Today's News

  • ‘Granite Mountain’ crews to impact area

    A movie filming in the area will produce special effects and closures through the end of July, county officials announced this week.
    “Granite Mountain,” a film based on the real-life Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of wildland firefighters that battled a fire in Arizona.
    The production is based at Pajarito Mountain, and started filming Sunday. The production will continue through July 29 and will be producing the special effects and impacts.
    Film crews will conducted a controlled ground fire Tuesday on Pajarito Mountain, under direct supervision of the Los Alamos Fire Department’s wildland division. Ground fires are set to be conducted June 27 and June 28.
    For updates on real-life fire events, residents and visitors may check nmfireinfo.com, nmfireinfo on Facebook, the Fire Restrictions Hotline: 1-877-864-6985 or the Santa Fe National Forest Fire Information Hotline: 1-877-971-FIRE (3473).
    Film crews will create smoke effects Thursday, June 30 and July 1, under the supervision of the Los Alamos Fire Department’s wildland division. The smoke will be produced from a natural, water-based compound that looks like real smoke, with black and grey components.

  • Hot, dirty work of fire suppression needs support

    The Dog Head Fire in Torrance and Bernalillo counties roared to life just as a couple of important bills were under debate in Congress.
    A few upbeat notes: We’ve seen a fast response by helpers to raise money, pitch in at evacuation sites, and bring animals to the State Fair Grounds for safekeeping. Southwest Incident Management posts timely information on its website and has a Facebook page, so if you’re sitting in an evacuation center you know what’s going on.
    Fire fighters are, again, our heroes. Locals have been lavish in posting their praise and thanks, except for one guy: “Who will reimburse me for all the days spent in a hotel, and all the food lost in my refrigerator/freezers since the power was cut????”
    That provoked a response: “Give these people a break, for crying out loud! It’s a natural flippin’ disaster and people are working their butts off trying to keep others and property safe.”

  • LFC in Artesia: Ominous federal regulatory clouds over oil and gas

    Just how little we know about the New Mexico world around us is one lesson from the mid-June visit to Artesia by the Legislative Finance Committee’s traveling summer road show.
    Massive danger from Obama administration regulatory overreach (putting it politely) is another lesson.
    Holding meetings around the state allows legislators to get some direct knowledge of people and activities and provides an opportunity for those, such as Eddy County Commissioners Stella Davis and James Walterscheid, who both attended the Artesia session, to get acquainted with respected senators and representatives.
    LFC members coming to Artesia included Sen. John Arthur Smith, Deming; Rep Jimmie Hall, Albuquerque; Rep. Paul Bandy, Aztec; Sen. Carlos Cisneros, Questa; Rep. Jason Harper, Albuquerque; Sen. Carroll Leavell, Jal; and Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, Gallup.
    Oil was the topic for the day in Artesia. One illustration of different legislator perspective came as the group toured Elite Well Services (elitewells.com). The firm and its facilities are a long way from Sandia National Laboratories where Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, earns his living. Employment of the highest technologies connects Elite and Sandia. A layman-level summary of extracting oil was a highlight at Elite Services.

  • On the Docket 6-22-16

    Mele Vaka Vete was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit in a school zone. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Eddie L. Rios  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 16 to 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Paul Mendoza paid a $50 fine for failing to display a current, valid registration plate while parked.

    June 11
    Tamara R. Jim was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Emanuele Mereghetti was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    June 13
    Zhoushen Huang was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentencing deferred until Aug. 11. Defendant also sentence to defensive driving school. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • CIP consultant approved

    Los Alamos County Council approved a $560,000 contract with Dekker/Perich/Sabatini for architectural and engineering services for the proposed 2017 Capital Improvement bond projects at its June 14 meeting.
    The consultants will be required to bring all 12 projects up to the same level of schematic design, select a preferred site if there are alternatives to consider and refine current cost estimates to help support a finalized list of projects to carry forward for a $20 to $25 million bond issue.
    Dekker/Perich/Sabatini will also provide estimates for annual operation, maintenance and staffing requirements and extensive public outreach.
    The contract was approved 6-0. Steve Girrens was not in attendance.
    Council also approved $4,411,444 for a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System which will replace the software used by Information Management, Financial Management, Human Resources and Payroll and Utilities Management.
    The budget council approved for the project included a $2,099,058 budget revision. Council had previously approved a budget of $2,312,386.

  • Health officials urge public awareness about dangers of tularemia

    Officials from the New Mexico Health Department are urging residents to educate themselves about the dangers of tularemia, a bacterial-borne disease most prevalent this time of year.  
    While the New Mexico Department of Health has not confirmed any cases in humans in Los Alamos County this year, the department confirmed 33 cases of cats and dogs infected by tularemia in Los Alamos, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Taos and Torrance counties last year.
    Tularemia is also known as “rabbit fever,” since rodents are the main carriers and incubators of the bacterial infection.
    There was also one case of a 51-year-old Los Alamos County man getting the disease last year. He was hospitalized, treated and has since made a full recovery.
    This year, the DOH has confirmed four cases of tularemia in pets, and no human cases.
    The disease is named after the bacterium Francisella tularensis. It is passed to animals through infected ticks and deer flies. Humans can also get it through ticks and deer flies and handling infected animals. Infection is usually followed by symptoms that include chills, fever, diarrhea, muscle ache, joint pain, skin and mouth ulcers, chest pain, painful lymph glands, sore throat and pneumonia.

  • Marathoner recovers from bear attack

    A woman who was attacked by a black bear Saturday in the Jemez Mountains is now recovering at home.
    Karen Williams was running in the 2016 Valles Caldera Runs in the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos when she was attacked by a black bear Saturday. She was released from the hospital Sunday, and posted details about the encounter on Facebook.
    The female black bear attacked Williams after she surprised it as she was coming over a hill. The bear bit at her neck and head, but went away when Williams curled up and played dead.
    “I tried to look around but was having trouble seeing much,” the Los Alamos resident described on her Facebook page Monday. “I tried to sit up but was nauseated and my arms didn’t seem to work right.”  
    Her husband, Mike Engelhardt told the Los Alamos Monitor Tuesday Williams just wanted to put the incident behind her.
    “She’s getting better and just wants to go on with life,” he said.
    Englehardt assured friends and family on Facebook that Williams was recovering after the harrowing encounter.   

  • Council moves some sheriff’s funds to police

    Los Alamos County Council approved a budget adjustment last week that moves money from the budget of the sheriff’s office to the Los Alamos Police Department.
    The budget adjustment allows an office specialist’s services to be transferred to the LAPD and makes it a full-time position.
    The move, made at the June 14 meeting, is in response to a resolution council passed last month, which moved process-serving duties from the sheriff’s department to the police department.
    “The primary issue there is retention of existing knowledge,” County Manager Harry Burgess said. “Within the sheriff’s department there is a senior office specialist position, which has a large role in that process serving issue, and we’d like to benefit from that particular person’s abilities and knowledge, as the police department embarks on a duty they have not performed before.”
    Sheriff Marco Lucero argued that his office should keep the office specialist, who also maintains the sex offender registry and answers phones.
    When questioned, he estimated that approximately 60 percent of the office specialist’s time is devoted to process-serving administration and 40 percent on other duties.

  • Today in history June 21
  • MOWW meeting tonight

    The Military Order of the World Wars Chapter 229 will meet tonight at 6 p.m. at the Los Alamos Research Park Building, second-floor conference room, located west ofthe South Mesa Fire Station.

    This month’s speaker is CPT Michael Helpin USMC, who will speak on “Fourth Turning.” Helpin is the commander of MOWW Region XIII, chair of the MOWW National Membership Committee, president of the Sunbelt Patriotic Youth Leadership Conference Inc., and past commander of the Santa Fe and Phoenix Chapters of the MOWW.

    Helpin is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. He has done many things in many places but mostly in aviation and airport management. Among his accomplishments are standing atop Mt. Suribachi viewing the invasion beaches of Iwo Jima; piloting a B-17 Flying Fortress; and making eye contact and exchanging a friendly wave with Queen Elizabeth II in London. Semper Fi!

    Parking is available east to the fire station (accessible from southbound land of the Los Alamos Canyon Bridge) or east of the Research Park building (access is through the LANL control stations to West Jemez road.) Entrance to the Research Park main conference room is from the ground level by use of the ground level elevator on the east side of the building to the 2nd level.