Today's News

  • Police Beat 9-25-15

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Sept. 17
    5:42 p.m. — Adrian Trujillo,  26, of Espanola was arrested on a felony from another jurisdiction at the Los Alamos Police Department.
    Sept. 18
    4:36 p.m. — Police reported that a 47-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of fraud (more than $250 less than $2,500) at Trinity Drive.
    Sept. 19
    3:47 a.m. — Neon Sanchez,  39, of San Felipe was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos Police Department.
    5:09 a.m. — Danny Hall,  41, of Los Alamos was arrested for a larceny (more than $500, less than $2,500) at the Los Alamos Police Department. Hall was later arrested again at 11:27 p.m. for possession of a controlled substance on Diamond Drive. He was also arrested again at 11:30 p.m. the same day on a magistrate court bench warrant while on Diamond Drive.
    Sept. 20

  • On the Docket 9-25-15

    Sept. 16
    Julio Cesar Ramos-Gonzales was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and defendant must also pay $65.
    Edmundo Leal was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Milan Sykora was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding six to 10 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Martin Aguero-Muchuca was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding one to five mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $25 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Laura Hamilton was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of speeding 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $75 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Sept. 17
    Sheridan L. Barnes was found guilty at the time of traffic stop of speeding one to five mph over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $25 and defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.
    Alexander Rose paid a $50 fine for having an unhitched trailer.
    Sept. 18
    Kim Lazarus paid a $50 fine for improper stopping, standing or parking.

  • LAFD’S Grider honored by peers

    Los Alamos Fire Department Deputy Chief Justin Grider was recently honored by his peers at New Mexico’s fourth annual Fire and EMS Exposition.
    Grider was awarded the “Fire Officer of the Year” award, which only is given to candidates after a committee carefully reviews written recommendations submitted by fellow firefighters.
    LAFD Chief Troy Hughes said this was the first time anyone had won an award from the expo  but wasn’t surprised Grider won.
    “It’s well-deserving, he’s respected all across the state of New Mexico,” he said, adding that Grider was one of the first people he met when being interviewed to become Los Alamos’ next fire chief in 2011.
    “Grider’s commitment to the department and the community was self-evident”, Hughes said.
    “The time I got to spend with him before I was even hired, his passion for the fire service and the Los Alamos Fire Department was evident. He really cares about this place, he knew that we had a great department, but he was up for working hard and making it even better. My conversation with him and a few others is what really motivated me to come here.”

  • Police say man fired gun in LA

    Los Alamos Police arrested a 65-year-old Los Alamos man in late August for shooting a .45-caliber handgun several times on 43rd Street.
    Police encountered Robert Coyne and his wife outside their apartment. According to police reports, they heard the couple arguing before coming out. Police said the couple was cooperative.
    However, Coyne told police he had been drinking alcohol that night as he was apprehensive about an upcoming lawsuit he and his wife had against Los Alamos National Security LLC.
    According to police, Coyne initially denied firing the gun, but a search of the house and the surrounding property turned up a gun magazine, shell casings and a .45-caliber Springfield Armory stuffed between the mattresses in Coyne’s bedroom.
    Coyne’s wife, Suzanne, told police that when she was out on a walk to cool off after an argument she was having with Robert, she heard gunshots.
    “Mrs. Coyne stated that she believed Mr. Coyne became scared after discharging the weapon and hid the gun before she returned home,” according to a statement in court documents about the incident.
    Coyne was charged with two counts of negligent use of a firearm, tampering with evidence and disorderly conduct.

  • Visitor centers discussed

    On Sept. 15, Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Sullivan updated the Los Alamos County Council on LACDC’s contract to manage the county’s two visitor centers.
    Sullivan began by laying out what the LACDC is contracted to do, including correcting a misconception about funding for the visitor centers. Funding does not come from the county’s general fund but from Lodgers Tax Revenues.
    Sullivan said those revenues increased from $206,270 in FY2014 to $239,847 in FY2015, a 14 percent jump.
    LACDC is contracted to manage operations at both visitor centers, including training volunteers, maintaining the toll free 800 line, Internet service and free wifi for visitors. It also delivers visitor guides inside and outside the county and fulfills visitor guide requests.
    Between March 1 and Aug. 30, LACDC served 9,885 visitors at the Los Alamos Visitor Center and 54,866 visitors at the White Rock Visitor Center, which is up 40 and 44 percent respectively over the same period in 2014.
    LACDC also distributed 66,800 visitor guides to 13 locations in the county and 62 locations outside the county and filled 2,328 visitor guide requests.

  • New source of strength
  • Pojoaque Pueblo alleges secret gaming meeting

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico tribe has accused state gaming officials of holding a closed-door meeting to plot out ways to stop its casino operations.
    The Pojoaque Pueblo complained to the state Attorney General’s Office late last week, accusing the state Gaming Control Board of illegally holding a closed door meeting on their gaming activities.
    The July 15 meeting violated the Open Meetings Act because board members were allegedly strategizing about “how to retaliate against the vendors and manufacturers who do business with the Pueblo’s gaming operations,” according to pueblo officials.
    Pojoaque Gov. Joseph Talachy accused the gaming board Friday of sending intimidating letters to casino vendors. According to Talachy, the letters made it sound like vendors could lose their licenses because of the U.S. attorney’s supposed stance on casino operations. As a result, one vendor has already wavered about doing business.
    “They won’t come right out and say, ‘We aren’t going to license you if you are doing business with the pueblo.’ They know they can’t assert jurisdiction in Indian Country,” Talachy said. “It’s an unfair way of trying to shut our casino down as we are planning our case.”

  • Update positive on park transfer

    During Sen. Tom Udall’s recent visit to the Valles Caldera National Preserve, VCNP Trust Executive Director Jorge Silva-Bañuelos, who was named preserve superintendent Thursday, updated the New Mexico Democrat on the upcoming transfer from trust management to the National Park Service.
    “We are at the home stretch of the transition process to the National Park Service. It’s been a very interesting ride,” Silva-Bañuelos said.
    The official handoff is Oct. 1, but changes are underway for a seamless transition.
    The most significant change so far is the fee system. The new entrance fee is $20 per vehicle for a seven-day permit, a shift from what Silva-Bañuelos refers to as the former “à la carte system.”
    “If you were a family of four, if you wanted to come in for a two-day visit to the preserve, it’s $10 per person per day. You’d be paying $80 bucks to come here over a weekend,” Silva-Bañuelos said. “Now a family of four can now experience the preserve for seven days for only 20 bucks. And if you have a senior or a military member of your family – and now a fourth-grader – that entrance fee is waived and it’s completely free.”

  • Motion hearing set for Monday

    A documents request from attorneys representing a plaintiff in a sexual harassment suit against Los Alamos County will be heard Monday in Santa Fe District Court.
    Former Los Alamos Police Detective Paige Early is suing the county for alleged sexual discrimination when she was a detective on the force and Wayne Torpy was police chief.
    The complaint is part of a larger lawsuit filed by former LAPD Commander Randy Foster, who is suing the county for alleged wrongful termination for how he disciplined Officer Brian Schamber.
    Several years ago, when Schamber was still on the force, he allegedly started acting strangely.
    Schamber’s alleged erratic behavior while on the job was brought to Foster’s attention by Early, who was Schamber’s patrol partner at the time of the alleged incidents. Early and Foster are represented by Santa Fe attorneys Linda Hemphill and George Geran.
    Former LAPD Commander Scott Mills, also a plaintiff in the suit, alleges the county forced him into retirement over his role in how Schamber was disciplined.

  • Silva-Bañuelos named park leader

    National Park Service Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica announced Thursday that Jorge Silva-Bañuelos has been named superintendent of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
    Silva-Bañuelos, a native New Mexican, has served as executive director of the Valles Caldera trust since May 2014, but his familiarity with the preserve began much earlier.
    During eight years working for former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Silva-Bañuelos drafted Senate Bill 285, the legislation Bingaman introduced to place the preserve under the auspices of the National Park Service. Silva-Bañuelos also oversaw policy matters and worked to secure funding for the preserve.
    From 2007-12, Silva-Bañuelos served on the staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he handled New Mexico public land, natural resource and conservation policy.
    From 2012-14, Silva-Bañuelos was special assistant to the assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior.