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Today's News

  • 'Skimmer' might be at work

    Detectives with the Los Alamos Police Department released some alarming information in a credit card fraud scam they’re investigating.
    According to the police, there is strong evidence that there has been either a malware hack done to the point-of-sale software used by local businesses, or there is a “skimmer” operating in Los Alamos County.
    So far, the department does not have any suspects.
    The problem came to light early this month when detectives noticed a sharp rise in the number of fraud cases it’s investigating.
    The LAPD also noted that all of the complaints its received so far are credit card related. There is little evidence to suggest debit cards have been compromised. However, the LAPD is investigating one complaint that involved a debit card, but investigators said it may have happened because the debit was used as credit.
    After contacting the U.S. Secret Service’s Colorado field office, LAPD was told about “FindPOS,” a malware that has been spreading across the country and infecting the point-of-sale software of provider companies since November 2014.
    According to the LAPD, the Secret Service has been investigating the malware and its source. LAPD has also been working with the affected businesses as well as local banks to try and track down the source locally.

  • LA stops added to NCRTD service

    A new five-year transit service plan approved by the North Central Regional Transit District board in February 2014 became operational in mid-March.
    Route changes for the NCRTD include additional stops in Los Alamos and midday service to Santa Fe through a connection at the Cities of Gold Park & Ride.
    The changes are in response to suggestions from riders, stakeholders, route supervisors and employees. KFH Group Inc., which was contracted to update the five-year service plan for the free Blue Buses, gathered input at 15 public meetings and evaluated how well routes, bus stops and service times were meeting the needs of the public.
    Feedback included a request from Smith’s Marketplace for a stop to accommodate shift workers and from the county for a stop near the airport.
    “We modified the timing to provide better service into Los Alamos and also connect with Española,” KFH Vice President Ken Hosen told the NCRTD board when he presented the plan. “It’s going to hit quite a number of stops in Los Alamos so people can get the service directly without having to transfer.”

  • Deep Trouble

    It wasn’t the most pleasant way to spend a Monday morning, but Superintendent of Schools Gene Schmidt (far right) stopped by Mountain Elementary to get updated on the school’s plumbing problem from Los Alamos Public School’s Chief Plumber Mike Herrera. Tree roots, according to Herrera, damaged and blocked the school’s plumbing. The problem was discovered over the weekend, and the school was closed all day Monday so county work crews could fix the problem. School was able to resume today.

  • Smoke from burns is still in the area

    Officials from the Jemez Ranger District said that, as of Monday, forest fuel was continuing to burn at Virgin Mesa in the Santa Fe National Forest.
    Residents in the area of Jemez Springs, La Cueva and surrounding areas could continue to see smoke while the remaining treated fuel burns out, according to officials.
    Pile burning, which has been going on in and around the area since January, is continuing in the Virgin Mesa area. Santa Fe National Forest reported that the pile burn activity in the area has covered approximately 450 acres just west of Jemez Springs.
    The smoke from that and other prescribed burns in the area are monitored to ensure air quality, but smoke-sensitive individuals are advised to take precautions.
    Anyone with questions should contact the ranger district at 575-829-3535.

  • RDC receives a key grant

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that the Regional Development Corporation is among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants.
    The Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants.
    The RDC will receive the funding over two years to widen the applicant pool to the VAF and create an equity investment fund in collaboration with New Mexico Angels, the state’s accredited angel investor group. The EDA grant will allow for the creation of a legal framework for the RDC to take equity in selected VAF companies. The overall goal is to build the VAF into a sustainable fund that can support more growth-oriented companies in northern New Mexico.
    “I’m thrilled that the U.S. Department of Commerce has taken a positive step to invest in the economic health of northern New Mexico,” said Kathy Keith, executive director of the RDC. “The RDC is grateful for the support we received from Los Alamos National Security’s grant-writing assistance program, which helped us secure this grant.”

  • Update 3-31-15

    County Council

    The next meeting of the Los Alamos County Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. today in council chambers.

    Resiliency

    Los Alamos County and Los Alamos Public Schools will host a community resilience meeting Thursday at Aspen Elementary School. It will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Call 663-3252 for information.

    Egg Splash

    The annual Egg Splash event will take place at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center Saturday. It will start at 1 p.m. There is a limit of 150 participants 16 years of age and younger. Tickets are on sale. For more information, call 662-8170.

    Free Film Series

    Mesa Public Library will screen “Laura” as part of its Free Film Series Thursday. It will be shown in the upstairs meeting rooms starting at 6:30 p.m.

    Parents' meeting
    The Parents Raising Teens Group will meet Wednesday at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, building 2. The group is for parents of teenagers who are having difficulty communicating with their teens. For more information, email Rosie Emrich at rosie@mesavistawellness.com.

  • White House: nuke talks could go beyond deadline

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers could be extended past Tuesday’s deadline for the outline of an agreement if enough progress is made to justify it, the White House said.
    Tuesday’s statement by White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested that talks meant to produce an outline that would allow the sides to continue negotiations until the June 30 final deadline had not bridged all gaps — but that the sides were working to produce a text with few specifics, accompanied by documents outlining areas where further talks were needed.
    “If it’s necessary — and, when I say if it’s necessary I mean if it’s midnight and a deal has not been reached but the conversations continue to be productive — we’ll be prepared to continue the talks into tomorrow,” said Earnest.
    He said President Barack Obama had been updated on the latest status of the talks. He also said it was possible that Obama would be in touch with members of the negotiating team.
    “If we are making progress toward the finish line, than we should keep going,” Earnest added.

  • Liberal Dems, GOP both hope for Warren run

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and liberal Democrats have something in common: Both are trying to keep alive the prospect that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will run for president.
    Warren isn’t playing along, making the rounds this week to — yet again — insist she’s not interested in the White House.
    People on both sides have a vested interest in clinging to a dream that is all but certain to remain in the realm of fantasy. The left flank of the Democratic Party wants Warren to challenge Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primary race, or at a minimum, get Clinton to adopt Warren’s tough-on-Wall Street agenda. Republicans view a Warren candidacy as a way to sow division among Democrats and boost their own fundraising.
    Neither side seems to care much that Warren has repeatedly insisted that she doesn’t plan to run for president and is not taking any of the necessary steps to lay the groundwork. That has been the message as Warren conducts a media blitz this week surrounding the paperback release of her memoirs.
    “No, I’m not running and I’m not going to run,” Warren said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “I’m in Washington. I’ve got this really great job and a chance to try to make a difference on things that really matter.”

  • 'Caveman' still needs a lawyer

    Roy Moore, the man that was recently arrested for growing 43 marijuana plants in his house, made an appearance in court late last week.
    The hearing was about acquiring a public defense attorney, since Moore, did not seem have one yet.
    As Moore was listing his reasons for having the court assigning him an attorney, some other information about his circumstances were revealed, as well.
    Moore, who was conciliatory and polite during the hearing, also tried to explain to the magistrate court judge that he had a “growers card” for his marijuana plants but it was recently expired. He also was about to explain why the plants were in his house when the judge, Magistrate Court Judge Mateo Page, abruptly cut him off.
    “Before you say any more about that, as you were advised during your first appearance, you have a right to remain silent. Any statements you make in court can be used against you,” Page said. “Those are things you need to discuss with your attorney.”
    Moore, 67, also revealed that he had health problems, mainly that the right side of his body is “destroyed” as well as problems with his right lung.

  • Open Space plan to be discussed

    On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council will again consider whether to adopt a new Open Space Management Plan.
    Council meets at 7 p.m. in chambers.
    The plan — which has taken 15 years to come to fruition — came before council in February, but had to be tabled when the hard-stop time of Friday meetings curtailed councilor discussion.
    Councilor questions during that February meeting could indicate some opposition to the proposed plan. The main concern appeared to be a proposal to create open space corridors by adding several parcels to the current open space.
    With the exception of a few small parcels, most of the space included in the plan is already protected by zoning.
    Councilors asked whether having so much open space would leave room for development, room to expand recreational parks and whether it would curtail such things as drilling wells.
    A total of 10 members of the public spoke at the February meeting, including two Planning and Zoning commissioners. One of the P and Z commissioners contended that provisions in the open space plan were “in direct conflict” with other county plans. Another felt the amount of open space proposed would hinder diversification of the economy.