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Local News

  • Busy Memorial Day weekend at Bandelier

    The Memorial Day holiday marks the beginning of the summer season at Bandelier National Monument, with the shuttle buses beginning on Friday, and special activities happening throughout the weekend.
    “If you haven’t been to Bandelier lately, this is a good time to come,” park Superintendent Jason Lott said. “You can catch a free bus in White Rock, relax and enjoy the scenery on the way to and from the park, and have a leisurely day with the family in Frijoles Canyon.”
     The shuttle buses begin running on Friday morning.  From then until mid-October, visitors will need to go to the White Rock Visitor Center Complex to catch the free buses into the Frijoles Canyon area of Bandelier. Buses will run every 20 minutes, seven days a week, with the first run from White Rock at 8:20 a.m. and the last bus leaving the park at 5:10 p.m.
    There is now a bus stop at the Frey Trail trailhead in Juniper Campground, where bus riders can stop off and walk out on the Tyuonyi Overlook Trail and then catch another bus into the canyon, or hike down the Frey Trail to the canyon bottom and later catch a bus back to White Rock. Visitors arriving at the park before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. can drive into the canyon area.

  • Update 05-24-13

    Camp May closed

    Due to construction, Camp May is closed to overnight camping and picnicking until further notice. Construction is estimated to be completed by mid-July. Access to the Santa Fe National Forest remains open from the Ski Hill parking lot.

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    County Council

    Los Alamos County Council will meet in a regular session at 7 p.m. June 4 in council chambers.

    Arts board

    The Arts in Public Places Board has just discovered technical difficulties with the email address associated with its “Open Call for Art.” (ArtProposals@lacnm.us). All proposals must be resent and the deadline has been extended to June 7.

    Trash pickup

    In observance of Memorial Day there will be no trash or recycling collection on Monday. Put roll carts out on Wednesday.

    DPU charter

    The DPU Charter Review Committee will meet at
    5:30 p.m. June 3 at Fuller Lodge. 

  • Council approves bond refinancing

    The Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the county to re-fund $40,085,000 in outstanding Gross Receipts Tax Improvement Bonds which mature on and after June 1, 2019 and are callable as of June 1, 2018 at a lower interest rate. The refinancing is expected to net $1,151,198 in savings for the county.
    Re-funding the bonds is similar to the concept of refinancing a home at a lower interest rate. The interest rate on the original bonds was approximately 5.4 percent. Re-funding will reduce that rate to approximately 2.6 percent.
    “I’m pleased to say that today we successfully marketed this re-funded bond issue,” Deputy County Administrator Steven Lynne said.
    RBC Capital Markets is serving as the bond underwriter for the county, facilitating the agreement by buying the bonds and reselling them.
    Vice President Erik Harrigan represented RBC at Tuesday’s council meeting. Peter Franklin, bond counsel for Modrall Sperling law firm, was also available to answer questions.
    The par amount (principal) of the bonds was $38,235,000. The majority were sold to major investors Tuesday morning. The $4 million in bonds remaining with the underwriters will be sold at a later date.

  • Bedeviled by the wind -- updated

    Denise De Mello has seen her fair share of dust devils.

    Living a fair amount of her life in southwestern Arizona, she said they were pretty much a common occurrence.
    De Mello and her husband Rusty Baker, a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee, live on Deer Trail in North Mesa. They have been there for close to 11 years.\

    And on Wednesday, De Mello saw something she would never forget.

    “I was talking to my husband on the phone in our exercise room and this wind hit our house. It sounded awful and I looked out the window and all I could see was dirt. It was pretty frightening. I thought our windows were going to break and it went away after 45 seconds.”

    De Mello then described the dust devil.

    “It was huge,” De Mello said. “It was hundreds of feet tall. You could see the funnel and dirt was whirling around. It was white or silver shiny and it seemed like there were lots of pieces of paper.

    “It was fascinating and horrible all at the same time. I kept seeing the stuff going round and round and the dirt kept going higher and higher. After a while the dirt dissipated a bit.”

    De Mello then went outside and the dust devil disappeared. But soon she saw it reappear by the water tower on Barranca Mesa.

  • NWS issues warning on poor air quality

     

    There have been numerous independent reports Friday morning regarding the hazy skies and subsequent poor air quality within the Albuquerque Metro area, according to the National Weather Service.  The City of Albuquerque Air Quality Department released a Health Alert at 849am for poor air quality due to wildfire smoke. 

    Additionally, several inter-agency coordination calls have been held  this morning to discuss this unique situation. There is a prescribed burn south of Tuscon, AZ that is a contributing source region providing an undetermined amount of smoke particulate matter in the atmosphere. 

    This smoke is combining with the dust from windy conditions the past 12 to 24 hours. Additionally, a back door front ushered in a dramatic increase in low level moisture which can enhance the development of haze and associated visibility impacts. Observers at Sandia Peak and the Forest Service have verified that this haze is widespread along the Rio Grande Valley from Santa Fe to Albuquerque to Belen and Socorro and west  to near the Continental Divide.

  • New Mexico police plan seat belt, DWI crackdown

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Law enforcement is launching a summer campaign to crack down on drunken drivers and motorists not wearing seat belts.

    Gov. Susana Martinez and other officials announced the enforcement blitz Thursday as New Mexicans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend that starts the summer travel season.

    Police plan increased patrols to look for drivers and passengers without seatbelts. There will be checkpoints to catch drunken drivers.

    Transportation Department figures show 81 people have died in road accidents from January through April, with 36 of those deaths involving alcohol.

    There were 374 people killed in traffic crashes last year, an increase of more than 6 percent from 2011. About two-fifths of the crash victims weren't wearing seat belts.

    Alcohol was involved in 41 percent of the state's highway fatalities last year.

  • Today in History May 24
  • I-5 bridge collapse survivor: 'You hold on' --Video Extras

    MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."

    "I hit the brakes and we went off," Sligh told reporters from a hospital, adding he "saw the water approaching ... you hold on as tight as you can."

    Slight, his wife and another man in a different vehicle were dumped into the chilly waters of the Skagit River when the span collapsed Thursday evening. They were injured, but miraculously, authorities said it appeared nobody was killed in the bridge failure that raised the question about the safety of aging spans and cut off the main route between Seattle and Canada.

    "We don't think anyone else went into the water," said Marcus Deyerin, a spokesman for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team. "At this point we're optimistic."

    Sligh and his wife were taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The other man was reported in stable condition at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, hospital CEO Greg Reed said.

  • Bandelier shuttle begins Friday

     

  • World's Largest LEGO Model Revealed