Local News

  • Driver’s ed for seniors pays off in savings and safety

    If you are 55 or older, you can save some money on your auto insurance by taking a driver safety class. New Mexico law (paragraph 59A-32-14 in the Insurance Code) provides that insurers must give you a discount if you take such a class, approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau of the state Transportation Department, and provide a certificate to your insurance company. The statute does not specify the amount of the discount. The discount is good for three years.
    I recommend that you do this. You will learn useful things, you will be a safer driver, and you will not be bored. Take an in-person class rather than an online class, if you can find one. Check with a senior citizen center near you to find out if classes are offered. In some cities, AARP offers classes taught by trained volunteers.  
    You might find yourself in a lively conversation – as I have on several occasions. A few examples:
    Some years ago, the instructor talked about the strength of the steel barriers that line hazardous places on New Mexico roads. I was fascinated. I occasionally drive on roads where one of those barriers is the only thing between a sheer drop and me. Since that class, I’m a little more confident that the barrier will save me if I’m driving at a reasonable speed.

  • Del Norte Credit Union plans to provide Thanksgiving Day meals to fire stations

    Del Norte Credit Union plans to provide holiday meals to many area on-duty firefighters Thursday. This year, the list of recipients includes seven Santa Fe County fire stations, five Los Alamos County fire stations as well as Española Fire Rescue.
    This is the third consecutive year that Del Norte has provided holiday meals to on-duty firefighters.
    DNCU serves more than 40,000 members throughout New Mexico.

  • Thanksgiving holiday closures in Los Alamos

    Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    Los Alamos Visitor Center will be closed Thursday.
    The RTD “Blue Bus,” including the RTD Chile Line in Taos, will not be in operation  Thursday and Friday.
    The RTD Mountain Trail will be in operation. The Mountain Trail route will transition to its winter schedule on Thanksgiving Day in celebration of the opening of Ski Santa Fe. The service will operate on its weekend/holiday schedule throughout the four-day weekend. For more information visit RidetheBlueBus.com.
    County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    No trash pickup on Thursday and Friday. Set out trash Wednesday.
    Los Alamos Public Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    Los Alamos County Magistrate and Municipal Courts will be closed Thursday and Friday.  
    The First Judicial Santa Fe District Court, which serves Los Alamos, will be closed Thursday and Friday.
    U.S. Post Office in Los Alamos will be closed Thursday.
    Bandelier National Monument will be open Thursday. The Visitor Center will be open its usual hours, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and trails are open dawn to dusk.

  • LA’s Strickfaden honored as year’s top tourism professional

    Los Alamos native Georgia Strickfaden did not want to take the path of least resistance and work for Los Alamos National Laboratory or another big company, as so many of those she grew up with did.
    After a stint as a school teacher, Strickfaden started Buffalo Tours in 1985, with a focus on introducing visitors to the remarkable history of her hometown. She eventually expanded into offering tours of the entire state, always trying to give her customers glimpses into aspects of New Mexico they might not be aware of.
    The New Mexico Hospitality Association recently named Strickfaden the 2015 Tourism Professional of the Year. New Mexico Tourism Department Secretary Rebecca Latham − last year’s recipient − presented the award.
    “It’s very nice, but very surprising that a little van tour company in Los Alamos would beat out all these others,” Strickfaden said.
    The four other finalists for the award were Jennifer Bales, director of sale and service for the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau, Richard Holcomb, president of Cliff Dweller Digital video production company, Cynthia Delgado, director of marketing for Tourism Santa Fe and Jack Brennan, race director for Tour of the Gila bicycle race.
    A tourism association in Arizona did the judging.

  • Girl, 3, battles severe scoliosis

    Bethany Hayward’s concerns for her daughter Lorelei began during pregnancy.
    Ultrasounds revealed a thickness in Lorelei’s neck. Doctors informed Hayward it could be any one of a number of catastrophic diseases, and the best-case scenario would be Down’s syndrome. They urged her to abort.
    Hayward refused, and Lorelei was born with the umbilical cord wrapped three times around her neck.
    “Other than that, she was perfect,” Hayward said.
    But before too long, Hayward noticed a dip in Lorelei’s back. The first doctor Hayward went to said Lorelei was fine, but the problem got worse. The second doctor she visited diagnosed a severe scoliosis.
    Since then, 3-year-old Lorelei has spent her life in casts and braces. She has had nine casts so far, and the problem actually got worse when she was recently placed in two braces.
    Lorelei’s spine is now at an 82 percent curvature. It is compressing her lungs and displacing her organs. Doctors fear that if nothing is done, the spine will eventually crush her lungs and heart.
    The only option remaining is to surgically insert Magec growing rods along Lorelei’s spine. She will be only the third person in New Mexico to receive this relatively new technology, which consists of magnetic rods that can be lengthened as she grows.

  • Use of any remaining school funds discussed

    While the main issue at a recent Los Alamos School Board meeting was what school to fund and how to do it, some related issues cropped up, too.
    Some parents, educators and school board members wanted to know what would happen to remaining funds once the renovation of Barranca Mesa Elementary School was completed.
    “The one thing I ask of the school board is this: Please be willing to release funds that the remaining schools need for vital upgrades,” said one resident, who added that Piñon Elementary School needs a new heating and air conditioning system and the school’s running track needs to be upgraded.
    “Our PTO has money to upgrade the track behind the school, but this project has been put on hold for years by the board,” she said.
    She said if the board does pick Barranca, which it did, it should make plans to create a group to create a long-range plan for both Piñon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary, especially because there are plans in the works to build more housing in the area.
    “There’s a lot of unanswered questions, and like (school board member) Dr. Matthew Williams said, we need to have some scenarios in place,” she said. “...There are many people in White Rock that would be interested in providing input for such a group.”

  • Ex-LA officer fights charge

    It appears former Los Alamos Police Department Officer Jordan Redmond, who was recently fired from the Los Alamos Police Department for reportedly accepting an “honoraria” payment from the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos while on duty, is not going quietly.
    He has entered a not guilty plea in magistrate court. His pretrial hearing is Dec. 15.  
    “I’m not guilty of the charges,” Redmond said when contacted by phone. “I believe the process will demonstrate my innocence as I am a man of great integrity.”
    Redmond, who worked as a school resource officer at Los Alamos High School, also has garnered quite a bit of support from the community. He has a Facebook page at “I Stand With Officer Jordan.” He also has a Go Fund Me page also titled “I Stand With Officer Jordan.” Both pages were set up by Los Alamos residents who feel strongly that Redmond is innocent.
    A statement on both Facebook and Go Fund Me pages declares:

  • Local groups deliver turkey dinners to LA families in need

    The Los Alamos Police Department, in partnership with Debbie Shelton of the Family Resource Advocate Group and Kathy Fulton with Smith’s Marketplace, prepared and delivered Thanksgiving turkey dinners to 14 local families.

    The partnership was coordinated by Cpl. Tim Lonz for the second straight year, who recognized the opportunity to help local families during a time of Thanksgiving, according to the LAPD press release.

  • Today in history Nov. 24
  • List of stores open on Thanksgiving or Black Friday

    NEW YORK (AP) — After the turkey and stuffing comes the kickoff of the holiday shopping season. And even though most retailers are offering the same deals online, many still plan to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day or in the early morning hours of Black Friday. So if you prefer to pick up those discounted TVs, toys and other goods in person, here's a list of what time stores are open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday:

    Discount Stores:


    Thanksgiving: Opens 6 p.m. and stays open all night into Black Friday.


    Thanksgiving: Opens 7 p.m. and stays open all night into Black Friday.


    Thanksgiving: Deals start at 6 p.m.


    Department Stores:


    Thanksgiving: Opens 3 p.m. and stays open all night into Black Friday.


    Thanksgiving: Opens 6 p.m. and stays open all night into Black Friday.


    Thanksgiving: Opens 6 p.m. and stays open all night into Black Friday.


    Thanksgiving: Opens 6 p.m. and closes 2 a.m. Friday

    Black Friday: Opens 5 a.m.


    Electronic Stores:


    Thanksgiving: Opens 5 p.m. and closes 1 a.m. Friday