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Today's News

  • Crime down, DWIs up in LA

    Rape, assault, burglary and larceny in Los Alamos declined substantially in 2016, while crimes like auto theft and arson increased by 100 percent from last year, according to the Los Alamos Police Department’s annual report.
    In 2016, there were three cases of rape, 13 cases of aggravated assault, one case of aggravated robbery, 12 cases of larceny, six cases of auto theft and two cases of arson.
    The most dramatic shift was in drunken driving cases, with DWI cases going up by 24 cases – or 75 percent – in 2016.
    Vehicle accidents decreased by 15.5 percent in 2016.
    The LAPD began publishing quarterly and yearly crime reports in 2014.
    LAPD wanted to highlight the DWI cases because of the dramatic increase and the seriousness of the issue, said LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone.
    The department is working on ways to identify what times of the year and day DWI crimes are more likely to occur most in an effort to better understand and combat the issue, Sgambellone said Thursday.
    “We’re doing a more substantive analysis using the day, time of the week, age, gender and other forms of data to see if there are any trends that we can devote some prevention and education resources, too,” Sgambellone said.

  • County website unavailable Saturday

    The Los Alamos County website will be unavailable on Saturday, Feb. 4, due to regularly scheduled maintenance.

  • Prep boys basketball: ‘Toppers fall at Capital, 58-36

    It was one of those games where the Los Alamos boys basketball team couldn’t capitalize from a hefty size advantage.
    Instead, the Hilltoppers couldn’t cope with the speed of the Capital guards, as the Jaguars pulled away late and handed Los Alamos a 58-36 loss Tuesday night in Santa Fe.
    “We were not surprised that we lost,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. “We didn’t play all that well and it was disappointing.”
    The Hilltoppers fell to 1-2 in District 2-5A and 9-11 overall, while Capital stayed within a game of first place and improved to 17-4 overall.
    In its previous two games, Los Alamos was able to get productivity from post players. But those games happened 11 and 14 days prior to Tuesday, as games against Goddard and Española Valley were cancelled and rescheduled.
    “I don’t know how much it had to do with us not playing in over a week,” Kluk said. “We had a week of practice leading up to Espanola but that didn’t end up happening, Maybe that had something to do with it.”

  • Prep girls hoops: Capital upends LA

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team was unable to ride the wave of momentum that it created after last Monday’s big win against Albuquerque Academy.
    The Hilltoppers fell to 6-16 overall and 1-3 in District 2-5A, after dropping a 50-47 decision against Capital Wednesday at Griffith Gym. The Jaguars picked up their first district win and improved to 4-18 overall.
    Capital’s Miranda Cortez took over in the final two minutes. Cortez drove to the basket and tied it 45-45 with 2:16 left in the game and on the ensuing possession she gave the Jaguars a 48-45 lead. Kyannah Cole was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 50-45 with 23 seconds left.
    Los Alamos once again started firing on all cylinders in the first quarter. The Hilltoppers outscored Capital 19-13 in the opening eight minutes. The second quarter was a different story. Los Alamos’ only second quarter points were three free throws by Rebecca Green. Meanwhile, the Jaguars got four points a piece from Cortez, Cole and Deeanza Booker to take a 25-22 lead at halftime.
    In the third quarter, Elena Abeyta provided five points for Los Alamos but that wasn’t enough to avoid being outscored by Capital 11-10 in the period.
    Abeyta paced Los Alamos with 10 points, while Sienna Ahlers added eight.

  • Today in history Feb. 2
  • New Mexico Land Office suggests land swap for border wall

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is proposing a federal land swap in order to make room for President Donald Trump's promised border wall.

    In a letter to Trump signed Wednesday, Dunn proposed to swap state surface and mineral estate rights within three miles or less of the U.S.-Mexico border for what he called "more desirable" land in Chaves, Lincoln and Otero counties.

    Dunn's office said that if the Trump administration refuses the swap offer, the federal government will have to pay New Mexico $3 million for an easement to construct the wall on state land.

    Last month, Trump signed an executive order demanding the immediate construction of a wall across nearly 2,000 miles of the border. The federal government needs to own all land within a few miles of the border for construction.

  • 2017 State Legislature: Better vehicle mileage crimps NM’s road fund

    BY BRUCE KRASNOW
    The New Mexican

  • State organic certification program withering from funding drought

    By Staci Matlock

    The New Mexican

    Satisfying consumer demand for organic products in New Mexico is an expanding industry, but the state program responsible for inspecting and certifying organic farms is withering financially.

    The New Mexico Organic Certification Program has grappled with a $100,000-a-year deficit since the state cut the small agency's funding in 2010 and capped the fees it could collect from more than 150 organic farmers and processors.

    Now the state Department of Agriculture is looking at options to save the program, including raising farmers' fees to cover costs, a move likely to meet with mixed reactions. But many growers and processors say they want the state program to continue rather than turning to private companies for organic certification.

    "We desperately want them to stay and think they are an integral part of organic agriculture in the state. Organics are a growing industry and need that support," said John McMullin, the farm manager at Embudo Valley Organics, which raises turkeys. "My feeling is if we had a better governor and a better Legislature, they would have been fully funding the program."

    Facing a state budget deficit, lawmakers this year and next are unlikely to restore funding, much less increase it.

  • 2017 State Legislature: House bill calling for $2M in tuition aid for preschool teachers advances

    By Robert Nott
    The New Mexican

    A measure that would provide $2 million in tuition assistance for preschool teachers to further their education advanced in the state House on Wednesday, with unanimous approval from lawmakers on the Education Committee.

    The money, which would come from the state's general fund, would help retain early childhood educators and allow them to command higher wages, said the bill's sponsors, Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences.

    "This is directly tied to the quality of [the early childhood education] staff," Dow said during Wednesday's hearing on House Bill 135. She said the vast majority of educators who would benefit from the bill are women and minorities.

    A 2016 report by the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services said preschool teachers in the U.S. earn an average of $28,570, far less than the average salary of a kindergarten teacher -- over $51,000 -- and less than the wages of waiters, janitors and pest-control workers.

    As a result, said Baji Rankin, executive director of the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children, retaining early childhood educators is a challenge.

  • Two New Mexico cities put values on display

    How do you want people to think about your community?
    If you live in Carlsbad, the nation currently knows your town through a Facebook post. If you live in Santa Fe, the nation has heard about Santa Fe’s declaration as a sanctuary city.
     In case you were abducted by aliens, Carlsbad City Councilor J. R. Doporto said on Facebook: “Just want to give a heads up to the women! You have rights! A right to cook and a right to clean. Today is Sunday and the NFL playoffs our (sic) on! I suggest you stop your b!tch!ng/protesting during this time. Because you also have a right to get slapped!”
    For that, he lost his job.
    Doporto has said he was just joking and claims his right to freedom of speech has been violated. His wife says he’s a good husband and father.
    I’m not going to rant about the post – plenty of other people have done that. My concern – and I write about this periodically – is how New Mexico is perceived on the outside.
    Doporto’s post made news all over New Mexico and, after Cox Media Group and the Huffington Post picked it up, across the nation. For a community that’s dependent in part on tourists, this isn’t healthy.