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Local News

  • Fort Bliss says it will no longer accept New Mexico IDs

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, has announced it will no longer accept New Mexico driver's license as a form of identification from visitors.

    The El Paso Times reports the U.S. Army Base announced the change Wednesday and said it would stop accepting New Mexico IDs because they aren't in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act.

    The base also said it would not accept IDs from other noncompliant states: Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Washington state.

    White Sands Missile Range and Sandia Labs also said this week it would stop accepting New Mexico IDs.

    The moves comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declined to give New Mexico an extension on complying with tougher rules that require proof of legal U.S. residency in order for state driver's licenses and IDs to be valid for some federal purposes.

  • $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot goes to 3 winners in 3 states

    MUNFORD, Tenn. (AP) — An eye-popping and unprecedented Powerball jackpot whose rise to $1.6 billion became a national fascination will be split three ways.

    The winners' identities remain a mystery, but they bought their tickets in Florida, Tennessee and a Los Angeles suburb where even lottery losers were celebrating Thursday that such heady riches were won in their modest city.

    The winners of the world-record jackpot overcame odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land on the numbers drawn Wednesday night, 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10. They can take the winnings in annual payments spread over decades or a smaller amount in a lump sum.

    The California ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told The Associated Press. The winning Florida ticket was sold at a Publix grocery store in Melbourne Beach. The winning ticket in Tennessee was sold in Munford, north of Memphis, according to a news release from lottery officials in that state.

    Three Munford stores offer Powerball tickets, but it wasn't clear Thursday morning which retailer had sold the winning ticket and would get a $25,000 check. Tennessee lottery officials said they were headed to the winning store to make a presentation.

  • FEMA denies appeal for NM emergency team status

    SANTA FE (AP) — Federal officials have denied New Mexico's appeal to keep federal status and funding for its elite search and rescue team.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency ruled last week that the New Mexico Task Force 1 team will no longer be one of the 28 elite urban search and rescue teams in the country.

    It was designed to respond to any type of disaster in U.S. within hours.

    FEMA removed the team's federal status in September, citing the team's ongoing struggles with finances and training.

    The task force will no longer receive millions of dollars for specialized training and equipment that have contributed to the state's disaster response.

  • Today in history Jan. 14
  • Accident bottlenecks Trinity

    If home is in Barranca Mesa, North Mesa or somewhere on Diamond or perhaps the Jemez Mountains, you might want to take Central Ave and avoid Trinity, since an accident occurred at Trinity Drive and Oppenheimer Avenue around 4:30. People involved sustained minor injuries when a Toyota Matrix Wagon rear ended a Toyota Highlander SUV. 

  • Lines form again in New Mexico for Powerball tickets

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The rush is on again, with lines forming at convenience stores around New Mexico as the estimated Powerball jackpot holds steady at $1.5 billion.

    New Mexico Lottery officials said Powerball sales between Sunday and Wednesday afternoon were nearing $5.5 million.

    And in the three months since the last Powerball jackpot, lottery spokeswoman Wendy Ahlm says ticket sales in New Mexico have totaled nearly $14.9 million.

    The numbers are good since Powerball sales in New Mexico have been on the decline. In fact, they were about $2 million behind expectations before the latest run-up started.

    Officials say the boost won't solve the state's problem when it comes to the solvency of the lottery scholarship program, but they're hopeful the jackpot frenzy will put New Mexico back on track in terms of its projections.

  • Adding to LA’s finest
  • Legislators give update on session

    Los Alamos’ legislators updated residents on what they can expect at the upcoming 30-day legislative session Jan. 7.
    The League of Women Voters of Los Alamos and the American Association of University Women hosted the Legislative Preview at Fuller Lodge.  
    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43), and State Sens. Carlos Cisneros (D-6) and Richard Martinez, (D-5) spoke at the event. Each representative spent 15 minutes each updating the audience on what type of legislation and issues would be coming across their desks. The session starts Jan. 19 and ends on Feb. 18.
    Garcia Richard went first, pulling no punches.
    “What do I anticipate, and what are my goals. I anticipate a brutal session,” she said, adding that since it is a short session, all items that are related to the budget will get priority, and since it’s happening right before an election cycle, “they are usually quite brutal.”
    Though the projected working figure for this session is $293 million, Garcia Richard said that they are probably going to be dealing much less, due to the falling price of oil, which will probably make things more intense out on the Roundhouse floor.

  • Los Alamos sees new facilities, parks and a new airlines

    Some of the biggest events in Los Alamos County last year were interim points in an ongoing process that may take years to reach fruition. The new Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the Valles Caldera National Preserve’s elevation to national park status are works in progress. The Fuller Lodge Historic Districts Advisory Board approved an elevator for Fuller Lodge that will be installed this year. Council also initiated discussions on the next round of Capital Improvement Project spending, which may not see results until 2017, when voters are asked to approve a Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) increment to fund new projects.
    The year 2015 did bring some new developments, including the completion of several CIP projects from the last round of spending and a new airline service for the county.
    Here are some of the year’s highlights.
    New national parks become official
    In December, 2014, Congress approved two new national parks in the area. Preliminary steps for launching and developing those parks were in full swing last year.
    The Manhattan Project National Historical Park encompasses not only Los Alamos, but also Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Hanford, Washington.

  • School mill levy question now in voters’ hands

    By now, every household in Los Alamos County has received the ballot asking voters to vote “yes” or “no” on whether or not to continue the property tax that helps fund the Los Alamos Public Schools. All voters have to do now is fill it out and turn it in by Jan. 26, the day the ballots will be counted.
    Voting “yes” means continuing the property tax of $3.25 on every $1,000 real, assessed property. That comes out to roughly $325 a year for a $300,000 home. The tax has been in place since 1988.
    If voters approve, the LAPS will continue get a little over $2 million a year for the next six years (about $13 million in total) until the next ballot round in 2022. The ballot is also known as “HB33” after the legislative bill that the funding was named after in 1988.
    Funding is primarily used for buying student transportation, building maintenance, student equipment (balls, musical instruments, computers, etc.) and improving school grounds and buildings.
    According to the mill levy’s proponents, while $13 million may sound like a minor amount of money for a fairly mundane issue, it is anything but. LAPS President Jim Hall, who is also a member of Los Alamos Schools Funding Campaign Committee, said it’s probably one of the most important things a resident can say “yes” to.