Local News

  • Update 06-22-11

    LAPS is on TV
    Mountain Elementary School will be featured at 5 a.m. Monday on the Discovery Channel in a special edition half hour show called The Profiles Series.

    Work session set
    A school board work session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Pajarito Ciffs. The work session is open to the public.

    CIP meeting set
    Los Alamos County’s Capital Improvement Projects Evaluation and Oversight Committee meets at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers.

    Labor board meets
    The Labor Management Relations Board meets at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Throne Room at Fuller Lodge.

  • El Rancho family slain with pickax

    The triple homicide last Sunday in a town located between Los Alamos and Santa Fe was committed by someone wielding a pickax.

    Law enforcement sources told media outlets Thursday that the wounds from the garden implement were so severe that the field representative from the Office of the Medical Investigator thought the victims had all been shot.

    The murder weapon was found Tuesday on the property of the El Rancho home where the bodies were discovered Sunday evening, about 15 miles east of Los Alamos. The pickax had blood on it, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.

  • Program aids with budgeting

    Many people have come to know the sticker shock of opening a utility bill in the dead of winter that is way beyond their budget.

    Consumers who want to avoid budget-busting winter heating bills can take advantage of the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities Budget Billing program.

    “For the people that we work with who struggle to pay their bills, we strongly encourage them to get on the budget plan in the summer, when their bills are lower,” said Cathy Crane, customer care supervisor. “It just makes it a little easier when the cold months roll around.”

  • Obama likely to bring 10K troops home this year

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will map a course for drawing down the nearly 10-year war in Afghanistan Wednesday, when he is expected to set a target of bringing home about 30,000 troops by the end of 2012.

    The president is likely to pull out 10,000 troops by the end of this year, administration and Pentagon officials said, and aims to bring another 20,000 home by the end of next year.

    But with 100,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, that drawdown may not be substantial enough to satisfy some lawmakers on Capitol Hill and a war-weary public.

  • GOP women defend party against 'anti-women' charge

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An early skirmish for women's votes in 2012 has broken out in the House — among women. A prominent Democrat fired the first shot by claiming that majority Republicans are waging a "war on women." And now, Republican women are returning fire by raising their profiles, making clear what they stand for and, implicitly, who they are not: Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

  • Utah man updated Facebook status during standoff

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jason Valdez is no stranger to Utah police. His latest brush with the law, however, may have been the most public.

    An armed Valdez, 36, held a woman hostage at a motel in a tense 16-hour, overnight standoff with SWAT teams, all while finding time to keep his family and friends updated on Facebook, authorities said.

    He even got some help from the outside over the social network: A friend posted that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes.

    "Thank you homie," Valdez replied. "Good looking out."

    When officers swarmed the room, Valdez shot himself in the chest with a handgun, Ogden police said. On Tuesday, he was in critical condition.

  • Fireworks, open fires and smoking banned on State Trust lands

    New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell announced that fireworks, smoking and open fires are prohibited on State Trust Lands until further notice.
    Powell oversees 13 million acres of State Trust Land throughout New Mexico.
    “The severe drought, high winds, and dense fuel loads are ingredients for catastrophic fires throughout New Mexico. Our working lands help support our public schools, universities and hospitals to the tune of $500 million dollars a year,” Powell said.

  • Martinez administration wins Supreme Court case against unions

    Last week, the Martinez administration won its second victory in the New Mexico State Supreme Court.
    This case involved a coalition of labor unions who had sued the administration (Secretary of Workforce Development) in an attempt to force state government to pay prevailing wage on public works projects.
    The state Supreme Court denied the request of the labor unions that the Martinez administration be forced to accept the prevailing wages the Richardson administration decreed.
    The administration was represented by Albuquerque attorney and former New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Paul Kennedy.

  • State Emergency Responders complete training

    The Governor’s WIPP Task Force, the New Mexico WIPP Transportation Safety Program Working Group, announced that nearly 500 New Mexico emergency responders successfully completed specialized training this past year that will ensure safe transport of the nation’s defense-related radioactive waste.
    “This specialized training is critical to the success of the WIPP program,” New Mexico Environment Department Secretary David Martin said. “We are grateful to those who took time to complete this course. It shows the commitment that these emergency responders have to protect both New Mexican residents and New Mexico’s precious environment.

  • Correction 06-21-11

    In “DPU Needs Sewer Rate Hike To Get Flush,” published on June 16, it was incorrectly stated that the county sewage system has 7 lift stations. The correct number is 27 lift stations.