Local News

  • Bird count survey dates set for December, January

    The Audubon Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running citizen science wildlife survey in the world, will take place Dec. 14-Jan. 5, throughout North America, including 35 locations in New Mexico.
    More than 60,000 volunteers nationwide are expected to brave the cold this year to add a new layer of data that will help shape conservation decisions in years to come.
    This year, the CBC will undergo several significant changes. Most importantly, fees to participate in the count will be dropped to encourage greater participation and the annual published report, “American Birds,” will go digital in 2013, saving more trees for the birds. Christmas Bird Count information will also be available online in Spanish for the first time.
    “We encourage birders of all ages and abilities to participate in this year’s CBC,” said Robert Templeton, who leads a scheduling effort for New Mexico’s count. “Each counting group is led by one or more experts capable of identifying, by sight and sound, the birds in their area, so it’s a great learning opportunity for less experienced birders as well.”

  • Update 12-14-12

    Swearing in

    The public is invited to attend the official swearing in ceremony for newly elected officials at 10 a.m. Dec. 21. in the Municipal Courtroom of the Justice Center. A reception with light refreshments will follow in the lobby of the Justice Center.

    Bake sale canceled

    The Chamisa Elementary bake sale scheduled for Saturday has been canceled due to concerns about the weather. The baked sale will be rescheduled.

    Ice Rink closed

    Due to large accumulations of snow the Los Alamos County Ice Rink is closed all day today.  Weather conditions will determine when the Ice Rink will open again. For updated information call 662-4500.

    Asset Awards

    Monday is the final day to turn in nominations for the Community Asset Awards. That can be done online at AssetsInAction.info or by phone at 661-4846. The Community Asset Awards is sponsored by the JJAB.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

  • Smart meter demo ramps up

    The smart meter demonstration project is gearing up to make another leap forward this spring.

    The Department of Public Utilities is working with NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology and Development Corporation) on a plan to install smart meters at every residence on Barranca and North Mesas.

    “The objective is to identify a geographic location and put smart meters in there so that we can evaluate consumer behavior when they receive pricing signals indicating critical peak pricing,” said Robert Westervelt, deputy utilities manager for finance and administration. “Are they willing to adjust their consumption when they see there’s a price differential if they reduce their consumption at a certain time?

    “If they can reduce their power during that critical peak then there’s a potential to save some cost for the system.”
    Westervelt said that for the demonstration to be effective, an isolated geographic area must have 100 percent saturation with smart meters. Barranca and North Mesas were chosen because they are both serviced by a single feeder line.

  • Storm triggers closures

    Be careful out there. According to the National Weather Service, snow conditions are expected for Los Alamos all day and into the night. The forecast predicts about 7 to 9 inches, with “blowing snow” expected for the afternoon. Here is rundown of how the first winter storm of the season impacted the area Friday:

    Driving Conditions
    Passable, but be cautious. If you don’t have anything pressing to do, stay off the roads, officials advise.
    N.M. 502 was closed briefly Friday morning for about 15 minutes but by mid-morning the road was plowed and sanded and normal travel had resumed.

    “N.M. 502 is a priority for us in District 5, so we do everything possible to keep the roads in that area passable,” said Patricia Wolff, spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

    As of late morning, all roads in the Los Alamos area were open.
    Wolff also said to check back toinformation sources throughout the day, because conditions could change, especially when it comes to N.M. 502.

    “We can’t speak for what’s going to happen an hour from now, but for the moment, the road is open,” she said at 10 a.m.

    So far, things have been pretty tame, according to Randy Foster, acting chief  of the Los Alamos Police Department.

  • Video: 27 Dead in Conn. School Shooting

    An official with knowledge of a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school says 27 people are dead, including 18 children. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way.

  • Conn. police find 'very good evidence' on gunman

    NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The massacre of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, a 20-year-old described as brilliant but remote, was driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims.

    Investigators were trying to learn more about Adam Lanza and questioned his older brother, who was not believed to have been involved in the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary. Police shed no light on the motive for the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

  • Today in History for December 14th
  • NM regulators shut down Espanola liquor store

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators have shut down an Espanola bar for serving alcohol to minors.

    The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department announced Thursday that an agreement was finalized this week in which Fairview Liquor Store and Bar pleaded no contest to two charges of serving alcohol to minors and one charge of selling package liquor after prescribed hours.

    The department says Fairview also paid $11,000 in fines.

    The department says that in 2009, Fairview served alcohol to a minor who allegedly drove drunk and killed a pedestrian. The following year, Fairview was again accused of selling to a minor.

    As part of the agreement, the store is required to sell its liquor license within 45 days or have it permanently revoked by the state.

    The store has been closed since last July.

  • Raw: Shooting on Philadelphia El Train

    Police say a dispute over the 76ers' loss to the Chicago Bulls earlier Wednesday night led to a shooting that wounded two men on board an elevated train in Philadelphia. Police say there were more than two dozen people on the train at the time.

  • Deer crossing

     A deer makes his way across the intersection of 33rd Street and Walnut Tuesday.