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Today's News

  • Ex-police chief loses fight with county, insurance co.

    Former Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy’s three-year legal battle with Los Alamos County and its insurance company over lost benefits ended June 11, after a judge determined he was not entitled to nearly $70,000 in compensation.  

    Torpy lodged a complaint in February 2015 against Los Alamos County for breach of contract and the county’s insurance company, Union Security for unfair trade and insurance practices.

    First Judicial Court Judge Francis J. Mathew decided against Torpy’s claims, saying that the county and the county’s insurance company, Union Security Insurance Company, were right in denying Tory’s claim for lost benefits.

    Torpy claimed the county denied him money the county took out of his paycheck in lieu of Social Security for the eight and a half year’s Torpy was the county’s police chief.

    Torpy claimed that when he started with the county, he was given a written promise that he would be paid 60 percent of his monthly salary through the county’s insurance company, Union Security, if he ever became permanently disabled.

    In 2012, Torpy suffered a heart attack and a stroke, which resulted in him becoming permanently disabled.

  • Ranger programs to start at Manhattan Project NMP

    The Manhattan Project National Historical Park will be offering a series of ranger programs designed to help visitors understand and connect with the story of the project.

    Josh Nelson, who began as the on-site ranger for the historical park six weeks ago, will be conducting the programs along with park volunteers.

    “It will be a 20-minute program by Ashley Pond Park and is free and open to everyone,” he said. “We still have the self-guided walking tour program. These ranger programs will not cover the walking tours; they’re just another way for people to better connect with the walking tour. They’re designed to complement one another.”

    The programs will start this weekend and last through July 22. They will be held each Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Los Alamos Visitor Center located at 475 20th Street. Reservations are not required.

    “These are brand new programs that we’re doing,” said Nelson. “We’ve never done these before and we’re looking forward to them. We’d be happy to have anyone from the community or any visitors come for the ranger program.”

    The ranger programs will incorporate the big picture of how the Project Y lab and community fit in with the complex events of World War II.

  • County to allow some fireworks

    A proclamation enacted by the Los Alamos County Council details restrictions on the use of fireworks while the county remains under the current Stage 3 fire restrictions.

    The proclamation was presented during the council’s June 12 meeting. It did not address the subject of an organized Fourth of July fireworks display.

    “A decision on the Fourth of July fireworks will be made by Friday, June 29,” said Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Steven Dawald.

    The proclamation detailed the type of fireworks that can be used and where they can be used. The restrictions were imposed as a result of the extremely dry conditions in Los Alamos, as well as the fact those conditions are likely to continue – and even deteriorate – over the next 30 days.

    The proclamation states that “heavy fuel loading, low humidity, heat and wind forecasts in the county increase the danger of wildland, brush, grass and forest fires,” and that these fires “would threaten homes and structures, putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.”

    The council, pursuant to the New Mexico Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act, has authorization to ban or limit the use and sale of certain fireworks when extreme or severe drought conditions exist as determined by the county council.

  • Utility work begins on Loma Vista

    After an underground electric line failed June 14, affecting properties on the south side of Loma Vista, line crews with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities restored power through a temporary repair. 

    Permanent repairs began Wednesday under contract with Paul Parker Construction and will continue through the end of the month. 

    Crews will trench on the south side of Loma Vista between Los Arboles and crossing the north and southbound lanes of Oppenheimer to replace the damaged conduit and cable.

    Construction crews will work from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday but the road will remain open. Traffic will be restricted to one lane around the construction zone as it moves along Loma Vista and then across Oppenheimer.  Driveway ingress and egress will be maintained for residents.  Street parking will be prohibited on Loma Vista during construction hours.

    After construction is finished, a brief power outage will be scheduled to tie the new cable into the existing electric distribution system.

    For questions, call DPU through the Customer Care Center at 505-662-8333 or visit CustomerCare@lacnm.us.    

  • Fire Training
  • Manned aircraft crashes at Holloman Air Force Base facility

    HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — Officials at Holloman Air Force Base say an aircraft has crashed but the condition of the pilot is unknown.

    Arlan Ponder, a spokesman for the 49th Wing, issued a release saying the crash occurred just before noon Friday at Red Rio Bombing Range.

    The range is about 65 miles north of the base. It is an active Air Force facility that includes 196,000 acres on White Sands Missile Range.

    Officials say an investigation is underway.
     

  • Squash Blooms in Season
  • Fed finds biggest US banks strong enough to survive shock

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says that all of the 35 largest U.S. banks are fortified enough to survive an economic shock and keep on lending. Banks’ hypothetical losses from credit cards increased in the latest “stress tests,” however.

    The first round of the central bank’s annual stress tests, released Thursday, shows that as a group, the 35 big banks have benefited from a steadily recovering economy to gain strength and build up capital buffers against unexpected losses. It was the eighth annual check-up for the banks, mandated by Congress after the 2008 financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.

    The Fed said it applied its toughest-ever “severely adverse” scenario for the economy in this year’s tests to see how the banks would fare. The hypothetical scenario calls for a severe global recession and a U.S. unemployment rate of 10 percent, compared with the current 3.8 percent.

  • Firefighters injured in San Antonio Fire

    Two firefighters were injured Wednesday fighting the San Antonio Fire.

    U.S. Forest officials said the two firefighters are part of a firefighting crew based in Oregon. The nature of their injuries and their identities were not released Thursday.

    The fire is 35 percent contained, as firefighters continue to build a southeastern containment line. The fire size remains at 495 acres, according to Valles Caldera National Preserve Spokeswoman Kimberly DeValle.

    “While the perimeter-based size hasn't changed in several days, the scattering of the smaller fires inside the perimeter continue to burn. The 495-acre size is based on a perimeter that encompasses all the smaller fires,” DeValle said in a written statement.

    The U.S. Forest Service’ strategy is to hold the containment lines and let the fire burn itself out from within. The fire is located in the northwestern section of the Valles Caldera. It was named the San Antonio Fire because of its proximity to San Antonio Mountain. Santa Fe National Forest officials said the Stage 3 fire restrictions established at the beginning of June by the U.S. Forest Service remain in effect for the area, even though the forest and the preserve received some rain over the weekend.

  • New Mexico to join Washington, other states to sue over family separations

    SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington and more than a half-dozen other states said Thursday that they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy of separating immigrant families illegally entering the United States.

    Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement Thursday outside a federal prison in the city of SeaTac, south of Seattle, where about 200 immigration detainees have been transferred — including dozens of women separated from their children under the administration's "zero tolerance" policy. It calls for prosecuting all migrants caught illegally entering the country.

    Ferguson said the separations violate the due process rights of children and their parents and that President Donald Trump's executive order Wednesday halting the practice has not resolved the legal concerns.

    "This is a rogue, cruel, and unconstitutional policy," Ferguson said. "We're going to put a stop to it."

    The lawsuit would be filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.

    The states set to join Ferguson's lawsuit are Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota. New York has separately announced plans to sue.

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said the policy harms children and families.