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Local News

  • On the Docket 3-5-17

    Feb. 9
    Kathryn Sandoval  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Edward Dendy was found guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court of failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $30 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Fred Humphrey  pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to following too closely and causing an accident. Sentencing deferred until April 9 Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Feb. 10
    Benjamin Ebersole  was found guilty through Citepay of failing to yield or stop at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    David Norris paid a $50 fine for failing to display a current, valid registration plate while parked.

    Feb. 13
    Ling Lin  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of careless driving that caused an accident. Sentencing deferred until May 13. Defendant also sentenced to defensive driving school. Defendant also charged with not having a proper driver’s license.
    Defendant was fined $50 and must also had to pay $130 in court costs.

  • 20th Street extension moves ahead

    Construction on an extension of 20th Street is set to begin in June, according to project engineers who spoke at Thursday’s Transportation Board meeting.
    The project will extend 20th Street across Trinity Drive to several plots of county land, and down past the Los Alamos Public School offices at 2075 Trinity Drive.
    The extension length will be about 600 feet where it will end in a cul de sac. Bids for the project go out April 9. It’s hoped that once the project is completed in September the extension will encourage more economic development in the county.
    “We’re looking to promote economic development in this area,” Senior County Engineer Bryan Aragon said. “This is prime land in the county, along the main thoroughfare in the community. We’re hoping it will spur some economic development.”
    Some business owners already in the area had concerns about how the extra traffic the extension may attract will affect them.
    Doris Roberts, owner of “All Individuals First,” an adult day-care facility at 2101 Trinity Drive, said it was hard enough to help her clients across the street to enjoy Ashley Pond Park. At the meeting, she told county officials that she’d been trying for three years to get the state to install a traffic light at that intersection.

  • County enacts hiring freeze until mid-May

    Los Alamos County has instituted a hiring freeze, which will be in effect at least until early May.
    County Manager Harry Burgess has put the brakes on filling any vacant positions until he is more certain about funding prospects for Los Alamos National Laboratory and the preparation of Los Alamos County’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018.
    “He’s not going to make any decisions about vacancies until we get through budget adoption, which could be second part of May,” county spokeswoman Julie Habiger said.
    Since Sept. 29 2016, LANL has operated under a Congressional continuing funding resolution, which means the federal funding to keep LANL operating is being held at 2016 levels.
    “Because Los Alamos relies heavily on gross receipts tax from spending by the national laboratory as the community’s largest employer, Burgess explained that their projected spending and the estimated tax revenue for Los Alamos will be a key part of his decision as he finalizes the budget,” Habiger said in a written statement Friday.
    The topic of hiring was raised over questions from the press about when the county is going to replace Deputy County Manager Brian Bosshardt. Bosshardt, who has served the county as deputy manager since 2012, is leaving to become Bedford, Texas’ city manager March 31.

  • Regional Coalition gets positive vibe from trip

    Members of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities seem pleased with the way things are going in Washington, D.C., as far as funding for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Coalition representatives Peter Ives, a councilor for the City of Santa Fe, and Rick Reiss, a Los Alamos County Councilor told Los Alamos County Council Tuesday night the positive about the fact-finding trip the coalition took to Washington, D.C. between Feb. 20-24.
    They both reported that every since the new administration expressed an interest in upgrading and ensuring the safety of the country’s nuclear stockpiles.
    Other coalition members that went were RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero, Los Alamos County Deputy Manager Brian Bosshardt, Commissioner Robert Anaya, County of Santa Fe and RCLC Communications Director Scarlet Rendleman.  

  • ‘It’s important to help out other countries’

    Alysha Lenderman is headed to the tropics to do some hard and sometimes ugly work.
    The Los Alamos resident will spend time in Honduras to help the people of Roatán and St. Helena provide medical care to its population of dogs, cats and other domesticated animals, as a member of “Helping Paws Across Borders,” a New Mexico-based pet rescue organization.
    Lenderman leaves on March 18 and will be there for two weeks.
    “I’m going there to help spay and neuter and provide medical service to animals,” she said. Lenderman’s full-time job is as a public aide officer with Los Alamos County. She also has 10 years of experience working as a veterinarian technician. She will take unpaid leave from her job to volunteer for the work.
    For her second week, she will be using her expertise to give aid to the animals on nearby St. Helena Island.
    Though both places are tourist destinations, Lenderman, takes the job of caring for and helping animals seriously. Both islands are remote. People and animals living on the islands lack many basic necessities including medical care that people from other countries take for granted.
    “There are areas that are nice, but where we are going, it’s not,” Lenderman said.
    Resources in the area are pretty scant.

  • Council passes affordable homeownership program

    Los Alamos County Council voted on an homebuyer assistance program Tuesday night, a move that’s expected to help low-income household achieve homeownership in Los Alamos County.
    “I’m very excited about this program, I hope that the staff will evaluate it at the end of the year to ensure that it’s working, and that it’s being well-utilized,” said  Councilor Chris Chandler. “If it appears to be not being well-utilized then the staff should look at the policies and procedures to see if there’s something that could be tweaked to make it more user friendly.”
    Homeowners who qualify and earn less than 80 percent of the median income will be given an interest bearing, deferred payment loan.
    There will be no interest on the loans for household below the 50 percent median income and a low-interest rate for those between the 50-80 percent income range. Those between 50-59 percent would qualify for a 1 percent deferred payment loan, 60-69 percent, 2 percent, 70-79 percent and 3 percent.
    The county based its loan and median income on Housing and Urban Development guidelines.

  • Today in history March 1
  • Feds: New Mexico's signature crop fares well in 2016

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — The numbers have been crunched, and there's some good news for New Mexico's chile farmers.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday that both the number of acres planted and the tons produced in New Mexico increased in 2016.
    The data shows 9,200 acres were planted, or about 11 percent more than the previous year. Some 69,000 tons of the signature crop were produced, with most of that being sold for processing.
    The value of New Mexico chile production in 2016 was estimated at more than $50 million, a significant jump from $41 million in 2015.
    The figures show Luna County led in acreage and production. Dona Ana County — home of the community of Hatch, which is known as the "Chile Capital of the World" — came in second.
     

  • Trump says he’s open to ‘compromise’ immigration bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, signaling a potential shift on a signature issue, indicated Tuesday that he’s open to immigration legislation that would give legal status to some people living in the U.S. illegally and provide a pathway to citizenship to those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
    The president, in a lunch with news anchors ahead of his address to Congress on Tuesday night, said, “The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides.” A person with knowledge of the discussion confirmed his comments to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
    Trump campaigned as an immigration hardliner, vowing to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and pledging to step up deportations. Since taking office, some of his policy moves have hewed closely to those promises, including new guidance from the Department of Homeland Security that would subject any immigrant in the country illegally to deportation if they are charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime.

  • Bandelier featured in ‘Getaways’

    The National Park Service website includes a section called National Park Getaways, in which a different NPS area is featured each month. 
    Beginning today, Bandelier National Monument will be the highlighted park, with an article and photos, all submitted by local rangers. 
    The section can be found at nps.gov/planyourvisit/getaways or by searching “National Park Getaways.”
    The NPS has posted writeups of different park areas at this location since 2009, and at this point there are over 250 available. 
    This is a great source for ideas for upcoming spring break trips, summer vacations, or other chances for a “getaway” to enjoy some of America’s most outstanding places, including Bandelier National Monument.