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Today's News

  • On the Docket 8-28-16

    Adrian Barbero  was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Santiago Martinez pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding 16 to 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentencing deferred until Sept. 28. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Amanda R. Martinez pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Sentence deferred until Sept. 13. Other sentence was defensive driving school. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Alfredo Aguilar was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Zandra M. Hall-Chong pled guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court to having animals at large and failing to have rabies tags for them. Sentencing deferred until Sept. 14. Defendant must also pay $120 in court costs.

    Constance L. Gartz was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of failing to stop or yield at a sign. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

  • LA Co-op weathers the storm

    Businesses in Los Alamos are known to go through rough patches and in 2014 and 2015, the Los Alamos Co-op Market was no exception.
    The community-owned store went through six general managers in the space of 14 months when, around the time, the new Smith’s Marketplace opened up down the street.
    Though the two things weren’t necessarily related, it didn’t help, said the co-op’s new general manager, Tim Morrison. Before that happened, though, Morrison, a longtime Los Alamos resident left for China for a few years.
    “I expected it was going to be OK,” Morrison said. “I was going to be able to run away and everything was going to be fine. I was really disappointed to come back to a store that was really in trouble, but I’m here to fix it.”
    Morrison was made the co-op’s new general manager June 30.  
    Morrison said that since he’s come onboard, they’ve been averaging $60,000 in sales a week and last week, they hit $67,000.
    When asked what he said he’s done differently, he said while they’ve made a few changes, everything is basically the same. One thing he attributes to the success is employee morale.

  • Councilors back more aggressive policy to go after vacant homes

    During Tuesday’s Los Alamos County Council work session on housing, the major topic of conversation was how to deal with vacant and/or blighted properties.
    Community Development Department Director Paul Andrus and Housing and Special Projects Division Manager Andrew Harnden provided a status report and a range of new options for addressing the issue.
    According to the staff report, determining which properties are actually vacant can be a challenge. Records of ownership or responsibility can be dispersed among occupants, investors, servicers and lenders.
    Harnden described his efforts to determine which properties are actually vacant. Using utility records and follow up visits, 91 homes were determined to have a high certainty of vacancy. Approximately 25 percent of those are in foreclosure, 10 percent are in a family trust and 25 percent belong to out-of-state owners.
    The conditions of those homes range from good to very poor, with 21 “definitely or possibly” in code violation. Six of those have been resolved. The most common code violation was for weeds and vegetation.

  • Wood agrees to plea deal in 2014 death

    A Los Alamos man who killed an Española woman in a car crash Nov. 29, 2014, has agreed to a preliminary plea arrangement in the case.
    The agreement includes additional charges stemming from an arrest in February when he was charged with smuggling drugs into the Santa Fe County jail.  
    The suspect, Robin Wood, 37, has pled guilty to charges of causing great bodily injury by vehicle and homicide by vehicle as the result of an accident in the early morning hours of Nov. 29, 2014.
    According to police reports, Wood was driving his Chevrolet Impala northbound on NM 30 when he crashed into a car driving southbound.
    Elizabeth Quintana was driving to work at Smith’s Marketplace when she was killed instantly. Wood’s passenger was seriously injured the crash and was taken to a nearby hospital, where she eventually recovered. Wood was arrested at the scene.  
    In February, Wood was supposed to turn himself in on an electronic monitoring warrant to the Santa Fe County Jail. Police became suspicious when he voluntarily turned himself in after the deadline a few days later.
    Police tracked his phone calls he made from the jail, and reported that they discovered Wood attempting to smuggle illegal drugs to other inmates.

  • Today in history Aug. 26
  • County to start homebuyer assistance program

    During the Los Alamos County Council work session on Tuesday, Community Development Department Director Paul Andrus updated council on a variety of issues related to housing, including the state of the current housing market, how many lots might be available for building and some of the challenges facing the county in terms of having housing available for approximately 2,000 employees Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) expects to recruit in the next five years.
    According to Andrus, the market for both rental properties and homes for sale is very tight right now. However, staff estimates there is enough vacant land zoned residential to build approximately 800 homes to accommodate an additional 2.000 residents.
    “This is encouraging. I didn’t expect that we already had that capacity,” Councilor David Izraelevitz said. “Another statistic that’s useful is a lot of large chains have kind of a minimum community size of about 20,000, so if we can get above that threshold we can satisfy what I call the ‘spreadsheet in the sky.’ And Applebee’s might actually come here because we fit a certain spreadsheet.”
    Andrus also provided an update on the Los Alamos Home Renewal Program and announced that CDD will launch a first-time, low-income homebuyers assistance program in the spring of 2017.

  • Police seek info on shoplifters
  • ‘Secret City’ app now on Android

    Although Los Alamos does not yet have tours of Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) sites “behind the fence” at Los Alamos National laboratory (LANL), it does have something the sites at Hanford, Washington and Oak Ridge, Tennessee lack: an app that offers a virtual tour of what Los Alamos looked like during the Manhattan Project years.
    The app has been available for iPhones since April and was recently launched for Androids.
    “Virtual tour” is an understatement. The app strives to recreate the some of the experiences a scientist recruited to “Project Y” might have encountered.
    The app opens with the view of a desk. Tapping on the image brings up a telegram that reads:
    “Thank you for agreeing to work on the project. Report to the train station in Lamy, NM. When you arrive, make your way to 109 E. Palace in Santa Fe, NM. Thank you.
    “P.S. Relay this information to no one or your commission will be forfeited.”
    The next image is of a dining car, with text about the events that led up to the founding of the Manhattan Project. Tapping on each tidbit brings up additional information about each topic.

  • Science teacher wins presidential award

    Kathy Boerigter, a science teacher at Los Alamos High School, learned Monday she won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
    The award recognizes teachers for teaching excellence, contributions to public education and their profession. About 108 teachers, kindergarten through 12th grade are awarded every year.
    “A big congratulations on a very well-deserved recognition,” said Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus upon hearing the news. “It’s a reflection of her quality teaching, and as she says, the quality of teaching we see all over Los Alamos.”
    Boerigter will receive a certificate signed by President Barack Obama, $10,000 and will also travel to Washington, D.C. for an official recognition ceremony Sept. 8. While there she will also participate in professional development opportunities and attend more recognition events.
    Boerigter said she’s looking forward to representing her school and the district at the ceremonies. To Boerigter, the award is not about her, it’s about the high school.
    “I’m going to be the same teacher I’ve always been. I think what it does is bring recognition to the high school,” she said.
    She plans to use some of the funds from the award to thank her fellow colleagues and staff.

  • Today in history Aug. 24