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Local News

  • Tribal leaders take aim at oil and gas development

    BERNALILLO (AP) — Native American activists and tribal leaders from around New Mexico are joining the chorus of environmentalists who have been fighting for years to stop oil and gas development.

    This time, opponents are spurred by a proposed ordinance that would regulate drilling in one sparsely populated county.

    They are part of a groundswell as tribes across the U.S. organize around land issues, from a pipeline in North Dakota and the disputed boundaries of a national monument in Utah to concerns about the encroachment of energy development in an area of the Southwest dotted with archaeological sites tied to a civilization that gave rise to many of the region’s modern tribes.

    At a contentious meeting late last week, Ahjani Yepa of Jemez Pueblo spoke about the connection between her people and the land, spurring fellow activists in the crowd to raise their fists in solidarity.

    “As with many cultures and religions, we do not have a book to guide us. The land is our Bible. Once it is gone, you cannot print another copy,” she told members of the Sandoval County Commission.

  • LAPS, county discuss property transfer for new gym

    Space for basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer for all ages is at a premium in Los Alamos.

    However, the space crunch may get some relief following approval of a proposed transfer of land from the Los Alamos Public Schools district to the county.

    The proposed transfer – which must be approved by the state Board of Finance – was adopted by the school board last week.

    County Manager Harry Burgess said on Monday that the prospect of a new gymnasium close to the district’s middle school has been the subject of preliminary discussions between county officials and representatives of the school district.

    “We haven’t taken any action – any discussion would just be speculative,” Burgess said.

    However, the school board approved the proposal last week in order to get the matter on the Board of Finance’s next meeting agenda. The deadline for agenda items is Nov, 28 for the Board of Finance’s meeting scheduled for Dec. 19.

    The briskness could be attributable to the upcoming legislative session, where the county, if its council gives the go-ahead, may be able to ask for additional funds to build the gymnasium, Burgess said.

  • Competitive tennis could come to LA

    The Parks and Recommendation Board has recommended approval for competitive tennis to come to Los Alamos.

    The ball is now literally in the Los Alamos Public School’s court when it comes to having U.S. Tennis Association sanctioned competitions and high school tournaments in Los Alamos.

    At a Nov. 7 County Council work session, Parks and Recreation Board Chair Melanee Hand said any solution for achieving this goal will involve a partnership with the schools. The schools not only have the courts, but the space needed to create regulation courts.

    The recommendation will now go before County Council.

    Besides expansion possibilities, the Parks and Recreation board was asked by the County Council in January to assess the county’s eight tennis facilities for usage, repurposing, improvement and consolidation.

    According to the USTA, five courts are needed for USTA adult matches, six courts are needed for USTA matches and for high school and middle school, eight courts are needed for boys and courts teams playing on adjacent courts, and the New Mexico Activities Association recommends 12 court facilities for high school tournaments.

  • New Mexico Legislature seeks anti-harassment training

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are likely to go through sexual harassment prevention training for the first time in more than a decade, as statehouses nationwide grapple with allegations of sexual misconduct.

    Senate majority leader Peter Wirth of Santa Fe says the Legislature's harassment policy covering sexual misconduct is under review.

    He is suggesting training for lawmakers before the Legislature convenes in January.

    The New Mexico Legislature's two-page "no harassment policy" was adopted in 2008 and applies to misconduct by lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists, vendors and others. Initial investigations are handled internally by legislative agency directors or chief clerks.

    Democratic State Sen. Michael Padilla has come under renewed scrutiny for decade-old accusations of harassment against women in a prior job as he campaigns for lieutenant governor.

  • LA sets out welcome mat for Thanksgiving

    Los Alamos County takes care of its own, and the holidays are no exception.

    This Thanksgiving, Elks Lodge 2083, in conjunction with the American Legion Post 90, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8874 Knights of Columbus 3137 and others, will be having their annual “Thanksgiving for the Community” dinner.

    The dinner is an event where those who don’t like to cook, can’t cook, or perhaps have no one to cook for, can go and have a good time and meet other people.

    Families and children are welcome, and there will be football on TV. Adults also can purchase cocktails at the bar.

    Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until the food runs out. The menu will include apple wood smoked turkey, slow roasted turkey, smoked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, yeast rolls, and assorted desserts. Coffee, iced tea and lemonade will be available.

    According to event organizers, about 200 to 300 people are expected to attend. People of all ages are invited to the free meal.

    “One of our biggest things is community, and giving back to the community that we live in and serve,” Elks Lodge member Ben Bouman said. 

  • LANL makes first shipment to WIPP
  • White Rock on alert following armed bank robbery at LANB

    BY WREN PROPP AND TRIS DEROMA
    Los Alamos Monitor

    White Rock residents were warned to stay in their homes and lock their doors following an armed robbery at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday at the Los Alamos National Bank branch.

    A white male, armed, had entered the bank with his face covered and demanded money. The teller handed it over, according to the FBI.

    The suspect then fled on foot. He was described as 5-foot 10-inches to 6-feet tall with a thin build.
    Witnesses told the FBI, which is investigating the case, that he was dressed in all black, including a black hoodie with the initials “DC” on it and a black ball cap.

    “He ran that way and disappeared,” said Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone, who stood behind crime tape surrounding the bank branch on Rover on Tuesday afternoon. He pointed towards Rover, a street that intersects many residential streets on the east side of White Rock.

    The public school superintendent announced lockdown at White Rock’s two elementary, noting that he had been told shots were fired. Kim Roberts, director of a preschool near the bank, reported hearing a loud noise, like a backfiring vehicle, around the time of the robbery.

  • $1,000 reward offered in White Rock bank robbery

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a reward of up to 1,000 information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect involved in the armed robbery of the Los Alamos National Bank in White Rock today. 

    The FBI and the Los Alamos Police Department are investigating the armed bank robbery that happened around 11:50 a.m. today.

    Police described the suspect as a thin, white male, about 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall. He is reportedly wearing a dark, hooded jacket, a dark baseball cap, and his face was covered.

    He was described as male, approximately 5'10" to 6' tall, with a thin build.

    The suspect entered the bank located at 77 Rover Blvd. and displayed a handgun, according to the FBI. He demanded money from a teller, who handed over an undisclosed amount of money to the suspect. The suspect left the bank and officers continue to search the area for the suspect.

    Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the FBI at 505-889-1300. Tips can also be given online at tips.fbi.gov.

  • Breaking: Bank robbery in White Rock; suspects at large

    Update: Police search for one suspect in White Rock bank robbery

    The search for a suspect continues following an armed robbery at the Los Alamos National Bank in White Rock about noon today. 

    The case has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigations out of Albuquerque. Los Alamos Police Department has confirmed earlier today that officers were searching for one suspect following the bank robbery. The suspect is secribed as having a hand gun, being a caucasian male and wearing a black "hoodie" with a "DC" on the hood and a bandana.

    Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the FBI at 505-889-1300.

    Police have reported to school officials that shots were fired. Two schools in White Rock, Chamisa and Pinon elementary schools were on lock out after the robbery.

    "We’re on a hightened alert, shades are closed and nobody goes in or out. Our request is that nobody go to the school right now," said Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

    The school district has contacted every early childhood day care center in White Rock, Steinhaus said.

    Steinhaus said the schools are working with the Los Alamos Police Department and all LAPS students will be released today at their usual time. 

  • Democrats mandate harassment training

     
    SANTA FE (AP) — The Democratic Party of New Mexico says its political candidates will need to complete sexual harassment prevention training to receive campaign support from the party in 2018 elections.

    State Democratic Party Chairman Richard Ellenberg on Monday announced the training requirement in response to decade-old allegations of harassment of women filed against state Sen. Michael Padilla and incidents beyond New Mexico.

    Padilla denies the prior accusations and is resisting calls to end his campaign for lieutenant governor by gubernatorial candidates including U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

    Ellenberg said training will cover situations of sexual violence, harassment, bullying and differential treatment of men and women. He says candidates who do not complete training will be denied access to the party's voter database as well as communications support.