Local News

  • VIDEO: Memorial Day keynote speaker Gen. (Ret.) Doug Anson
  • Details scarce in pool incident

    Details are scarce concerning the five-year-old boy, who was lifeflighted to the UNM Children’s hospital in Albuquerque Wednesday morning after an apparent drowning incident at Barranca Mesa Pool.
    Los Alamos police still is conducting its investigation and there is no word on the boy’s condition.
    The Los Alamos Fire Department made a medical report, which is not a public record, according to county spokesman Julie Habiger. Habiger added the police department is still talking to witnesses and will release a report when it is ready.
    Pool association president Martin Pieck issued a statement Wednesday afternoon.
    “At this point, our foremost concern is the wellbeing of the child. Our thoughts and prayers are with the child and go out to his family.
    “The Barranca Pool staff and board members are fully cooperating with the 
Los Alamos Police Department in order to reconstruct the sequence of events. Due to the ongoing investigation and to protect the privacy of the
victim’s family, we are unable to provide any additional information.”

    However, Thursday evening, Pieck issued a statement saying that the pool will reopen Friday, after spending the past two days providing couseling to the staff and lifeguards who were on duty at the time of the accident.

  • LAFD announces promotions

    Los Alamos, NM – Fire Chief Troy Hughes announced this morning that two members of LAFD have been promoted, effective today.
    Jeff Wetteland has been promoted to Battalion Chief, in charge of the Fire & Life Safety Division. Wetteland began his career with LAFD in July 2001 and was promoted to Captain in April 2009. Chief Wetteland will serve as the County’s Fire Marshal.
    Jeff Saiz has been promoted to Captain. He was hired in January 2006 and promoted to Driver/Engineer in February 2011.  
    Hughes said both promotions were necessary because of the upcoming departure of LAFD’s Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson, who has accepted the Fire Chief’s position in Moscow, Idaho.  
    “The Los Alamos County Fire Department is very fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals ready and able to step into leadership roles when one becomes vacant,” said Hughes.

  • Feds want to drop charges against Rodella's son

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Federal prosecutors want to dismiss charges against the son of an indicted northern New Mexico sheriff who was accused along with his father of roughing up a driver during an off-duty traffic stop.
    U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez said Wednesday that prosecutors have filed a motion to dismiss charges against Thomas Rodella, Jr.
    Rodella and his father, Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella, were indicted this month for conspiracy to violate a motorist’s civil rights during the March encounter.
    Court papers say the sheriff wasn’t in uniform when he chased down the motorist, jumped out of his personal SUV with a gun and shoved his badge in the motorist’s face.
    Prosecutors say the younger Rodella may lack the cognitive ability necessary to prove the charges against him.
    Federal agents were looking for a New Mexico sheriff’s badge during a May raid to test it for DNA in connection with an encounter with a motorist, newly released court documents said.
    According to unsealed court documents, FBI agents wanted Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella’s badge and silver handgun when they searched his house and car, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
    The indictment says Rodella shoved his badge in the motorist’s face.

  • County Briefs 08-27-14

    GOP to open headquarters Monday

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos invites friends and families to the opening of their 2014 election headquarters at 4 p.m. Monday. The location is 1362D-1Trinity, between Viola’s and the new Subway. The phone number is 695-8080.
    There will be free hot dogs for all and statewide and local candidates for voters to get to know better. The headquarters will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday -Friday. Information on the election, candidates and registering to vote will be available. All are welcome anytime. For more information, call Robert Gibson, 662-3159.

    LAFD admin offices closed

    The Los Alamos Fire Department Administrative offices located at 999 Central Avenue, Suite 200 will be closed today through Friday. All administrative staff will be participating in a process of Internal Stakeholders meetings, during this time as the department is currently working on a process of improving daily quality of services by establishing a new Community Driven Strategic Plan.
    Telephones will be routed to 311 Customer Care during working hours. Messages will be checked regularly and returned promptly.

    DWI checkpoint set for Santa Fe County

  • Relay for Life

    This year’s Relay for Life Team to raise money for the American Cancer Society featured “Team SGR,” Eric Vasquez, Elia Vasquez, Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard, Tarin Nix, and Karyl Ann Armbruster. The team, LA DEMS, raised more than $2,000 for cancer research.

  • Update 08-27-14

    Farmers Market

    Los Alamos Farmers Market. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mesa Public Library parking lot.


    Gordon’s Summer Concert Series. South By Southwest featuring Mike Hearne, Jimmy Stadler and Zeke Severson. 7-10 p.m. Friday at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

    Downtown dogs

    A weekly walking group for dogs and humans. The walk starts from Pet Pangaea at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights for a stroll around downtown Los Alamos.

    GOP headquarters opening

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos invites friends and families to the opening of their 2014 election headquarters at 4 p.m. Monday. The location is 1362D-1 Trinity. The phone number is 695-8080. There will be free hot dogs for all and statewide and local candidates for voters to get to know better. The headquarters will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday -Friday. All are welcome anytime. For more information, call Robert Gibson, 662-3159.

    Viewing party

    “Manhattan” TV series, viewing party and discussion. 8-9:30 p.m. Sunday at Time Out Pizzeria on Central Ave.  

  • Pajarito Pipeline work may start in September

    Even though it’s August already, representatives of a ski resort that recently took over the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area from the Pajarito Ski Club are insisting they will be ready for skiers by late November.
    At a recent meeting at the Trinity On the Hill Episcopal Church, representatives of Sipapu, Los Alamos County and the U.S. Forest Service revealed the key to their confidence to the members of the Pajarito Ski Club.
    Their solution is a temporary, but fast, solution to get water from the county reservoir to Pajarito Ski Area for the purpose of making artificial snow.
    “We have neighbors in Los Alamos that have water and we have neighbors at the ski area that need the water, the National Forest is in between, so we’re working with them to help get the water from over here to over there for them to use,” said Sandy Erlocher, to the audience at the meeting. Erlocher is a U.S. Forest ranger that manages the Española National Forest District.
    The plan is to connect a temporary, above-ground, four inches in diameter pipeline between the reservoir and the ski area and equip it with temporary pumping stations. Power will come from electrical cables already in the area. The project is expected to be completed by mid-October.

  • Council OKs CIP funding wish list

    The Los Alamos County Council had a light agenda on Tuesday. Approval of the county’s top priorities for capital improvements and infrastructure projects that could be eligible for state funding topped the list.
    County Administrator Harry Burgess explained why the list included 89 projects scheduled for the next five fiscal years, even though the New Mexico state legislature typically considers funding for no more than five CIP projects per county.
    “It’s become more of a requirement that for any state funds to be granted, a project must be on our CIP,” Burgess said. “So we do our best to be very exhaustive in listing those various projects out into the future.”
    This year’s top five projects are the same as last year’s, but the order has been changed.
    Last year’s top priority, Jemez Mountains Regional Fire Protection Phase 2, is now number five. The project calls for expanding fire protections on Pajarito Mountain with a focus on water supply. Phase one funds helped rebuild the Los Alamos Reservoir and construct a holding pond on the mountain.
    That project remains a priority, but staff does not see funding in next year’s cycle as critical, since the county has not yet received $375,000 allocated by the 2013 legislature.

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