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Local News

  • Isaac in N. Orleans on Katrina's 7th Anniversary
  • Today in History for August 29th
  • Isaac makes landfall in La.; Gulf Coast braces

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Isaac spun into the southern Louisiana coast late Tuesday, sending floodwaters surging and unleashing fierce winds, as residents hunkered down behind boarded-up windows. New Orleans calmly waited out another storm on the eve of Hurricane Katrina's seventh anniversary, hoping the city's strengthened levees will hold.

    Isaac, a massive storm spanning nearly 200 miles from its center, made landfall at about 6:45 p.m. near the mouth of the Mississippi River. But it was zeroing in on New Orleans, about 90 miles to the northwest, turning streets famous for all-hours celebrations into ghost boulevards.

    While many residents stayed put, evacuations were ordered in low-lying areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, where officials ordered the closure of the state's 12 shorefront casinos. By late Tuesday, more than 100,000 homes and businesses had lost power.

    Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, said Isaac's core would pass west of New Orleans with winds close to 80 mph and head for Baton Rouge.

  • Locals, Tourists in La. Bunker Down for Isaac
  • Sapphire Energy starts up algae plant in New Mexico

    COLUMBUS (AP) — Sapphire Energy says operations are now under way at its algae biomass plant in southern New Mexico.
    The California-based company made the announcement Monday. Construction on the $135 million demonstration plant in Columbus began in 2011, and the first batch of algae was harvested in June.
    Sapphire officials say they have harvested a total of 81 tons of algae biomass.
    Sapphire’s plant will be capable of producing 100 barrels of crude algal oil per day by the end of 2014. The plant will eventually consist of about 300 acres of cultivation ponds and processing areas.
    The project was funded with $85 million in private investment backed by a federal loan guarantee and a $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
    Sapphire officials say the amount of biomass produced so far has exceeded their initial projections.

  • State Briefs 08-28-12

    NM universities may get state’s supercomputer

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The state’s $11 million supercomputer could be transferred to New Mexico’s three research universities.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the transfer is pending a plan that would allow the universities to run it in a way that’s economically feasible and without additional cost to taxpayers.
    State Information Technology Secretary Darryl Ackley told the Journal he expects to see a joint proposal from the universities within a couple of weeks.
    “I’ve told the universities I would certainly entertain that option if they do a proposal, but there can’t be a budget increase,” Ackley said. “I need something that shows they can take it on and sustain it.”
    The decision whether to sell the supercomputer to private bidders or turn it over to the universities will depend on the best return for the state, which paid $11 million in 2008 to buy the machine. It’s no longer in the top 100 fastest in the world, its hardware is showing some age and its market value has slipped to a few hundred thousand dollars — even though it can do 172 trillion calculations per second.

  • Update 08-28-12

    No trash pick-up

    Los Alamos County will not pick up trash or recycling Monday in observance of Labor Day. Those who have a normal Monday pick-up should put their materials out Sept. 5.

    W.O.L.F. Talk

    Elke Duerr of the Web of Life Foundation will talk about the Mexican Gray Wolf. This will be a hands-on, interactive presentation, for all ages. Duerr will also share footage from her wolf documentaries. Free. 6:30 p.m.  Thursday.

    FAN Club

    The Los Alamos Visiting Nurses will be hosting the August FAN club in the historic Scout lodge, the site of their new hospice and offices at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

    Square dancing

     Square Dance Club will host a kick-off party with some basic square dance instruction, dancing and sloppy joes, salad, desserts and refreshments from 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

    County councilor

    The Los Alamos County Council is seeking Letters of Interest to fill the unexpired term of Ron Selvage.  Letters of interest must be received no later than 5 p.m. today and submitted to Harry Burgess, County Administrator, 133 Central Park Square, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544.

  • Political Season Gets Underway

    A pair of Democratic political hopefuls were hanging out in Los Alamos recently.

  • CIP committee bids farewell

    After nearly four years of review and making recommendations on capital improvement project applications, the CIP committee has been dissolved.

    The committee, which was created to advise the county administrator, began work in 2008 and reviewed 23 projects.

    When the Los Alamos County Council allocated the remaining CIP funds during budget hearings this spring, the committee was left at loose ends.

    The group then spent some time reviewing the CIP process adopted by council in 2008 and made some recommendations for improving it.

    But with no additional CIP funding on the horizon, County Administrator Harry Burgess reached the decision to dissolve the committee for the time being.

    “The first thing I want to do is thank each of you for your participation in this committee to this point. You took your own time to participate in these types of deliberations and I think it’s going to have a very good influence for the future,” Burgess said during the committee’s final meeting last Thursday. “It’s clearly brought about a bunch of new projects for consideration, and several have received funding as they move forward from this process.”

  • Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near the Gulf Coast

    MIAMI (AP) — Isaac became a hurricane Tuesday that could flood the coasts of four states with storm surge and heavy rains on its way to New Orleans, where residents hunkered down behind levees fortified after Katrina struck seven years ago this week.

    Shelters were open for those who chose to stay or missed the chance to get away before the outer bands of the large storm blow ashore ahead of a forecast landfall in southeast Louisiana on Tuesday night or early Wednesday. However, with the exception of some low-lying areas, officials had not ordered mass evacuations.

    The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Isaac became a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday with winds of 75 mph. It could get stronger by the time it's expected to reach the swampy coast of southeast Louisiana.

    In Houma, a city southwest of New Orleans, people filled a municipal auditorium-turned-shelter. However, in the bayou country of Terrebonne Parish off Highway 24, storms pose a perennial dilemma for those living a hardscrabble life.