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Los Alamos

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N.M. officers watching for drunken drivers

By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Law enforcement officers around New Mexico will be out in full force watching for drunken drivers through the holiday season.

The increased patrols, DWI checkpoints and constant pleas from elected officials to celebrate responsibility have become part of New Mexico’s fabric as the state continues to fight the pervasive problem of drunken driving.

“Too often we hear about the pain and heartache caused by a DWI fatality around this time of year,” Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement. “Law enforcement is on the lookout for intoxicated drivers so I hope all New Mexicans will do the right thing by not drinking and driving.”

New Mexico was once among the worst states in the nation for DWI-related deaths. Efforts to toughen the laws began to get serious traction following a Christmas Eve crash in 1992 in which a wrong-way drunken driver smashed head-on into a family on their way home from midnight Mass. Melanie Cravens and her three young daughters were killed, and her husband was seriously injured.

The Cravens case changed the way people in New Mexico thought about drinking and driving, and her family members were instrumental in leading the crusade to change things.

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Henderson sees tough choices ahead

By Arin McKenna

Second of a series

Municipal Judge Alan Kirk swore in new Councilors Steve Girrens, Kristin Henderson  and Pete Sheehey, along with new County Clerk Sharon Stover last week.

The priorities each of the new councilors has established as they prepare to take up the reins may cause some alliances to shift and also shed some light on how they will govern the next four years.

Kristin Henderson

“I think we need with every decision to try to evolve the town and to try to take into account the families who want to see the town evolve a little bit, to see some progress,” Henderson said.

“I think we’re going to have to make some tough choices coming up, not having they level of funds that we thought we were going to have. And that’s okay. I think we need to prioritize. And that can be a good thing.

“But my goal will always be to keep the families in mind when we make these decisions. Let’s not have that be the overlooked contingent.”

Henderson plans to measure the CIP projects under review with that yardstick.

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LA Research Park: a success story that could be replicated

By Arin McKenna

One argument for the Los Alamos County Council’s decision last week to appoint Councilor David Izraelevitz and County Administrator Harry Burgess to the Las Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation board was the success of the Los Alamos Research Park. The development was presented as an example of what can be accomplished through mutual cooperation.

In a letter supporting more active county participation in the LACDC, Board Chair David Horpedahl wrote, “The LACDC believes the Research Park project to be the most significant and most successful economic development project that has been undertaken by Los Alamos County to date.”

“It was the lab and county working together, in this case led by our organization, to try to create something that had never really existed in this town, and that was high quality, commercially operated space for science and technology activities,” LACDC Executive Director Kevin Holsapple said.

The Los Alamos Research Park was the first large-scale economic development project supported by the county. Council awarded the project $800,000 in grant money, plus additional debt financing.

The LACDC leveraged that money to assemble more than $17 million in additional investment from outside the county, a 21:1 ratio.

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LAPS: Venue offers special place for remembrance

Officials dedicate Memorial Garden

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for the Los Alamos High School Memorial Garden. The formal dedication presented the newly completed garden to the high school students and the families, who had lost loved ones at much too early an age.  

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Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt said the memorial garden is intended to be a quiet place for students, family and friends to gather in remembrance of the students, whose names are listed on a wall.

In his remarks, Schmidt thanked the Rotary Club of Los Alamos for making the garden possible.  He said the place is for families to walk and remember, as well as sit and reflect on the memory of their loved ones.

Rotary Club President Linda Hull spoke of the three years of fundraising and preparation that made the garden possible. She mourned the passing of all of the students named there and expressed the hope that no more names would be added.

High school principal Sandy Warnock said, “This garden reminds us of how precious life is. This is a garden that will forever be a place to remember those who left us too early.”

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Cold and blustery week ahead for New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Cold and blustery conditions are expected across much of the state in the wake of a cold front that made Christmas driving tough in New Mexico's eastern plains.

The National Weathers Service says cold winds but sunny days will be the norm Wednesday and for most of the state on Thursday. Lows in the teens will be common and highs should be in the mid-40s across much of the state.

A weak cold front moving in from northern Arizona Wednesday night will bring a chance of snow showers in western and northern New Mexico. But there's not much moisture in the system and totals should be light. A second front moving in Friday will be slightly more powerful but give way to a clearing trend by the weekend.

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Police Beat 12-25-12

Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

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Dec 13

12:52 a.m. — Jordan Agoyo, 24, of Santa Fe was arrested in Santa Fe on a Los Alamos Magistrate Court warrant.

(No time given) — Police arrested a 16-year-old teen and referred him to juvenile authorities after finding him possession of drug paraphernalia in the 1300 block of Diamond Drive.

8:07 p.m. — Samantha Dutra, 33, of Los Alamos was arrested on an out-of-state warrant in the 1700 block of Central Avenue.
Dec. 14

2:23 p.m. — Police arrested a 16-year-old teen after he allegedly trespassed onto school property at Los Alamos High. He was released to his parents and referred to juvenile authorities.

5:01 p.m. — William Vonharders, 36, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in the 3700 block of Arkansas Avenue.

Dec. 15

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NNSA orders security crackdown at lab

The National Nuclear Security Administration has directed Los Alamos National Laboratory to increase its security, effective immediately.

LANL officials, however, will not say why the extra precautions are being taken.

“When there are changes to the security posture of the laboratory, we do not discuss the details,” lab spokesman Kevin Roark said.

A source close to the situation said that the NNSA directive was solely for LANL and not for any of the other Department of Energy sites.

He declined to say if the order had anything to do with a faulty $213 million security system that is being installed around Technical Area 55, the lab’s most sensitive nuclear facilities.

The system was supposed to be up and running this summer. But officials now say it will take an additional $41 million and another six months.

Last month, five security workers were fired for taking unauthorized visitors to a shooting range.

Because of this government order, until further notice all vehicles entering government property will be required to stop at the East and West Jemez Road “Vehicle Access Portals” (VAPs) for a vehicle check. Pajarito Road remains open to government badge holders only, so vehicles are already required to stop at the Pajarito Road VAPs, and this will not change.

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Establishment: No official date has been set, however

Canyon Bar set to close

By Tris DeRoma

Mike Cutler, the current owner of the Canyon Bar, which has become a popular watering hole in Los Alamos during the past 16 years, said it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

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With an eye on retirement and finding a warmer climate, Cutler, 48, said he tried many times to find a buyer for the bar, but there were no takers.

Through the years, the establishment has been known under several other names, including “Ma and Pa’s” and “Fireside.”

“I couldn’t find a buyer that wanted to take it over as a bar,” Cutler said. “People just didn’t come up with the right amount of money or the right amount of interest.”

It’s not known when the bar will officially close and Cutler said for now, they are still open for business, and will be able to still serve alcohol, though the liquor license has been sold to the Giant Convenience store in White Rock.

Cutler who also owns Automotive Professionals on DP Road, said he has no plans to leave the area immediately, either.  

“I will still be up here for a while. I still own the shop here and my wife still works for the lab, but eventually we plan to get down to the Gulf Coast and do some fishing,” Cutler said.

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Power outage Wednesday night impacts portions of North Mesa

A power outage left scores of residents in the dark and shivering on one of the coldest nights of the season so far in the North Mesa area Wednesday night.

The outage began around 6:30 p.m. in the neighborhoods in and around Del Norte and eastward to Tsikimu Village. According to Internet postings by Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities officials, the rest of North Mesa was unaffected.

DPU crews apparently encountered difficulties in isolating the problem which took hours to resolve.

"North Mesa power outage between Del Norte and Tsikimu Village persists as DPU's electric linemen continue patrolling and testing for underground line faults in the near 0 degree darkness," a Facebook posting noted about 10 p.m.

A subsequent posting shortly after midnight indicated that power had been restored to all customers and that permanent repairs would be undertaken Thursday.

However, one North Mesa resident said that the power restoration around midnight was only momentary and that electricity did not come back on at his home until about 2 a.m.

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Winter Storm Warning in effect until this evening

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM MST THIS EVENING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS... 2 TO 4 INCHES AT ELEVATIONS BELOW 7000 FEET WITH 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS TO AROUND ONE FOOT ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND NEAR THE COLORADO BORDER.

* TIMING... SNOW WILL EXPAND EASTWARD THIS MORNING FROM THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE AND INTO NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO. SNOW WILL BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES BUT IS EXPECTED TO TAPER OFF OVER WEST CENTRAL NEW MEXICO THIS AFTERNOON... THEN DIMINISH THIS EVENING NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST AS THE STORM EXITS.

* WINDS... SOUTHWEST INCREASING TO 20 TO 35 MPH THIS MORNING. WINDS WILL SHIFT TO THE NORTHWEST AS GUSTS TO 45 OR 50 MPH DEVELOP.

* SNOW LEVELS... TEMPERATURES WILL BE COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW AT ALL LEVELS.

* LOCAL IMPACTS... STRONG AND GUSTY WINDS COMBINED WITH SNOWFALL WILL CREATE AREAS OF POOR VISIBILITIES IN BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW PACKED AND ICY AND TRAVEL MAY BECOME DIFFICULT OR HAZARDOUS. SOME HIGHWAYS WHICH MAY BE AFFECTED INCLUDE U S 550 FROM CUBA TO CHAMA... AND U S 64 FROM TRES PIEDRAS TO TIERRA AMARILLA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

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LA girls fall to Los Lunas in Academy tourney

 

ALBUQUERQUE - The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team was going step-for-step with the powerful Los Lunas Tigers through the opening minutes of their contest Thursday before the wheels fell off.

Los Lunas scored 32 points in the third quarter and held Los Alamos without a field goal for nearly 9 minutes as the Tigers blew the Hilltoppers out of East Gym at Albuquerque Academy.

The Tigers rolled to a 77-45 victory in the first round of the Joe Armijo Invitational. Los Alamos (3-3) will face Cibola at 8 a.m. in the consolation round of the tournament Friday in Albuquerque. See Friday's Los Alamos Monitor for more details on the game.    

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Thank you

 

It takes many “elves” to make our community event a huge success. Thank you to everyone who played an “elf” role this year for the Children’s Christmas Bazaar at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church. We had 77 elves that setup, cleaned up, wrapped gifts, greeted and helped children shop, baked treats and served coffee.  

One hundred-sixty children attended our event and we hope that the joy they receive in giving their gifts will continue with them throughout the year. Allowing children the opportunity to make decisions on their purchases is the gift of empowerment. 

Thank you to our community for the donations that make this event possible. It is truly the ultimate in recycling and re-gifting.

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12-13-12 Be There

 

Today

The holiday Farmers Market will be at Fuller Lodge.

 

Mesa Public Library presents “Poetry Gatherings,” at 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs rotunda.

 

The White Rock Family Friendly Series presents “Brave,” at 6:30 p.m. in the White Rock Town Hall.

Friday

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