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Today's News

  • Police pursue charges against local man

    Santa Fe Police Captain Aric Wheeler said Thursday night that animal cruelty charges are expected to be filed against Los Alamos restaurateur/realtor Jake Smith, soon.

    Wheeler said the police have been in contact with the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office about the appropriate charges after the decomposed bodies of two dogs that apparently starved to death were taken from Smith’s Santa Fe apartment earlier this month.

    The police and DA are working to determine whether to file felony or misdemeanor charges.

    “There is cruelty to animals at different levels and we are looking at previous case law,” Wheeler said. “We have to determine what type of cruelty to animals case this falls under.”

    Wheeler and the police department want to file felony charges but it is not their call.

  • Park design gets favorable response

    Final design plans for Ashley Pond Park renovations received a largely positive response from approximately 25 residents who attended an informational meeting Wednesday. 

    Los Alamos County Parks Manager Dick McIntyre and project consultant George Radnovich, a principal of Sites Southwest, LLC, presented the design plans and responded to a wide range of questions. 

    The main purpose of the redesign is the restoration of Ashley Pond, which is in the early stages of eutrophication — a depletion of oxygen in the water. The pond will be completely reconstructed with new aeration systems and wetlands as well as landscape buffers and drainage solutions to decrease runoff — all focused on improving water quality.

    The 90 percent design review included modifications based on feedback from earlier meetings. The pond will retain a fountain at the center and a new waterfall that will help with aeration has been relocated to the western side of the pond, away from the location for a permanent stage.

    The sidewalk between the new stage, which projects out over the pond. and a dance platform was widened to 18-feet to provide better access around the pond during concerts.

  • Probe points to lax practices

    First in a series

    A recently released 116-page federal report said the accident involving Technetium-99 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Neutron Center was “entirely preventable.”

    The federal report detailed how on Aug. 20, a LANL worker at the Neutron Science Center unknowingly opened a canister, which contained an uncontrolled radioactive substance.

    It was quickly determined that the contamination had spread offsite and response teams were immediately brought in. 

  • Petraeus believed terrorists behind Libya attack

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers during private hearings Friday that he believed all along that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was a terrorist strike, even though that wasn't how the Obama administration initially described it publicly.

    The retired general addressed the House Intelligence Committee in his first Capitol Hill testimony since resigning last week over an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, but he did not discuss that scandal except to express regret about the circumstances of his departure.

    Lawmakers said Petraeus testified that the CIA's talking points written in response to the assault on the diplomat post in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus told the lawmakers it was removed by other federal agencies who made changes to the CIA's draft.

  • Stock up on Twinkies... Hostess Ceases Operations, 18,500 Out of Work
  • Today in History for November 16th
  • 4 dead, 17 hurt when train hits Texas vets parade

    MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Authorities say four people are dead and 17 others are injured after a train slammed into a parade float headed to a West Texas event honoring wounded veterans.

    City of Midland spokesman Ryan Stout says the crash happened at a Union Pacific railroad crossing around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Stout says 10 of those injured are in critical condition at Midland Memorial Hospital, while the seven others are in stable condition.

    National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson says the NTSB is investigating. A message left with a Union Pacific spokeswoman was not returned.

    The parade was supposed to end at a "Hunt for Heroes" banquet. The wounded service members were then going to be treated to a deer-hunting trip this weekend.

  • BPU endorses new sewer rates

    The Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously on Wednesday to endorse an increase in sewer rates proposed by the Department of Public Utilities.

    The hike is necessary to cover the costs of repairing and replacing the 50- to 60-year-old infrastructure. The proposed ordinance increases overall sewer rates but also simplifies residential customers’ bills to a restructured flat fee every month. It removes the variable rate that is based on the amount of potable water consumed during winter months. The ordinance also includes continuing annual rate increases of eight percent for the next four years beginning in June 2013 to meet the critical future capital expenses of the sewer collection and wastewater treatment systems.

    Commercial customers will continue to be charged a variable rate, but under the proposed ordinance these customers will pay the $7 customer fee in lieu of the previous fixed rate. The commercial variable rate will increase from $5.89 to $11.91 and will be based on the winter average of potable water consumed with a minimum 2000 gallons or other measuring period as determined appropriate by the DPU based on seasonal or other non-traditional water use patterns. Commercial customers’ rates will also rise by 8 percent a year through 2016.

  • Volleyball loses to Piedra Vista, splits with Centennial

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team went 1-3 in pool play Thursday morning at the state Class 4A tournament.
    Los Alamos lost both sets to Piedra Vista, the tournament's No. 1 seed, by scores of 25-15, 25-18. Against Las Cruces Centennial, Los Alamos lost the first set 25-20, but bounced back to win the second set 25-14.
    The Hilltoppers will play an elimination match at 3 p.m. Their opponent hasn't yet been determined.

  • Be There 11-15-12

    Today
    Parents may join their middle school students for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Summit Foods invites parents to join their Hawks for turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, roll and pumpkin pie for $4. Lunchtime begins at 11:30 a.m. and parents can email losalamos@summitfoodservice.com, if they would like to attend the event.

    De Colores restaurant will sponsor a fundraiser for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund from 5-8 p.m. Listen to or participate in Street Singers of NYC — sing karaoke or play. Watch or participate in Arm Wrestling for Sandy, some of the LAFD and LAPD staff members will lend a hand. There will also be a salsa bar, with five kinds of salsa, including Hurricane Habanaro. Minimum donation is $1 per cup. There will also be soft pretzels for sale. All proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross to help vicitms of the hurricane-stricken regions.

    The American Cancer Society Relay For Life will hold a volunteer informational meeting to start planning the 2013 Relay For Life of Los Alamos. The meeting will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Comfort Inn and Suites, 2455 Trinity Dr. RSVP to gloria.martinez@cancer.org by Nov. 14, 2012.  Refreshments will be served.