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Today's News

  • Santa Fe National Forest lifts fire restrictions

    The Santa Fe National Forest lifted campfire and smoking restrictions Thursday after widespread rain across the forest and fire danger decreased. The forest implemented Stage I fire restrictions on July 15 based on dry conditions and higher-than-normal temperatures.
    Forest managers use several criteria to determine when to lift fire restrictions, including current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources. The arrival of monsoonal moisture has eased the dry conditions that led to restrictions and decreased fire danger to moderate.
    Although Stage I restrictions on campfires and smoking will be lifted, forest managers urge visitors to continue to use caution around campfires and other potential ignition sources by following campfire safety procedures.

  • Investigators seek info on theft of firefighting equipment

    The Valles Caldera National Preserve is offering a reward for information about the recent theft of firefighting equipment.
    Special agents with the Investigative Services Branch and U.S. Park Rangers of Valles Caldera National Preserve are seeking information about the recent theft of crucial wildland firefighting equipment, apparently taken between 6 p.m. July 23 and 11 a.m. July 24.
    According to investigators, someone forcibly entered a closed area in the preserve, broke into several storage units and stole a significant amount of equipment that is part of the National Park Service firefighting program.
    The items taken include a utility task vehicle, an equipment trailer, drip torches, fuel cells, gas cans, tools, pumps, generators and compressors.
    The wildland fire crew using the equipment was working on the Big Hat Fire in the preserve when the theft occurred. The crew had recently returned from the Dog Head Fire in Albuquerque and from other fire assignments in New Mexico and Arizona.
    The loss of this equipment will impact interagency firefighting operations in northern New Mexico for the rest of the year, according to National Park officials.

  • Makerspaces nurture business development

    Uncertainty about the commercial viability of an innovation or idea — in addition to the cost of renting or buying the machinery needed to build a working prototype — has stifled many an entrepreneurial impulse. But the makerspace movement that’s gaining a foothold in several New Mexico communities is trying to change that.   
    Makerspaces offer access to expensive equipment and expert mentoring that innovators need to turn a concept into something tangible. Their advocates see them as cauldrons of entrepreneurism and economic development — as early-stage business incubators.
    Nurturing creativity
    New Mexico is home to half a dozen makerspaces, many of them only a few years old.
    Los Alamos Makers calls itself “a scientific playground for all ages,” and its members can use all sorts of industrial, mechanical, laboratory and electronic equipment that the organization has procured in its two years of existence.
    Lots of people have ideas, said founder Prisca Tiasse, a former biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, but they lack the means to invest in something that might not go anywhere. “That is a major hurdle for entrepreneurism.”

  • Johnson is another choice for president

    The 2016 presidential contest is down to two people. That’s what Deborah Maestas, Republican chair, would have us believe.
    In a July 17 op-ed she called for “Republicans and conservatives” to unite behind Donald Trump. “Trump’s success represents a shift that our country desperately needed,” she said. However laughable Maestas assertion in the op-ed, she was just doing her job.
    But, well, no. While unhappiness is everywhere, more is happening here than an either-or choice. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, as Yogi Berra said.
    A phone call came a couple of weeks ago from my sister-in-law in southwest Wisconsin. A Catholic and a Democrat, she works for a branch campus of the University of Wisconsin in a community of 12,000.  She is distressed at the prospect of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump being president. Her protest vote in the Wisconsin primary was for Bernie Sanders.
    After a few minutes, the topic of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson entered the conversation, as you might expect. My wife, the Clinton supporter, gave me the phone. I said, “Policies aside, Gary is honest.” The other two are serial, purposive liars, among other things.

  • Crash on N.M. 4 injures driver

    A red Ford pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve on N.M. 4 and ran off the side of the highway, crashing into brush. The driver was heading toward Los Alamos when the accident occurred around 2 p.m. Thursday.
    The driver was injured and the accident caused a small brush fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly. The driver was taken to Los Alamos Medical Center for care.
    Paramedics and firefighters attended to the unidentified driver of the truck before transporting him to the hospital.

  • Urban multiuse path plan gets stamp of approval

    Brenda Fleming’s vision of an urban pedestrian/bicycle path through downtown Los Alamos is one step closer to realization.

    Fleming presented a citizens’ petition advocating for such a path to the Los Alamos County Council on May 3. Council embraced the idea and directed staff to research the options with Fleming and the Transportation Board.
    On Tuesday, council approved a conceptual map of proposed routes developed by a T-Board subcommittee.

    Although the map marks several alternate routes, County Engineer Eric Martinez described what he called the “high priority corridor” with the greatest potential for a trail separated from vehicular traffic, something advocated for by both petitioners and the T-Board.

    The ideal corridor would connect to the Canyon Rim Trail at 20th Street. Planning is underway to extend the Rim Trail to that point. Council approved $1 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for easement acquisition during this year’s budget hearings.

    In the meantime, a connector from the Rim Trail to “shared road” bike lanes on Knecht is being built as part of a current construction project.

    The preferred route includes a multiuse path along the 19th Street corridor, past significant points of interest to the nature center and aquatic center

  • Traffic delay on Diamond Ave. expected

    The transport of the last of seven portable classrooms Tuesday night may disrupt traffic along Diamond Avenue as the mover makes it way from Los Alamos Middle School to Los Lunas.
    A truck from Desert Wind Transport plans to leave the middle school with the 28-foot-wide building at 7 p.m.
    The route will require the driver to drive through the roundabout on North Mesa and San Ildefonso roads in the wrong direction. Traffic disruption is expected in the roundabout.
    The truck, escorted by police, will then drive down Diamond Drive to the Sullivan Field parking lot to avoid the walkover bridge at Trinity Drive. The building is too tall to drive under the bridges, said Shirley Crawley, of Desert Wind Transport.
    The driver will exit Los Alamos through the truck route as it makes it way to the School of Dreams Academy in Los Lunas, Crawley said.
    Desert Wind Transport was contracted to move seven buildings from the middle school this week, but a mechanical failure with one of the moving trucks made it necessary for one of the buildings to be moved Tuesday.
    For questions, call Crawley at 505-793-4066.

  • Bike patrol practice
  • Case of cliff-diving driver dismissed

    State prosecutors dismissed their case against a Los Alamos man that claimed he drove a vehicle off a 200 ft. cliff with his then girlfriend as a passenger.
    The crash occurred near Anderson Overlook on N.M. 502 on Aug. 25, 2014.
    Zachary Sanchez, 32, was indicted by a Santa Fe grand jury in March of 2015 on charges of great bodily harm by vehicle (Driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug) and driving while license revoked (DWI related).
    Sanchez was scheduled to go on trial in August or September. However, Sanchez was sentenced to three years’ probation July 26 for a DWI charge when he was arrested in April.
    Though injured, the couple survived the 2014 crash. Paramedics found Sanchez inside the vehicle and girlfriend was found outside the vehicle in critical condition.
    “There was a lot of technical evidence in this case so we hired an expert and based off of his opinion and the evidence we’ve had in this case we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was the driver,” said Santa Fe Assistant District Attorney Natalie Perry.
    The Santa Fe DA’s office will not pursue any new or different charges against Sanchez in this case.

  • Case of cliff-diving driver dismissed

    State prosecutors dismissed their case against a Los Alamos man that claimed he drove a vehicle off a 200 ft. cliff with his then girlfriend as a passenger.
    The crash occurred near Anderson Overlook on N.M. 502 on Aug. 25, 2014.
    Zachary Sanchez, 32, was indicted by a Santa Fe grand jury in March of 2015 on charges of great bodily harm by vehicle (Driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug) and driving while license revoked (DWI related).
    Sanchez was scheduled to go on trial in August or September. However, Sanchez was sentenced to three years’ probation July 26 for a DWI charge when he was arrested in April.
    Though injured, the couple survived the 2014 crash. Paramedics found Sanchez inside the vehicle and girlfriend was found outside the vehicle in critical condition.
    “There was a lot of technical evidence in this case so we hired an expert and based off of his opinion and the evidence we’ve had in this case we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was the driver,” said Santa Fe Assistant District Attorney Natalie Perry.
    The Santa Fe DA’s office will not pursue any new or different charges against Sanchez in this case.