Local News

  • SF National Forest gets new deputy supervisor

    Joe Norrell is the new deputy forest supervisor for the Santa Fe National Forest. Norrell brings 14 years of federal service experience to the Forest Service and the local community.
    He chose Santa Fe due to the challenges of working on complex issues with people that have a rich history and strong connection to the land.
    Norrell, who grew up in Alaska, attributes his career and passion for the outdoors to his parents. His father was a professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, which helped afford the time to take him and his sisters on many camping, hiking and fishing trips during the summer months.
    He listened to his mother who worked for the Alaska State Legislature talk about politics and how the decisions made by the legislature would impact people, which influenced him to consider a career in public service.
    He attended Montana State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration. Beginning in 1998, Norrell worked for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as a temporary research assistant and three years for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. as a staff assistant on the Committee on Appropriations. Two of those years he spent working on the Interior and Natural Resources Subcommittee.

  • Update 12-26-12

    Monitor closed

    The Los Alamos Monitor office will be closed on New Year’s Day.

    No blue bus service

    The NCRTD blue buses will not be in service New Year’s day. For more information call toll free 1-866-206-0754, or visit ridethebluebus.com.

    Holiday dance

    The Los Alamos Big Band will present its annual Christmas Dance from 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Admission is free.

    Christmas photos

    Send us your best photo from Christmas Day to be published later in the week for a Christmas in LA feature. Email your digital photos to info@lamonitor.com along with a brief description, names and ages of those pictured. Submit only one photo per household, please.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

  • Drought, fires dominate state headlines in 2012

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — From dry river beds to dusty pastures and raging wildfires, extreme drought dominated New Mexico headlines in 2012.

    Farmers, ranchers and water managers started 2012 hoping against all predictions that this would be the year the La Nina weather pattern responsible for pushing moisture from the state would finally subside. No luck. Just more hand-wringing as the first 11 months of the year marked the second driest on record, according to the National Weather Service

    With little late winter snow and no spring rain, New Mexico’s reservoirs were reduced to just a fraction of their normal levels heading into what proved to be another hot summer.

    Farmers in southern New Mexico were forced for a second consecutive year to pump groundwater to irrigate their crops, and stretches of the mighty Rio Grande and Pecos River dried up, prompting fish rescue missions. The toll on grazing land and hay prices pushed some ranchers to cut neighbors’ fences or leave gates open so their cattle could graze on greener pastures.

  • Officials dedicate Memorial Garden

    There was a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for the Los Alamos High School Memorial Garden. The formal dedication presented the newly completed garden to the high school students and the families, who had lost loved ones at much too early an age.  

    Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt said the memorial garden is intended to be a quiet place for students, family and friends to gather in remembrance of the students, whose names are listed on a wall.

    In his remarks, Schmidt thanked the Rotary Club of Los Alamos for making the garden possible.  He said the place is for families to walk and remember, as well as sit and reflect on the memory of their loved ones.

    Rotary Club President Linda Hull spoke of the three years of fundraising and preparation that made the garden possible. She mourned the passing of all of the students named there and expressed the hope that no more names would be added.

    High school principal Sandy Warnock said, “This garden reminds us of how precious life is. This is a garden that will forever be a place to remember those who left us too early.”

  • Girrens brings new priorities to council

    First of a series

    Municipal Judge Alan Kirk swore in new county councilors Steve Girrens, Kristin Henderson, and Pete Sheehey, along with new county clerk Sharon Stover last week.
    The priorities each of the new councilors has established as they prepare to take up the reins may signal a shift in alliances and also shed some light on how they will govern the next four years.

    Steve Girrens
    “If I have one thing I’m worrying about, it’s gaining an understanding of the systemic picture,” Girrens said.
    “I do not have anything in particular that I want to see, any burning one thing that I’m pushing forward this next year. I think it would be more appropriate for me, as one of the seven and as one of the three new, to try to get a handle on what’s happening systemically,” he said. “From my point of view, the last thing that we need is to confuse the issue by coming in with one particular thing over weighted more than worrying about the systemic picture, and even understanding the systemic picture.

    “In the next six to eight months I want to become as smart on the overall picture as possible, as fast as possible.”

  • Suspect sought in SF double slaying

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office has issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in a Christmas night shooting that left two men dead.

    Sheriff's officials say 18-year-old Joe C. Rivera is wanted in connection with the double homicide case.

    Authorities were searching for Rivera on Wednesday night and say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

    The shooting occurred about 11 p.m. Tuesday in the Valle Vista Subdivision in Santa Fe County.

    Deputies say 23-year-old John Griego was pronounced dead at the scene while 29-year-old Nicholas Baker was pronounced dead on arrival at Christus St. Vincent's Hospital. They say both men suffered fatal gunshot wounds.

  • Christmas Storms Bring Heavy Snow and Twisters
  • Today in History for December 26th
  • Raw: Funnel Cloud Moves Across Mobile, Ala.

    A funnel cloud moving across the skyline in Mobile, Ala. is captured by a television station's tower camera. Damage extended to homes, power lines and trees.

  • Man who killed 2 firemen left note on killing plan

    WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) — The ex-con who lured two firefighters to their deaths in a blaze of gunfire left a rambling typewritten note saying he wanted to burn down the neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people," police said Tuesday as they recovered burned human remains believed to be the gunman's missing sister.

    Police Chief Gerald Pickering said 62-year-old William Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, armed himself with a revolver, a shotgun and a military-style rifle before he set his house afire to lure first responders into a death trap before dawn on Christmas Eve.

    "He was equipped to go to war, kill innocent people," Pickering said.

    The rifle he had was a military-style .223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle with flash suppression, the same make and caliber weapon used in the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Pickering said.

    The chief said police believe the firefighters were hit with shots from the rifle given the distance but the investigation was incomplete.