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Today's News

  • Shelter Report 7-24-16

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home, so come adopt your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    CATS
    Bingley—A10-year-old fluff ball who was adopted from the shelter 3 years ago, and she’s a little sad to be back! Unfortunately one of her human friends developed an allergy to Bingley, so she’s looking for a new forever home. This sweet girl has a very pretty gray and tan longhaired coat.
    Juan—A big tomcat who was trapped a few weeks ago. He’s still adjusting to life at the shelter, but two very dedicated Friends of the Shelter volunteers have been working with Juan to help him relax. He’s finally learning that people can be nice and gentle, particularly when they have treats! Check back in a few weeks for more information about Juan!

  • Perspectives on a national conversation

    BY CHIEF DINO SGAMBELLONE
    Los Alamos Police Department

  • The cost of RPS in New Mexico

    BY TIMOTHY J. CONSIDINE
    Professor, University of Wyoming

  • Abeyta sentenced to supervised probation

    The criminal past of a 22-year-old Alcalde man finally caught up to him when he was sentenced June 9 in district court for several crimes he committed in 2014 and 2015.
    Andrew Abeyta was sentenced to 108 months of supervised probation for three counts of possession of cocaine and heroin and one count of burglary. In all four counts, he was sentenced to 72 months in prison, all suspended.
    The drug charges were incurred in Santa Fe County and Rio Arriba County, but the burglary charge was incurred in Los Alamos County on Oct. 8, 2015.
    In that incident, Abeyta stole $200 in DVDs and a GPS tracker from a car in the Time Out Pizzeria parking lot in White Rock. The next day, Abeyta allegedly stole a .357 Smith and Wesson and $1,215 in camping gear from a car on Pruitt Avenue in White Rock. Police were able to identify Abeyta as the one who did the crimes through eyewitness reports and search of Abeyta’s vehicle.
    If Abeyta violates his probation, he could serve the 72 months in prison and incur about $20,000 in fines.
    As a part of his sentence, he must also admit to be the person who confronted a couple on Dec. 24, 2013 with a firearm inside the Smith’s parking lot during a road rage incident. 

  • Tulsa man charged for dealing meth

    Police arrested a Tulsa, Oklahoma, man July 19 in Loma Linda Park suspected of dealing methamphetamine.
    A Los Alamos Police Department officer patrolling the area around 11:30 p.m. when they reportedly spotted Jeremiah Colson, 36, sitting in the dark in a white, Ford Escape truck. According to the police report, Officer David Bradshaw, told him that the park closed at 10 p.m. Bradshaw reported that Colson “was extremely nervous” while talking with him.
    Colson apparently told Bradshaw there was a handgun in the car. Bradshaw then asked Colson to step out of the vehicle to put distance between Colson and the gun. Colson was checked for additional weapons.
    “Colson was extremely nervous and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics,” Bradshaw said in his report.
    When Bradshaw took the gun, he apparently also noticed a black, plastic case on the console, and could also smell marijuana in the vehicle.
    Bradshaw discovered a small pipe used for smoking marijuana in the case. Another search of the vehicle turned up another black case with traces of methamphetamine in it. There were also digital scales in the case. Thirty-three small plastic “baggies,” a pipe for smoking methamphetamine and a torch lighter were also found, according to the report.

  • XQ Super School Project team one step closer in competition

    The Los Alamos Public Schools announced Monday that the Los Alamos XQ Super School Project team is in the top 50 finalists in the competition to create a high school with a curriculum with a more global relevance.

    The district received word of their placement late last week in the competition. Their team’s concept is the “Odyssey High School,” which has an emphasis on mental health and has a curriculum on global relevance.

    “It is with great excitement that we share, the Los Alamos Team creating ‘Odyssey High School’ in the XQ competition is one step closer to realizing the vision of expanding the possibilities of education for our students,” Marvel Harrison, Los Alamos Odyssey Team member.

    The announcement of winners will be made Aug. 4. The winner will receive a $10 million grant. Five teams will be designated a winner in the competition.

    Read more about this story in Wednesday’s edition of the Monitor.

  • Wildlife groups look to change law

    Los Alamos marathon runner Karen Williams has galvanized public support for her efforts to change the regulation that mandated the euthanasia of the bear that attacked her on June 18 during the 2016 Valles Caldera Runs in the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
    On Tuesday, several wildlife organizations held a public meeting in Santa Fe to discuss ways to change that regulation and to provide information on how to safely cohabitate with wildlife.
    Williams was one of the speakers. After telling her story, she stressed that killing the bear that attacked her was not mandated by law but by a New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) regulation.
    During Williams’ appearance before the legislature’s Water and Natural Resources Committee meeting on July 14, the state’s public health epidemiologist contended that since it is possible for bears to get rabies, they should be tested for it when they bite a human. The only way to test for rabies is to kill the animal.  
    Williams examined the 1965 study that tested bears’ susceptibility to rabies.
    “They took 10 black bears and three grizzly bears and they injected them with a huge amount of rabies that they acquired from an arctic fox,” Williams said.

  • Gas rates likely to drop 10 percent

    After last month’s news that the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities will consider a 10-percent water rate increase at its Aug. 17 meeting, there is some good news for customers. That increase is likely to be offset by a 10 percent rate reduction on their gas utility bills.
    The board had a preliminary discussion about the proposed gas rate structure at its July 20 meeting.
    Department of Public Utility (DPU) staff is recommending that the current rate structure be maintained, with a 20-percent reduction to the fixed cost portion of the bill.
    The fixed cost recovery rate would be reduced from $0.29 to $0.23 per therm, which would result in a 10-percent reduction on the overall bill.
    If future projections prove themselves out, customers will see another 10 percent reduction a year from now.
    The rate reduction will serve to draw down a high cash balance in the gas fund. Staff policy is to maintain $2 million in reserve. The balance currently stands at $6 million.
    “We’d start spending that cash reserve down until we identified through our cash policies what should our target level be. We intend to get to that through rate reductions as appropriate,” said Deputy Utilities Manager for Finance and Administration Robert Westervelt.

  • LA 911 goes out

    Los Alamos Police Department’s dispatch center reported Thursday that 911 phone lines were out.
    The dispatch center forwarded 911 calls to Santa Fe’s police dispatch center as an interim solution. Santa Fe dispatch worked the calls made to 911 back to LAPD dispatch using cell phones to relay information.
    LAPD Spokesman Preston Ballew said the delay between Santa Fe call center and Los Alamos Dispatch was minimal.
    “I don’t think we’d be getting it as timely as if we’ve been getting the calls ourselves. I’d think I’d be lying if I told you we did, because somebody else has to make a phone call to us,” Ballew said. “This isn’t a unique situation, but obviously, we’ve dealt with it before.”  
    Phone technicians were on the way to the dispatch center to try to resolve the issue and Century Link was also investigating the phone line, according to county spokeswoman Julie Habiger.
    Radio transmissions were not impacted and dispatchers were able to receive and transmit information with public safety services through the radio system.
    There was no estimate Thursday on when 911-line service may be restored, Habiger said.

  • Mosquitoes capable of transmitting zika found in Roosevelt Co.

    The New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico State University announced Thursday that Aedes albopictus, a species of mosquito that can transmit Zika virus, has been identified in Roosevelt County.
    This is the first time this mosquito species has been identified in this county.
    Mosquito surveillance in many of New Mexico’s southern counties is part of a NMSU project funded by the New Mexico Department of Health to map out the range and distribution of both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the state. Both mosquito species are capable of transmitting Zika virus to people.
    The ongoing project has not yet sampled all of the counties in the southern half of the state.
    “This collaboration with NMSU will help us get a clear picture of the areas at risk of Zika transmission in the state,” said New Mexico Secretary of Health Lynn Gallagher.
    To date, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been trapped and identified this summer in Doña Ana, Eddy, and Chaves counties and now Aedes albopictus in Roosevelt County. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes have also been reported from Otero County and Aedes albopictus from Curry County in past years.