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Local News

  • Live streaming of State of State at noon on PBS

    Join NM PBS for the televised broadcast, and live streaming of the opening of the 2017 New Mexico State Legislature today and the “State of the State” address given by Gov. Susana Martinez.
    NM PBS will broadcast the address online at NewMexicoInFocus.org.

    Schedule:

    • Noon – 2017 Legislative Session

    Ch. 5.1 will begin the online live stream only at NewMexicoInFocus.org.
    •  12:30–2 p.m. -  Governor’s “State of the State” address
    New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez opens this year's 60-day session of the State Legislature with the annual State of the State Address.
    Ch. 5.1 will break into programming and broadcast the Governor address.  (The start time is approximate, as events are fluid). The online live stream will continue as well.
    • Roundtable follow-up reaction

  • LAPD looking for owner of lost money

    The Los Alamos Police Department is searching for the owner of a sum of money turned into the department.

    Police declined to release details about the amount.

    “An undisclosed amount of money was located by a citizen and brought to the Los Alamos Police Department. So far, no one has contacted the police department concerning their loss,” LAPD Spokesman Preston Ballew said in a release Friday. “We urge anyone that lost this money to call or come to the police department and describe what kind and how much money they lost to include the type of packaging it was in. Upon receiving this information, and confirmation of its rightful owner, the money can be claimed.”

    Call the LAPD for information at 662-8222.

  • EPA says it can’t pay economic damages from mine spill

    DENVER — The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will not repay claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from a mine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado, saying the law prohibits it.

    The EPA said the claims could be refiled in federal court, or Congress could authorize payments.

    But attorneys for the EPA and the Justice Department concluded the EPA is barred from paying the claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government.

    “The agency worked hard to find a way in which it could pay individuals for damages due to the incident, but unfortunately, our hands are tied,” EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said.

    The EPA said it has spent more than $31.3 million on the spill, including remediation work, water testing and payments to state, local and tribal agencies.

    A total of 73 claims were filed, some by farmers who lost crops or had to haul water because rivers polluted by the spill were temporarily unusable for irrigation and livestock. Rafting companies and their employees sought lost income and wages because they couldn’t take visitors on river trips. Some homeowners sought damages because they said their wells were affected.

  • Youth Activity Center gets remodeled

    The Youth Activity Center in Los Alamos, operated from the south side basement of the community building, is scheduled for remodeling starting mid-January. 

    Improvements include leveling the uneven floor and updating the near 30-year-old finishes.  

    After completion of improvements to the Teen Center, staff from the Los Alamos Family Council, operator of the YAC, requested improvements to the obsolete and deteriorated interior. With project savings from the Teen Center and others, this became possible.

    “We are fortunate that the Teen Center and other projects came in under budget,” said Los Alamos County Project Manager Steven Huebner.  “The floors were sloped with floor drains because this part of the building was originally a truck garage in the early days.”  

    The sloped portion of the concrete floor will be removed and replaced with a level floor to eliminate tripping hazards. 

    The space will be finished with concrete polished floors for longevity and easy cleaning. Cabinets and counter tops will be replaced, walls patched and painted, a sink added to the kitchenette, and the exit door will be updated to be a code-compliant fire exit.  

  • Redmond takes over reigns at Youth Activity Center

    John Redmond, the new director for the Los Alamos Family Council’s two Youth Activity Centers, has spent a significant part of his career working with young people. 

    Redmond served as school resource officer with the Los Alamos Police Department for five and a half years. He was assigned to the high school for most of that time, but also worked at the middle school. 

    Before joining the LAPD, Redmond provided leadership training for a Silicon Valley health tech company. Prior to that, he worked at St. John’s Military School, a boarding school for seventh- through 12th-grade boys in Salina, Kansas.

    As the school resource officer, Redmond was responsible for a variety of community outreach activities. He ran the first Safety Town, a program initiated by police Chief Dino Sgambellone. He also conducted a three-day Boy Scout public safety merit badge powwow, based on regional powwows he had taught, helping approximately 25 boys earn seven merit badges. 

    What Redmond enjoys most about working with youth is their energy. 

  • Reiss gives ‘State of the County’

    In his last act serving as Los Alamos County Council Chair, Rick Reiss presented a “State of the County” message at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

    A charter amendment approved by voters in 2014 calls for the council chair to give an annual State of the County address. Reiss is the first chair to act upon that directive. 

    Reiss described struggling with how to distinguish his message from the annual “State of the County” report given by County Manager Harry Burgess for the last five years. That report – presented at last Thursday’s Chamber breakfast – focused on the operational nuts and bolts, such as the status of county projects and finances.

    Reiss chose a high-level look at the county’s achievements. He opened his remarks with, 

    “I believe Los Alamos is a wonderful community with great amenities and beautiful surroundings. In summary, I believe the state of the county is “outstanding,” with excellent county staff that addresses the strategic goals of the council, operational excellence, which is the foundation of county government and comparable results that exceed our neighbors, the region and/or the state.”

  • Reiss gives ‘State of the County’

    In his last act serving as Los Alamos County Council Chair, Rick Reiss presented a “State of the County” message at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

    A charter amendment approved by voters in 2014 calls for the council chair to give an annual State of the County address. Reiss is the first chair to act upon that directive. 

    Reiss described struggling with how to distinguish his message from the annual “State of the County” report given by County Manager Harry Burgess for the last five years. That report – presented at last Thursday’s Chamber breakfast – focused on the operational nuts and bolts, such as the status of county projects and finances.

    Reiss chose a high-level look at the county’s achievements. He opened his remarks with, 

    “I believe Los Alamos is a wonderful community with great amenities and beautiful surroundings. In summary, I believe the state of the county is “outstanding,” with excellent county staff that addresses the strategic goals of the council, operational excellence, which is the foundation of county government and comparable results that exceed our neighbors, the region and/or the state.”

  • Gov. Martinez sets state’s fiscal solvency as priority

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is warning that before anything reaches her desk during the upcoming legislative session, she wants lawmakers to come up with a “serious solvency package.”
    The Republican governor made the comment Thursday while addressing business leaders in Albuquerque. She’s referring to projections that the state is expected to outspend revenues by nearly $220 million this fiscal year.
    Martinez and lawmakers rolled out dueling budget proposals earlier this week.
    Despite opposition from Democrats, part of her plan calls for sweeping some money from school district reserves.
    She argues that districts are sitting on more than $130 million in such funds and in some cases that’s far beyond the 5 percent recommended for hard times. She says the surpluses can be tapped to avoid classroom and program cuts.

  • LANL contract high on LA’s legislative priorities

    In December, the Los Alamos County Council approved a list of 2017 state legislative priorities. Efforts to support those priorities are already underway and will kick into high gear when the New Mexico State Legislature opens its session on Tuesday.
    Newly elected council Chair David Izraelevitz and County Manager Harry Burgess hold out little hope for council’s top legislative priority: legislation supporting the county’s application for capital outlay funding to develop affordable housing infrastructure.
    “We expect that there will be very little to no capital outlay given the current budget situation,” Izraelevitz said.
    “We’re hopeful. We have pressing needs, like many other communities around the state. But given the situation, we would be delighted if some of these things get addressed, but I think it’s going to be a very difficult argument to make, given all the cuts in just basic services that the state is looking to impose.”
    The county is taking a two-pronged approach to the second priority: adequate funding of local public health offices.
    The county has been protesting the New Mexico Department of Health’s decision to severely curtail both hours and services.

  • Court docs to go online

    The New Mexico Supreme Court announced its decision Jan. 6 to open up access to the public and others as part of a new policy.
    “The new policy is part of the Judiciary’s continuing efforts to make judicial proceedings more transparent and accessible to the public while balancing privacy concerns,” Communications Officer Barry Massey said. “The state courts recognize that people increasingly use and rely on electronic information in their day-to-day lives.”
    The New Mexico court system plans to have computer access operational by the spring or the summer. Access will first be  granted to attorneys licensed in New Mexico, out-of-state attorneys admitted by the New Mexico Supreme Court, state, municipal and federal law enforcement agencies, corrections agencies, federal state and municipal courts, compliance programs and agencies involved in adult, family or child welfare.