Local News

  • Gonzales involved in suits against LAPD

    A 28-year-old Los Alamos man who was arrested Monday in connection with an explosion at the Caballo Peak Apartments is also a plaintiff in two civil lawsuits against the county.
    The lawsuits name the suspect, Juan M. Gonzales, as a plaintiff and the City of Los Alamos, the Los Alamos Police Department, the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office, the LAPD’s police chief and several LAPD officers as defendants.
    In the lawsuits, Gonzales claims that the police harassed, embarrassed him and illegally searched his home.
    The first suit was filed in October 2015, and the second that includes his wife Brianna as a plaintiff, was filed Dec. 21, 2015. In the October lawsuit, Gonzales asks for $40 million in damages. In the second suit, Gonzales seeks $20 million.
    In both lawsuits, Gonzales claims a pattern of harassment by law enforcement that is racially motivated.

  • Police to honor Mills Monday

    New Mexico police officers that died in the line of duty this past year will be honored at the Los Alamos Police Department’s annual memorial ceremony for fallen officers. The 20 to 30 minute ceremony will take place at the Los Alamos Justice Center 9 a.m. Monday.
    The Los Alamos Justice Center is located at 2500 Trinity Avenue.
    Scott Mills, a former commander with the Los Alamos Police Department, will be honored, and his name will be added to the memorial plaque outside the police department at the Los Alamos Justice Center.
    Mills, who left the Los Alamos Police Department 2013 and joined the Ouray, Colo. Police Department in 2014, was killed earlier this year on a highway outside of Ouray when a truck ran into the back of his motorcycle.
    He was off duty at the time. Mills joined the Los Alamos Police Department in 1998.

  • Sheriff, LAPD warn of phone scam

    Law enforcement is warning Los Alamos residents of a phone scam involving callers who identify themselves as the local sheriff or sheriff’s deputies and demanding money.
    Callers claiming to be Sheriff Marco Lucero or one of his deputies have been calling county residents and demanding legal fees for missing jury duty or other legal situations, according to the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office senior office manager, Lisa Gonzales.
    “As a reminder, you should never give out any personal information over the phone to anyone, especially those claiming to be from the sheriff’s office or other law enforcement agencies,” according to the sheriff’s office. “The Los Alamos Sheriff’s office does not conduct business in this manner.”
    Gonzales said if anyone has been contacted in this manner, they should call the dispatch office at the Los Alamos Police Department at 662-8222 and report what happened.
    Since the scam started, the sheriff’s office has recently received about seven calls asking about the fees. Gonzales said the caller has been identifying himself as a “Lt. Johnson.”
    He has been very persistent and bold, according to Gonzales.
    “He’s calling people, leaving messages on phones,” she said.

  • Habitat for Humanity builds first LA home

    Los Alamos participated for the first time in Habitat for Humanity’s annual Women’s Build, sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. By midmorning Saturday, 78 volunteers had shown up to help build a home for Ivette Jimenez and her son Ruben.
    “In conjunction with Mother’s Day, honoring all the women around the world, it’s a Women’s Build,” said Harpal Khalsa, president of Habitat for Humanity of Española Valley and Los Alamos. “So even though there are men on the site, the focus is women building, creating community, creating habitat – home – for people in need.
    Habitat for Humanity is best known for building homes at cost for low-income families. Lowe’s has contributed more than $40 million since it began partnering with Habitat in 2003.
    For the Women’s Build, Lowe’s pledges $5,000 to builds across the country that turn out at least 50 volunteers that day.
    A call for volunteers for the Los Alamos Women’s Build went out Thursday evening on Keep it Local. At that time, only 10 women and five men had signed up. The post also asked for volunteers to bring food, which counted toward the 50-person minimum.
    Not only did a huge number of volunteers turn out, The Rotary Club of Los Alamos donated lunch.

  • League of Women Voters candidate forum Thursday

    The League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, building 2, room 230, for candidates with opposition in the June primary election.

    Invited candidates include Michael Lucero and Michael Romero, who are running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives District 3; Jennifer Lynne Padgett, Marco Peter Serna and Maria E. Sanchez-Gagne, who are running for the Democratic nomination for district attorney in the First Judicial District; and Antonio L. Maggiore, Peter T. Sheehey, Chris Chandler and Kristin M. Henderson, the four Democrats running for three county council seats.

    The public is invited to attend. Refreshments and conversation begins at 6:30 p.m. The forum is from 7-9 p.m.

  • Bandelier Shuttle to start Saturday

    Los Alamos County, in partnership with the National Park Service, will again provide the Bandelier Shuttle for the 2016 peak visitor season.
    Atomic City Transit will operate the service from May 14-Oct. 18, using 40-foot, low floor, ADA-accessible transit buses that are equipped with bicycle racks.
    Buses operate between the White Rock Visitor Center and Bandelier National Monument for 158 days (including federal holidays), as follows:
    • Monday through Friday – every 30 minutes, with the first bus departing from White Rock at 9 a.m. and the last bus departing from Bandelier at 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, Sunday and holidays – every 20 minutes, with the first bus departing from White Rock at 9 a.m. and the last bus departing from Bandelier at 5:10 p.m.

  • LA Tourism seeks locals

    Los Alamos County is seeking local talent for an upcoming advertising campaign.
    The commercial video will feature locals “doing” and “seeing” in and around Los Alamos and enjoying attractions.  

    The casting call includes local mountain bikers, individuals to sightsee, and a family of four with parents over the age of 30.
    Those interested should visit the “Visit Los Alamos” Facebook page. Applicants should send a personal message to the Facebook page, including a photo, contact information and a description of which role they would like to play. Those applying to have their car featured should submit a photo of the car, along with the year, make, and model of the vehicle. Those applying must live in Los Alamos County and must apply by May 25. Selected applicants will be notified via Facebook message or by their preferred method of contact by May 31.

  • LA Community Foundation launched

    The newly formed Los Alamos Community Foundation (LACF) introduced itself to the county’s nonprofit organizations April 8 by hosting a workshop on creative collaboration.
    “You’re very fortunate to have a dedicated group of individuals who have been working for a very long time to start a Los Alamos Community Foundation,” said guest speaker Jenny Parks, CEO of the LANL Foundation. Parks has also worked with the New Mexico Community Foundation.
    “Community Foundations are on the rise, not just here but around the world. It is a very effective mechanism for community philanthropy, so having one here in your own community will be a huge benefit, not only to the community but to nonprofits that work with the community.”
    Parks stressed the way community foundations could support local nonprofits and help them build capacity.
    “Don’t see it as competition for your funding,” Parks said. “Yes, they might be fundraising, but the idea is that if they do a good job about teaching the community about the importance of community philanthropy, it will grow the pie for everybody. And they may hold the money and grant it out to you.”

  • Voting begins
  • Kiwanis hosts Democratic candidates

    Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos hosted Democratic candidates at their Tuesday luncheon. The four county candidates running for Los Alamos County Council and the three running for First Judicial District Attorney were given three minutes each to state their cases.
    Those running uncontested in the June 7 primary – Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-District 43), county clerk candidate Amy Woods and Karyl Ann Armbruster, running for reelection for District 4 public education commissioner, were each given two minutes.
    Names were drawn for the order candidates spoke in. Council candidate Antonio L. Maggiore drew the first slot.
    “I’m born and raised here. I’m running for this seat because I feel passionately committed and connected to this town, and I want to see it improved,” Maggiore said.
    “Most people know me as that person doing that slightly illicit gardening on the side of the bridge,” Maggiore said. “It’s proof that I like to get my hands dirty, and frankly I know that there’s nothing dirtier than politics.”
    Maggiore’s biggest concern was supporting small business.