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Local News

  • Charges allege conspiracy to sell fake Native American art

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal grand jury in New Mexico has indicted four people on charges of conspiring to import and fraudulently sell Filipino-made jewelry as made by Native Americans.
    The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the indictment Tuesday stems from an investigation that began in early 2015, involved several federal agencies and resulted in a previous indictment.
    The latest indictment charges four people with conspiracy and one of the four as well as a fifth person with violating the Indian Arts and Craft Act. U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez says eliminating the flow of counterfeit Native American art and craftwork provides a level playing field for producers of genuine Native American art.

  • N.M. sanctuary state bill’s prospects dim

    BY MILAN SIMONICH
    The New Mexican

  • Pearce: Border wall won’t work

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

  • LA sees slightly cooler temps in January

    Los Alamos and White Rock measured slightly cooler-than-average daytime temperatures in January and significantly warmer-than-average nighttime temperatures.
    Los Alamos measured a mean maximum temperature of 1.4 degrees below average and a mean minimum temperature of 3.5 degrees above average, according to David Bruggeman, meteorologist with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Environmental Protection and Compliance Division.
    “The total precipitation was well above average as four main storms passed through the area,” Bruggeman said.
    Los Alamos had 2.23 inches in total precipitation, which was 135 percent of average. In 2016, Los Alamos did not measure 2 inches until April. Los Alamos also measured above-average snowfall with 15.3 inches of snow, which was 2 inches above average.
    Many parts of the western states measured well-above-average precipitation, resulting in improvements in western drought conditions.
    The U.S. Drought Monitor also reported that California has recouped a portion of its five-year snow-water deficit as a result of the recent atmospheric river weather patterns, Bruggeman said.

  • Council votes on rec bond resolution Tuesday

    The Los Alamos County Council will vote on the wording for the recreation bond election resolution at its Tuesday meeting, starting at 6 p.m. in council chambers.
    When council began discussing the next round of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) spending in Nov. 2015, large numbers of citizens turned out to advocate for new or improved recreational facilities.
    When it became apparent that requests far exceeded the $14 million available for all CIP projects, council decided to put the issue to voters in the form of a $20 million dollar recreation bond. That will be leveraged with $13.4 million of county CIP funds to develop five recreation projects totaling to $33.4 million. They also set aside $4 million for economic development projects and directed staff to move forward with improvements to DP Road, Deacon Street and building a 20th Street extension.
    In December, council approved the five projects to include in the bond issue: improvements to the golf course and to a softball field at Overlook Park, a new recreation center/indoor ice rink, a new multigenerational pool and a splash pad at Piñon Park.

  • DPU repairs water main break

    A water main leak that opened up Friday night, Feb. 3 in an underground, 16-inch water main at the Los Alamos Golf Course has been fixed.
    County utility crews repaired the break by Sunday evening. The county estimated that 100,000 to 200,000 gallons of water leaked from the main before crews were able to fix it.
    Officials from the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities weren’t sure of the exact amount, since they were able to successfully keep water flowing to the 1,600 customers DPU serves in the area.
    “It’s hard to tell because we’re looking at the water tanks, but there’s also people still using the water at that time. It’s hard know what was being consumed by North Mesa and Barranca Mesa and was actually being lost,” DPU Spokeswoman Julie Williams-Hill.  
    The value of the water was estimated to be about $1,000.   
    The main served communities in North Mesa and Barranca Mesa. Customers had water throughout the weekend without interruption. In order to repair it, crews had to dig a 25-foot hole in the ground to get access to the leak. In order to keep repair crews safe from cave ins, the crews approached the leak by “benching” the soil. While that meant it took longer to get at the leak, crews were kept safe.

  • Celebrating 50 years of keeping nuclear materials secure

    Los Alamos National Laboratory marked 50 years of partnering with the International Atomic Energy Agency Tuesday in their efforts to safeguard nuclear materials worldwide with a special reception at the Bradbury Science Museum.
    The reception was held in the museum’s “50 years of Supporting International Safeguards” exhibit.
    A class of IAEA inspectors and their instructors joined LANL officials and employees at the event. Since 1980, LANL scientists have trained IAEA inspectors on how to identify handle nuclear materials. IAEA’s core mission is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology.      
    “What’s really great is that the same scientists and engineers that are developing the technology the inspectors are using, help with the training when the inspectors come here to Los Alamos,” said Nancy Jo Nicholas, LANL’s associate director for threat identification and response. “We’ve got the technical experts and we’ve got access to plutonium and uranium so they can make measurements in a lab environment and get really comfortable with what they have to do before they have to go to other countries and make measurements there.”

  • Today in history Feb. 9
  • New Mexico congressman seeks White House help for refinery

    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican Congressman Steve Pearce says he has pitched the idea of constructing an oil refinery in New Mexico to the administration of President Donald Trump.
    The lone Republican in New Mexico's congressional delegation described his efforts to ignite job growth in his home state Thursday during an address to a joint session of the Legislature.
    Pearce did not specify where the refinery project would be located or how it might be financed. He praised Trump's efforts to restart stalled pipeline infrastructure projects including the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Native American tribal leaders in New Mexico wrote to Trump in January to express their opposition to extending the pipeline underneath a reservoir.
    Pearce represents New Mexico's southern congressional district that includes portions of the oil-rich Permian Basin.
     

  • Health report set to be released on atomic bomb test effects

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Residents of the New Mexico village of Tularosa have long said those living near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test in 1945 weren't told about the dangers or compensated for their resulting health problems.

    Since then, they say, descendants have been plagued with cancer and other illnesses while the federal government ignored their plight.

    More details will emerge on those concerns Friday, when a report is set to be released examining whether the blast damaged the genes of the people exposed to it.

    The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium will unveil the health assessment involving residents of the historic Hispanic village and other New Mexico counties around the testing site.

    Some residents allege that the federal government neglected to include New Mexico in a law that compensated residents near another atomic test site because many of those near the Trinity Test were Hispanic.

    The government has not commented on those claims. Officials with the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Division, which oversees the compensation program, said Congress would have to amend the act to expand payouts to New Mexico residents.