Local News

  • Update 09-15-13

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilties will hold its monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday in Room 110 of the Municipal Building. The main topic will be a public hearing on the proposed gas rate ordinance. If approved, it will be introduced to county council at a regular meeting at a later date, after which a council public hearing will be scheduled. Interested residents are encouraged to attend this public hearing.


    Anyone interested in attending Lunch with a Leader, scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Mesa Public Library, and would like to order lunch from the Co-op, call Karyl Ann Armbruster at 661-6605 by Sunday.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the White Rock Fire Station No. 3.

    Brown Bag

    Brown Bag Lecture. Explosives at LANL with Cary Skidmore and Dan Hooks. Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Bradbury Science Museum. To highlight the laboratory’s work in the field of explosives, the museum will host an exhibit that begins at 4 p.m.

  • Officials still determining cause of power outage

    Something happened in the power grid of the Los Alamos National Laboratory that caused an hour-long blackout of most areas of town Saturday afternoon, according to Los Alamos County Public Utilities.

    The blackout happened around 2:30 p.m., and lasted until about 3:30, according to DPU spokesperson Julie Williams-Hill. It’s still not known what caused the power outage.

    “Our crews responded and restored power around 3:20 p.m.,” Williams-Hill said, adding that the problem occurred to one of the two main power lines coming into town.

    Though power is restored, the problem itself still isn’t resolved. According to Williams-Hill, LANL’s electrical crews are still trying to determine what happened.

    “What our crews did is just move everyone to another circuit,” she said.

    Areas affected by the blackout include North Mesa, Barranca Mesa as well as the downtown area, heading east.

    “Until we know what the problem is with the line, we don’t want to turn it back on,” she added.

  • Police: 1 dead from NM flooding

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State police say a man has died after his vehicle washed into a ravine covered in mud near the Elephant Butte dam.

    New Mexico State Police Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said authorities discovered the vehicle Saturday next to State Road 51 in Ash Canyon.

    Gutierrez says vehicle was washed off the roadway, probably Friday during flooding.

    The man's name was not released.

    The death is the first related to massive flooding in New Mexico this week from record heavy rains and overflowing rivers.

    Gov. Susana Martinez issued a state of emergency on Friday to open up recovery funding for local communities hit hard by the flooding.

  • Trap ensnares bear, cub on the loose

    Neighbors are reporting through emails to the Los Alamos Monitor that the bear that’s been visiting backyards on Barranca Mesa has been captured. However, that’s not the end of the story.

    The bear was female, and it apparently had a cub with it. When the bear was trapped in a resident’s driveway by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, it became separated from its mother.

    “The bear that entered the home on Barranca Mesa was captured, but it was not reported that it apparently was a mama bear that had a six to nine month old bear cub with her, said Barranca Mesa resident Sig Gerstl. “The baby bear was not captured.”

    It is unclear whether or not since the bear was a female with a cub, if it was euthanized. According to NMFW spokesperson Rachel Shockley, it is the common practice of the agency to euthanize wild animals that are dangerous to humans who have become accustomed to their presence.

    Shockley said Friday she needed to get more information from the warden who was working on the Barranca Mesa incident.

    The mother bear got inside the Edelmann residence on Tuesday of last week through an open window.

  • Retaining wall fails at new biofuels lab

    Friday’s massive rainstorm caused damage to even one of the newer structures around town.

    The retaining wall collapsed at the new bio-lab facility at Entrada Park.

    “Due to the extraordinary rain, we had dramatic retaining wall failures this morning in the Entrada development that have affected the Biolab. There is no immediate threat to the building. There were no injuries. We have normal operations. But the event and its aftermath are quite impressive,” said Katharine Chartrand, executive director of the New Mexico Consortium.

    “I want to thank Drs. Sayre and Buelow for shoveling out the blocked drainage ditch and Jaynes Corp. for a rapid response.”

  • Today in History for September 14th
  • National Guard Aides Colo. Rescue Efforts

    With a brief break in the heavy rainfall, National Guard troops began evacuating hundreds of Jamestown, Colorado residents that have been stranded without power or water for more than a day.

  • County update from storm

    STORM CONDITIONS UPDATE FOR LOS ALAMOS COUNTY - Friday, September 13th at 5:00pm:


    The National Weather Service has extended the FLASH FLOOD WATCH through Saturday

    evening, September 14th.

    Please remember the following tips in flood risk areas:

    *  Just because it isn't raining where you are doesn't mean you aren't in danger. If

    you are below the storm in any way, floodwater and debris could be upon you within


    *  Keep pets and children out of canyons and arroyos during and after a storm - warn

    children of the dangers of playing in or near canyon streams and arroyos when it


    *  Never walk or drive through floodwaters of any depth - you don't know if the road

    underneath is still there. Find a safer route or wait until floodwaters subside

    completely. Six inches of fast-flowing water is enough to sweep you off your feet.

    Two feet of flowing water can float away most cars.

    *  If flooding occurs in your neighborhood, please remain calm and shelter in place.

    While some sections of town may become isolated for a time, flash floods recede

  • Bandelier closed until at least Monday


    Bandelier National Monument experienced two large flood events, one late Thursday and the other Friday morning.

    Flooding in Frijoles Canyon prompted Superintendent Jason Lott to close the monument for the safety of visitors due to debris on trails and the potential for flooding throughout the weekend.  Bandelier staff will begin clean-up efforts as soon as rains subside and hope to re-open the monument by Monday. 

    This morning, heavy rains caused flash flooding more severe than any recent flooding the monument has received since 2011.  Rain gauges in the upper part of Frijoles Canyon measured 11 feet at peak and water soon rushed into the visitor center parking lot, taking out signs and trashcans in its path.

     The historic district in Frijoles Canyon, including the Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and Visitor Center, were not damaged.  Although sandbags and jersey barriers protected the buildings, trails in Frijoles Canyon are covered in debris.  Visitors should expect to see flood damage to trails when the canyon re-opens Monday (weather dependent).

  • Floods imperil natural gas line

    Pueblo of San Ildefonso Governor Terry Aguilar has been fearful of what happened at NNSA/DOE Gage Station 109.9 yesterday for some time now. Heavy rainfall sent five-foot floodwaters rushing over an exposed New Mexico Gas Company pipeline just below the station.

    "I don't think people realize that the Guaje Canyon floods tremendously from the Cerro Grande and Los Conchas fires," Aguilar said. "Our roads have been knocked out. Especially after these rains, in the morning, to get up there and see the damage, it's pretty bad. The amount of water that comes through there is extremely dangerous."

    Guaje Canyon is part of the 37,800 acre watershed feeding the canyon in which the monitoring station is located.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration/Department of Energy originally installed a simple monitoring station as part of its early notification system for the Buckman Direct Diversion Project, to monitor contaminants in Los Alamos and Pueblo Canyons.