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Local News

  • Restriction on smoking passes

    A new ordinance passed unanimously by the Los Alamos County Council Tuesday brings the county into compliance with New Mexico’s Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act.
    The new ordinance tightens restrictions on smoking in public places, including in private businesses. Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes, chair of the internal employee health insurance committee, explained that although the act was passed in 2007, the county never updated its ordinance to comply with state law.
    The current ordinance prohibited smoking on county properties but not in privately owned spaces.
    “While we had the local ordinance in place, it would have still been citable under state statute within Los Alamos County,” County Attorney Rebecca Ehler explained. “So what we had was a conflict in the laws. So we were trying to resolve that with this ordinance.”
    The new ordinance protects both business patrons and employees from second-hand smoke by prohibiting indoor smoking in public spaces.
    The ordinance also prohibits smoking anywhere on the new Nature Center campus. Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) staff, which will be operating the new center, made that request in order to protect the large number of children who participating in outdoor classes.

  • Empty Bowls event returns

    Self Help, Inc., is hosting the 22nd Annual Empty Bowls Project Luncheon and Silent Auction from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
    The Empty Bowls Project was started to raise awareness of those who are less fortunate and might not have enough food to eat.
    “The funds raised benefit community members both in Los Alamos and in neighboring counties by helping with basic needs such as food and heat, and by assisting people facing homelessness,” said Self Help Director Ellen Morris Bond.
    Participants can purchase a ceramic bowl, soup, bread dessert and beverage at Saturday’s events. Price for the meal is $15.
    Also Saturday, The Craig Martin Experience will provide musical entertainment for diners.
    Credit cards will be accepted on the day of the event this year. A website has also been set up where community members can preview some of the silent auction items and purchase advance tickets.
    Silent auction items can be seen on the preview and blog pages at the website emptybowlsla.org. Blog posts can also be seen on the Self Help, Inc. Facebook page facebook.com/selfhelpla.

  • Police Beat 3-5-15

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Feb. 26

    11:26 a.m. — Police reported that a 49-year-old Hernandez man was in a vehicle accident that involved no injuries at the intersection of Canyon Road and Diamond Drive.
    1:52 p.m. — Brandi Ortiz-Middlefield, 20, of Chimayo was arrested on a district court warrant at the Los Alamos Justice Center. The original charge was burglary from a house on Sereno Street on Aug. 7, 2014.

    Feb. 27

    3:49 a.m. — Samuel Nasise, 45, of Los Alamos was arrested for battery upon a peace officer in the 2000 block of Trinity Drive.
    3:49 a.m. — Rebecca Redondo, 29, of Los Alamos was arrested for battery upon a peace officer in the 2000 block of Trinity Drive.

    Feb. 28

  • Today in history March 5
  • Police explain Tuesday’s traffic foul up

    While yesterday’s 5 p.m. traffic snarl may have sent commuter tempers soaring, there was a good  explanation for the tie up, police said. It may not be one that commuters caught up in the mess want to hear, however, as it involved a driver who allegedly made a bad error in judgement.

    Apparently, a truck driver, who was hauling a mobile home, tried to turn around on State Route 4 by attempting a U-turn. The driver took a wrong turn toward White Rock while heading south on NM 4, and was attempting to correct his mistake. When the truck made the west shoulder of N.M. 4, two of the truck’s axles broke, as well as the truck's trailer hitch due to the grade of the roadway.

    Unfortunately, according to Commander Oliver Morris of the Los Alamos Police Department, the position of the stuck truck and mobile home left only a narrow way for cars traveling N.M. 4 to get through.

  • Court is divided on subsidies

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court was sharply divided Wednesday in the latest challenge to President Barack Obama’s health overhaul, this time over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans.
    The justices aggressively questioned lawyers on both sides of what Justice Elena Kagan called “this never-ending saga,” the latest politically charged fight over the Affordable Care Act.
    Chief Justice John Roberts said almost nothing in nearly 90 minutes of back-and-forth, and Justice Anthony Kennedy’s questions did not make clear how he will come out. Roberts was the decisive vote to uphold the law in 2012.
    Otherwise, the same liberal-conservative divide that characterized the earlier case was evident.
    Opponents of the law say that only residents of states that set up their own insurance markets can get federal subsidies to help pay their premiums. The administration says the law provides for subsidies in all 50 states.
    The liberal justices peppered lawyer Michael Carvin almost from the outset of his argument to limit the subsidies.
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the law set up flexibility for states to either set up their own markets or rely on the federal healthcare.gov.

  • McDonald's to use chickens raised without antibiotics

    NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s says it plans to start using chicken raised without antibiotics commonly used in humans, and milk from cows that are not treated with an artificial growth hormone.
    The company says the chicken change will take place within the next two years. It says suppliers will still be able to use a type of antibiotic called ionophores that keep chickens healthy and aren’t used in humans. The milk change will take place later this year.
    Many cattle, hog and poultry producers give their livestock antibiotics to make them grow faster and ensure they are healthy. The practice has become a public health issue, with officials saying it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs so that they’re no longer effective in treating a particular illness in humans.
    Chipotle and Panera already say they serve chicken raised without antibiotics, but the announcement by McDonald’s is notable because of its size; the company has more than 14,000 U.S. locations. Chipotle has nearly 1,800 locations, while Panera has almost 1,900 locations.

  • Update 3-4-15

    Public Schools

    Los Alamos Public Schools will hold a forum at 7 p.m. today for the public to hear from superintendent candidate Kurt Steinhaus.The forum will be at Los Alamos High School’s speech theater.

    School board

    The Los Alamos School Board will go into closed executive session Thursday at 5 p.m. Following the session a motion may be made to present a job to one of the two finalist candidates. It will be at the Public Schools administration building.

    Construction

    The project manager overseeing Western Area Phase 3 construction will speak at a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 11.

    'Mister Roberts'

    The Los Alamos Elks Lodge will host a promotional event for Los Alamos Little Theatre’s production of “Mister Roberts” at 6 p.m. Thursday.

    Free Film Series

    The Free Film Series will feature the movie “Of Gods and Men” at the Mesa Public Library upstairs meeting rooms. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

    P & Z meeting
    Planning and zoning will meet at 5:30 p.m. March 11 at the Municipal Building.

  • Vaccination resolution passes

    The Los Alamos County Council unanimously passed a resolution urging parents to vaccinate their children Tuesday night.
    Councilor David Izraelevitz introduced the resolution due to concern about the high number of vaccination exemptions in the county.
    Requests for exemptions have been rising statewide, going from 2,845 in 2012 to 3,335 in 2014.
    Although the county’s overall immunization rate is at 93 percent, with the highest rate in the state for adult immunization, the data is less encouraging for children.
    Los Alamos is second in the state for the number of vaccine exemptions, with 30.6 exemptions per 1,000, or 3 percent, for children 4-18 years.
    Los Alamos Public Schools physician Dr. Mike Nichols, who is also a physician at the Los Alamos Children’s Clinic, believes that number may be even higher among homeschooled children.
    “Given that Los Alamos is an employment center, with a lot of people commuting from all over Northern New Mexico, we have a fairly high number of out-of-district kids that travel out of the county and for business and pleasure there’s a high rate of international travel, it seemed appropriate to consider this in Los Alamos because this risk would be magnified and spread once it reached us,” Izraelevitz said.

  • Today in history March 4