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Local News

  • County seeks developer

    Los Alamos County has issued a Request for  Qualifications (RFQ) to select a developer in the design and construction of a full-service convention center facility in the downtown district of Los Alamos.

    The county is soliciting a developer for a  business conference facility (8,000-20,000-square feet), to include flexible meeting and event space combined with first-class dining and lodging facilities that will compete favorably with other “Class A” conference and lodging facilities in Northern New Mexico, and provide a local venue for special events-amenities for which there is significant demand in Los Alamos according to a recent market feasibility study conducted earlier this year by Atlanta-based Strategic Advisory Group.

    Currently, Los Alamos is losing as much as $4 million in annual conference and lodging business nearby casino resorts as well as to Class A lodging and conference facilities in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, according to representatives from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and other federal agencies and businesses interviewed as part of the study.

    The proposed project aims to recapture that business by providing a full-service facility that will serve LANL and its corporate clients and contractors, as well as other discerning short- and long-stay guests.

  • Update 10-04-12

    Night in Italy

    Tickets are available for “A Night in Italy” fundraiser for Assets in Action. The event takes place Oct. 20 at the Hilltop House Hotel. Tickets are $40 each and proceeds benefit youth development programs. Additional information is available by calling 661-4846 or by email at AssetsInAction.info.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. The board meets monthly. More information can be obtained by calling 662-8173.

    Elk Festival

    The Valles Caldera will hold its annual event Oct. 6-14 with the headquarters at the Visitor Center. Daily festival activities will include elk viewing, elk education booths and various demonstration booths. This event is free and open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    Candidate forums

    The League of Women Voters will have a candidates’ forum for the county council and county clerk candidates as well as the Charter amendments today. The forum will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Fuller Lodge, with refreshments at 6:30.

    Bulk item pickup

  • In Other Council Business...

    • Council issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 27 as “Health Awareness and Wellness Day,” which was presented to members of the Los Alamos Heart Council. The Los Alamos Heart council has its annual Health Fair from 8 a.m.–noon on Oct. 27 at Griffith Gym.
    • Council also issued a proclamation declaring the week of Oct. 7-13 as Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out” and encourages Los Alamos County residents to be prepared in case of a fire in their home.
    • Council also approved the exchange of approximately 2,543 square feet of right-of-way land owned by the county for approximately 3,370 square feet of land owned by the Los Alamos Public Schools. The schools will attain land on which they have built a retaining wall and fence and the county will receive land on which it has a bus pull out, bus shelter and utility infrastructure.

  • Today in History for October 4th
  • 10 things to know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:

    1. IT'S SHOW TIME FOR OBAMA, ROMNEY

    The candidates spar aggressively in their first debate over taxes, deficits and the best way to create jobs.

    2. THE TRUTH, PERHAPS, BUT NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH

    AP's fact-checking Calvin Woodward says both candidates leave out inconvenient facts.

    3. TENSIONS RISE ALONG A VOLATILE BORDER

    Shelling from Syria strikes a village in Turkey, killing five civilians. Turkey fires back with artillery and NATO condemns the Syrian attack.

    4. STATE DEPARTMENT OPENS BENGHAZI REVIEW

    Clinton pledges a full inquiry into whether security was adequate at the U.S. consulate where ambassador was killed.

  • Police catch suspected juvenile arsonists in Graduation Canyon

    Emergency services received a call there was a fire in Pine Canyon around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    When firefighters from the Los Alamos Fire Department arrived, they saw a rapidly spreading 30-by-30 foot fire and quickly put it out.

    “We had it under control in about 10 minutes,” Deputy Chief Justin Grider said.

    During the course of the investigation, the Los Alamos Police Department also arrived on the scene and tracked down two 12-year-old boys, headed west on Pine Street. They allegedly confessed to the crime, and were detained and arrested.

    According to Grider, the juveniles used piles of pine cones and lighters to set the blaze, which was located in Graduation Canyon between Pine Street and Manhattan Loop.

  • Retired LANL physicist earns national honor

    The National Audubon Society has selected retired Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist Tom Jervis of Santa Fe as the 2012 Volunteer Charles H. Callison Award winner. The award was announced Sept. 28 at the National Audubon Society Board Meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

    Now in its 18th year, Audubon’s Callison Awards recognize one volunteer and one staff member, nominated by their peers, who have made remarkable contributions to conservation through coalition-building, creative thinking and perseverance.

    During the awards ceremony, Jervis was recognized for his, “dedicated service and major contributions to the goals of Audubon; his unflagging dedication as a volunteer and supporter at the chapter, center, council and state levels; his decades’ long work to protect New Mexico’s most threatened wildlife and to preserve critical habitats; and his passionate commitment to the cause of conservation locally and throughout the hemisphere.”

    An Audubon member for 40 years, Jervis is currently serving in his fourth term as president of the Sangre de Cristo Audubon Society, a local chapter of the National Audubon Society. Also a leader of the state Audubon efforts, he served three terms as president of the New Mexico Audubon council.

  • Update 10-03-12

    Night in Italy

    Tickets are available for “A Night in Italy” fundraiser for Assets in Action. The event takes place Oct. 20 at the Hilltop House Hotel. Tickets are $40 each and proceeds benefit youth development programs. Additional information is available by calling 661-4846 or by email at AssetsInAction.info.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. The board meets monthly. More information can be obtained by calling 662-8173.

    Elk Festival

    The Valles Caldera will hold its annual event Oct. 6-14 with the headquarters at the Visitor Center. Daily festival activities will include elk viewing, elk education booths and various demonstration booths. This event is free and open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    Candidate forums

    The League of Women Voters will have a candidates’ forum for the county council and county clerk candidates as well as the Charter amendments on Thursday. The forum will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Fuller Lodge, with refreshments at 6:30.

    Bulk item pickup

  • County to self-insure

    Faced with a potential rate hike of 14.4 percent, the Los Alamos County council voted to adopt a self-funded insurance plan instead.

    The county’s contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield is renegotiated yearly. BCBS had originally proposed a 16.4 rate hike for next year. The county’s benefits consultant, Gallagher Benefit Services (GBS), entered into negotiations with BCBS to secure the lower rate. The county’s budget allowed for a 12-percent increase.

    The rate increase would significantly increase premiums for both the county (which pays 80 percent for full-time employees) and employees. Employees would also have higher out-of-pocket expenses.

    Staff identified eight options to reduce the rate hike, but seven of those had only minimal impact. Self-funding would increase rates by only 3.5 percent, without a change in benefits for the first year.

    County Administrator Harry Burgess said that if the self-funded plan was adopted, the county could take several steps to stabilize or reduce rates in upcoming years. These include:

    Forming an employee advisory committee composed of staff with a range of job titles and pay grades to evaluate what the insurance needs are and to formulate options for reducing costs.

  • Today in History for October 3rd