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Today's News

  • Candidates file for election

    Tuesday was a busier day than usual at the County Clerk’s Office, as eight candidates hoping to take a seat on the Los Alamos School Board dropped in to fill out their election paperwork.
    According to state election laws, Dec. 16 was the only time residents interested in running for a seat on the board could formally declare their candidacy. In the upcoming Feb. 3 election in 2015, three districts will be up for election, districts 3, 4 and 5.
    Candidates filing for District 3 include NancyAnn “Nan” Holmes, the incumbent, Sheryl Nichols and William Hargraves.
    Candidates for District 4 include Andrea Susan Cunningham, Naishing Key and Michael Fassbender.
    Candidates for District 5 are Judy Bjarke-McKenzie, the incumbent and current president of the school board, as well as Jennifer Elizabeth McCumber.
    Holmes was appointed by the school board to fill out the rest of former school board David Foster’s term, who recently moved out of state. District 4 is the only district that does not have an incumbent running, as school board vice president Kevin Honnell opted not to run for another term.

  • Heading to School in the Snow

    Kids were trudging over the snow going into Chamisa Elementary School this morning. Snow started falling in White Rock around 7:15 a.m. and parents were busy dropping their kids off just before the bell rang.

  • Council rejects electric rate restructuring proposal

    The Los Alamos County Council remanded a proposed electric rate restructuring ordinance back to the Board of Public Utilities on Tuesday.
    The point of contention was a proposed Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), which would have allowed the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to pass the actual cost of purchasing power onto the ratepayers as a variable rate when it either exceeded or went below the base rate.
    The reasons for including a PCA provision was explained by Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt.
    The PCA would have stabilized revenues and insulated against power cost volatility. Cost of power accounts for 63 percent of total costs and is the greatest variable in the system.
    According to an electric Cost of Service and Rate Design Study conducted by the Leidos consulting firm, DPU has under-budgeted for the cost of purchasing power for three years, resulting in nearly $1 million dollars in under-recovery, with as much as $1 million under-recovery anticipated in the current fiscal year.

  • Winter weather advisory continues through 11 p.m.

    A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the area until 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
    Snow accumulations are predicted of up to 3 inches above 7,500 feet and possibly even more accumulation at 8,500 feet and above.
    Travelers are warned that low-visibility conditions may also exist in the area.
    For road conditions, call 800-432-4269 or visit nmroads.com.

  • Surplus sale canceled

    Los Alamos National Laboratory's monthly surplus property sale which was scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled. Weather permitting, the next scheduled surplus property sale is Jan.15.

  • On The Docket 12-17-14

    Dec. 11

    Natalia Friedland was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of improper stopping, starting or turning of a vehicle. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Delbert P. Martinez pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to appear in court and for not properly displaying a current, valid registration plate. He was fined $50 and ordered to pay $130 in court costs.

    Raquel M. Am pled no contest in the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentencing deferred until Feb. 8. Defendant was also sentenced to defensive driving school. Defendant was also ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Zachary Sanchez was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and was ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Dec. 12

    Carl E. Johnson was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and was ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Dec. 15

    Nicolle L. Gonzales was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding in a school zone one to five miles an hour over the limit.

  • Lights to go off for luminaria viewing around the county

    The Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division is planning on turning off power to various streetlights to enhance viewing of holiday luminarias in neighborhoods.
    The streetlights are scheduled to be turned off Dec. 24 and 25. The streetlights will be operational again Dec. 26.
    For safety purposes, Los Alamos County is asking residents to move vehicles and trailers to off-street parking during those days, or that, if they cannot be moved, to have those vehicles silhouetted by luminarias.
    Also, due to limited visibility during those nights in those areas, drivers are requested by Los Alamos County to slow their vehicles to 15 mph.
    There will be three areas affected by the powering-down of the lights. Those are as follows:
    • Barranca Mesa (including Barranca Road, Los Pueblos, San Juan, Totavi and Navajo Roads)
    • North Mesa (Camino Redondo, Camino Medio, Cumbres Patio)
    • White Rock (Cañada Way, Cañada Circle, Balboa Drive, Alhambra Drive, Barcelona Avenue, Brighton Drive and Briston Place)

    Questions about the power-down should be directed to the public works department. The department’s phone number is 662-8150.

  • Tools stolen from secure LANL site

    Thefts from a secure area at Los Alamos National Laboratory are raising concerns about security at the federal facility.
    The lab reported tools stolen on at least three occasions from Technical Area 54, the largest waste disposal zone on the lab’s campus in northern New Mexico.
    Police reports obtained by The Santa Fe New Mexican say impact wrenches, weed trimmers and other tools were reported stolen between May and August and remain missing.
    A national expert on radiation exposure says the tools likely pose little health risk but could be dangerous if they were exposed to toxic chemicals present in the area where the tools had been used.
    Los Alamos police were forced to close the case because the lab refused to give investigators the names of workers who had access to the area.

  • Study: E-Cigarettes are catching on with teenagers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government’s annual drug use survey finds.
    Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers. The findings marked the survey’s first attempt to measure the use of e-cigarettes by people that young.
    Nearly 9 percent of eighth-graders said they’d used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report released by the National Institutes of Health.
    Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th-graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th-graders and 14 percent of 12th-graders.
    “I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.

  • Update 12-17-14

    Service

    Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 2390 North Road will host a candelight service at 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information visit bethluth.com.

    SFNF offices

    All Santa Fe National Forest offices will be closed for the holidays on Christmas day and the following day, as well as New Year’s Day. For information, contact Forest Headquarters at 505-438-5300.

    Skate with Santa

    Los Alamos County is sponsoring its Skate with Santa, which is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the county’s ice rink. Call 662-4500 for more information.

    Enforcement

    Los Alamos Police Department will be conducting traffic enforcement, focusing on accident-related violations to include seatbelt enforcement for the holidays. Officers will also be on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday season. To report potentially impaired drivers, dial #DWI, or #394 or call LAPD directly at 662-8222. Motorists are asked to allow extra time to get to and from destinations.

    Farmers Market

    A Holiday Farmers Market is scheduled for Thursday. It will run from. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.