Local News

  • Taco Troubles: Man threatens to get gun over wrong order at Rigoberto’s

    Los Alamos resident Lex Norman Deines, 48, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon at Central Park Square.

    Around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Jemuel Montoya was dispatched to Rigoberto’s Taco Shop for a male individual that was being loud and disorderly.

    Montoya arrived on the scene and found Deines at the counter being argumentative with workers behind the counter. While standing next to Deines, Montoya said he noticed a strong scent of liquor emitting from his person.

    Deines began to be aggressive with the workers, making the patrons very uncomfortable. When Montoya moved closer, Deines noticed the police officer and reportedly said, “Oh, it’s come to this.”

    Montoya spoke with Deines outside the restaurant to get a sense of the situation. Apparently, Deine’s food order was wrong and the restaurant employees would not change it.

    Montoya spoke with one of the employees, who told the officer that Deines threatened to retrieve a gun out of his car if he did not get what he wanted.

  • County responds to IPRA complaint

    Los Alamos County is seeking to dismiss a complaint from Patrick Brenner and Lisa Brenner, who are suing the county and County Custodian of Records Barb Ricci, claiming violations of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.

    “Defendants reasonably assessed and responded to all requests by plaintiff Patrick Brenner as required by IPRA,” the response said.

    On July 7, the county filed an answer to their complaint and also filed a motion to dismiss Lisa Brenner from the case. Lisa is Patrick’s mother.

    The Brenners are accusing the county of withholding emails sent out by some council members on May 15.
    According to the defendant’s lawyer A. Blair Dunn, the county was required to supply the emails requested, including those from private addresses, by May 31.

    On May 25, Ricci sent an email to Patrick Brenner indicating that the case had been closed.

    “They closed the case before the May 31 deadline. That closure of my request was an improper denial at that point,” Patrick Brenner said. “They improperly denied my request by closing my request early.”

    On that day, Patrick Brenner sent out an email to County Council criticizing some of them for their alleged support of a $20 million bond voters were to vote on May 23.

  • Residents lose power Sunday night
  • Los Alamos County fire to end Stage 1 fire restrictions today

    Los Alamos County Fire Department will lift Stage 1 fire restrictions at noon today.

    Recent rain and milder temperatures have produced a decrease in the fire danger for Los Alamos County.

    The stricter fire restrictions were based on dry conditions and higher-than-normal temperatures. Several criteria are utilized to determine when to impose or lift fire restrictions, which include current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources.

    The arrival of monsoonal moisture has eased the dry conditions that led to restrictions and decreased fire danger to moderate, according to the county.

    “LAFD thanks all of our residents and visitors who adhered to the Stage 1 restrictions to help us reduce the fire danger during the recent high fire danger conditions,” said Jeff Wetteland, LAFD fire marshal. “Even though the Stage 1 restrictions are being rescinded, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant and continue to use caution with campfires or activities that can result in a wildland fire.”

    Campfires will be allowed on private property and at the Camp May camping areas in an approved fire ring/burn container with the surrounding areas free of vegetation. However, a water supply must be available, preferably a garden hose or buckets of water.

  • Kiwanis Club of LA supports family nights at Nature Center

     The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos has once again renewed their support of Family Nights at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Because of Kiwanis, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center can continue to offer Family Nights for free every second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. throughout the year.

    This program offers families a chance to spend time together after work, enjoying stories, games, songs, and, in the summer, s’mores around the campfire. Family Nights are led by Melissa Mackey, children’s librarian at Mesa Public Library.

    “The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos has felt it a privilege to sponsor Family Nights at the nature center. Our support of Family Nights affords special satisfaction to us as it provides kids the opportunity to combine learning with fun,” said Chuck Kooshian, president of the Kiwanis.

    In addition to PEEC’s Family Night program, The Kiwanis Club supports a variety of events through financial sponsorship and volunteering. Many people associate the club with the Fourth of July fireworks display in White Rock, but their reach extends beyond the Pajarito Plateau.

  • Chamisa Elementary, PEEC named Business Recyclers of Year

    The winners of the 2017 Los Alamos County Business Recycler of the Year were Chamisa Elementary School for Educational Institute and Pajarito Environmental Education Center for Business/Non-Profit.

    The Business Recycler of the Year award is sponsored by the Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division and the Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board.

    The Business Recycler of the Year Award is a great avenue to promote recycling in the business community and get more businesses participating in the recycle program. To become eligible, a business is nominated by a member of the community for contributing to recycling and waste reduction.

    Los Alamos County Environmental Services received seven nominations for the fifth annual Business Recycler of the Year Award. There were two categories this year, Educational Institute and Business/Non-Profit. Educational Institutes were: Chamisa Elementary School, Los Alamos High School Eco Club, and Aspen K-Kids (sponsored by Kiwanis). Business/Non-Profit nominees were: Merrick & Company, Pajarito Environmental Educational Center, Sirphey and Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church Shop on the Corner. The voting was conducted via an online survey.

  • Iraqi facing deportation after aiding military takes refuge

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — An Iraqi man who fled to the U.S. during the Gulf War and trained tens of thousands of American soldiers is facing deportation orders that could lead to his death in his homeland, his supporters say.

    Kadhim Al-bumohammed, 64, decided to seek refuge Thursday inside a New Mexico church. He announced through his attorney that he would defy a federal immigration order to appear for a hearing where he was expected to be detained over two misdemeanor domestic-violence convictions in California.

    “After consulting with his family, and with other members of the faith community, (Al-bumohammed) has chosen to seek sanctuary with the faith community,” Rebecca Kitson, his lawyer, said a cheering crowd outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Albuquerque.

    Immigration officials typically don’t make deportation arrests in churches and other “sensitive areas” such as schools and churches.

  • New Mexico governor supports national monument review

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez supports the review of two national monuments in New Mexico, saying it’s important that the designations follow the intent and spirit of the federal law that was used to establish the sites.

    The two-term Republican governor outlined her comments on the Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monuments in a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

    The letter was made public Thursday as the secretary considers possible modifications to more than two dozen monuments that were created during the last two decades.

    The monuments under review in New Mexico were established during former President Barack Obama’s tenure.
    Environmentalists support the designations, saying they help protect special places in the state. They also argue there have been economic benefits.

    Martinez said only anecdotal evidence exists to support those claims. She also questioned the need for the monuments, pointing to previous designations that protected the land as wilderness study areas or as areas that required special management for recreation and research.

  • Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Aug. 3

    Los Alamos residents are encouraged to “Find the hero in you” by joining in the Second Annual Battle of the Badges community blood drive on Aug.3 from noon-6 p.m. and Aug. 4 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at First Baptist Church hall, 2200 Diamond Dr.

    Los Alamos’ first responders, firefighters, policemen and sheriffs are challenging all New Mexicans to donate blood and help save lives.  

    The first responders will be at the drives to recruit blood donors and donate themselves, as well as competing for participants’ votes.  

    It takes 300 blood donations every day to meet the needs of area patients and to be ready for emergencies.

    Blood donated in the community helps save the lives of patients in 47 different hospitals throughout New Mexico and the Four Corners Region.

    Donators will receive a commemorative t-shirt just for donating and will also get the chance to vote for their favorite first responder team.

    Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health to donate blood.

    Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 23 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed UBS form/permission from a parent or guardian.

  • New Mexico considers rules for dark-money groups in politics

    SANTA FE — A proposal requiring more-detailed financial disclosures from nonprofit advocacy organizations that attempt to influence elections and ballot measures in New Mexico earned both praise and criticism at a public comment hearing Thursday at the state Capitol.

    The campaign finance rules drafted by the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office take aim at so-called dark money groups that can spend unlimited amounts to influence elections and ballot measures when acting independently of campaigns and candidates.

    Affected advocacy groups that spend more than $1,000 on political advertising would have to provide the name and address of each person who made contributions of more than $200 to fund independent political expenditures.

    The rules include similar provisions to a bill with bipartisan support vetoed in April by GOP Gov. Susana Martinez, who argued it would hamper charities and discourage charitable donations. About 50 people attended the first of three public hearings on the rules, developed by Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

    Several conservative-backed groups with a statewide and national presence warned that the measures would have a chilling effect on free speech and may drive away donors to political causes who value their privacy and worry about intimidation.