Today's News

  • Council sets priorities for state capital outlay projects

    The Los Alamos County Council approved the county’s wish list Tuesday for state capital outlay funding.
    In order to be considered for capital outlay funds, the state requires applicants to prepare and submit a five-year Infrastructure and Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP).
    “The ICIP was originally a planning tool. It then kind of became a tool by which the state reviews all our grant submissions, our state capital outlay requests and the like, and in fact, they utilize this list to measure against any requests that counties, municipalities and other agencies make to assure that there’s been adequate planning and preparation for such projects, instead of a kneejerk, quick request type of situation,” said County Manager Harry Burgess.
    The county’s list includes 90 projects ranging from infrastructure improvements and building upgrades, to airport hangars and a meal truck for the Betty Ehart Senior Center. All utility capital projects and all general county capital projects that have been through the county’s CIP process are on the list.
    The state requires those requesting funds to prioritize and submit additional information for their top five projects.

  • Council proclaims September ‘Voter Registration Month’

    The Los Alamos County Council issued a proclamation Tuesday declaring September “Voter Registration Month,” and Sept. 27 as “Voter Registration Day” in Los Alamos County.
    “You are the first council/commission to issue a proclamation,” County Clerk Sharon Stover told council. “It’s something that’s going on nationally, but I think we’re the first county in the state to have this.”
    Stover credits her staff with the idea of issuing the proclamation as a means of raising awareness about the upcoming election, and for conducting voter registration agent training and voter registration drives throughout the month and into early October.
    Los Alamos County already ranks first in New Mexico for voter turnout. The county has averaged 70 percent participation in general elections since 2006. This year’s primary saw 45 percent turnout.
    But the clerk’s office is determined to reach every voter they can. Their first event will be a voter registration agent training for those wishing to solicit and provide assistance to another person in the completion of a voter registration form. The training is scheduled from 3:30–5 p.m. Sept. 14 in council chambers.

  • School board to discuss gun safes Tuesday

    The Los Alamos School Board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss its decision to install gun safes at the middle and high school.
    The meeting is in response to the reaction the board received following national online news reports about the Aug. 25 decision.
    The board approved a Los Alamos Police Department recommendation to install the safes and stock them with AR-15s, shotguns, safety and first aid equipment that may be needed in active-shooter events.
    The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. in the school board room at 2075 Trinity Drive, Suite V.
    Los Alamos School Board President Jim Hall said he was appalled by some of the exaggerations by news outlets about the police installing an “arsenal of AR-15s” inside the safes. He said he felt the meeting was necessary so the board could explain to the public the purpose the safes will have in district’s overall school safety plan.
    “In my opinion, this is in response to the misinformation that’s out there,” Hall said.
    “What we’re going to do is talk about our whole student safety program, and try to put the whole gun safe issue in context,” Hall said. “Clearly, there are going to be people who are going to focus on the gun safe issue.”

  • McMillan: LANL’s infrastructure problems threaten maintenance of nuclear stockpile

    Some plumbing and electrical systems at Los Alamos National Laboratory are in such disrepair, they threaten the lab’s mission of maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile, Director Charlie McMillan told members of a House subcommittee Wednesday.
    In McMillan’s testimony to the U.S. House Strategic Forces Subcommittee in Washington, D.C., he talked about infrastructure problems at LANL.
    “Let me just give you an example from last weekend. We had the air conditioning systems in the vaults of one of our classified computers fail, and when that went down, that took out the computing systems we need to support experimental work,” McMillan said to Rep. Mike Rogers (Dist. 3-Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee.
    McMillan and other nuclear officials testified before the subcommittee about the growing backlog of work that was needed at all nuclear facilities across the country.
    The cost of fixing the problems is now at $3.7 billion, according to the National Nuclear Safety Administration.
    “This backlog is now actively threatening (National Nuclear Safety Administration’s) mission and the safety of its workers,” Rogers said.
    Rogers also described what he and ranking subcommittee member, Rep Jim Cooper (Dist. 5-Tenn.) saw on tours of some of the facilities.

  • Today in history Sept. 8
  • State Health Dept.: Valencia County man dies from West Nile

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Department of Health officials say a 63-year-old Valencia County man has died from West Nile virus.

    They say the man developed neuroinvasive disease and was hospitalized before his death.

    It's the second human case of West Nile infection identified in New Mexico this year and the state's first West Nile fatality in 2016.

    The man's name wasn't released Thursday.

    Last year, the New Mexico Department of Health identified 14 cases of West Nile virus in people, including 12 with neuroinvasive disease. There were no fatalities.

    Authorities say there are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile.

    They say people over 50 and those with other health issues are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying when they become infected with the virus.

  • New Mexico governor, lawmakers no closer to special session

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration and Democratic state lawmakers exchanged more blame Thursday for inaction as New Mexico grapples with a growing budget deficit.

    Martinez promised earlier this summer to call a special legislative session so lawmakers could address a nearly quarter-billion-dollar shortfall from the last fiscal year and an estimated $458 million hole for the fiscal year that started in July.

    She wanted lawmakers to agree at least on the building blocks of a possible solution so the session will be quick and efficient and thus cost taxpayers less.

    No agreements have been reached, and some state officials say time is running out.

    Martinez says she has already asked departments under her control to cut back but that Democratic lawmakers haven't shared that message with other independent state agencies or offered their own plan for shoring up the state's finances.

    Democrats criticized Martinez, saying her executive requests won't go far enough to make up for revenues that have failed to materialize because of weak oil and natural gas prices and the ripple effect they have had on local economies from Artesia and Hobbs to Bloomfield. They have called on Martinez to present more specific proposals.

  • Newton brings rain, cooler temps to Southwest

    PHOENIX (AP) — Less intense remnants of Newton brought rain and cooler temperatures to Southwest Wednesday as the tropical storm crossed the border from Mexico into southern Arizona.

    The National Weather Service in Tucson reported light to moderate rainfall throughout the day. The area has seen about 0.9 inches of rain, meteorologist Emily French said.

    There were no reports of injuries and only one street under a freeway bridge was flooded.

    Newton also brought a more tropical-like climate in the form of temperatures in the 70s and relative humidity between 75 and 90 percent. Compare that with the usually more muggy Miami, which had a humidity of 61 percent and a high of 98 degrees Wednesday.

    The desert region is more prone to getting monsoon thunderstorms at this time of the year that stir up dust storms or rain.

    "It's not our typical monsoon patter at the moment, that's what makes it more unusual," French said. "But it's not unheard of for southern Arizona to have gotten hit by tropical storms before."

    Newton was rapidly weakening as a tropical storm after slamming the resorts of Mexico's southern Baja as a hurricane and making landfall on the country's mainland.

  • Fidel Guiterrez Memorial Golf Tourney Sept. 19
  • Community Calendar 9-7-16

    Brown Bag Lunch featuring a performance by Enchanted Strings Quintet at noon at Fuller Lodge. The Los Alamos Arts Council begins its fall season with this free noontime performance. The music to be performed is Shubert’s string Quintet in C major (D. 956, Op. psoth. 163), the “Double Cello Quintet.”

     Bag Days at Jemez Thrift Shop 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fill a big brown paper bag for $5.
    Nature Yoga at 5:15 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members, $12 for members.

    The Los Alamos Federated Republican Women will resume its regular meetings at noon at the Los Alamos GOP headquarters located between Subway Sandwich Shop and Viola’s at 1362 Trinity Drive, Unit C. Hear from Kelly Benner about her experience as a New Mexico Delegate at Large to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, contact Donna MacDonald at 662-4001.