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Local News

  • Names of officers in shooting given

    BALTIMORE (AP) — The six officers suspended in the investigation of a black man who died after his arrest had experience on the force ranging from nearly two decades to three years, officials said.
    The officers were identified by city officials Tuesday. They have been suspended with pay while authorities investigate the death of Freddie Gray, who was handcuffed, placed in a transport van with his legs later shackled, and driven around in the van for about 30 minutes before being rushed to the hospital in critical condition, officials said.
    Gray died of a "significant spinal injury" on Sunday, a week after his arrest, Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said Monday. Police have not said exactly how Gray was injured.
    Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12 after police "made eye contact" with him and another man and the two started running, authorities said. The lawyer for Gray's family said he believes the police had no reason to stop the man in the first place.
    What led to that injury — and why Gray was initially pursued by police — is still unknown.
    According to court documents, Officer Garrett Miller accused Gray of carrying a switchblade, which was discovered in Gray's pocket after he was stopped.
    The other suspended officers were identified as:

  • Nuclear waste drums are safe after reaction signs

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Dozens of drums of radioactive waste at one of the nation's premier weapons laboratories are stable after some showed signs of chemical reactions over the past year, according to federal officials.
    The drums are being closely monitored after a chemical reaction inside a container with similar contents caused a breach in February 2014, resulting in a radiation release and the indefinite closure of the country's only underground nuclear waste dump.
    Investigators with the U.S. Energy Department confirmed during a recent town hall that there have been chemical reactions in the containers stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory, but the gases building up inside have decreased over the past several months.
    "That would suggest that the reaction, if it is occurring, is slowing down. It's reached a steady state, and it has stopped," said John Marra, chief research officer for Savannah River National Laboratory and one of the investigators who reviewed the cause of the 2014 radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico.
    Monitoring of the temperature and the gases — which can include hydrogen, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide — has provided evidence of fluctuation inside the drums remaining at Los Alamos.

  • Local Briefs 4-21-15

    Teacher, staff member of year nominations sought

    Los Alamos Public Schools is currently accepting nominations for its 2014-15 Teacher of the Year and Classified Staff Person of the year.
    The deadline for nominations are May 8. Nomination forms are available at each public school site, the assistant superintendent’s office and online at the LAPS website, laschools dot net.

    Quorums may be present for opening

    Los Alamos County announced a number of possible quorums for Wednesday’s opening of the Los Alamos Nature Center.
    Members of several boards, including the Environmental Sustainability, Lodgers’ Tax Advisory board, White Rock Master Plan board, may be present at Wednesday’s opening, which is scheduled for 2 p.m.
    The county said none of the boards are planning to take action at the event.

    ‘Mr. Fish’ is restocking pond

    Los Alamos County announced that its contractor to provide fish in Ashley Pond, was scheduled to do so today.
    The county said Ashley Pond’s water levels are currently low due to another contractor working on one of the pond’s intake valves from the pond to the irrigation system. The contractor is expected to start refilling the pond again Wednesday.

  • Update 4-21-15

    Earth Day

    There will be an Earth Day Festival Saturday at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Games, activities and entertainment are planned for the event. The festival will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

    Authors Speak

    Stan Crawford will be the guest speaker at the Authors Speak Series April 23 at Mesa Public Library. Crawford is the author of “Petroleum Man,” “Mayordomo” and other works of fiction and nonfiction. The talk will be at the Mesa Public Library at 7 p.m.

    School board

    The Los Alamos School Board will hold a board meeting and work session Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be at Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock.

    APP board

    The Arts In Public Places Board will meet at the municipal building Thursday. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m.

    Church concert

    Christian rock group 7eventh Time Down and special guests Ryan Stevenson and Shiloh will perform at the White Rock Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 672-9764.

  • AARP names LA one of best places

    Los Alamos was again on the top of the charts for best places to live.
    The American Association of Retired Persons recently named Los Alamos as one of the top 10 places in the country in terms of livability.
    The AARP story appeared in the May edition of the AARP’s magazine. The AARP compared more than 200,000 communities in the country.
    Also, Los Alamos was named the top place to live in New Mexico by the Movoto.com website. Movoto is a national real estate website.
    Los Alamos beat out Farmington and the North Valley community of Albuquerque for that top spot.
    The top rankings were nothing new. Los Alamos has consistently been named among the top places to live both in the state and nationally. Among recent honors, Los Alamos was named a top place by Livability.com and even White Rock earned such a distinction in 2012 by Coldwell Bankers among the best suburbs.
    For the AARP study, Los Alamos was named 10th-best place in the nation. Madison, Wis., was the top place to live in that study, joined by neighborhoods in Manhattan and Boston.

  • Trespasser at the library arrested

    Approximately an hour and a half after Mesa Public Library closed for the evening April 11, police responded to a burglary alarm inside the building.
    According to Los Alamos Police Department reports, when police entered they found a pair of pants, wallet with no ID inside, and sunglasses. The owner of the pants was nowhere to be found, however.
    Police then noticed other evidence that someone may be still inside the building and so continued their search. They came across a door to a room blocked with a chair.
    When police managed to budge the door ajar, they noticed someone’s feet propped up against a wall inside the room.
    With guns drawn, police ordered the suspect, 47-year-old Trevor Orr, to open the door. He didn’t immediately comply, but instead turned away from the officers to put a key into the burglary alarm system in an attempt to shut it off.
    Then Orr allegedly turned away from the officers and started to run. Noting he wasn’t armed, an officer giving chase put his gun away and instead drew his stun gun and continued the chase.
    Orr, according to the report, then realized officers were closing and so fell to the ground and surrendered after a slight struggle, as the suspect wouldn’t at first allow himself to be handcuffed.

  • Henderson limits discussion

    Los Alamos County Council Chair Kristin Henderson began the first of four nights of budget hearings on Monday with a decision to limit public comment to the end of the meeting.
    Henderson directed that public comment at the beginning of the meeting could only be on topics not on the agenda.
    Councilor Pete Sheehey pointed out that traditionally during budget hearings, public comment on the budget is allowed at the beginning and end of the meeting.
    Monday’s agenda stated that “the first and last 30 minutes of each of the meetings will be reserved for public comment on any portion of the proposed budget. Note: The public hearing times overlap with the budget presentation and discussion times. During this overlap time, public comment will be the primary activity. After all public comment has been received, if time remains, other budget topics may be discussed.”
    Henderson responded that she would allow public comment on the budget “as part of the budget hearing.”
    When council took a break at 8:30 p.m., no public comment had yet been allowed. Upon return, Sheehey addressed the chair, stating that a constituent had asked when public comment would be allowed.

  • Budget cuts, tax hikes discussed

    During the first of four nights of budget hearings, Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess and Deputy County Manager/Chief Financial Officer Steven Lynne presented the county council with an overview of significant items in the proposed budget.
    The proposed FY2016 budget calls for $191,827,341 in expenditures, a one-percent reduction over last year’s General Fund budget. It also calls for reinstatement of 2.25 mills in property taxes, which would net $1.5 million in additional revenues.
    Burgess drew council’s attention to several key elements of the proposed budget before giving an overview of various departmental budgets.
    Several areas require increased expenditures in FY2016. Those include an increase in the county’s share of Fire Cooperative Agreement costs, higher insurance costs and electric rates and an estimated three-percent rise in inflation.
    New operating costs for the golf course community center, the nature center — which opens Wednesday — and the teen center scheduled to open later this year must also be factored in.
    The budget includes a three-percent increase for staffing and salary needs. The bulk of that increase is for implementation of a revised salary plan, which will require salary adjustments for some of the county’s employees.

  • Today in history April 21
  • Today in history April 20