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Local News

  • On the Docket 5-13-16

    April 28
    Michael Casey Spawn  was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Wilbur E. Temple pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Defendant was fined $25 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Mildred Valdez was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 21 to 35 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $150 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Kyle Moore pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court for failing to display a current, valid registration plate. Sentence deferred until May 27. He must also pay $65 in court costs. Moore  also pled guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. He was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Ida Duran pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentence deferred until June 28. Defendant was also sentenced to defensive driving school. Defendant also pled no contest to failing to display a current, valid registration plate. For that charge, defendant was fined $30 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • LAHS Olions take home Popejoy awards

    Los Alamos Olions walked away with two Popejoy awards Sunday, Popejoy Hall announced this week.
    David Daniel was awarded with “best direction” for “Spamalot” and Devon McCleskey was awarded “best actor.”
    “Popejoy is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Popejoy Awards,” according to a release sent Wednesday. “The Popejoy Awards celebrates the best of high school musical theater productions and performances throughout New Mexico.”
     Affiliated with the National High School Musical Theater Awards, the event awards state high school drama programs. Production awards were determined solely by adjudicated scores. Acting awards were determined by a combination of adjudicated scores and live judging.   
    Davidson and McCleskey will travel to New York in June to participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards, known as the Jimmy Awards, a program run by the not-for-profit Broadway League. There, they will train with Broadway coaches and performers before competing on the national awards show stage at the Minskoff Theater.
    The pair will represent New Mexico in competition against winners from 31 similar regional competitions.

  • DA candidates address Kiwanis

    Among the Democratic candidates that addressed the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos Tuesday were three candidates vying for First Judicial District Attorney. They were asked what qualifies them for the position and how they would address what they see as the most important issue of the campaign.
    Jennifer Padgett was appointed First Judicial District Attorney in December 2015, filling the vacancy left when District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco retired.
    “I have dedicated my career to child advocacy and service around those who do not have the voice to advocate on their own behalf,” Padgett said.
    Padgett’s work with children, teenage mothers in the juvenile justice system and developmentally disabled children “led me to law school, where I became very passionate about what my voice could do for the most vulnerable.”
    Padgett became a “crimes against children” prosecutor.
     “I have extensive jury trial experience in all types of cases, however, primarily my dedication and my passion has been for the crimes against children,” Padgett said.
    Padgett served as deputy secretary of the Children, Youth and Families Department, managing 2,300 employees and a half-million dollar budget.

  • 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.