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Local News

  • Education comes to forefront

    The House District 43 candidates — Republican Jim Hall and Democratic challenger Stephanie Garcia Richard have some definitive thoughts when it comes to education.

    During his career, Hall has spent eight years on the school board and Garcia Richard has been a teacher in Pojoaque school system for more than 10 years.

    The two will take part in the first of two debates Thursday in a forum sponsored by the League of Women’s Voters of White Rock. The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the White Rock Baptist Church. The second is scheduled for Santa Fe the following week.

    Both Hall and Garcia Richard agree there is a crisis in education.

    “We are at the bottom of too many good lists and at the top of too many bad ones.   There is no single answer, but we can make progress if everyone — parents, teachers, administrators, board members, legislators, and students — focuses on student achievement,” Hall said. “I believe student achievement comes from well trained, highly motivated teachers maximizing their time with students with strong support from parents and administrators.”

    Garcia Richard reiterated that education is one of her top priorities.

  • Poll challenger training by county GOP draws criticism as recipe for voter suppression

    SANTA FE (AP) — A Democratic-leaning political group on Thursday criticized poll challenger training by an Albuquerque-area Republican official, saying there was misinformation about voter identification requirements and provisional ballots that could be used to suppress turnout in the general election.

    ProgressNow New Mexico released secretly recorded video of the training done last week by Sandoval County GOP vice chairwoman Patricia Morlen, a tea party activist.

    "This is a how-to-guide to voter suppression and many of their instructions are in blatant contradiction to state law," said Pat Davis, executive director of the political group. "People trained by the GOP to 'protect' our elections will wreak havoc on our elections and so frustrate voters that many will simply give up and go home."

    Those attending the session were given written material and told voters can be required to show a physical form of identification if that's requested by two polling place officials from different political parties. Trainees also were told that provisional ballots will be required for the nearly 178,000 registered voters who received mailings from elections officials that could lead to them being purged after the 2014 election.

    The training information is incorrect or misleading, however.

  • Today in History for October 6th
  • Calif. Driver: Thought Gas Prices Were 'a Joke'
  • FBI: Friendly Fire Likely in Border Shootings
  • Wilson's son campaigns in LA
  • Infrastructure projects get a boost

    The Tribal Infrastructure Board, created in 2005 by the Tribal Infrastructure Act, recently awarded more than $13 million to 28 tribal infrastructure projects.
    With the signing of intergovernmental agreements, those projects can now commence.
    The Tribal Infrastructure Act, recognizing that many of New Mexico’s tribal communities lack basic infrastructure resulting in poor social, health and economic conditions in tribal communities, created the Tribal Infrastructure Project Fund.
    During the 2010 session, the State Legislature passed a law that annually allocates 5 percent of the Senior Severance Tax Bonding Capacity to the Fund.
    Of the total $13,207,965 awarded for Fiscal Year ’12, the Pueblo of Santa Clara received the largest award, more than $1.6 million, for wastewater collection system improvements.
    The 28 projects funded were split evenly between 14 planning and 14 design/construction projects. Of the 22 tribes, nations, and pueblos in New Mexico, the board approved awards to 16 tribal nations.
    The board evaluates and scores each project proposal that is submitted to ensure that critical need is established.
    This year’s round of funding, which is administered by the State of New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (“IAD”), increased significantly as the 2010 law took effect.

  • Lower temperatures expected this weekend

    Los Alamos County could be in for its first freeze this weekend.
    According to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, a cold front is expected to hit Friday and the effects may last all weekend.
    The NWS forecast: The initial cold front pushed through much of the eastern plains today generating gusty northeast winds, some clouds, and noticeably cooler temperatures.
    “We now await a much stronger cold front later Friday into Saturday. Highs Saturday will struggle to reach the low/mid 40s across the northeast quarter, and many locations of North Central/North East and colder locales of central New Mexico will likely experience their first freeze of the season Saturday night.
    In addition, gusty winds are expected and there is a slight chance of precipitation.
    The cold front will sweep south and west and gusty east canyon winds will start after midnight Friday.
    On Saturday, there will be significantly cooler temperatures with gusts of 35 mph. Freezing temperatures can be expected in the north valleys.
    As the cold front rolls out Sunday, wind gusts will increase to above 40 mph. Temperatures will remain cool in the western part of the state but will rebound in the eastern part.

  • Work on covered arena gets underway

    Construction of the new Multi-Purpose Covered Arena will get underway Monday. Paul Parker Construction will install utilities to the site, which includes the installation of an 8-inch water main and electricity. The installation of the water main will involve closing the BMX track near Brewer Arena from Oct. 8-26.
    Richardson and Richardson Inc., will perform earthwork, site work and construction of the 200-foot by 75-foot pre-manufactured metal building, with site work beginning Oct. 15.
    The contractors are required to abide by the county noise ordinance, which limits the hours of operation from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.  Additionally, the contractor has been directed to take special care to eliminate dust from the construction site.
    A project website has been established to provide updates. Residents can visit losalamosnm.us under “Projects.”  The project website will be updated whenever new information becomes available.  

     

  • Operation Hilltopper set for Monday

    Emergency first response organizations in Los Alamos County have, for the past year, been training their personnel, polishing their plans and tweaking their equipment in a comprehensive effort aimed at preparing to deal with a scenario that nobody hopes will ever arise – an active shooter loose at a school.

    Operation Hilltopper, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Monday, is a full-scale exercise designed to test police, fire, emergency medical support, Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos High School personnel and their abilities to adequately respond to just such an event.

     Toward that end, the Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management is letting residents living in the vicinity of Los Alamos High School know that on the day of the exercise, from 8 a.m. to noon Monday they will see a significant number of emergency vehicles around the high school and the hospital.

    In addition, observers are likely to hear gunshots (only blanks, no live ammunition will be used) and even the screams of actors portraying victims. 

    “We would also like to give residents an advanced heads-up regarding possible traffic delays, especially at the Canyon/Diamond intersection while this exercise is taking place,” the county said in its press release.