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Local News

  • Senators request additional $113M funding for WIPP cleanup

     

    ALBUQUERQUE — Members of the state’s congressional delegation are seeking an additional $113 million to help fund ongoing recovery efforts at the federal government’s troubled nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico.

    U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich outlined their request Tuesday in a letter to the chairman and ranking member of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been closed since February, following a fire and then a radiological leak from a canister of waste shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Cleaning up WIPP and resuming full operations could take years. The cost has been estimated at more than $500 million.

  • Geisik's sentencing to be rescheduled

     

    A glitch in the court system has resulted in defendant Stephen Geisik’s sentencing being delayed. Though the Los Alamos district courtroom was filled with friends and family of both the victim and defendant looking for a resolution to the months-long case, 

    Judge Mary Marlow Sommer opted to continue the case because Geisik’s psychological profile she requested wasn’t extensive enough. In May, Geisik was convicted for criminal contact with a 12-year-old girl. Geisik has been in the Los Alamos County Detention Center ever since.

    “The psychological evaluation was not the psychological evaluation I anticipated. If I did not make that clear, I apologize,” Sommer said to the courtroom audience. “Since he was convicted of a sex offender offense, I thought I was going to get a sex offender evaluation. This is not a sufficient, comprehensive sex offender evaluation for me.”

  • Rebuilding project
  • LTAB receives 6 percent increase in revenue

     

    Ryn Herrmann, chair of the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board (LTAB), presented the board’s annual report to the Los Alamos County Council last week. 

    Herrmann had one qualified bit of good news:  Lodger’s Tax revenues were up 6 percent over this time last year. The board’s goal had been a 2-percent increase. However, revenues had taken a sharp dive after the Hilltop House closed late in 2012. 

    According to Herrmann, that closure reduced the available hotel rooms by 30 percent, to 280 within the county. LTAB is asking council to prioritize securing a new hotel/conference space. 

    “We’re very dependent on lab for room nights. It makes it difficult to have any other space available at the hotels,” Herrmann said. 

  • Report on truck crash released

     

     

     

    The Los Alamos Police Department released an initial report on the fatal crash on N.M. 4 that happened last week.

    The report gives new insight into the death of a commercial truck driver and how his semi truck ended up in crumpled heap 100 feet off the road.

    According to witnesses interviewed in the report, it was the driver’s first time traveling the route. Garrick Frank, 22, a truck driver for “Speedy Convenience Inc.,” was driving his truck in a convoy and it was his first week on the job. According to a fellow truck driver, Frank did not see him trying to wave him down after he pulled over.

    “Garrick was following a convoy of other semi trucks. He stated that there were a number of vehicles between and the truck in front of him, but that the driver of the truck directly in front of Garrick had stopped on Ponderosa Road and attempted to wave Garrick down as Garrick went by the turnoff,” read a statement in the report.

  • Today in history Nov. 19
  • Briefs 11-16-14

     

    Bradbury Museum 

    to open new exhibit

     

    The Bradbury Science Museum will display the Saul Hertz exhibit today to Jan. 31. Hertz was a pioneer in nuclear medicine.

    “The importance of Dr. Hertz’s early work in nuclear medicine and his connection to the Manhattan Project convinced me this would be a wonderful Bradbury show,” Museum Director Linda Deck said. 

  • County council tables two ordinances

     

     The Los Alamos County Council ended its short Friday session by tabling the two main items of business on the agenda: a public hearing on the “chicken ordinance” which would allow those in residential districts to keep up to six chickens and a proposal to provide shuttle service to the ski hill. 

    Friday meetings have a hard stop time of 1:30 p.m. Approximately halfway into the session, Chair Geoff Rodgers weighed the situation and informed several members of the public waiting to comment on the chicken ordinance that council would have to table it for a later date. 

    Citizens were given an opportunity to make their comments, but all chose to wait for the rescheduled hearing. 

  • LA company recognized by Northern New Mexico 20/20 campaign

     

    The Northern New Mexico 20/20 Campaign just exceeded its goal of identifying 20 high-growth companies in the region before the year 2020 with the nine inductees awarded last Thursday. To date, 25 businesses in northern New Mexico have been honored for creating jobs and bringing revenue to the region.

    To qualify as a nominee, companies must have a proven and developed product or service, two or more customers with 50 percent or more of their revenues coming from outside New Mexico, financial profitability and a solid plan for growth. A range of local elected officials, city and county governments and entrepreneurial support organizations provided the nominations, and each candidate went through a competitive screening process.

  • Schools make the grade in LA

     

    The Los Alamos Public Schools have done it again. The school district has managed to catch the attention of yet another website that ranks school systems nationally. In this ranking, LAPS’ five elementary schools took the top spots one through five for its category in the whole state.

    Here’s how Niche.com, a website that specializes in ranking places, colleges and schools, so “people can find their niche and thrive in it,” ranked the elementary schools in its “Best Elementary Schools In New Mexico” category:

    1. Chamisa

    2. Mountain

    3. Barranca Mesa

    4. Aspen