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Today's News

  • LAFD buys 2 wildfire trucks

    The Los Alamos Fire Department hopes its latest acquisitions will help with faster response times and better wildfire fighting.
    In November, the department bought a specially equipped Ford F-550 pickup truck and an International truck to help the department fight wildfires. The trucks will be called “Brush 1” and “Brush 4.”
    The trucks are the first ones purchased by the LAFD. All other department vehicles were bought and owned by the U.S. Department of Energy.
    To LAFD Wildland Division Chief Ramon Garcia, having equipment the department owns outright means more fluid cooperation with other departments in the region and more wildfire training opportunities for the men and women in the LAFD.
    “Up until now, everything we owned was purchased by the Department of Energy,” Garcia said. “If we needed to send something off the hill, such as to Tennessee to help fight the wildfires out there, we would have to ask the DOE for permission. Now, we don’t have to ask for permission anymore. If a department needs help, we can immediately go help them.”
    Garcia said the department had no problems with the DOE in getting permission to lend equipment to other departments.

  • Today in history Dec. 7
  • Williams won’t seek 2nd term on school board

    Los Alamos School Board member Matt Williams announced Monday he won’t be running for a second term. Williams made the announcement through an email to The Los Alamos Monitor that also included a public meeting about school issues he will be having in White Rock on Thursday.
    “I would also like to take this time to announce that I am not running for reelection. I appreciate very much the opportunity that I’ve had to work for the Chamisa community and the Los Alamos community in general,” he said. “I’ll make more comments at the meeting on Thursday. I would be happy to lead or assist in a conversation concerning our next LAPS School Board representative at the end of the meeting.”
    Williams was elected to the board in 2012.
    Part of William’s platform then was making sure the state kept its formula for distribution of education dollars intact.
    “I’ve heard that there may be changes in how the state is going to give funding to the school districts, and we need to have a strong presence at the state level to make sure we’re well represented,” Williams said in 2012.
    Williams served on the board during a time of many changes, including the resignation of former Superintendent Gene Schmidt and the search for his replacement, Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

  • New Mexico senator decides against running for governor

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says despite the encouragement of supporters, he has decided against running for governor in his home state of New Mexico in 2018.

    The Democrat made the announcement in a statement issued Wednesday, putting to rest any speculation that he might be in the lineup of fellow Democrats who will be seeking the seat.

    Udall said he believes he has the experience to address issues that have plagued New Mexico, but that he can better serve the state by remaining in the Senate.

    He sits on the influential appropriations committee as well as panels that oversee commerce, American Indian issues and foreign relations.

    The senator said he consulted with his family, colleagues and some constituents before making the decision.

    Udall was re-elected to the Senate in 2014.

  • No public opinion survey on projects

    During its Dec. 29 meeting, the Los Alamos County Council decided not to conduct a public opinion polling survey about the 2017 recreation bond in advance of an election.
    Earlier in the year, councilors had directed staff to conduct a survey to gage public response to the upcoming bond and the proposed projects for inclusion, something that several residents proposed during public meetings.
    County Manager Harry Burgess explained that avoiding conflict with the November General Election and the Los Alamos Public Schools/UNM-LA bond election in January would mean conducting the survey in March, too late to compile a report on the survey results and make any adjustments to the bond proposal in time for a May election.
    Despite those issues, Henderson made a motion to conduct the poll, which failed for lack of a second.
    O’Leary made the motion to not conduct a survey.
    “I think we’ve had a tremendous amount of public input. We’ve been working on this since October of last year. We’ve had many town halls; we’ve had many individual conversations with citizens,” O’Leary said. “I’m comfortable that we’re going to be able to come together next month with a package that makes sense for our community.

  • Chicken coop catches fire on Connie Avenue

    Los Alamos fire crews responded to a fire call in the 400 block of Connie Avenue in White Rock at 3:15 p.m. Monday.
    When crews arrived, they found a chicken coop in the backyard engulfed in flames. Crews from Los Alamos Fire Station 3 were able to extinguish the small blaze without incident. The house itself was not affected. The owner was not home at the time.
    The fire was reported by Cheryl Avenue resident Arlene Merayo.
    “I was looking out my back patio when I saw some smoke and I immediately called the fire department,” she said.
    The incident did pen in a few residents on the street, but within an hour of the fire being extinguished traffic was free to move again.

  • LAPS lowered to ‘B’

    The Los Alamos Public Schools has been downgraded to a “B” by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The district received its annual report card Tuesday.
    “Overall I’m pleased with how are kids are performing and also well aware we can do better and we are going to do better,” said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus, which was based on last year’s performance.
    The summary includes assessments of student achievement, school board qualifications, educator quality, demographics, expenditures and parent satisfaction.
    The report card included a specific grade for each of the district’s seven schools.
    Aspen Elementary and Los Alamos High School each received an “A,” and the other district elementary schools received a “B.”
    Los Alamos Middle School received a “C.”
    Students were graded in reading, math and science in grades three through 11.
    “There’s always room for increasing the percent of students who are proficient in reading and mathematics,” Steinhaus said. “We are going to continue to provide that extra support.”

  • Public meeting on wastewater treatment plant replacement Wednesday

    Residents are invited to a public meeting on the Los Alamos County White Rock Water Resource Recovery Facility (wastewater treatment plant) Project from 4 – 7 p.m. Wednesday at the White Rock Branch Library.

    Los Alamos County is in the process of rehabilitating and replacing the existing White Rock Water Resource Recovery Facility. The project is proposed to begin design in early 2017, with project completion by late 2019.
    Several alternative methods are under consideration to complete this action including using various treatment options to update the system and updating the facility infrastructure.
    The purpose of this public meeting is to review the preliminary engineering report (PER) and environmental information document (EID), seek public comment, identify issues of concern, present the range of alternatives considered and enlist public participation in development of the project plan.
    Agenda:
    4 – 4:30 p.m. – Open house
    4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Presentation
    5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Question and answer session
    Printed copies of the PER and the EID are available for review at the White Rock Branch Library, 10 Sherwood Blvd., White Rock, NM. Copies of available documents may also be requested from Julie Dickey, Marron and Associates, at the information below.

  • beWellnm tele-town hall tomorrow

    beWellnm, the official health insurance exchange for New Mexico, is hosting two telephone town halls with constituents to address confusion about how to obtain health insurance. The tele-town halls reach thousands of New Mexicans and provide an excellent opportunity to educate and guide people who need help during the enrollment period.

    The calls will be hosted by former KOAT-TV news anchor Nelson Martinez, and representatives from beWellnm will be available to answer questions from people who participate.

    The English tele-town hall will take place Wednesday 7 p.m. The Spanish tele-town hall will take place on Thursday 7 p.m. Call 877-228-2184, code 113868 to join either session.

  • New Mexico State Police: Shots fired at officer hit vehicle

    TAOS (AP) — Authorities say shots were fired at a New Mexico State Police officer and that a search is underway for two suspects who were in a vehicle the officer was attempting to stop.

    Sgt. Chad Pierce says the bullets fired at the officer in the Taos area Monday evening missed the officer but struck his vehicle several times.

    Pierce says the suspects are considered armed and dangerous and that a search is being conducted in an area immediately south of Taos.