Local News

  • Historians warn against rushing to take down statues

    NEW YORK (AP) — It’s not just about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

    The national soul-searching over whether to take down monuments to the Confederacy’s demigods has extended to other historical figures accused of wrongdoing, including Christopher Columbus (brutality toward Native Americans), the man for whom Boston’s Faneuil Hall is named (slave trader) and former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo (bigotry).

    Historians interviewed by The Associated Press offered varying thoughts about where exactly the line should be drawn in judging someone’s statue-worthiness, but they agreed on one thing: Scrapping a monument is not a decision that should be made in haste during political fervor.

    “If we do this in some willy-nilly way, we will regret it,” cautioned Yale University historian David Blight, an expert on slavery. “I am very wary of a rush to judgment about what we hate and what we love and what we despise and what we’re offended by.”

  • School board OK’s two-story Barranca Mesa design

    The newly approved design for Barranca Mesa Elementary School was announced Thursday evening at an open house.
    Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus excitedly told the crowd of parents and students that the new Barranca School would be a two–story building, a design that has been one of two contending options for construction.

    About an hour or so before Barranca’s open house began, Steinhaus and the school board had a final meeting to discuss the pros and cons of each plan before making the final vote.

    The process of discussing and narrowing down design schemes has required many meetings, but with the help of the architects, district construction coordinator, school staff and parents, a decision was finally made.

    The two previously proposed plans included a single story option and a two-story floor plan. With either option, construction will take about 16 months, roughly from March 2018 through August 2019, and the cost is nearly the same.

    FBT Architects drew up transition plans for both schemes, something parents had specifically asked for in prior meetings, and Board Member Andrea Cunningham briefly reviewed the construction summary.

    The board took comments from the crowd before final deliberation.

  • Two suspects arrested after shoplifting, crashing into parked cars

    Two male suspects involved in a shoplifting incident late Friday night were arrested. Stephen Montano and Joel Martin were located and arrested for aggravated assault, aggravated fleeing, and shoplifting.

    LAPD Commander Preston Ballew stated that the police are actively investigating the remaining suspect or suspects and believes future arrests are probable.

    On Friday, the suspected shoplifters fled from Smith's Marketplace on Trinity Drive in Los Alamos in a white Nissan pickup truck and then crashed into two parked cars on Arroyo Street shortly before 11 p.m.

    The suspects drove out of the Smith's Marketplace parking lot, heading east on East Road, turned right onto Arroyo Lane, then right onto Verde Ridge Road. They turned around in the cul de sac at the end, ran over a group of mailboxes, then crashed the truck into two cars parked on Arroyo Street.

    A third car, a green Ford Explorer, was parked in front of the crashed Titan truck and had one of its rear windows damaged. No bystanders were injured in the collision.

  • Back to School
  • LAPD offers reward in WR gas tank caper

    After two recent occurrences of gas tanks found with drill holes in the White Rock area, the Los Alamos Police Department is asking for the public’s help with any information that might help its investigation into the tampering.

    The LAPD is especially looking to find out about any suspicious people who might have been seen underneath parked cars in the area.

    The two incidents happened less than a week apart in White Rock, with one near La Vista Church. On Aug. 16, an individual found a hole drilled into his gas tank around 1:15 p.m. Similarly, two drill holes were found on the gas tank of the La Vista Church van.

    LAPD is offering a reward of up to $150 to anyone who has information that might lead to the arrest of the suspect or suspects.

    The police department has not received any leads as of Friday, but Cmdr. Oliver Morris has asked the community to keep an eye out on their vehicles and each other.

    Morris encouraged the public to keep in touch with neighbors and contact the police if a suspicious person is seen hanging around cars or crawling underneath cars.

    Morris believed that the drilled holes were not random malicious acts, but someone trying to steal gas.

  • NNSA, LANL face questions over safety record, plutonium program

    A U.S. senator from Missouri has requested answers from National Nuclear Security Administration Secretary Frank Klotz about the numerous safety violations the Los Alamos National Laboratory has incurred.

    Referencing a recent report from the Center for Public Integrity, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), a ranking member of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, issued a letter Thursday to the NNSA asking them to report to Congress to answer questions about safety violations.

    “I have previously noted my concerns regarding DOE’s (Department of Energy’s) poor oversight and management of its contracts and its inability to properly exercise effective oversight of its budget,” McCaskill said in her letter. “The incidents described in this recent report, especially at  Los Alamos, raise serious questions about NNSA’s commitment to safety and effective contract management.”

    In her letter, McCaskill asked how much of President Donald Trump’s $13.9 billion funding request will go toward improving safety standards at the Department of Energy’s facilities, and if the NNSA will fine or penalize the contractors who violated safety standards.

  • Council to consider immigrant proclamation Tuesday

    County council has a full agenda Tuesday, with a presentation from Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charles McMillan and controversial immigration proclamation.

    The immigration proclamation to be considered Tuesday is a changed version of a resolution considered at an April 4 council meeting. The resolution was put forward by Councilor Pete Sheehey and drew a large crowd.

    Tuesday’s proclamation was drafted by a committee that included councilors Antonio Maggiore, James Chrobocinski, Pete Sheehey, and others.

    “It’s different from the April resolution,” Maggiore said. “There’s definitely some wording changes. We felt, and Pete was in agreement on this, that his original draft had some language in it that could have easily been deemed as geared toward Donald Trump. We felt, generally, the consensus was that the original was a little inflammatory, a little reactionary to what just transpired on the national scene. Since we’re not actually trying to create new laws or turn the county into a sanctuary county, that was not the intent or purpose of this resolution.”

    County Council will vote on the proclamation, so council members will have an opportunity to discuss their opinions, Maggiore said.

  • On the Docket 8-27-17

    July 6
    Paul Allison was found guilty of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and was fined $75. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    July 7
    Ronald C. Hyer was found guilty of not using a seatbelt and was fined $50. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    July 8
    Mario Jovenal was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    July 10
    David E. Sigeti was found guilty of failing to display a valid registration plate while parked, having an inoperable vehicle and improper regulation of weeds, brush piles and refuse. The defendant was fined $50 and the sentence was deferred until Aug. 1.

    Melissa Pippincarson was found guilty of speeding 16 to 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $100 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Jonathan McClellan pleaded no contest to careless driving and was sentenced to community service and defensive driving school. The sentence was deferred until Sept. 10.

    Jason Hammond was found guilty of infractions related to fences, hedges and gates. The sentence was deferred until Aug. 10.

  • Trump rolling back limits on military gear for police

    By SADIE GURMAN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Local police departments will soon have access to grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and other surplus U.S. military gear after President Donald Trump signed an order Monday reviving a Pentagon program that civil rights groups say inflames tensions between officers and their communities.

    President Barack Obama had sharply curtailed the program in 2015 amid an outcry over the heavily-armed police response to protesters after several police killings of black men in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities. The Trump administration maintains the program is needed to protect public safety and says that in restoring it, officials are demonstrating confidence in local and state police.

    Restoring the program will "ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job," Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a cheering crowd at a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee. The group, America's largest organization of rank-and-file officers, endorsed Trump for president and urged him to restore the program.

    Sessions said restrictions imposed by Obama went too far. "We will not put superficial concerns above public safety," he said.

  • The Latest: Governor activates entire Texas National Guard

    HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on Tropical Storm Harvey (all times local):

    2:10 p.m.

    A television station is reporting that six family members are believed to have drowned in Houston when their van was swept away by floodwaters.

    The KHOU-TV report was attributed to three family members the station didn't identify. No bodies have been recovered.

    Houston police Chief Art Acevedo tells The Associated Press he has no information about the KHOU report but added that he's "really worried about how many bodies we're going to find" from Harvey's devastating flooding.

    According to the station, four children — the youngest, a 6-year-old girl — and their grandparents are feared dead after the van hit high floods Sunday afternoon when crossing a bridge in Greens Bayou.

    The driver of the vehicle, the children's great-uncle, reportedly escaped before the van was submerged and grabbed onto a tree limb as the van sunk. He told the children inside to try to escape through the back door, but they were unable to get out.


    2 p.m.