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Today's News

  • Shed fire quickly extinguished in WR

    Emergency crews quickly put out a shed fire on Grand Canyon Drive in White Rock Thursday.

    When the Los Alamos Fire Department arrived, the shed was fully engulfed in flames as well as several trees and shrubs, according to deputy chief Justin Grider.

    The fire started about 8:45 a.m. Both houses on either side of the residence on the 40 block of Grand Canyon were evacuated. The fire was put out by 9:15 a.m.

    There were no injuries and all pets were accounted for, Grider said.

    According to Grider, investigators remain on the scene and they will not know the cause for several days.

  • Today in history Nov. 21
  • Lab crash
  • BPU approves electric rate increase and restructuring

    The Board of Public Utilities unanimously approved a restructuring of the electrical rate structure on Wednesday.
    If council approves the ordinance at its Dec. 16 meeting, customers will see rate increases starting Jan. 1.
    The Department of Public Utilities had originally budgeted for a six percent rate increase starting July 1, 2014, but delayed implementation so a Cost of Service and Rate Design Study could be conducted. Leidos, a consulting firm, was hired to conduct that study.
    Because of the delayed implementation of that increase, the new ordinance provides for a six percent increase on Jan. 1, 2015, with another 5 percent increase on July 1.
    In an effort to assign costs more equitable, the rate increase will vary depending on the customer class.
    The county would see the highest increase, with a 9 percent across the board in January and an additional 7.2 percent for small facilities and 7.5 for large ones in July.
    Residential customers will see service fees increase from $6.43 cents a month to $10 in January and $12 in July. Commodity charges would go from $0.1028 to $0.1041 and $0.1075 respectively.

  • Former teller sentenced

    Former credit union teller Ashley Maestas, 22, didn’t say anything Wednesday as she stood in magistrate court to hear her sentence.
    In August, Maestas was accused of embezzling more than $24,000 in funds from Zia Credit Union.
    In an agreement worked out with Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist and Maestas’ private attorney, Bill Snowden, Maestas agreed to plead guilty to five misdemeanor counts of embezzlement (more than $250 but less than $500 each). She was sentenced to five years minus five days of supervised probation.
    Maestas will also have to pay back the remaining money she stole, which is $22,261.24. She can be released from probation early if she manages to pay back the money when her probation is up, according the Wahlquist. If there is still a balance at the end of her probation, then that balance will be transferred to a promissory note, which she will be obligated to pay.
    When Judge Pat Casados asked if this agreement was OK with the victims, Wahlquist answered that Zia Credit Union was looking for a quick resolution to the case.

  • Labs, partners commit to STEM

    Following up on a joint CEO proclamation on STEM education, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and several partners are hosting a discussion on “STEM Education in New Mexico” at 10 a.m. Saturday at Highland High School in Albuquerque.
    Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan, Sandia National Laboratories Director Paul Hommert, and other CEOs of top employers in the state, including the Air Force Research Laboratory, Intel, PNM Resources and Northrop Grumman, signed a proclamation that recognizes the importance of the STEM fields in New Mexico and commits Los Alamos and its STEM partners to lead the way in sparking math and scientific inspiration in New Mexico residents and engage students in hands-on, minds-on STEM activities.
    “Through this partnership, we continue to inspire and cultivate the curiosity of students as they consider STEM as a career option,” said Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos’ Community Programs Office Director. “This discussion — and a proclamation signed by the partners — emphasizes the importance of working together as we ‘grow our own’ and help meet workforce needs in New Mexico.”

  • On the Docket 11-20-14

    Records derived from Los Alamos Magistrate and Municipal Court: Nov. 12

    Rebecca Duran was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal court of speeding one to five miles an hour over the speed limit, and failing to appear in court. Defendant was fined $75 and ordered to pay $130 in court costs.
    Nov. 13

    Adrian E. Taylor  pled no contest the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of failing to appear in court and not having proper car insurance. For the failing-to-appear charge, Taylor received a deferred sentence of Dec. 15. Defendant was fined $100 and ordered to pay $130 in court costs.

    Michael E. Saiz pled no contest by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit and failing to appear in court. Defendant was fined $100 and ordered to pay $130 in court costs.

    James R. Stein was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

    Matthew Bustos was found guilty by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $65 in court costs.

  • News briefs 11-20-14

    Missing plane found in southwest Colorado; 2 dead

    PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a missing single-engine plane with two people aboard has been found in southwest Colorado with no survivors.
    Archuleta County Sheriff Rich Valdez tells the Pagosa Springs Sun the aircraft was found in the southern part of the county near the New Mexico border at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Killed were 55-year-old Howard Guthrie and 42-year-old Melissa Watson, both of Albuquerque
    The plane left Moriarity, New Mexico, on Friday bound for Pagosa Springs, but had to turn around before landing because of bad weather.
    Authorities didn’t say who was piloting the Mooney M-20C. Federal Aviation Administration records list Guthrie as the owner.
    Three aircraft and three ground teams searched the area Tuesday, while a state police plane searched in New Mexico. A search crew on the ground found the plane.

    Officer who locked drunk sister in car fired

    ALBUQUERQUE — A Jemez Pueblo police officer, who authorities say picked up his intoxicated sister and left her in the back of his squad car for nearly an hour, has been fired.
    Jemez Pueblo Police Chief Pete Camacho told KOB-TV on Wednesday that officer Bryan King has been terminated from the agency.

  • Geisik's sentencing to be rescheduled

     

    A glitch in the court system has resulted in defendant Stephen Geisik’s sentencing being delayed. Though the Los Alamos district courtroom was filled with friends and family of both the victim and defendant looking for a resolution to the months-long case, 

    Judge Mary Marlow Sommer opted to continue the case because Geisik’s psychological profile she requested wasn’t extensive enough. In May, Geisik was convicted for criminal contact with a 12-year-old girl. Geisik has been in the Los Alamos County Detention Center ever since.

    “The psychological evaluation was not the psychological evaluation I anticipated. If I did not make that clear, I apologize,” Sommer said to the courtroom audience. “Since he was convicted of a sex offender offense, I thought I was going to get a sex offender evaluation. This is not a sufficient, comprehensive sex offender evaluation for me.”

  • Report on truck crash released

     

     

     

    The Los Alamos Police Department released an initial report on the fatal crash on N.M. 4 that happened last week.

    The report gives new insight into the death of a commercial truck driver and how his semi truck ended up in crumpled heap 100 feet off the road.

    According to witnesses interviewed in the report, it was the driver’s first time traveling the route. Garrick Frank, 22, a truck driver for “Speedy Convenience Inc.,” was driving his truck in a convoy and it was his first week on the job. According to a fellow truck driver, Frank did not see him trying to wave him down after he pulled over.

    “Garrick was following a convoy of other semi trucks. He stated that there were a number of vehicles between and the truck in front of him, but that the driver of the truck directly in front of Garrick had stopped on Ponderosa Road and attempted to wave Garrick down as Garrick went by the turnoff,” read a statement in the report.