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Local News

  • Decision delayed on Farmington plant

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico regulators are giving Public Service Co. of New Mexico more time to ink agreements with a mining company, delaying a decision on whether to approve a plan to close part of the San Juan Generating Station.
    The Public Regulation Commission voted 4-1 during its meeting Wednesday. Commissioner Valerie Espinoza voted against extending the deadline for PNM, suggesting the utility was trying to submit new evidence in hopes of getting a different outcome.
    Two units of the coal-fired power plant in northwest New Mexico would be closed under a settlement aimed at curbing haze-causing pollution in the Four Corners region.
    The utility, business groups and environmentalists disagree about the best way to fill the void left by the partial closure.
    , and concerns have been raised about the lack of a contract to supply coal to the plant.

  • Update 5-27-15

    School board

    Los Alamos School Board will have a work session Thursday. The session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the public schools’ administration building.

    Concert

    The Band of Heathens will play at the Gordon’s Summer Concert Series Friday night. The concert will be at 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond.

    Farmers Market

    Los Alamos County Councilors will host a booth at the Farmers Market Thursday. Councilors will be visiting with residents from 9-11 a.m. about current projects, issues and other topics. The Farmers Market is held at Mesa Public Library.

    APP board

    The Arts in Public Places Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The meeting will be at the municipal building.

    Future Energy

    The Future Energy Resources Committee will meat 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the municipal building.

    Grand Opening

    Bathtub Row Brewing will have its grand opening celebration Friday at its location in Central Park Square. A ribbon-cutting will be at noon.

    Authors Speak

    Anne Hillerman, the author of “Rock Wing Wings” and the daughter of mystery author Tony Hillerman, will be the guest at the Authors Speak Series. The talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library.

  • Travel ban expires for detainees

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Five senior Taliban leaders released last year from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could move freely around the world next week as their one-year travel ban expires.
    The five detainees were sent to Qatar where government officials agreed to monitor their activities and prevent them from traveling out of the country under the terms of the May 2014 exchange. Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after walking away from his Army post in Afghanistan, was released to the U.S. military.
    He recently was charged with desertion.
    U.S. officials have discussed with the Qataris the possibility of extending the travel ban after it expires on June 1.
    But so far, the White House has not publicly announced any new agreement with Qatar, meaning the five could leave the tiny nation on the Arabian Peninsula at the end of the month.
    “In Congress, we spent a lot of time debating whether the Qataris were going to adequately keep an eye on them in the course of the 12 months,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee. “My point all along was that I’m more worried about month No. 13 than the first 12.”

  • Stalker in front of judge once again

    Los Alamos resident Paul Kubler, 61, who was arrested twice for stalking and once for driving while under the influence of alcohol within weeks of the stalking charge, was sentenced in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Tuesday for violating his probation related to both cases.
    According to Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, Kubler will have to serve 364 days in jail with 364 days suspended. However, in exchange for his plea agreement, Kubler admitted that he did have contact with his victim, even though he was told he could have none as a condition of his probation.
    He must remain in custody in the Los Alamos Detention Center until June 30. After he is released Kubler will be placed on eight months of supervised probation.
    The conditions of his probation will be the same ones Kubler had to obey before he was found in violation of the previous probation.
    Those conditions include no contact with his victim. Kubler will also have to continue his alcohol abuse counseling as well as a victim impact program.
    He was enrolled in both programs due to a prior driving while under the influence of alcohol charge incurred around the same time he was arrested for stalking.
    At the hearing, Judge Pat Casados asked if the victim would like to make a statement.

  • Giving For the Cause

    Los Alamos residents came to the First Baptist Church, 2200 Diamond Dr., for the community blood drive today. The blood drive will continue from 1-7 p.m. Thursday and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday. The public is asked to bring a photo ID and donor card. Volunteers are provided by LAVA and there is also free cholesterol testing with every donation.

  • Council approves land parcel sale

    After two hours of presentations and debate Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the sale of White Rock’s A-19-A-1 to the Site A-19-A-1 Acquisition Group, LLC, a subsidiary of TransCor Development Corporation (TDC).
    TDC plans to develop a residential subdivision of approximately 97 single-family residential lots on the tract.
    Council raised questions about the sale price of $4,400 an acre, or $150,000 for the entire 34.37-acre tract, and what home prices the group is proposing.
    Council also unanimously approved a $1,406,000 water project fund loan/grant agreement with the New Mexico Finance Authority.
    The grant is for $843,600, 60 percent of the total amount. The $562,400 loan will be repaid at zero-percent interest with a .25-percent per annum administrative fee on the unpaid principal balance.
    The county's required match is 20 percent of the total award amount, which will be met by approved Capital Improvement Project funding.
    The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will use the money for group 12 tank rehabilitation, non-potable pipelines to connect the existing non-potable system to the group 12 tank and a pump booster station to provide sufficient pressure for the non-potable water system.

  • Today in history May 27
  • Rains, floods batter the Plains

    WIMBERLEY, Texas (AP) — Recovery teams resumed the search Tuesday for 12 people who are missing after a rain-swollen river carried a Texas vacation home off its foundation and slammed it into a bridge downstream.
    In Houston, authorities recovered three more bodies from the floodwaters — two of them in the city and a third in a vehicle on Interstate 45. That brings to 11 the number of people killed by the storms in Oklahoma and Texas.
    After holiday weekend storms dumped record rainfall on the Plains and Midwest, the water kept rising overnight. The Houston area received about 11 more inches, much of it in a six-hour period.
    Houston Mayor Annise Parker said officials in the nation’s fourth-largest city would be “on the alert” as the bayous rise.
    Fire crews conducted hundreds of water rescues overnight, mostly retrieving stranded motorists from their vehicles, the mayor said.
    Elsewhere, a runway was closed at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport after a sinkhole developed in a nearby grassy area. The runway was to remain closed until repairs can be made.
    In addition to those missing in the vacation house, authorities were searching for victims and assessing damage just across the Texas-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuna, where a tornado Monday killed 13 people and left at least five unaccounted for.

  • Making Music

    The Los Alamos Community Winds put on a show Monday afternoon on the lawn behind Fuller Lodge. The Community Winds played several old Americana favorites to celebrate Memorial Day.

  • State Briefs 5-26-15

    Doña Ana County has bountiful onion crop

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — Doña Ana County’s onion crop is looking stellar so far this harvest season.
    The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the onion harvest tends to begin in the final week of May, but this season actually kicked off last week.
    Agriculture officials say the crop hasn’t suffered much from disease or pests.
    Luna and Doña Ana counties are the main growing areas in New Mexico for onions.
    New Mexico produced about 306 million pounds of onions in 2014.
    Both the amount and the production value were up from 2013, though both figures tend to fluctuate — sometimes significantly — from year to year.

    Cherry picker topples, kills man, young boy