Today's News

  • Today in History for Jan. 17
  • House OKs nearly $9M for NM legislative session

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Legislature's 60-day session could end up costing taxpayers nearly $144,000 a day.

    The House approved unanimously approved a bill Wednesday providing $8.6 million for expenses of the legislative session. That includes salaries for staff, printing, mail, telephones and the $154 daily expense reimbursement that's paid to legislators rather than a salary.

    The measure, which is called the "feed bill" by legislators, goes to the Senate for consideration.

    Legislative sessions usually cost less than what is allocated by lawmakers. Leftover money goes into a reserve account that's used for special legislative sessions and other projects.

    The bill also provides about $24 million for the Legislature's year-round operations, including committees that meet when lawmakers aren't in session and legislative research and administrative services.

  • NM has failed to balance its checkbook since 2006

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State government hasn't properly balanced its checkbook for more than six years, and officials in Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration are warning lawmakers that New Mexico's cash surplus is $70 million to $460 million less than what has been anticipated.

    Officials stress there's no immediate risk of New Mexico bouncing checks and being unable to pay its bills because of problems in the state's computerized accounting system.

    However, New Mexico will have a smaller financial cushion in case of unexpected budget problems, and there's less surplus cash to spend on one-time projects such as capital improvements that the Legislature will consider during its 60-day session that started this week.

    It's also likely the accounting discrepancies caused New Mexico to spend state tax dollars for some projects and programs in the past rather than tapping federal money that should have been used, according to state Controller Ricky Bejarano.

  • Three-legged Dog Caught Stealing Food From Store
  • Obama Taking 23 Actions Aimed at Gun Violence--Video Extra

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Braced for a fight, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

    A month after that horrific massacre, Obama also used his presidential powers to enact 23 measures that don't require the backing of lawmakers. The president's executive actions include ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks, appointing a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.

    But the president, speaking at White House ceremony, focused his attention on the divided Congress, saying only lawmakers could enact the most effective measures for preventing more mass shootings.

    "To make a real and lasting difference, Congress must act," Obama said. "And Congress must act soon."

  • Update 01-16-13

    Coalition meeting

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities will hold its business meeting from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Friday at the Ohkay Casino Conference Center.

    Boy Scouts

    The Los Alamos Boy Scout Museum Society Inc. will hold a community-wide meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in the upstairs meeting room, over the Fabulous 50s restaurant, at the American Legion Post 90.


    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. each Tuesday at the Masonic Temple, on Sage, near the intersection of 15th and Canyon. On Jan. 22, Katherine Gauntt of the Walkin N Circles Ranch, Inc., in Edgewood, will speak on the ranch’s horse rescue program.

    Sale canceled

    The monthly surplus property sale at LANL scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 17) has been canceled because of cold and ice creating unsafe conditions. Weather permitting, the next regularly scheduled surplus property sale is Feb. 21.

    Ice rink closure

    The Los Alamos County Ice Rink will close one hour early on Feb. 15 to accommodate a private group.  Public skating will be from 1:45-6 p.m. Contact the Ice Rink at 662-4500 with any additional questions.

  • ChemCam follows road to Martian Wet Area

    Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the French Space Agency have tracked a trail of minerals that point to the prior presence of water at the Curiosity rover site on Mars.

    Researchers from the Mars Science Laboratory’s ChemCam team described how the laser instrument aboard the Curiosity Rover — an SUV-sized vehicle studying the surface of the Red Planet — has detected veins of gypsum running through an area known as Yellowknife Bay, located some 700 meters away from where the Curiosity Rover landed five months ago.

    “These veins are composed mainly of hydrated calcium sulfate, such as bassinite or gypsum,” said ChemCam team member Nicolas Mangold, of the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique de Nantes, in Nantes, France.

    “On Earth, forming veins like these requires water circulating in fractures.”

  • Black ice leads to tough commute

    The morning commute was an icy one Wednesday. The Truck Route was closed for several hours after four separate accidents, because of black ice on the roadway, according to Los Alamos Police Department’s Scott Mills. Mills said there were only minor injuries in the wrecks. He said there also was an accident on the Main Hill earlier this morning, but that has since been cleared and the road is open. 

  • Voter concerns come to forefront

    During the first work session of the year, Los Alamos County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers asked newly elected councilors Steve Girrens, Kristin Henderson and Pete Sheehey to relate voters’ concerns they heard on the campaign trail last fall.

    Sheehey spoke up first, saying the overriding thing he heard was that the county “spends too much.” Capital improvement projects were one concern, with people not only wondering if the county could afford to build the projects but to maintain them.

    “I would say most people I talked to, we live here, we work at the lab and we’ve been through the budget reductions at the lab for two years. I think they clearly saw budget problems coming, and they were concerned,” Sheehey said.

    Sheehey said citizens expressed “strong support” for his own priorities for spending. Those are public safety, infrastructure, good public education, economic development and taking care of and enhancing recreational facilities, in that order.

    “That’s going to guide my suggestions on the 29th about how we deal with our budget shortfall,” Sheehey said.

  • Crisis Center works to rehab DV offenders

    First of a series

    The victims often suffer in silence.

    It’s an insidious problem that can be found on virtually every rung of the socioeconomic ladder.

    While some people may know a victim of domestic violence, more often people hear about cases when it makes the news.

    Once a domestic violence case makes its way to the criminal justice system, the paths taken by the victim and the perpetrator diverge. For those convicted of domestic violence, there is a lot that begins to happen behind the scenes, which involves more than just a fine and probation.

    The Los Alamos Magistrate Court usually refers those convicted of a domestic violence charge to the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico, located in Española.

    According to the center’s assistant director Ramon Garcia, the 52-week rehab program the center offers for domestic violence offenders begins with an interview with the offender.

    “We first perform an initial assessment of their ability to control themselves,” Garcia said. From there, he said, they are assigned a group of people with similar backgrounds and situations before beginning treatment.