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Today's News

  • Winter storm slams LA, will hang around today

    Los Alamos County was hit hard by a late winter snowfall Friday and Saturday, and precipitation is expected to last through today.
    Temperatures are expected to rise, according to local forecasts, but much of Northern New Mexico was under weather warnings from the National Weather Service Saturday and continuing today.
    Locally, a winter storm warning is in effect until 4 p.m. Snow accumulation of up to 15 inches are expected from this storm below 8,000 feet, while upper elevations could see as much as 30 inches, according to the NWS.
    Some parts of Los Alamos County were reporting a foot or more of snow as of noon Saturday and snow was still falling during that time.
    As of around noon Saturday, Los Alamos Police Department was reporting only a few minor traffic accidents, none of them involving injuries. Most reports to LAPD were of vehicles sliding off the roads or minor fender-benders.
    A mix of snow and rain is expected in Los Alamos today, which actually could see temperatures rise to the mid- to upper-40s, that according to AccuWeather.
    That break could only be temporary, however, as more snow is forecast for midweek.
    The NWS warned motorists that travel conditions were “treacherous” due to the snowpack and icy roads. Visibility could be reduced, as well.

  • ’Envelope’ help program spurred by LAPD’s Keane

    The lack of resources available for the homeless or someone escaping a domestic violence situation outside of regular business hours came into sharp focus for Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. James Keane one bitter evening.
    It was late at night and the temperature was dropping, threatening to turn the rain that was falling to snow, when Keane responded to a call about someone asleep in a front yard. Keane discovered that the person was under the influence and had nowhere to go.
    Keane also realized he had no good options for helping that individual.
    “I couldn’t take that person to the hospital, really, because sometimes you fear that they’ll become confrontational with the staff, or, if they’re under the influence, the staff won’t treat them for anything,” Keane said. “It’s just kind of a place for them to hang out. Plus, oftentimes they don’t have medical insurance.”
    Keane also ruled out asking if that individual could sleep in a church.
    “When you have someone you don’t know how they’re going to act, you don’t want to put them in someone else’s hands and risk a possible threat to someone who has no idea of what’s going on but is just trying to help,” Keane said.

  • School committee seeks budget input

    Those wanting “in” on how the Los Alamos Public Schools can best educate children, or those who feel like they have something constructive to say about how the schools are run will have a chance to speak up.
    The Los Alamos School Board as well as its 2015-16 School Budget Committee, in fact, wants to hear those ideas.
    From now until mid-April the committee will be holding a series of public hearings at Los Alamos High School to hear what residents have to say about budget priorities. Its second meeting on the subject will take place Tuesday at Los Alamos High School’s speech theater, from 4-5 p.m.
    The school district has to have its Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget completed in two months. This year, it’s projected the school budget will be about $34 million, which includes annual funding the district receives from the U.S. Department of Energy.
    “We build budgets every year and by state statute, we have to present to the New Mexico Public Education Department a balanced budget,” said Superintendent of Schools Gene Schmidt. “In this case, we are in a hurry because we have to present our budget to the New Mexico Public Education Department by May 1.” Schmidt added that at these meetings there will be places at the beginning for the public to give comment.

  • Saga offers pet house calls

    For residents of Los Alamos who are elderly or sick and have pets that are, well, elderly or sick, there is a veterinary choice in town for the furry friends.
    Vikki Saga is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has noticed a need for veterinary house calls. VikkiVetCare is a mobile business Saga founded and opened in early February.
    Mobile vet care is becoming a growing trend in many communities. Saga works with people and animals in Los Alamos, White Rock and the outlying areas to Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
    Saga has worked as a veterinarian in Santa Fe and in Los Alamos. “Lots of people would come by my house, mostly neighbors, and ask for help or advice,” Saga said, who received a DVM degree in Canada.
    There are advantages to house calls. The service offers convenience and less stress for veterinary care because it takes place in an individual’s home. Most cats and older dogs have trouble with car rides.
    Also, the convenience extends over weekends and holidays, when clinics are closed or the emergency animal hospital is difficult to get to.

  • Update 3-1-15

    Cowboy Breakfast

    There will be a Cowboy Breakfast at Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge from 7-11 a.m. today. Price for the breakfast is $7 for adults, $4 for children.

    Testing

    PARCC testing will begin Monday at all Los Alamos Public School sites. PARCC testing will continue through March 27.

    Public Schools

    Los Alamos Public Schools will hold two public forums, one on Monday and one on Wednesday, for the public to hear from superintendent candidates Chris Marczak and Kurt Steinhaus.The forums will be at Los Alamos High School’s speech theater. Both Monday’s and Wednesday’s forums are scheduled for 7 p.m.

    County Council

    The next Los Alamos County Council meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

    Parking lot

    The parking lot on Trinity Drive and 20th Street adjacent to Ashley Pond will be closed starting Monday to accomodate construction work being done nearby. The postal and UPS boxes will be moved to Deacon Street.

    BPU work session
    The Board of Public Utilities will have a work session at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Municipal Building.

  • Artist-in-residence is sought

    Bandelier National Monument announced last week an opportunity for artists to apply for this year’s Artist in Residence Program at the park.
    Artists may be writers, composers, performers, multi-disciplinary, or visual artists, such as photographers and sculptors. There is no application fee and no stipend.
    The successful applicants can spend up to a month living in park housing and pursuing their artistic discipline in Bandelier’s environment.
    Artists will be required to give programs for the public during the residency period and donate an original piece of their work to Bandelier.
    For 2015, the residency would occur between mid-September and mid-December. Details of the application process and other arrangements are available on the Bandelier website, nps.gov/band. A brochure is also available which can be picked up in person at the park Visitor Center or mailed.
    For mailed brochure, requests can be made by calling the Visitor Center at 672-3861, ext. 517.
    Applications must be received or postmarked no later than June 1.
    According to the NPS, in the 1800s, artists including Thomas Moran and William Henry Jackson helped visitors and the public become acquainted with the earliest National Parks.

  • NASCAR vehicle is stolen, recovered

    HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Police have found the NASCAR race car stolen from a hotel parking lot near Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Team XTREME said the car was discovered early Saturday northwest of Atlanta in Gwinnett County, about 20 miles away from where it was taken. The team tweeted a pictured of team owner John Cohen standing in front of the No. 44 Chevrolet, which was ditched in a wooded area near Loganville, Georgia.
    Morrow police Detective Sgt. Larry Oglesby, leading the investigation in the south Atlanta suburb, confirmed to The Associated Press that the car was recovered. Valued at $250,000, the high-powered machine appears undamaged.
    "So Happy to have 'old faithful' back. Favorite race car," the team wrote on Twitter.
    The discovery came too late to help the team this weekend. It was forced to withdraw from Sunday's Atlanta race.
    The race car, along with the pickup truck and trailer that were hauling it, were snatched just a few hours before Travis Kvapil was to run in qualifying. Team spokeswoman Amanda Ebersole said police did not recover the other contents of the trailer, which included a spare engine valued at $100,000 and racing equipment valued at $17,500.
    Still, the recovery of the car will help the low-budget team go forward with its plans to race at Las Vegas next weekend.

  • Today in history March 1
  • Subcontractors score a win in D.C.

    Coordinated lobbying by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractors Consortium (LANL MSC), a collaborative of the 35 largest LANL Subcontractors, and the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities has achieved a victory for local contractors.
    Pete Maggiore, assistant manager of the Environmental Projects Office at the NNSA Los Alamos Field Office, announced during the Feb. 19 Energy Technology and Environmental Business Association meeting held in Santa Fe that “the DOE EM got the message that the LANS ADEP MTOA contracts will be utilized for environmental cleanup work under the DOE EM Bridge contract with LANS, LLC.”
    The bridge contracts will be in effect for the next 18 to 24 months until a new prime contractor is selected.
    The consortium and the coalition traveled to Washington, D.C. as separate entities the week of Feb. 9 in order to meet with New Mexico’s congressional delegation and Department of Energy leadership.
    The coalition included the subcontractor’s concerns as part of their larger agenda.
    One of the consortium’s two major issues was the environmental clean-up transition from the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) to DOE’s Environmental Management (EM) division following the Feb. 14, 2014 waste release incident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project.

  • Accused dealer caught on video

    Just before they were arrested, one of the drug dealers nabbed in a high-profile Los Alamos drug bust complained about a customer never buying enough drugs from them and not being very sociable.
    Los Alamos Police Department has been busy making sweeps of the county, busting drug dealers in a coordinated effort in recent weeks and numerous arrests have been made via its efforts.
    Among the recent busts was Kelly Casados, who police said they captured on surveillance video.
    “(Casados) is also heard on the video making statements about trafficking methamphetamine. She seems upset that (customer) ‘buys s--- from us’ then leaves right after, wanting (customer) to hang out for a while afterwards,” read a statement in court records.
    Shortly after that drug deal, police said, Casados, 46, boyfriend Ron Snow, 40, and the dealer that supplied them with the drugs to sell, Joe Martinez, 50, were arrested in late January.
    Snow’s and Martinez’s attorneys, along with their clients, are due to appear in court April 1 for a preliminary hearing. The hearing will be to determine if there is enough evidence to have their cases continued in first district court.
    Casados’ case is already going to district court.