Today's News

  • Geisik arrested for parole violation

    New Mexico State Police arrested former Los Alamos resident Stephen M. Geisik on charges he violated conditions of his parole stemming from 2015 sexual misconduct charges.

    Geisik, 27, of Hernandez, was arrested on Feb. 23 and is being held in the Los Alamos County Detention Center. A notice of alleged probation violation, of reopening of case and of hearing has been filed in district court and he will appear before Judge Mary Marlowe-Sommer at 9 a.m. on March 15 in Santa Fe.

    On April 6, 2015, Geisik was sentenced to 20 years, four days probation for two counts of criminal sexual contact of minor second degree (child under 13) and contributing to the delinquency of minor.

    He was released to supervised probation and required to register as a sex offender in Los Alamos County.

    Geisik moved to Hernandez on July 5, 2017, and registered as a sex offender with the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department in Española.

    On Feb. 23 he was arrested by New Mexico State Police and charged with Abuse of a Child-Negligently Cause (no death or great bodily harm) and Abuse of a Child-Intentional (no death or great bodily harm) and was transported without incident to LACDC.

  • Governor approves most public safety reforms

    SANTA FE (AP) — A package of public safety reforms designed to bolster police ranks, deter repeat drunken driving, toughen gun-possession penalties for violent felons in New Mexico has been signed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez with some reluctance.

    Martinez indicated her overall disappointment as she signed the bundled reforms on Wednesday with a partial veto. She says the rejected provisions would interfere with the state's authority to suspend driver's licenses for failures to appear in court.

    The governor is accusing the Legislature of clinging to the status quo on public safety issues amid increased reports of crime in cities including Albuquerque.

    During a 30-day session that ended in February, Republican and Democratic lawmakers rallied around reforms that also aim to better address addiction and health issues among prison inmates as they are released.

  • Forecasters: New Mexico marks another warm month

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico has wrapped up another warm winter month.

    Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say the temperature was 3.5 degrees above normal for February, making it the 18th warmest on record for New Mexico.

    As for precipitation, the data shows the state was 0.06 inches (1.5 millimeters) above normal.

    Despite dismal snowpack levels so far this winter and a dry start to March, the forecast calls for a low pressure system to move into the Southwest with abundant moisture late this week.

    A back-door cold front is expected to slide into eastern New Mexico and through the Rio Grande Valley, and forecasters say chances for rain and snow could increase Sunday and Monday.

  • Businessman, scientist Ryti to run for council

    Randall Ryti believes his experience as a scientist, a small business owner and an active participant in Los Alamos organizations demonstrates he has the qualifications and enthusiasm needed to be a viable member of the County Council.

    “I value my past opportunities to serve our community, and I want to play a larger role in our community’s future by serving on the County Council,” he said in announcing his candidacy on March 3. “I will bring my leadership skills to this office. I graduated from Leadership Los Alamos in 2005 and that course helped to inform me, as a citizen, to better lead my business and to prompt me to take leadership roles in community activities.”

    Ryti, who is running as a Democrat, has lived in Los Alamos since 1992, raising a family and starting a business here.

    “I came to start a small business, Neptune and Company, with three other scientists,” he said. “My wife Wendy and our two children arrived a year later. My family stayed here because Los Alamos has offered us so many opportunities.”

  • New pipeline project would supply Pajarito Mountain with water

    Residents got their first look Thursday at a proposed plan to supply more water to Pajarito Mountain.

    The plan is a joint venture between Los Alamos County and Pajarito Recreation, a privately run company that operates the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

    The water would be mainly used for domestic use, fire suppression and snowmaking. 

    Most of the pipeline would be built on U.S. Forest Service land. The new tank, and a section of the line would be on U.S. Department of Energy property, and another section of line would be on county land.

    The county plans to pay $1.7 million for the pipeline and Pajarito Recreation will fund the other half. If the Los Alamos County Council approves the project, the county would build a six-inch pipeline that will begin at a new water tank on West Road and end at the Camp May tank near the Ski Hill Lodge.

    The meeting was the first step in getting the project approved. Residents have 30 days to provide comments to the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service plans to use the public’s comments in its assessment of the project’s environmental impact The U.S. Forest is the lead agency on the project, since a majority of the proposed six inch pipeline will be on Forest Service land as it makes it way to the Pajarito Ski Area.

  • Coalition in limbo after Monday

    Regional Coalition of LANL Communities members unexpectedly halted discussion of the executive director’s contract at their meeting Monday when a Los Alamos County Councilor and a coalition representative claimed the meeting did not meet a requirement of the Open Meetings Act.

    County Councilor Chris Chandler said she received a text message from Los Alamos County Alvin Leapheart before the meeting started, questioning the validity of the meeting.

    “I received a text this morning from our county attorney, who asked me isn’t this meeting deemed a continuation of the previous meeting. I shared this text with the other members of the board,” Chandler told members of the coalition. “He says, if so, are they attempting to consider matters not appearing on the agenda of the original meeting. Apparently he views this in derogation of the open meetings act, because under the open meetings act you cannot add new items to a continuing meeting.”

    Leapheart said he originated the text and was not asked to provide a legal opinion regarding the Open Meetings Act.

    Monday’s agenda included a review and discussion of RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero’s services and agreement contract and review and discussion of the LANL Communities’ Joint Powers Agreement. 

  • Los Alamos County to launch outside investigation into LANL Coalition

    Los Alamos County will hire outside counsel to investigate alleged ethics abuses of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, following a decision by County Council Monday.

    County Councilors voted 6-0 in favor of the investigation, with Council James Chrobocinski absent from the meeting.
    In February, Northern New Mexico Protects complained to the county and the coalition that the coalition did not follow its own travel policy when expending travel funds.

    A county audit found that the coalition’s executive director, Andrea Romero was reimbursed for $1,850 on a dinner and $307 for alcohol and baseball tickets during a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.

    Councilors James Chrobocinski and Susan O’Leary requested councilors seek an outside investigation into the matter.

    The scope of the investigation is expected to include the Washington, D.C. trip taken in 2017, and could also include interactions with Los Alamos County that reach back into 2011, when RCLC was founded.

    The council requested Monday that the outside counsel return with an investigative plan and scope by April 3 for further discussion and action.

  • New Mexico awaits governor's verdict on crime, budget bills

    SANTA FE (AP) — Time is running out for bills from the Legislature to win approval from Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

    Martinez has until noon on Wednesday to sign off on a bill that bundles together bipartisan public safety measures and to approve all or portions of a $6.3 billion spending bill from the Democrat-led Legislature.

    Bills that are not signed do not go into effect — an outcome known as a pocket veto. Martinez has indicated general support for the Legislature's spending priorities.

    During a 30-day session that ended in February, lawmakers rallied around a package of public safety reforms designed to bolster police ranks, deter repeat drunken driving, toughen gun-possession penalties for violent felons, and better address addiction and health issues among prison inmates as they are released.

  • State Land Commissioner Dunn threatens fence in dispute with US on border access

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A U.S. Senate candidate who serves as New Mexico's top land manager posted signs Tuesday along the U.S.-Mexico border aimed at blocking border patrol operations on a one-mile stretch of state trust land over concerns that the federal government is not compensating the state for using the land.

    Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn told The Associated Press that if his office can't reach an agreement over an easement with the federal government, he will install a fence to block access to the property.

    Dunn, elected in 2014 as a Republican, announced earlier this year he was running for the U.S. Senate after becoming a Libertarian. He previously considered running for governor and the U.S. House.

    Dunn first outlined his concerns in a letter sent last month to federal officials. He said it's an issue of state sovereignty and that revenue earned from development or use of trust land helps fund public education in the state.

    "I'm shutting down the federal government just as I would shut down any business trespassing on state trust lands," Dunn said. "Border security is important, but so are our kids and they have a right to collect the money earned from the lands they own."

  • New Mexico Catholic heads defend advocate over racism claim

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's three Catholic bishops said the head of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops didn't accuse anyone of racism and are defending his actions in trying to push for an expansion of early childhood education programs.

    In an open letter Tuesday, the bishops wrote that Allen Sanchez, executive director of the group, has a deep love "for the Gospel" and is an advocate for the state's poor with an extension record.

    "We Catholic bishops of New Mexico respectfully request our elected officials keep their focus on the issue at hand: the plight of our children living in extreme poverty," Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester, Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu and Gallup Bishop James Wall wrote.

    The letter comes after 33 GOP New Mexico state lawmakers sent Wester on letter Monday asking if he agreed with remarks about racism made by Sanchez.

    Sanchez told The Associated Press he believed racism contributed to the defeat of a proposal to expand funding for early childhood education.