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Local News

  • Smart meter movement stirs rowdy debate in Texas

    DALLAS (AP) — Thelma Taormina keeps a pistol at her Houston-area home to protect against intruders. But one of the last times she used it, she said, was to run off a persistent utility company worker who was trying to replace her old electricity meter with a new digital unit.

    "This is Texas." she declared at a recent public hearing on the new meters. "We have rights to choose what appliances we want in our home."

    A nationwide effort to upgrade local power systems with modern equipment has run into growing resistance in Texas, where suspicion of government and fear of electronic snooping have made a humble household device the center of a politically charged showdown over personal liberty.

    Some angry residents are building steel cages around their electric meters, threatening installers who show up with new ones and brandishing Texas flags at boisterous hearings about the utility conversion. At a recent hearing at the state Capitol in Austin, protesters insisted everyone present recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting could begin.

  • Las Conchas coverage wins accolade

    The Los Alamos Monitor has been awarded First Place for Best Effort to Improve Online Readership in the Landmark Community Newspapers annual contest. Each year the company, which has 54 paid newspapers in 13 states, 40 free newspapers and shoppers, 16 offset commercial printing plants, seven collegiate sports publications and 30 special publications such as real estate guides and homes magazines, conducts an internal competition to showcase the best work among its properties.

    The results of the company’s 2011 contest were recently released, and the Los Alamos Monitor team was recognized for its coverage of the Las Conchas Wildfire. The judge’s comments noted, “When Los Alamos residents had to evacuate, the Monitor staff provided comprehensive online coverage for residents who had to scatter to other cities and states. The Monitor responded with special e-editions, expanded photo coverage and news reports that were updated about every 15 minutes during peak periods.

    “Site traffic increased some days by more than 10 times the normal amounts … The staff’s coverage proved valuable during a critical moment in the town’s history and readers clearly responded positively.”

  • First man on the moon dies

    CINCINNATI (AP) — Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made "one giant leap for mankind" with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.

    Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said. It didn't say where he died.

    Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century's scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

    "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said.

    In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called "a tender moment" and left a patch commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.

    "It was special and memorable but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do," Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer in 2012.

  • Raw Video: Lance Armstrong Races Again

    A day after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency disciplined Lance Armstrong with a lifetime ban from professional cycling and vacated his seven Tour de France titles, he was back on his bike racing in Colorado.

  • Today in History for August 25th
  • NM man arrested in vast child porn network--graphic content

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man who authorities say talked about raping, butchering and cooking children has been charged in a massive child porn investigation that started in Massachusetts and has led to 46 arrests in seven countries.

    Richard Dates, 67, of Grants, N.M., a reporter and copy editor for the Cibola Beacon, was charged Thursday with possessing child pornography.

    In documents filed in federal court Friday, authorities said searches of computers owned by a Massachusetts man and a Kansas man arrested earlier this year showed Dates had chatted online with the men and received photos of children engaged in sexual acts.

    Authorities said Dates told federal agents that he traded child pornography online with people in several countries, including Turkey. He also allegedly stated that he had used a photo editing program on several photos of butchered body parts, sending them through his Skype account to various users.

  • Local briefs 8-24-12

    Letters of interest due

    The deadline to apply for the open vacancy on the Los Alamos County Council is quickly approaching. Letters of interest must be received in the county administrator’s office by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
    Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of Los Alamos County and cannot be employed by the county. The letter should explain their background, experience and why they are interested in the position. The County Administration office is located at 133 Central Park Square. Those who apply must attend a special council meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 in council chambers and be prepared to respond to questions from councilors. The council expects to interview applicants and then make their selection that evening.
    The vacated term expires Dec. 31, 2014.

    Visiting Nurse Services closes on property

    Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Services Board Vice President Steve Stoddard brought this non-profit home health care and hospice agency one step closer to a 20-year dream of an in-patient hospice care facility in Los Alamos.
    The closing documents for a 4.7 acre parcel of land on Canyon Road were signed Tuesday.
    The property, adjacent to the Jewish Center, is the former home of the Boy Scout Lodge and also features several acres of forested canyon views.

  • Justice Center achieves LEED gold certification

    Utilizing energy-efficient systems such as a heat-reflecting roof and high-efficiency mechanical systems, the Los Alamos County Justice Center has achieved a LEED Gold certification through the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
    “Achieving LEED gold for a justice complex required a delicate balance of advanced security features and energy efficient features. The entire team did a great job achieving the project’s security and sustainability goals,” said HB Construction President and CEO Jason W. Harrington.
    The facility has a number of energy efficient features including an improved thermal building envelope, high-efficiency glazing, an overhang shading system, high-efficiency mechanical systems, a rainwater drip irrigation system and a reflective roofing system.
    During construction, the use of recycled and regional materials, the development of a storm water pollution prevention plan and use of a waste landfill diversion program which diverted 76.59 percent, 657.9 tons, of on-site generated construction waste from landfills, all contributed to the facility’s LEED Gold rating.
    Completed in 2010, the $17.7 million, 44,000-square-foot Los Alamos County Justice Center houses the security, law enforcement and courthouse components of the county government.

  • School board votes on gas line issue
  • Neal to volunteer soccer skills at Tennessee

    It’s good to be connected.

    It certainly was for Amy Neal, the star player on the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team, as she was trying to figure out where she might attend college next season.

    Neal, the two-time Player of the Year in Class 4A, will attend and play for the University of Tennessee next season.

    She made her decision during the off-season, saying she was glad to get it out of the way before the start of her senior year with the Hilltoppers.

    Although she was impressed with the Tennessee women’s soccer team, she’s rather underwhelmed by the school’s overall lack of fashion sense.

    “They have this really gross orange color,” Neal said. “But they have a nice program and they support their teams really well.”

    When she begins her collegiate career in 2013, she will be the third Neal sibling to play college-level soccer. Big brother Avery played at Pacific University and her older sister Kelsey is currently at the Colorado School of Mines.

    Amy considered joining Kelsey at CSM, but changed her mind and selected the Division-I school in Knoxville.