, Libertarian candidate for New Mexico attorney general, the Libertarian Party’s basic party line is to stay out of the daily lives of citizens.

    “The core beliefs all Libertarians share is that the proper role of  government is not to interfere in everybody’s daily lives,” Dunn said.

    “That means lowering the financial burden that the government places on individuals and lowering the amount of personal burden that the government places on the lives of individuals.”

    Legalization of marijuana, giving parents more control over funding for their children’s education, and abolishing the current federal and state and local tax systems in favor of a consumption-based tax system are the issues the New Mexico Libertarian Party will be campaigning for in this year’s election.

  • Libertarians hash out campaign strategy

    The Libertarian Party of New Mexico met with former Libertarian presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson Saturday to hash out strategy and get some real world perspective on what it’s like running for office.

    “Gary’s perspective is that of someone who has actually run. It’s unique. He also has a lot of experience in government, fundraising and politics”, New Mexico Libertarian Party Chair Chris Luchini, of Los Alamos, said. “Most of our candidates don’t have experience as elected officials or candidates.”

    Luchini is running for Los Alamos County Sheriff.

    Johnson said Saturday that judging from his own experiences, the candidates had a fight on their hands when it comes to going up against the Democrats and Republicans.
    Johnson was a guest of the first Libertarian Party Retreat, which was held at The Lodge in Santa Fe.

    He told those gathered that their races were not going to be pretty, especially if they were running a statewide race or for Congress.

    Johnson, who was a presidential candidate in 2016 against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, said it was tough competing with candidates that had more money and could afford to hire consultants skilled at manipulating what people see on the internet.

  • Secret City app, Manhattan Project National Park hit snags

    Reports of the demise of an app that enhances the Manhattan Project National Historical Park experience are greatly exaggerated.

    While it’s true the app is not running at 100 percent, it is still operational and able to provide additional information to visitors taking part in the park’s walking tour of the 16 sites in Los Alamos that played integral parts in the Manhattan Project.

    The app is called “Los Alamos: The Secret City of the Manhattan Project,” and was created by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s VISIBLE Team. It was made available to the public in June 2016.
    The app was created mainly as a companion piece to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which was designated by Congress in 2015.

    Even though many of the sites from the Manhattan Project are gone or have been radically transformed, visitors using the app could simply point their phones at the signs around town that mark where the sites were and that site’s information would appear on their phone looking as it did in the early 1940s.

    The app also contained a scavenger-hunt type game, as well as basic information about the sites for those on the walking tour.

    The app has received more bad reviews than good on the Apple App Store, as well as an overall 2.4 rating (out of five).

  • US officials to decide future of nuclear weapons work

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The federal agency that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile is expected this week to release a report on the best site option for the United States as it looks to ramp up production of the plutonium cores that trigger nuclear warheads.

    At stake are hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in federal funding that would be needed to either revamp existing buildings or construct new factories to support the work.

    New Mexico's U.S. senators have been pushing to keep the work at Los Alamos National Laboratory — the once-secret city in northern New Mexico where the atomic bomb was developed decades ago as part of the Manhattan Project. The other option would be to move it to it to the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River Site in South Carolina, which formerly produced components for the nation's nuclear weapons cache.

    Shuttered since the mid-20th century, work at the Savannah River Site since then has been primarily focused on cleanup and storage.

    The mission of producing the cores has been based at Los Alamos for years but none have been produced since 2011 as the lab has been dogged by a string of safety lapses and concerns about a lack of accountability.