Today's News

  • Police Beat 1-18-18

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department records.
    Charges or citations listed in the Police Beat do not imply guilt or non-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.

    Feb. 7
    11:08 a.m. – Krista E. Wilhelm, 32, of Los Alamos, was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant by Los Alamos police for two counts of conspiracy, one count of forgery and drug possession.
    11:59 a.m. – Brenden Brown, 28, Los Alamos, was arrested by Los Alamos police on a district court warrant and released.
    4:30 p.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a report of a fraudulent tax return.
    8:33 p.m. – Los Alamos police investigated a report of larceny. The case is inactive.

    Feb. 8
    8:30 a.m. – Los Alamos police responded to a call of a possible burglary at the Los Alamos County Public Works Department.
    11:45 a.m. – A warrant was served by Los Alamos police to an individual already in jail.

    Feb. 10
    Midnight – Los Alamos police responded to a call of three vehicles being keyed while parked in a driveway.

  • US Senate confirms appointment of state's next US attorney

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's appointment of John Anderson as U.S. attorney for New Mexico.

    Anderson is a former assistant U.S. attorney who more recently practiced law in Santa Fe.

    Once he takes office, Anderson will replace Damon Martinez, an appointee of former President Barack Obama. Martinez was dismissed in March by the new administration.

    James Tierney has been acting U.S. attorney in the meantime.

    The Senate signed off on Anderson's appointment with a voice vote Thursday on a slate of presidential appointees.

  • New Mexico governor praises lawmakers' budget

    SANTA FE (AP) — Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is complimenting state lawmakers for approving a fiscally responsible budget that provides more money for education, public safety and business incentives.

    Martinez said Thursday that she believes her administration is leaving state finances and the economy in better shape than when she took office in 2011.

    A budget bill sent to the governor would increase state spending by 4 percent in the coming fiscal year and leave 10 percent spending reserves in case of an economic downturn.

    The former prosecutor praised criminal justice reforms approved by the Democrat-led legislature but lamented that it did not include broader child abuse penalties that she supports.

    Martinez signed a bill Thursday to help shore up a man-made cavern on the verge of collapse underneath two highways on the outskirts of Carlsbad.

    House Speaker Brian Egolf says he was pleased with the bipartisan tone of the state's 30-day session that passed a series of crime reforms and budget increases.

    Egolf said he believed this session was Martinez's "best" since she communicated with lawmakers better.

    The Democrat says he wished this better communication had been sooner and hoped it continues with a new governor.

  • Los Alamos Ice Rink closed for season

    The unseasonably warm weather has prompted Los Alamos County to close the ice rink early this year.
    Staff will be at the rink until 5 p.m. tonight to help sharpen skates and assist with pick up of skates and other equipment.
    Call the Los Alamos County Ice Rink at 662-4500 or the PROS Administrative offices at 662-8170 for information.

  • New Mexico ex-senator gets 18 months in prison

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former New Mexico Sen. Phil Griego will spend 18 months behind bars for fraud, bribery and other convictions stemming from allegations that he misused his position to profit from a real estate deal.

    District Court Judge Brett Loveless sentenced Griego on Friday to a 12-year-prison term, but waived all but 18 months. The former prominent Democrat also was ordered to pay roughly $47,000 in fines and serve five years of supervised probation upon his release from prison.

    Citing the need to restore the public's trust in New Mexico's elected officials, prosecutors had requested that Griego spend at least 10 years in prison and pay hefty fines for his crimes.

    The defense said a lengthy prison sentence would amount to a death sentence for the 69-year-old Griego, who was described as having significant health issues. Attorney Tom Clark accused the state attorney general's office of seeking "the complete annihilation" of his client in the name of justice.

    Loveless emphasized that Griego had violated the public's confidence in an elected official and said the sentence was designed to show that the ex-senator's actions were not acceptable.

  • New Mexico agency: State's flu season has apparently peaked

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico health officials say flu activity remains widespread around the state but appears to have peaked and is expected to gradually decrease in coming weeks before the season ends.

    The state Department of Health offered its assessment Friday, a day after the federal Centers for Diseases Control said the flu season may finally be leveling off nationally after worsening for months.

    The Department of Health says New Mexico's flu season so far has included 34 flu-related deaths, 100 pneumonia-related deaths and 28 flu outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

    The department urges residents to continue using good hand-washing habits, to stay home if possible when sick and to use cough and sneezing etiquette.

    It also says it's not too late to get a flu shot.

  • UNM police arrest a man seen waving a BB gun on campus

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — University of New Mexico police say a man seen waving a BB gun on campus has been arrested.

    They say 45-year-old Vine Deloria was taken into custody Thursday after allegedly pointing the gun at a restaurant's drive-through customer.

    UNM police say there was no report of gunfire or injury and no indication the man was trying to rob anyone.

    They say Deloria is being held on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

    Campus police say the situation was never considered an active shooter situation on campus and they had no reason to believe Deloria was threatening students, staff or faculty.

  • Federal budget proposal commits funds for plutonium pit program

    President Donald Trump’s budget requests $30.6 billion for the Department of Energy, with  $26 billion marked for the replacement of infrastructure and to modernize the Department of Energy’s nuclear enterprise.

    “We are also requesting to continually upgrade, and construct, new, state-of-the-art facilities at our national labs,” Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry said during a press conference Monday. “We are also committed to science dominance, to spurring discovery and innovation at our national labs, ensuring that America retains its preeminent place in scientific research and technology commercialization in an increasingly competitive world.”

    During the press conference Monday, Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) Administrator Steven C. Erhart said Los Alamos National Laboratory would remain an integral part of the Energy Department’s maintenance and expansion of the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

    Erhart said the NNSA is committed to the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s plutonium pit production program for 30 pits per year.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Lawmakers send omnibus crime bill to governor's desk

    By Milan Simonich

    The New Mexican

    New Mexico legislators rolled five different crime bills into one, then sent the measure to the governor Wednesday in what they called a bipartisan move to make communities and prisons safer.

    State senators approved the plan, House Bill 19, on a vote of 32-2. The measure already had cleared the House of Representatives on a 66-1 vote.

    Now the bill moves to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez for her consideration.

    Martinez herself pushed a number of crime bills during the 30-day legislative session, including an unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the death penalty.

    The omnibus crime bill approved by the House and Senate is a collection of lower-profile initiatives. One part of the bill, initiated by House Minority Floor Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, would increase penalties for convicted felons who possess a firearm.

    Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, voted for the bill but said it would do no good unless prosecutors pursue these cases. Muñoz said neither state nor federal prosecutors did an adequate job when a felon in his community shot two dogs and possessed some 70 firearms.

  • LACF hires executive director

    The Los Alamos Community Foundation has made its first official staff hire, selecting Rachel Kizielewicz to be the foundation’s inaugural executive director.

    The hire was announced Tuesday by the foundation, which exists to facilitate and promote local philanthropy by Los Alamos residents and those with strong local connections, to highlight unmet needs and investment opportunities within the community, and to meet these needs through financial and organizational support to local nonprofits.

    “To have found an organization like LACF that was born out of a robust volunteer community and a like-minded spirit is really a wonderful thing to come across for anyone working in the nonprofit and philanthropic field,” said Kizielewicz.

    “LACF is already on strong footing and off to a great start and to come in here and be able to help is a real honor.”
    Kizielewicz recently served as director of constituent relations at the University of Pittsburgh and played a big part in the university’s $2 billion capital fundraising campaign.

    She also led the way in establishing strong relationships between the university and its constituents and helped increase the donor base while strengthening ties to the community.