Local News

  • Trees at Aspen raise concerns

    The trees, and why 25 percent of them disappeared from the Aspen Elementary School campus, will be a topic for discussion in the next series of Los Alamos School Board meetings in February.
    Los Alamos resident Reid Priedhorsky spoke at a school board public hearing in January about what he says what he thinks happened to those trees. He also proposed remedies for the problem in a short presentation.
    “I’m here because of construction-related tree loss at Aspen School,” he said to the panel of school board members and administrators. “Of all the trees that were on Aspen campus when construction started, a quarter of them aren’t there any more...As a community member, I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
    Priedhorsky thought the biggest mistakes were citizens not being properly notified of intended changes to the landscape. He also thought that the construction company, Jaynes, didn’t make any significant efforts at mitigation.
    He said one example of that was that the company didn’t put down wood chips in the areas they were working to prevent the soil from becoming too compacted.
    “That was not done, and at least half of the trees we had on the playground are now gone,” he said.

  • Council gives nod to new art

    The lonely humpback whale on display at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will soon have some company.
    Artist Richard Swenson has offered to donate two more fish, a seal, a crab and a sea turtle to join his original donation.
    On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council accepted that donation, along with four other recommendations from the Arts in Public Places Board (APPB) for inclusion in the county’s public art collection. All recommendations passed 6-0. Councilor Steve Girrens was not in attendance.
    Swenson also donated two frogs to join his lizard at the White Rock visitor center.
    APPB has allocated up to $1,500 for plaques, a dedication event and installation — including special brackets to attach the frogs to the visitor center’s water catchment tank.
    APPB Chair Steve Foltyn has also donated two paintings by the late Dorothy Hoard, “Hikers in the Woods” and “Heading Home.” Hoard asked that her artwork be sold to benefit the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Foltyn purchased the pieces at a silent auction.
    “I think I probably don’t need to tell anyone what a true treasure Dorothy was to this community,” Foltyn said.

  • Today in history Jan. 28
  • Pot stash in van is found 13 years later

    ALAMOGORDO (AP) — An Alamogordo woman drove her van for more than 13 years and didn’t know there was marijuana hidden inside.
    Melodie Peil told the Alamogordo Daily News she bought a 1990 Chevrolet van at a local dealership in 2001 so she would have room to transport her daughter’s children.
    Until last Friday, Peil had no idea that on trips to softball games and on vacations out of town she had been transporting 13 ½ pounds of marijuana hidden in one of the vehicle’s side doors.
    A family friend discovered the marijuana when he removed a door panel to repair a broken handle.
    Inside a hole cut in the door was five bricks of marijuana covered in plastic wrap and foil.
    Police say the marijuana is so old that it’s worthless.

  • State Briefs 1-27-15

    Teen suspect in Las Cruces shooting arrested at border
    LAS CRUCES (AP) — Authorities say a teenage suspect in a shooting in Las Cruces that critically wounded a neighbor has been detained at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing.
    Las Cruces police say the 17-year-old boy was returned to Las Cruces and questioned by investigators before being booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center.
    He’s charged with one count of attempted murder and will initially be held without bond.
    The 34-year-old victim of the shooting — Pete Limon — remains in critical but stable condition at University Medical Center of El Paso, Texas.
    Police said Limon was shot once in the abdomen with a shotgun on Jan. 15 after an argument.

    Offender who fled from work detail in Albuquerque caught

  • DPU work set for Wednesday

    In support of gas line work on San Ildefonso Road, Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities will temporarily close Hawk Drive at the Intersection of San Ildefonso on North Mesa.
    Beginning Wednesday and continuing through Friday, the road will be closed after 8:30 a.m. and reopened by 2:15 p.m. This is to accommodate the Los Alamos School Districts’ bus schedule for the drop off and pick up of students at the Los Alamos Middle School.
    DPU is installing a gas line along San Ildefonso Road to create a loop that will enhance natural gas capacity and reliability in North Mesa.  The temporary closure of Hawk Drive will allow the DPU contractor to trench across Hawk Drive along the north side of San Ildefonso. 
    No interruption in gas service is expected. Officials with the DPU remind motorists to drive with caution in the area. More information on the project can be found on the DPU website at losalamosnm.us/projects/utilities/Pages/ReplaceSanIGasLine.aspx.
    The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities.
    The board meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

  • Update 1-27-15

    County Council

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

    Girls basketball

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team will host the Española Valley Sundevils tonight at Griffith Gymnasium for first place in the District 2-5A standings. Varsity game time is 7 p.m.

    Candidate forum

    Los Alamos Public Schools will host a school board candidate forum Thursday. The forum will be from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Los Alamos High School speech theater. The event is open to the public.

    School board

    A regular meeting of the Los Alamos School Board is scheduled for Feb. 10. The meeting will be at the LAPS administration board room. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m.


    Annika Hofgaard of the Norwegian Institute for Natural Research will give a presentation Wednesday at the Research Park. The topic of the presentation is “Subarctic Forest Advance – Empirical-Based Results vs. Modeled Predictions.” It is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the second floor.

  • Legislature to eye job training boost

    SANTA FE (AP) — A bipartisan coalition of New Mexico lawmakers is calling for more money to be funneled into a job training program as part of an effort to attract more businesses to the state.
    Under the proposed legislation, $12 million would be provided for the Job Training Incentive Program, which helps expanding companies and those that have relocated to the state cover the cost of training or hiring new employees.
    State economic development officials say the program is one of the most generous in the country when it comes to training incentives, and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez pointed to the program in her State of the State address last week as a key factor in trying to get more businesses to locate in New Mexico.
    The program, started decades ago, is a priority for the Martinez administration. Her budget proposal calls for $7 million in funding, and she said Monday she was encouraged lawmakers were coming together in support.
    Martinez said it’s “a proven job creator and is an important part of our work to grow and diversify New Mexico’s economy.”

  • Hitting The Slopes

    A snowboarder cuts some freshies early Saturday morning at Pajarito Mountain. Pajarito opened for the first time this year last weekend. More snow is predicted for later this week.

  • Smoke From a Not-So-Distant Fire

    Local low spots were filled with smoke during last weekend’s prescribed pile burning. According to Los Alamos Fire Department, more burns are tentatively scheduled for next week and will continue through March.