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Today's News

  • San Ildefonso Road tunnel to close

    San Ildefonso Road Pedestrian tunnel at the Diamond Drive roundabout will be closed starting Monday for about three weeks as the tunnel undergoes rehabilitation.
    Crews from GM Emulsion will remove the existing concrete slab in the tunnel and construct a structural shotcrete lining around the tunnel.
    The rehabilitation work is necessary to remediate the corrosion of the existing corrugated steel plate around the perimeter of the tunnel. For questions about the work, call 662-8150 or email to lacpw@lacnm.us.

  • US businesses cheer judge’s overtime ruling

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Businesses around the country on Wednesday cheered a court decision blocking the Obama administration’s sweeping new overtime rules, but many had already raised salaries or ordered managers to stick to a strict 40-hour workweek to avoid costs they expected to incur starting next week.
    An injunction issued Tuesday by the federal court in the Eastern District of Texas prevents the Department of Labor from mandating overtime pay for salaried employees who make less than about $47,500 a year — a dramatic jump from the old threshold of $23,660.
    More than 4 million workers would have been newly eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the rule, which now faces far more uncertainty from Donald Trump’s incoming administration.
    The ruling giving businesses a reprieve “is a little late for a lot of people’s taste,” said Tom Gimbel of Chicago-based LaSalle Network, a staffing firm that advised companies on how to prepare for the new rule.
    Wal-Mart, for example, raised entry-level managers’ starting salaries by $3,500 in September to stay above the threshold.

  • Council to review bond projects, water plan

    The Los Alamos County Council will hear an update on scoping for the 2017 recreation bond projects and a presentation on the revised long-range water supply plan at its regular meeting Tuesday.
    Also on the agenda is a citizens’ petition requesting the installation of two speed humps on North Road in front of Mountain Elementary School.
    For details on the recreational bonds projects, read “Weigh in on rec bond projects Thursday” in the Los Alamos Monitor’s Nov. 16 edition and “Residents look at Rec bond package,” published Nov. 21.
    See “County to hold meeting on water supply plan Tuesday,” published Nov. 14, and “Water supply plan weighed by public,” published Nov. 21, for more on the long-range water supply plan.
    For Tuesday’s complete agenda packet, go to losalamos.legistar.com.
    Tuesday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

  • NM mulls partial closure plan for WIPP

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico regulators have received a formal proposal from the U.S. Department of Energy to close part of the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository due to safety and contamination concerns.
    The repository has been shuttered since February 2014, when a chemical reaction inside an inappropriately packed drum of waste triggered a radiation release.
    The closure halted the shipment of tons of Cold War-era waste from sites across the country, stalling a multibillion-dollar cleanup campaign by the Energy Department.
    The incident also resulted in an overhaul of policies and procedures, costly work to mitigate the contamination, and a multimillion-dollar settlement with the state of New Mexico for numerous permit violations.
    Under the proposal to close part of the underground area, federal officials want to install a series of steel barriers that would permanently seal off disposal rooms and other main corridors in the southern end, reducing the chance of waste disposal and mining activities stirring up dust and contamination.
    The barriers would reduce the footprint of the contaminated areas by about 60 percent, officials said.

  • Teachers treated to special event

    With a live jazz band playing in the background and multiple prize giveaways happening every hour, it wasn’t a typical teachers event, and that suited the teachers just fine.
    Nov. 18 was “Teacher Appreciation Day,” a day when the community reached out to teachers of Los Alamos and collectively said “We care.”
    “The intent was pretty straightforward, to let teachers know they’re appreciated.” Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said. “It was organized by the District Parent Council and the school board as a way to say thank you to our teachers. One of the things that’s hard to explain is how hard a teacher works.”
    Over 100 people attended the event, where 100 gift bags filled with certificates and items from local business were given away. And, over $1,500 in gift certificates were given away.
    While the school always has an annual teacher appreciation event, this one was different. This one featured more of a personal touch from the community, as prizes, gift certificates and direct praise from parents and students was included.
    Parent District Council member Suzette Fox described the event as a “big hug” from the community to the teachers that educate its children.

  • New Mexico could be hard hit by gutting ACA

    Editor’s note: Second in a two-part series.

    According to Anne Sperling, president and CEO of Vanguard Resources, Inc., one goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – eliminating discrimination based on factors such as preexisting health conditions and gender – has one glaring flaw.
    Age discrimination is built into the premium structure, and it impacts both individuals and small businesses. That impact will only get worse if the so-called “Cadillac tax” goes into effect in 2020.
    Sperling pointed to the premium for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield bronze plan with a $6,000 deductible and a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $7,150. The premium for a 59-year-old is $820 a month. A 21-year-old pays $200 a month.
    Needless to say, the impact on individuals is tremendous. But small employers – defined as one to 50 employees in New Mexico and up to 100 employees in other states – also feel both the financial and administrative burden of those rates.
    Large employers receive composite rates, in which the age of the population is averaged. Rates for small employers are based on the age of each individual in the organization.

  • Trash steals the show at Fuller Lodge

    They came down the runway at Fuller Lodge Saturday sporting gowns made entirely of swim caps or shimmering with recycled CDs and pop tabs. Newspaper, egg cartons, old socks and even political junk mail were all transformed into whimsical creations by contestants in the Recycle Fashion Show.
    The annual show, sponsored by the Los Alamos Environmental Services Division, uses frivolity and fun to encourage recycling.
    Although most of the designs would be impractical for actual wear (try sitting encased in a box decorated with egg cartons or wearing a dress made of paper bags), they displayed an enormous amount of creativity and encouraged audience members to literally “think outside the box” when it comes to reusing materials.
    Contestants were required to use at least 75-percent recycled or reused materials that would have otherwise ended up in the trash or recycle bin. Outfits made strictly of vintage clothes or trash bags were not accepted.
    Joyce Haven emceed the show wearing a recycled jacket adorned with recycled ties. She also modeled the shirt she was wearing, made from a pair of recycled pants.
    The top prize in the child’s category went to Harper Barras for “Sparkle Swirl,” a dress made from panels of woven newspaper and other recycled paper and decorated with swirls and glitter.

  • Thanksgiving Fire Safety tips from LAFD

    Los Alamos, New Mexico— Los Alamos Fire Department would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. During this holiday season Los Alamos Fire Department wants to keep you and your loved ones safe with these important safety tips.

    • Make sure your smoke alarms are working (test them by pressing the test button- you should hear a loud beep) and replace batteries if needed. Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms.
    • While cooking keep a close watch. Never leave food unattended.
    • Children are excited and curious about all the activity going on in their homes. Keep children at least 3-feet away from hazards including stoves, hot foods, hot liquids, lighters, matches, candles and knives. Keep cords from dangling over counters; these can be dangerous to a curious child. The steam or splash from hot foods or liquids could cause serious burns.
    • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. In case of a grease fire, keep a lid nearby. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the stove. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

  • Prep girl's basketball: ’Toppers tame St. Mike’s

    The Los Alamos girl’s basketball team improved to 1-1 on the season with a 39-36 win against St. Michael’s on Tuesday in Santa Fe.
    Senior forward Shannon Irwin gave the Hilltoppers a 37-36 lead, after hitting a free throw. Senior Ashley Logan provided the final points for Los Alamos with a pair of clutch free throws. Logan also came up with a big block in the final defensive stand.
    The Hilltoppers continued to use its strength on the defense, as they only allowed four points in the first quarter and two in the final quarter.
    However, the Horsemen outscored Los Alamos 18-8 in the second quarter to take a 22-19 lead at halftime. St. Michael’s continued to apply pressure taking a 34-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
    In the final eight minutes, Los Alamos outscored the Horsemen 9-2.
    Sienna Ahlers led the Hilltoppers with 14 points.  
     

  • Prep boys basketball: LA outlasts Valencia in opener

    Mike Kluk said that not many teams would match up in size with his Los Alamos boys basketball team.
    Tuesday was a good indicator of that, as the Hilltoppers outmuscled a small Valencia team to a 44-37 season-opening win at Griffith Gym.
    “The bigs did a good job passing in the interior,” Kluk said. “We had some first game jitters. But it was a good first game for us against an opponent that we should beat. We got to practice and see a lot of things.”
    After Valencia got off to an 8-0 start and a 14-9 first-quarter lead, Los Alamos dominated the second quarter defensively, not allowing a single point in the frame en route to taking a 21-14 lead at halftime.  
    “We got on a little streak there and got a big enough lead to hold without giving it away,” Kluk said. “The boys did a pretty good job controlling the ball and ran a lot of clock toward the end. We were trying not to force it but at the same time we were still trying to score.”
    The Hilltoppers continued the pressure on defense in the second half, holding the Jaguars scoreless until the 4:34 mark of the third quarter. Michael Naranjo led Los Almaos with seven points in the third quarter. A Cade Gastway bucket with five seconds left gave the Hilltoppers a 33-24 lead going into the final quarter.