Today's News

  • Sandoval, LAFD recover two bodies from wilderness area

    The fire departments of Sandoval and Los Alamos County were involved in recovering two bodies from the Sandoval County wilderness area Saturday.

    The first incident involved a man who was reported missing by his family Friday after he did not return from a morning hike in the Jemez Mountains, according to New Mexico State Police spokesman Robert McDonald.

    The hiker's vehicle was found Friday night by Sandoval County Sheriff deputies.

    The case was transferred to State Police because it turned into a search and rescue case.

    Search and rescue crews found the man's body at the bottom of an approximate 100-foot cliff near Forest Road 10 and Forest Road 269.

    The hiker has been identified as Thomas Ilg, 54, of Los Alamos. He was a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee, according to the facility's website. Ilg reportedly had worked at the lab since 1996.

    Ilg’s neighbors were saddened and shocked to hear the news, but also said they did not know him well.

    “I knew his wife, Wendy but I did not know him very well,” said one neighbor. “That is horrible; I do know they’ve lived in this neighborhood a long time. How awful,” the neighbor said.

    McDonald said the family said Ilg was an experienced hiker.

  • Website undergoing maintenance

    LAMonitor.com is currently undergoing maintenance. If you have experienced problems with the site, please pardon the difficulties. Technicians are working to install new servers and software that will enhance the user experience.

    The work should be completed shortly.

    We appreciate your patience.

  • Gasoline tanker crashes, burns on I-40 near Grants

    GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — The driver of a tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline has survived a fiery crash that led to an hours-long closure of Interstate 40 east of Grants.

    New Mexico State police spokesman Lt. Robert McDonald says the driver was headed east on the Interstate just after daybreak Saturday when he apparently fell asleep. The truck drifted into the median and overturned. It then burst into flames and burned for more than two hours.

    The driver was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque. He's been identified as 33-year-old Dennis Pritchard of Rio Rancho.

    Both eastbound and westbound lanes of the roadway were damaged. The speed limit in the area has been lowered to 65 mph while repairs are made.

  • Comments on the ballot issues

    The rhetoric regarding the Charter ballot questions on initiative, referendum and recall is making the changes sound positively draconian!
    Let’s look at what the most widely challenged changes actually do.
    For Initiatives
    1) No change in the percentage of voters needed (so not noted in the ballot question) but a change in the basis for the number of signatures required for initiatives from 15% of voters in the last general election to 15% of the number of voters in the arithmetic mean of the past two general elections. (Election Resolution 12-09, p. 4, New Section 700.2)  For example:
    • 15 percent of the 8,846 voters in 2010 = 1,327 (mid-term)•
    • 15 percent of the 11,118 voters in 2008 = 1,668 (presidential)
    • 15 percent of the mean of 9,982 voters  = 1,497
    So if the last general election is a typical presidential election you are better off with the Charter change!
    Santa Fe requires 33.3 percent of the voters in the last mayoral election (actual numbers not available at press time).  Albuquerque requires 20 percent of the average of the last four municipal elections.

  • Sewer rate hike may get DPU flush

    Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities will recommend a sewer rate adjustment to the Board of Public Utilities at its Nov. 14 meeting. If approved, the proposed sewer ordinance will go to county council to be considered for adoption in January.

    The proposed ordinance increases overall sewer rates but also simplifies residential customers’ bills to a restructured flat fee every month. It removes the variable rate that is based on the amount of potable water consumed during winter months.

    The ordinance also includes continuing annual rate increases of eight percent for the next four years beginning in June 2013 to meet the future capital expenses of the sewer collection and wastewater treatment systems.
    Last July, DPU officials, board members and councilors met to discuss options to address increasing sewer expenses associated with required infrastructure improvements and a future replacement White Rock Wastewater Treatment facility.

  • Agencies warn about fire danger

    As the fall and winter holidays approach and more New Mexicans plan vacations or hunting trips close to home, federal, state and local fire agencies are urging caution regarding fire danger across many parts of the state.
    Lack of moisture and warm, mild conditions this fall have caused fine, grassy fuels and brush to dry, making them susceptible to wildfire.
    While the immediate region shows Northern New Mexico at “high” fire danger risk, Los Alamos County will remain at “moderate” risk until there is snow on the ground and fuel moisture percentages are up.
    The fuel moisture percentages are very low for this time of year and the potential for a fire to start and the fire sustaining growth here is very real.
    Fall is the time for residents to trim brush and trees away from their homes and fences, create a defensible space, use fire resistive materials where applicable, clean roofs and gutters, remove weeds and mow dry grass and properly dispose of the debris.
    Los Alamos Fire Department, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Park Service and the Forest Service are all teaming together to reduce the fuel load and wildfire potential. Fuel reduction projects are being implemented by each respective agency in an effort to address concerns in what may be another potentially critical spring fire season.

  • Update 11-04-12

    Library Board

    The Library Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the White Rock Branch Library.

    Parks and Rec

    The Parks and Recreation Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Larry Walkup Aquatic Center.

    Business grants

    Learn about various grant opportunities available and if they are a fit for your business from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday at the Small Business Center, 190 Central Park Square. Call Heather Campbell at 661-4803 for more information.

    Ashley Pond

    An informational meeting to show the public the 90 percent Final Design Plans for Ashley Pond Park renovations will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Fuller Lodge.

    BPU meeting

    The Board of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing on a proposed sewer rate increase and restructuring at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at 170 Central Park Square.

  • Cooking up a merit badge

    About 14 Junior Girl Scouts gathered at the Posse Shack Friday evening to work on attaining a Simple Meals merit badge. Private chef and caterer Jarda Belmonte volunteered to help the girls from White Rock Troop 10020 whip up a taco dinner

  • Driver arrested in State Road 4 crash

    Nina Roybal, 46, of Santa Fe was arrested by Santa Fe Sherrif’s Deputy Julie York Friday shortly after Roybal rolled her Toyota 4Runner on Main Hill Road (N.M. 502). After being treated for minor injuries at the scene, Roybal was administered a series of field sobriety tests by York, which she failed.

  • Voters to weigh in on Charter proposals

    Nearly three years of work by the Charter Review Committee will be put to the test during the general election. Charter amendments for initiative, referendum, recall of elected officials and the process for future charter amendments are on the ballot for voters to decide.

    All four ballot questions relate to citizen participation in government.

    The initiative process allows voters to propose an ordinance through the petition process, while a referendum uses the petition process to repeal an ordinance enacted by council. If sufficient signatures are collected, the question must be placed before the voters.

    The proposed changes are summarized in the ballot questions. To read the actual ordinances with the proposed changes, go to losalamosnm.us. The ordinances are published in legislative format, which uses underlining to highlight new material and strikethroughs to show what was deleted. The full ordinances are lengthy and require a fair amount of time to read them, so county staff recommends advance research.

    The Charter amendment page also contains a voter guide that was mailed to every residence on Sept. 26, a brief analysis of the proposed changes with arguments for and against, the CRC final report as well as subcommittee reports and meeting minutes. The League of Women voters vetted the voter guide before it was sent out.