Local News

  • Today in history Aug. 4
  • Most of New Mexico experiencing moderate drought conditions

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Despite the start of monsoon season, most of New Mexico is under moderate drought thanks to high temperatures last month and below average rainfall.

    Data released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that 72 percent of New Mexico is experiencing moderate drought conditions. Nearly 100 percent of the state is "abnormally dry" or worse.

    The drought conditions are returning a year after the state received a good amount of rainfall.

    For example, Albuquerque Sunport saw 3.28 inches in July 2015. This July, Albuquerque Sunport received only 1.14 inches and below the average amount for the month.

    Record high temperatures also have played a role in bring severe drought back to New Mexico. Average temperature in Roswell last month was 86.5 degrees — the warmest July on record, according the National Weather Service.

    The agency said there were 11 record highs that were tied or broken during July in New Mexico.

    In addition, the first 18 days of July were 100 degrees or higher, smashing the previous 100 or higher consecutive days of 13, back in 2011.

  • Vaccines available at little to no cost

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The state of New Mexico is partnering with healthcare providers to make vaccines available to children at little to no cost.
    Gov. Susana Martinez says the “Got Shots? Protect Tots!” program runs through Aug. 13 as the start of the school year approaches.
    It’ll make vaccines free at all state Public Health Clinics, and discount them at dozens of health providers across the state. In some cases, they’ll be open on Saturdays, during lunch hour and after 5 p.m.
    Last year, more than 2,200 children were vaccinated through the program. Parents should bring a copy of insurance or Medicaid cards if they take their children to a private health care provider.

  • Maestas brings 10 years to clerk’s office

    Naomi Maestas, the Republican candidate for the office of Los Alamos County clerk, has worked in the clerk’s office for nearly 10 years. She currently serves as senior deputy clerk.
    “I have to admit I have a heart and a passion for all areas that encompass our office and serving the community,” Maestas told the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Prior to joining the department, Maestas worked as the office manager for a construction company, a real estate processor for Zia Credit Union and as an office specialist for a contractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Maestas briefly left the clerk’s office to care for her mother, during which time she worked as a business services specialist for Los Alamos Public Schools. But as soon as the clerk’s office had an opening, she reapplied.
    “I’m very grateful for the experiences I’ve been able to have working in other departments or offices or entities,” Maestas said. “But my heart and my passion has always been with the clerk’s office. I love what we do there, I love the importance of the office and I truly believe in it.”
    Maestas clearly loves every aspect of the office, from overseeing elections to issuing marriage licenses.

  • UBiQD technology could ‘change world’

    Imagine what could happen if every window on every high rise in New York City were a solar generator. Hunter McDaniel, founder and president UBiQD, imagined just that.
    UBiQD is a developmental-stage company exploring low-toxicity quantum dot (nanoparticle) manufacturing and applications. Their initial focus is on quantum dot window tints that harvest sunlight for electricity.
    “The reason why we’re really excited about that direction – much more so than the other applications for our materials – it has the potential to really change the world, to convert windows into literally electricity sources,” McDaniel said.
    “Windows are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere. Having a distributed power supply wherever there’s glass, essentially, could have all sorts of value.”
    As a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory, McDaniel helped develop the manufacturing technique his company is utilizing and coauthored the patent for the solar window technology with LANL fellow Victor Klimov. LANL has granted UBiQD Intellectual Property (IP) licenses for those technologies. The company has also secured an IP license from Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the material itself.

  • LAPS board considers funding options

    During a special meeting and retreat of the Los Alamos School Board, a discussion over school funding became heated.
    At issue was what the school board would do with bond funding it might receive in January. Every two years, the school board organizes a bond election to fund infrastructure improvements to one of the district’s seven schools.
    This year, the district designated Barranca Mesa Elementary to receive the funds. However, because the state reorganized priorities, the board recently learned Los Alamos would not get $8 million from the New Mexico Public School Capital Outlay Council.
    The district planned to use the $8 million, along with $11 million from a bond sale in January. The $18 million was expected to fund the reconstruction of Barranca Mesa Elementary.
    Now faced with the possibility of an $11 million budget, the board looked at other options.
    Some board members wondered at the meeting if they would ever have enough to finish overhauling the remaining schools in the district. Those schools include Barranca, Piñon Elementary, Mountain Elementary and Chamisa Elementary.
    School Board President Jim Hall called for the administration to take another look at Barranca Mesa, Piñon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary to see, which school now came closer to meeting the funding options available.

  • Protest planned for Saturday

    PAX Christi New Mexico, led by anti-nuclear activist Father John Dear, plans to arrive at Ashley Pond Park at 2 p.m. Saturday to remember the 71st anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
    The event will begin with speeches from Dear and members of the group, followed by a march up Trinity Avenue to the boundaries of Los Alamos National Laboratory at Omega Bridge. The group will carry sackcloths and ashes.
    They will then walk back to Ashley Pond Park to meditate and pray. The event will last until 4 p.m.
    The sackcloth and ashes protest is taken from the biblical text found in the Book of Jonah. God was angry with people the citizens of a city called Nineveh. To repent for their sins, the citizenry wore sackcloth and poured ashes on their bodies as a form of repentance for their sins.  
    Dear said that Los Alamos National Laboratory and the people that work there must repent for their participation in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, he said. He said that what they’re doing is a sin against mankind.

  • Weather service issues flood watches for much of New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Flash flood watches have been issued for large parts of New Mexico due to monsoon rain and thunderstorms.

    Forecasters warn that intense rainfall could flood low-lying areas and locations such as drainages, arroyos and small streams.

    A watch for southwestern New Mexico is set to run from midday Tuesday until late Wednesday night while a watch issued for much of northern, central and northeastern New Mexico is to run from midday Tuesday until late Tuesday night.

  • Today in history Aug. 2
  • Today in history Aug. 1