Local News

  • Horse hair hijacked

    At least two horses were reported to be victims of foul play at the North Mesa stables Friday; one had about half of its tail hair removed and the other had its mane completely shorn off.

    However, according to the owners, the vandals took a lot more than just horse hair.

    Both of the horse’s owners, Katherine Anderson and Laura Kober, said they felt violated by the whole experience.

    “My horses are my children, and she was violated, because first of all someone has been on my property and second of all, someone had their hands on my horse with a sharp instrument,” Anderson said.
    Kober felt the same way.

    “Knowing that someone actually climbed our fences to get at our horses makes you feel violated, like there’s absolutely no security out here,” Kober said.

    The horse, which had its tail cut, is a competition horse that belongs to Kober’s daughter, who is also a member of the Los Alamos Pony Club, an affiliate of the U.S. Pony Club.

    Kober also is worried by how the incident has affected her daughter, who takes meticulous care of her horse.

  • Council OKs CIP plan

    A decision to defer as much as $12.5 million in capital improvement project spending for up to four years in order to ease the current budget crunch promised to test the Los Alamos County Council to its limits at Tuesday’s session, when it was set to determine which projects would be deferred.

    A proposal from supporters of golf course improvements eased council’s task considerably. Councilor Frances Berting reported that each councilor had been contacted with an offer to defer improvements to the course for three years, provided the four-year phase-in originally approved was reduced to two years.

    The council took the golf course supporters up on their proposal, unanimously approving the motion that also deferred ice rink improvements with the exception of upgrades to the parking area.

    County administrator Harry Burgess said the motion approved by council should assure a balanced budget for FY2014, barring major setbacks such as sequestration of the federal budget. However, there is a significant chance council will need to have another discussion about deferring CIP projects during FY2015 budget planning.

  • Fire Dept.: Body Found in KC Restaurant Rubble
  • Domenici acknowledges having son outside marriage

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Former Sen. Pete Domenici disclosed that he fathered a secret child in the 1970s with the 24-year-old daughter of one of his Senate colleagues — a startling revelation for a politician with a reputation as an upstanding family man.

    Domenici and Michelle Laxalt sent statements to the Albuquerque Journal that announced the relationship for the first time and identified their son as Nevada attorney Adam Paul Laxalt. They said they decided to go public with their decades-old secret because they believed someone was about to release the information in an attempt to smear Domenici.

    "I deeply regret this and am very sorry for my behavior," Domenici, 80, said in his statement. "I hope New Mexicans will view that my accomplishments for my beloved state outweigh my personal transgression."

  • Today in History for Wednesday, February 20th
  • US ready to strike back against China cyberattacks

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As public evidence mounts that the Chinese military is responsible for stealing massive amounts of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets, the Obama administration is eyeing fines and other trade actions it may take against Beijing or any other country guilty of cyberespionage.

    According to officials familiar with the plans, the White House will lay out a new report Wednesday that suggests initial, more-aggressive steps the U.S. would take in response to what top authorities say has been an unrelenting campaign of cyberstealing linked to the Chinese government. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the threatened action.

    The White House plans come after a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm released a torrent of details Monday that tied a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai to years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies. After analyzing breaches that compromised more than 140 companies, Mandiant has concluded that they can be linked to the People's Liberation Army's Unit 61398.

  • Official: Kansas City blast cause unclear, 14 hurt--Video Extra

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An official says 14 people have been confirmed as injured in a massive gas explosion in an upscale Kansas City shopping district.

    Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte says officials don't yet know if anyone was killed in the explosion, which destroyed JJ's restaurant.

    Authorities also are still trying to determine the full cause of the blast. Schulte says they do know there was a gas leak followed by an explosion. At this point, he says authorities believe it may have stemmed from an accident involving a utility contractor.

    Earlier police spokeswoman Rhonda Flores said it appeared that a car crashed into a gas main near JJ's just after 6 p.m.

    People have been cleared from the area around the restaurant.

  • Civil Air Patrol exercises
  • Public gets a look at Comprehensive Plan maps

     For some time now, the Planning and Zoning Commission, with the help of the Community and Economic Development Department, has been updating sections of Los Alamos County’s Comprehensive Plan, with a goal of updating the entire plan by the end of this year.

    With that target in mind, CEDD Senior Planner Gary Leikness began soliciting public input on new land use maps this week. Leikness presented the plan at a White Rock Master Plan and Implementation Advisory Committee Monday and at a public meeting in Los Alamos Wednesday.

    Leikness explained the difference between zoning maps and Comprehensive Plan maps.

    “The zoning map establishes people’s property rights: how high they can build, how close to the property line they can build, what they can build, what they can operate, whether it’s residential or commercial,” Leikness said.

    “The comp plan map is a visioning tool. It allows the county to say this is how we want to grow and the land uses we desire in these areas. The comp plan maps will steer decisions such as rezoning requests. The zoning and the comp plan map aren’t going to be that different.”

  • Rookie legislator comes out swinging

    Stephanie Garcia Richard has been busy during her first term as a legislator.

    Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) has sponsored 11 different bills during her first session in the state legislature.

    Some probably will not make it through committees, but others surely will.

    Garcia Richard said one of the bills —House Joint Memorial Bill10, Renewable Energy Storage Initiatives — could make it to the house floor as soon as this Tuesday.

    “It basically asked the Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural resources, to develop a task force focused on developing energy storage,” Garcia Richard said.

    While New Mexico has shown much potential in producing alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar, the problem has always been practical use. Energy experts say storing the energy (usually in the form electricity) is the key to making it practical.

    “We have the technology, it’s just we don’t have the mechanism to incentivize the process,” Garcia Richard said.