Today's News

  • LA crime stats show downward trend in 2nd quarter

    The Los Alamos Police Department Chief of Police Dino Sgambellone released the crime statistics this week for the second quarter of 2017, which show an overall decrease by 10 percent.

    “Crime continues to drop and that’s great,” Sgambellone said.

    The main purpose of distributing these quarterly crime statistics, which were compiled by the LAPD Records Department, is to let people know what is happening in their community.

    Offenses reported as crime statistics are determined by the FBI Uniform Crime Report Program and are classified as crimes against persons (violent crime) and crimes against property.

    The offenses of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault make up the violent crime category.

    The property crime category includes the offenses of arson, burglary, larceny and auto theft. Both of these categories combined are referred to as Part I Offenses.

    Property crime dropped from 37 in 2016 to 30 in 2017, which is a decrease of 19 percent.

    Violent crime increased 100 percent from three offenses in 2016 to six in 2017.

  • Domino’s aids LA woman

    The online version of this story has been updated.

    Domino’s will host a fundraiser called “Have a Heart Day” at its Los Alamos location to raise funds for a local woman whose home was lost most of her home to a fire.

    The pizza franchise was touched by her plight and will donate 100 percent of profits from sales in the Los Alamos store on Thursday to help her regain her home.

    On June 24, Bonita Rogozinsky, who works bike patrol at the local ski hill, was in the process of moving into her brand new home when the house went up in flames.

    Rogozinsky and her beloved pets escaped without injury, but the fire destroyed about 75 percent of her home and insurance will not cover the full cost of the loss.

    General Manager Celesta Lasater explained that Rogozinsky had ordered a pizza that day, but called to cancel 15 minutes later.

    According to Lasater, Bonita had said, “Sorry, I can’t get my pizza because my house is on fire,” and then she hung up.
    The call surprised the staff, to say the least.

  • Facebook has plans to expand New Mexico data center

    ALBUQUERQUE — Facebook’s plans for New Mexico now call for a half-billion-dollar investment and a data center that will span an area equal to 17 football fields.

    Gov. Susana Martinez’s office announced early Tuesday that the social media giant will be doubling its investment in the state with the planned expansion of its data center currently under construction near Los Lunas, a rural area just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area.

    The governor praised the announcement, saying Facebook is among the state’s key partners as it works to diversify its economy.

    “New Mexico’s powerful incentives are bringing more opportunities to our state — once again ahead of schedule with more jobs and investment than initially anticipated,” the governor said in a statement.

    The news comes as New Mexico looks to turn the corner after a crippling budget crisis that stemmed from a downturn in the oil and natural gas sectors and an overall weak economy. The state also has struggled with high unemployment numbers, only recently ending its stretch at the top of the nation’s jobless rankings.

  • County responds to IPRA complaint

    Los Alamos County is seeking to dismiss a complaint from Patrick Brenner and Lisa Brenner, who are suing the county and County Custodian of Records Barb Ricci, claiming violations of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.

    “Defendants reasonably assessed and responded to all requests by plaintiff Patrick Brenner as required by IPRA,” the response said.

    On July 7, the county filed an answer to their complaint and also filed a motion to dismiss Lisa Brenner from the case. Lisa is Patrick’s mother.

    The Brenners are accusing the county of withholding emails sent out by some council members on May 15.
    According to the defendant’s lawyer A. Blair Dunn, the county was required to supply the emails requested, including those from private addresses, by May 31.

    On May 25, Ricci sent an email to Patrick Brenner indicating that the case had been closed.

    “They closed the case before the May 31 deadline. That closure of my request was an improper denial at that point,” Patrick Brenner said. “They improperly denied my request by closing my request early.”

    On that day, Patrick Brenner sent out an email to County Council criticizing some of them for their alleged support of a $20 million bond voters were to vote on May 23.

  • Perry touts energy exports, awaits study on electric grid

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is pushing for increased exports of natural gas and other energy sources as it seeks U.S. "energy dominance" in the global market, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday.

    He and President Donald Trump have offered a "comforting" message to energy companies seeking to export liquefied natural gas, or LNG at huge terminals in Texas, Louisiana and other states, Perry said: "If you meet the rules, here's your permit."

    Perry also said he has not seen a widely expected department study into the reliability of the electric grid. A draft version leaked to news outlets indicates that renewable power and federal regulations have had little impact on reliability.

    "There are lots of people breathlessly waiting to read that" report, Perry said — and he is among them.
    In a speech at the National Press Club, Perry called LNG exports a "major driver" of jobs and energy production and a key way to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

    "We can have a cleaner environment and a strong, prosperous nation," Perry said. "We do not need to sacrifice one for the other; nor will we follow the course other allies have taken to their detriment."

  • New Mexico professor seeks to save moon-landing sites

    LAS CRUCES (AP) — A New Mexico State University anthropology professor is on a mission to save moon-landing sites.
    Beth O'Leary is speaking this week in Washington, D.C., on preserving the spots where humans stepped on the surface of the moon.
    She is giving presentations at the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
    Her new book, "The Final Mission: Preserving NASA's Apollo Sites," looks at the exploration of space from an archaeological and historical-preservation perspective. It also details how various sites in New Mexico, Texas, California, and Florida contributed to the successful Apollo mission.
    O'Leary says the Apollo 11 landing site at Tranquility Base, where humans stepped foot on the moon, should be named a National Historic landmark.

  • New Mexico land commissioner announces run for Congress

    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn announced Tuesday he would run for the state's southern congressional seat instead of seeking a second term in state office.
    Dunn hopes to succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, who is running for governor in 2018. The governor's race has set off a game of musical chairs in New Mexico politics as Pearce and Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque decline to seek re-election to Congress.
    Dunn was elected in 2014 to lead an agency that oversees state trust lands spanning 14,000 square miles (36,000 square kilometers) that help fund schools, universities, hospitals and other public institutions.
    Two Democrats already are vying aggressively for Dunn's current job: former land commissioner Ray Powell and political newcomer Garrett VeneKlasen.
    Dunn, a retired banking executive and active rancher at property near Corona, said he wants stimulate more private-sector job opportunities in New Mexico. He denounced continued gridlock on Capitol Hill under Republican leadership and emphasized the need to improve the U.S. health care system and devote more resources to security at the U.S. border with Mexico.

  • New Mexico rebuilds financial reserves after budget crisis

    SANTA FE (AP) — A top finance official says New Mexico state government has a bigger financial cushion than anticipated.
    Finance and Administration Deputy Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke told a panel of lawmakers Monday that the state entered the fiscal year on July 1 with reserves equal to 5.3 percent of annual spending obligations, and expects to maintain a 3 percent cushion at the end the current fiscal year in June 2018.
    Estimates based on earlier revenue forecasts had the state nearly running out of cash by mid-2018, threatening the New Mexico's credit rating and its access to low borrowing costs on infrastructure projects.
    To shore up shaky state finances, the Democratic-led Legislature and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez agreed in May to tap into borrowed money from suspended infrastructure projects.

  • Taco Troubles: Man threatens to get gun over wrong order at Rigoberto’s

    Los Alamos resident Lex Norman Deines, 48, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon at Central Park Square.

    Around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Jemuel Montoya was dispatched to Rigoberto’s Taco Shop for a male individual that was being loud and disorderly.

    Montoya arrived on the scene and found Deines at the counter being argumentative with workers behind the counter. While standing next to Deines, Montoya said he noticed a strong scent of liquor emitting from his person.

    Deines began to be aggressive with the workers, making the patrons very uncomfortable. When Montoya moved closer, Deines noticed the police officer and reportedly said, “Oh, it’s come to this.”

    Montoya spoke with Deines outside the restaurant to get a sense of the situation. Apparently, Deine’s food order was wrong and the restaurant employees would not change it.

    Montoya spoke with one of the employees, who told the officer that Deines threatened to retrieve a gun out of his car if he did not get what he wanted.

  • Council to mull codifying sheriff’s role July 26

    The Los Alamos County Council will consider on July 26 a resident’s petition to write the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff and the Los Alamos County Police Department into the County Charter.

    Petitioner Greg White requested the council action Tuesday at a regular council meeting. White said by adding language to the County Charter, it would end the perennial argument the community seems to have about whether to have a sheriff.

    White noted that for at least the last 48 years, voters have considered the issue seven times.

    The seventh vote occurred last year, after County Council transfered nearly all sheriff services to the Los Alamos Police Department, including process serving. The council also removed the sheriff’s administrative and deputy sheriff staff.

    They also voted to reduce the office’s budget to $15,000.

    However, county voters decided to restore the office.