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Local News

  • Former State Rep. Trujillo sues accusers

    Former Democratic State Rep. Carl Trujillo filed a defamation and civil conspiracy lawsuit against a group of animal rights activists and Planned Parenthood lobbyists Thursday.

    Trujillo, a LANL employee who represented Dist. 43, is suing Animal Protection Voters, Animal Protection New Mexico, Laura Bonar, Jessica Johnson, Elisabeth Jennings and Planned Parenthood/ACLU lobbyist, Julianna Koob, in the Bernalillo County, Second Judicial District Court.

    The suit comes after the dismissal of false allegations of sexual harassment against Trujillo by a legislative panel late last year.

    “While sexual harassment is a very serious matter, false allegations aimed at destroying the career and reputation of a good man and public servant cannot stand. It is also disturbing the voters in District 46 were intentionally manipulated by these false statements.” said Luke Ragsdale, the attorney representing Trujillo.

    Trujillo was defeated in the primary by Andrea Romero, who was later elected to the Dist. 46 seat.

  • Task force to address New Mexico's public pension problems

    SANTA FE (AP) — Officials who oversee one of New Mexico's major public pension funds say they're encouraged Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is creating a task force to address mounting unfunded liabilities.

    The board chair of the Public Employees Retirement Association, Jacquelin Kohlasch, is among those who will serve on the 19-member task force. She said Thursday the goal is developing meaningful solutions to "our very real solvency challenges."

    The Public Employees Retirement Association, or PERA, covers roughly 50,000 active state and municipal workers and 40,000 retirees. It had an unfunded liability of $6 billion at the end of the 2018 budget year.

    Lujan Grisham issued an executive order Monday calling for the task force. The panel's recommendations are due Aug. 30 and will serve as the basis for legislation during the 2020 session.
     

  • Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours canceled tonight

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours set for tonight at the Los Alamos Medical Center has been canceled because of a winter storm warning in the region.

    The event will be rescheduled at a later date, according to the chamber.

    For any questions, contact Chamber Director Ryn Hermann at 661-4807.

  • Another winter storm expected Thursday night

     The National Weather Service is reporting that a large storm system is moving into Los Alamos County, which will result in heavy snowfall overnight Thursday and all day Friday.  

    During the day Thursday, expect scattered snow showers with an accumulation of less than half an inch. Thursday night however, the National Weather Service is predicting three to five inches of snow accumulation. 

    On Friday, during the day, the National Weather Service is expecting another three to five inches of snow with high of 35 degrees during the day and a low of 19 degrees in the evening. The storm is expected to move into the area around 8 p.m. Thursday, and last into early Saturday morning.

  • Crab Fest set for Feb. 23

    The Rotary Club of Los Alamos is having its 10th annual Crab Fest fund raiser from 5:30-9 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Knights of Columbus Hall at the intersection of Trinity Drive and DP Road.

    The Crab Fest is an opportunity to enjoy family-style all-you-can eat crab legs and prawns (and chicken), participate in live and silent auctions, and help raise money for service projects both in the community and internationally.

    All proceeds benefit the Los Alamos Public Schools school safety initiatives, education grants, scholarships, community funding requests, and international projects in Mexico, Guatemala and Nepal.

    Auction items this year include autographed photos of sports greats Phil Mickelson, Willie Mays, Michael Jordan and Arnold Palmer, and an autographed Cowboys Legends football helmet and autographed Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) boxing gloves. 

    There are props from the “Manhattan” TV series; original artwork by Tatiana Klimov, Kathi Geoffrion Parker, Secundino Sandoval, and Michael McCabe. 

    There are Taos Ski Valley passes, a helicopter ride, wine, Nambé ware, and gift certificates. This year we are offering a ski trip to British Columbia and a classic Wrigley Field rooftop experience.

  • House committee advances $462M infusion for education

    BY ROBERT NOTT
    The New Mexican

    The House Education Committee on Saturday unanimously advanced a bill that would appropriate $452 million in new public school funding in the coming fiscal year for at-risk students in New Mexico and millions more for small schools.

    The action comes as lawmakers and the governors are drafting an overall state budget for fiscal year 2020 that includes a $400 million to $500 million infusion for education to help fulfill a state District Court ruling in a lawsuit that says New Mexico has shortchanged several groups of students with the highest needs -- those learning English as a second language, special-needs students, low-income kids and Native American children.

    District Judge Sarah Singleton of Santa Fe issued a final decree Thursday in the case, in which a group of plaintiffs argued New Mexico is failing to provide an adequate education for these students.

    In her final ruling, Singleton again wrote that state leaders and the Public Education Department have violated the state constitution and “the rights of at-risk students by by failing to provide them with a uniform statewide system of free public schools sufficient for their education.”

  • N.M. to provide US Capitol its next Christmas tree

    TAOS (AP) — This year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be coming from northern New Mexico.
    U.S. Forest Service officials announced Tuesday that a tree will be cut from the Carson National Forest just outside of Taos.

    The chosen tree will be displayed on the Capitol’s west lawn next December.

    The state will also send along 70 smaller companion trees to adorn other government buildings in Washington.

    Forest rangers say communities across New Mexico will be invited to help hand-make ornaments for the tree throughout the year.

    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says it is an honor for the state to be represented in this way.

  • Crime on the rise in LA

    According to the Los Alamos Police Department’s annual crime report, crime tracked by the department increased by 8 percent last year.

    Property crime increased by 8.9 percent over 2017. In 2018, 110 property crimes were committed in Los Alamos County.

    There were 19 burglaries, eight more compared to 2017. There were 88 larcenies committed in 2018, the same amount were committed in 2017.

    Two auto thefts occurred last year, the same amount as in 2017, but in 2018, the county had one arson.

    There were 25 violent crimes committed in 2018, the same amount that was committed in 2017.

    In 2018, there were no homicides or manslaughters reported.

    However, there were five rapes reported to police, one more than in 2017.

    In 2018, there was only one aggravated robbery, but there were two aggravated robberies in 2017.

    There were 19 aggravated assaults committed in 2018, the same amount were committed in 2017.

    Los Alamos police wrote fewer traffic tickets in 2018, according to the numbers. Minor offenses, DWI incidents and vehicle accidents increased. In 2017 police wrote 2,110 traffic tickets and in 2018 they wrote 1,573. In 2017, there were 32 DWIs and 44 in 2018.

  • LANL employee arrested after federal agent finds possible child porn on lab computer

    A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee was arrested Feb. 14 after a federal agent found possible inappropriate materials and possible child pornography on a lab computer. Steve J. Sandoval, 54, was arrested by local police following a federal investigation that started in April 2018.

    Sandoval was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center at 8:36 p.m. Feb. 14 and later released.

    Sandoval was still employed at the lab as of Wednesday, according to a lab spokesman.

    Federal agents searched Sandoval’s personal computer and catalogued several images and videos of suspected child pornography, according to his arrest report. Sandoval voluntarily allowed federal agents to search his personal computers, according to the report. Los Alamos police were notified in September 2018 of possible crimes by a special agent with the Department of Energy’s Technology Crimes Section in the Office of the Inspector General.

    The federal agent told police that Sandoval was interviewed April 11, 2018, for having “inappropriate” materials and “possible” child pornography on his work computer.

  • Hudson’s account of Iwo Jima to be discussed at Mesa Public Library

    Though Bill Hudson died four years ago, his memory still lives on through friends and family, who are preserving his legacy.

    At 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mesa Public Library, World War II historian Nancy Bartlit and Bill Hudson’s biographer, Karen Tallentire, will talk about Hudson’s experiences as a 19-year-old U.S. Marine at the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

    They will also talk about his contributions to the Los Alamos community after the war. An hour-long Canadian documentary, “Uncommon Valour: The Battle for Iwo Jima” will also be shown. The documentary features an interview with Hudson.

    Hudson died in 2015 at the age of 90. Throughout his life, he often gave public talks about Iwo Jima and how important the battle was for the Allies.

    Bartlit and Tallentire have been giving the talk for the last two to three years. They hope to keep the memory of Iwo Jima and Bill Hudson’s role in it alive in the community, especially in the minds of Los Alamos’ youth.

    “This is Bill’s dream. That the history, what happened on Iwo Jima, the sacrifices that were made are understood by Los Alamos High School kids,” Bartlit said.