Local News

  • Bandelier bears brunt of blaze

    Out at Bandelier National Monument Friday, a large column of smoke rose from the southwest; which looked eerily similar to the beginning stages of the Los Conchas Fire, which started the afternoon of June 26.

    “It’s a backburn,” said Gary Kemp, the Bandelier Fire Management Officer.

    Firefighters from many different agencies continue to battle the record-setting blaze that has charred more than 150,000 acres and threatened the Los Alamos town site and the national laboratory two weeks ago.

    But almost lost in the chaos was what happened at Bandelier National Monument.

    On that Sunday afternoon in late June, Kemp was in his backyard in White Rock working on a project.

  • More smoke from burnout operations on Las Conchas fire lines

    This from Turman's Northern Rockies Incident Management Team:

    There is a large amount of smoke being generated on the southwest edge of the Las Conchas Fire today. This is from a burnout operation which is going as planned.

    Yesterday evening starting about 6 p.m., fire personnel lit a 400-foot-wide strip of vegetation on the east side of Forest Road (FR) 266, west of Ruiz Peak. Approximately two miles of roadside were ignited.

    Last night's burnout is slowly climbing up the hill while the edge of the wildfire is continuing to back its way downslope from Peralta Ridge. In most areas, the fire is an underburn, consuming ground vegetation but sparing trees and larger vegetation. The expectation is that the two fires will merge.

  • Correction 07-17-11

    In Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor, the story regarding Jesse Arteaga, who is facing 56 counts of child pornography, should have said that, “the reporting party explained that the video showed Arteaga’s girlfriend’s daughter undressed and subjected to inappropriate activity” rather than “Arteaga’s daughter.”

  • Gov. postpones tribal summit

    Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is postponing a summit with tribal leaders because officials are focusing on wildfires and the threat of flooding in burned areas, including tribal lands.
    The tribal-state summit was planned for next Tuesday and Wednesday. The governor’s spokesman, Scott Darnell, says it will be rescheduled in August or early September.
    Darnell said the administration had considered a postponement of the summit since the start of the Las Conchas fire last month near Los Alamos. It’s the state’s largest wildfire and burned about 80 percent of the forested lands on Santa Clara Pueblo.
    A fire in southern New Mexico burned Mescalero Apache tribal lands.

  • State has $360M available in 2013

    SANTA FE — New Mexico’s financial picture is improving and more than $360 million in new revenues will be available in the upcoming budget year, lawmakers were told Thursday.
    After several years of budget shortfalls and weak revenues, New Mexico faces the prospect of having additional money that could help restore recent cuts in programs, replenish the state’s cash reserves or potentially allow for tax reductions.
    However, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s top budget adviser warned legislators not to start a “spending spree.”
    According to an updated financial forecast released to the Legislative Finance Committee at a meeting in Socorro:

  • Update 07-15-11

    CRC meeting
    Charter Review Committee will discuss the status of the Sheriff’s Office at a public meeting 5:30-7 p.m. Monday in council chambers.

    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.

    Kiwanis talk
    Denise Lane and other volunteers will present their experience feeding thousands during the fire from noon-1 p.m., Tuesday at the Kiwanis Club at the Masonic Temple. 

    DPU meeting
    The Board of Public Utiliies will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the DPU Conference Room at 170 Central Park Square.

    NJROTC carwash

  • Search narrows for NCRTD executive

    The search continues and the end is in sight.

    The North Central Regional Transit District has been conducting a search since May to find a new executive director to replace Josette Lucero, who retired at the end of April.

    In the meantime, the NCRTD named former Los Alamos County Administator Tony Mortillaro as the interim executive director May 6. Rosemary Romero, who is heading the search committee, said Mortillaro and four others made the final cut and interviews were to be conducted next week. Romero said others in contention for the post include Joe Briscoe, Lauren Reichelt, Harry Montoya and Gregory Trujillo.

  • Broadband Meetings Clarify, Confuse

    Two meetings at Fuller Lodge Thursday, one for businesspeople and the other for the general public, were designed to educate about the proposed Community Broadband network and presented the results of recent market research surveys assessing community response to the proposal.

    Research and Polling Inc., a company founded by Brian Sanderoff, surveyed 102 businesses and 452 private citizens.

    The surveys asked a range of questions about residents’ satisfaction with their current Internet services, their understanding of the proposed fiber optics system and their level of interest in community broadband.

  • Blaze at 150K acres, 61 percent contained

    Firefighters were hampered Thursday by warmer weather and rugged terrain in their efforts to contain the state’s largest wildfire, as the region’s top forest official granted an initial request for funding that clears the way for recovery work on part of the massive blaze.

    Teams were using aerial reconnaissance flights and satellite images to create a map showing the severity of the burn throughout the southern half of the Las Conchas fire. Meanwhile, hydrologists and soil scientists were trying to estimate how much sediment might be moved if rain hits the burn scar.

  • Signals go up at Diamond and Trinity

    A worker sits on a crane and helps install a traffic light at the intersection of Trinity and Diamond Drive this week.