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Local News

  • Driver faces drug charges; heads to trial

    A 25-year-old Albuquerque man who was arrested on drug charges in June will be going to pretrial Feb. 24.
    On June 17, 2015, Los Alamos police patrolling the area of East Road responded to a report of an alleged reckless driver. When officers pulled over a vehicle driven by Fernando Trujillo, they noted that he was going two miles over the 50-mile-an-hour speed limit, and was on the wrong side of the road.
    Officers reported that Trujillo, “seemed dazed and confused and his speech seemed labored,” according to court documents.
    When police searched his car, they allegedly found a glass pipe used for smoking, a small container with marijuana in it and a clear baggie filled with 12.3 grams of marijuana. Police also confiscated .4 grams of heroin as well as various items of drug paraphernalia, including four needles, a burned spoon and a “Q-tip.” Police also recovered a small, palm-sized rubber ball that contained two Clonidine pills. They also found another glass smoking pipe, folded up pieces of burned tinfoil and some brass knuckles.
    Court records also indicated that Trujillo had used marijuana and heroin at around 11 p.m. the night before. Police had pulled him over around 6 a.m.

  • Today in history Feb. 10
  • Suit against LAPD faces more legal wrangling

    Another legal skirmish has occurred in a lawsuit brought by former Los Alamos Police Department officers against Los Alamos County.
    This last legal hurdle involved a subpoena of court documents from an Albuquerque law firm by the plaintiff’s attorney, George Geran. The defense was interested in getting documents from a January 2014 case when two people sued the county, claiming gender discrimination.
    The suit alleged that former Los Alamos County Police Chief Wayne Torpy discriminated against the two former county employees, Diana Stepan and Sharyl Hofer.
    Several years ago, Hofer was the county human resources director and Stepan was an assistant county administrator.
    Geran asked for documents, notes, letters and other communications from William Slease, an attorney who used to work at the Martinez Law Firm. The firm’s owner, Jonlyn Martinez filed a motion to stop the subpoena, on the grounds that Geran was trying to obtain “privileged and confidential” information that occurred between a client and attorney, and therefore was out of bounds of the scope of his request.
    “(The material in question) lies outside the arena of discovery and contradicts the public policy underlying the orderly prosecution and defense of legal claims,” she said in a January hearing at Los Alamos District Court.

  • Celebrating 100 years

    On Feb. 11, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation authorizing the creation of Bandelier National Monument.
    The first event of a yearlong celebration is Thursday, when park staff and the Friends of Bandelier will be handing out cupcakes at Smith’s Marketplace.
    That may seem like rather a low-key event for such a major celebration, but Superintendent Jason Lott has his reasons.
    “We didn’t try to make a big anniversary for Feb. 11. We tried to make it a year’s worth of events and opportunities,” Lott said.
    “So we were very careful about how we invested our available funding this year to make sure we could provide great experiences throughout the year, everything from our wilderness ranger to enhancing our existing programs, such as the citizenship ceremony, the Bandelier Opera.”
    Bandelier will have a dual celebration this year, as it joins the rest of the national park system in celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service, which was created on Aug. 25, 1916. One activity already planned for Founders Day is a hike from Dome Peak led by Craig Martin, president of the Friends of Bandelier. Martin led the same hike to celebrate the 90th anniversary.

  • Today in history Feb. 9
  • Today in history Feb. 8
  • BPU's clarification of liaison role fails

    During a special session on Thursday primarily devoted to Code of Conduct training, the Board of Public Utilities voted on a revision to their Policies and Procedures Manual that would have clarified the board’s relationship to the council liaison. The motion failed for lack of the supermajority needed to change the manual.
    The liaison’s role became a point of contention at BPU’s regular January meeting, when Councilor Susan O’Leary – contrary to precedence – was initially asked to sit in the audience rather than on the dais and told that she should not join in the board’s discussions.
    Thursday’s motion, crafted by Chair Jeff Johnson, read:
    During meetings, the Council Liaison is invited to sit at the Dias or with members of the BPU, at Council Liaison discretion.
    When the Council Liaison chooses to sit with the BPU the Council Liaison name-placard shall be displayed.
    The Council Liaison is encouraged to participate in DPU discussion when the Council Liaison has clarifying points pertinent to the discussion. 
    The Council Liaison is discouraged from interjecting personal opinion into discussion, unless speaking as a member of the public during periods reserved for public comment. 

  • LA man arrested for DWI crash awaits sentencing for child porn conviction

    David Rael, of Los Alamos, was recently arrested for driving while under the influence in Los Alamos, which may complicate his sentencing for another crime in 2014. Rael was arrested for downloading child porn in May of that year.
    He is due to be sentenced for that crime Feb. 24.
    Rael, 38, of Los Alamos was arrested Jan. 29 for allegedly driving while under the influence.  
    Police arrested Rael at a two-car accident at the intersection of Trinity and Central Avenue at 6:51 p.m. While Rael was being transported by ambulance to the Los Alamos Medical Center for an evaluation, He reportedly admitted to police that he was driving while under the influence of alcohol.
    “I admit, I’m DWI,” Rael apparently told police, according to reports.
    Rael reportedly told police he had consumed a six-pack of an alcoholic beverage two hours before the crash.
    Rael is awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges, charges he incurred when he downloaded child pornography onto his computer in May of 2014.

  • Vote for Ona!

    Ona Gartz, an eighth-grader at Los Alamos Middle School, was just like any other middle-school student at a special assembly put on by Google Friday. She was surprised when Google representatives Nicholas Maurette and Tobias Rauscher called her name, telling her that she was the only winner in the state of New Mexico of the company’s “Doodle4Google” logo contest with her entry, “Colors Of My Island (above).” Ona now moves on to the “national finalist” category, where people can vote for her logo to help make her, and Los Alamos Middle School, the national winner. Go to doodle4google.com and follow the links. Look for the story in next week’s Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Vote for Ona!

    Ona Gartz, an eighth-grader at Los Alamos Middle School, was just like any other middle-school student at a special assembly put on by Google Friday. She was surprised when Google representatives Nicholas Maurette and Tobias Rauscher called her name, telling her that she was the only winner in the state of New Mexico of the company’s “Doodle4Google” logo contest with her entry, “Colors Of My Island (above).” Ona now moves on to the “national finalist” category, where people can vote for her logo to help make her, and Los Alamos Middle School, the national winner. Go to doodle4google.com and follow the links. Look for the story in next week’s Los Alamos Monitor.