Local News

  • Electric rate hike approved

    Los Alamos residents will see a sharp increase in their electric bill starting with the next billing cycle.
    The Los Alamos County Council approved a rate increase and rate restructuring on Tuesday by a 4-2 vote. Councilors Susan O’Leary and James Chrobocinski voted against the ordinance. Vice Chair David Izraelevitz was not present.
    Council remanded an initial proposal for rate restructuring back to the Board of Public Utilities in December, directing them to propose a rate without a Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) included.
    The PCA would have allowed BPU to pass the actual cost of purchasing power onto the ratepayers as a variable rate when it either exceeded or went below the base rate. The initial estimate for the PCA was $0.0077 per kWh.
    The ordinance approved Tuesday now builds that $0.0077 per kWh into a flat commodities rate. Residential rates will increase from the current $0.1028 per kWh for power costs to $0.1196. The fixed service charge will also increase from $6.43 to $12 a month.
    Under the new rate structure, a residential customer using 500 kWh per month would see an increase from $57.83 to $69.60 a month, a 20-percent increase.
    Percentages can be higher or lower based on usage. The average Los Alamos household uses 600 kWh a month.

  • Today in history Feb. 18
  • Immigiration measures get a challenge in court from Texas

    HOUSTON (AP) — The White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders.
    U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision late Monday puts on hold Obama’s orders that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally.
    Hanen wrote in a memorandum accompanying his order that the lawsuit should go forward. Without a preliminary injunction, he said, the states would “suffer irreparable harm in this case.”
    “The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle,” he wrote, adding that he agreed that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a “virtually irreversible” action.
    In a statement today, the White House defended the executive orders as within the president’s legal authority, saying the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress have said federal officials can establish priorities in enforcing immigration laws. The White House said the U.S. Department of Justice will file an appeal, which will be heard in New Orleans.

  • Update 2-17-15

    County Council

    The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Los Alamos County Council is today. The meeting will be at 7 p.m.

    Prom meeting

    Los Alamos Public Schools wll host a pair of informative sessions will be held to answer questions parents and students may have about the prom, which will be at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. The first meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today. It will be held at the Buffalo Thunder hotel lobby.

    Science on Tap

    The next Science on Tap wlll be 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at Unquarked Wine Room. Harshini Mukundan, research scientist at LANL, will discuss the global threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will meet at the Municipal Bulding at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.


    Los Alamos Youth Lacrosse will have sign-ups Wednesday night. The registration session will be from 6-8 p.m. at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. Boys and girls 9 and up may particpate in the league.

  • Carter is new chief of Defense

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ash Carter, sworn in Tuesday as President Barack Obama’s fourth secretary of defense, pledged to offer his most candid strategic advice and carefully consider decisions about sending troops into harm’s way.
    Vice President Joe Biden issued the oath of office from the White House, on a Bible held by Carter’s wife, while most of the federal government was closed because of snow. Biden said Carter faces “many tough missions,” ranging from battling Islamic State militants and strengthening the NATO alliance, to technological advancements.
    “This is the guy that fits the job,” Biden said, calling Carter a “profoundly capable manager.”
    Obama’s newest Cabinet member responded that he was taking office with three commitments. Carter pledged to help Obama make the best possible decisions about U.S. and global security; to protect the dignity, safety and well-being of service members, and to build a force for the future that embraces change.
    With lawmakers debating Pentagon funding levels, Carter said he was committed to “not only securing the resources we need but to make sure we make the best use of the taxpayer’s dollar.”

  • Delegates visit to celebrate MPNHP

    Former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan addressed a standing room only crowd during a celebration for the newly created Manhattan Project National Historic Park at Mesa Public Library on Saturday.
    Heather McClenahan, who is executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society and served as the county’s point person during efforts to enact the legislation, was the emcee for Saturday’s event.
    McClenahan described the 11th hour push for passage after learning that the bill was dead,
    “Our partners got on the phone, hit the halls in D.C. We called, we emailed, we probably whined a little bit,” McClenahan said.
    Bingaman first introduced the bill in 2004. He credited local community’s efforts in keeping the bill alive.
    “Washington has a thousand things happening any day of the week, and the things that get attention are the things that people care about, and this community cared about this,” Bingaman said.
    Bingaman also acknowledged the current congressional delegation’s success.

  • Today in history Feb. 17
  • Dems seek relief from health law penalties

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama's health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance.

    Three senior House members told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.

    The three are Michigan's Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama's law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.

    The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it's already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.

    That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.

  • New video said to show ISIS beheadings

    CAIRO (AP) — A video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages was released Sunday by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group.

    The killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the southern tip of Italy. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to "conquer Rome."

    The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. It was not clear from the video whether all 21 hostages were killed. It was one of the first such beheading videos from an Islamic State group affiliate to come from outside the group's core territory in Syria and Iraq.

    The Associated Press could not immediately independently verify the video. But the Egyptian government and the Coptic Church, which is based in Egypt, both declared it authentic.

    The Egyptian government declared a seven-day mourning period and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi addressed the nation late Sunday night, pledging resilience in the fight against terrorism.

  • Today in history Feb. 16