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Local News

  • McDonald focuses on law enforcement, charter

    Editor’s note: second in a series profiling candidates running for local and state offices.

  • Today in history June 15
  • ‘Safety Town’ heads into second year

    For the next two weeks, a bumper crop of soon-to-be kindergartners will be navigating “Safety Town,” a partnership program between Los Alamos Public Schools and the Los Alamos Police Department.
    By the time it ends, they will probably know more than their parents about how to navigate traffic safely by bike and by foot and how to stay safe at home and when they’re playing outdoors.
    “All of the planned activities are a combined effort with Los Alamos County employees and the Los Alamos Police Department,” Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus, in a letter to parents about the program. “Keeping your child safe at school is our top priority.”
    Safety Town was introduced last year by Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone as a way to show kids going off to school for the first time how to keep safe when their parents aren’t around.
    The program was popular last year. This year, Safety Town has three classes of 57 students at Mountain Elementary School. Last year, there were 39 students enrolled.
    For the next two weeks, the kids will tackle a different topic everyday, including bike safety, “stranger danger” animal awareness, fire safety, water safety and other subjects. Each day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon.

  • Surgeon general calls for greater investment in opioid fight

    ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Tuesday called for more government investment in addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic, saying only half of the 2 million people who need treatment for addictions have access to it.
    Murthy’s comments came as he toured a substance abuse center in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city. New Mexico had one of the highest overdose death rates in 2014, especially among adults 21 to 35, the most recent federal data showed.
    Nationally, overdoses from heroin, oxycodone and other opiates killed more than 28,000 Americans in 2014, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
    Murthy and others are advocating for more funding because of that figure, along with a “treatment gap” that Murthy says deprives roughly a million Americans from getting the counseling, medication and other services they need to beat addictions.
    Social stigma and a lack of treatment centers — especially in communities that need it most — share some of the blame for stifling access to care, he said.

  • Keller awaits parole hearing

    Los Alamos resident Zachary Keller, 27, pled not guilty June 8 in magistrate court to charges he hit his ex-girlfriend.  
    The ex-girlfriend called police shortly after the alleged incident took place June 7 and filed a complaint against him.
    She told police that they had been arguing earlier in the day. Keller told her he wanted to move out of the apartment they shared together.
    According to the girlfriend, the argument became more heated as he started moving his things out of the apartment.
    She told police that she stood in front of him in an attempt to get him to stay. That’s when she said he “threw her to the ground.”
    “(The victim) showed me her arms, and there were noticeable red marks on both her right and left arms, which is consistent with her story,” an officer reported in a report filed in court.  
    Keller pled “not guilty” to the battery charge. If convicted, he could spend up to a year in jail.
    Keller was also ordered to remain in custody because, according to Los Alamos District Court, Keller had also violated the terms of a drug treatment program he was enrolled in as part of his sentence for crimes he committed in January.
    Keller was released June 12.

  • Cases of animal plague and tularemia in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — Health officials say there have been 10 cases of plague and 19 cases of tularemia in dogs and cats in New Mexico so far this year.

    Recent rabbit deaths from tularemia also have been confirmed in the Santa Fe and Eldorado areas of Santa Fe County.

    Confirmatory testing was conducted at the New Mexico Department of Health's Scientific Laboratory Division.

    Plague positive pets come from Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Los Alamos, Torrance and Taos counties.

    Dogs and cats have tested positive for tularemia in Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Los Alamos counties.

    Last year, four humans contracted plague in New Mexico with one fatality with eight human cases of tularemia and no deaths. There were 18 confirmed cases of plague and 63 cases of tularemia in dogs and cats.

  • Police Beat 6-12-16

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    May 31
    12 a.m. — Adam Martinez, 18, of Velarde, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia at the intersection of 48th Street and Yucca Street.

    1:26 a.m. — Geoffery Marquez, 19, of Los Alamos was arrested for marijuana possession (less than one ounce) at Sioux Avenue.

    5:42 a.m. — Augusta Dyson, 38, of Los Alamos was arrested for aggravated driving while under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or more at Diamond Drive.

    10:53 a.m. — Elias Gallegos, 49, of Espanola was arrested for shoplifting (More than $100 less than $250) at the Los Alamos police station.

    11:17 a.m. — Police reported that a 16-year-old Los Alamos female was the victim of harassment at Central Avenue.

    3:26 p.m. — Police reported that a 58-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of fraud (more than $250, less than $2500) at 38th Street.

    June 1

  • Cone Zone: Week of June 13

    For more information about these projects, e-mail lacpw@lacnm.us, call 662-8150, or visit the “Projects” link at losalamosnm.us. Slow down and use caution within the construction work zones. The below information is based on a schedule provided by the contractors and may change due to weather or other delays.
    Public Works Projects:
    Canyon Rim Trail
    The west leg of the Canyon Rim Trail is closed for construction.  No traffic delays on DP Road or N.M. 502 are anticipated.
    Knecht Street Improvements Project
    Century Club will start construction on the Knecht Street Improvements Project Monday. Work hours will be Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Access to businesses as well as mail delivery, emergency services, trash and recycling collection will be maintained. On-street parking will be restricted for the duration of the project.
    Western Area Phase 4
    On Monday, the Western Area Phase 4 Project is scheduled to start with preconstruction utility line locating and video recording of landscaping and walls near county right-of-way to ensure such features are returned to pre-construction condition.

  • On the Docket 6-12-16

      June 1
    Jerome J. Garcia  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop for speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court courts.

    Adrienne M. LaFleur  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop for speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court courts.

    Andrea Harwell  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to use seatbelts. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court courts.

    Brian Padgett paid a $50 fine for failing to display a current, valid registration plate while parked.

    June 2
    James Carpenter was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of shoplifting. Defendant was fined $250 and must also pay $60 in court costs.

    Gayle Cunningham was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding in a school zone 11 to 15 miles an hour over the limit. Defendant was given a deferred sentence. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs. Defendant was also sentenced to community service and defensive driving school.

  • Chandler keys in on neighborhoods, comp plan

    Editor’s note: This is the first in a series profiling candidates running for local and state offices.

    When Los Alamos County Council candidate Chris Chandler talks about neighborhoods and the comprehensive plan, she is really talking about community.
    “My goal is insuring that actions taken in the next four years essentially preserve the quality of life and the nature of the community,” Chandler said. “So that is why I’ve been highlighting this concept of neighborhoods, because I think that’s the key to ensuring that the community values are preserved.”
    The Los Alamos Monitor asked Chandler to elaborate on her concerns. One of her main issues involves actions taken by the Los Alamos Community Development Department (CDD) that she believes negatively impacts neighborhoods.
    Chandler provided three examples to support her point.
    “We became aware of the fact that county staff has chosen to reinterpret the code with respect to single-family neighborhoods. And what they have chosen to do – over objections of some neighbors – is to apply an odd definition of the term ‘family’ to include any collection of five people, whether or not they have any sort of relationship or connection with one another at all,” Chandler said.