Today's News

  • Friends of Shelter break ties with county shelter

    Los Alamos Friends of the Shelter has dissolved its partnership with the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, walking away from a 18-year relationship.

    “We’ve tried to work with the shelter, but we felt there just seemed to be too many obstacles to getting volunteers in there, a lot of requirements for training and other things that made it really, really difficult to work with them,” Friends President Wendee Brunish said. “We wanted to partner with them, we wanted to help them out, but we just didn’t feel like we were really treated as a valued partner, so we decided to focus our efforts elsewhere.”

    The Friends have been partners with the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter since 1999. Service the Friends provided the shelter included paying for medical care, supplies, foster services and adoption promotion.

    The Los Alamos Friends of the Shelter provided the list of the potential adoptees that appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor every Sunday.

    “We’ve been discussing it for quite a while. We felt our time had come to work on other things,” Brunish said. “Our mission is to help animals and to save animals, and if all your efforts go toward overhead for your volunteer program… we felt we could focus our efforts better elsewhere.”

  • LA man arrested after road dispute involving gun

    Paul Geisik, 23, of Los Alamos was arrested on Sunday for aggravated assault against another driver.

    Los Alamos Police Department Corporal Michael Weiss was patrolling on June 18 when he received a call from dispatch concerning a reckless driver on San Ildefonso Road around 7:23 p.m. A caller had reported to dispatch a white BMW driving dangerously and brandishing a handgun.

    After Weiss caught up with the car in question, the white BMW pulled into a driveway, which turned out to be the home of Geisik’s father.

    Due to the possibility of a weapon being involved, Weiss waited for another unit to assist before approaching the vehicle. Once Corporal Eric Wilhoit arrived, Weiss approached the car and identified the driver as Geisik.
    Geisik’s father came out of the house and walked down to the vehicle while Weiss confirmed that Geisik had a gun in the vehicle.

    “I asked Paul what kind of gun was in the vehicle and he began to respond, ‘38 special,’ at which point Paul’s father interjected and told Paul not to answer any of my questions,” said Weiss in his report.

    Geisik then reportedly expressed that he wanted an attorney. Weiss had Geisik step out of his car and noticed the 23-year-old visibly trembling, Weiss said in the report.

  • LAHS students present survey data to school board

    At the most recent Los Alamos Public School board meeting, a presentation was given by four Los Alamos High School students representing a leadership group involved with Risk and Resiliency Assessment Project for Students, also known as RAPS.

    RAPS was developed to include youth voice in interpreting the data from the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, or the YRRS.

    Every two years, high school and middle school students from all over New Mexico provide information about their health behaviors.

    RAPS gives the students the opportunity to analyze the most recent data from their school or community, present those data to community members and advocate on behalf of their peers and communities.

    “The ultimate goal of RAPS is for young people to make positive change in New Mexico schools and communities,” states RAPS’ website.

    Topic areas for the YRRS include risk behaviors related to alcohol and drug use, unintentional injury, violence, suicidal ideation and attempts, tobacco use, sexual activity, physical activity and nutrition.

    On March 18, 15 students from Los Alamos High School reviewed the results of their school’s 2015 YRRS data.

  • BPU OK’s hike in water rates

    The Los Alamos County Board of Utilities voted Wednesday to raise potable water and sewer rates by 8 percent for next year.

    The next step will be to present the rate hikes to Los Alamos County Council for approval, which will probably be in August.

    Based on recommendations from a series of Department of Public Utilities presentations Wednesday, the Board of Public Utilities voted to raise the sewer rates and water rates.

    The department had two presentations, one for sewer and one for water. For each one, it presented four alternatives that generally call for an 8-percent increase starting in 2018. Each of the alternatives then proposes various rate hikes on top of the 8 percent through 2027.

    The board unanimously forwarded both water and sewer increases on to Los Alamos County Council for final consideration and approval. For 2018, residents’ monthly sewer bills will be $47.46. For water, the rate will be $39.30.

    Los Alamos resident Brady Burke criticized the department for basing both increases on a projected 2.5 percent per-year increase in household income.

  • Police Beat 6-25-17

    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.

    May 17
    9:20 a.m. — Elijah Meason, 27, of Los Alamos was arrested for forgery.

    1:39 p.m. — Daniel Rodriguez, 38, of Santa Fe was arrested on a magistrate court warrant.

    1:58 p.m. — A woman brought a pellet gun into the Los Alamos Police Department to be destroyed.

    May 18
    9:24 p.m. — LAPD reported a runaway juvenile.

    May 19
    12 p.m. — LAPD arrested a male individual for trying to steal alcohol from Smith’s Marketplace.

    May 20
    8:45 a.m. — Los Alamos High School personnel reported a person in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

    7 p.m. — LAPD reported a case of domestic violence, but no charges were filed.

    May 21
    6:30 p.m. — Los Alamos Police cited an individual for a dog bite.

    May 22

  • On the Docket 6-25-17

    April 18
    Jack E. Seckington was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Ann E. Stewart was found guilty of two counts of failing animals at large and failing to display a rabies tag. Sentence deferred until May 18. Defendant was fined $25 and must pay $120 in court costs.

    Michael Gallegos was found guilty of animals at large. Defendant was fined $25 and must pay $50 in court costs.

    Alice Smith was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Trina Wa-Kowson was found guilty of speeding in a school zone. Defendant was fined $30 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Alison Renner was found guilty of speeding in a school zone. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    Andrew Saunders was found guilty of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    April 20
    Lorraine Braughton was found guilty of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and must pay $65 in court costs.

    April 21

  • 2 more plague cases reported in New Mexico's Santa Fe County

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health on Monday confirmed two more human cases of plague.
    The recent cases involve a 52-year-old woman and a 62-year-old woman. The first case this year was reported in early June in a 63-year-old man.

    All three patients, who live in Santa Fe County, were hospitalized but there have been no deaths.

    State public health veterinarian Paul Ettestad said plague can be present in fleas that infest wild rodents in Santa Fe County, including within the city limits of Santa Fe and in other locations around New Mexico.

    "Pets that are allowed to roam and hunt can bring infected fleas from dead rodents back into the home, putting you and your children at risk," he said.

    Health workers are conducted environmental investigations around the homes of the three patients to look for ongoing risk and to ensure the safety of the immediate family members and neighbors.

    Plague generally is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals including rodents and pets. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache and weakness.

  • LA community gathers to remember Undersheriff John Horne

    Los Alamos Undersheriff John N. Horne was honored Wednesday morning at his home church of Calvary Chapel Los Alamos. It was a somber but heartfelt event with many community members in attendance to remember him and celebrate Horne’s life.

    Horne was born Feb. 15, 1963, and passed away June 15, according to his obituary. He died in his home in Los Alamos.
    As people stepped forward to view Horne one last time, his father, John, and family sat in the front row receiving hugs and offers of condolences.

    Pat Kestell, the Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel, opened the service by welcoming the packed church and said, “Clearly there were many lives that were changed because of John.”

    The pastor and many others wore tropical print in honor of Horne because, according to Kestell, “When he wasn’t wearing his uniform, he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.”

    Horne’s sister, Debbie Barnes, talked a little bit about Horne’s career and the hobbies he enjoyed. Horne grew up in Los Alamos and worked for the Los Alamos National Lab.

    “My brother had a really creative mind. He envisioned and built many mechanical projects with precision that many wouldn’t even imagine,” Barnes said.

  • Feds investigate after lab improperly ships nuclear material

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Federal regulators are launching an investigation into the improper shipment of nuclear material from Los Alamos National Laboratory to other federal labs this week.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration said Friday it was informed by the lab that procedures weren't followed when shipping what was only described as "special nuclear material" to facilities in California and South Carolina.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are investigating, according a spokesman for the NNSA Los Alamos field office.

    The material had been packaged for ground transport. But instead it was shipped aboard an air cargo service, which isn't allowed by federal regulations.

    Officials say that once the investigation is complete, any responsible parties will be held accountable.

    This marks just the latest gaffe by Los Alamos, the lab that created the atomic bomb. Criticism has been intensifying over the lab's history of safety lapses as work ramps up to produce key components for the nation's nuclear weapons cache.

    Los Alamos Monitor staff writer Tris DeRoma contributed to this report.

  • Fireworks show still on despite restrictions

    As Los Alamos County struggles through its first heat wave of the summer, the county is taking no chances when it comes to fire hazards. The county issued stage 2 fire restrictions Thursday, urging all county residents to use care when smoking and cooking outdoors.

    The only exception the county has made was to the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club and its annual July 4 Fireworks Show in Overlook Park.

    The Kiwanis have a state permit to have fireworks at the show. The Kiwanis also have a long association with the Los Alamos Fire Department in planning the show, according to Kiwanis Club members involved with the fireworks show.
    The fire department also performed cleanup operations and evaluation of the area for fire hazards at Overlook Park earlier this month.

    “We sent our recruits down there and already mitigated the area,” Los Alamos County Fire Marshal Jeff Wetteland said. “The recruits cleaned up garbage and cleared the area of dead foliage that would easily catch.”

    The Kiwanis have a strong relationship with the LAFD as a result of planning past shows.