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Los Alamos

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A Harley ride through controlled burn area near Los Alamos 9/25/12

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Main Hill Road closed for maintenance beginning Oct. 2

Two miles of N.M. 502, the road to Los Alamos, will be closed for several hours each day beginning Tuesday, while pavement rehabilitation work is underway. The affected highway extends from mile marker 4, near the county line, to mile marker 6, near the White Rock turn-off.


The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) advises motorists to take the N.M. 4/East Jemez Road truck route to Los Alamos and the Los Alamos National Laboratory while road work is in progress.


Crews will mill out two-and-a-half inches of existing pavement and repaving the road with new asphalt material to help rehabilitate the roadway.


According to NMDOT Maintenance Supervisor Kenny Gallegos, the repair has been a priority.


“It was part of our pavement preservation program for some time,” Gallegos said. “We prioritize our roads by pavement deterioration, and that section of the road is a perfect candidate.”


The last time the road was resurfaced was in the summer of 2000, according to Gallegos. Since then, Gallegos said, water has seeped into cracks in the pavement, causing a lot of potholes in that particular area.


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Main Hill Road traffic flow OK after accident -- photos added

A three-vehicle accident at Anderson Lookout has created traffic problems on the Main Hill, LAPD Capt. Randy Foster confirmed this afternoon.

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Those problems, however, have eased somewhat as the accident was cleared by 4 p.m. The other good news was that there were no injuries.

One of the vehicles in the accident was driven by Ken Johnson, a former Los Alamos Board of Education member and a former Democratic candidate for county council.

Johnson said in a phone interview with the Los Alamos Monitor that he was driving his Subaru Outback and was following a Volvo.

"The pickup truck was coming up The Hill and straddling the center line," Johnson said from the scene. "He T-Boned the Volvo and ricocheted off the Volvo and hit the back of my car on the driver's side."

The driver of the pickup truck was arrested and put in handcuffs by the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department. He was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear and will likely be charged with careless driving. A Santa Fe County Sheriff Deputy Tai Chan said the driver of the pickup vehicle was driving at a high rate of speed and likely hydroplaned into the oncoming vehicles.

Johnson said nobody was transported to the hospital.

Then Johnson saw a scary sight.

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Council OKs Trinity lease move

By Arin McKenna and Keven Todd, Publisher

In a move that puts the town’s most prized commercial frontage squarely in the hands of the nation’s largest retail grocer, the Los Alamos County Council voted 5-2 to assign the Trinity Site lease to the development arm of the Kroger Company.

“Perhaps the third time is a charm,” Council Chair Sharon Stover said as the special council session opened Monday evening. The reference was to failed attempts by two other developers to make a financial go of the Trinity Site redevelopment which has been years in the making.

The most recent developer to opt out was North American Development Group, which made the proposal to assign its lease to Kroger after NADG spent a six month due diligence period determining that the financial return on the project was not sufficient to continue.

The county and the Los Alamos Public Schools have partnered in the unique lease arrangement for the land which is designed primarily to generate long-term revenue for the school district.

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Black Hole closing sale underway

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LAHS homecoming activities

Homecoming activities

Tonight

Bonfire at Sullivan Field

Friday

Homecoming pep rally

3 p.m. Homecoming parade

7 p.m. Homecoming football game vs. Kirtland Central High School, at Sullivan Field

Saturday

 9 p.m.-midnight: Homecoming dance, LAHS    

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Traffic mishap in front of Hilltop House Hotel

Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Doug Ehler was trying to have an uneventful last day on the force.

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On Tuesday, he was on the scene as a paint truck went over a cliff on N.M. 4 in the Jemez Mountains.

On Wednesday, he was called to a scene around 3:30 p.m. at the corner of Trinity Drive and 4th Street in front of the Hilltop Hotel South. A white pickup truck made a turn in front of a red Subaru, causing extensive damage to both vehicles.

A 55-year-old woman, driving the red Subaru was transported by LAFD to Los Alamos Medical Center with minor injuries. A 17-year-old driving the white pickup truck was cited for failure to yield and having an expired driver's license.

The white pickup truck had run over the stop sign as well. And workers were already on the scene with a replacement stop sign.

“I was just trying to get through the day without anything happening,” Ehler said.

 By 4 p.m., traffic was flowing normally in both directions.  

And Ehler was ready to call it a career after 21 years.  

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LA golf team opens season at invitational

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Wife: Driver in truck crash to be OK

By Tris DeRoma

Frank Maes was at mile marker 49 on N.M. 4 when things started going wrong.

Before he knew it, he and his International flatbed truck, loaded with 2,000 gallons of yellow and white road striping paint, were plunging over the side of a steep mountain pass.

Maes was lucky.

In fact, soon after his truck, or what was left of it, came to a stop 200 feet below in the Bandelier National Forest, Maes got out of his cab and started crawling up the mountain.

“As he was going over, he told me he thought he was going to die,” Maes’ wife Karen said. “But something… I think angels were watching him.”

According to Karen,  Maes suffered no internal injuries or broken bones, just a laceration on his calf, a massive bruise on one of his hips and a sprained ankle. 

Maes was on his way down the mountain to rendezvous with the rest of his crew when the accident happened. His mission was to deliver his load of paint to the crew.

“He just ran out of brakes, he said he had no more brakes,” Karen said.

Soon after he got out of the cab, a passing motorist noticed Maes and called the police. 

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Research: LA and Japanese partners look to set standards for new technologies

Smart grid powered up

By Arin McKenna

Officials from New Mexico and Japan, including Gov. Susana Martinez, gathered en masse to dedicate the new Smart House Monday afternoon, which is the last link in the $53 million Smart Grid demonstration project.

“The Smart Grid and Smart House are pioneering results stemming from the strong collaboration between Los Alamos County, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology and Development Corporation), efforts that will demonstrate how to meet a community’s residential power needs,” Gov. Martinez said.

“This is the first U.S. international project of its kind. And as we stand here today, with project construction complete, I know that New Mexicans across the state are proud to have reached such a significant milestone,” she told the crowd.

Norio Sasaki, president and CEO of Toshiba Corporation, called the technology for this demonstration project the most advanced in the world. The project combines several key elements to test and improve Smart Grid technology.

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Council campaign donations subdued

By Arin McKenna

First General Reports for the 2012 campaign reveal that Councilor Vincent Chiravalle (R) and Kristin Henderson (D) are by far the biggest fundraisers in the race to fill three council seats.

But a closer look at both primary and general election reports reveal interesting patterns in terms of where the money is coming from.

The question of how much spending influences elections — as opposed to other factors such as grassroots campaigning — may never be resolved. But money does have the ability to influence the outcome of elections.

So far, Chiravalle has raised a total of $3,935 since the campaign season began, with $500 of that being a contribution to his own campaign.

Chiravalle also has raised more out-of-county money than any other candidates, with $1,885 coming from Los Alamos county residents and $1,550 coming from outside donors, mostly from New Jersey. Joseph Rinaldi of Carteret, N.J., contributed $1,300.

When asked about these large outside contributions, Chiravalle replied, “I have received donations for my re-election campaign from my supporters, family and friends. Joseph Rinaldi is my uncle.”

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Bond question goes to voters

By Tris DeRoma

The Los Alamos School Board worked long into the night last week shaping up a bond resolution. The resolution will ask Los Alamos residents permission to bond up to $20 million in construction funds for various renovations and maintenance to shore up Los Alamos Public Schools aging infrastructure.

According to Superintendent Gene Schmidt and the Los Alamos School Board, it wasn’t if they were sending a ballot to residents, but when. The board thought the bond question was so vital to LAPS’ future that they wanted to time its arrival at residents’ homes when it would have the most impact. That meant timing it for when the college students would be home, and when families would be home from their winter vacations and resuming regular mail service.

No one wanted to see the ballots disappear in the piles of vacation mail or worse, get confused with the other elections happening around the same time. One of the board’s biggest fears that if they chose to have voters come in and vote, not enough people would come out to support the bond initiative.

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Hilltoppers lose at St. Pius X 41-0

The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was roughed up on the road by an old district rival Saturday.
The St. Pius X Sartans took advantage of some key Hilltopper miscues Saturday at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque.
A late first half fumble set up a 4-yard touchdown run by TJ Sanchez, then another lost Hilltopper fumble on their first possession of the third quarter led to another short Sanchez touchdown run.
Sanchez, St. Pius’ tailback, finished with four touchdowns as the ninth-ranked Sartans cruised to a 41-0 victory. St. Pius scored 20 points following Los Alamos turnovers.
The Hilltoppers (1-2) and Sartans (2-1) were former District 2-4A rivals.
Saturday was the first time the two teams had played, however, since the Sartans moved out of district following the 2006 season.
This was the second straight time Los Alamos has been shut out on the road this season.
It was blanked at Farmington eight days earlier, 28-0.
Los Alamos will host its homecoming match-up Friday.
The homecoming game against Kirtland Central is set for 7 p.m.
Special thanks to KRSN AM 1490 for its help in compiling this report.
 

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