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Today's News

  • Identity thieves target kids as well as adults

    I’m sorry to report that child identity fraud is alive and well in 2014. If anything, the problem may be worsening as identity thieves devise new methods to steal — and use — children’s personal information. Most commonly, they’ll harvest kids’ dormant Social Security numbers and use them to illegally obtain jobs or open fraudulent bank and credit accounts, mortgages, or car loans.
    Many victims don’t realize there’s a problem until they later apply for a student loan, bank account, job or apartment and are turned down because of the poor credit history someone else racked up. Some families are even hounded by collection agencies or arrested because the debts or criminal activities were so extreme.
    There are no completely foolproof methods to protect your children’s identities, but here are some precautions you can take:
    While it’s tempting to simply not register your kids for SSNs until they turn 18, that’s not practical in today’s world. For one thing, they’ll need one to be claimed as dependents on your taxes. You may also need SSNs for your kids to obtain medical coverage or government services or to open bank accounts in their names.

  • State Briefs 08-28-14

    State Police: Bloomfield police fatally shot man

    BLOOMFIELD (AP) — Authorities say Bloomfield police have fatally shot a man following a report of a domestic dispute involving a possible suicidal man.
    They say the man was shot Wednesday and died after he was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center.
    New Mexico State Police Lt. Michah Doering says two Bloomfield police officers responded to a domestic call around 10:15 a.m. and were confronted with a suspect with a deadly weapon.
    Police say the reason for the shots being fired still is being investigated.
    No officers were injured and the name of the man killed hasn’t been released yet.
    Former Los Alamos Police commander Randy Foster is the new police chief in Bloomfield.

    4 killed in New Mexico crash of medical flight

  • Survey: State's piñon juniper trees are growing 


    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Good news for pine nut lovers. Not so good for allergy sufferers.
    A five-year inventory of New Mexico’s forested lands shows positive growth rates among the state’s most important piñon and juniper species. However, other trees in the drought-stricken state have struggled more in recent years.
    Researchers with the State Forestry Division and the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station studied more than 3,000 areas across New Mexico between 2008 and 2012 to get a better idea of what was happening within the state’s forests. Officials say the resulting inventory is the most comprehensive collection of forest health trends in the state’s history.
    Sara Goeking, a scientist at the federal research station and the report’s lead author, said a significant trend identified by the inventory was an overall increase in tree mortality and a decline in tree growth.
    “Major factors affecting forest health include insects, wildfires and disease, all of which are related to multiyear weather patterns such as drought,” Goeking said.

  • On The Docket 08-28-14

    Aug. 11

    Gabriel Wadt pled no contest in Los Alamos County Magistrate Court to resisting, evading or obstructing an officer (service of process).
    Sentencing is deferred, on conditions of probation as specified. Defendant is advised that completion of all terms and conditions of a deferred sentence shall result in dismissal of this charge, but the record of the charge will still exist. Absent further order of this court, this order will become final as of Nov. 10 2014, and the charge will be dismissed.
    Defendant was charged $73 in court costs. Defendant must undergo 90 days of unsupervised probation.
    While on probation, defendant shall obey all rules, regulations and orders of the probation authorities, and observe all federal, state and local laws and ordinances. Defendant shall not purchase, possess or consume any form of alcohol or use of illegal drugs during probation, and may not enter a bar or any other liquor establishment whose primary purpose is to sell or serve alcohol. Defendant also shall not a firearm, destructive device or weapon.

    Raymond J. Martinez pled no contest in Los Alamos County Magistrate Court to use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
    Defendant was fined $50 and ordered to pay $148 in court costs.
    Aug. 14

  • Update 08-28-14

    Viewing party

    “Manhattan” TV series, viewing party and discussion. 8-9:30 p.m. Sunday at Time Out Pizzeria on Central Ave.

    Downtown Dogs

    A weekly walking group for dogs and humans. The walk starts from Pet Pangaea at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights for a stroll around downtown Los Alamos.

    GOP headquarters

    The Republican Party of Los Alamos invites friends and families to the opening of their 2014 election headquarters at 4 p.m. Monday. The location is 1362D-1 Trinity. The phone number is 695-8080. There will be free hot dogs for all and statewide and local candidates for voters to get to know better. The headquarters will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday -Friday. All are welcome anytime. For more information, call Robert Gibson, 662-3159.

    Concert

    Gordon’s Summer Concert Series. South By Southwest featuring Mike Hearne, Jimmy Stadler and Zeke Severson. 7-10 p.m. Friday at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.
     

  • Customer interaction top priority for Smith's manager

    You won’t find Smith’s Marketplace Director Erik Boehm sitting in his office unless there is some bit of business that absolutely requires it.
    “I hate my office, plain and simple. I’ve always been like that,” Boehm said.
    Boehm spends most of his 11- to 12-hour days out on the floor working with team members or assisting customers.
    “I love having that personal connection with my customers, especially in small towns like this,” said Boehm, who enjoys engaging in conversations that range from neighborly small talk to helping someone looking for advice on shopping for a healthier diet. “That’s really the best part of my day every single day. You get a chance to touch a lot of people. You affect a lot of lives, and hopefully for the better.”
    Building a team may be the favorite part of Boehm’s job.

  • ABQ man sentenced in drug case

    A drug dealer from Albuquerque nabbed by Los Alamos Police late last year recently received his sentence in district court.
    The suspect, David Simmons, entered a guilty plea, admitting to attempting to traffic a controlled substance by distribution, a third-degree felony. He was sentenced by Judge Sheri L. Raphaelson to three years incarceration with three years suspended and three years of supervised probation. If Simmons has served two years of his probation without any violations, he could have the last year dismissed.
    The original charges against him were: Trafficking by distribution, conspiracy to commit trafficking (by distribution), possession of a controlled substance (felony, narcotic drug) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
    The charges came from a number of LAPD operations late 2013 that also resulted in the arrests of Los Alamos residents, Daniel Hoth and Rowena MacDonald.
    According to court documents, Hoth apparently acted as Simmons’ driver. Simmons had come up from Albuquerque to do some drug deals in White Rock that never materialized. At some point during his visit, LAPD arrested Simmons and Hoth.

  • Porter faces new charge

    Steven Porter, the White Rock resident who is facing 20 drug charges including 13 felonies, may not be out of jail for a while.
    While out on bail for those charges, (He successfully posted 10 percent of his $102,000 bond) He allegedly took off his GPS monitoring device, according to police.
    Court Parole Officer Linda Pena noted in a probable cause statement that she noticed “abrasions, bruising and scrapes on Mr. Porter’s ankle and foot where his electronic monitoring device was placed. She also noted that the hair on Porter’s ankle was nearly gone, a telltale sign that the device had been tampered with, according to her.
    Upon discovery, Porter was promptly rearrested and brought back into custody. Porter went to magistrate court for another hearing before judge Pat Casados to face the new felony charge.
    Pena also noted in the report that there was a “substantial amount of time“ between Friday, Aug. 22 and the Saturday, Aug. 23 that the device showed no movement.
    “Which means, during that 20-hour period of time, Mr. Porter was either motionless, or he was not wearing the device,” said police in the probable cause statement.
    Porter’s lawyer, Elden Pennington, tried to argue that the particular GPS device monitoring Porter’s movements was unreliable.

  • Hilltoppers have a lot to prove

    There is no shortage of things to prove for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team heading into the 2014 season.
    Los Alamos will have a new, solid district opponent this season, a revamped backfield and, most notably, a new signal-caller heading into the opener.
    The Hilltoppers open their season Friday night when they take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    Along with all the issues so far, Los Alamos’ turnout for the opening day of football practice was skimpy. The number has improved over the course of the preseason — there are now 30 players on the team’s regular roster.
    Hilltopper head coach Garett Williams said that while it’s not a huge group, it’s one with some experience coming back, particularly at the line of scrimmage. Offensive line fixtures Jonathan Schueler, John Dermer and Zack Sturgeon should help make the transition on offense go a little more smoothly.
    Los Alamos features 17 seniors heading into the opener, almost all of which have played regularly at one time during their Hilltopper careers.

  • Zozobra burns Friday at dusk

    Fiestas de Santa Fe are underway and Zozobra, aka Old Man Gloom is scheduled to burn Friday at dusk at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe. Tickets to enter the park at $10. Fiesta revelers should expect a new look for Old Man Gloom.