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Local News

  • Ringing In the Season

    Energetic and entertaining bell ringers at Smith’s add to the Christmas spirit. Carmen Bouquin and Sophia Jeffery brought a fresh twist to the traditional bell ringer. More Salvation Army bell ringers are needed. Those interested should contact the Betty Ehart Senior Center for details.

  • Update 12-19-14

    Trash collection

    Next week, Los Alamos County will pick up curbside trash Wednesday for those whose regular collection day is Thursday. Customers should also put trash out Dec. 31 for those whose regularly scheduled collection day is Jan. 1

    Surplus sale

    Los Alamos National Laboratory’s next scheduled surplus property sale will be Jan. 15, weather permitting.

    Walkup Center

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will have abbreviated hours for the upcoming holidays. Wednesday, the aquatic center will close at 5 p.m. and will remain closed until Dec. 26. It will also close at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and will be closed on Jan. 1. Call 662-8170 for more information.

    Christmas Run

    The final Los Alamos Triatomics Christmas Lights run is scheduled for Monday. The non-competitive run will start in the downtown area near the Fusion Multisport store. The run starts promptly at 6:15 p.m. and anyone interested may participate. For information, visit triatomics.org.

    LEGO League

    The Los Alamos FIRST LEGO League State Qualifier is 9 a.m. Saturday at Los Alamos Middle School’s gymnasium.

  • Americans are skeptical of commercial drones

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans broadly back tight regulations on commercial drone operators, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, as concerns about privacy and safety override the potential benefits of the heralded drone revolution.
    The FAA is expected to propose restricting drones weighing less than 55 pounds to flights under 400 feet high, forbid nighttime flights, and require drones be kept within sight of their operators.
    It also may require drone operators to get pilot’s licenses, which would be controversial. Critics say the skills needed to fly a manned aircraft are different from those needed to operate a drone. But 64 percent support requiring the pilot’s licenses, according to the poll, with more in favor of limiting drone flight altitude and requiring them to be kept within eyesight.
    Eddy Dufault, 58, a machinist and part-time wildlife photographer in Marlborough, Massachusetts, who is considering buying a drone, said he agrees with most of the restrictions, but opposes licensing. It can cost would-be pilots $15,000 for the needed flight training and practice flights, he said, adding it would be more appropriate to require operators to attend a few classes and pass a drone flight test.

  • Report: Radiation release at WIPP low

    CARLSBAD (AP) — A final report by independent researchers shows the radiological release from the federal government’s underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was low and localized.
    The report released Thursday by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center also says no negative health effects are expected among workers or the public.
    The research center is associated with New Mexico State University.
    Its technicians have been collecting samples since February, when a container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured after being placed in a storage room at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
    Sampling stations at and near WIPP confirmed the presence of trace amounts of americium and plutonium.
    The release forced the indefinite closure of WIPP. Federal officials have said it could take years and a half-billion dollars to restart operations.

  • Record-Breaking Year

    Thanks to a record-breaking year of charity giving by employees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, United Way of Northern New Mexico has made it to the halfway point in its fundraising campaign for its Community Action Fund, UWNNM’s fund that helps local nonprofits.
    To mark the occasion, Kurt Steinhaus (left), executive director of LANL’s Community Programs Office, UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega (center) and LANL’s Principal Associate Director Alan Bishop meet at the UWNNM’s Community Action Fund Thermometer in front of the Los Alamos County Post Office to mark the occasion. Bishop was in charge of LANL’s charity drive this year.

  • BPU votes to stream meetings

    Pressure has been mounting for the Board of Public Utilities to take advantage of audio/visual technology at the municipal building to live stream their meetings and provide on-demand recordings.
    Several members of the citizenry have raised the issue at recent BPU and Los Alamos County Council meetings.
    The board voted unanimously on Wednesday to begin streaming and on-demand viewing in January. The motion also requires that recordings dating to July 2013 be posted on the county website.
    The board also voted to move their meetings from room 110 in the municipal building to council chambers in order to have adequate space for presenters and the public.
    During the recent debate over whether to initiate a fixed wire charge for home solar customers, ratepayers asked BPU to develop a plan for addressing industry changes and meeting the Department of Public Utilities’ strategic goal of being carbon-neutral by 2040. They called for citizen input in that planning.
    At Wednesday’s meeting, the board began discussion about forming an ad hoc citizens committee to investigate future renewable energy resources.
    DPU Manager Tim Glasco suggested three issues the committee should address. They are:

  • Today in history Dec. 19
  • School board candidate withdraws

    Naishing Key, who was for a school board District 4, filed a Declaration of Withdrawal of Candidacy this afternoon with the Los Alamos County Clerk’s office
    There are now two candidates in this district, Andrea Susan Cunningham and Michael E. Fassbender.
    The last day to withdraw from the race is Dec. 30.

  • Grand opening at Ponderosa Pines apartments

    All at the Ponderosa Pines apartment complex had good times yesterday as the team at Plateau Property Management celebrates its acquisition of its new apartment complex at 3000 Trinity Dr., as well as its other complex on Gold Street, which will be called “The Cottonwoods.” The celebration consisted of a live band, hors d’oevres, sign unveilings and tours of the newly-renovated apartments.
    From left, Jeanne Bridge, office manager; Hope Jamarillo, office assistant, Bruce Norman, owner, Mike Lippiatt, property manager; Michael McNiel, construction and maintenance and Julie Smith, property specialist.

  • State Briefs 12-18-14

    Mom driving van of kids
    pleads not guilty in chase

    ALBUQURQUE (AP) — A Tennessee woman has pleaded not guilty in a chaotic 2013 traffic stop and chase during which a New Mexico State Police officer shot at her minivan full of children.
    KOB-TV reports that 40-year-old Oriana Farrell of Memphis entered the plea Tuesday in Taos to fleeing and other charges filed last month by a grand jury. An appeals court had dismissed previous charges, saying a prosecutor shouldn’t have been involved in excusing a grand jury member.
    The officer shot at Farrell’s van carrying her five children after she twice sped off and was stopped by another officer for speeding. Dashboard video of the shooting gained national attention, and the officer was later fired.
    Defense attorney Alan Maestas has said the charges aren’t justified.

    New Mexico official:
    Flu season could be difficult