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Local News

  • Pinon Elementary School playground vandalized -- Exclusive photos added

    Superintendent Gene Schmidt announced the school district has posted a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the person(s) responsible for the vandalism to the Pinon playground.

     Police and the fire department responded to a call of a fire on the Pinon playground. At approximately 1:28 a.m. Wednesday, a report from a resident was called in to Fire Station 3. Police officers Corporal Sheldon Simpson, Detective Joey Robinson, and firefighters from Engine 10 responded and extinguished the fire within minutes. No structures were damaged; however, the recently installed “big toy” slide on the upper playground was badly damaged.
     Pinon Principal, Jill Gonzales, who arrived at the scene at around 2:30 a.m.expressed dismay that students would arrive for their first day at school and not be able to play on their new big toy. School Superintendent Gene Schmidt stated, “It saddens me this senseless, mean-spirited act disrupted the first day for students.”

  • Briefs 08-14-14

    WIPP worker sues over smoke inhalation
    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A worker at the troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico is suing over smoke inhalation injuries from an underground fire in the storage facility.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that William Utter filed the lawsuit in May, three months after the Feb. 5 incident in which a salt-hauling truck caught fire below the surface at the now-shuttered Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
    Utter is a waste handler for Nuclear Waste Partnership. The contractor and its corporate parent are defendants in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensation and punitive damages.
    NWP spokesman Donavan Mager said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
    In addition to the fire, the plant located in Carlsbad experienced a radiation leak on Feb. 14 that contaminated above-ground workers when a waste barrel burst.

  • NCRTD posts record ridership

    The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), known as the RTD and for its iconic Blue Buses, has posted an 8.7 percent increase in ridership in its fiscal year (FY) 2014, which ran from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, setting a record number of riders for the year.
    Ridership for all NCRTD operated routes totaled 209,750 in FY2014 over a total of 193,027 in FY2013. NCRTD provides service on 20 fixed routes throughout North Central New Mexico and two demand response (para-transit) routes.
    An analysis of all NCRTD funded routes for FY2014 shows a 7.8 percent increase in ridership with 498,096 in FY2014 over 462,173 in FY2013. “All NCRTD-funded routes” includes the NCRTD-operated routes as well as regional routes funded by the NCRTD and serviced by Santa Fe Trails, including its Santa Fe Pick-Up and shuttle services for special events such as Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, Indian Market and Zozobra; and Los Alamos Atomic City Transit.
    From the Gross Receipts Taxes (GRT) it collects each year, the NCRTD contributes to regional transportation services provided by other transit operators in its four-county north central New Mexico area.

  • New Pino Fire smolders in Jemez

     

    The Pino Fire was reported Wednesday on Santa Fe National Forest’s Jemez Ranger District.  It is approximately one-half acre in size and located on a spur ridge.  The fire is smoldering and no significant growth is anticipated in the next 24 hours, according to a release from the State Forest Service.

     No action was taken on the Pino Fire Wednesday because a flash flood warning had been issued for that area and access to the site is limited.  As soon as fire managers are able to reach the fire area, they will determine an appropriate course of action.  The Pino Fire may be managed for resource benefit.

    The Forest Service did not release any more details including the exact location.

  • Update 08-14-14

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at noon Friday in council chambers in the Municipal Building.

    Blood drive

    A blood drive will be held Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 at the First Baptist Church on Diamond Drive. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22.

    Lunch With a Leader

    The League of Women Voters Lunch with a Leader will feature Ben Carlson, the publisher of the Los Alamos Monitor, as speaker at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 19 at the Mesa Public Library. Contact Karyl Ann Armbruster at 661-6605 or kaskacayman@gmail.com  for the menu choices if you would like to order a lunch from the Co-op ($10) by Sunday. You do not have to order lunch to attend this community event.

    Concert

    Tuesdays at the Pond Series. 7 p.m. at Ashley Pond. Two acts performing: Bronach Celtic Blues Band followed by Belisama Dance group. on Aug. 19. The wrong date was reported Tuesday.

  • P and Z begins comprehensive plan review

    Los Alamos Community & Economic Development Director Anne Laurent brought only one visual aid with her to Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning Commission work session on revising the county’s comprehensive plan: a stack of approximately 20 documents, most ranging from one inch to four inches thick.
    “Those are all the documents we’re going through to pull out and highlight information to incorporate into the new comprehensive plan,” Laurent said. “This is why, when people say, what’s in our comprehensive plan, you don’t get a good answer, because it’s too big to get your arms around it. It’s not a document that you can engage in easily: not the staff, and not the citizens.”
    According to Laurent, the staff’s goal is to compile a unified document of 200 pages or less, so that those trying to adhere to the comp plan do not have to pore over numerous documents in order to comprehend it.
    “Our goal is to take all the investment that has been made over the years and compile it into a usable document for our commission, for our staff, for our citizens,” Laurent said.
    Staff plans to tackle the onerous task (which has been attempted several times since the Cerro Grande fire interrupted the last major effort) in three stages.

  • Two burglary suspects arrested

     

    The Los Alamos Police Department Investigations Unit executed a search warrant with assistance of New Mexico State Police Wednesday at a residence in Ojo Caliente and arrested two suspects associated with a string of Los Alamos residential burglaries that have occurred over the past two months.

    Brandi Ortiz-Merrifield, 20, was charged with five counts of conspiracy to commit burglary (fourth degree felonies) and one count of burglary of a dwelling (third degree felony).

    Also arrested was Marcos A. Vigil, 28, who was charged with six counts of burglary ofa  dwelling and five counts of larceny (petty misdemeanors).

    The two were arrested early Wednesday morning and were transferred to the Los Alamos County Jail.

    According to a police report, both suspects have been going throughout neighborhoods in the afternoon hours in Los Alamos and White Rock and breaking into homes while homeowners were either at work or out for the day.

    “We have had numerous reports of these suspects going door to door acting suspicious, If you believe you have been the victim of a burglary and have not reported it to the Los Alamos Police Department call 662-8222 and ask to speak to a Detective.”  Detective Sgt. Oliver Morris said.

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