Local News

  • Two New Breeds Added to Westminster Kennel Club
  • Fraud allegedly targeted Dell Computers

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Court papers allege that somebody fraudulently obtained more than $1 million in parts from Dell Computers by making hundreds of calls while pretending to place orders for Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the alleged fraud reportedly started in 2007 and continued until 2010.

    The case was turned over to the Secret Service that year after a security investigator for Round Rock, Texas-based Dell contacted Albuquerque police.

    Two Albuquerque men were indicted last May on 131 state counts each of fraud up to $20,000. Ronald Campus and Allan Friedt have pleaded not guilty.

  • Today in History for January 28th
  • Raw: Amateur Video Shows Chaos of Brazil Fire

    A blaze raced through a crowded nightclub in southern Brazil early Sunday, killing 232 people as the air filled with deadly smoke and panicked party-goers stampeded toward the exits, police and witnesses said.

  • Today in History for January 27th
  • Trying to unlock secrets of dead serial killer

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The suspect, hands and feet shackled, fidgeted in his chair, chuckling at times as he confessed to a brutal killing.

    Israel Keyes showed no remorse as he described in merciless detail how he'd abducted and strangled an 18-year-old woman, then demanded ransom, pretending she was alive. As the two prosecutors questioned him, they were struck by his demeanor: He seemed pumped up, as if he were reliving the crime. His body shook, they said, and he rubbed his muscular arms on the chair rests so vigorously his handcuffs scraped off the wood finish.

    The prosecutors had acceded to Keyes' requests: a cup of Americano coffee, a peanut butter Snickers and a cigar (for later). Then they showed him surveillance photos, looked him in the eye and declared: We know you kidnapped Samantha Koenig. We're going to convict you.

    They aimed to solve a disappearance, and they did. But they soon realized there was much more here: a kind of evil they'd never anticipated.

  • Council assesses budget crisis at Tuesday meeting

    Los Alamos County Council’s mid-year budget review will be anything but normal. Staff has estimated a $9.5 million shortfall in projected revenues for FY2013, and further contractions for ensuing budget years.

    Staff had noted decreasing revenues during the yearly audit, estimating a $6.5 million shortfall based on revenues through August 2012. But Los Alamos National Laboratory spending dropped dramatically in September compared to previous years, resulting in a $3 million reduction in gross receipts tax flowing into county coffers. The county received that report in November, along with the news that the state was refunding part of LANL’s 2011 GRT, with the county’s share set at $3.5 million.

    “It is a moving target. Any budget is our best guess. So we’re projecting revenues based on history, based on information we receive from news media as well as directly from the lab,” County Administrator Harry Burgess said. In this case, LANL’s expenditures were far lower than the amount budgeted for the year, which is what the county’s early projections were based on.

  • Officials may mull tax hike

    The possibility of raising taxes is also likely to be a controversial issue. The agenda documentation for Tuesday's council session includes a comparison of the Los Alamos County’s taxes with the rest of the state.

    The comparison shows that the county’s rates are considerably below average. The summary includes:

    • Los Alamos ranks 23rd lowest GRT rate of the 33 counties. (7.3125 percent — this is .2519 percent or more than a ¼ cent less than the average of 7.5644 percent)

    • Los Alamos has the lowest (ranked 33rd) imposed Property Tax rate of all 33 counties. (10.598 mils; next lowest is 2.477 mils higher at 13.075 mils; Los Alamos is 5.515 or 34 percent below the average of 16.1133 mils)
    • Los Alamos ranks 32nd and 33rd lowest for residential and non-residential, respectively, levied mil rates.

    • If adjusted by adding two mils of property tax, Los Alamos would still have the lowest imposed Property Tax rate.

    • If adjusted by adding a new 1/16th cent GRT increment, Los Alamos would rank 22nd lowest GRT rate.

    Find more on this and other agenda documentation at losalamosnm.us.

  • Update 01-27-13

    Blood drive

    United Blood Services will host a blood drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 29 at Los Alamos High School’s speech theater.

    LALT deadline

    The deadline for receiving proposals for plays to be performed in the 2013-14 Los Alamos Little Theatre season is Jan. 31. Visit lalt.org for instructions.

    County Council

    There will be a County Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Pancake breakfast

    The Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge will hold a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. The cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and younger.

  • Today in History for Jan. 26