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Local News

  • On the Docket 8-7-16

    July 26
    Kayla D. Trujillo  pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to display a current, valid license plate and speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit.
    Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $130 in court costs.

    Jesse Gallegos was found guilty by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court of shoplifting (more than $250, but not more than $500). The original charge was shoplifting (over $500 but not more than $2500).
    Defendant was sentenced to 364 days at the Los Alamos Detention Center with 364 days suspended. Defendant was also sentenced to supervised probation for 364 days. Defendant must also pay $123 in court costs. Probation conditions are: Defendant will obey all laws and not be arrested, indicted, charged or convicted of any other offense. Defendant will comply with all court ordered conditions of probation.
    Shall not possess or consume alcohol or enter a liquor establishment. Shall not possess a firearm, destructive device or weapon. Defendant will meet with probation officers within seven days and maintain contact as instructed. Defendant shall pay $25 a month in probation fees. Payment to be made with the Los Alamos Municipal Court.

  • Cone Zone: Week of Aug. 8

    For more information about these projects, e-mail lacpw@lacnm.us, call 662-8150, or visit the “Projects” link at losalamosnm.us. Slow down and use caution within the construction work zones. The below information is based on a schedule provided by the contractors and may change due to weather or other delays.
    Public Works
    Canyon Rim Trail
    Construction on the west leg of Canyon Rim Trail continues as crews complete the installation of a large retaining wall and begin installation of footings for the pedestrian bridge. The trail remains closed to pedestrians west of Fire Station 6. Clearing and excavating south of DP Rd continues. No traffic delays on NM 502 or DP Rd are anticipated.
    Central Avenue Phase 2 Improvements Project
    Road work continues with the closure of the south side of the Central/15th Street Intersection. Detours will be in place for through traffic on 15th Street at the intersection. Eastbound and westbound two-way traffic on Central will be maintained. Access to area businesses will also be maintained.
    To expedite project completion, night work will be conducted requiring a full closure of Central Avenue from 15th Street to Knecht Street between 8 p.m.-5 a.m.

  • Today in history Aug. 8
  • Home Renewal Program funds 10 applications

    Ten applications totaling $195,200 were approved for home improvement as part of the Home Renewal program, Los Alamos County announced Friday.
    Home Renewal Program Project Manager Steve Brugger of the Los Alamos Housing Partnership made the announcement that the program’s loan review committee and County Manager Harry Burgess approved the funds.
    The Los Alamos Housing Partnership has agreed to fund one additional application that had not met the county’s income-based qualification criteria, bringing the total number of applications funded to 10 out of the 13 that applied.
    One application is on hold pending further information from the applicant.
    “This is great news for these 10 residents who will be receiving funds from this first cycle of applications, and we are excited to begin working with them to hire the contractors who will begin making the improvements they need over the next few months,” Brugger said in a statement.
    LAHP is under contract to the county to administer the program, which provides deferred payment subsidy loans to residents meeting income qualifications and project eligibility criteria who require financial assistance to make repairs or improvements to their home. It was approved and funded by the county council last fall.

  • New bus schedule starts Monday

    In response to ridership complaints about a new bus schedule launched in January, Atomic City Transit (ACT) will implement revisions to Route 2M and Route 3 beginning Monday.
    Route 2M will now extend to the transit center and loop counterclockwise through White Rock via Grand Canyon Drive and Meadow Lane.
    Route 2T will provide bi-directional White Rock service every hour, and the inbound trip to the transit center will extend through Aztec Avenue and Sherwood Boulevard.
    The 2M and 2T routs combined will provide 30-minute service to White Rock.
    Route 3 is shortened in order to provide a 30-minute round trip schedule. The route will no longer travel through East Drive or to East Gate Drive. Route 1 will maintain service to the airport and East Drive, and East Gate pickup and drop off is available by request to the Pajarito Cliffs Site parking lot. The new scheduling will eliminate long layovers.
    The route changes were arrived at through a public involvement process that included a community survey and focus group meetings with residents and bus operators to identify how the transit system could best serve passengers who use these routes. Ninety-one percent of survey responses preferred the new White Rock schedule to other options and 57.9 percent requested 30-minute service on Route 3.

  • Scoping begins for rec bond projects

    As the county gears up for placing a recreation project bond before voters for approval in 2017, work is underway to scope potential projects.
    Dekker Perich Sabatini (DPS) has been contracted to conduct the initial pre-conceptual design phase (Phase 1), with analysis of potential site selection and feasibility, cost estimates and basic program schematics for the 11 projects under consideration.
    They are also tasked with soliciting public input on those projects.
    DPS kicked off that process on July 14 with an entire day of stakeholder meetings followed by an update to the Parks and Recreation Board that evening.
    Although the county issued e-mail invitations to approximately 300 people and organizations that had provided input during a series of listening session in March, most of the July 14 meetings were poorly attended.
    The five stakeholder meetings conducted that day covered golf course renovations/open space, ball fields/tennis courts, ice rinks/recreation programs, leisure pool/splash pads and an indoor multiuse recreation center.
    According to DPS Principal/Urban Planner Will Gleason and his team, certain themes emerged throughout the day.

  • LA Super School team waits for news

    The “XQ Institute” will notify 50 finalists soon whether they were one of the top five who won a $10 million grant that will be used to reform high school education. The original date of Aug. 5 was moved.
    The Los Alamos group, “The LAPS Odyssey Academy Team,” is one of the finalists.
    “A public announcement is planned for a later date and we are legally bound to disclose no information at this time,” the team said Friday in a statement.
    In January, the team, made up of teachers, business people, health professionals and parents from the community, entered a contest sponsored by the XQ Institute. The institute is a consortium of private and public organizations looking to remake how high school is taught in the U.S. Their aim is to move away from a system dependant on traditional rote methods to a system that fully challenges a student’s spectrum of talents and abilities.
    For their entry, the Odyssey High School Team submitted a proposal that stressed the mental well being of students through a challenge-based curriculum not based solely on grades.
    The high school would exist along Los Alamos High School and would be considered a “fourth option” in the district’s offerings for secondary education.

  • Former LANL scientist: WIPP leak caused by expanding gasses

    A former employee with the Los Alamos National Laboratory has an alternate theory about what caused a leak of radioactive gases from a barrel at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad in 2014.
    Former LANL physicist Charles Bowman said Friday his findings show expanding gasses already present inside the barrel may have been responsible for the release.
    In February of 2014, a barrel containing transuranic waste shipped from the Los Alamos National Laboratory was blamed for the leak that caused the closure of WIPP. Some radiation was released but not at levels that would cause harm.   
    LANL came under fire by state and federal environmental regulators following the event. Lab officials said the barrel breach was possibly caused by a mix of waste and other materials in the barrel, including organic kitty litter not used before, and a nuclear worker’s glove.
    The prevailing theory was that the leak was caused after workers packed the barrel incorrectly, and the materials inside mixed with gasses already in the room, which caused the explosion.
    Bowman said the explosion would have happened regardless. His findings show the explosion may have been caused by gasses present in the storage room that mixed with gasses produced by the LANL barrel.

  • New Mexico tax holiday underway as school year approaches

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's annual tax holiday is underway as the start of a new school year approaches.

    The start of the tax-free weekend started Friday, and will last through Sunday.

    The annual gross receipts tax holiday runs Friday through Sunday, with the state lifting its 5.1 percent sales taxes on items that include clothing and shoes, some outdoor and athletic supplies, computers, and pens and pencils.

    Gov. Susana Martinez says "getting ready to go back to school can be expensive" for families, and the tax-free weekend aims to ease the cost.

    Clothing and footwear must be $100 or less, and computers must cost $1,000 or less to be sales tax-free. The cap on other classroom necessities is $30.

  • Education tops list for Garcia Richard

    In her bid for reelection, New Mexico State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D–Dist. 43, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe) stresses her ability to get things done and to work across the aisle.