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Local News

  • Bandelier trail section closed due to erosion

    Bandelier National Monument has announced that the trail section connecting the Frijoles Canyon Trail to the Frijoles Rim Trail at Upper Crossing has had to be closed due to severe erosion damage caused by effects of the Las Conchas Fire.
    Water running down the badly burned, steep canyon wall has cut a number of deep, unstable arroyos across the trail. During this year’s rainy season they rapidly eroded to the point that the trail is no longer passable even by experienced hikers.
    For backcountry travelers, this means that it is no longer possible to plan a route from Ponderosa Campground across to the Frijoles Rim Trail or Upper Alamo Canyon, and the Frijoles Rim Trail can no longer be done as a loop. It is uncertain whether it will be possible to rebuild the trail, and there is presently no estimate on how long this closure will be necessary.
    Other trails in the monument have also been affected by erosion following the fire, but only one other has had to be closed. The Falls Trail from just below Upper Falls down to the Rio Grande River has been closed since a large section was completely washed away. The first big flashflood following the fire, in August of 2011, left only a sheer cliff where that trail had been. This damage has increased with each succeeding high water flow.

  • Voters flock to polls

    Voters in Los Alamos County made a beeline to the three voting centers as polls opened at 7 a.m. today. “I think there are many issues that the voters are excited about this year,” county clerk Sharon Stover said. Polls close at 7 p.m. Get the latest election returns on LAMonitor.com and look for full coverage in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor.

  • SGR tops Rodgers in District 43 race; Chrobocinski, Izraelevitz, O'Leary and Reiss top council vote-getters

    Voting results were delayed by long lines at polling stations across Los Alamos county.

    With 29 of 31 precincts reporting according to the New Mexico Secretary of State website, incumbent Stephanie Garcia scored 56 percent of the vote against council chair Geoff Rodgers in the District 43 race. David Izraelevitz, Mary Susan O'Leary, Rick Reiss and James Chrobocinski were the four top vote-getters in the county council race.

     

    2014 General Election

    (Polls close at 7 p.m.)

    County Council

    Democrats

    Andrea Cunningham 3,509

    Michael Redondo 3,176

    Mary Susan O’Leary 3,659

    David Izraelevitz 4,104

    Republicans

    James Chrobocinski 3,570

    Rick Reiss 3,689

    Bill McKerley 3,154

    John Bliss 3,188

     

    District 43 House Race

    Stephanie Garcia Richard (D) 4,223

    Geoff Rodgers (R) 3,625

     

    Sheriff

    Marco Lucero (D) 3,878

    Jaret McDonald (R) 3590

     

    Magistrate Judge

    Pat Casados (D) 4,315

    Blair Redmond (R) 3,159

     

  • Balderas wins state AG race; Eichenberg elected treasurer

     

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State auditor Hector Balderas, considered a rising star in the state Democratic Party, rolled to a win over Republican Susan Riedel in the contest for attorney general Tuesday after a race in which he touted his rise from poverty to the top levels of government and built a huge advantage in campaign cash.

    Balderas had stockpiled more money than any other statewide office candidate — except Gov. Susana Martinez — early on and had a more than 8-to-1 cash advantage with three weeks to go.

    Balderas has served as auditor since 2007. Riedel is a former judge and a prosecutor from Las Cruces.

    There was no incumbent in Tuesday's election because Gary King vacated the post to run for governor.

    Both Balderas and Riedel had agreed during the campaign that the attorney general's office needed to be more proactive in fighting corruption.

    Meanwhile,  Democrat Tim Eichenberg has been elected New Mexico state treasurer.

    Eichenberg defeated Republican Rick Lopez on Tuesday in a race that centered on education.

  • GOP closes in on House majority in state legislature

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Republicans received a boost from the national political mood and a popular governor to gain legislative seats and a potential majority in the state House for the first time in more than a half century.

    GOP candidates were leading in enough races for a possible net pickup of four seats in the House, according to unofficial incomplete returns. That would be enough for the party to take control of chamber — a feat the GOP hasn't accomplished since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

  • Duran wins second term as Secretary of State

     

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran won a second term Tuesday by fending off a strong challenge from Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver in a race that centered on voter ID and nonbinding marijuana questions in two of the state's most populous counties.

    The contest also focused on Duran's style of election management and her efforts to combat what she sees as widespread voter fraud. Duran has sent examples of suspected fraud to state and federal authorities to investigate.

    "We don't know how bad the problem is because we don't have voter ID," Duran said. "My opponent has been against it."

    Oliver, the Bernalillo County clerk, argued that fraud was rare and voter ID efforts would only prevent certain residents from casting ballots.

    "We're 50 years from the Voting Rights Act, and we're still fighting this. That's wrong," Oliver said.

    Instead, she advocated for same-day registration as a way to increase voter participation in the state.

    The two candidates also clashed over efforts by New Mexico municipalities to include nonbinding questions on the ballot.

  • Martinez wins second term as governor

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has defeated Democrat Gary King to win a second term as New Mexico's governor.

    Martinez's re-election in Democratic-leaning and heavily Hispanic New Mexico will enhance her reputation as a rising star nationally in the GOP, which is searching for ways to appeal to Hispanic voters.

    Martinez maintains that she's not interested in higher office and pledged to serve a full term if re-elected.

    Martinez became the nation's first female Hispanic governor four years ago.

    King is a two-term attorney general and the son of the state's longest-serving governor, the late Bruce King.

    The Democrat tried to blame Martinez for the state's weak economy, but he struggled to raise money. Martinez heavily outspent King on television ads, keeping the Democrat on the defensive throughout the campaign.

  • Rodgers says he’s never been arrested

    Council chair Geoff Rodgers, running for the House District 43 seat against Democratic incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard, spoke out about the allegations that he had been arrested in Florida.
    Rodgers said in an email Friday he has never been arrested in any jurisdiction and he has never received a citation in Florida.
    “I have never been arrested in any jurisdiction for anything,” he said.
    A search on Lexis-Nexus, which included his Rodgers’ name and birthday, turned up a case back in the 1990s in Florida. The file included a case number, a case filing date, an offense date and an arrest date. The filing also included a plea, which said nolo contendre and a court disposition, which said adjudication withheld. The filing also indicated that the case lasted close to two years, ending in 1995.
    But according to Rodgers, that is all news to him.
    “I appreciate the effort to find out what this is. I’m just as curious as everyone else,” Rodgers said. “ I’ve received two tickets in my entire life. Neither of which were in Florida and neither resulted in an arrest. Again, I have never been arrested. Let me know what you find.”

  • Election Day looms

    It may be a mid-term election but the stakes are high locally with a contentious House District 43 race and a County Council clash where eight candidates are vying for four positions.
    Election Day is Tuesday and Los Alamos polling places include the Municipal Building, White Rock Fire Station No. 3 and the Los Alamos County Golf Course multi-purpose room.
    According to county clerk Sharon Stover, 3,873 citizens have taken advantage of absentee by mail and early voring, as of Friday night. Stover said 158 absentee ballots are still outstanding and they need to be in the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
    The clerk’s office will display election returns, beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers of the Municipal Building.
    The District 43 race between Democratic incumbent Stephanie Garcia Richard and Republican challenger Geoff Rodgers has been dominated by outside influences.. PACs from both sides have poured money into the campaign and every word uttered by either candidate has been closely scrutinized.
    In the struggle for control of the state house, the District 43 race has been one of the 10 most highly contested races, according to the Associated Press. The Democrats currently hold a 37-33 advantage in the state house.
    The council race, meanwhile, has four Democrats and four Republicans running.

  • LAFD addresses wildfire danger

    If you’re one of those residents who think that because the land that surrounds Los Alamos has had its fair share of recent wildfires, that there’s nothing more to worry about, you’d be wrong. At least that’s what fire officials told a group of residents at a recent seminar about wildfires and wildfire preparedness in Los Alamos.
    According to Deputy Chief Justin Grider and newly-appointed Wildland Division Chief Ramon Garcia, both members of the Los Alamos County Fire Department, there’s still plenty to worry about.
    Both officials were on hand Thursday night at the Mesa Public Library to give a presentation on the current wildfire conditions, and what residents can do to protect themselves. Their presentation was a part of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women’s regular meetings at the library.