Today's News

  • Police: Texas church attack stemmed from domestic situation

    By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press

    SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The gunman who opened fire in a small Texas church, killing 26 people during Sunday services, had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law before the attack, which appeared to stem from a domestic situation, authorities said Monday.

    Investigators have concluded that the massacre was not racially or religiously motivated, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said.

    Based on evidence at the scene, they believe that Devin Patrick Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he crashed his car. He had been chased by armed bystanders.

    The 26-year-old shooter also used his cellphone to tell his father that he had been shot and did not think he would survive, authorities said.

    Once the shooting started at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, there was probably "no way" for congregants to escape, Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said.

    The gunman, dressed in black tactical gear, fired an assault rifle as he walked down the center aisle during worship services. He turned around and continued shooting on his way out of the building, Tackitt said.

  • Injuries reported in accident near Diamond Drive and Arkansas Avenue intersection

    The  driver of a  Volvo sedan Saturday was cited by police after he allegedly made an illegal left hand turn into the Giant convenience store and Shell gas station near the intersection of Diamond  Drive and Arkansas Avenue. The person was treated for injuries at the scene. The car the person hit was an Acura SUV. The occupants of Acura SUV were not injured. The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. Traffic was not adversely impacted by the accident. 

  • Los Alamos man critical after stabbing

    A 28-year-old man was in critical condition Saturday following a stabbing attack Friday at a Los Alamos apartment.

    A 27-year-old woman was also attacked and received minor injuries, according to the Los Alamos Police Department.

    Los Alamos police officers arrested Andrea Rivera, 37, Los Alamos, Saturday on suspicion of two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm, a third-degree felony.

    As of Saturday at 1 p.m., Rivera was being held without bond at the Los Alamos Detention Center awaiting an appearance in front of Magistrate Judge Pat Casados.

  • Ode to Joy: Beloved Teacher Handsberry Dies; Life Celebrated

    A beloved Los Alamos High School math teacher, Joy Handsberry, 49, died on Friday following a long battle with ovarian cancer.

    “She was a larger than life personality; her personality was contagious and inspiring,” said Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent Kurt Steinhaus on Saturday.

    Handsberry was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the 2013-2014 school year. A friend, Kim Griego-Kiel, said Handsberry taught part-time for the past two years, and had planned to teach part-time this year, but did not due to her illness. Her career spanned more than 23 years in the classroom.

    She is survived by her mother, two sisters, and a son, Max Dryfoos. Her passing leaves a “huge void,” sisters Gina Handsberry and Lisa Harp said on Saturday, because their sister exuded energy, vitality, a huge sense of humor and goodness.

    “You just wanted to be around her – people were drawn to her,” said Handsberry.

    She encouraged students and other young people, like her son Max and young relatives, to “accept who you are and be your own person,” said Harp.

    The long-time teacher encouraged students to excel in math, and in doing so, also inspired some of her students to become teachers themselves, Steinhaus and Griego-Kiel said.

  • Los Alamos County makes Forbes list as nation's 6th richest county

    Los Alamos County was named the sixth richest county in the United States Friday by Forbes’ for 2017.

    The county’s presence on the list isn’t new – in the past decade it has made the list frequently due to the presence of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Two other counties in the western United States were among the top 10 this year: Douglas County, Colorado, was named fifth and Santa Clara County in California was named 10th. Santa Clara County is the home of Silicon Valley.

    The magazine reported that the median household income in Los Alamos County is $107,126 with 18,147 residents. The laboratory employs 10,500 people. Los Alamos County is the smallest county in New Mexico.

    The median home value in Los Alamos is $535,000, and values have gone up 6.5 percent over the past year. Home values are predicted to continue to rise, according to Forbes.

    The top four on this year’s list are located in Virginia and Tennessee, including Fairfax County in Virginia, which ranked third; Falls Church County, also in Virginia, which ranked second; and Loudoun County, also in Virginia, which ranked first.

    Loudoun County is 25 miles west of Washington, D.C., and besides government employment, it is also the home of Dulles Airport.




  • LAHS boys soccer falls to Academy in state semifinals

    For the second year in a row, the Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team watched its season slip away in the semifinals of the Class 5A state tournament. Just like last year, the Hilltoppers fell to Albuquerque Academy 4-1 in the semifinals.

    LAHS, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, entered the game as the underdogs against Academy, the No. 1 seed.

    Though LAHS was able to stay competitive into the second half, the strength and speed of Academy became too much to handle as the game moved along, and the Chargers took control and never let go.

    Academy maintained the majority of the possession in the early going, as the Chargers’ strikers kept the back line of the Hilltoppers, as well as freshman goalkeeper Jaxson Martines, busy in the early going.

    The LAHS defense was up to the task, however, as Hilltopper defenders Ben Rees and Cid Rice were able to clear the ball out of danger and keep the Chargers off the scoreboard as the Hilltoppers survived the early onslaught of Academy shots.

    Hilltopper senior Tristan Semelsberger was given a yellow card in the 17th minute, as he was guilty of tripping an Academy defender. After the call was made, Semelsberger was not pleased and complained to the official, earning the card and forcing him out of the game momentarily.

  • LAHS girls soccer advances to state championship game

    For the second day in a row, the No. 6 seed Los Alamos High School varsity soccer team pulled off an impressive upset victory at the Class 5A state soccer tournament. This time, the Hilltoppers defeated No. 2 seed Aztec High School 4-1 in the semifinals, sending LAHS to the state championship game.

    It was a dominant showing for the Hilltoppers, as the team took control of the semifinal match early, and never let go, leaving little doubt they deserved a chance to earn a state championship.

    In the third minute, the Hilltoppers went on top 1-0. Katie Hopkins took a free kick from about 25 yards away after Aztec committed a violation. The goalkeeper Sierra Sanders appeared to save the initial shot, but the officials said that she was standing across the goal line when she made the save, giving the goal to Hopkins.

    LAHS extended its lead in the 11th minute, as Vianey Terrazas started the ball back up the field, then passed it to Alissia Haagenstad, who sprinted up the field about 35 yards from the goal. She let a shot go, and watched it sail directly over the head of Sanders and into the back of the net. LAHS led 2-0.

  • State Briefs 11-3-17

    Grant supports research on brain injury therapy

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The University of New Mexico and the New Mexico VA Health Care System will use a $3.1 million federal grant to study a new approach to use electrical stimulation as therapy for mild traumatic brain injuries.
    The university’s announcement Thursday of the Defense Department’s grant says clinical trials with veterans and military service members will begin this winter.
    The collaboration between the VA system and the UNM Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is aimed at investigating whether electrical stimulation teamed with rehabilitation training can reduce symptoms from concussions and improve quality of life.
    The study will involve 120 participants from the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque – some with brain injuries and various symptoms and others without.

    Española School District settles teacher sex abuse suits

    SANTA FE  (AP) — A New Mexico school district has agreed to settlements of nearly $8 million from two out of three lawsuits filed against the district over sexual assault complaints involving a former teacher.

  • Big GOP tax bill would cut rates – but also popular breaks

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — With fanfare and a White House kickoff, House Republicans unfurled a broad tax-overhaul plan Thursday that would touch virtually all Americans and the economy’s every corner, mingling sharply lower rates for corporations and reduced personal taxes for many with fewer deductions for home-buyers and families with steep medical bills.

    The measure, which would be the most extensive rewrite of the nation’s tax code in three decades, is the product of a party that faces increasing pressure to produce a marquee legislative victory of some sort before next year’s elections. GOP leaders touted the plan as a sparkplug for the economy and a boon to the middle class and christened it the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    “We are working to give the American people a giant tax cut for Christmas,” President Donald Trump said in the Oval Office. The measure, he said, “will also be tax reform, and it will create jobs.”

  • Code enforcement discussion Tuesday

    During a presentation by Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess and the Los Alamos Community Development Department at a county council meeting Oct. 24, a few revelations came up about the county’s approach to code enforcement.

    The presentation was made for council in preparation for an upcoming community discussion about code enforcement set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Municipal Building.

    That presentation will be made by a community action group looking to reform the CDD’s policies regarding code enforcement, especially when it comes to residential properties. Many people in the group say the county is too heavy handed when it comes to enforcing rules concerning residential yard and building aesthetics.

    Los Alamos County Council Vice President Susan O’Leary asked CDD officials why there was a sharp rise in notices this year in comparison to years previous.

    CDD Manager Paul Andrus noted there were a lot of factors accounting for the rise, starting with the county’s adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code in 2014. He also attributed the rise in violation notices from his office to “better oversight, better practices, and accountability at a staff level,” Andrus said. “We started doing our jobs.”