Local News

  • New Mexico professor seeks to save moon-landing sites

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — A New Mexico State University anthropology professor is on a mission to save moon-landing sites.
    Beth O'Leary is speaking this week in Washington, D.C., on preserving the spots where humans stepped on the surface of the moon.
    She is giving presentations at the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
    Her new book, "The Final Mission: Preserving NASA's Apollo Sites," looks at the exploration of space from an archaeological and historical-preservation perspective. It also details how various sites in New Mexico, Texas, California, and Florida contributed to the successful Apollo mission.
    O'Leary says the Apollo 11 landing site at Tranquility Base, where humans stepped foot on the moon, should be named a National Historic landmark.

  • Police Beat 7-16-17

    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.

    July 4
    11:21 p.m. — Garrett Eckhart, 36, of Los Alamos was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting or evading an officer and battery upon a peace officer.

    11:29 p.m. — LAPD arrested an individual for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

    July 5
    1:39 a.m. — Phillip Swazo, 28, of Santa Fe was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs, open container and failure to display a valid registration plate.

    3:34 a.m. — Sherry Lynn Francisco, 57, of Harper, Texas was arrested for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs.

    5:35 a.m. — Los Alamos Police reported found property.

    10 a.m. — LAPD cited an individual on Kwage Mesa Trail for an animal at large.

    1:54 p.m. — Los Alamos Police reported a license plate was removed from a parked vehicle.

  • On the Docket 7-16-17

    May 23
    Scott Newman was found guilty of failing to follow the regulations of weed, brush piles, refuse and rubbish. Sentence was deferred until July 21.

    Michelle Kirsh was found guilty of failing to stop/yield at a traffic sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    May 24
    Robert Ward was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Ronny Lujan was fined $50 for passing in a no passing zone and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    May 25
    David Nicholaeff pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Damian Andres Vasquez pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and also failure to provide a proper operator’s/chauffeur’s license. Defendant was sentenced to community service, defensive driving school and community service. The sentence was deferred until July 23.

    Juan Carlos Hernandez-Carmona pleaded no contest to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and also failure to provide a proper operator’s/chauffeur’s license. The sentence was deferred until July 23.

  • 3 N.M. congressional delegates sponsor bill to repeal Trump’s election commission

    U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham touted a bicameral bill they introduced Friday to repeal President Donald Trump’s election commission order that they said especially intimidated “people of color.”

    “The bill is supported by more than 90 members of Congress, including every Democratic Senator of color,” according to the joint press release issued by the three New Mexico congressional members Friday.

    “The right to vote is one of the most sacred and fundamental rights in our democracy,” Udall said. “President Trump’s voter suppression commission is nothing more than a cynical and shameful attempt to intimidate voters – particularly people of color – delegitimize our electoral process, and discourage participation in government.

    New Mexico’s Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has refused to comply with the Presidential Advisory Commission’s request to share sensitive voter roll data.

  • Bandelier senior pass price to increase

    Then Senior Pass is a lifetime pass that gives people who are 62 or over, and citizens or permanent residents of the United States, lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal sites and parks nationwide, administered by the National Park Service and five other federal agencies. The pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The price of a Senior Pass has been only $10 ever since 1994, and that price will still be good through Aug. 27. However, starting Aug. 28, the price of the Lifetime Senior Pass will increase to $80, which is the same as the price for the one-year pass available to persons not yet 62.

    Those eligible for the Senior Pass can buy an Annual Senior Pass each year for $20, and on the fourth year turn in their annual passes for a lifetime one. Golden Age or Senior Passes purchased before Aug. 28 will continue to be honored for the lifetime of the pass holder. More information is available at nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm.

    For those wishing to buy a Senior Pass for $10 before Aug. 28, they can be found at national parks or other Federal recreation areas that charge an entrance or standard amenity (day use) fee.

  • Teachers discuss Barranca design

    Barranca Mesa Elementary School staff and community met Tuesday evening in an intimate, informal setting to once again review the proposed schematic designs for renovation.

    Similar to the community meeting on June 27, the purpose was to review the design options and receive feedback, but without the architects in attendance this time.

    Some attendees appeared at the last meeting, but many teachers were hearing and seeing this information for the first time.

    Those in attendance were Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus and multiple Los Alamos Public School board members. Barranca Principal Virginia Terrazas was also there to help answer teachers’ questions.

    Herb McLean, Construction Manager for the district, went over the two designs along with the pros and cons of each. He stressed to the group to look at the meeting as preliminary idea gathering.

    “We’re not asking you to decide, just to get comments,” said McLean. “We just want to make sure we get everyone’s questions answered.”

    He then went over the two different layouts; one is a single story option and the other is a two-story floor plan. With either plan, construction will take about 16 months, roughly from March 2018 through August 2019, and Barranca will gain almost 10,000 square feet after renovations.

  • Council to mull codifying sheriff’s role July 26

    The Los Alamos County Council will consider on July 26 a resident’s petition to write the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff and the Los Alamos County Police Department into the County Charter.

    Petitioner Greg White requested the council action Tuesday at a regular council meeting. White said by adding language to the County Charter, it would end the perennial argument the community seems to have about whether to have a sheriff.

    White noted that for at least the last 48 years, voters have considered the issue seven times.

    The seventh vote occurred last year, after County Council transfered nearly all sheriff services to the Los Alamos Police Department, including process serving. The council also removed the sheriff’s administrative and deputy sheriff staff.

    They also voted to reduce the office’s budget to $15,000.

    However, county voters decided to restore the office.

  • 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