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Local News

  • Rancher says Las Conchas fire might have been averted

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state's largest wildfire might have been averted if the caretaker of a private ranch had been around the day a dead tree was blown onto a power line.

    That's what one of the ranch's co-owners told the Santa Fe New Mexican. The boundary of Roger Cox's 200-acre ranch in the Jemez Mountains ends about 10 feet from where an aspen tree fell onto a power line June 26, igniting the Las Conchas Fire.

    Cox says if someone had been around to spot the fire when the line got hit, it could have been controlled. But his caretaker had gone to Los Alamos and got back just in time to evacuate the ranch's 10 horses and 20 steers

    The fire has burned 234 square miles.

  • Debt talks grind on, clock ticks toward default

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Budget talks between President Barack Obama and his GOP rivals are at a frustrating standstill, leading a top Republican to launch a long-shot proposal to give Obama sweeping new powers to muscle through an increase in the government's debt limit without the approval of a bitterly divided Congress.

    Lawmakers return to the White House Wednesday for their third negotiating session with the president in as many days. Obama has said the daily meetings will continue until a deal is reached.

  • Betty Ford remembered at bipartisan memorial

    PALM DESERT, California (AP) — She was more than just a first lady, admirers said of Betty Ford. She was a role model for every presidential wife who followed her into the White House, not to mention a tireless advocate for women's rights and other causes that improved the lives of millions.

    Ford, who died Friday at age 93, was memorialized Tuesday by some 800 friends and family members, including no fewer than four current and former first ladies and one ex-president.

    On Wednesday she was to leave her adopted Southern California home for the last time, headed to Grand Rapids, Mich., where her husband, President Gerald R. Ford, who died in 2006, is buried.

  • Divorce & Dismemberment: Man's penis cut off, put through garbage disposal--video extra

    GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman was in custody Tuesday after authorities said she drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and put it through a garbage disposal.

    Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said that Catherine Kieu Becker drugged a meal and served it to the victim, whose name was not released, shortly before the attack Monday night.

    Nightengale said the 51-year-old man felt sick, went to lie down and lost consciousness. The 48-year-old Becker then tied the victim's arms and legs to the bed with rope, removed his clothes and attacked him with a 10-inch kitchen knife as he awoke, Nightengale said.

  • Valles Caldera to reopen staging area Wednesday

    JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (AP) — Officials at Valles Caldera National Preserve have decided to reopen the staging area at the northern New Mexico property.

    The area has been off-limits since June 26, when the Las Conchas fire started in the mountains nearby. The fire forced staff and visitors to evacuate, and the area remained closed to the public during firefighting operations.

    Officials say the staging area will open Wednesday.

    Visitors will be able to see the aftermath of the fire from the staging area. Other areas along New Mexico highway 4 will remain closed due to high fire danger.

    Hiking, fishing and other tours at Valles Caldera also will not be offered until forest restrictions and closures are lifted.

  • Gov. calls in help for BAER

    Governor Susana Martinez announced Monday that a National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) team from Boise, Idaho, has arrived in Santa Fe to help organize and coordinate procedures, and facilitate the communication efforts for Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) work being done on the land affected by the Las Conchas Fire.
    The seven-person NIMO team members have a vast amount of experience dealing with complex fire management issues.
    BAER teams are staffed by specially trained professionals: hydrologists, soil scientists, engineers, biologists, silviculturists, range conservationists, archeologists, and other resource specialists.

  • Update 07-12-11

    School Board meeting
    The Los Alamos Board of Education will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at Pajarito Cliffs Site 101, Camino Entrada Bldg. 1.

    Missing pets?
    Residents whose pets may have gotten lost during the fire and evacuation this week are being asked to contact Animal Control through the Police Dispatch Center at 662-8222.

    P&Z meeting
    The Planning and Zoning Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers.

    APP Board meeting
    The Arts in Public Places Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mesa Public Library.

    Council session
    The county council will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. today at the council chambers in the Community Building.

  • LA Went Above and Beyond

    Helitack crews working the Las Conchas Fire expressed appreciation for the local community during interviews at the airport Monday.

    “These pilots have fought fires all over the world and they’ve never been received like this,” said Deck Coordinator Walt Wells. “Los Alamos has set the bar a little higher for America.”

    Wells is with the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest Service in Vermont. He has worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 11 years. He retired in 1996 from 26 years with the New Jersey State Police as a detective sergeant.

  • Area preps for possible floods

    According to numerous weather reports, monsoon season is upon the area.

    The rain will help put out the massive Las Conchas fire, which has burned close to 150,000 acres, but it will create another problem: flooding.

    The National Weather Service, in fact, has issued a flash flood watch through tonight for portions of north and central New Mexico, including the Jemez Mountains, that portion of the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains above 9500 feet, and the southwest mountains and west slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

  • Council selects Hall's successor

    David Izraelevitz was chosen to fill former councilor James Hall’s seat on the Los Alamos County Council at a special session Monday night. Izraelevitz has less than 24 hours to prepare for his first council meeting, at 7 tonight in the council chambers.

    Izraelevitz, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, has been a resident of Los Alamos since 1995. He has served on a number of boards and commissions including the Library Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission. He is currently a member of the Charter Review Committee.