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Today's News

  • New Mexico governor says no to high-level nuclear waste

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's governor said Friday she's opposed to plans by a New Jersey-based company to build a multibillion-dollar facility in her state to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the U.S.

    In a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the interim storage of high-level radioactive waste poses significant and unacceptable risks to residents, the environment and the region's economy.

    She cited the ongoing oil boom in the Permian Basin, which spans parts of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, as well as million-dollar dairy operations and other agricultural interests that help drive the state's economy.

    Any disruption of agricultural or oil and gas activities as a result of a perceived or actual incident would be catastrophic, she said, adding that siting a storage facility near Carlsbad also could affect future investment in the area.

    "Establishing an interim storage facility in this region would be economic malpractice," she wrote.
    Holtec International has defended its plans, citing unmet obligations by the federal government to find a permanent solution for dealing with the tons of waste building up at nuclear power plants.

  • Knights of Columbus golf tourney set for June 22

    The local council of the Knights of Columbus will be hosting its annual golf tournament June 22 at Los Alamos Golf Course.

    The 20th annual Knights of Columbus Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament is a four-person team scramble. 

    In addition to course play, there were be Las Vegas-themed on-course games and mulligans available for purchase.

    Play begins at 1 p.m.

    Price for participation is $100 per player, which includes greens fees, golf cart (usage is mandatory for this tournament), range balls and post-tournament dinner at Cottonwood on the Greens. 

    There are discounts for LAGC pass holders, as well as members of Los Alamos Fire Department and Los Alamos Police Department.

    Registration closes June 20. Tax-deductible hole sponsorships are still available for the tournament.

    All proceeds from the tournament go toward the Knights of Columbus scholarship fund—scholarships are awarded yearly to deserving Los Alamos High School students.

    For more information on the tournament, call Roger Anaya at 670-6717 or the LAGC at 662-8139.

  • LAHS softball stars compete with top players in New Mexico

    Recent Los Alamos High School graduates Alicia Gonzales and Janessa Gonzales competed earlier this week in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association softball all-star games in Rio Rancho. 

    Both girls competed for the Northeast Large School Softball team. 

    The team played one game on Monday, and two more games on Tuesday against the other large school all-star teams from around the state. 

    The rosters were made up of 12 girls apiece, many of whom competed against each other during the regular season. 

    Española Valley’s Haley Ortega made the team as well, along with Rianna Arellano and Hallie Vigil from Pojoaque Valley. 

    Alicia Gonzales started the game in right field, and both LAHS participants were in the starting lineup. 

    Janessa Gonzales played the fourth inning in right field and made a fantastic diving catch to end the inning. It was her first action in the outfield all season, as she played behind the plate for the Hilltoppers this past season. She moved behind the plate to catch the fifth inning. 

  • YMCA Annual Golf Classic set for next week

    Next Friday, players will tee off at the YMCA’s Annual Golf Classic at the Los Alamos County Golf Course, which acts as a fundraiser for financial assistance for people around the community. 

    Each year, the YMCA provides assistance to 300 people, 200 of which are youth in the community. The organization’s goal is to help as many people as possible to participate in YMCA programs. 

    Early bird registration for $85 runs through Thursday. Those who sign up the day of the event will pay $95. 

    That price pays for entry into the tournament, a team golf cart and lunch after the tournament. There is also a $25 donation to charity included. 

    Following the event, net and gross score winners will be announced, hole prizes will be given out and there will be a raffle drawing. 

    Players should begin checking in at 8 a.m., with a welcome to follow at 8:45 a.m. The tournament will officially begin at 9 a.m. 

    The prize ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m., with lunch to follow at the Bathtub Row Brewery provided by Smokin’ Bear BBQ. 

  • LANL experts to discuss ‘The Science of Vintage Space’ June 15 in Santa Fe

    Los Alamos National Laboratory will host a panel at the Santa Fe Institute's InterPlanetary Festival about the Science of Vintage Space on June 15 in Santa Fe.

    The event is free and open to the public.

    Both current and retired experts from the laboratory will talk about the critical role LANL played in the early days of the space race, such as developing sensors for satellites to detect nuclear explosions in space that resulted in the discovery of gamma-ray bursts and insights into solar storms.

    Panelists will also talk about how LANL's expertise in all things nuclear led to the development of nuclear-powered rockets (such as Project Rover) and nuclear fuel for spacecraft, as well as today's development of nuclear reactors for powering future space colonies. The panel will include Alan Carr, Ed Fenimore, Herb Funsten, Jackie Lopez-Barlow and Morrie Pongratz.

    The event is set for 4:15-5:15 p.m. June 15 at the SITE Auditorium, 1606 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe.

    For more information, click here.

  • Long-distance trip: NASA opening space station to visitors

    By JEREMY REHM Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — You've heard about the International Space Station for years. Want to visit?

    NASA announced Friday that the orbiting outpost is now open for business to private citizens, with the first visit expected to be as early as next year.

    There is a catch, though: You'll need to raise your own cash, and it won't be cheap.

    A round-trip ticket likely will cost an estimated $58 million. And accommodations will run about $35,000 per night, for trips of up to 30 days long, said NASA's chief financial officer Jeff DeWit.

    "But it won't come with any Hilton or Marriott points," DeWit said during a news conference at Nasdaq in New York City.

    Travelers don't have to be U.S. citizens. People from other countries will also be eligible, as long as they fly on a U.S.-operated rocket.

    Since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA has flown astronauts to the space station aboard Russian rockets. The agency has contracted with SpaceX and Boeing to fly future crewed missions to the space station. Private citizens would have to make travel arrangements with those private companies to reach orbit.

  • Trump: 'Good chance' now for tariff deal with Mexico

    By JILL COLVIN, MATTHEW LEE and LUIS ALONSO LUGO Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After a week of threats, President Donald Trump declared Friday that now "there is a good chance" the U.S. will strike a deal with Mexico to avert the tariffs he had scheduled for Monday to force the U.S. ally to stem the flow of Central American migrants into the United States.

    "If we are able to make the deal with Mexico, & there is a good chance that we will, they will begin purchasing Farm & Agricultural products at very high levels, starting immediately," Trump tweeted from aboard Air Force One as he flew home from Europe. "If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!

    The tweet marked a change in tone from earlier Friday, when his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders had told reporters in Ireland before Trump took off: "Our position has not changed. The tariffs are going forward as of Monday."

    U.S. and Mexican officials were holding a third day of talks at the U.S. State Department Friday trying to hash out a deal that would satisfy Trump's demand that Mexico dramatically increase its efforts to crack down on migrants.

    Sanders had said earlier that the two sides had "made a lot of progress" but not enough.

  • Mining company to move forward with plan to mine SFNF for precious metal deposits

    A mining company filed paperwork with the state and the Santa Fe National Forest Thursday, notifying them that they plan to explore the Jones Hill area for precious metal deposits.

    The Santa Fe National Forest announced Thursday it had received a plan from Comexico LLC, the American subsidiary of New World Cobalt, to conduct mineral exploration on previously identified deposits on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District.

    Comexico also submitted an exploration permit application to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

    Comexico’s application proposes core drilling in the vicinity of Jones Hill near Terrero to identify base and precious metal deposits for mining.

    In April, Comexico submitted two notices of intent to the SFNF requesting access to Forest Service roads that are closed to the public to stake the mining claim, collect surface samples and begin geophysical testing.

    The Comexico operation is authorized under the General Mining Act of 1872, as amended, and Forest Service regulations on locatable minerals.

    Since the activities requested in the notice are non-surface disturbing, they do not require analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • State expands medical marijuana program

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico is expanding its medical cannabis program to include people suffering from adverse effects of opioid use.

    Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel on Thursday added opioid use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for patients who can participate in the program.

    She also approved the addition of Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and three degenerative neurological disorders.

    New Mexico joins at least eight states — from Maine to California — that already recognize opioid dependency as a qualifying condition, either explicitly or within the bounds of significant medical conditions.

    Opening up New Mexico’s program to people struggling with opioid use and addiction was among the campaign pledges of first-year Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. There are now more than 73,000 patients enrolled in New Mexico’s program, most for chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Valles Caldera struggles with staffing shortages

    The Valles Caldera National Preserve has little to offer in the way of programs and events as the summer starts. A staffing shortage throughout the national park system has left the preserve without enough summer staff for now.

    The preserve should be up and running in late June or early July, in time to offer a full slew of summer programs and events.

    Part of the slowdown in the process is the federal background checks each employee, part-time or full-time, has to go through.

    Hiring has an extra step to it due to the federal background checks, according to Supervisory Park Ranger for Interpretation Emily Guss, a 19-year employee of the national park system.

    Guss said the checks have always been an issue.

    “It usually is. There are 400-plus national parks across the country. The summer season is very big for all the parks, and we’re all trying to hire people at the same time,” Guss said.

    Among the programs that might be brought back is the Summer Sky program, but that all depends on if the park is able to hire enough staff, according to Guss.

    “We might be bringing back the night sky program, but we want to make sure we have the staff before we promise them that,” Guss said.