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Local News

  • State Republicans shuffle committees

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico House of Representatives voted along party lines Thursday to revamp the way the chamber operates as part of a Republican-led effort to make the legislative process more efficient.
    Approval of the resolution to consolidate some committees and eliminate others marked the first chance for Republicans, who now hold the majority after six decades, to flex their newfound political muscle.
    The measure passed on a 37-30 vote after a two-hour debate in which Democrats found themselves in an unfamiliar position.
    Among the most contested changes was the elimination of the labor committee. Issues relating to labor will now be heard in the business and employment panel. Committees are where lawmakers vet bills and decide whether they should advance.
    “I have this notion that we can bring people together, and we shouldn’t have people who have a common interest in a piece of legislation in two separate committees. We should foster the idea that we can build consensus and seek compromise among people who may have diverging interests,” said House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, who sponsored the resolution.
    Gentry said certain committees have heavy workloads that result in many bills not being heard and that the changes will streamline the review process.

  • State Briefs 1-23-15

    Man indicted on homicide, other charges
    in students’ deaths

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A 21-year-old man faces homicide and other charges stemming from Albuquerque collision which killed two New Mexico students.
    The District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that a grand jury Thursday indicted Joshua Leal on multiple charges, including two counts each of homicide and great bodily harm.
    According to prosecutors, Leal was driving a stolen truck late the night of Nov. 21 when it collided with a sedan carrying four students. Briana Hillard and Matt Grant were killed, and two other students were injured.
    Prosecutors said tests confirmed that Leal had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.
    Leal remains jailed. He will enter a plea when he’s arraigned. An attorney listed in court records as representing Leal did not immediately return a call for comment.

    Bishops want New Mexico to restrict
    late-term abortions

  • Pile burn to resume

    Los Alamos County announced Thursday that pile burning on its land would continue this weekend.
    Wednesday’s snowfall would permit fire managers to burn piles the Pueblo Bowl, according to the county. The Publeo Bowl is located between the Diamond Drive fill bridge, North Road, and Sycamore Street.
    At that site, crews piled dead and down wood during the summer.
    Burning restarted Friday morning.
    Any lingering hotspots from the burn were scheduled to be extinguished Saturday.

  • Going Up

    From left, Diane Martinez of YMCA, Ellen Morris-Bond of Self Help, Jeremy Smith of YMCA, Paula Gurule of La Clinica del Pueblo de Rio Arriba, Suzan Royal of San Martin de Porres, Kristy Ortega of United Way of Northern New Mexico, Mona Romero of San Martin de Porres, Susan Mack of Family Strengths Network, Maria Wolfe of National Dance Institute of New Mexico, Carie Fanning of Family Strengths Network, Stephanie Fresquez of Amigos de Valle show off the United Way’s thermometer in front of Los Alamos Post Office earlier this week.

  • Update 1-23-15

    Aquatic Center

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will have limited lanes open to public swimming this weekend. The facility is hosting the Los Alamos Aquatomics Winter Meet today through Sunday. For lane availability and times, call the aquatic center at 662-8170.

    Lecture

    Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Nate McDowell will give a lecture, “Accelerating Global Vegetative Mortality,” 7 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library.

    Dust Bowl

    The Ken Burns documentary, “The Dust Bowl,” will be screened at Mesa Public Library Saturday. The first two hours of the 4-hour film will be shown from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the second two hours from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

    County Council

    Los Alamos County Council will meet Jan. 27 in council chambers. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.

    Hockey

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team will host the La Cueva Bears at 8 p.m. at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

  • Plant agreement falls through

    On Wednesday, Board of Public Utilities Manager Tim Glasco informed the Board of Public Utilities that the City of Farmington has withdrawn a proposal to take an additional 65 megawatts of power from the San Juan Generating Plant.
    The proposal was part of a restructuring agreement that involves the shutdown of units 2 and 3 and the exit of several stakeholders.
    The agreement to close two units is part of a settlement between Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and the Environmental Protection Agency, designed to bring the plant into compliance with federal haze regulations.
    In a letter to the Farmington Daily Times, Farmington City Manager Robert Mayes reaffirmed the city‘s commitment to its current ownership in SJGS and to work with other plant owners to secure the placement of available capacity and to complete the restructuring agreements.
    According to Mayes, Farmington staff determined that an agreement to purchase additional capacity could not meet the city’s economic parameters.
    Farmington’s withdrawal invalidates all previously negotiated contracts and could result in a larger cut to the plant’s generating capacity than previously anticipated.
    Glasco and other staff joined other stakeholders in Albuquerque Thursday and Friday for continuing negotiations on the restructuring.

  • County readies RFQ for airlines

    Public Information Officer Julie Habiger said Los Alamos County staff plans to issue a Request for Quotations for a new air service contractor the first week of February.
    The county terminated its contract with New Mexico Airlines in January, following interruptions in service during December and January.
    Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher and airport Manager Dave Ploeger have been assembling a list of potential bidders in order to drum up interest.
    No timeline has been established for awarding a new contract, but staff hopes to move quickly to negotiate a new agreement and present it at the county council’s April 14 meeting. Habiger noted that a number of variables could delay that goal.
    Habiger also noted that cost could be a major factor in proceeding, and that the air service is likely to be on the agenda during budget discussions in April.

  • Committee gets an OK from BPU

    On Wednesday, the Board of Public Utilities unanimously approved the formation of an ad hoc citizens’ committee on future energy resources.
    The 7-member committee will be comprised of representatives from Los Alamos Public Schools, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board, the business community, citizens with rooftop solar generation equipment and two citizens at large.
    Department of Public Utilities Manager Tim Glasco proposed the committee address three issues:

  • Getting Things Ready

    Snowcats were busy Thursday morning prepping the trails at Pajarito Mountain for opening day. The mountain will be in operation Saturday. The cafe will open at 8:30 a.m. and lifts will begin running at 9 a.m. The storm that came through the area Wednesday dropped 7 inches of new snow onto the mountain, giving it a total of 26 inches. This is the first time during the 2014-15 season Pajarito has had a deep enough base to get going.

  • Today in history Jan. 23