Local News

  • Today in history May 13
  • Sandia National Laboratories president announces retirement

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The head of Sandia National Laboratories plans to step down after five years at the helm of the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based research center.

    Sandia President and Laboratories Director Paul Hommert announced Tuesday he plans to retire in mid-summer.

    Hommert says the process to name his successor is well underway and will be complete in time to assure a smooth transition.

    The laboratory is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

    With main facilities in Albuquerque and Livermore, California, Sandia has research and development responsibilities that cover national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

  • State Briefs 5-12-15

    Santa Fe liable for tribal officer’s
    defense, court says

    SANTA FE (AP) — A new court ruling says Santa Fe is responsible for the defense of a tribal officer who is being sued over actions he took to enforce state law.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that Santa Fe is responsible for defending Pojoaque Pueblo tribal officer Glen Gutierrez in a 2010 lawsuit because he was given authority by the sheriff’s office commission.
    The Santa Fe County said the decision will at least temporarily result in less police coverage in the county and could impact mutual-aid agreements because he won’t place the county in further liability from those arrangements.
    Jose Luis Loya is suing Gutierrez. He said the officer physically attacked him after a traffic stop.
    Guiterrez could not be reached for comment.

    Mom charged in son’s killing
    alleges civil rights violations

  • Arkansas couple dies trying to save daughter from twister

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Melissa and Michael Mooneyhan met as high school students and quickly fell in love. The two were married in 2004, even before they graduated.
    More than a decade later, the pair died shielding their young daughter from a tornado as the twister chewed up the family’s mobile home in Nashville, Arkansas, authorities said.
    The home looked “like it had exploded,” said Howard County Coroner John Gray, who called the little girl’s survival “a miracle.” Rescuers who found the family believe the couple perished while desperately trying to protect their child.
    When search crews lifted a piece of trailer debris, they found the girl squatting between her parents’ bodies, awake and teary.
    “I don’t think she had nearly a scratch on her,” said Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator Sonny Raulerson. “There wasn’t enough room for her to even stand up. But she didn’t try to crawl out. I don’t think she wanted to leave her mama.”
    The Mooneyhans were among five people killed Sunday after a line of powerful tornadoes battered several small communities in Texas and Arkansas. Three people died in Texas. Scores of others were hurt, some critically.

  • Update 5-12-15

    County Council

    Los Alamos County Council will hold a work session at 7 p.m. today. The meeting will be at fire station 3.

    Brown Bag Series

    The Los Alamos Arts Council will sponsor a Brown Bag Series event with harpsichordist Kathleen McIntosh. The performance will be at noon Wednesday at Fuller Lodge. The event is free.

    Farmers Market

    The Los Alamos Farmers Market will return Thursday. It will be from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library parking lot.

    Future Energy

    The Future Energy Resources Committee will meet at the municipal building Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m.


    The Los Alamos Mountaineers will host a lecture with Andy Thien talking about his climbing and skiing adventure on four volcanoes: Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood. The lecture will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.


    A ceremony to honor law enforcement and corrections officers who have lost their lives in service will be at the Justice Center 9 a.m. Wednesday.

    Caldera Trust

    The Valles Caldera Trust will host a local “listening session” Wednesday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Meeting time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

  • Report: Martinez spends big on travel

    SANTA FE (AP) — State records show New Mexico taxpayers have spent more than $27,000 on out-of-state travel expenses for Gov. Susana Martinez, her staff and security during the first three months of the year.
    Some of the trips were for meetings of the Republican Governors Association in February and March. Martinez was elected vice chairman of that group late last year.
    There was also a trip to Fort Hood, Texas, to see New Mexico National Guard soldiers as they departed for the Middle East, and two trips to Chihuahua, Mexico — one for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new highway and the other for a border commission meeting.
    Martinez on Tuesday will be wrapping up a trip of several days with New Mexico Amigos, a private group of business leaders that promotes the state.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Monday that for the first three months of the year, most of the travel costs involved lodging, food and transportation for the state police officers assigned to protect the governor.
    Typically, groups that invite Martinez to out-of-state functions pay for most of her personal traveling costs, but the state pays for staff members and officers who travel with her.

  • Kite Festival kicks off Friday evening

    Visitors of all ages will get a chance to let their imaginations soar at the 18th annual Kite Festival at Overlook Park in White Rock, presented by the Los Alamos Arts Council.
    The festival begins on Friday with a kite flying demonstration and live music.
    Then on Saturday and Sunday, adults can learn how to build their own kites through a workshop while children build and decorate simple kites to fly.
    Music, food, demonstrations and kite flying will take place throughout the event. Kites will also be available for purchase.
    The festival has grown over the past 18 years and includes several pre-festival kite building workshops for children at local schools.
    The event has become a favorite of both kite enthusiasts from across the region — many whom travel to fly their large, intricate, special shaped kites — and for spectators who enjoy taking in the colorful, incredible sight of hundreds of kites soaring through the clear New Mexico skies.
    The Kite Festival also marks the kickoff of Los Alamos County’s annual Summer Concert Series. The San Francisco-based rockers, Eric McFadden Band, will take the stage at Overlook Park Friday.
    The three-day festival is free and open to the public, and has something for visitors of all ages. The event will take place at Spirio Soccer Fields.

  • Road work is pushed back a day

    Los Alamos County announced its work on Trinity Drive has been postponed to Wednesday.
    The work was originally scheduled to start today, but due to equipment availability, the work had to be pushed back a day.
    Starting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the county will close off a portion of Trinity Drive from 7th Street to Knecht Street. All westbound traffic will be diverted to Central Avenue up to 15th Street, then back onto Central.
    Meri-Mac Shopping Center and DP Road will still be accessible through Trinity Drive, but the closure will occur immediately east of the shopping center.
    For more information on the closure, call the county’s Public Works Department at 662-8150.

  • Man accused of trying to steal full Smith's cart

    Arturo Houston, 32, recently made his first appearance in Los Alamos Magistrate Court for allegedly trying to shoplift $690.33 worth of items from the Smith’s Marketplace.
    He was caught when a Smith’s employee noticed Houston leaving the store with a shopping cart full of items.
    When the employee asked for a receipt, Houston, who was also with another person his mother said was his girlfriend, left the cart with the items and fled in Houston’s mother’s car.
    According to court records, Houston’s mother was tracked by police through the vehicle’s license plate number.
    She confirmed to police that it was her son driving the car.
    His mother, also from Española, works as a cashier at the Smith’s in White Rock. Houston’s girlfriend, who was only identified in court documents as “Mariah,” is also a suspect.
    As of press time, it was not known if she’s been charged with a crime.
    In court Monday, Los Alamos Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados reminded Houston that the charges carry a maximum penalty and fine of $5,000 and/or 18 months in jail.
    Houston has been charged shoplifting (more than $500, less than $2500).

  • Today in history May 12