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Local News

  • Fires destroy more than 1,000 homes in Texas--video extra

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed in at least 57 wildfires across rain-starved Texas, most of them in one devastating blaze close to Austin that is still raging out of control, officials said Tuesday.

    Speaking at a news conference near one of the fire-ravaged areas, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said more than 100,000 acres have burned in the drought-stricken state.

    The Texas Forest Service says nearly 600 of the torched homes were in Bastrop County, some 25 miles from Austin. The agency said that blaze was still uncontained Tuesday. It was the most destructive fire of the year for a state that has had more than 3 million acres burned, said state emergency management chief Nim Kidd.

  • State Briefs 09-04-11

    Martinez’s vehicle pulled over for speeding

    ALBUQUERQUE — Police said New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s vehicle was pulled over after her driver was caught going 13 mph over the speed limit.
    KOAT-TV reports that Albuquerque police confirmed Thursday that the governor’s vehicle was clocked going 48 mph in a 35 mph zone on Frontage Road near Jefferson Street and Interstate 25 last Friday.
    That violation typically earns the driver a $95 ticket, but the governor’s driver got away with a verbal warning.
    Albuquerque Sgt. Patrick Ficke said the governor did not receive preferential treatment.
     

  • Update 09-04-11

    Lunch with a Leader

    The League of Women Voter’s Lunch with a Leader will be at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 8 at Central Avenue Grill. The guest speaker will be Los Alamos County Environmental Services Specialist Tom Nagawiecki.

    Fuller Lodge

       The Fuller Lodge Historic Districts Advisory Board will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Curtis Room.

    No trash collection

    There will be no residential or commercial trash or recycling collection on Sept. 5. If Monday is your normal collection day, please put out your roll carts by 8 a.m. Wednesday.

    Alzheimer's walk

  • Dems, GOP governor at odds as session looms 


    SANTA FE — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democrats in the Legislature find themselves on a collision course as they head into a special session to deal with the politically tricky assignment of redistricting.
    The Legislature convenes Tuesday, but Martinez has Democrats grumbling because she wants lawmakers to consider a wide range of proposals in addition to the once-a-decade job of redistricting.
    Among the governor’s priorities is stopping the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and a proposal to hold back third-graders who can’t read proficiently rather than promoting them to the fourth grade.

  • Mortillaro made official

    Anthony Mortillaro, a former Los Alamos County Administrator, no longer is the interim executive director of the North Central Regional Transit District. The NCRTD board voted Friday to remove the interim tag and make Mortillaro the permanent executive director.

    In a weighted vote, the board voted 23-2 for Mortillaro with the pueblos of San Ildefonso and Tesuque casting the dissenting votes.

    The board interviewed Mortillaro and two other top candidates -— Joe Briscoe and Harry Montoya Friday. Then the board went into executive session for two hours to discuss the candidates’ qualifications before voting.

  • Trinity debate takes a turn

    What was expected to be a heated debate at Tuesday night’s county council meeting – whether Trinity Drive should have single-lane roundabouts – for now appears to be a moot point.

    MIG, the firm hired by the county to develop plans, is scheduled to give its final report on the NM 502/Trinity Drive Transportation Corridor Study and Plan, and a large turnout of supporters and detractors of the proposal for a three lane corridor with single-lane roundabouts was expected.

  • A hot issue on the campaign trail: theology

    Rick Perry dived right in. The Texas governor, now a Republican presidential candidate, held a prayer rally for tens of thousands, read from the Bible, invoked Christ and broadcast the whole event on the Web. There was no symbolic nod to other American faiths, no rabbi or Roman Catholic priest among the evangelical speakers. It was a rare, full-on embrace of one religious tradition in the glare of a presidential contest.

    Looks like another raucous season for religion and politics.

    And yet, there was a time when all of this was simpler. Protestants were the majority, and candidates could show their piety just by attending church.

  • Tropical Storm Lee's outer bands pelt Gulf Coast

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee were falling in southern Louisiana and pelting the Gulf Coast on Saturday as the storm's center trudged slowly toward land, where businesses were already beginning to suffer on what would normally be a bustling holiday weekend. The storm could bring as many as 20 inches of rain to some areas.

    Tropical storm warning flags were flying from Mississippi to Texas and flash flood warnings extended along the Alabama coast into the Florida Panhandle. The storm's slow forward movement means that its rain clouds should have more time to disgorge themselves on any cities in their path.

  • Mortillaro named permanent NCRTD executive director

    Anthony Mortillaro, a former Los Alamos County Administrator, no longer is the interim executive director of the North Central Regional Transit District. The NCRTD board voted Friday to remove the interim tag and make Mortillaro the permanent executive director.

    In a weighted vote, the board voted 23-2 for Mortillaro with the pueblos of San Ildefonso and Tesuque casting the no votes.

    The board interviewed Mortillaro and two other top candidates -- Joe Briscoe and Harry Montoya Friday. Then the board went into executive session for two hours before voting.

  • Lawmakers urged to keep Indian-majority districts 


    SANTA FE — Native American leaders urged lawmakers on Wednesday to safeguard Indian-majority districts when the Legislature redraws the boundaries of New Mexico’s elective office districts.
    There are nine districts — six in the House and three in the Senate — in which Indians account for at least 65 percent of the population. The districts are in northwestern and north-central New Mexico.
    A group representing tribes and pueblos in New Mexico on Wednesday outlined redistricting proposals to a legislative committee that will continue that number of Indian-majority districts.