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Local News

  • Los Alamos County hires attorney and planner

    Two staff members joined the county Monday.

    Kathryn (Katie) Thwaits was hired to fill a new junior attorney position and Daniel Osborn joined the Community and Economic Development Department as an associate planner.

    Thwaits has a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif. She has worked with the New Mexico State Personnel Office since 2009, where she provided legal counsel to the director’s office and other cabinet level executive staff.

    Thwaits spent three years prior to that as deputy district attorney for the First Judicial District Attorney’s office. Her position included managing both personnel and the office caseload in addition to her own caseload averaging 175 felony cases at any given time.

    While serving in the Española District Attorney’s office, Thwaits volunteered with the Rio Arriba DWI program, the DWI Planning Council and the DWI Task Force. She also helped develop and launch Española’s first post-prom party.

    Thwaits husband James, also works for the county with the Los Alamos Fire Department.

  • Rowan gets five years in double stabbing case

    It’s been a long time coming, but Daniel Rowan finally had his day in Los Alamos District Court Oct. 10. Rowan, 35, was sentenced to five years at the Los Lunas Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison.

    Rowan was arrested in July 2011 for stabbing two people during an altercation at a Los Alamos apartment complex.

    According to Rowan’s ex-girlfriend, Alysia Dahlby, who met him through a friend while he was still in jail for the July incident, Rowan walked into an ambush at the apartment complex and was trying to defend himself against 10 people who she said were attacking him.

    Apparently, the court did not agree.

    The charges were two counts of aggravated bodily harm; one count of aggravated assault; and one count of tampering with evidence. Two of those charges, the count of aggravated assault and tampering with evidence were dismissed.

    According to earlier reports, Rowan wounded two people during the melee. Another ex-girlfriend of Rowan’s, Britney Gutierrez, 28, was slashed across three knuckles on one of her hands and an Ian Cornelius, 25, was stabbed numerous times and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Santa Fe.

    Dahlby said Rowan indicated to her he is OK with his sentence and just wants to do his time without causing any waves.

  • Planes sustain hail damage

    The planes sitting out at the airport in the pleasant Los Alamos sunshine may look nice, but looks can be deceiving.

    Many are damaged beyond repair due to last week’s hail storm, according to some of their owners. Though the hail last week didn’t shatter any windows or cave in any roofs at the airport, many of the planes’ thin metal surfaces suffered hundreds of dings and divots, making many of the aircraft a risk to fly.

    “Every plane was damaged, one way or another,” Los Alamos Airport Manager Peter Soderquist said.

    Soderquist said 17 or 18 airplanes were damaged in the storm that was so strong out by the airport, there were particular spots where the hail, measured to be about an inch in diameter that accumulated in two-foot drifts.

    “It was pretty intense,” he said.

    Dan Gabel, the press secretary for the Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol, estimated his Piper “Cherokee D” airplane sustained at least $18,000 worth of damage during the storm.

    “I’m sure it’s going to be more than that because this time, the damage is far worse,” Gabel said, noting Los Alamos endured a similar hail storm about three years ago.

  • VIDEO: County Council candidates come out for League of Women voters forum

    County Council candidates come out for League of Women voters forum.

  • VIDEO: Charter Amendments Viewpoints

    County Charter Review Committee Chairman John Hopkins and Robert Pelak give their viewpoint on the charter amendments.

  • VIDEO: County Clerk Forum

    A video of the a forum for County Clerk candidates, held at the Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos in October. The forum was moderated by the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos.

  • VIDEO: The League of Women Voters of Los Alamos Candidates and Issues Forum

    This is the entire League of Women Voters of Los Alamos Candidates and Issues Forum.
    It's two hours long, but stay tuned for selected footage.
    Included in this video:
    Town Clerk Candidates Forum
    Charter Amendments Forum
    County Council Candidates Forum

  • Carlsbad woman burns home over attic noises

    CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Carlsbad woman burned down her own house after claiming to hear noises in the attic.

    The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that 33-year-old Valerie Hernandez was arrested last week after a nearly six-month investigation.

    According to police, Hernandez moved into the home in March and told police she never liked living there because she believed someone was living in the attic and had bugged the house to listen to her conversations.

    Hernandez admitted buying lighter fluid but told police she just dropped the lighter fluid by the front door. Police say she repeatedly asked authorities if the person in the attic had died during the fire.

    No one was hurt in the blaze.

    Police say fire originated on a mattress.

    It was unclear if Hernandez had an attorney.

  • All 5 victims ID'd in Denver bar homicide-arson--Updated

    DENVER (AP) — Police were investigating the deaths of five people whose bodies were found in a neighborhood bar after a fire broke out around closing time early Wednesday. Police think the blaze was set to cover up their slayings.

    Firefighters found four women and one man dead inside Fero's Bar & Grill. The fire was reported around 2 a.m.

    Authorities have identified five people found dead at a Denver bar after a fire broke out early Wednesday.

    They include 63-year-old Young Fero, of Aurora, one of the bar's owners.

    The fire at Fero's Bar & Grill was spotted just before 2 a.m., closing time for bars, by a police officer on patrol. Firefighters found four women and one man dead inside.

  • Candidates fan out after combative debate

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Fresh off an intently combative debate, President Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney and their running mates are taking their tuned-up fight to the precious few battleground states where the election is still up for grabs with just 20 days to go.

    In the sprint to the Nov. 6 Election Day, every aspect of the campaign seems to be taking on a fresh sense of urgency — the ads, the fundraising, the grass-roots mobilizing and the outreach to key voting blocs, particularly women. Romney quietly began airing a new TV ad suggesting he believes abortion "should be an option" in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake.