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Local News

  • Report: illegal immigration slows

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Border Patrol agents stationed in South Texas are the busiest in the country, arresting tens of thousands of children illegally crossing the border without their parents and thousands more families with children.
    Here’s a look at some numbers on the immigration situation.
    • In the last budget year, Border Patrol agents arrested about 420,000 people, most of them along the Mexican border. That followed a three-year trend of near record low numbers of apprehensions.
    • Overall, the number of immigrants caught sneaking across the border remains at near historic low levels.
    • The last time so few people were arrested at the country’s borders was 1973, when the Border Patrol recorded just fewer than 500,000 arrests.
    • The number of people being arrested at the border remains dramatically lower than the all-time high of more than 1.6 million people in 2000.
    What makes the situation on the border today different is who is crossing and where.
    Since 2012, the number of unaccompanied children caught at the border has been steadily rising. Compared to the first 10 months of the 2013 budget year, the number has more than doubled. And since most of the children are from Central America, they can’t be quickly sent home like their Mexican counterparts.

  • LA named top town by website

    Los Alamos has again been named as a top place to live, this time by the website Livability.com.
    Los Alamos was picked the best small town in the country, according to the website.
    In compiling its list, Livability.com analyzed data on towns with fewer than 20,000 residents. Towns were rated based on cost of living, health care spending, racial and socioeconomic diversity and numerous other factors.
    In all, 41 metrics were used to determine the top small town in the country.
    “Throughout the U.S., we’re seeing a resurgence of emphasis on downtowns in cities of all sizes,” Livability.com editor Matt Carmichael said in a press release, announcing the list. “It’s nice to see in the big cities, certainly, but it’s especially great to see these smaller towns not just holding their own, but also thriving.”
    According to the website, Los Alamos “offers an extremely low crime rate, top-rated schools, excellent health care, cultural amenities, outdoor activities and delicious restaurants, setting the city apart from the rest and making it our pick for the best small town in America.”
    Good weather and access to Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera were also cited as big pluses for Los Alamos.

  • Ghost Bike honors son, classmate

    Described as athletic, handsome and smart, Forrest Fukushima was just 19 years old when a drunk driver on N.M. 502 killed him in 1986.
    An avid bicyclist, Forrest was training for the “Iron Horse Bicycle Classic” competition when a car driven by Alex Naranjo struck him.
    According to newspaper reports at the time, a tire on Naranjo’s vehicle blew out, which made the accident “unavoidable,” according to police reports. However, sobriety tests done at the scene also revealed that Naranjo had a blood alcohol level of .18 at the time of the accident. She was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
    Naranjo is currently running unopposed for a municipal court judgeship in Española.
    Though the tragedy has long since faded from headlines, his fellow classmates from Los Alamos High School never forgot him, and whenever they’d cross paths professionally or socially, Fukushima’s name would come up.
    Now, almost 30 years later, two of Fukushima’s classmates decided to make their remembrance permanent. Lisa Hecker and Ismael Mena, classmates of Fukushima’s, worked together to install a “ghost bike” near the crash site.

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  • For the love of animals

    The newest veterinarian at the Los Alamos Animal Clinic is taking the care of animals to a higher level.
    Erin Smith is no stranger to the field of veterinary medicine. The Los Alamos native spent time in South Africa in 2011-12 caring for large wild animals such as lions, giraffes, zebras and rhinoceros.
    Her interest in wild animals helped her strive to care for the sick animals in South Africa. “I would love to go back, I still have many contacts,” she said.
    A 2004 graduate of Los Alamos High School, Smith was on the swim team, with a passion for the sport until an injury forced her to stop competing.
    “I’ve had a love for all kinds of animals and was never very squeamish,” she said. Growing up, her home was filled with “critters of all shapes and sizes.”
    Smith started at the clinic about a month ago, after graduating from Colorado State University in May as a doctor of veterinary medicine. She also has a bachelor’s of science degree in biochemistry from the University of New Mexico.