Local News

  • 10 things to know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about on Thursday:


    Among other things, the president and his team mobilized a masterful registration and get-out-the-vote operation.


    Improving relations with America's fast-growing Hispanic population may be the party's biggest challenge.


    As another nor'easter lumbers ashore, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sums things up: "I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next."


    Obama's re-election prompts a call for America and its allies to shape opponents of Assad into a coherent force.

  • Colorado Gov. to Pot Advocates: Not So Fast

    Colorado's governor is warning residents of his state against marijuana use, noting that it remains illegal under federal law, despite voters approving its use under state law.

  • 7.4-magnitude Earthquake Strikes Guatemala
  • Given 2nd term, Obama now facing new urgent task

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama faces a new urgent task now that he has a second term, working with a status-quo Congress to address an impending financial crisis that economists say could send the country back into recession.
    “You made your voice heard,” Obama said in his acceptance speech, signaling that he believes the bulk of the country is behind his policies. It’s a sticking point for House Republicans, sure to balk at that.
    The same voters who gave Obama four more years in office also elected a divided Congress, sticking with the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans kept their House majority.
    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke of a dual mandate. “If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs,” he said.
    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had a more harsh assessment.
    “The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term,” McConnell said. “They have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together” with a balanced Congress.

  • Voters approve bonds

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico voters on Tuesday approved more than $140 million in bonds to support libraries, higher education and senior centers, and they approved at least one constitutional amendment aimed at revamping the powerful, scandal-plagued Public Regulation Commission.
    The amendment allows the state Legislature to establish minimum qualifications for PRC candidates. Currently, a candidate needs only to be 18, a New Mexico resident for at least one year and have no felony convictions.
    Two other proposed amendments that would streamline the duties of the regulatory agency had yet to be decided but were leading as ballots continued to be counted.
    Critics had argued that increasing the qualifications would narrow the pool of PRC candidates. However, supporters contend the changes will make the commission more efficient and ensure that elected regulators are better prepared for the complex utility and telecommunications issues they must decide.
    The five-member panel regulates utilities, insurance companies, transportation companies, and transmission and pipeline companies.

  • Heinrich wins Senate seat

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Democrat Martin Heinrich won New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, defeating Republican Heather Wilson with strong support from Hispanic and female voters.
    Heinrich carried the vote-rich Albuquerque area, which is home to a third of the state’s electorate, and he picked up solid margins in heavily Democratic and Hispanic areas in northern New Mexico, according to incomplete, unofficial returns.
    Wilson outpaced Heinrich in traditional GOP strongholds of eastern and southern New Mexico, but it wasn’t enough to win in a state that also favored Democratic President Barack Obama for a second term.
    New Mexico filled an open U.S. Senate seat for the second time in four years in a race that saw the candidates relentlessly punch away at one another over jobs, health care and taxes. Each spent more than $6 million on their campaign.
    Heinrich’s victory ensures Democrats will hang on to the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring after 30 years.
    In his victory speech, Heinrich applauded Bingaman as “an example of how the Senate ought to work,” saying he worked for results, not credit.

  • Voting process goes smoothly

    At least on the local level anyway, the election was fairly uneventful. There were no political arguments and no confusion as to where to go vote.

    That’s because this is the first election where voting was confined to just four polling stations: the Los Alamos Community Center, White Rock Fire Station No. 3, Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church at Kelly Hall and the county clerk’s office on Central Avenue.

    “We’re a pretty civilized community here,” joked Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy.

    Torpy was at the county clerk’s office, which was ground zero for all the local election results coming in from around town as well as White Rock.

    Poll workers at the Episcopal Church said things went much better this time than in past elections, ever since a law was passed that consolidated all the polling places to three.

    Jonathan Lathrop said it was a pretty even flow throughout Election Day. But, he added, there wasn’t the usual chaos that went with that flow.

    “We never had to send people to their correct precincts like we had to do in previous elections,” Lathrop said. In previous elections, the person had to cast a ballot in the precinct assigned to their residence. The new state law abolished that rule.

  • Stover captures clerk office

    Candidates across the country waited anxiously for results of the 2012 election Tuesday night. While some races were too close to call until the very end, others were clearly predictable.

    Early on in Los Alamos County, the race for county clerk was one those that could have gone either way, but as the evening wore on it became clear that Los Alamos County Councilor and Republican Sharon Stover, had an edge on Democrat and political newcomer Nathan Hjelm.

    By the time results were returned from all four polling places in Los Alamos County, Stover had won the race with 6,125 votes, compared to Hjelm’s 3,669.

    Hjelm waited for results to come in at the Justice Center until about 8:30 p.m. Later, Stover made an appearance and checked on the results, as well.

    The race for county clerk was a relatively quiet one, compared to others like the Dist. 43 House race between Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard and Republican Jim Hall.

    When Stover found out she won, she said she was extremely honored and was excited to learn all about the office.

    “I’m going in with open eyes, but I want to learn more,” she said. “I want to talk to the stakeholders and see if there’s a way to improve.” She did point out that the county clerk’s office does a “great” job currently.

  • Update 11-07-12

    No trash pickup

    In observance of Veterans Day, there will be no trash or recycling collection on Nov. 12. If Monday is your normal pickup day please put out trash and recycling by 8 a.m. Nov. 14 for collection.

    Parks and Recreation

    The Parks and Recreation Board will hold its monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Larry Walkup Aquatic Center.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet in regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

    Ashley Pond

    An informational meeting to show the public the 90 percent Final Design Plans for Ashley Pond Park renovations will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Fuller Lodge.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing on a proposed sewer rate increase and restructuring at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at 170 Central Park Square.

  • Garcia Richard Wins Dist. 43

    Democrat challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard has edged out incumbent Republican Jim Hall in the pitched battle to represent District 43 in the House.

    With some of the votes still being tallied, Garcia Richard has garnered 7, 092 (51 percent) versus Hall’s total of 6,782 (48 percent).

    As of 7 a.m. roughly 83 percent or 25 out of 30 precincts had been counted.

    “It looks like she won by about 300 votes,” Hall said this morning. “I expected her to win by about 100 or so, but I have not been able to find the results from all the precincts. The Secretary of State website has not been updated since last night. But I think it’s a done deal.”

    Hall said he was going to call Garcia Richard to congratulate her on winning the seat.

    Garcia Richard confirmed Hall did call her.

    “And I want to thank Jim for serving the district and a good race run,” Garcia Richard said.

    Hall said he felt the difference in the race was the turnout in the La Cienega section of Santa Fe where twice as many people came to vote than they did in 2010, when the late Jeannette Wallace edged Garcia Richard by 210 votes.