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Local News

  • Small business is Brenner’s top priority

    Helping small business is the main issue for Los Alamos County Council candidate Patrick Brenner.

    “The small businesses in Los Alamos are certainly in trouble. We’ve seen that and we continue to see that. We no longer have a Laundromat. We no longer have a flower shop…It’s not new news. Most of the small business owners I’ve spoken with are in trouble,” Brenner said.

    Brenner himself owns a small business, EDJ ink. He admits he is not entirely certain why so many businesses are struggling, but believes that two major factors are rental rates and the county’s policies towards small business.

    “As far as rental rates go, if the lab (Los Alamos National Laboratory – LANL) comes to the downtown area, the landlords charge the lab whatever they want because it’s government money and nobody cares, except for the landowners. The landowners know that they can get away with charging the lab whatever they can,” Brenner said. “And I’m not saying that’s bad. That’s a smart business practice for those landowners. If I were in their position, I’d do the same thing: maximize my profit per square foot.”

    Brenner believes that council should reevaluate zoning that allows LANL to rent downtown, especially on ground floors.

  • Power surge sparks fire Tuesday

    The Los Alamos Fire Department responded quickly to an electrical fire on San Ildefonso Road Tuesday afternoon that burned less than a quarter acre of brush in a field between the road and the Los Alamos Middle School.  
    The department was able to put out the fire within five minutes. The small blaze burned less than a quarter of an acre. The fire knocked out power, but it was restored by 3:05 p.m., according to Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities Spokesman Julie Williams-Hill.
    The fire started under ground near a power pole on San Ildefonso Road, Williams-Hill said.
    Eyewitnesses reported seeing sparks near the base of the pole. The incident was reported around 1:40 p.m., officials said.
    LAFD Deputy Chief Steve Dawald suspects there may have been a power surge, as the Central Avenue headquarters experienced a surge shortly before a call about the fire came in.
    Williams-Hill said she suspected that fire was caused by a faulty cable that the DPU was scheduled this summer to replace. She said utilities is expected to investigate and find out the cause today.

  • County, LACDC reply to Main Gate suit

    Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, the defendants in a civil suit with Main Gate, LLC., have answered allegations in the lawsuit that claim they sabotaged a development deal the plaintiff was working on in Entrada Business Park.
    Entrada Business Park is located next to Los Alamos Airport. Businesses in the park include the Los Alamos Co-op, the New Mexico Consortium and the Holiday Inn Express. The park was developed in 2006 in part through an agreement with the county and Main Gate.
    As part of the agreement, Main Gate agreed to install infrastructure improvements that supplied utilities to the lots the county and Main Gate owned.
    Main Gate claims the improvements cost the company $1 million, and that the county has not yet paid the company. Main Gate also claims that the county interfered with the sale of two lots Main Gate was negotiating with The New Mexico Consortium and the Los Alamos High Flyers Gymnastics club. Main Gate claims that was accomplished when the county took a lot owned by Main Gate that was meant for the New Mexico Consortium and simply gave it to NMC, along with a $2 million development grant from the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation.

  • Police investigate WR man with bomb gear, weapons

    Police found bomb-making materials, a handmade silencer for a semi-automatic rifle and other weapons alongside a White Rock man who was nearly unconscious on his kitchen floor, prompting them to call in the bomb squad last month.
    Jeremy Pollard, 37, pled no contest to minor drug charges and paid a small fine following the June 22 incident.
    However, Pollard is actively being investigated by the Los Alamos Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for possible other charges as the investigation continues and authorities do not know his whereabouts, said LAPD spokesman Commander Preston Ballew.
    A neighbor told police that Pollard had recently been fired from his job at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The neighbor also told police Pollard was “ex-military” and had “various types of radiological and military training,” according to the search warrant.  
    Police responded to a call June 22 from the same neighbor, who reported not seeing Pollard for a few days. When police gained entry to his house at 75 Hacienda Drive, they discovered Pollard on the floor of his kitchen in a semiconscious state “barely breathing,” according to police.

  • Today in history July 12
  • Today in history July 11
  • Presbyterian pulling out of New Mexico health exchange

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Officials with Presbyterian Health Plan say the insurance company will no longer offer individual and family plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace in New Mexico starting next year.

    The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that Presbyterian has sent letters to members notifying them of the changes.

    The decision to stop offering coverage will affect 10,000 exchange members, 80 percent of whom now receive federal subsidies.

    Presbyterian officials say patients who purchased on the exchange used medical services 30 percent more than other patient groups off the exchange.

    In January, Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico stopped offering individual insurance plans through the state health exchange.

    Company officials say it lost $19.2 million in 2015 on the 35,000 individuals covered by plans they purchased on and off the exchange.

  • Police Beat 7-10-16

    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.

    June 29
    6:21 a.m. — Police reported that a 61-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of burglary from a vehicle or other structure at 11th Street.

    3:30 p.m. — Johnny Trujillo, 21,  of Alcalde was arrested on a district court warrant at the Los Alamos police station. The original charge was concealing identity at the intersection of Arkansas Avenue and Diamond Drive Jan. 28.

    4:51 p.m. — Police reported a 58-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of a vehicle accident with no injuries at the intersection of East. Jemez Road and State Highway 4.

    7:04 p.m. — Police reported that a 54-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of an accident with no injuries at the intersection of Central Avenue and East Road.

    7:43 p.m. — Police reported that a 55-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of an accident with injuries at the intersection of El Gancho Street and San Ildefonso Road.

    June 30

  • On the Docket 7-10-16

    June 29
    Ebrahem K. Faraq 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 pay $65 in court costs.

    Thomas L. Eaton 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 pay $65 in court costs.

    Deborah Lynn Apodaca 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 costs.

    Amelia Martinez 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 pay $65 in court costs.

    Nancy R. Nunnelley 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 pay $65 in court costs.

    June 30
    Jeremy James Pollard was pled no contest in Los Alamos Magistrate Court to two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Defendant was fined $100 and must also pay $376 in court costs. Defendant was also sentenced to 180 days of supervised probation.

  • Big Hat fire still burns in Valles Caldera

    The Big Hat fire in the Valles Caldera Preserve, is still burning strong and officials are hoping to keep it that way, they reported Friday.
    Park officials have turned the accidental fire that started June 22 into a managed burn. The fire is located in an area where a prescribed burn was planned this fall.
    Kimberly DeVall, the preserve’s chief of interpretation said there is no exact timeline as to when they will end the fire, which is being watched and managed by fire crews.
    “There is no timeline on it,” she said. “As long as conditions are favorable they are just going to watch it. If they do get some moisture in, they may try to do some more burn out,” she said.
    Fire officials reported the fire at 235 acres Friday afternoon. Boundaries were set at 831 acres. The burn was started by a lightning strike and discovered June 22.
    Until the fire is put out, Los Alamos County and Sandoval County residents can expect to smell and see occasional, light, plumes of smoke that may settle into low lying areas as the air cools.
    Residents that may have health concerns can call 1-888-878-8992 for more information.