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Today's News

  • Anonymous tips help solve criminal incidents

    Tips reported to the Los Alamos County Crime Stoppers are proving to be effective.
    The Los Alamos Police Department has successfully solved multiple criminal incidents that were reported to the department’s Criminal Investigations Section. LAPD is hoping to continue the success of community members reporting on criminal activity.
    “LAPD would like to thank the local media and the public for their assistance related to these incidents,” LAPD Commander Oliver Morris said. “These tips show that the citizens, job-holders, and visitors in our area wish to assist the Los Alamos Police Department in our mission to provide quality pro-active law enforcement services to help keep our community safe and hold those accountable who choose to commit crime in our area.”
    Among the type of cases that were solved this year due to anonymous crime tips are shoplifting and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
    Twenty-three year-old Raymond Green of Española, 38-year-old Concha Herrera of Truchas and 49-year-old Elias Gallegos of Española were charged or had warrants due to shoplifting cases. Crystal Padilla, 33, of Santa Fe, and 39-year-old Antonio Lopez, of Santa Fe, were charged or had warrants issued due to unlawful taking of motor vehicle cases.

  • County attorney Ehler to retire

    After just four years with Los Alamos County, County Attorney Rebecca Ehler retires at the end of this week.
    Before coming to Los Alamos, Ehler served as Alamogordo city attorney from 1993-2002, before transitioning to legal advisor for the Alamogordo’s Department of Public Safety in order to spend more time with her family.
    Prior to that, Ehler was the first county attorney hired by New Mexico’s Chaves County, serving for nearly five years as legal advisor and for a time as acting planning and zoning administrator. During that time she won a decision against the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue in the New Mexico Supreme Court on behalf of several counties.
    When asked how Los Alamos compared to her previous positions, Ehler replied, “Harder, because they have the resources to delve more deeply into issues then some other localities. So that’s good, because you can feel more confident in the responses you give and it’s bad, because sometimes it can slow things down, and it’s just overall more intense.”

  • 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.

  • Valles Caldera to celebrate 16 years with free entry

    Valles Caldera National Preserve will celebrate its 16th birthday Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Visitors will get an insider’s look at the scientific discoveries being made at the preserve and can take part in traditional “Earth-skills” demonstrations. Entrance to the preserve is free on Saturday for the family-friendly event.
    National Park Service staff will give mini presentations on wildlife research, archaeology, fire recovery efforts, and much more. Park staff will also have wildlife monitoring and other scientific equipment on display and be available to answer questions from visitors.
    At the Earth-skills gathering, visitors can watch demonstrators create and use beautiful and functional products made from natural materials. Demonstrations include flint-knapping, yucca fiber cord making, jewelry making, and atl-atl throwing. There will also be rounds of family-friendly primitive games.

  • GOP kicks off convention with nod to 'troubling times'

    CLEVELAND (AP) — Braced for uncertainty and struggling for unity, Republicans opened their convention to nominate Donald Trump for president on Monday as dissident delegates pursued one last chance to deny him and the nation reeled from yet another outburst of violence.

    A day after a deadly ambush of police in Louisiana, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus welcomed delegates to the convention hall with a brief acknowledgement of the "troubling times" swirling outside. The chairman called for a moment of silence out of respect for "genuine heroes" in law enforcement.

    "Our nation grieves when we see these awful killings," he said.

    Weeks of racial tensions and violence are shadowing the Republicans' long-awaited showcase of their presidential pick and putting both participants and the convention city on alert.

    True to form, Trump himself provided the first curveball of the week, announcing he will make an unexpected swing to the convention hall Monday night to introduce his wife, Melania, on the first night of speeches.

    "I want to watch," Trump said on Fox News. "It is going to be very exciting."

  • Today in history July 18
  • Pipe fitter accused of taking copper from lab

    Police arrested a Los Alamos Laboratory pipe fitter July 14 for allegedly stealing $15,000 to $20,000 in copper fittings and pipe from tech areas 3, 48 and 35.  
    The suspect, Joshua J. Montoya, 22, of Velarde, was arraigned in court Friday.
    Montoya was charged with one count larceny (over $2,500 but less than $20,000). He was released Friday after posting a portion of a $5,000 cash/surety bond.
    LANL officials reported to the Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General July 12 that some of the copper was taken sometime between the night of July 9 and the morning of July 12.
    Investigators were able to trace the copper to Gallegos Scrap Metal LLC, a scrap yard in Española.
    The scrap yard’s owner, Tim Gallegos, reportedly told investigators July 13 that Montoya sold him the copper. Investigators were able to match Montoya to the sales records and driver’s license information Gallegos kept of the sales.  
    After a more thorough examination of the records, LANL investigators and the Los Alamos Police Department reported they determined Montoya had stolen copper materials from LANL several times a week since May 31.

  • DPU offers to relocate water meters

    The Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities voted in May to offer to move water meters located near customer’s houses to the property line at no cost to the customer.
    Vice Chair David Powell introduced that motion in response to a report by a subcommittee charged with investigating an issue raised by resident George Chandler, who received a bill for $5,839.99 for repairing an aging water delivery line on his property.
    Chandler asked the board to change DPU rules and regulations to say that DPU owns and maintains the delivery line from the main to the water meter, and the owner owns and maintains the service line from the meter to the residence or commercial property.
    The subcommittee investigated DPU policies and found that Rule W-2, Water Service Connection, DPU Rules and Regulations, dated May 5, 2006, states that when the water meter is installed in close proximity to the residence or establishment, the cost of operation and maintenance of that portion of the delivery line that extends across the property from the water main to the water meter is the responsibility of the property owner, as is the service line. The water meter is the responsibility of DPU.
    Stating that this was common practice in New Mexico and the United States, the subcommittee recommended no change to the rule.

  • Public meeting to address New Mexico's wild animal policy

    SANTA FE (AP) — Wildlife advocates and New Mexico lawmakers are planning to discuss outdoor safety and a state law that led to the death of a mother black bear in June following an attack on a marathon runner in the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

    The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening in Santa Fe.

    Participants will include several environmental groups, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department and Karen Williams, the marathon runner who was attacked June 18 in the Valles Caldera.

    The black bear was killed the next day for rabies testing.

    Williams wants to change state regulations that mandate the euthanization of any wild animal that attacks a human for rabies testing.

    Williams argues that the bear, which was acting in defense of its cubs, showed no signs of rabies.

  • County attorney Ehler to retire

    After just four years with Los Alamos County, County Attorney Rebecca Ehler retires at the end of this week.
    Before coming to Los Alamos, Ehler served as Alamogordo city attorney from 1993-2002, before transitioning to legal advisor for the Alamogordo’s Department of Public Safety in order to spend more time with her family.
    Prior to that, Ehler was the first county attorney hired by New Mexico’s Chaves County, serving for nearly five years as legal advisor and for a time as acting planning and zoning administrator. During that time she won a decision against the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue in the New Mexico Supreme Court on behalf of several counties.
    When asked how Los Alamos compared to her previous positions, Ehler replied, “Harder, because they have the resources to delve more deeply into issues then some other localities. So that’s good, because you can feel more confident in the responses you give and it’s bad, because sometimes it can slow things down, and it’s just overall more intense.”