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Local News

  • Crews fight Santa Fe fire, more bans imposed in NM

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters banked on cooler temperatures and slightly less gusty winds Monday for help in slowing wildfires burning around New Mexico, as the state's top land manager issued an open-ended ban to prevent fires on millions of acres of state trust land.

    The ban announced Monday by Land Commissioner Ray Powell was simple and straight forward: No fireworks, open fires or smoking until further notice.

    The ban covers the state's 13 million acres, or more than 20,300 square miles, of trust land.

  • NM lawmakers start the task of redistricting

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A legislative panel plans to travel across the state in July and August to seek public comment on proposals for drawing new boundaries of New Mexico's three congressional districts.

    One of those proposals would combine the cities of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque into a revised 1st Congressional District. Republican-leaning Rio Rancho currently is in the heavily Democratic 3rd District of northern New Mexico.

    Democrats hold the 1st and 3rd district seats.

  • State Police ID 3 found shot to death in El Rancho home

    EL RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — State police say three people found shot to death Sunday evening in a town north of Santa Fe were all related.

    The victims have been identified as 55-year-old Lloyd Ortiz, 53-year-old Dixie Ortiz and 21-year-old Steven Ortiz .State police spokesman Tim Johnson said all three were shot but he declined to release any other information about the case or speculate on a motive.

    The victims were found Sunday night at a home in El Rancho, about 30 miles north of Santa Fe.

    Johnson said police received a 911 call about the shooting about 7:15 Sunday night.

     

  • Mortillaro a finalist in Topeka Kansas city manager search

    The former county administrator in Los Alamos, Anthony Mortillaro, has been named one of two finalists in the running to become the next city manager in Topeka, Kansas.

    A report on the Topeka Capital-Journal website said that Mortillaro and another candidate from south Texas emerged as the top picks after the city council narrowed the field following interviews with the leading six contenders which were conducted Thursday and Saturday.

    Topeka City Council is expected to make a decision during a meeting slated for Monday evening.

    Mortillaro is also in the running to become city manager in Auburn, New York.

  • High winds, temperatures propel wildfires

    ALBUQUERQUE — Firefighters are confronting strong winds and steamy weekend temperatures in their battle to keep more homes, dry forests and stretches of high desert from the flames of several wildfires throughout the Southwest.
    With summer rains still weeks away, forecasters said crews would likely have little relief from the hot, windy weather that dogging them this past week. More high-wind warnings and fire weather watches were on tap for many areas through the weekend.
    Along the New Mexico-Colorado border, the wind got stronger as Friday progressed, testing fire lines that had been cleared through the rugged wooded area by bulldozers.
    Flags at the incident command post were whipping.

  • Co-op hosts Student Sustainability Challenge

    Organic food and environmentally friendly products were only part of the reason the Student Sustainability Challenge visited the Los Alamos Cooperative Market on Wednesday. The co-op’s business model provides insight into an array of sustainable practices.

    Event coordinator Angelica Gurule, of the Environmental-Risk Reduction Office, introduced General Manager Steve Watts by saying, “You vote with your cash. Every time you make a purchase you vote for what you want that store to supply.”

  • Rail Runner weekend service to be eliminated

    ALBUQUERQUE — Regional transit officials have voted to end weekend service on New Mexico’s commuter train.
    The Rio Metro Regional Transit District Board announced the decision Friday.
    The board had been considering two weekday schedule options for the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, but members instead voted 6-5 to eliminate weekend service to balance the fiscal year 2012 budget.
    The budget is $1.2 million less than the previous year because certain federal air quality dollars will no longer be available.
    Board chairman Steve Shaw says the board thinks it’s important to support the initial mission of the commuter train without affecting people who use it to get to and from work.

    The Associated Press

  • Update 06-19-11

    Film Series
    The White Rock Family Friendly Film Series presents, “Yogi Bear,” at 7 p.m. June 27 in the White Rock Town Hall.

    CRC meeting
    The Charter Review Committee meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 20 has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 27. The meeting will be at the Community Building.

    Tour de Los Alamos
    Tour de Los Alamos, beginning in downtown Los Alamos Sunday. For more information, visit www.tourdelosalamos.org.

    Skate park closed
    The White Rock Skate Park will be undergoing maintenance repairs and minor renovations by the Parks Division and will be closed June 14 through the expected completion date of June 23.

    Girls circle canceled

  • LA county to receive $82K in PILT funding

    New Mexico counties will share nearly $33 million in payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), but Los Alamos County will not be receiving much of the pie.

    Los Alamos County, which has 36,526 acres, will receive a payment of $82,450, the third lowest total in the state.

    Los Alamos has received anywhere between $78K and $82K the past five years.
    “It is a small part of the budget,” said Randy Autio, the acting county administrator. “It is the normal distribution and it is what we normally get.”

    The biggest payout will go to Eddy County, which will receive just over $3.1 million and the lowest payout will go to Quay County, which will be $4,328. Eddy County has an acreage of 1,578,129 and Quay has a total of 1,809.

  • LANL’s Student Sustainability Challenge enters fourth year

    A discounted lunch was part of the draw for 40 or so Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student interns who attended a Student Sustainability Challenge event at the Los Alamos Cooperative Market Wednesday.

    But a growing interest in sustainability has fueled the 4-year-old program, which aligns with LANL’s efforts at improving sustainability and implementing the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP).