Local News

  • Today in history for December 10th
  • 10 things to know for Monday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Monday:


    Obama and Boehner meet at the White House to discuss averting the impending "fiscal cliff."


    Compensation drifts upward, while the number of those crossing the $1-million barrier holds steady.


    Supporters question whether the U.S. Supreme Court would ever rule against the 41 states that don't allow same-sex unions.


    A proposed constitution divides the country, with Morsi and his Islamist backers in one camp; secularists and leftists in the other.

  • 'Grieving' Cowboys Beat Bengals 20-19

    One day after Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown died in a one-car crash in which teammate Josh Brent was jailed for intoxication manslaughter, the Cowboys played through their grief to beat Cincinnati, 20-19.

  • Today in History for December 9th
  • Sheriff drops charges

    A careless driving charge against Dennis J. Bernal, the driver of the pickup truck involved in the near head-on N.M. 4 crash that killed a Los Alamos High School student and seriously injured a middle school student, has been dismissed without prejudice, according to documents obtained from Santa Fe Magistrate Court Friday.

    A dismissal without prejudice does not bar the state from bringing new charges related to the accident if new evidence is uncovered.

    Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Joseph McLaughlin, who is handling the investigation, did not return a call seeking comment.

    A statement of probable cause and an eyewitness account of the crash do reveal more details about what happened that Nov. 21 afternoon.

    Bernal, driving a 2001 Toyota Tundra, was attempting to negotiate a right curve at the location, he alleges that he suffered a coughing spell and became dizzy. The report said as a result, Bernal lost control of his truck, allowing it to cross left of the double center divide line on N.M. 4 near mile marker 67.

    The left front bumper of Bernal’s vehicle struck the left side of the 2009 Toyota driven by Jennifer Ventura-Trujillo, who had her son Nikolas Ventura-Arencon, 14, sitting in the left rear passenger seat and Divine Fellers, 13, sitting in the center rear passenger seat.

  • Students support injured classmate

    A special fund has been set up for Divine Fellers, the girl who was riding in the same car involved in the accident that took the life of Nikolas Ventura-Arencon the day before Thanksgiving.

    According to her father Elgin, though his 13-year-old daughter came home from the hospital earlier this week, she still has quite a way to go in her recovery.

    “She’s doing well, considering she’s had her pelvis broken in four or five places and her spleen removed,” Fellers said.

    Both parents, Elgin and Nicole, said the outpouring of support they’ve received since the accident has been touching.

    “We’ve definitely had our ups and downs, but the community has been very supportive,” Nicole said. “Everyone’s been so sweet and helpful; bringing us meals and giving us hugs everywhere we go.”

    Even in their time of mourning and need, Nicole said the Ventura family, especially Jennifer, has been by often to talk with Nicole and the family.

    “And of course, our love and condolences go out to them as well,” Nicole said of the Ventura family.
    Some younger members of the community have also been looking for ways to help the Fellers family defray medical costs.

  • Don your Santa hats

    Home Instead Senior Care is once again asking Los Alamos residents to “Be a Santa to a Senior.”

    The five-year-old program relies on the generosity of local communities to bring gifts and companionship to isolated and financially challenged seniors.

    Home Instead partners with nonprofits and community organizations to identify seniors who may not otherwise receive gifts, then sets up Christmas trees with ornaments identifying seniors by first name and one or two gifts they would like.

    Shoppers choose an ornament, buy an item on the list and return it, unwrapped, to the tree’s location with the ornament attached.

    The Betty Ehart Senior Center is sponsoring a tree for local residents. Trees are also set up at both Santa Fe Wal-Marts and at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for Santa Fe seniors.

    “Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Chico Marquez, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. “That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

  • Update 12-09-12

    Swearing in

    The public is invited to attend the official “swearing in” ceremony for newly elected officials at 10 a.m. Dec. 21. in the Municipal Courtroom of the Justice Center. A reception with light refreshments will follow in the lobby of the Justice Center.


    To kick off its 50th anniversary celebration next year, the Los Alamos Monitor will distribute a commemorative 2013 calendar today. Look for it inside your newspaper.

    Taxes due

    The first half of 2012 property taxes are due by 5 p.m. Monday. To pay in person, go to the 311 Customer Care Center at the Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities at 150 Central Park Square. Or mail payments to: Los Alamos County, P.O. Box 99, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544-0099.

    DWI council

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

    Have a news tip?

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

  • Christmas tree lots spring up

    Christmas trees are for sale at the Knights of Columbus on DP Road and Trinity Drive, as well as behind the Elks Lodge on Trinity Drive.

  • Lower temps on the way, possibly snow

    The National Weather Service in Albuquerque provided an update on the possibly significant winter storm system this weekend. The extended period of above normal temperatures generally light winds and very dry conditions will come to an abrupt end over the weekend as a powerful winter storm system crosses over New Mexico.

    Major changes are expected Sunday morning as a potent arctic front surges south across the state.

    High temperatures will likely occur before noon Sunday then rapidly fall through the afternoon. North and northwest winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph will occur behind the front creating bitterly cold wind chill values.

    Meanwhile, snow is expected to develop across the northern mountains and the northeast plains Sunday morning before spreading south through the day.

    The greatest impacts from this storm are expected to occur during a several-hour period from mid-afternoon Sunday into late Sunday evening for the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, southward to the Sandias/Manzanos, eastward to Raton Pass and Santa Rosa.