Local News

  • Bear sighting forces lockdown at LAHS

    A report of a bear wandering in the canyon near Los Alamos High School on Monday led to a lockdown during the noon hour, school officials said.

    Someone at the nearby Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church called the school to warn them, said the high school’s assistant principal, Renee Dunwoody.

    No one was injured.

    Los Alamos police officers were on the scene, with the department’s helicopter keeping an eye on the wandering bruin, according to the incident report. 

    The bear was spotted near a fence at the school. It was seen heading toward Orange and then turned back to the canyon.

    The bear’s appearance was the first time a Los Alamos school has had to be locked down this year because of a bear sighting, Dunwoody said.


     Bears have been spotted in neighborhoods near other schools in the past several weeks, said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

  • Board to mull trash cart fines

    The Environmental Sustainability Board will consider an ordinance Thursday that would impose a $50 to $200 fine on residents who put their trash, brush and recycling carts out too early on the day of pickup. 

    According to Public Works Director Philo Shelton, the ordinance, which was created by the sustainability board, is designed to discourage people from putting their carts out early. By regulating the garbage set-out times, the board is hoping to discourage bears from coming into neighborhoods and foraging for trash. 

    Under the proposed ordinance, residents would also not be allowed to store carts outside. 

    “Right now, it’s 5 p.m. prior to the day of collection,” Shelton said. “So what happens is, you leave roll carts out and you leave a whole smorgasbord of trash for bears to get into overnight,” he said. 

    Under the new ordinance, residents would put out their carts out between 4:30 a.m. and the time of pickup on trash day. 

  • Ex-electrical engineer at Los Alamos gets prison in tax case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A former electrical engineer who worked at New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory for almost 30 years has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for filing false tax returns.

    Prosecutors say 62-year-old Darryl Gutierrez of Santa Fe also was ordered Tuesday to pay more than $174,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Gutierrez was indicted in November 2015 on one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws and 10 counts of making and subscribing false tax returns.

    A jury convicted him on all 11 counts in March 2017.

    Prosecutors say that between November 2010 and January 2011, Gutierrez filed 10 false federal income tax returns for tax years 2000 to 2009 seeking a refund when he owed the IRS about $125,000.

  • Giant antennas in New Mexico search for cosmic discoveries

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Employing an array of giant telescopes positioned in the New Mexico desert, astronomers have started a massive surveying project aimed at producing the most detailed view ever made of such a large portion of space using radio waves emitted from throughout the Milky Way and beyond.

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory announced the project this week, saying the Very Large Array will make three scans of the sky that's visible from the scrubland of the San Augustin Plains.  It is one of the best spots on the planet to scan space, with 80 percent of the Earth's sky visible from the location.

    The array works like a camera. But instead of collecting light waves to make images, the telescopes that look like big satellite dishes receive radio waves emitted by cosmic explosions and other interstellar phenomenon.

    Astronomers expect the images gathered by the array will allow them to detect in finer detail gamma ray bursts, supernovas and other cosmic events that visible-light telescopes cannot see due to dust present throughout the universe. For example, the array can peer through the thick clouds of dust and gas where stars are born.
    Scientists involved in the project say the results will provide valuable information for astrophysics researchers.

  • At UN, Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea


    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Donald Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if the nation's "Rocket man" leader does not abandon his drive toward nuclear weapons.

    Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd of world leaders on Tuesday that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said that Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life."

    "Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," said Trump, using a belittling nickname for the North Korean leader. He said of the U.S.: "If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

  • Powerful earthquake hits central Mexico, collapses buildings

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 55 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.

    Dozens of buildings collapsed into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. A column of smoke rose from a structure in one central neighborhood in the capital.

    Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City.

    At least 11 others died in Puebla state, according to Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the state's Interior Department.

    Gov. Alfredo del Mazo told the Televisa news network that two people died in the State of Mexico, which also borders the capital: a quarry worker who was killed when the quake unleashed a rockslide and another person who was hit by a falling lamppost.

    There were no immediate official reports of deaths in the capital, but journalists witnessed some people who had apparently died.

  • Senate backs bill to pump $700 billion into military

    By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday. The measure authorizes $700 billion in military spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea's growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed.
    The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but President Donald Trump hasn't threatened to veto the measure. The bill helps him honor a pledge to rebuild an American military that he said had become depleted on former President Barack Obama's watch.
    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other national security hawks have insisted the military branches are at risk of losing their edge in combat without a dramatic influx of money to repair shortfalls in training and equipment.

  • Local man arrested for DWI

    Los Alamos resident Kent Pegg, 53, was arrested on Sept. 7 for driving while intoxicated after multiple attempts of denying being intoxicated to the police officer.

    Around 9:30 a.m., Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Monica Salazar-Casias was dispatched to 771 Central Ave. in reference to a subject who was possibly intoxicated in his vehicle.

    The reporting party described the vehicle as a green Jeep and when Salazar-Casias came upon the vehicle, she reported she could see a man, later identified as Pegg, sitting behind the wheel and appeared to be asleep, as his head was drooping forward and his chin was touching his chest.

    “I asked him what was going on, and he said he was going to work at the Los Alamos Fitness center,” stated Salazar-Casias in her incident report.

    Pegg denied having any alcohol in his system, but drank two and a half shots of vodka the night before, according to the report.

    Pegg reportedly had difficulty pulling out his wallet and ID. Salazar-Casias also noticed that Pegg had watery, red eyes and could smell alcohol on his person, so she conducted a Standardized Field Sobriety Test.

  • Quilt show set for next weekend

    The Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild will host its biannual Quilt Show “Tomorrow’s Heirlooms” from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 22 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road.

    The Quilt Show alternates each September with the Quilt Market. Brenda Edeskuty is the Quiltinista (chair) for this year’s Show.

    The Los Alamos Piecemakers invite the public to come out and see handmade quilts of all types including wall hangings, table runners, bed quilts of various sizes and holiday decorations. There also will be wearable art, art quilts, hand-knit items, jewelry and other hand-crafted items.

    There will be a full slate of vendors including Atomic City Quilts from Los Alamos, Santa Fe Quilting, Bob’s Sewing and Vacuum, Ryan’s Sewing and Vacuum, Sewing Center of Santa Fe, Thread Bear from Las Vegas, Jemez Bear Paw Quilt Guild, Jeanne Robinson, LAP Cluster Material Girls, and Nicole Dunn/Micki Taylor.

    There will also be a Silent Auction with handmade items for sale at the show. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m. Saturday.

  • Police: N.M. justice system is broken

    Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico’s top law enforcement officer said Friday the state’s criminal justice system is broken, overtasked and strained by a lack of resources.

    State Police Chief Pete Kassetas’ comments came as he and San Juan County authorities provided an update on a recent traffic stop in Farmington in which police shot and killed a suspect after he pulled a revolver from his waistband and opened fire.

    One of the rounds wounded a state police officer when it struck his badge and sent shrapnel flying.
    Kassetas described the case of 26-year-old William Wilson as a classic example of the problems facing New Mexico’s justice system. He outlined Wilson’s criminal history, which stretched back several years and included numerous charges and a host of probation violations, and noted that he had been arrested 17 times and was a self-admitted gang member.

    Authorities say Wilson was released from prison in May to the custody of the county jail due to a pending case involving aggravated burglary, larceny and firearm charges. Court records show he was released from the jail just weeks before the shooting after being fitted with an ankle monitor.