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Today's News

  • Residents to pay lower property taxes Oct. 1

    Los Alamos County residents will get a break on their property taxes when their tax bills arrive Oct. 1.

    Los Alamos County Council Tuesday set a new mill rate for residents. It will be set at 25.087 mills, a decrease from last year’s mill rate of 25.233.

    According to figures released through the county, that represents a .58 percent decrease in property taxes. The announcement was made at Tuesday’s county council meeting.

    Businesses however will see an increase in their property taxes from last year. For businesses, the county assigned a mill rate of 28.710, a .01 percent increase over last year’s 28.708 mill rate.

    One mill is equivalent to $1 for each $1,000 of taxable value. A decrease of .01 mill  would result in a $1 decrease for a home with taxable value of $100,000.

    Council Vice Chair Chris Chandler, who said she received requests from residents that the item be publicly discussed, moved the issue off the consent agenda for public discussion.

    Included in the discussion was a sheet of figures that broke down what each entity’s mill rate contributing to the overall mill rate was.

  • Regulators: $2B power line project lacks location details

    SANTA FE (AP) — Developers behind a proposed $2 billion high-voltage power line that would funnel wind and solar energy from rural spots in New Mexico and Arizona to larger markets will have to make another run at getting needed approvals from regulators in New Mexico.

    The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously to reject the proposed location of the lines, finding that the application by the SunZia lacked information needed to determine the project's environmental impact on communities it would span.

    A hearing examiner had determined earlier that developers didn't adequately research the zoning and land-use requirements of the property surrounding the proposed route.

    The SunZia transmission project has been years in the making and not without controversy. Disputes initially rose over its proximity to a U.S. military installation, and environmentalists and ranchers have raised concerns about wildlife and rangeland.
     

  • Burt Reynolds, star of film, TV and tabloids, dead at 82

    NEW YORK (AP) — Burt Reynolds, the handsome film and television star known for his acclaimed performances in "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights" and for an active off-screen life which included relationships with Loni Anderson, Sally Field and Dinah Shore, has died at age 82.

    His death was confirmed Thursday by his agent Todd Eisner, who did not immediately have further details.

    Reynolds inspired a wide range of responses over his long, erratic career: critical acclaim and critical scorn, commercial success and box office bombs. Reynolds made scores of movies, ranging from lightweight fare such as the hits "The Cannonball Run" and "Smokey and the Bandit" to more serious films like "The Longest Yard" and "The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing."

    He was nominated for an Oscar for "Boogie Nights," the Paul Thomas Anderson film about the pornography industry; won an Emmy for the TV series "Evening Shade," and received high praise for his starring role in "Deliverance."

  • US says North Korean charged in Sony hack, WannaCry attack
  • State reports first 2 cases of West Nile virus

    The state health department confirmed Thursday two people were infected this year with West Nile virus.

    The cases involved a 43-year-old San Juan County man and a 71-year-old Doña Ana County woman. Both were taken to the hospital.

    Mosquito populations remained on the rise after weeks of rain statewide, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

    “Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, where hundreds of mosquitoes can emerge at once and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for a person to get sick,” said Department of Health spokesman David Morgan.

    Last year, there were 33 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in New Mexico, including one fatal case, and in 2016, there were
    six confirmed West Nile virus cases in New Mexico, with one reported death.

    West Nile virus is regularly transmitted by mosquitoes around the state, and can be fatal.

    People ages 50 and older are at higher risk of having serious consequences from infection with West Nile virus and should be especially careful to avoid mosquito bites, Morgan said.

  • Scouting mission underway along proposed Rio Grande Trail

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A couple of hikers have embarked on a 500-mile (805-kilometer) expedition that will traverse New Mexico from end to end.

    The mission: Chart out the best route and identify what challenges might lay ahead as the state moves closer to establishing the Rio Grande Trail.

    Following in the footsteps of other states, New Mexico is looking to capitalize on its vistas, mild weather and culture with the creation of a long-distance trail along one of North America's longest rivers.

    Officials say outdoor recreation in New Mexico is already a multi-billion-dollar industry and the Appalachian, the Continental

    Divide and other famous long-distance trails have proven to be beacons for attracting visitors.

    The Rio Grande Trail Commission just approved the official logo for the trail and a master plan is expected to be rolled out later this year.
     

  • Rio Arriba county commissioner Trujillo indicted on felony counts

    A Rio Arriba County Grand Jury has indicted County Commissioner Barney Trujillo on three felony counts, including one felony count of unlawful interest in a public contract, and one felony count of campaign contribution disclosure and prohibition, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Thursday.

    Trujillo, a Democrat from Chimayo, has been a county commissioner since 2010. He served on the Legislative Council Service from 1998-1999 and worked in the State Land Office for 10 years, from 2000-2010, according to the county website.

    He ran unsuccessfully for the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2016.

    According to an article in the Albuquerque Journal, investigators with the attorney general’s office were accompanied by New Mexico State police when they executed a search warrant and raided Trujillo’s home in January 2017.  

    The article also said the attorney’s general’s office filed suit against the Española Public Schools in January 2017 for failing to provide documents, including emails, that were sought relating to Trujillo’s company, which held a $50,000-a-year, no-bid contract with the school district for marketing services.

  • Conservation Voters NM looks to bash Pearce over ties to oil, gas industry

    The Conservation Voters New Mexico plans to spend about $500,000 to highlight the ties between Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce and the oil and gas industry, according to the Associated Press.

    Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Demis Foster said Wednesday that television and online ads take aim at Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce for accepting campaign donations from the oil and gas sector while siding with the industry in Congress.

    A television ad paid for by the conservation group's Verde Voters Fund says Pearce voted to make it easier to privatize public land.

    Pearce campaign spokesman Kevin Sheridan called that accusation false and ridiculous. He notes that Verde Voters Fund is supported by contributions from billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    The Conservation Voters New Mexico and CVNM Action Fund endorsed the entire slate of Democrats running for state office across the board, releasing the list Friday but admitted no other candidates were considered because they did not fill out the group’s questionnaire.

    The group also endorsed Democrat Andrea Romero, who has been found negligent in two critical investigations that probed her financial management of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.

  • LAHS volleyball struggles against St. Michael’s

    With a deadly combination of size and speed, the St. Michael’s High School volleyball team is one of the frontrunners for a state championship in Class 3A this season. Tuesday in Santa Fe, the Lady Horsemen proved to be too much for Los Alamos High School to handle, as the Hilltoppers fell 3-1. 

    From the first serve of the match, it was obvious that it would be a challenge for the Hilltoppers to keep up, as the Lady Horsemen always seemed to be in the right spot on the floor, jumping out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first set. 

    After falling behind 12-2 in the set, LAHS seemed to settle down a bit and played with more confidence, but the deficit was too large to overcome as the Hilltoppers fell 25-12 to go down 1-0. 

    The second set was far more competitive, as the Hilltoppers grabbed an early lead and hung with the Lady Horsemen through the middle part of the set. However, the LAHS blockers struggled to defend against the strong attacking of St. Michael’s in the latter part of the set, falling into a hole once again. 

    Despite a tough effort, the Hilltoppers lost the second set 25-19 to go down 2-0. 

  • Volleyball drops second straight road game

    Despite playing well for much of the match, the Los Alamos High School volleyball team struggled to close out sets against Santa Fe High and fell Thursday night 3-1. 

    The Hilltoppers entered the match hoping to rebound after a loss earlier this week against St. Michael’s, and got off to a much better start against a tough Demonettes team. 

    After falling behind 11-6 in the first set, LAHS quickly rebounded to take a 14-13 lead on an ace serve by Elodie Thelliez. The Hilltoppers were unable to extend that lead, however, as Santa Fe quickly gained control again. Though Thelliez, Gracie Swenson and Elise Olivas picked up big points at the end of the set, the Hilltoppers fell behind 1-0 with a 25-20 loss. 

    The second set was the best of the night for LAHS, but it was far from perfect. After taking a 12-10 lead on a kill by Gabriella Duran, the Hilltoppers were outscored 10-1 over the next 11 points, and fell behind 19-13. That’s when the team picked up its energy, as Natalie Gallegos picked up a powerful kill and Kyla Sandoval followed with an impressive ace serve to cut the deficit to 19-16.