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Local News

  • Budget balancing session ends

    SANTA FE The Legislature adjourned a politically difficult special session on Thursday after putting the finishing touches on more than $230 million in tax increases to balance the state budget next year.

    The final measure to win approval was a 75-cents-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax. It will generate $33 million next year.

    “We did what we had to do. We got the job done,” said Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, a Belen Democrat. “I think we helped keep government running and people employed.”

  • Changing blueprints to green prints

    “One Mississippi, two Mississippi…,”  students in Laura Patterson’s fifth grade class counted as they filled plastic bags with water from the bathroom faucets of Mountain Elementary School.  This activity was part of a water audit done by the students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program as an important step in their quest to create a more sustainable Mountain school.

  • Listeners get an earful on the Valles

    Jonathan Neal, who works in Los Alamos but lives about a mile away from the Valles Caldera National Preserve, was a typical participant at a public meeting Thursday.

    Along with more than 50 others who came out to Fuller Lodge, he had an experienced view of the federal property that was the subject.

  • NM lawmakers green light $200 million in tax hikes

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Legislature approved a $5.6 billion budget on Wednesday and the largest tax increase package in more than two decades to help pay for public schools and government services next year.

    Passage of the measures moved lawmakers close to the finish line of a politically charged special session. Clashes over tax increases and government spending previewed likely campaign themes in this year's elections.

  • Jobless claims decline, retail sales perk up

    WASHINGTON (AP) — New claims for jobless benefits fell last week in a sign that layoffs may be easing as the economy slowly recovers.

    Meanwhile, retailers reported Thursday that sales rose in February by the largest amount since November 2007, a month before the recession began. Factory orders also rose in January, the Commerce Department said.

    The reports provide fresh evidence that the economy is steadily growing. But it's not clear when that improvement will translate into new hiring.

  • Tax increase package OK’d

    SANTA FE — The Legislature approved a $5.6 billion budget on Wednesday and the largest tax increase package in more than two decades to help pay for public schools and government services next year.

    Passage of the measures moved lawmakers close to the finish line of a politically charged special session. Clashes over tax increases and government spending previewed likely campaign themes in this year’s elections.

  • January was cold, but February was colder

    February is usually three or four degrees warmer than January. This year, February’s average temperature of just over 27 degrees in Los Alamos, was a degree colder than January, which was already colder than normal. February was six degrees below average. Surprisingly, one need only look as far back as 2004 to find a colder February at slightly below 27 degrees. The coldest February on record belongs to 1939 with an average of 23 degrees.

  • Project estimates go up and up

    Time and earthquake security are largely responsible for the escalating costs of a large nuclear facility now in design, according to the project leader Wednesday.

    “Time is a big driver,” said Rick Holmes, division leader for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    He noted that the first rough estimates in the range of $600 million were crude estimates for a project expected to be finished in 2012.

  • Diamond Drive, take four

    The clock is now ticking on Diamond Drive Phase 4.

    By a 5-2 vote, County Council awarded a $6.4 million plus contract Tuesday to AS Horner, for the next and last major roadwork and utility project on Diamond Drive stretching south from North Road to the Omega Bridge that spans Los Alamos Canyon.

    Although councilors expressed concerns that the contractor was responsible for at least some of the public’s dissatisfaction over Phases 1 and 2, Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman began his presentation with reasons to expect a different outcome this time.

  • 03-04-10 Update

    Don’t miss “Diner” today

      Mesa Public Library Free Film Series will screen ”Diner” at 6:30 p.m. today.

    Lenten fish fry dinner