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Local News

  • Redistricting looms large

    State Rep. Jim Hall stood in front of a luncheon group last week and quipped, “In the first month in my new job, 70 percent of my district went up in flames,” he said.

    The fire is out, but things may get heated when the special session convenes Sept. 6.
    Gov. Susana Martinez has added a few items to the agenda including the furor over driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

    But taking center stage will be the redistricting issue. And Hall has been hard at work, learning all he can about the different scenarios and possibilities.

  • Iran sentences 2 American men to 8 years in jail

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Two American men arrested more than two years ago while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border have been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges that include espionage, state TV reported Saturday, in an apparent sharp blow to hopes their release was imminent.

    The announcement seems to send a hard-line message from Iran's judiciary — which answers directly to the ruling clerics — weeks after the country's foreign minister suggested that the trial of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal could clear the way for their freedom.

  • Man who saved child from abduction reveals he's illegal alien

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The man who chased down an alleged child abductor and saved a 6-year-old girl from what could have been a horrible fate will be honored as a hero Friday. But he is also gaining a new kind of celebrity: as a poster child of sorts for immigration rights in state and national immigration debates.

    Antonio Diaz Chacon, 23, is married to an American and has been in the country for four years. But Chacon says he abandoned attempts to get legal residency because the process was difficult and expensive.

  • Update 08-19-11

    Seed ball drive

    Local Boy Scout Jin Park will hold a Seed Ball Drive, from noon-4 p.m. Saturday at Ashley Pond and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos and Rocket Park in White Rock.

    Meeting

    The Board of Adjustment meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers.

    Thank you event

     The county council, LANL and NNSA are hosting an event to thank all of those who helped the community through the fire from 4-6 p.m. Aug. 25 at Ashley Pond.

    Pool maintenance

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will be closed for public swimming beginning at 7 p.m. Friday for annual pool maintenance, and will re‑open on Sept. 6 at 6 a.m. 

  • Customers rate utilities above average

    The Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) 2011 Biennial Customer Satisfaction Survey came in as good news for the board.

    In every category, from customer service the service itself, customers rated DPU above average, and, in some cases, ratings neared excellent.

    The survey was prepared by Vantage Marketing Research and the Howell Research Group. Jeff Eshelman, president of Vantage, presented the report. The telephone survey sampled 400 residential customers and 94 commercial customers. The margin of error for the customer sampling is 4.9 percentage points and 8.7 for commercial customers, due to the smaller sampling.  

  • Hay hauler hung up

    About 2:30 p.m. Thursday, above the back gate at the hairpin turn, this truck became wedged and it took about 30  minutes for workers to free it and get traffic moving again.

  • Long drought breaks records

    Precipitation rankings from January through July of this year are the driest on record for New Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. Los Alamos rainfall is 7.93 inches below normal at just 1.64 inches to date.

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Meteorologist Scot Johnson said there are two factors driving the drought locally and elsewhere around the country.

    “La Niña, the cold in the Pacific along the equator driving north and the other situation is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) located in the northern Pacific,” Johnson said. “So you have a negative PDO right now and the two working together contributed to the dry spring.”

  • State Briefs 08-19-11

    State proposes changes to water quality standards

    SANTA FE — The state Environment Department is considering changes to surface water quality standards for New Mexico lakes and it wants to hear from the public before making a decision.
    The department is proposing to classify about 70 lakes around the state into new “lake-only” segments.
    Currently, lakes are often classified with nearby streams even though they may differ significantly from those streams.
    Officials say having a separate classification would allow them to conduct more accurate assessments of water quality.
    The department is planning two public meetings, including one in Santa Fe on Aug. 24 and the other in Roswell on Aug. 30.

  • Seen at the Scene: Summer Concert Series

    The community came out to enjoy the Gordon’s Concert at Ashley Pond on Aug. 12. The final concert of the summer series  is at 7 p.m. today at Del Norte Credit Union, featuring Carolyn Wonderland.

  • Crash snarls Thursday evening traffic on Hill

    Two single-car crashes within seconds of each other caused a major traffic jam Thursday night on N.M. State Road 4, heading eastbound near Mile Marker 7.

    “Technically, it was two single-vehicle crashes,” said Lieutenant Joe McLaughlin of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department. “But it was one accident.”

    The first vehicle to crash, a 2006 Pontiac, was driven by Alex Velarde, 55, of Santa Fe.

    “He hit some standing water, hit the guard rail on the right side and crossed over the center and hit the jersey barrier,” McLaughlin said.

    McLaughlin said Velarde was transported to Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe with unspecified injuries, but he believed they were not serious.