Local News

  • Rancher: Fire could have been averted

    The state’s largest wildfire might have been averted if the caretaker of a private ranch had been around the day a dead tree was blown onto a power line, igniting the blaze that went on to threaten the nation’s premier nuclear facility and thousands of homes.

    “If there had been someone to attend to it when the power line got hit, there would have been no fire,” Albuquerque real estate agent Roger Cox, who owns a ranch that straddles the ignition zone, told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “It would have been a small burn, but there wouldn’t be a big fire.”

  • Manhattan Project Park under consideration

    U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is recommending that Congress establish a national historical park to commemorate the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb.

    Salazar says the development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story.

    Salazar said, “The secret development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story and one of the most transformative events in our nation’s history.”  

    The National Park Service conducted a special resource study on several Manhattan Project sites for possible inclusion in the National Park System.

    The study was released to Congress this week.

  • Serving comfort to callers

    Thousands of telephone calls were involved in the interaction between Los Alamos County’s 311 Customer Care Center and community members during the Las Conchas Fire evacuation and repopulation.

    “Collectively, we fielded 3,253 calls and put in more than 500 hours between Monday, June 27, and Monday, July 4,” said Business Operation Manager Karen Kendall of the Department of Public Utilities, which is responsible for the Call Center.

    Kendall and other DPU officials stepped in to help field the record number of calls.

  • Permitting process streamlined

    The Los Alamos County Council has made streamlining and simplifying the commercial building permit process a priority. Community Development Department (CDD) staff has been working on this goal since May. Steve Brugger, acting community development director and Chris Williams, building safety division manager presented the first 60-day progress report to council at Tuesday’s meeting.

    Three major components have been instituted so far.

    The CDD has created application packages for commercial permits that include descriptions of the eight basic steps – including a flowchart of those steps – along with detailed documentation and inspection requirements, required forms, a schedule of permit fees and contact numbers.

  • Judge declares mistrial in Clemens case

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The judge declared a mistrial Thursday in baseball star Roger Clemens' perjury trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that the judge had ruled out of bounds.

    U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said Clemens could not be assured a fair trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence against his orders in the second day of testimony.

    Walton scheduled a Sept. 2 hearing to determine whether to hold a new trial. He told jurors he was sorry to have wasted their time and spent so much taxpayer money, only to call off the case.

  • County continues mitigation efforts

     The county’s pavement crews continue to work this week in Los Alamos Canyon to install barriers around the Los Alamos Ice Rink. Their efforts are all part of post-wildfire emergency actions being taken immediately to protect the facility, should rainfall expected from the onset of monsoons endanger the canyon because of the severely burned watershed as a result of the Las Conchas wildfire.
    At this time, Los Alamos Canyon is the primary canyon of concern for the County, because the watershed above the canyon was so severely damaged.

  • BAER teams assess fire damage

    On Tuesday, watershed specialists and a Dam Safety Specialist visited Santa Clara Canyon to assess the stability of Santa Clara’s most western dam. Initial assessments indicate there could be a dam failure due to the hardening coat being removed and not replaced after damage from previous wildfires.
    Five fence lines were cut and removed at creek crossings to allow debris to flow freely without causing additional damages to streambeds. All concrete barriers at the Santa Clara Pueblo have been placed, and by Friday, all sandbagging efforts should be completed. Historic debris flows have been examined to understand potential flow patterns. Today the watershed group will be in Rio Del Oso canyon collecting data.

  • Update 07-13-11

    Advisory Board
    The Fuller Lodge/Historic District Advisory Board will meet at 5 tonight at Fuller Lodge.

    Missing pets?
    Residents whose pets may have gotten lost during the fire and evacuation are being asked to contact Animal Control through the Police Dispatch Center at 662-8222.

    P&Z meeting
    The Planning and Zoning Committee will meet at 5:30 today in Council Chambers.

    APP Board meeting
    The Arts in Public Places Board will meet at 4:30 today at the Mesa Public Library.

    John Jones presents an overview of the Community Broadband Network project  at 1:30 p.m. Thursday  for local business owners; 4 p.m. for all residents at Fuller Lodge.

  • Valles staging area to open Wednesday

    The Valle Grande Staging Area on the Valles Caldera National Preserve will reopen today.
    The staging area, located in the Valle Grande, off NM 4 near mile marker 39, has been closed due to the Las Conchas fire since June 26, when staff and visitors were forced to evacuate.

    The area remained closed to the public during fire operations as crews and equipment used the road to access the fire and to stop its westward spread.

    The staging area offers people a spectacular view of the Valle Grande. At this time visitors can see firsthand the aftermath of the Las Conchas fire safely and legally (areas off NM 4 are still closed due to high fire danger). Visitors can also get up to date information on the fire as well as area closures and restrictions.

  • Jailbirds raise money for March of Dimes