Local News

  • UPDATED: Fewer dollars for cleanup in federal budget

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Recovery efforts stemming from a radiation leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository could get a $100 million boost in federal funding under a budget measure pending in Congress.
    The U.S. Senate was expected to vote on the $1.1 trillion appropriations bill Friday, a day after it narrowly passed the House.
    The measure also calls for slashing funding for cleanup of long-term radioactive and hazardous waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The lab was on track to meet a major milestone this year for packing up and shipping tons of Cold War-era waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, before one of its containers ruptured and forced the indefinite closure of the repository.
    The lab was pressured by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration to remove thousands of barrels of waste from outdoor storage by the summer.
    That deadline came and went, and now hazardous waste cleanup efforts at Los Alamos and other U.S. Department of Energy facilities across the country are stalled thanks to WIPP's closure.
    Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has said reopening WIPP is a priority.
    While some cleanup projects at the lab have been downsized, watchdog groups voiced concerns that cutting Los Alamos' funding would send the wrong message.

  • Update 12-11-14

    County Council

    The next scheduled meeting of the Los Alamos County Council is at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the municipal building.

    Meeting canceled

    The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board’s Dec. 17 meeting has been canceled because of holiday conflicts. JJAB’s next meeting will be 6 p.m. Jan. 21, in Building No. 1, Camino Entrada Road.

    Tree permits

    Santa Fe National Forest will continue to sell Christmas tree permits from now until Dec. 24. Permits can be purchased at any SFNF ranger station or, locally, at the Los Alamos Historical Museum.

    Luminaria sand

    Los Alamos County’s Traffic and Streets division is again providing free sand for residents for making luminarias.
    Sand for luminarias — also called farolitos — is available at the following locations around Los Alamos County:

    • Overlook Park, south parking lot
    • Urban Park, 42nd Stree parking area
    • Sullivan Field
    • Barranca Road at Navajo Street on Barranca Mesa
    • North Mesa soccer fields

  • CYFD asks for $10M

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — It will take an infusion of about $10 million if New Mexico wants to move ahead with and expand reforms to improve the way child abuse cases are investigated and tracked in New Mexico, child welfare officials told lawmakers Wednesday.
    The Children, Youth and Families Department made its case for the funding during a Legislative Finance Committee meeting.
    The request encompasses the costs of numerous policy changes and directives the agency made in the wake of the death of Omaree Varela, a 9-year-old Albuquerque boy who police say was repeatedly kicked by his mother. The case set off a firestorm of criticism against Albuquerque police and the child welfare agency for not removing the boy from his home after receiving earlier reports of abuse.
    Jennifer Padgett, the agency’s deputy secretary, acknowledged the gaps identified by the Varela case and told lawmakers the reforms are targeted at making sure cases such as Omaree’s don’t fall through the cracks.
    “Can we say 100 percent that there will not be another tragedy at the hands of a child’s parents? No. Do we have the infrastructure and the proactive measures in place to do everything we can to prevent it? We’re working on that,” she said.

  • Passing The Time

    Sisters Sara and Caroline Khan keep themselves busy while mom does some Christmas shopping at the Fuller Lodge Arts Center. Residents were out in full force Saturday as they shopped till they dropped during Winterfest, the annual celebration organized by Los Alamos MainStreet.

  • Light Bright

    Runners joined the Los Alamos Triatomics for its Christmas Lights Run around the Denver Steels and Western Area Wednesday night, passing a house on the corner of Sandia and Diamond Drives, displaying several inflatable decorations. Runs are scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays through Dec. 22.

  • 'Live' bites the dust

    After months of what Councilor Frances Berting called an “overwhelmingly negative” response to trying to sell Los Alamos using the strapline “Live Exponentially,” council voted on Tuesday to reject the phrase.
    Council revisited the issue at Councilor Pete Sheehey’s request, after a contract with Atlas Advertising, LLC, for implementing the branding strategies developed by North Star Destination Strategies was approved by a 5-1 vote on Oct. 10.
    At that time, council chose to follow North Star’s recommendations, including adopting the line “Live Exponentially.”
    The tone of this meeting was very different and ended with the line’s rejection.
    Instead of developing three logos to illustrate the phrase “Live Exponentially,” Atlas will be directed to develop two logos based on one of seven other tagline options proposed by North Star or “Los Alamos — Where Discoveries are Made.” The third logo will be designed with no strapline connection.
    The decision comes after months of backlash by the community, including numerous emails to councilors, letters to the editor and posts on social media.
    Many of the issues with the phrase came out during extensive public comment at Tuesday’s meeting.

  • VIDEO: Ebola Fighters Named Time Person of the Year
  • Today in history Dec. 11
  • State Roundup: Big N.M. lottery prize is still unclaimed

    ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico Lottery officials say whoever holds a winning $1 million Powerball ticket has only a few weeks to claim the prize.
    The ticket sold in Albuquerque on Saturday, Sept. 27 at a Circle K store on Highway 528 Northwest had winning numbers of 2, 11, 35, 52 and 54.
    Lottery workers on Monday put up a banner outside the store to try to alert the winner to turn it in.
    If the $1 million ticket is not claimed by the close of business on Dec. 24, the money will go back into the prize pool.

    3 to sue University of New Mexico over rape case

    ALBUQUERQUE — Two University of New Mexico football players and another man plan to sue the University of New Mexico and its police department over an investigation that led to rape charges that were ultimately dropped.
    Lobo football players players SaQwan Edwards and Crusoe Gongbay and community college student Ryan Ruff on Tuesday said they plan this week to file a suit accusing UNM police of conducting an inadequate investigation.
    A UNM student told police in April she was raped at gunpoint inside a vehicle. The men were arrested but charges were later dropped.
    The university said it stands by the investigation and will carefully review the suit once it is filed.

    Rail Runner speeds increased after gates installed

  • Planning Council

    The DWI Planning Council meets monthly to coordinate a community approach to the issue of driving while impaired. Recently the group celebrated a decade of service in the community, under Chair Diane Noveroske. The committee meets at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building.