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Local News

  • Habitat for Humanity builds first LA home

    Los Alamos participated for the first time in Habitat for Humanity’s annual Women’s Build, sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. By midmorning Saturday, 78 volunteers had shown up to help build a home for Ivette Jimenez and her son Ruben.
    “In conjunction with Mother’s Day, honoring all the women around the world, it’s a Women’s Build,” said Harpal Khalsa, president of Habitat for Humanity of Española Valley and Los Alamos. “So even though there are men on the site, the focus is women building, creating community, creating habitat – home – for people in need.
    Habitat for Humanity is best known for building homes at cost for low-income families. Lowe’s has contributed more than $40 million since it began partnering with Habitat in 2003.
    For the Women’s Build, Lowe’s pledges $5,000 to builds across the country that turn out at least 50 volunteers that day.
    A call for volunteers for the Los Alamos Women’s Build went out Thursday evening on Keep it Local. At that time, only 10 women and five men had signed up. The post also asked for volunteers to bring food, which counted toward the 50-person minimum.
    Not only did a huge number of volunteers turn out, The Rotary Club of Los Alamos donated lunch.

  • League of Women Voters candidate forum Thursday

    The League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, building 2, room 230, for candidates with opposition in the June primary election.

    Invited candidates include Michael Lucero and Michael Romero, who are running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives District 3; Jennifer Lynne Padgett, Marco Peter Serna and Maria E. Sanchez-Gagne, who are running for the Democratic nomination for district attorney in the First Judicial District; and Antonio L. Maggiore, Peter T. Sheehey, Chris Chandler and Kristin M. Henderson, the four Democrats running for three county council seats.

    The public is invited to attend. Refreshments and conversation begins at 6:30 p.m. The forum is from 7-9 p.m.

  • Bandelier Shuttle to start Saturday

    Los Alamos County, in partnership with the National Park Service, will again provide the Bandelier Shuttle for the 2016 peak visitor season.
    Atomic City Transit will operate the service from May 14-Oct. 18, using 40-foot, low floor, ADA-accessible transit buses that are equipped with bicycle racks.
    Buses operate between the White Rock Visitor Center and Bandelier National Monument for 158 days (including federal holidays), as follows:
    • Monday through Friday – every 30 minutes, with the first bus departing from White Rock at 9 a.m. and the last bus departing from Bandelier at 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, Sunday and holidays – every 20 minutes, with the first bus departing from White Rock at 9 a.m. and the last bus departing from Bandelier at 5:10 p.m.

  • LA Tourism seeks locals

    Los Alamos County is seeking local talent for an upcoming advertising campaign.
    The commercial video will feature locals “doing” and “seeing” in and around Los Alamos and enjoying attractions.  

    The casting call includes local mountain bikers, individuals to sightsee, and a family of four with parents over the age of 30.
    Those interested should visit the “Visit Los Alamos” Facebook page. Applicants should send a personal message to the Facebook page, including a photo, contact information and a description of which role they would like to play. Those applying to have their car featured should submit a photo of the car, along with the year, make, and model of the vehicle. Those applying must live in Los Alamos County and must apply by May 25. Selected applicants will be notified via Facebook message or by their preferred method of contact by May 31.

  • LA Community Foundation launched

    The newly formed Los Alamos Community Foundation (LACF) introduced itself to the county’s nonprofit organizations April 8 by hosting a workshop on creative collaboration.
    “You’re very fortunate to have a dedicated group of individuals who have been working for a very long time to start a Los Alamos Community Foundation,” said guest speaker Jenny Parks, CEO of the LANL Foundation. Parks has also worked with the New Mexico Community Foundation.
    “Community Foundations are on the rise, not just here but around the world. It is a very effective mechanism for community philanthropy, so having one here in your own community will be a huge benefit, not only to the community but to nonprofits that work with the community.”
    Parks stressed the way community foundations could support local nonprofits and help them build capacity.
    “Don’t see it as competition for your funding,” Parks said. “Yes, they might be fundraising, but the idea is that if they do a good job about teaching the community about the importance of community philanthropy, it will grow the pie for everybody. And they may hold the money and grant it out to you.”

  • Voting begins
  • Kiwanis hosts Democratic candidates

    Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos hosted Democratic candidates at their Tuesday luncheon. The four county candidates running for Los Alamos County Council and the three running for First Judicial District Attorney were given three minutes each to state their cases.
    Those running uncontested in the June 7 primary – Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-District 43), county clerk candidate Amy Woods and Karyl Ann Armbruster, running for reelection for District 4 public education commissioner, were each given two minutes.
    Names were drawn for the order candidates spoke in. Council candidate Antonio L. Maggiore drew the first slot.
    “I’m born and raised here. I’m running for this seat because I feel passionately committed and connected to this town, and I want to see it improved,” Maggiore said.
    “Most people know me as that person doing that slightly illicit gardening on the side of the bridge,” Maggiore said. “It’s proof that I like to get my hands dirty, and frankly I know that there’s nothing dirtier than politics.”
    Maggiore’s biggest concern was supporting small business.

  • Apartment owners deal with aftermath

    Around 1:30 a.m., Marcus Hall, who manages and lives at the Caballo Peak Apartments, awoke to a loud explosion.
    Within minutes, county, fire and police were at the scene tending to an injured man inside an apartment, and beginning an investigation into what happened. Also on the scene was his father, Jim Hall.
    As owners of Caballo Peak, Jim Hall said their chief concern was the safety and well-being of the 50 tenants affected by the blast, which was contained within one apartment. While no one else was injured in the blast, they couldn’t stay, since the county had shut off all utilities, including water pending an investigation.       
    It was quite a relief to the Halls when the county allowed the residents back into the complex at 5 p.m. Monday afternoon.
    “It was less then 24 hours after this incident had started,” Jim Hall said. “It started around 1 a.m. in the morning and by 7 p.m. last night everybody was back in and the gas, heat and hot water were all there.”
    While the complex was deemed safe and sound for occupancy, Jim Hall said the apartment where the explosion occurred is “going to take a lot of work” to fix, and there’s also the apartment above that needs attention, too.

  • Man arrested following apartment explosion

    A 28-year-old Los Alamos man was arrested at 3 a.m. Monday morning in connection with the explosion at Caballo Peak Apartments that earlier that day that injured one man, according to the Los Alamos Police Department.
    Juan Gonzales was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of resisting/evading or obstructing an officer and one count of bribery/intimidation/retaliation of a witness.
    Gonzales was released on his own recognizance.
    Gonzales was not the man injured in the explosion.
    “The investigation is still active and ongoing and future arrest(s) are imminent,” said LAPD spokesman Cmdr. Preston Ballew.
    Los Alamos fire and police responded to an explosion and fire at Caballo Peak Apartments, a low-income apartment complex at 3301 Canyon Drive in Los Alamos early Monday. Police reported that one person was injured as a result of the explosion. The victim was transported to Albuquerque for burns.
    County emergency officials shut off the utilities and evacuated the apartments, displacing some 100 residents for the day, as they investigated the incident. A Red Cross shelter was activated at the Karen McLaughlin Hall on Central Avenue, but residents were allowed to return to the apartment after 5 p.m.

  • Police arrest man in apartment explosion

    A 28-year-old Los Alamos man was arrested at 3 a.m. Monday morning in connection with the explosion at Caballo Peak Apartments that earlier that day, a Los Alamos Police Department spokesman announced today.

    Juan Gonzales was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of resisting/evading or obstructing an officer and one count of bribery/intimidation/retaliation of a witness. Gonzales was released on his own recognizance.
    Gonzales was not the man injured in the explosion.

    “The investigation is still active and ongoing and future arrest(s) are imminent,” said LAPD spokesman Cmdr. Preston Ballew.

    When police arrived on the scene of the explosion Monday morning around 1:30 a.m., they encountered two males standing outside Apt. 11, the apartment involved in the explosion. One of the individuals was Gonzales.

    The other male, identified in court documents as Gonzales’ nephew had a deep cut on his right foot and several burns to his face and body. The individual was identified as Gonzales’ nephew, and has not yet been arrested. He explained to officers that he was refilling a butane lighter in his bathroom when it exploded.