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Today's News

  • Department to propose rate hikes

    Los Alamos County’s Department of Public Utilities is preparing to lay out its case for a series of rate hikes Wednesday at the County Municipal Building. 

    The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

    The department is looking to schedule a series of annual rate hikes over a three-year period for water and sewage.

    For water, the department is proposing 5%, 4.25%, 4% increases, respectively. For sewer, the department is proposing 6%, 3% and 2%, respectively. 

    According to Department of Utilities Manager Philo Shelton III, the hikes are already part of a department strategy that was implemented three years ago to help deal with aging infrastructure and to build up its cash reserves to be able to borrow funding for projects. The department is also working on replacing the White Rock Wastewater Treatment plant, which is more than 40 years old.  

    The department is in the design phase for the new plant, and according to Shelton, construction on the new plant should take place within a year to a year and a half.  The facility has an estimated $14 to $17 million price tag.

  • BMX track project stays alive

    The Los Alamos Parks and Recreation Board voted 4-1 Thursday to ask Los Alamos County Council to spend $50,000 to get a county-owned bike track in shape for BMX competition races. The project had been on hold since May when the county told a group of volunteers working with USA BMX to discontinue working on the project due to safety and liability issues. 

    The county started working with Dan Deschamp and the other volunteers after the shutdown, and the county eventually came up with a $90,000 proposal, the price county officials said would be the amount needed to improve the track. Conditions for consideration included having the Parks and Recreation Board give its official approval to the funding and the track project.  After discussing a variety of price ranges, the board voted on a $50,000 funding limit Thursday.

    The board voted Thursday to include the project in this funding cycle.

    “The other option would be to wait until it would be discussed in the budget hearings for 2021, which would mean no work would start for another two years if it gets voted on and approved,” said Parks and Recreation Vice Chair Dina Pesenson to the board.

  • LALT opens season with a ‘Boom’

    The countdown is underway for “tick, tick… BOOM!” — the opening production in Los Alamos Little Theatre’s 2019-20 season that started with an opening performance Friday.

    The show will run from tonight to Sept. 28, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Sept. 22, at Los Alamos County’s Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St.

    Written by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author of “Rent,” the small-cast musical “tick, tick… BOOM!” follows an aspiring composer trying to make it on Broadway but beginning to question his life choices. 

    “This play is a hidden gem of a rock musical that I wanted Los Alamos to discover,” said director Tim Orcutt. He added that the play has not previously been performed in New Mexico.

  • Police Beat

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation. 

     

    Sept. 5

    9:21 a.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a suicide attempt in Los Alamos. Case is inactive.

     

    9:28 a.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a physical fight in Los Alamos. The suspects were referred to Teen Court. 

     

    11 p.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a report of criminal damage to property at a vacant hotel property at the intersection of 4th Street and Trinity.  Investigation is inactive.

     

    Sept. 6

    4:40 p.m. – Los Alamos police stopped a suspect for speeding, found to be in possession of illegal drugs. Suspect was arrested. 

  • $84M contract awarded for northwestern N.M. pipeline

    GALLUP (AP) — The U.S. Interior Department has awarded a nearly $84 million contract for a water pipeline in northwestern New Mexico.

    The pipeline is part of the larger Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project that’s been in the works for several years. It will deliver San Juan River water to more than 40 Navajo Nation communities, the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and the city of Gallup.  

    The work is scheduled to begin in January.

  • New Mexico Army National Guard soldiers deploying to Poland

    The New Mexico National Guard will host a Yellow Ribbon ceremony to bid farewell to about 65 Soldiers of the 1209th Medical Support Company on Saturday (Sept. 14) at 10 a.m., who will deploy to Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. 

    The Yellow Ribbon ceremony will take place at V. Sue Cleveland High School Concert Hall in Rio Rancho. 

    The deployment to Poland will be for about nine months. Once there, the 1209th will be performing medical area support to units participating in Operation Atlantic Resolve.

  • Agreement means feds to decide on prairie bird designation

    DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge has approved an agreement that will require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make a recommendation by May 2021 whether the lesser prairie chicken should be federally protected as a threatened or endangered species.

    The agreement was reached Thursday between the federal agency and three conservations groups: the Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians.

    The groups sued the federal government in June to force it to make a designation for the lesser prairie chicken and its habitats.

    Once a designation is proposed, there will then be a public comment period followed by a final determination made later by Fish and Wildlife. The agency also could decide that no federal protections be provided for the bird.

    It was listed as threatened in 2014 but a federal court overturned the designation.

    The grouse roams parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, but the groups said fewer than 38,000 remain .

  • New Mexico stays out of opioids settlement

    SANTA FE— New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is declining to join a tentative settlement agreement over the role OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma played in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis.

    Balderas’ office on Wednesday said the proposal was not nearly enough to pay for the harm that has been done to New Mexico families.

    The agreement with about half the states and attorneys representing roughly 2,000 local governments would have Purdue file for a structured bankruptcy and pay as much as $12 billion over time. About $3 billion would come from the Sackler family that controls Purdue.

    Several attorneys general said the agreement is a better way to ensure compensation from Purdue and the Sacklers than taking their chances if Purdue files for bankruptcy on its own.

    “The Sacklers are perhaps the most deadly drug dealers in the world. Because of their illegal actions, New Mexico faces some of the highest opioid related death numbers in the nation, and we have whole communities here in New Mexico which will never be the same again,” Balderas. “Today I am seeking to hold them accountable and to help end New Mexico’s crisis and avoid more lives being lost.”

  • LALT Opens 2019-20 Season With a ‘Boom’ tonight

    The countdown is underway for “tick, tick… BOOM!” — the opening production in Los Alamos Little Theatre’s 2019-20 season that will start with an opening performance tonight.

    The show will run from tonight to Sept. 28, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Sept. 22, at Los Alamos County’s Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St. Written by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author of “Rent,” the small-cast musical “tick, tick… BOOM!” follows an aspiring composer trying to make it on Broadway but beginning to question his life choices.

    “This play is a hidden gem of a rock musical that I wanted Los Alamos to discover,” said director Tim Orcutt. He added that the play has not previously been performed in New Mexico.

    “I think audiences will gain an appreciation for the author's struggles on many fronts, and often this is where great art comes from,” Orcutt said. “Jonathan Larson made a choice to pursue his passion, regardless of the cost. I, like most people, took the practical route and put my family first. But we all sometimes wonder ‘…what if?’”

  • GOP House candidate under fire for social media posts

    ALBUQUERQUE — A Republican U.S. House candidate running for an important seat in southern New Mexico is facing criticism for old social media posts attacking Donald Trump, including one where she wrote the wealthy real estate mogul was “unworthy of the office” of the president.

    In 2015 and 2016, Claire Chase wrote several Facebook posts denouncing Trump as he sought the GOP nomination for president before publicly supporting him in the general election. Chase used a vulgar term to describe Trump in one post and wrote in another that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump made her “throw up in my mouth.”

    Chase later wrote that she might support former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, who ran for president as a Libertarian in 2016.

    The social media posts were first reported by the conservative online news organization, Breitbart News.

    Chase campaign spokesman Craig Murphy said Chase wrote the posts before Trump won the GOP nomination and was open about her support for another candidate.

    However, Murphy said Chase voted for Trump in the general election and has been very pleased with his actions as president.