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Public Safety

  • Problems found at peanut butter plant in 2010

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration found what it called "objectionable conditions" at a New Mexico peanut butter plant in 2010, two years before the current outbreak of salmonella poisoning linked to Trader Joe's peanut butter produced there.

    The FDA said Friday that a recent inspection found salmonella in the plant which produced Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter and many other nut butters and nut products for several large national grocery chains. The Trader Joe's peanut butter is now linked to 35 salmonella illnesses in 19 states — most of them in children under the age of 10.

    Though the illnesses have only been linked to the Trader Joe's peanut butter, New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has recalled everything made in the plant since March of 2010 — a total of 240 products. The company last month recalled 101 products that were manufactured in the plant this year.

  • Doc: 'Never Seen' Meningitis Outbreak Like This

    A rare meningitis outbreak has infected 35 people in six states, health officials warn. All received steroid injections, a fairly typical treatment. One New York anesthesiologist says "It's the first time I've ever seen anything like this."

  • LAPD makes two drug arrests

    The Los Alamos County Police Department made two drug arrests last week as part of a ongoing investigation that stemmed back over a year ago, where several drug arrests were made due to subjects manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine.

    Two females, Doe Chapman, 55, and Chliuyen “Cyd” Shockey, 38, both of Los Alamos, were arrested Sept. 26.

    Both were charged with trafficking methamphetamine, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Shockey also had additional charges for possession of several different types of controlled medication without a prescription.

    Both females were arrested at separate locations simultaneously, while LAPD detectives and patrol officers moved quickly and obtained search warrants.

    LAPD Capt. Randy Foster said overall, approximately 47.7 grams of methamphetamine was seized, as well as $1,410 in cash. The price of methamphetamine can vary, however. The street value of the meth seized can go anywhere from $2,800 to $4,700 for that amount.

    “I am very proud of the hard work on this case by all officers and detectives that were involved. The results of their hard work will have a long lasting positive impact on this community,” Foster said.

  • LAFD rescues passengers from LANL elevator

    A group of passengers on an elevator in one of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s buildings had a thrilling end to a long day Monday when the elevator they were riding in started malfunctioning.
    In a report released by the Los Alamos Fire Department, the elevator went from the first floor to the third floor and repeated the action without stopping.
    It took about 20 minutes before the LAFD and LANL personnel took control of the situation by cutting the power to the malfunctioning elevator. That action turned on the elevator’s emergency automatic override, which made the elevator stop at a floor and open the doors. According to Fire Deputy Chief Justin Grider, no one was hurt in the incident.
    “They were able to exit unharmed, and everyone that was on the elevator left the building before we could interview them about what happened,” Grider said.
    The LAFD then turned the scene over to LANL’s security personnel.

  • Motorcyclist tries to flee police, crashes at intersection

    Sunday was not Tyler Webb’s day.

    Webb, 26, was driving down Diamond Drive on his 2000 Honda Interceptor motorcycle around 5 p.m., when a Los Alamos Police officer flagged him for going 49 mph in a 35 mph zone.

    However, the officer was traveling the opposite direction and could not turn around and pull him over. When another officer traveling the same way as Webb tried to pull him over, Webb sped off. Police did not give pursuit.

    “Chasing is very dangerous,” LAPD Capt. Randy Foster said. “We only chase someone when the danger outweighs the risk of chasing a suspect. A speeding ticket was definitely not a dangerous situation.”

    So the LAPD decided to let events run their course. They did not have to wait long.

    Webb, allegedly driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, crashed his motorcycle at the intersection of Jemez and Diamond.

    Webb apparently ran a red light at the intersection; narrowly missing a Los Alamos National Laboratory security vehicle traveling through the same intersection on a green light.

  • Smoke from prescribed burns may be seen in LA

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two national forests in New Mexico are planning prescribed fires this week that are designed to clear out hazardous fuels from hundreds of acres.

    Officials with the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico plan to treat more than 200 acres east of Santa Fe as long as the weather cooperates.

    The treatment is focused on improving the health of Santa Fe's watershed.

    Smoke will likely be visible from Santa Fe, Pecos, Los Alamos and as far south as Albuquerque.

    In southern New Mexico, Lincoln National Forest officials are planning to burn slash piles over a 470-acre area southwest of Glencoe.

    The Skillet 3 project is the first of several fuel reduction treatment scheduled on the Lincoln forest this fall.

  • Peanut butter recall expands to major retailers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A recall of peanut butter and other nut products has some of the country's largest grocery stores pulling store-brand products off their shelves.

    New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products. The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures.

  • Officers recognized for service

    County Council recognized Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun and Cpl. Doug Ehler for their years of service on Tuesday. Both officers are retiring from the Los Alamos Police Department. Left to right: Ehler’s fiancé Stephanie Scrimshaw, Cpl. Doug Ehler, Chief Wayne Torpy and Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun.

  • FDA Warning Public of Risks of Online Pharmacies
  • Portales plant shut after peanut butter recall

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A peanut processing plant in Portales has been shut down since Saturday after an outbreak of salmonella was linked to peanut butter made at the facility.

    The Sunland, Inc., plant is being scrubbed top to bottom and tests are being done to see if the bacteria is on the plant's equipment.

    Trader Joes Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter with Sea Salt made at the plant is suspected in the salmonella outbreak. Twelve of the 29 people who are sick all ate that type of spread about a week before they got sick.

    Sunland spokeswoman Katalin Corburn tells KRQE-TV that no salmonella has been found in the plant and the peanut roasting process would kill any bacteria.

    Sunland recalled 76 types of peanut butter and almond butter it makes for several retailers.