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Local News

  • Valles passes milestone

    Valles Caldera National Preserve has just issued its second State of the Preserve report, and the results are promising. Visitation has quadrupled since the 2007 report, increasing from 24,000 in 2007 to more than 110,000 in 2012, and staff has made major strides in moving from an interim to a comprehensive management plan.
    Executive Director Dennis Trujillo highlighted how much progress has been made toward reaching goals set out in the 2000 Valles Caldera Preservation Act.
    “We have either met, exceeded or are making great strides toward meeting all goals stipulated in the enabling legislation, including financial self-sufficiency,” Trujillo said.
    The VCPA stipulates that the park must be self-sufficient by 2015 or convert to national forest land. The report puts cost recovery at nearly 29 percent of annual appropriations and almost 100 percent for public programs.
    Fifty percent of ecological restoration costs are recovered by the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program funded by Congress. Partnerships with a variety of organizations and universities provide most of the additional funding needed for restoration programs.

  • Old Man Winter Makes An April Visit To LA

    Spring had come early to Los Alamos but it seemed Old Man Winter had one more hand to play.
    Los Alamos woke up Wednesday morning to a couple of inches of snow on the ground and a dense fog.
    The only problem seemed to be a mini rock slide on the Main Hill Road, but officials moved the rocks out of the eastbound lane in time for the morning commute.
    “There were no big problems (from the storm),” LAPD Cmdr. Randy Foster said. “It did cause some rocks to fall on the front hill but they were quickly cleared.”
    Roads were clear throughout the area. And the school district did not have to worry about making a determination about holding classes because it was on spring break.
    Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico were spared for the most part.
    Other areas were not as fortunate.
    A large spring storm delivering heavy snow, strong wind and rain caused travel problems from Wyoming to Chicago on Tuesday, closing larges stretches of highways and delaying hundreds of flights.
    In Wyoming, stretches of Interstates 25 and 80 were closed for parts of the day, and blowing snow made driving dangerous along other highways. About 180 miles of I-25 between Cheyenne and Casper were under whiteout conditions.

  • Obama sends Congress $3.8 trillion spending plan

     

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint on Wednesday that strives to achieve a "grand bargain" to tame runaway deficits, raising taxes on the wealthy and trimming popular benefit programs including Social Security and Medicare.

    The president's budget projects deficit reductions of $1.8 trillion over the next decade, achieved with higher taxes, reductions in payments to Medicare providers and cutbacks in the cost-of-living adjustments paid to millions of recipients in Social Security and other government programs.

  • Today in History April 10
  • Student arrested in Texas stabbing attack

     

    CYPRESS, Texas (AP) — A student went on a building-to-building stabbing attack at a Texas community college Tuesday, wounding at least 14 people before being subdued and arrested, authorities said.

    The attack about 11:20 a.m. on the Lone Star Community College System's campus in Cypress sent at least 12 people to area hospitals, including four people taken by helicopter, according to Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Robert Rasa. He said several people refused treatment at the scene and all the wounds were consistent with stabbing.

    Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said officers responded to the campus after receiving a call about a male "on the loose" stabbing people. He said it was not immediately clear what type of weapon was used.

    "Some of the details in the call slip did indicate that students or faculty were actively responding to work to subdue this individual," Garcia said, describing the man as being about 21 years old and enrolled at the college. "So we're proud of those folks, but we're glad no one else is injured any more severely than they are."

  • Energy Secretary nomination hearings get underway

     

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Energy Department pledged to increase use of natural gas Tuesday as a way to combat climate change even as the nation seeks to boost domestic energy production.

    Ernest Moniz, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said "a stunning increase" in production of domestic natural gas in recent years was nothing less than a "revolution" that has led to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause global warming.

    The natural gas boom also has led to a dramatic expansion of manufacturing and job creation, Moniz told the Senate Energy Committee.

    Even so, Moniz stopped short of endorsing widespread exports of natural gas, saying he wanted to study the issue further.

    A recent study commissioned by the Energy Department concluded that exporting natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy even if it led to higher domestic prices for the fuel.

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the Senate energy panel, called the DOE study flawed and said it relied on old data and unrealistic market assumptions.

    Moniz said he is open to reviewing the study to ensure that officials have the best possible data before making any decisions.

  • March subscriber contest winner

    Malorie Apgar accepted $100 in Chamber Checks on behalf of her parents, the March Subscriber Contest winners Sheldon and Carrie Apgar. Circulation Administrator Wendy Laird (left) and Publisher Keven Todd made the presentation. All one-year subscribers during March were entered in a random drawing for the $100 prize. The contest is ongoing in April, so all those who sign on for an annual “All Access Pass” subscription to the Los Alamos Monitor this month will have a chance to win the next $100 prize.

  • Land official reviews ruling on orchard site

    ALBUQUERQUE(AP) — New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell is reviewing a hearing officer’s ruling that Powell arbitrarily rejected a plan by the longtime operators of Dixon’s Apple Orchard to transfer its lease of state trust land to San Felipe Pueblo.
    According to the Albuquerque Journal, Powell can accept or reject hearing officer James Hall’s ruling issued Monday. However, Becky and Jim Mullane could challenge a rejection in court.
    The Mullanes closed Dixon’s after the orchard located in a canyon near Cochiti was devastated by fire and flooding in 2011.
    The pueblo had agreed to pay $2.8 million to the Mullanes for their lease for the 627-acre orchard and an additional 8,600 acres of adjacent state trust land.
     

  • Update 04-09-13

    BPU meeting

    The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Public Utilities will meet at 5:30 p.m. April 17 in the DPU Conference Room, 170 Central Park Square.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185. 

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold budget hearings beginning at 7 p.m. April 15 in council chambers.

    Trails lecture

    The Historical Society’s annual earth-related lecture will focus on the trails at Bandelier before and after the Las Conchas fire, with speaker Dale Coker. The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Fuller Lodge.

    LANL lecture

    Colonel Paul Tibbets, IV, grandson of the Enola Gay’s pilot, will share personal reminisces of his grandfather’s military career. The lecture will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bradbury Museum.

  • Spring storm brings rain, wind, snow to New Mexico

    A spring storm hit New Mexico Tuesday as rain and a little snow and hail fell in the Los Alamos area.
    It is expected to turn to snow later in the day Forecasters said fire conditions are considered dangerous and that widespread sub-freezing temperatures are expected to follow in the wake of the system Tuesday night.
    Up to 12 inches of snow could accumulate in the northern mountains.
    The storm has so far proved less potent than originally predicted in Colorado because a cold front has been lingering to the north. Wyoming has been hit harder, with over a foot falling in Lander.
    Up to around 10 inches of snow had fallen in Colorado’s mountains by dawn. Another 5 to 10 inches was possible in some locations but final snowfall amounts would vary quite a bit, National Weather Service forecaster Jim Daniels said.
    Up to a foot had been in expected in Denver but forecasters are now calling for around 5 inches.
    The storm has canceled 465 flights at Denver International Airport and deicing was causing departing flights to be delayed by as much as a half hour.
    Blizzard warnings are also in effect from south of Denver to the New Mexico line and in northwestern Colorado. Winds gusting up to 50 mph were expected there.