Local News

  • On the Docket 4-3-16

    March 24
    Victoria T. Lovato was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court for headlamps on motor vehicles. Sentence deferred until April 25. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Cuilan Yuan pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court for speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentence deferred until May 23. Defendant also sentenced to defensive driving school. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    March 25
    Jerry C. Dudley was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    March 28
    Karen D. Miller was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Mark D. Ortega was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding one to five miles an hour over the speed limit in a school zone. Defendant was fined $30 and must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Kathy Steck was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • Judge approves settlement barring ICE cooperation

    FARMINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a class action lawsuit settlement that would ban the San Juan County Detention Center from cooperating with federal authorities on immigration holds.
    The Friday decision came as the Trump administration publicly shamed counties and cities that don't cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
    The settlement is a result of a 2014 lawsuit filed on behalf of a New Mexico woman who was serving eight days in county jail and was held on an ICE detainer after she was supposed to get out.
    The settlement bars the county from detaining inmates on behalf of ICE.
    Some cities and counties have pushed back against cooperating with federal immigration authorities, saying doing so creates mistrust between the community and local law enforcement.

  • Board proposes $3 hike in waste fee

    To partially cover a projected $300,000 budget deficit in FY 2017, Los Alamos County’s Environmental Sustainability Board is recommending the county raise its $25 trash collection fee by $3.
    All trash container types — 48, 64 and 96 gallon — would be included. Inflation from labor costs, contracts and a rise in the price of trash cans are fueling the deficit, as are oil prices.
    “The biggest market change has to do with when oil prices dropped,” Public Works Director Philo Shelton said.
    Though it’s still cheaper for the county to recycle, the county is now paying to recycle. The county used to get $22 a ton for it’s recyclables, now it has to pay $15 a ton, and next year $16, to recycle.
    The county’s landfill contract and its trucking and hauling contract are two major contracts involved in the recycling and disposing of county waste. Labor costs and inflation are the other drivers behind the rate increase.
    “Every time we renew a contract, we’re seeing inflationary pressures and cost escalations,” Shelton told the board on Thursday.

  • State voters to weigh in on ethics

    The New Mexican

  • House rejects Roundhouse ban on openly carrying guns

    The New Mexican

  • Beer, music, skiing in play at Skiesta

    This past Saturday was the annual Skiesta festival that took place on Pajarito Mountain. This long-standing spring tradition dates back to 1948 and includes slalom competitions, costume contests and plenty of beer to enjoy under the New Mexico sun.
    The weather was mid-60s and sunny, which drew a sizable crowd and also created soft snow for participants on the mountain.
    In addition to the various competitions, a fundraiser called “The Pajarito Pump Track” was organized to raise money for the Pajarito Freeride Team to go to Nationals.
    Breweries represented at the event included Taos Mesa Brewing, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Second Street Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing and Bathtub Row Brewing. All tents seemed to have a steady stream of eager customers.
    After grabbing a beer, Second Street Brewery told me that they have sold at Skiesta multiple times. One of the brewers warmly commented that Pajarito Mountain is their “favorite ski resort.” Second Street tries to come out to all events at Pajarito. The most popular of the brews on tap Saturday were the stout and porter.

  • A Look Back

    Special to the Monitor

  • Xcel plans $1.6 billion wind farms in New Mexico, West Texas

    PORTALES (AP) — Xcel Energy has announced plans to invest $1.6 billion to build wind farms in eastern New Mexico and West Texas.
    The energy company announced Tuesday that it has filed proposals with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the Public Utility Commission of Texas to construct and operate two facilities and to purchase wind under a third transaction.
    David Hudson, president of Xcel Energy of New Mexico and Texas, said the wind initiative is part of his company's larger strategy to lower the cost of energy production.
    "These new wind facilities will cost $1.6 billion to build," Hudson said, "but will allow us to produce wind energy at a cost lower than energy produced at our coal and natural gas-fueled plants."
    Xcel plans to build a 522-megawatt wind facility about 20 miles south of Portales. The new wind farm will be the state's largest, far surpassing the state's current largest windfarm, a 250-watt holding in Roosevelt County owned by Xcel subsidiary Southwest Public Service Co.
    The company also plans to build a 478-megawatt farm in Hale County, Texas, just north of Lubbock.
    Xcel also plans to purchase another 230 megawatts of wind energy under a long-term power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy resources.

  • Los Alamos County debuts a revamped website

    Los Alamos County debuted a revamped website today that it hopes will be more user-friendly.

    The website’s main feature is better communication through the use of interactive forms.

    County officials also said the website, at losalamosnm.us, features:

    • Better navigation tools,

    • Redesigned sub-sites for departments or services,

    • Improved search engine capabilities,

    • Easy access through home page “quick links” for the most popular links,

    • Enhanced photo and video hosting capability,

    • An integrated calendar of events with filter options,

    • Responsive design for viewing on smart phones and tablets.

    Also included in the site is software designed for easier public access to information on county boards and commissions. With the new software, the public will be able to review a board’s or a commission’s work plan and find out what the board does.

    The software also allows for those interested to check on vacancy statuses and reapplying for openings.

  • Heinrich, Udall seek to dedicate nuclear-powered sub ‘USS Los Alamos’ in honor of LANL’s 75th anniversary

    U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall introduced a resolution Tuesday urging the Secretary of the Navy to name the next nuclear-powered submarine of the U.S. Navy “USS Los Alamos” to honor and recognize Los Alamos residents contributions to the Navy.

    “Los Alamos National Laboratory employs some of the best and brightest minds in the country and, for nearly 75 years, has been indispensable to our national security and global stability,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Naming the next nuclear-powered submarine USS Los Alamos will recognize and continue to forge the longstanding relationship between the Navy and the entire Los Alamos community.”