Local News

  • US stocks rise; Anheuser-Busch jumps on deal proposal

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher in late afternoon Wednesday as investors waited to hear from the Federal Reserve and worked through company news. Beer companies gained on word of a possible deal between two giant brewers and energy stocks rose sharply following a big jump in the price of oil.

    KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 122 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,721 as of 3:17 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,992 and the Nasdaq composite added 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,882.

    FED FOCUS: Investors are closely watching the Federal Reserve and the start of its two-day policy meeting Wednesday. The central bank could raise its benchmark interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade after the meeting.

    Investors' opinions are mixed on the chance of a rate increase.

    "I just don't think the economy is strong enough and inflation remains too low to justify a rate increase," said Tom di Galoma, head of fixed income rates trading at ED&F Man Capital.

  • House panel schedules meeting in secretary of state case

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The panel of New Mexico lawmakers that will be investigating fraud and other charges against one of the state's highest ranking officials as part of impeachment proceedings has scheduled its first meeting.

    The House Special Investigatory Committee will meet Sept. 28 at the State Capitol in Santa Fe. The bipartisan panel will be discussing the hiring of special legal counsel, rules for the investigation and a hearing schedule.

    The Legislative Council on Tuesday cleared the way for the committee to begin its work by approving up to $250,000 in state funds to finance the effort.

    Secretary of State Dianna Duran has been accused of funneling campaign contributions into personal bank accounts and later withdrawing large sums of money while frequenting casinos around the state. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

  • Today in history Sept. 16
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  • New Mexico lawmakers OK funds for impeachment

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — One of New Mexico’s highest-ranking officials pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges during a brief court appearance Tuesday as lawmakers cleared the way for an impeachment investigation into allegations that she embezzled money from campaign contributions.
    Two-term Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran sat silently next to her attorney, who entered the pleas on her behalf.
    It marked her first public appearance since she was accused more than two weeks ago of fraud, embezzlement, tampering with state records and other offenses.
    Prosecutors say Duran funneled campaign donations into personal bank accounts and withdrew large sums of cash while frequenting casinos around the state.
    The charges sent shockwaves through political circles and raised questions about enforcement of the state’s election and campaign finance reporting laws.
    Calls for Duran to resign continue, and the Legislative Council, which includes members of the state House and Senate, on Tuesday approved up to $250,000 in state funds to investigate the charges as part of impeachment proceedings.
    “It’s a solemn and very somber process, and it has to be done,” House Minority Floor Leader Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said following the unanimous vote.

  • ‘Living Legend,’ war hero Hudson passes

    Bill Hudson, a Los Alamos man who was responsible for founding at least three Los Alamos institutions, passed this weekend. He was 90 years old.
    Though many have said his involvement in the community had a lot to do with making the “civilian” side of Los Alamos into the town it is today, he was humble about it.
    In August, Hudson penned an open letter to the community thanking Los Alamos for giving him a lot as well.
    “I want to say ‘thank you Los Alamos’ for being such a wonderful community with your awareness of the importance of learning, intellectualism, the fine arts, athletics, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, (Los Alamos) Little League, the county fair and for encouraging our young horse enthusiasts,” he said in his letter. “...I thank you for being the community you are. It is wonderful to have been a part of it all.”
    According to the man himself, he was involved in starting at least two athletic programs in Los Alamos as well as a credit union for teachers.
    He was one of the founding members of the Los Alamos Schools Credit Union, which was started with a little more than $300 60 years ago. Today, the credit union has about $16 million in assets and 1,100 members, as well as its own credit card.

  • Highly-enriched uranium returned to US from Switzerland

    The Department of Energy announced Tuesday the return to the U.S. of highly-enriched uranium from Switzerland, a move that the department hailed a milestone of the advancement in national security.
    The DOE worked with the Swiss government to remove 2.2 kilograms of U.S.-origin highly-enriched uranium from the University of Basel. The uranium is from AGN-211-P research reactor, which began operation in 1961, using the uranium Material Test Reactor-type fuel.
    “Our collaboration advances global efforts to secure, consolidate, and minimize the use of highly-enriched uranium, so that it does not fall into the hands of terrorists,” said DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington.
    The university operated the reactor for decades for education and research purposes, but a decision was made to decommission the reactor and repatriate the fuel to the U.S., according to the DOE.
    The University of Basel, the Swiss Government, the Paul Sherrer Institute and NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation packaged and transported the 13 irradiated highly-enriched uranium fuel elements in a spent nuclear fuel cask that was then shipped to Charleston, South Carolina, in a specially outfitted, dedicated vessel.

  • Recycling guru to speak

    Join the Environmental Sustainability Board for a presentation by recycling extraordinaire, Mike Smith, this Thursday, September 17 at 5:30pm in the Municipal Building, Room #110.
    Special guest speaker, Mike Smith, of Freidman Recycling Company (the County’s recycling contractor) will discuss how Los Alamos County residents and businesses can improve their recycling efforts, and will answer your recycling questions. Mike will also discuss the global recycling market and how it directly impacts Los Alamos County.
    Friedman Recycling Company has enhanced the recycle stream for all New Mexicans by accepting single-stream recycling. With this great program, Los Alamos County was able to expand their curb-side recycle program to accept all paper, plastics #1 through #7, tin, aluminum, cardboard, pots and pans, rigid plastics, and books. In 2014, Los Alamos County recycled 1,615 tons of material This is equivalent to three fully loaded Boeing 747’s.
    For more information about the presentation, please contact Environmental Sustainability Board Staff Liaison, Angelica Gurule at 505-662-8383.

  • Bear not found, hikers are urged to be vigilant

    Sure… you could go hiking on Canyon de Valle Trail, but these days you’re going to have to be extra careful.
    New Mexico Wildlife Officials have wrapped up their investigation of a recent confrontation between a jogger and a female bear recently, but have posted signs warning trail users to be extra vigilant while on the trail.
    A 56-year-old Los Alamos man was on the trail last Wednesday evening jogging around 7 p.m when he encountered a female bear and her cub.
     According to New Mexico Fish and Game officials, the cub ran up a tree. The man then tried to scare the bear away. The bear charged, knocking him down and seriously mauling him in the process. The bear then abruptly stopped its attack and moved off with its cub.
    Though he suffered deep lacerations to his hands and head, the man was able to walk out to NM 502, where he flagged down a passing motorist who took him to the Los Alamos Medical Center.
    The entrance to the trail is located just a quarter of a mile west of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Emergency Operations Center on West Jemez Road, near where the road intersects with NM 4.
    The man is reportedly in stable condition with serious injuries at Christus St. Vincent Hospital.

  • Girrens: Why not bonds for CIPs?

    During Thursday’s Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) discussion, Los Alamos County Councilor Steve Girrens made the bold move of proposing a general obligation bond to fund the long list of proposed projects.
    Girrens gave some history about how GRT (Gross Receipts Tax) windfalls have funded past CIP projects, adding, “We’re really good at spending other people’s money, and now we’re really coming out of the woodwork to go after more.”
    Girrens then made his point.
    “What we have to do somehow is take responsibility for our own improvements,” Girrens said.
    “I see the CIP money as GRT money already. I think what we need to do is fund a general obligation bond to leverage against that existing GRT money to leverage more funds to do some of these projects.”
    Girrens used the failed leisure pool bond question to illustrate his point.  
    “The leisure pool had a significant constituency when it was a mass feeding frenzy at the last 2010 CIP project process we had, but then they were asked to go bond, and they didn’t have a big enough constituency to pass that bond,” Girrens said.