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Public Safety

  • Sheriff candidate White looking to courts to decide on the office issue

    Los Alamos resident and county sheriff candidate Greg White is urging the New Mexico Supreme Court to address a legal standoff between the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office and the County Council that has gone on for 16 months.
    Currently, council wants the First Judicial Court of Santa Fe to decide if Los Alamos County’s charter permits them abolish the office.
    The Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office believes the county needs to follow state statutes. Current county sheriff Marco Lucero and his attorney, A. Blair Dunn, believe state statutes protects the office from local officials seeking to abolish it.
    So does White.
    “Enacted five years after home rule, reflecting the more specific and more current will of the people in regards to all counties, current and future, home rule or incorporated, as no distinction is made, states twice in one paragraph that counties must follow statutes and the constitution,” White said in his petition to the court.
    In one statute he cited for the court, he said it mentions twice that counties must follow state statutes and the constitution in matters concerning the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office.

  • Crash on Ridgeway

    Los Alamos Police Commander Preston Ballew and an investigator look through the wreckage of a head-on collision on Ridgeway Drive around 1 p.m. Thursday. Two people, both in the red Suburu, were taken to the Los Alamos Medical Center. No citations had been issued. A single person was in the Ford Explorer.
     

  • Overpass Crash

    a 2013 Nissan Sentra crashed into the overpass on Diamond Drive at about 4 p.m. Thursday. According to officials on the scene, the Sentra experienced mechanical failure prior to the crash. The driver of the vehicle, a woman, and her infant were both transported to the hospital.
     

  • Santa Fe Sheriff still investigating fatal crash

    Investigators are looking for any witnesses to the driving behavior of Elias Arellano, 18, who was driving a Chrysler Sebring convertible on Friday afternoon prior to a fatal wreck on U.S. 84/285.
    Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigators said they would like to hear from anyone who might have witnessed his driving behavior. Investigators said he lost control of the vehicle around 3 p.m. on Friday and caused the death of a 72-year-old Espanola woman, Lucy Fresques.
    Arellano and a juvenile who was a passenger in his vehicle were ejected from the convertible and weren’t wearing seat belts, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
    Fresques was driving a southbound Acura sports utility vehicle that was struck head-on by the convertible driven Arellano, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
    Also injured was Fresques’ husband, Robert, 74.
    Arellano’s vehicle had been northbound when it crossed into the southbound traffic, near Buffalo Thunder Resort.
    That section of highway lacks barriers between northbound and southbound lanes.
    He was taken by ambulance to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
    The investigators said they believe Arellano lost control of his vehicle.

  • Nearby burns scheduled for Monday

    Officials from the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Santa Fe National Forest are planning a pair of prescribed burns in the local area.
    Burns in the area could start as early as Monday, according to caldera and National Forest officials.
    At the VCNP, a burn will take place within about an 2,300-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district, near mile marker 30 off N.M. 4.
    The caldera burn will could take between 3-10 days to complete, depending on conditions.
    Meanwhile, starting early next week, the SFNF has plans for burns about 15 miles north of Los Alamos in a 2,500-acre treatment area, which is expected to take two or three days to complete. Additionally, another burn will take place in the Cuba Ranger District area, although that will be located in a smaller treatment area.
    All the planned burns will get rid of dead forest fuels and pre-cut limbs and other debris.
    For the burn at the VCNP, officials warn of possible traffic delays on N.M. 4, as well as for visibility issues for drivers.
    Both the caldera and the Santa Fe National Forest officials warn of potential health hazards to those with allergies, chemical sensitivities or cardiorespiratory issues.
    Smoke will likely be visible from the Los Alamos town site from both the burns at the caldera and in the Espanola Ranger District.

  • Nearby burns scheduled for Monday

    Officials from the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Santa Fe National Forest are planning a pair of prescribed burns in the local area.
    Burns in the area could start as early as Monday, according to caldera and National Forest officials.
    At the VCNP, a burn will take place within about an 2,300-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district, near mile marker 30 off N.M. 4.
    The caldera burn will could take between 3-10 days to complete, depending on conditions.
    Meanwhile, starting early next week, the SFNF has plans for burns about 15 miles north of Los Alamos in a 2,500-acre treatment area, which is expected to take two or three days to complete. Additionally, another burn will take place in the Cuba Ranger District area, although that will be located in a smaller treatment area.
    All the planned burns will get rid of dead forest fuels and pre-cut limbs and other debris.
    For the burn at the VCNP, officials warn of possible traffic delays on N.M. 4, as well as for visibility issues for drivers.
    Both the caldera and the Santa Fe National Forest officials warn of potential health hazards to those with allergies, chemical sensitivities or cardiorespiratory issues.
    Smoke will likely be visible from the Los Alamos town site from both the burns at the caldera and in the Espanola Ranger District.

  • Fireman's Competition

    Los Alamos Fire Department firefighter David Apodaca participates in a competition at the training center in Los Alamos Monday.

  • Police Beat

    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.

     

    Sept. 28

    7:49 a.m. — Belamie Pick, 38, of Medanales was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos Police station. The original charge was fraud (more than $250, less than $20,000) at Trinity Drive.

     

    10:27 a.m. — Ashley Garcia, 22, of Medanales was arrested on a felony warrant from another jurisdiction at the Los Alamos Police station. 

     

    11:52 a.m. — Police reported that a 25-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of criminal sexual contact of a minor 13 to 18 year old at Trinity Drive.

     

    Sept. 29

  • 911 report: Crime down, pocket dials up

    The Los Alamos Police Department’s annual 2015 report contains a lot of information on the county’s crime.
    It also has a lot to say to residents about 911 calls.
    In 2015, 911 Dispatch received over 360 accidental calls from cell phones and about 747 abandoned 911 calls.
    While the numbers may not sound like much compared to the nearly 6,000 total calls received that year, every call must be checked out. That, according to the report, takes considerable time and manpower.
    “When a 911 call is abandoned, the dispatcher must call back the number and send an officer to confirm that everything is OK,” said a statement in the report telling residents to be mindful about making 911 calls.
    Accidental cell phone calls usually originate from a cell phone being loose in purses, pockets and backpacks, the report said.
    Toddlers playing with phones also triggered some of those 911 calls.
    “Locking your cell phone helps to prevent accidental 911 calls,” the report suggested.

  • Probate judge resigns

    By a 5–0 vote, the Los Alamos County Council accepted Probate Judge Bill McKerley’s resignation on Tuesday and took steps to fill the position through the end of the year.
    McKerley was appointed to the position on Feb. 16, after previous Probate Judge Christine Chandler resigned. He recently learned of changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct – instituted Dec. 31, 2015 – that prohibit part-time judges from engaging in political conduct such as fundraising and endorsing candidates.
    McKerley serves as chair of the Republican Party of Los Alamos County. After consulting with County Attorney Rebecca Ehler, he chose to keep that position and instead resign as probate judge. He tendered his resignation to council Chair Rick Reiss in a letter dated May 19.
    On Tuesday, McKerley apologized to council and the county’s citizens and offered to help with the transition in any way he could.
    “I just want to say thank you to the council for giving me the opportunity to serve. It was an honor,” McKerley said.
    McKerley also thanked the clerk’s office, which assists the probate judge.
    “They are an outstanding group of people. They serve selflessly, and the new probate judge coming in will be served very well with this outstanding group,” McKerley said.