Today's News

  • Tax Help New Mexico seeks community tax volunteers

    Tax Help New Mexico and the IRS are seeking community volunteers across New Mexico and especially in the greater Albuquerque metropolitan area to provide free tax assistance to those who need help filing their taxes.
    Tax Help New Mexico volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Volunteers are needed to electronically file tax returns, greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, set up and keep running computer equipment used to electronically file tax returns, manage the tax site and do quality control.
    “Tax Help New Mexico needs fellow New Mexicans all across the state and at this time, from Albuquerque and near-by communities. We are looking for area volunteers who are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal and state income tax returns for free,” said IRS spokesperson, Liz Perea. “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple, non-business tax returns for people with low to moderate incomes. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested, anyone who wants to help and give back to their community.”

  • ‘Lion King’ a visual delight for all ages


  • Shrinking budget will force change on state’s higher ed

    New Mexico’s small population stretches over a big state, so we have taken higher education to the students, with 32 colleges and universities. Nearly every sizable community has a branch or an independent institution.
    For our students, who tend to be older and need to hold a job while they take classes, this is a good thing.
    But one of the bigger arguments in the recent legislative special session was how much to cut higher education. The institutions skated with relatively small cuts, but probably not for long. We’re not out of the hole, and come January, lawmakers will put everything back on the table.
    Recently, Higher Education Secretary Barbara Damron announced that the state’s system is unsustainable. Each institution has its own board, and they’re more dependent on state funding than experts say is healthy. New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs is lowest, at 20 percent, while Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari is highest, at 61 percent. The three biggest institutions get 35 to 40 percent of their funding from the state.
    As state revenues have tanked, so have enrollments, which had risen during the early part of the recession. Also, our population is shrinking as people leave the state. Graduation rates are poor (35 percent, compared with 40 percent nationally).

  • County truck takes out light
  • League forum spotlights council candidates

    Citizens posed questions to Los Alamos County Council candidates at the Oct. 13 League of Women Voters of Los Alamos (LWVLA) candidate forum.
    Republican candidates Patrick Brenner, Jaret McDonald and Steve Girrens and Democratic candidates Pete Sheehey, Chris Chandler and Antonio Maggiore all participated.
    The first question was whether candidates supported the transition to clean energy. McDonald, Sheehey, Chandler and Maggiore all gave an unqualified “yes.”
    McDonald said that to make the transition, council would have to work together and look at the economic impact.
    Sheehey suggested that the NuScale small modular nuclear reactor the Department of Public Utilities is currently considering could be an option, but that there are many uncertainties regarding cost. He also advocated for incorporating more solar into the county’s power mix.
    “If towns in Texas can be generating 30 to 50 percent of their energy with renewables, we can too,” Sheehey said.
    Chandler advocated for withdrawing from the San Juan Generating Station agreement as soon as possible and opposed replacing that with more coal generation. She supported DPU’s investigation of the NuScale project and said she would support it if it were economically feasible.

  • LANL Trails Working Group honors Montoya

    Bryan Montoya, longtime member of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Trails Working Group’s, died unexpectedly a month ago at the age of 47. To honor his memory, the trails group dedicated their biannual hike to Montoya on Thursday.
    Montoya, who worked in San Ildefonso’s Department of Environmental and Cultural Preservation, had represented the Pueblo on the working group for 12 or 13 years.
    The group, which serves as a steering committee for LANL, is comprised of both LANL employees and representatives from Los Alamos County, the National Forest Service, the National Park Service and interested trail users. It facilitates the lab’s goal of allowing public access on its trails while protecting cultural and bio-resources.
    According to Trails Working Group Chair Dan Pava, members works very synergistically and often resolves trails issues just through the relationships they have built.
    Pava spoke about Montoya’s patience and sense of humor, as well as his contributions to the trails group, before presenting a gift from LANL’s Environmental Protection and Compliance Group to his widow, Clarice, who was there with two of her four children.

  • NMED allows SF, Pueblos to test LANL’s stormwater

    Neighboring governments, Pueblos and entities that receive stormwater runoff from Los Alamos National Laboratory will be able to their own monitoring.
    The New Mexico Environment Department made the announcement during a biannual update to the public about LANL’s stormwater permit.  
    “We also wanted to have the ability to share skills, knowledge and technology about stormwater sampling with interstate agencies in and around the (Pajarito) Plateau,” Acting Point Source Regulation Section Manager Sarah Holcomb said.
    Four Pueblos that receive runoff include Cochiti, Jemez, Santa Clara and San Ildefonso. Santa Fe, Santa Fe County and the New Mexico Department of Transportation are also included in the plan.
    The communities and agencies will receive hands-on and classroom training with stormwater monitoring, sampling and data analysis. The Pueblos will also get special test equipment.
    The programs are scheduled to be in place by December 2018.
    “Our hope with that technology transfer is that those parties will move forward with their own stormwater monitoring programs and have their own data,” Holcomb said.  

  • Victim of falling tree identified

    Officials of Bandelier National Monument released the identity Thursday of a female park visitor killed by a tree Oct. 3.
    Beverly Modlin, 81, was visiting from Wheeling, Illinois, was struck by the falling tree, according to Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott.
    Lott did not say why park official withheld the information from the public.
    Modlin was with her children Susan Hines and Robert Modlin when the accident occurred, according to an obituary that ran in the Chicago Suburban Daily Herald Oct. 7.
    Modlin was returning to her car in the Frey Trailhead parking lot when she was struck by the tree, a live Ponderosa, that reportedly snapped in half.
    Park officials did not want to comment on details of the investigation, pending the conclusion of an ongoing investigation into the incident, Lott said.
    According to Modlin’s obituary, she was an active member of her community and her church. She loved music and was described as a “gifted pianist and organist” who  “taught hundreds of piano students in the northwest suburbs the entirety of her years here.” Modlin lived in Wheeling for 44 years.

  • ’Toppers volleyball edges Chargers in comeback, 5-set win

    In a tight District 2-5A race, the Los Alamos volleyball team has made the most out of its pressure situations.
    The Hilltoppers won their fourth match in the last five - all in five sets - after downing Albuquerque Academy 25-27, 25-13, 29-31, 25-16, 15-7 on Wednesday’s “Dig Pink” match at Griffith Gym.
    “The good part about going five (sets) all the time is that it’s going to keep us in condition and keep us going,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “We had some good moments there. Each time they (Los Alamos) play well, they have to believe in themselves.”
    With the exception of last Saturday’s loss to Del Norte, Los Alamos (9-9 overall, 4-2 District 2-5A)  has been stellar in decisive sets, and that was the case on Wednesday against Academy (7-11 overall, 0-6 District 2-5A). The Hilltoppers jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fifth set and sealed the win with a strong defensive performance.
    “Seniors came through tonight,” Stokes said. “Kaitlin (Bennett) came through big again tonight. Jessica (Moore) her first game was a little rough but that last dig that she got in the back row just fired up everybody. They just to learn that they have to keep fired up.”

  • LAHS cross country to host home meet Friday

    A strong performance at home can help the Los Alamos cross country teams build momentum for the ladder stages of the season.
    The Hilltoppers will host their annual home invitational with events starting at 3 p.m. Friday at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course.
    The meet comes at a timely matter for Los Alamos, as it’ll host the District 2-5A meet next Friday, and the Class 5A state meet is scheduled for Nov. 5.
    Los Alamos has experienced a bit of everything in its opening four meets, including two eighth-graders leading both the boy’s and girl’s teams.
    Lidia Appell has been the top runner in every meet this season for the Hilltopper girls. The eighth-grader ran a season-best 19:49 at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational on Sept. 23.
    Paulina Burnside and Sydney Schake have also provided the Los Alamos girls with strong performances this season. The Hilltoppers have also benefited from the return on junior Zoe Hemez, who made her first appearance of the season two weeks ago at the Titan Thunder Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    On the boy’s side, Los Alamos is lead by eighth-grader Rafael Sanchez, who’s finished in under 17 minutes in all meets except for one this season.
    Senior Kai Coblentz and junior Josh Strevell have contributed with top 20 and 30 finishes.