Local News

  • Motion hearing set for Monday

    A documents request from attorneys representing a plaintiff in a sexual harassment suit against Los Alamos County will be heard Monday in Santa Fe District Court.
    Former Los Alamos Police Detective Paige Early is suing the county for alleged sexual discrimination when she was a detective on the force and Wayne Torpy was police chief.
    The complaint is part of a larger lawsuit filed by former LAPD Commander Randy Foster, who is suing the county for alleged wrongful termination for how he disciplined Officer Brian Schamber.
    Several years ago, when Schamber was still on the force, he allegedly started acting strangely.
    Schamber’s alleged erratic behavior while on the job was brought to Foster’s attention by Early, who was Schamber’s patrol partner at the time of the alleged incidents. Early and Foster are represented by Santa Fe attorneys Linda Hemphill and George Geran.
    Former LAPD Commander Scott Mills, also a plaintiff in the suit, alleges the county forced him into retirement over his role in how Schamber was disciplined.

  • New Mexico official could face prison time if convicted

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of New Mexico's highest ranking elected officials could face prison time and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted of charges that she allegedly misused campaign donations for personal gain.

    The possible punishment came into focus Friday after prosecutors filed an amended complaint against Secretary of State Dianna Duran in district court.

    They also submitted arguments as to why the case should be heard in Santa Fe after Duran's attorney challenged the court's jurisdiction.

    The two-term Republican is accused of funneling campaign donations into personal accounts, filing false campaign finance reports and withdrawing cash at casinos.

    She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    The dozens of misdemeanors she faces carry possible punishments of less than a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The more serious felonies carry three-year prison terms and $5,000 fines.

  • Metzger’s Mobil and Auto Repair to close

    Metzger Stores, LLC recently announced that it’s going to be focusing more on it’s retail hardware business, which means the Metzger’s Mobil and Metzger’s Auto Repair Shop at 1399 Diamond Drive will be closing Sept. 30.  
    “...as the needs of the community have evolved over the last few years it has become apparent that our focus should now be on our Metzger’s Do It Best Hardware stores,” said store owner Greg Metzger in a written statement.
    The Metzger’s in White Rock will remain open, but it too will stop selling gasoline, though it will continue to sell propane. Also, said Metzger, they plan on transforming the White Rock Metzger’s gas pump area of the store into an outdoor display area.
    “While this is bittersweet on one hand, Metzger said in a written press release, “we are excited about the opportunities this change will provide us going forward to grow our business as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of the Los Alamos and White Rock communities.”

  • LA to team with P&G in initiative on clean energy

    Clean energy manufacturing efforts will get a boost, thanks to a new national laboratory-industry collaboration pilot announced this week by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory and consumer products company Procter & Gamble will form one of the seven ‘innovation pairs’ working to bring sustainable ideas from some of the nations top scientists into the day-to-day world of manufacturing.
    “Los Alamos plans to coordinate with P&G to explore industry-ready innovations and cutting-edge scientific capabilities that could benefit manufacturing within household brands such as Tide, Bounty, Pantene, and Pampers.  The goal will be to select tangible projects that will help P&G meet their long-term sustainability goals, ultimately improving the environmental footprint of the products their consumers use,” said Melissa Fox of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Applied Energy Program Office.

  • Tuning up to United Way drive
  • L.A. man faces 3 sex abuse charges

    A 38-year-old Los Alamos County man is facing three counts of sexual contact with a minor, a second-degree felony.
    According to Los Alamos Police, the man allegedly fondled a child between 13 and 18 years old. In late May, the minor reportedly had some questions about sex and sexuality and went to the suspect to talk. The suspect reportedly told the minor he would help (the minor) … and asked if the (alleged victim) was “uncomfortable being naked around him.”
    The minor reported physical contact began to escalate between them, with the suspect allegedly fondling the minor posed in various positions. At one point, the man is accused of massaging, then biting, the minor. Court records show, in response to the minor’s question about the bite, the man said “because he owned the alleged victim,” according to court records.
    According to interviews with counselors at the Solace Crisis Center in Santa Fe, the minor said at one time the suspect, during the middle of the night, asked to “cuddle.” The minor complied, and the man asked the minor to remove underwear.

  • BPU expands Energy Assistance

    The Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday voted 4−1 to expand assistance to low-income seniors. Vice Chair Stephen McLin voted against the motion.
    “Over the years, we’ve become very aware that there are a number of citizens that could use some additional assistance, not just with their heating bills during the winter months, but with all their utilities, and particular seniors on a fixed income,” said Department of Public Utilities Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt.
    The Energy Assistance Plan will now be called the Utilities Assistance Program. Instead of being limited to helping low-income residences with heating bills during the winter, low-income seniors will be able to qualify for year-round assistance with all utility bills.
    “We would love to be able to have an opportunity to provide assistance year-round to all of the lower income residences if we could do it,” Westervelt said. “We want to start out a step at a time with the funding we know we have available.”
    The energy assistance program − which is funded through voluntary contributions from customers − has a balance of $25,073.54 and has been hovering near that figure for several years.

  • Today in history Sept. 18
  • W. Va. State Rep. Blair to visit UNM-LA Saturday

    The public is invited to meet the nation’s youngest elected state official at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Saturday.
    West Virginia State Representative Saira Blair will be at UNM-LA Student Center, building 2 from 1-3 p.m. for a “meet and greet” with free refreshments. The event is sponsored by the Republican Party of Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Federated Women.  
    Blair, a freshman studying finance at West Virginia University, defeated Democratic Party incumbent Layne Diehl in November 2014 with 63 percent of the vote. She won the Republican primary, at 17.
    Blair will also speak at the Republican Party Constitution Day dinner at Cottonwood on the Greens Saturday evening. Fore more information visit losalamosgop.com.

  • Stocks are volatile after Fed keeps interest rates low

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks continued to swing between gains and losses Thursday after the Federal Reserve announced it would not raise interest rates, citing lingering concerns about weakness in the global economy and unstable financial markets.

    Bond prices rose sharply, sending yields lower, as the Fed said inflation would likely remain in check. The dollar fell against other currencies as traders anticipated that U.S. rates would remain low for some time.

    KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 23 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,712 as of 3:45 p.m. Eastern. The Dow had been up as much as 193 points in late afternoon trading.

    The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,013 and the Nasdaq composite added 16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,906. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.20 percent from 2.30 percent late Wednesday.

    FED STANDS PAT: Fed policymakers, wrapping up a two-day meeting, voted to keep U.S. interest rates at record lows. The Fed said that while the U.S. job market is solid, there are reasons to be concerned about global economic growth.