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Local News

  • Del Norte opens WR branch

    Del Norte Credit Union was joined by a welcoming crowd of some 100 friends and customers Friday as it opened its White Rock branch.
    Before the opening, the credit union did business out of a building it leased at 35 Rover Boulevard. DNCU has been in White Rock since the mid 1970s under its current name.
    Del Norte Credit Union CEO Chuck Valenti, who was on hand to meet with the customers, said the move to a more permanent location was the right one to make.
    “We’ve been here a long time, we’ve been keeping a bit of a low profile, but it’s time to break out of that,” Valenti said.
    Crowds of customers, curiosity seekers and bank officials,mixed and talked with each other Friday afternoon as Daniel Sena of Daniel’s Cafe handed out free gelato and kids played with a beanbag game out in front of the new building. The event culminated in speeches and a ribbon cutting at 2:15 p.m. Also on hand were plenty of souvenirs for anyone that wanted them, including tote bags with the company logo on it.
    Valenti reminded the crowd of the credit union’s roots in Los Alamos County.

  • LANS responds to Irving lawsuit

    Attorneys for Los Alamos National Security have responded to a 2016 lawsuit from a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee where he said he was discriminated against because of his age and a prior lawsuit he filed against the company in 2013.
    The employee filed the new suit in April. Los Alamos National Security is the company that manages and operates LANL.
    “Defendant (LANL) has discriminated against the plaintiff by subjecting him to a hostile work environment, denying him promotional opportunities and promoting a younger, less experienced individual, interfering with his ability to perform his job duties and by giving plaintiff a negative evaluation and significantly reducing his promotional opportunities and merit raise,” said his attorney, Donald Gilpin, in the lawsuit.
    In his suit, the employee, Michael Irving, also claims that he was passed over for a promotion because of what was contained in the prior lawsuit he lodged against Los Alamos National Security in 2013.

  • No opt-out for Smart Meters

    At its July 20 meeting, the Los Alamos County Board of Public Utilities (BPU) voted 4–1 against an opt-out option for Smart Meters. Stephen McLin voted against the motion.
    According to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) staff report, distributed energy resources such as roof-top solar are changing the face of the industry, and new options such as micro-grids, distributed energy resource management technologies and demand response programs for managing peak electricity demand more efficiently and economically are on the horizon.  
    Rate structures are also changing to provide options such as demand/response, time-of-use metering and value of solar tariffs (which credits customers for home solar generation).
    Smart Meters, which allow two-way communication between the utility and the customer, are central to implementing those changes.
    DPU plans to replace all electric meters with Smart Meters in FY2018. Gas and water meters will also be replaced with remotely read meters.
    “When we get to the full deployment of these radio reads in our system, our plan is to not have meter readers at all anymore,” DPU Manager Tim Glasco told the board. “So that begs the question of what do we do if someone has strong feelings about having a radio transmitter on their meters at their house?”

  • Gov. Martinez announces departure of NMED Sec. Flynn

    Gov. Susana Martinez announced late today New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn would step down effective Aug. 12.

    Flynn served as Cabinet Secretary since 2013 and as Environment’s General Counsel from 2011 to 2013. Butch Tongate, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, will serve as acting Cabinet Secretary.  

    “Secretary Flynn has put his heart and soul into protecting our environment and always put New Mexicans first,” Martinez said in a press release sent late Friday.

    Martinez is credited with spearheading a number of settlements while secretary of NMED, including negotiating an agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory for the cleanup of legacy waste from the Manhattan Project and Cold War Era.

    Martinez also commended Flynn for his leadership in negotiating the settlement between the state and the Department of Energy during the Gold King Mine spill and taking action on the Kirtland Air Force base spill.

    Flynn also lead the state through the radiation leak at the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. Flynn negotiated the largest settlement in the history of the United States between the Department of Energy and any state for the accidental release of radiation — a total of $74 million, Martinez said.

  • Crash on N.M. 4 injures driver

    A red Ford pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve on N.M. 4 and ran off the side of the highway, crashing into brush. The driver was heading toward Los Alamos when the accident occurred around 2 p.m. Thursday.
    The driver was injured and the accident caused a small brush fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly. The driver was taken to Los Alamos Medical Center for care.
    Paramedics and firefighters attended to the unidentified driver of the truck before transporting him to the hospital.

  • Urban multiuse path plan gets stamp of approval

    Brenda Fleming’s vision of an urban pedestrian/bicycle path through downtown Los Alamos is one step closer to realization.

    Fleming presented a citizens’ petition advocating for such a path to the Los Alamos County Council on May 3. Council embraced the idea and directed staff to research the options with Fleming and the Transportation Board.
    On Tuesday, council approved a conceptual map of proposed routes developed by a T-Board subcommittee.

    Although the map marks several alternate routes, County Engineer Eric Martinez described what he called the “high priority corridor” with the greatest potential for a trail separated from vehicular traffic, something advocated for by both petitioners and the T-Board.

    The ideal corridor would connect to the Canyon Rim Trail at 20th Street. Planning is underway to extend the Rim Trail to that point. Council approved $1 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for easement acquisition during this year’s budget hearings.

    In the meantime, a connector from the Rim Trail to “shared road” bike lanes on Knecht is being built as part of a current construction project.

    The preferred route includes a multiuse path along the 19th Street corridor, past significant points of interest to the nature center and aquatic center

  • Traffic delay on Diamond Ave. expected

    The transport of the last of seven portable classrooms Tuesday night may disrupt traffic along Diamond Avenue as the mover makes it way from Los Alamos Middle School to Los Lunas.
    A truck from Desert Wind Transport plans to leave the middle school with the 28-foot-wide building at 7 p.m.
    The route will require the driver to drive through the roundabout on North Mesa and San Ildefonso roads in the wrong direction. Traffic disruption is expected in the roundabout.
    The truck, escorted by police, will then drive down Diamond Drive to the Sullivan Field parking lot to avoid the walkover bridge at Trinity Drive. The building is too tall to drive under the bridges, said Shirley Crawley, of Desert Wind Transport.
    The driver will exit Los Alamos through the truck route as it makes it way to the School of Dreams Academy in Los Lunas, Crawley said.
    Desert Wind Transport was contracted to move seven buildings from the middle school this week, but a mechanical failure with one of the moving trucks made it necessary for one of the buildings to be moved Tuesday.
    For questions, call Crawley at 505-793-4066.

  • Bike patrol practice
  • Case of cliff-diving driver dismissed

    State prosecutors dismissed their case against a Los Alamos man that claimed he drove a vehicle off a 200 ft. cliff with his then girlfriend as a passenger.
    The crash occurred near Anderson Overlook on N.M. 502 on Aug. 25, 2014.
    Zachary Sanchez, 32, was indicted by a Santa Fe grand jury in March of 2015 on charges of great bodily harm by vehicle (Driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug) and driving while license revoked (DWI related).
    Sanchez was scheduled to go on trial in August or September. However, Sanchez was sentenced to three years’ probation July 26 for a DWI charge when he was arrested in April.
    Though injured, the couple survived the 2014 crash. Paramedics found Sanchez inside the vehicle and girlfriend was found outside the vehicle in critical condition.
    “There was a lot of technical evidence in this case so we hired an expert and based off of his opinion and the evidence we’ve had in this case we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was the driver,” said Santa Fe Assistant District Attorney Natalie Perry.
    The Santa Fe DA’s office will not pursue any new or different charges against Sanchez in this case.

  • Case of cliff-diving driver dismissed

    State prosecutors dismissed their case against a Los Alamos man that claimed he drove a vehicle off a 200 ft. cliff with his then girlfriend as a passenger.
    The crash occurred near Anderson Overlook on N.M. 502 on Aug. 25, 2014.
    Zachary Sanchez, 32, was indicted by a Santa Fe grand jury in March of 2015 on charges of great bodily harm by vehicle (Driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug) and driving while license revoked (DWI related).
    Sanchez was scheduled to go on trial in August or September. However, Sanchez was sentenced to three years’ probation July 26 for a DWI charge when he was arrested in April.
    Though injured, the couple survived the 2014 crash. Paramedics found Sanchez inside the vehicle and girlfriend was found outside the vehicle in critical condition.
    “There was a lot of technical evidence in this case so we hired an expert and based off of his opinion and the evidence we’ve had in this case we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was the driver,” said Santa Fe Assistant District Attorney Natalie Perry.
    The Santa Fe DA’s office will not pursue any new or different charges against Sanchez in this case.