Local News

  • Range Road bus turn-a-round improvements

    Public Works crews are scheduled to start work Monday on a bus turn around on Range Road just north of the intersection of Aspen Drive. 
    The work will primarily be limited to the east shoulder of Range Road. Motorists and pedestrians should watch for increased heavy equipment in the area.
    The work is anticipated to last about one month, weather permitting.
    The project consists of a paved bus turn-a-round off Range Road, which will provide transit service to Ponderosa Estates.

  • UNM president says he won’t seek a 2nd term

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — With declining enrollment and a smaller allotment from the cash-strapped state, the University of New Mexico is bracing to have $22.5 million less to spend in fiscal year 2017.
    The school also will be looking to hire a new president.
    Robert Frank announced Friday that he won’t seek to renew his contract after it ends on May 31, 2017. “I am pleased with what we have accomplished during my presidency, and it will be with great pride that I hand over the reins to the next president, who can build upon our successes,” Frank said in a statement.
    He was hired by UNM in January 2012.
    The Board of Regents now has eight months to choose the school’s 22nd president.
    Board President Rob Doughty said the search would begin no later than next spring, and an interim president would be appointed if a successor to Frank isn’t found in a timely manner.
    On Thursday, Frank announced the university will put a freeze on hiring, and all college officials will perform departmental audits of temporary and part-time staff positions. Those positions that aren’t deemed to be critical will likely be cut.
    He said the expected losses mean everything from programs to staff and administrative positions could face cuts, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

  • Duane W. Smith project moves ahead

    Los Alamos’ Duane W. Smith Auditorium, the second largest entertainment venue north of Albuquerque, is about to get a  $1.2 million facelift.
    Representatives from fbt architects met with the public Tuesday in the lobby of the 66-year-old auditorium to discuss how to modernize the building’s exterior.
    The other purpose of the meeting was to gather everyone’s ideas, comments and feedback before moving on to the building phase, which is scheduled for May 2017.
    The main goal of the architects firm’s plans is to make the lobby more functional, bigger and more open.
    The firm’s other goal was to visually integrate the 956-seat auditorium into the Los Alamos High School campus. When the school was redesigned several years ago by fbt architects, the auditorium, which was built in 1950, was not included in the redesign.
    The new plans feature 3,600 square feet of new construction to the front of the building.
    “We are essentially taking this lobby down and building a new lobby that is almost twice the size,” said fbt architect Sanjay Engineer.
    The facade will feature paneling on the windows that will mimic the facade of the high school, which is located behind the theater.

  • Family celebrates 50 years at El Paragua

    In 1958, 12-year-old Larry and 10-year-old Pete Atencio began selling beef tacos and red pork tamales on Española’s main street.
    Their mother Frances made the tacos and tamales. Their father Luis bought the boys a patio umbrella for their stand to protect them from the elements, but they spent much of their time running the food out to the line of waiting cars. A taco sold for 15 cents and tamales were 10 cents. The stand was only open during the summer months, and a good day’s sales totaled $20.
    At that time, Frances and Luis were working as a secretary and a plumber, respectively, and raising nine children.
    “Cuisine was always a part of my mother’s life, from her mother and her grandmother,” said Angela Atencio-Sanchez, president of the local chain’s umbrella organization, Las Brazas Enterprises. “Both my parents, they loved to give, and they loved to do it with food. So she would make this food and take it to her office for her coworkers. And they would tell her, ‘This is really good. You really should think about selling it.’”

  • Miles, founder of Monitor, dies at 95

    Dan Miles was a pioneer in many ways.
    He came to Los Alamos with the idea of starting a newspaper for a town that didn’t have one.
    He was one of the three founders of the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Miles started the newspaper with John Barnett and Mark McMahon in 1963, in a small office above a jewelry store.
    They started with nothing more than two typewriters, a headline machine and four employees.
    Miles was also a geologist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    He died Wednesday at his home in Los Alamos. He was 95.
    His daughter Beki Welsch recalled some of the memories of her father’s time at the newspaper.
    As the Monitor’s advertising executive, Miles once secured an ad for the liquor store… and it ended up being placed on the same page as the police blotter and the DWIs.
    “The liquor store immediately cancelled their ad,” Welsch said with a laugh. As the paper’s main financial backer and money man, that’s just one of the many ups and downs Miles experienced in the Monitor’s early years.
    There was a bust in the oil business at the time, and they thought it would be a good idea to start a paper in Los Alamos.

  • Authority selects new CEO for Spaceport America

    UPHAM (AP) — An engineer who has held senior management and planning posts at White Sands Missile Range is Spaceport America's new CEO.

    The board of the authority that oversees the commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico announced Thursday the selection of Daniel Hicks to replace Christine Anderson.

    Hicks' 34 years as an Army civilian employee at White Sands has included working on strategic planning and numerous programs involving missiles, sensors and space.

    Hicks is expected to assume his new positon in November. He's a graduate of Las Cruces High School and New Mexico State University.

    Anderson resigned this summer after holding the position since 2011.

  • Today in history Sept. 21
  • New Mexico’s August unemployment rate rises to 6.6 percent

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in August, up from 6.4 percent in July.
    A year ago, the state’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.
    The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the state’s economy added 1,800 jobs from August 2015.
    Bernalillo County is New Mexico’s most populous county. Its August unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, the same as the previous month.
    The counties with the month’s lowest unemployment rates were Union County and Los Alamos County, both at 4.5 percent.

  • County urges citizens to be bear alert

    Bears have been making their way into residential areas because of lack of food in the wild and ease of getting it out of trash roll carts. Here are some safe practices for managing waste to minimize encounters with bears:
    • Avoid luring bears on to your property by maintaining any fallen fruit; take it to the ECO Station and help donate to Dr. Ramsay’s bear cubs.
    • Stock up for the winter and preserve fruit by canning or drying fruit.
    • Strong and smelly odors will attract bears, so try to reduce odors by keeping smelly items out of the trash until trash pickup day. Try double bagging your trash or using special trash bags that eliminate odors.
    • Clean your trash roll carts frequently.
    • Keep your trash in a safe and secure place, like inside a locked garage.
    County code requires trash to be set out for collection no earlier than 5 p.m. the day prior to collection, but to avoid luring bears to your property, try to set out trash roll carts the morning of trash collections. Roll carts should be placed out before 8 a.m.  
    Instead of throwing your food away, compost it.
    Upon request, the ECO Station can provide residents with hardware to secure roll cart lids. Call 662-8163 for more information or to request yours.

  • LAPD arrests 2 on theft charges

    The Los Alamos Police Department Criminal Investigations and patrol divisions have investigated several check fraud, identity theft, theft, forgery, fraudulent use of credit card cases over the past month.
    LAPD investigators began putting together a profile that all the cases were linked and identified the potential suspects through their investigations.
    On Aug. 27, a patrol “A-team” apprehended the suspects on a traffic stop.
    John J. Lerma, 42, of Albuquerque and 38-year-old Rosalinda Hurtado of Alcalde were arrested by officers for charges of forgery, fraud and identity theft. Lerma also had a nationwide warrant out of Bernalillo County.
    There have been at least eight reported criminal cases investigated by the LAPD totaling in almost $20,000 in losses, according to police.
    Hurtado and Lerma are also suspected and being charged with stealing wallets from local Los Alamos athletes during sporting practices then fraudulently using the stolen credit cards.