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Today's News

  • Voters OK mill levy

    By a wide margin, residents of Los Alamos County voted to sustain the property tax levy that has supplied the Los Alamos School District with nearly $2 million in funds almost every year since 1988.
    According to County Clerk Sharon Stover, 4,095 Los Alamos residents voted for the levy, and 1,698 voted against it.
    Upon hearing the vote, Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus thanked the voters of Los Alamos.
    “Thank you to the parents and the voters of Los Alamos, we appreciate the support and we’ll be prudent with the money,” he said.
    Steinhaus said he sees it as a vote of confidence for the schools, teachers, administration and all involved.
    The mill levy question is put before voters every six years. It’s primary purpose is to help the school district purchase athletic equipment and educational tools that it would otherwise have to fund by using its Operational Fund monies.
    Since the last levy election, Los Alamos Public Schools has received just over $13 million in funding from the levy.
    By voting “yes,” voters agreed to pay $3.25 on every $1,000 of real, assessed property. That’s about $325 a year for a $300,000 home.

  • BPU elects officials, discusses gas rates

    The Los Alamos Board of Public Utilitieselected a new chairman and vice chairman at its Jan. 20 meeting.
    Jeff Johnson received the only nomination for the chair position. His appointment was approved by a 4–1 vote, with last year’s vice chair, Stephen McLin, abstaining.
    There were three nominations for vice chair: Paul Frederickson, David Powell and last year’s chair, Andrew Fraser.
    In the first round of voting, Frederickson and Powell each received two votes and Fraser received one. In the second round of voting, Powell was elected with four votes, with one vote going to Frederickson. Powell has previously served as both chair and vice chair.
    In other board business, Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt gave his yearly report on variable cost of gas fluctuations.
    The current gas rate is designed with both a fixed-cost recovery and a variable cost of gas component. When the Los Alamos County Council approved the variable gas rate, they requested that DPU provide a yearly report on the variable rate.

  • Redmond continues fight in court

    Former Los Alamos Police Officer Jordan Redmond is still contesting the charge of allegedly, illegally accepting payment for giving tours at the Los Alamos Justice Center in 2014, while on duty as a police officer, according to his attorney Marc Edwards.
    Redmond’s preliminary hearing in Los Alamos Magistrate Court has been delayed three times. He’s now scheduled to make an appearance in magistrate court March 1.
    “Jordan is doing well, the continuances are just routine,” Edwards said. “We are still working with the state on discovery disclosures.”
    “Discovery” is a process where the state and the defense both exchange evidence and documents relevant to their case.
    Redmond is “absolutely” fighting the charge, Edwards said.
    In October of 2015, Redmond was charged by the LAPD for illegally accepting $300 ($276.12 after taxes) from the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos for giving two tours of the Los Alamos Justice Center in June of 2014, while he was on duty as a Los Alamos Police Officer.
    The tours were in connection with UNM-LA’s and Los Alamos High School’s “Early College High School Career Exploration Program.”
    After police completed an investigation, he was terminated from his position Sept. 17.

  • Council approves fire, police bargaining agreements

    The Los Alamos County Council approved collective bargaining agreements for fire and police departments on Tuesday.
    Aside from replacing holiday pay with a 2-percent increase to base pay for fire department personnel, neither agreement includes an across the board pay raise, since employees must meet certain performance standards in order to qualify for raises.
    The police department contract includes a 7.2 percent adjustment for this year, in order to achieve pay equity among employees. The adjustment will be used to adjust salaries that were found to be inequitable with other salaries, based on factors such as years of experience and education.
    The fire department contract calls for an average increase for department salaries of 2 percent in 2017, 1.5 percent in 2018, 1 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020. Individual raises will be based on performance.
    Police department raises will average 3.5 percent in 2017 and 2.5 percent the following two years, with individual raises based on performance.
    This was the second time the Los Alamos Fire Department and the Los Alamos Firefighters’ Association Local 3279 have used Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) procedures during negotiations.

  • Today in history Jan. 29
  • Open casting call for ‘Longmire’ Saturday in Española

    On Saturday, the New Mexico Federation of Labor and the New Mexico Film Workers Union will hold an open casting call for the Netflix series "Longmire." Professional headshots will be taken on the spot and local background casting director, Robert Baxter will be on hand. Champion for workers of Española Valley, State Sen. Richard C. Martinez will be a guest.

    Complimentary lunch and entertainment will be provided at this family-friendly event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Santa Claran Hotel Casino, 460 N Riverside Dr., Española.

    The 5th season of “Longmire” will begin filming on March 23 in various locations in northern New Mexico.

  • Sports Briefs 1-29-16

    Free throw contest
    All boys and girls ages 9-14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.
    The local competition will be held from 1-3 p.m. Sunday at Los Alamos High School’s Griffith Gymnasium.
    Registration is free and it will be held onsite beginning at 12:30 p.m. on the date of the event.
    Parental consent is required, so a parent/guardian must be present during registration.
    All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation and winners from each age division and gender will be presented with a trophy.
    The winners will then advance to the district free throw competition to be held Feb. 21, also at LAHS’ Griffith Gymnasium.
    The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually, with winners progressing through local, district and state competitions.
    International champions are announced by the Knights of Columbus headquarters based on scores from the state-level competitions.
    All boys and girls will compete in their respective age and gender divisions.
    Since its beginning in 1972, over 2.5 million youths have participated in the contest.

  • Ice fishing reported as fair in spots around state

    Animas River: Water flow near Aztec on Monday morning was 248 cubic feet per second (cfs).
    Albuquerque Area Drains: Trout fishing on the Albuquerque Drain, Albuquerque Drain South, Belen Drain and the Corrales Drain was fair to good using spinners, wax worms, power eggs, small jigs and salmon eggs.
    AJ Trujillo fished the Belen Drain with his brother Gerald Trujillo and his wife, Amber Trujillo of Los Lunas.
    They caught a walleye, carp, catfish, three largemouth bass and a trout. All were caught on power jigs with the exception of the trout which was caught on a Rooster Tail.
    Bluewater Lake: Opened for ice fishing Saturday, Jan. 16 with an ice thickness ranging from 7 to 9 inches. Fishing was fair to good using atomic jigs for trout. Fishing for all other species was slow. For updated ice conditions, contact the State Park office at 505-876-2391.
    Canjilon Lakes: Closed by the U.S. Forest Service until further notice due to danger from falling trees.
    Chama River: Monday morning water flows below El Vado and Abiquiu were 104 cfs and 70 cfs respectively. Fishing below Abiquiu was good using chartreuse and yellow PowerBait, Berkley power eggs, micro mays and crane flies for trout.

  • Opportunity for alumni to strap football cleats on again

    Many former athletes that played football in high school or college have wondered what it would be like to step out on that field one more time.
    Well, Gridiron Alumni is granting their wish and also helping raise money for charity.
    Alumni football is coming to Los Alamos. Gridiron Alumni, a national company, is planning several full contact alumni football games in the area.
    Gridiron Alumni travels the nation pitting old football rivals against each other. Since its inception in 2010, hundreds of players and thousands of fans swarmed stadiums to watch their hometown heroes strap it on one more time.
    Gridiron Alumni does not discriminate against smaller schools and rivalries. If anyone has ever wanted to get out on that field, now is the time.
    Players from the local area are invited to register and play. The first 40 players on each team get to play.
    The team that gets 25 people registered first gets home field advantage. The games are set for the spring and summer. Gridiron Alumni has all of the equipment needed to play, rents the field and arranges for the officials to make your game special.
    People interested in putting on the pads one more time are encouraged to go to gridironalumni.com to locate their school and register. For questions, call Chris at 530- 410-6396 or go to the website.

  • Shovel races next weekend

    Most people never get to win an Olympic medal, but the next best thing is a world championship title. This year, anyone can compete for the coveted World Championship Shovel Racing title at Angel Fire Resort. Competitors of all ages are once again waxing up their snow shovels for the 37th annual Angel Fire Resort Shovel Race Championships, presented by Lowe’s Valley Market.
    This year the resort is giving an open invitation for anyone who would like to try and be a world champion to come participate in the race. Racers from all over the country compete by sitting on the scoop of a standard aluminum snow shovel, handle pointed downhill, and then lift their hands and feet to allow gravity to take them for a ride.
    Each rider gets two shots to clock the fastest time down the front of the Angel Fire ski mountain and top speeds regularly exceed 70 miles per hour. The practice session will be held Feb. 5, with the competition occurring Feb. 6.
    Shovel racing began as a simple contest in the 1970s when lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts.