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Today's News

  • Iran sentences 2 American men to 8 years in jail

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Two American men arrested more than two years ago while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border have been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges that include espionage, state TV reported Saturday, in an apparent sharp blow to hopes their release was imminent.

    The announcement seems to send a hard-line message from Iran's judiciary — which answers directly to the ruling clerics — weeks after the country's foreign minister suggested that the trial of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal could clear the way for their freedom.

  • Santa Fe Opera looks to its roots to secure future

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — For more than five decades, the spirit behind the Santa Fe Opera has stemmed from a deep commitment to commissioning new works and presenting rare productions that had never been seen or heard in the United States.

    Now, with its international reputation and unique location in the shadow of northern New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the opera continues to make good on its commitment with two new commissions and an American premiere despite the ongoing economic stranglehold that has brought some of the arts community to its knees.

    General director Charles MacKay says that means visitors to the outdoor venue will be treated to new performances for at least the next four years.

  • Man who saved child from abduction reveals he's illegal alien

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The man who chased down an alleged child abductor and saved a 6-year-old girl from what could have been a horrible fate will be honored as a hero Friday. But he is also gaining a new kind of celebrity: as a poster child of sorts for immigration rights in state and national immigration debates.

    Antonio Diaz Chacon, 23, is married to an American and has been in the country for four years. But Chacon says he abandoned attempts to get legal residency because the process was difficult and expensive.

  • Update 08-19-11

    Seed ball drive

    Local Boy Scout Jin Park will hold a Seed Ball Drive, from noon-4 p.m. Saturday at Ashley Pond and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos and Rocket Park in White Rock.

    Meeting

    The Board of Adjustment meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers.

    Thank you event

     The county council, LANL and NNSA are hosting an event to thank all of those who helped the community through the fire from 4-6 p.m. Aug. 25 at Ashley Pond.

    Pool maintenance

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center will be closed for public swimming beginning at 7 p.m. Friday for annual pool maintenance, and will re‑open on Sept. 6 at 6 a.m. 

  • Customers rate utilities above average

    The Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) 2011 Biennial Customer Satisfaction Survey came in as good news for the board.

    In every category, from customer service the service itself, customers rated DPU above average, and, in some cases, ratings neared excellent.

    The survey was prepared by Vantage Marketing Research and the Howell Research Group. Jeff Eshelman, president of Vantage, presented the report. The telephone survey sampled 400 residential customers and 94 commercial customers. The margin of error for the customer sampling is 4.9 percentage points and 8.7 for commercial customers, due to the smaller sampling.  

  • Copper thieves target federal sites

    A worldwide shortage has sparked copper thieves to steal wiring from anywhere they can find it including local telephone poles. Reports also indicate that about 30,000 pounds of copper was been stolen from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Copper thefts at LANL actually have involved a few pounds up to a few hundred pounds from salvage, spokesman Kevin Roark said this morning.

    “We are looking in to this but our initial estimates indicate the actual number to be significantly less than the 30,000 pounds,” Roark said. “We have not experienced any significant copper theft since 2009 … There were a couple of incidents in 2006 and 2007 … all allegations were referred to local and federal law enforcement at the time.”

  • Hay hauler hung up

    About 2:30 p.m. Thursday, above the back gate at the hairpin turn, this truck became wedged and it took about 30  minutes for workers to free it and get traffic moving again.

  • Long drought breaks records

    Precipitation rankings from January through July of this year are the driest on record for New Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. Los Alamos rainfall is 7.93 inches below normal at just 1.64 inches to date.

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Meteorologist Scot Johnson said there are two factors driving the drought locally and elsewhere around the country.

    “La Niña, the cold in the Pacific along the equator driving north and the other situation is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) located in the northern Pacific,” Johnson said. “So you have a negative PDO right now and the two working together contributed to the dry spring.”

  • Just A Wag 08-19-11

    Smile for the camera

    Some angry parents are telling us that they are fed up with students smoking around Los Alamos High School, despite posted no smoking signs, and intend to snap photos of the smokers for Facebook.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Expect redistricting fireworks

    New Mexico’s 2011 legislative redistricting of state political boundaries promises to be unique in terms of timing, content and politics.
    September special sessions are not unusual in New Mexico but a special session beginning this early in the month is rare.
    Redistricting special sessions normally are confined to that topic plus a few non-controversial items of a truly emergency nature. Not so this year.
    Until 10 years ago, New Mexico’s decennial redistricting sessions were fairly devoid of politics. The 2001 session shows us what likely will happen this year.