Today's News

  • New Mexico AG, others support proposed wind farms

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, consumer advocates and others have reached a settlement with Xcel Energy over the utility's plans to add more wind power for customers in New Mexico and parts of Texas.

    The proposed agreement was filed Monday with New Mexico utility regulators for approval. The Public Utility Commission of Texas also will have to sign off, but officials said some work remains before a final agreement can be presented to regulators there.

    The Sagamore Wind Project is planned for Roosevelt County. It would be the largest wind farm in New Mexico, providing more than 520 megawatts of power.

    The other — with a capacity of nearly 480 megawatts — would be located in Hale County, Texas.

    As part of the agreement, the attorney general's office, staff at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and others sought certain assurances that the wind farms would benefit customers.

    "I'm committed to ensuring energy affordability and security, protecting our natural environment and growing New Mexico's fragile economy," Balderas said Monday in voicing his support for the agreement.

  • Some glitches seen in deadline week for 'Obamacare' sign-ups

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer advocates reported some glitches Monday in the final days for "Obamacare" sign-ups, although the Trump administration largely seemed to be keeping its promise of a smooth enrollment experience.

    In Illinois, some consumers who successfully completed an application for financial assistance through HealthCare.gov got a message saying they would likely be eligible to buy a health plan, "but none are available to you in your area."

    That information was incorrect because every county in the nation currently has at least one health insurer offering plans under the Affordable Care Act for next year.

    Friday is the last day to enroll for subsidized private coverage in 39 states served by the federal HealthCare.gov website.

    Consumer interest has remained brisk, even as the Trump administration cut the sign-up season in half, reducing it from roughly from 90 days to 45 days.

    Former President Barack Obama offered encouragement Monday for the closing push, posting on social media and joining a conference call with enrollment counselors.

  • Worker in Roswell reports finding human skull at public park

    ROSWELL (AP) — Police in Roswell say a city worker has found what is believed to be a human skull.

    They say the skull is being sent to the state medical investigator in Albuquerque for confirmation of its authenticity.

    Police say the skull was found last Friday afternoon next to a water pump station at Cahoon Park near Union Avenue and Riverside Drive.

    They say the skull appears to be fairly old and not related to any recent incidents or reports made to Roswell police.

  • First Snow
  • LANL contractor nets $8.5M fee for legacy cleanup

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory’s contractor in charge of cleaning up legacy (pre 1999) waste at sites on the lab’s 40-square-miles of property, received incentive pay this year.

    Los Alamos National Security, which works under the Los Alamos Environmental Management Field office, collected $8,458,736 of the $10,083,579 fee that was available.

    EM-LA gave the contractor high marks for regulatory performance and management and successfully completing a test on a network of extraction and injection wells put in place to try and stop the spread of a cancerous chemical into a regional aquifer 1,000 feet below Mortandad Canyon.

    The chemical, chromium-6, is a known cancer causing chemical. From the 1950s through the 1970s, it was used as a corrosion inhibitor in cooling towers at a LANL power plant, and along with the water in the cooling towers, it was regularly flushed out into the canyons.

    The chromium plume was discovered in 2005. The contractor was also rewarded for completing soil clean up in Upper Los Alamos Canyon. In 2017, the contractor also processed 60 drums of remediated nitrate salts.

  • School start time debate set for Tuesday

    Changing the start times for students in Los Alamos Public Schools will be debated Tuesday at a meeting of the school board.

    Students, parents, staff and community members have been talking about whether starting later – to help students get more and better sleep – should be put in place next school year.

    The board is scheduled to take action on Tuesday at its 5:30 p.m. meeting at the Administrative Board Room, 2075 Trinity Drive.

    New Mexico First, a public policy think tank, was hired by the district to study the issue. A white paper, a myriad of community discussions, alternative proposals, and a final position paper have been produced to look at the issue. The final paper is available on the school district’s website.

    A few school districts in New Mexico and others throughout the country have adopted later start times to address a lack of sleep on the part of students, according to the study.

    Recent research has shown that older teenagers have a different sleep cycle than younger children and older adults. The “deep” part of older teenagers’ sleep cycle, needed for regenerative rest, starts later, according to the studies.

    Representatives of New Mexico First told the board at its work session Nov. 30 that the community was equally split on the issue.

  • Police Beat 12-10-17

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department and court records.
    Charges or citations listed in the Police Beat do not imply guilt or non-guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons or issued a citation.

    Nov. 29
    7:48 a.m. – Santa Fe County Sheriff’s officers reported the arrest of Glenn Wissman, 57, Santa Fe, on a warrant.
    4:17 p.m. – Española Police Department officers reported the arrest of Robert J. Garcia, 24, Española, on a warrant issued in Los Alamos County.
    10 p.m. – Police responded to a reported suicide attempt.

    Nov. 30
    9:09 a.m. – Police were called to a site where an unlawful camp had been set up and a fire had been started. The site was found near mile marker 62 on NM 4.
    12:30 p.m. – A teen at Los Alamos High School was reported to have alcohol. The unidentified teen was referred to Teen Court.
    4:20 p.m. – Police responded to a report of someone threatening suicide.

    Dec. 1
    4:30 p.m. – Police arrested an unidentified person on a charge of driving on a revoked license.

  • 20th Street extension opens Thursday

    Los Alamos County officials celebrated the end of a crucial construction project Thursday afternoon on 20th Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    The county thanked contractor Gandy Dancer LLC for finishing on time and $100,000 under budget after installing $1.2 million worth of gas and electric utilities at the site. 

    Six-foot-wide sidewalks and a paved road was also installed. The county hopes that the newly paved road, ready-to-go utility hookups  and sidewalks will entice new business to that part of 20th Street. 

    The county has six lots available. 

    The county will know on Thursday, Dec. 14 if there is any interest in the parcels. The county has a pre-proposal meeting scheduled for that day.

    “We’ve already issued a request for proposals to find out who might be interested,” Izraelevitz said. “If we can move ahead with developing agreements, we could see building activity here on the south side of Trinity in the very near future.”

  • Public invited to Luminaria Walk, Buffet Wednesday

    Luminarias will be glowing for the upcoming annual holiday walk with a welcome buffet and dessert to follow on Wednesday at the Sombrillo Nursing Home and Aspen Ridge Assisted Living.

    Los Alamos Retirement Community is celebrating 33 years during this annual holiday event. Teens at the Teen Center helped fold the traditional paper bags, which will light up the evening on Wednesday around Sombrillo Court.

    The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and continues until 7:30 p.m.

    Dinner will be served at Sombrillo and dessert follows at Aspen Ridge. No RSVP is required to attend.

    More information is available by calling Cynthia at 695-8981.

  • Council approves $6.5 million for pool

    The Los Alamos County Council Tuesday approved the use of up to $6.5 million in capital improvement funds to build a multi-generational pool that will be attached to the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

    Design for the project is expected to begin in February 2018 and construction may start in February 2019 and continue through January 2020. The heated pool will feature a slide and a lazy river. The dimensions will be about 80 feet by 25 feet. The new building will also feature family changing rooms and other amenities.

    Looming large over the pool discussion was the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The lab’s management and operations contract is scheduled to go to a new contractor next year. If the lab’s contract goes to a non-profit contractor, the county, and the state, would lose millions of dollars in proceeds from the gross receipts tax. New Mexico does not apply a GRT tax to non-profits.

    Some councilors wanted to put the vote off until next year, after the contract issue with the lab was settled, and the county had a better idea of its financial picture.

    Some residents also brought up the issue during public discussion.