Today's News

  • Unsolved Mystery: Plane crash remains under investigation after nearly 2 years

    The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to release a final report on a plane crash that killed two Los Alamos National Laboratory employees – the pilot and the plane’s only passenger – on March 11, 2016.

    The pilot was Karen Young, 46, and the passenger was Thomas Spickermann, 53. Young and Spickermann were employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory and worked in the same division. Young was a Los Alamos resident and Spickermann lived in Hernandez.

    NTSB Chief of Media Relations Chris O’Neil said the case is still active and under investigation.

    “The investigation into the aviation accident (March 11, 2016, Espanola, NM, case number CEN16FA122) remains under investigation. It generally takes 12 to 24 months for the NTSB to complete the investigation of a fatal general aviation accident,” O’Neil said in an email Wednesday.

    An initial report is available online at the NTSB website. The report does assign any fault or cause of the accident.

    The report instead focused on conditions leading up to the crash.

    The airplane was a 2009 Remos GX, rented from New Mexico Sport Aviation.

  • Agency: Southwestern songbird to retain protected status

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A federal agency says a migratory songbird that breeds in vegetation along rivers and streams in Arizona and New Mexico will remain an endangered species.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement Thursday says the Southwestern willow flycatcher will keep the protected status following a review of a 2015 petition in which industry groups argued the bird isn't a valid subspecies under the Endangered Species Act.

    The announcement says an "exhaustive review" of scientific information reached the conclusion that the flycatcher is a protectable subspecies.

    It also says some flycatcher populations "have made considerable progress toward recovery" but that threats still exist and warrant protection.

    A 2012 assessment estimated a population of only 1,629 breeding territories. Those are places where a male sings to attract a mate.

  • Law allows New Year's Eve exception for Sunday liquor sales

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A New Mexico law enacted earlier this year will allow New Year's Eve liquor sales to continue past midnight — the usual cutoff time for sales on Sunday.

    KOB-TV reports state Rep. Jim Trujillo introduced the bill that took effect in June, extending liquor sales when the last day of December falls on a Sunday.

    The law only applies to businesses with full liquor licenses, so certain restaurants or breweries will not be able to sell past midnight depending on their license.

    The law also does not apply to towns or counties that do not allow liquor sales at all on Sundays.

    The next time New Year's Eve falls on a Sunday is in 2023.

  • New Mexico ad warns teens, parents about online predators

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico officials are launching a new ad campaign to warn teens and their parents about online sexual predators.

    The Attorney General's Office says the ad called "Monsters" can be viewed on Facebook.

    Attorney General Hector Balderas says parents and teens must be on guard for online sexual predators who lurk behind the screens of computers, tablets and phones.

    Balderas' office says the Facebook ad was funded by a federal grant to the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which Balderas' office oversees.

    A similar ad is running on screens at theaters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe this holiday season.

  • Embezzlement case heads to court

    A White Rock woman accused of embezzling from a nonprofit children’s football and cheerleading league in September will have a hearing in First Judicial District Court.

    Tabatha Jones, 34, waived her right to a preliminary trial in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Friday. Jones was arrested Sept. 21 for allegedly embezzling $5,680. 89 from the Los Alamos Youth Football and Cheerleading League.

    Jones was president of the Los Alamos League at the time. According to court documents, Jones was the sole manager of the league’s finances from January 2016 through August 2017.

    According to Annmarie Villegas, executive director of league’s parent organization, the Northern New Mexico Children’s Football League, questions began when Villegas discovered the fees to join the Los Alamos league were a $100 more than the cost per participant in Santa Fe league.

    Upon discovery of the missing funds, the northern New Mexico league disbanded the Los Alamos league.

    However, the league was allowed to finish out the year.  At the time of Jones’s arrest, the Los Alamos League was in the fifth weekend of their 11-week season.

  • Assets in Action: Take time to care, welcome wholeness in 2018

    As I sat and listened to a holiday message on Sunday afternoon, the speaker mentioned the Hebrew word Shalom. He spoke of one of the meanings being, “wholeness.”

    I naturally looked up what the internet had to say and found therefinersfire.org for the definition. It is used in many ways, as a welcome, a goodbye and most commonly related to peace.

    I could remember as a child, my mother having the words put on a cake for a friend.

    As we approach 2018, I wish you all Shalom. So many are seeking wholeness in so many ways, like waves of the ocean all throughout our lives.

    I believe in the depths of my soul that it all begins and ends with the Assets. I am certain that constantly talking about Assets, might get annoying from time to time. The truth is like eating healthy, sleep, exercise and taking care of ourselves, it just needs to become a lifestyle, a permanent habit.

    As a nation, we are constantly seeking ways to build kindness, end bullying, put an end to crime or terrorism. If we try to build the skills and traits in our young people, within our communities and let that ripple throughout our region and state, everyone’s lives will be better.

  • Lawmakers file dozens of bills; most will see no action

    SANTA FE (AP) — Lawmakers have filed more than 100 bills for their session that starts in mid-January.
    Most of those will see no action.

    That’s because the state constitution limits action in monthlong sessions to bills on the budget and taxes. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez also can place items on the agenda, and legislators can revisit bills that she vetoed in the past.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Martinez has indicated public safety will be a priority.

    Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf says legislators expect a flat budget, which means extra spending will be limited, and proposals for new programs or initiatives might go nowhere.

    Bills that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and create a $15-an-hour minimum wage are among the items filed.

  • Dry winter could stress Arizona’s ponderosa pines

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Northern Arizona has missed out on a white Christmas, and if the lack of snowfall continues, scientists say there will likely be more far-reaching effects on the region’s pine trees.

    Without enough winter moisture, scientists tell the Arizona Daily Sun, the trees will be more susceptible to bark beetles and disease, all of which lead to tree mortality.

    “This is super dry for us, so if it continues there’s going to be a lot of concerns I’m sure,” said John Anhold, a forest entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service.

    The latest drought maps show drought and abnormally dry conditions have taken hold of significant portions of the Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. With the exception of Colorado, the other states are worse off now than they were at this same time last year.

    For Flagstaff, the below-normal precipitation expected for this winter will also affect the city’s water sources and supply balance going into next year, while the dry weather has already been a game-changer for prescribed fire operations this fall.

    On the Coconino National Forest alone, it has allowed crews to do low-intensity understory burns on about 50 percent more acreage than normal, said Victor Morfin, the forest’s fuels specialist.

  • Community Calendar 12-27-17

     Los Alamos Big Band “A Christmas Dance” performance at 7:30 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Cost is $15 per adult, $10 per student and $5 for children under 12. Event benefits Immaculate Heart of Mary youth.

    The public is invited to a book talk about “The Decadence of Delphi” by author and Los Alamos High School graduate Kristin Heineman at 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Rotunda at Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave. The talk is part of the monthly Authors Speak series put on by the Los Alamos County Library System.
    Feature Film: Incoming!
at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover what impacts from above can teach us about the history of our planet, the Solar System, and the Universe! Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    Nature Yoga and Trail Run
at 11:45 a.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Optional: Arrive at 10:30 a.m. to join Christa for a pre-yoga run. Admission: yoga or run for $7/$5 for members; yoga and run for $12/$8 for members. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Nobody gains by hiding the truth

    The Washington Post published this editorial on the Department of Health and Human services instructing some of its divisions to avoid certain words or phrases in official documents that are being drafted for next year’s budget:

    Words are power. Whether used to twist or reveal, language matters, especially that used by the people who govern a nation devoted to free speech. This is why it was such a shock to hear the Department of Health and Human Services instruct some of its divisions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to avoid using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year’s budget. It sounds like thought police at work.

    If that judgment seems harsh, consider what happens in China, where thought police really exist. China routinely censors articles containing politically sensitive words such as “Taiwan,” ‘’Tibet” and “cultural revolution” from publications because it does not want its people to think about them. Writing about democracy could lead to trouble in Belarus, Cuba or Vietnam, too. In Russia, words that refer to gays positively can trigger a penalty. In Saudi Arabia, a blogger, Raif Badawi, sits in jail for his online appeal for a more liberal and secular society.