Today's News

  • Celebrating 100 years

    On Feb. 11, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation authorizing the creation of Bandelier National Monument.
    The first event of a yearlong celebration is Thursday, when park staff and the Friends of Bandelier will be handing out cupcakes at Smith’s Marketplace.
    That may seem like rather a low-key event for such a major celebration, but Superintendent Jason Lott has his reasons.
    “We didn’t try to make a big anniversary for Feb. 11. We tried to make it a year’s worth of events and opportunities,” Lott said.
    “So we were very careful about how we invested our available funding this year to make sure we could provide great experiences throughout the year, everything from our wilderness ranger to enhancing our existing programs, such as the citizenship ceremony, the Bandelier Opera.”
    Bandelier will have a dual celebration this year, as it joins the rest of the national park system in celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service, which was created on Aug. 25, 1916. One activity already planned for Founders Day is a hike from Dome Peak led by Craig Martin, president of the Friends of Bandelier. Martin led the same hike to celebrate the 90th anniversary.

  • Breakthrough: Scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists say they have finally detected gravitational waves — the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.

    The announcement has electrified the world of physics and astronomy. Scientists say the finding opens a new way of observing the cosmos.

    For many years, scientists have had indirect evidence of the existence of gravitational waves rippling across the universe.

    But now, an all-star international team of astrophysicists using an excruciatingly sensitive, $1.1 billion instrument has actually detected one of these waves from the distant crash of two black holes.

    One theorist says the feat ranks along Galileo taking up a telescope and looking at the planets.

  • Today in history Feb. 11
  • Suit against LAPD faces more legal wrangling

    Another legal skirmish has occurred in a lawsuit brought by former Los Alamos Police Department officers against Los Alamos County.
    This last legal hurdle involved a subpoena of court documents from an Albuquerque law firm by the plaintiff’s attorney, George Geran. The defense was interested in getting documents from a January 2014 case when two people sued the county, claiming gender discrimination.
    The suit alleged that former Los Alamos County Police Chief Wayne Torpy discriminated against the two former county employees, Diana Stepan and Sharyl Hofer.
    Several years ago, Hofer was the county human resources director and Stepan was an assistant county administrator.
    Geran asked for documents, notes, letters and other communications from William Slease, an attorney who used to work at the Martinez Law Firm. The firm’s owner, Jonlyn Martinez filed a motion to stop the subpoena, on the grounds that Geran was trying to obtain “privileged and confidential” information that occurred between a client and attorney, and therefore was out of bounds of the scope of his request.
    “(The material in question) lies outside the arena of discovery and contradicts the public policy underlying the orderly prosecution and defense of legal claims,” she said in a January hearing at Los Alamos District Court.

  • Today in history Feb. 10
  • Tax and Rev warns of phone scam

    The Taxation and Revenue Department is warning New Mexicans about fraudulent phone calls demanding delinquent tax payments.
    The department has received reports of aggressive and threatening phone calls made by criminals impersonating Internal Revenue Service agents.
    The imposters demand immediate payment of delinquent taxes and threaten taxpayers with arrest if they do not comply. They may also threaten to cancel your driver’s license. The fraudulent phone calls have reportedly appeared on caller ID as the phone number for the Taxation and Revenue Department. However, legitimate phone calls from the Taxation and Revenue Department are scrambled and the call-back number will not appear on caller ID.
    If anyone receives a phone call from an individual claiming to be a representative of the Internal Revenue Service or the Taxation and Revenue Department and the individual makes unreasonable or suspicious requests, they should call the call the 24-hour Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-866-457-6789 or a local Taxation and Revenue office. For more contact information visit tax.newmexico.gov/contact-us.aspx.

  • LA reacts to ‘Manhattan’ cancellation

    Members of the Los Alamos historical community had mixed reactions to the cancellation of WGN America’s “Manhattan” after just two seasons.
    The biggest disappointment was at losing the bump in visitation the series inspired.
    “For a long time, the number one question in the museum has been, ‘Where’s the bathroom?’” said Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) Executive Director Heather McClenahan.
    “But since the show came out, the number one question in the museum has been ‘Is Manhattan real?’ So our job has been to show where the show has been historically accurate and where it has not, and that’s been an adventure and a challenge for our staff, and we’ve enjoyed that.”
    According to McClenahan, interest was considerably greater in the first year, when the show was attracting one to two million viewers an episode. That number dropped to under 400,000 in the second season.
    “But you cannot pay for that kind of publicity, so it’s been a really good thing,” McClenahan said.

  • Driver faces drug charges; heads to trial

    A 25-year-old Albuquerque man who was arrested on drug charges in June will be going to pretrial Feb. 24.
    On June 17, 2015, Los Alamos police patrolling the area of East Road responded to a report of an alleged reckless driver. When officers pulled over a vehicle driven by Fernando Trujillo, they noted that he was going two miles over the 50-mile-an-hour speed limit, and was on the wrong side of the road.
    Officers reported that Trujillo, “seemed dazed and confused and his speech seemed labored,” according to court documents.
    When police searched his car, they allegedly found a glass pipe used for smoking, a small container with marijuana in it and a clear baggie filled with 12.3 grams of marijuana. Police also confiscated .4 grams of heroin as well as various items of drug paraphernalia, including four needles, a burned spoon and a “Q-tip.” Police also recovered a small, palm-sized rubber ball that contained two Clonidine pills. They also found another glass smoking pipe, folded up pieces of burned tinfoil and some brass knuckles.
    Court records also indicated that Trujillo had used marijuana and heroin at around 11 p.m. the night before. Police had pulled him over around 6 a.m.

  • Police Beat 2-10-16

    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.

    Jan. 28
    11:55 p.m. — Johnny Trujillo, 21, of Alcalde was arrested by Los Alamos police for possession of a controlled substance on Arkansas Avenue.

    12:55 p.m. — Jerome Montoya, 28 of Los Alamos was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction.

    1:58 p.m. — Zachary Keller, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested for embezzlement of a vehicle in Los Alamos.

    Jan. 29
    2:48 p.m. — A 14-year-old Española male was arrested for marijuana possession (less than one ounce) in Los Alamos.

     Jan. 30
    2:55 p.m. —  Garrett Katcher, 32, of Los Alamos was arrested through a magistrate court bench warrant in Los Alamos.

    5:30 p.m. — Gayle Ortega, 27, of Española was arrested for shoplifting (less than $500) on Trinity Avenue.

    Jan. 31

  • LA man arrested for DWI crash awaits sentencing for child porn conviction

    David Rael, of Los Alamos, was recently arrested for driving while under the influence in Los Alamos, which may complicate his sentencing for another crime in 2014. Rael was arrested for downloading child porn in May of that year.
    He is due to be sentenced for that crime Feb. 24.
    Rael, 38, of Los Alamos was arrested Jan. 29 for allegedly driving while under the influence.  
    Police arrested Rael at a two-car accident at the intersection of Trinity and Central Avenue at 6:51 p.m. While Rael was being transported by ambulance to the Los Alamos Medical Center for an evaluation, He reportedly admitted to police that he was driving while under the influence of alcohol.
    “I admit, I’m DWI,” Rael apparently told police, according to reports.
    Rael reportedly told police he had consumed a six-pack of an alcoholic beverage two hours before the crash.
    Rael is awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges, charges he incurred when he downloaded child pornography onto his computer in May of 2014.