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Today's News

  • Daniels sworn in as Chief Justice

    Justice Charles W. Daniels was sworn in Monday as Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court for a two-year term. He previously served in the position from 2010-2012.
    Daniels was selected for the position by his colleagues on the five-member court. He succeeds Justice Barbara J. Vigil, who had served as Chief Justice since 2014.
    The Chief Justice performs both court and administrative duties. In addition to presiding over Supreme Court hearings and conferences, the Chief Justice serves as the administrative authority over personnel, budgets and general operations of all state courts and acts as an advocate for the judiciary on legislative, budget and other matters.
    Daniels joined the state’s highest court in 2007, after a career of more than three decades as a lawyer with a courtroom practice in both criminal and civil cases. He also had been a faculty member at the University of New Mexico School of Law.
    Daniels was born in Arkansas but grew up in New Mexico. While serving on active duty in the Air Force, he was inspired to pursue a legal career after reading a biography of the famous trial attorney Clarence Darrow. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico in 1969, graduating first in his class, and a Master of Laws from Georgetown Law School in 1971.

  • County gets award for budget

    The Office of Management and Budget for Los Alamos County was notified by the Government Finance Officers Association that it was awarded the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” for its FY16 Budget.
    This is the 24th consecutive year the county has received this national award.
    In order to receive the award, the county had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. It must be rated “proficient” in four categories, which contain 14 mandatory criteria within those categories: a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.
    For budgets beginning in 2015, only 1,491 participants across the United States and Canada received the award.
    “We are honored to once again receive this award of excellence,” said Steven Lynne, deputy county manager and chief financial officer.
    Los Alamos County’s budget also received special recognition for “Outstanding as a Policy Document.”

  • Foxx, Martin publish ‘Plants of the Jemez Mountains’

    “Plants of the Jemez Mountains, Volume 1, Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Ferns and Horsetails,” by local naturalists Teralene Foxx, Craig Martin and the late Dorothy Hoard is an updated and expanded version of Foxx’s and Hoard’s valuable guide, “Flowering Plants of the Southwestern Woodlands.”
    The original was published in 1984 and updated in 1995.
    “She and I were going to revise it in 2014, and she had the gall to die,” Foxx laughed. “But before she died she gave me all her drawings, and there were over 400 drawings. And I really didn’t want to just let those go into oblivion, and I knew Craig was interested in plants, and a good naturalist, so I asked him if he’d like to do this, and he said yes.”
    Foxx took a more serious tone later in the conversation.
    “For me, this book is a dedication. I was a friend with Dorothy for over 40 years, so it was hard when she died, because we’d done a lot of things together,” Foxx said. “And this, to me, was a way of honoring her. And I think we both feel that way.”
    Martin – who was also a friend of Hoard’s – agreed.

  • Chief awarded ‘patriotic employer’

    LAPD Police Chief Dino Sgambellone was honored last week to receive the “Patriotic Employer Award” from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Santa Fe Volunteer Committee.
    The award recognized the police chief and Los Alamos County for being a patriotic employer.
    Sgambellone was nominated for the award by LAPD Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson. ANG Brigadier General Juan Griego presented Chief Sgambellone with the award during a special presentation at the Municipal Building.

  • Comprehensive Plan update tonight

    The Planning and Zoning Commission will hear an update on the results of “Round 1” community meetings and surveys on the Comprehensive Plan tonight at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.
    The public is invited to attend and comment.
    — Staff Report

  • Bank robbery suspects face trial delay

    The trial date for Fidel Naranjo and Kendra Brophy has been postponed. The two face charges for a bank robbery that occurred Dec. 2 in Española.
    Naranjo and Brophy expected to go to trial for the charges April 11.
    U.S. District Court Judge M. Christina Armijo granted a delay motion for the defense after they requested more time for the preparation of their defense.
    Defense said the motion was necessary because prosecutors had produced more discovery documents and the defense had not had time to review and act on them.
    “The United States has produced additional discovery to counsel for Mr. Naranjo and Ms. Brophy. According to the government, the final batch of discovery was mailed to defense counsel… Thus, counsel anticipates receiving the remaining discovery sometime next week,” said Naranjo’s defense attorney, Andras Szantho in court documents. “Even with the exercise of due diligence, counsel cannot complete their review of the remaining discovery, confer with there respective clients and complete all necessary investigation and motions work by the current deadlines.”
    Once those discovery obligations are met, the trial for Naranjo and Brophy is expected to start in late May or early June.

  • Solar Tree ‘planted’ at plaza

    Eric Thelander “planted” his “Solar Tree” on the municipal building plaza Saturday. Thelander won the commission for the municipal building in 2015.
    The 18-foot tree – inspired by fractal geometry – is comprised of stainless steel branches holding plate aluminum leaves with leave patterns ground into them. The branches are polished and coated with graffiti resistant paint.
    Hidden solar panels will provide LED lighting to the tree, causing it to cast a soft light and shadows of itself in the evenings.
    “The ‘Solar Tree’ would communicate to visitors that Los Alamos County is both high tech and in touch with nature and that there is an appreciation of math and science (fractal geometry) and its relationship to the raw creative impulse,” Thelander wrote in his proposal. “The playful nature of this art piece would be tempered by its clean lines and silvery, modern appearance.”

  • LAPS Odyssey Project moves to next round

    Los Alamos’ own “super school movement” picked up some momentum this week as news spread that the committee leading the movement had made it past the second round of a contest sponsored by the “XQ Institute.”  
    The group qualified for the next phase, putting them in a pool of 348 teams from 41 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico that were approved to work on the development phase of the project.   
    Los Alamos will find out later this year if it has won the grand prize – a share of a $50 million grant shared between five winners across the country. The funds will help carry out the group’s education reform plans.
    The committee called its contest entry the “Odyssey High School Project.”
    At a Sunday screening of a special movie about school education reform at the White Rock Presbyterian Church, audience members as well as members of the LAPS Odyssey School Project were abuzz with excitement about the news.
    Los Alamos High School President Jim Hall was optimistic about the proposal.
    “It’s really great,” said Hall. “It’s a real affirmation of the quality and the process.”

  • Aggie Caravan coming to LA

    LAS CRUCES — The Aggie Caravan will hit the road once again as announced by the New Mexico State Athletic Department. This year’s caravan is slated to begin Tuesday and will be making stops in Farmington, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
    Aggie fans are encouraged to attend the free event to meet and interact with NM State coaches and administrators to get an inside look into the past season, updates on the spring sports and preview of the 2016-17 season.
    A variety of coaches and administrators will be in attendance at the Aggie Caravans, including but not limited to: head football coach Doug Martin, head men’s basketball coach Marvin Menzies and two-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Mark Trakh.
    “It is imperative for us to meet our fans face-to-face,” Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said. “We can’t do our job from behind our desks in Las Cruces and I’m looking forward to these visits. I’m very proud of our events this year in Rio Rancho (men’s basketball game), El Paso and Roswell (baseball games), Phoenix (NCAA women’s basketball) and Santa Fe (legislative basketball game).”
    Farmington will be the first stop in the Aggie Caravan on Tuesday at the St. Clair Winery.

  • Stokes named new LAHS volleyball coach

    The Los Alamos Athletic Department has hired Diana (Dee Di) Stokes as its new head high school girls’ volleyball coach for the 2016-17 school year.
    Stokes has coached for over 20 years and has previously spent a combined six years at the helm for the ’Toppers. With Los Alamos, she has an overall record of 87-33.
    Stokes replaces Sharleen Espinoza who coached Los Alamos the last two seasons. Last year, Espinoza led the ’Toppers to a 19-4 record, a District 2-5A championship and a spot in the state quarterfinals. Los Alamos went 32-15 in Espinoza’s two seasons.