Today's News

  • Thompson Ridge Fire reaches Valles Caldera

    As one Los Alamos resident put it, “This will be the rest of the Jemez; Cerro Grande Part 3.”

    So said Taber West, who was keeping a watchful eye on the wildfire from a nearby location on N.M. 4.

    Close by were checkpoints set up by the Sandoval County Sheriff and the U.S. Forest Service. The place was quickly becoming a lookout point for the curious and for those who actually have a lot to lose, depending on the direction of the fire.

    “They just told us to get out of there, so we took our vehicles and left,” said Craig Yost, a Sulphur Springs resident. “I have no idea if everything’s okay, or not.”

    Yost said his chief concern is his house. He said the last thing he tried to do is fend off the fire with a garden house. But when firefighters arrived on the scene, he was told to put down his garden hose and leave.

    “We grabbed everything we could, papers, computers, whatever we could.”

    From his vantage point on N.M. 4 he could see flames traveling 150 to 200 feet in the air earlier in the day. But he has hope, he said, as he also saw helicopters traveling to the blaze and putting a barrier of water between the fire and the houses.

    “They might try to stop it on the ridge,” Yost said.

  • Damage assessment to begin after fatal Okla. storm--Video Extra

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Emergency officials are preparing to survey tornado damage again this morning following the second major fatal storm to strike the Oklahoma City metropolitan area in several days.

    Law enforcement officers and Red Cross damage assessment workers planned to head out at dawn to areas the tornadoes struck in the city and its suburbs.

    Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said early Saturday that she had no word of additional fatalities beyond the five reported Friday night. Among them were a mother and baby.

    Hospital officials say about 50 people were hurt. The storm bore down on an interstate highway as commuters tried to beat it home during evening rush hour.

    On May 20, an even more powerful storm rolled into Moore, killing 24 people.

  • Thompson Ridge Fire now exceeds 1,700 acres

    State forestry said in a statement that the Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs started Friday afternoon and had grown to an estimated 725 acres by evening. As of Saturday evening, the fire is now estimated at 1,200 acres, and the latest update Sunday afternoon, officials estimate the fire is now nearly 1,750 acres.

    The service said about 50 homes in the area had been evacuated and one home was damaged by the fire.

    The blaze was still burning uncontrolled Saturday night with more than 80 fire personnel on the scene, but officials said its growth had slowed, reducing any immediate threats to structures.

  • Two small planes collide near Phoenix; Four dead
  • No injuries as ACT bus, car collide near downtown--Photo Extras

    A silver Toyota Camry, driven by a 54-year-old Los Alamos woman, allegedly pulled out in front of an out-of-service Atomic City Transit bus, driven by a 24-year-old Los Alamos man, at the corner of Trinity Drive and Central Avenue around noon Friday.

    The woman’s vehicle was sustained heavy front damage. There was slight damage to the right front of the bus.

    Police said there were no injuries. The woman driving the Camry was cited. The bus driver was not, according to police.

    The driver of the bus said the vehicle pulled out in front him and he said he swerved to try and avoid the crash.

    “I am just glad she wasn’t hurt,” the bus driver said.

    The westbound lane of Trinity Drive was closed for about 45 minutes as police investigated.

    It was not known if charges would be filed and police said a report would not be available until next week.

    There also was a minor accident at the corner of Diamond Drive and Orange Street around noon but there were no injuries.

  • Alcove House closed temporarily

    For months, the stonework of the kiva at Alcove House — formerly known as Ceremonial Cave — in Bandelier National Monument has become more and more unstable.
    Recently that part of the alcove was fenced off as a temporary measure so visitors could go up the ladders and enjoy the rest of the alcove while staying clear of any rocks that might break off from the weakened kiva walls. Now arrangements are in progress for a major project to begin in June to remove unstable wall sections and stabilize the kiva’s structure.
    The work will make it necessary for Alcove House to be closed to visitors from June 10-16, open from June 17-21, and then closed again June 22-Aug. 22. The trail past the base of the Alcove House trail will remain open throughout, except for occasional short periods when the moving of materials blocks the way.
    “We truly regret having to close a site as popular as Alcove House, especially during the summer season. We know it is a favorite of many visitors,” said Park Superintendent Jason Lott. “It is not something the park would choose to do if there was an alternative. But there is real danger of a wall falling and injuring visitors. When the whole project is completed, Alcove House should be available to visitors for years to come, as well as being better preserved than before.”

  • Update 05-31-13

    Cowboy Breakfast

    Cowboy breakfast at the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge, 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday. $7, $4 children, 10 years and younger.

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    County Council

    Los Alamos County
    Council will meet in a regular session at 7 p.m. June 4 in council chambers.

    LA Theater

    “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” 2 p.m. Sunday at the Los Alamos Little Theater. $20, $15 for seniors and students. For more information call 662-5493.

    Dark Night

    The Pajarito Astronomers will be holding a County-Sponsored Dark Night, 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Spirio Soccer Field, Overlook Park in White Rock. 

  • Diner offers slice of 1950s nostalgia

    The Fabulous 50s Diner prides itself on two things as its motto states, “Good food year round,” and keep it affordable.

    General Manager Charlie Bracken strives to build a family oriented business with a reasonably priced menu. It is a “cooked to order” menu that serves breakfast all day long and a special of the week.

    There are a wide variety of items, from traditional burgers and hot dogs to enchiladas and chile rellenos.

    The diner contains a full soda shop that serves milkshakes, floats, smoothies, banana splits, 28 flavors of ice cream — made by Blue Bell and three non-sugar flavors.

    A Build-Your-Own-Burger and Build-Your-Own-Salad bar is loaded with toppings to choose from. Bracken also makes soup from his own personal recipes.

    The diner opened under its current name in 2008. Owners Peter and Loretta Olivas have known Bracken for many years. A few years ago, Bracken was working for the original owner, who wanted to return to Texas and sell the business. Bracken and Olivas “put all the cards on the table to make that happen,” Bracken said.

    “I am trying to build myself up and prove myself to others in the community,” Bracken said, who has many years of experience in the restaurant business.

  • Aspen closed for summer

    A worker from Moving Solutions takes some items out of a portable classroom on the Aspen Elementary School campus, as Herb McLean, Construction coordinator for the district, takes a last look around. The Aspen Elementary Campus will be closed all summer due to construction.

  • Choosing well sites no easy task

    Short of killing the San Juan-Chama Water Project entirely, many White Rock residents are convinced the county can find an option that is not in their neighborhood. These are the findings of the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) and DPU officials response to additional suggestions.

    The Preliminary Engineering Report by CDM Smith cost $372,466. A Water Trust Board grant and loan covered $250,000 of that. CDM Smith was also contracted for the test well design at $190,554.
    PER alternatives:

    Proposed project: alternative 5: one to three wells to intercept groundwater before it discharges to the Rio Grande. $9 million per well, with close to $43 million in 100-year maintenance if all three are built. The only alternative that does not require a new water treatment facility. No anticipated easements or land acquisition, and minimal environmental issues in comparison with the other options.

    Alternative 1: divert water from San Ildefonso collector wells. $36.5 million in capital costs with more than $56 million in 100-year maintenance. Requires building three additional wells and a pipeline on land sacred to the San Ildefonso people. Obtaining easements was deemed unlikely.