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Today's News

  • Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, NPS sign cooperative agreement

    Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, the friends group for the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP), will continue supporting the preserve as it has since 2007.
    The organization recently reached a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to continue serving in that capacity under NPS jurisdiction.
    “It’s an agreement so we can work together, and so they can transfer money to us. And they are giving us some money this year so we can work on restoration projects,” said Los Amigos Vice Chair Barbara Johnson. “It’s not unusual for them to have some sort of cooperative agreement with their friends group to do some variety of tasks that need to be done on the park unit.”
    Los Amigos was formed when the preserve was still held as a national trust, with a mandate to become self supporting by 2015 or be transferred to the National Forest Service. New Mexico’s congressional delegation and supporters from around the state – including Los Alamos residents and elected officials – fought to place the Valles Caldera under NPS jurisdiction.
    The bill granting VCNP national park status passed in December, 2014, and on Oct. 10, 2015, the preserve officially joined the national park system.

  • US government won't reclassify marijuana, allows research

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has decided marijuana will remain on the list of most-dangerous drugs, fully rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it will allow more research into its medical uses.

    The decision to expand research into marijuana's medical potential could pave the way for the drug to be moved to a lesser category. Heroin, peyote and marijuana, among others, are considered Schedule I drugs because they have no medical application; cocaine and opiates, for example, have medical uses and, while still illegal for recreational use, are designated Schedule II drugs.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration said the agency's decision came after a lengthy review and consultation with the Health and Human Services Department, which said marijuana "has a high potential for abuse" and "no accepted medical use." The decision means that pot will remain illegal for any purpose under federal law, despite laws in 25 states and District of Columbia that have legalized pot for either medicinal or recreational use.

    Advocates have long pushed for the federal government to follow suit.

  • Companies move forward on nuclear waste storage in Carlsbad

    CARLSBAD (AP) — Efforts to build a temporary nuclear waste storage facility in New Mexico are moving forward after a Denver-based company relinquished its rights to the land.

    The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that Holtec International and Eddy Lea Energy Alliance are partnering to create storage for spent nuclear fuel rods from power plants across the country.

    Intrepid Potash gave up its mineral rights lease to land near Carlsbad, saying it likely won't be in a position to mine for potassium-containing salts there for several years.

    Program Director Ed Mayer says the HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage project is expected to cost more than $1 billion and provide about 200 construction and operations jobs.

    Holtec will propose the project to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in March. The approval process takes two to three years.

  • Teachers, students get back to business

    The atmosphere was calm and orderly at Los Alamos High School as high school seniors and their parents stopped in to register Tuesday morning, about a week before the official start of school Aug. 18.  
    Tuesday was also orientation day for 31 new teachers and staff.
    Though students seemed anxious to get back to school and their studies, it was also clear that they wanted to reconnect with their classmates.
    When asked about what they were looking forward to most, many said getting back with their friends.
    One dad, David Paulson, offered a different perspective.
    “I’m just looking forward to them being back in school so they’re not at home all day,” he said with a laugh.
    Like many students there though, senior Mark Torres was determined to squeeze the last few days of summer in before officially heading back. Torres said he was “not quite” ready.
    His mother, Carolyn Torres, a former New Mexico Teacher of the Year also said that she’s slowly getting back up to speed as well. “I’m getting there,” she said.   
    Though the lines were long, everything seemed under control as students went from one line to the other getting their photo IDs, their textbooks and their class schedules.

  • Today in history Aug. 11
  • Flood advisory from 12:42 p.m. until 2:45pm Saturday

    The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued an arroyo and small stream flood advisory for... Northwestern Los Alamos County In North Central New Mexico... South Central Rio Arriba County In North Central New Mexico... Northeastern Sandoval County in North Central New Mexico... Until 2:45 p.m.
    At 1240 pm MDT... national weather service Doppler radar indicated heavy rain due to thunderstorms north of Los Alamos... including Santa Clara canyon and northern portions of the Las Conchas burn scar area. Radar estimates up to one and a half inches of rain has already fallen with strong storms continuing over the area. Locations impacted include... Santa Clara Pueblo.
    Precautionary/preparedness actions: the heavy rainfall and slow movement of these storms may result in flooding of road intersections and low-lying areas. Waters may begin to run in normally dry arroyos.

  • Downtown experiences power outage

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities reported a power outage in the downtown area at 3:25 p.m. The outage was caused by a fault to an electrical line on Juniper Street, which caused circuit 17 to open. Crews were able to restore power to most of the downtown area by 3:45 p.m. However, Bathtub Row is still without power and DPU was unable to provide an estimate of when power would be restored to that area. Follow the Los Alamos Monitor for updates.

  • Flash flood watch until 6 a.m. Thursday

    The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch from 6 a.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday.
    The flash flood watch remains in effect through late tonight for a portion of North and Central New Mexico, including the following areas:
    Central Highlands... East Slopes Sangre De Cristo Mountains... Eastern Lincoln County... Estancia Valley... Far Northeast Highlands... Far Northwest Highlands... Jemez Mountains... Lower Chama River Valley... Lower Rio Grande Valley... Middle Rio Grande Valley/Albuquerque Metro Area... Northeast Highlands... Northern Sangre De Cristos Above 9500 Feet/Red River... Northwest Highlands... Northwest Plateau... Raton Ridge/Johnson Mesa... San Juan Mountains... Sandia/Manzano Mountains... Santa Fe Metro Area... South Central Highlands... South Central Mountains... Southern Sangre De Cristos Above 9500 Feet... Southwest Chaves County... Upper Rio Grande Valley... Upper Tularosa Valley and West Slopes Sangre De Cristo Mountains.

  • Rooftop solar power challenges rate making

    The story went like this: You could install solar panels that would generate electricity on your roof. When the sun was shining, you’d generate enough to power your house and then your meter would run backwards, and the power company would send you a check instead of a bill. How cool was that!
    That works, and it’s called “distributed generation,” but the real world has complications. One complication is that the power generated while the sun shines is not stored. The utility still has to provide another source of power to turn the lights on at night.
    Beyond that – no surprise – utilities don’t like having to buy back power. That’s not unreasonable. Utilities have a mandate to provide reliable power all the time and must build and maintain costly infrastructure to meet that requirement.
    The more solar capacity you have on your house, the fewer hours you will buy. Therefore, the cost to deliver power to your house is more expensive per hour than for the typical household. To compensate, the utility does not pay you nearly as much for the power you sell as you pay for the hours you buy.
    The price of power today to New Mexico homeowners is about 12 to 13 cents per kilowatt hour, varying with each utility. What the utilities pay back also varies.

  • Movie industry draws rave reviews from some

    Bundles of cables ring the Las Vegas plaza like a wreath. Movie set crews, all New Mexicans, maneuver vehicles, lights and props while locally hired security people and cops steer people and traffic around the shoot for “Granite Mountain,” based on the Arizona firefighters who battled an epic blaze to save a town.
    The cast and crew seem to have the run of the Plaza Hotel, where we’re staying. For everybody, it’s good business.
    A gallery owner tells us the movie makers are paying every store on the plaza for the inconvenience and lost business. “Obviously, it didn’t keep you from coming in, and it’s a nice gesture,” she says.
    “Granite Mountain” employs 190 New Mexico crew members, 40 New Mexico actors, and about 1,300 New Mexico background talent, according to the state Film Office.
    This is a snapshot of a New Mexico success story. Against a backdrop of dreary economic numbers, the movie and television industry dazzles. Direct spending into the state economy for the fiscal year ending June 30 was $387 million, up from $288 million the year before – a new record.