Today's News

  • Today in history Dec. 16
  • Today in history Dec. 15
  • Today in history Dec. 14
  • Manhattan Project Park a go

    Editor’s note: First of a two-part series. Read what the new legislation means for the Valles Caldera National Preserve coming up in the Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Charges could be dropped in fraud case

    A $50,000 computer fraud case may end up being dismissed, due to “right to a speedy trial” issues and a judge’s political future.
    Fernando Rodriguez, 32, is suspected of trying to steal $50,000 by computer from a bank account managed by the Los Alamos National Bank.
    At a recent status hearing, Rodriguez’s defense attorney, Mike Jones, pointed out to the court that while Ryan Roller, Rodriguez’s alleged partner in crime, has been out on bail since November of last year, Rodriguez has been locked up in jail, with no indication of when he will be tried.
    Complicating matters is that the district court judge presiding over the case, Sheri Raphaelson, may have to step down in January since voters voted not to retain her. She is appealing the decision, and oral arguments are due to be heard in the Supreme Court of New Mexico Monday at 9 a.m.
    At this week’s status hearing, Jones used these arguments to successfully argue his client’s bail down from $30,000 cash-only to a $1,000 signature bond, even though the state considered Rodriguez a flight risk and a danger to the community.

  • Pregame Pep Talk

    Former Los Alamos High School teacher and Hilltopper superfan Gary Houfek chats with the members of the Los Alamos hockey team prior to the team’s game with the Santa Fe Blue Jackets Friday night. That game was the first of the season for the Hilltoppers at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

  • Trinity Capital says past losses weren’t recognized

    Los Alamos National Bank’s holding company, Trinity Capital Corporation, announced Friday it had filed its 2013 Annual Report.
    The filing, which was done with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, included financial results for both 2012 and 2013, as well as financial results for 2011, according to a press release.
    The report was filed with the SEC because, according to Trinity Capital, it had “not properly recognized certain losses and risks inherent in its loan portfolio on a timely basis.”
    Trinity Capital said it completed a review of its previous financial statements to reflect those losses.
    “We have worked diligently to correct our financial statements, as well as satisfy additional requirements from our regulators,” said Trinity’s CEO John Gulas. “Throughout 2014 we have addressed important internal issues, a process which has required considerable management attention, resulting in significant expenditures which will adversely impact 2014 results.”
    The failure to recognize those losses and risks, according to Trinity Capital, was caused by “the override of controls” of previous managers at LANB and “material weaknesses in internal control” of the bank’s financial reporting.

  • Last portable is hauled off campus

    Recently, Jaynes Construction Supervisor Sam Burns guided the last classroom portable from Aspen Elementary School around 33rd Street toward Villa Street.
    With that, and the construction of the newly-completed school, 17portables that once housed Aspen Elementary students for the past fourteen months have been removed from the construction site.
    Over the past several weeks, commuters and motorists in the Aspen neighborhood have waited patiently while portables were moved to grounds opposite Los Alamos Middle School and adjacent to Chamisa Elementary School for temporary storage until the district decides the next school renovation or remodel project.
    Kathryn Vandenkieboom, Aspen Elementary Principal, said the school is embarking on a new era.
    “We are so grateful for our permanent school,” Vandenkieboom said. “When I went out back the other day to look and they were gone, I was shocked that the space was so big. I’m so excited that the open space will become a soccer field and play space for children. We are so happy with the new school.”
    Vandenkieboom also thanked teachers, students and parents for their patience during the construction of the new school.
    She also said the new playground facilities will be completed in the spring.

  • Underground missile silo is for sale near Roswell

    ROSWELL (AP) — An underground missile silo is currently one of New Mexico’s hottest real estate properties.
    More than 40 people, some from out of state, have called about buying the silo near Roswell, real estate agent Jim Moore said Friday.
    “This one of the few missile silos for sale in the United States,” Moore said. “It’s one of the more unusual listings that I’ve come across.”
    According to KOB-TV, the silo is on the market for $295,000. The deal includes 25 acres of surrounding land.
    The silo, which is about 20 miles outside of Roswell, used to house an Atlas missile.
    “When we were stationed out here, and I was stationed in charge of the security detachment, we had radios, etc.,” said Tom Edgett, who lived in the silo as a guard in the 1960s. “But right now if you got stuck down here, there is no telephone communication; there’s no Wi-Fi.”
    The area where the missile was stored stretches 10 stories underground. The structure includes a kitchen, bathroom and several tunnels.
    “I don’t think even a direct bomb blast would affect the super structure,” Edgett said.
    By the 1980s, the silo had become a hangout among teenagers who marked the building with graffiti, Moore said.

  • Update 12-14-14

    Swearing In

    The public is invited to the official swearing-in ceremony for incoming officials. That ceremony will take place Dec. 19 in council chambers. It will begin at 3 p.m. Officials being sworn in include councilors David Izraelevitz, Susan O’Leary, Rick Reiss and James Chrobocinski, assessor Ken Milder, magistrate judge Pat Casados, municipal judge Alan Kirk, probate judge Christine Chandler and sheriff Marco Lucero.

    Skate With Santa

    Los Alamos County is sponsoring its Skate with Santa, which is scheduled for Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 at the county’s ice rink. it will be from 2:15-4 p.m. Dec. 21. Call 662-4500 for more information.

    County Council

    The next scheduled meeting of the Los Alamos County Council is at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the municipal building.

    Luminaria sand

    Los Alamos County’s Traffic and Streets division is again providing free sand to residents for making luminarias.
    Sand for luminarias — also called farolitos — is available at the following locations around Los Alamos County:

    • Overlook Park, south parking lot
    • Urban Park, 42nd Stree parking area
    • Sullivan Field
    • Barranca Road at Navajo Street on Barranca Mesa
    • North Mesa soccer fields