Local News

  • Balderas says Trump's immigration policy impedes crime fighting at border

    SUNLAND PARK (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says he is concerned that the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy on illegal border crossings might impede and distract from efforts to prosecute organized crime along the border with Mexico.

    Balderas on Monday visited the border fence with local elected and law enforcement officials in the New Mexico community of Sunland Park and also met with prosecutors from the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

    Balderas, a Democrat, says he fears some law enforcement efforts could be undermined by Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy of referring all illegal border crossing cases for criminal prosecution.

    He says U.S. attorneys may be overburdened by low-level immigration cases, playing into the hands of international criminals. He fears tough rhetoric on immigration might discourage immigrants from cooperating on human trafficking cases.

  • Los Alamos County, Sandoval County having alternative July 4 events

    Even though the Kiwanis’ annual fireworks show has been canceled this year, there’s still plenty of Fourth of July events for Los Alamos residents to experience at Overlook Park and elsewhere.

    The Los Alamos Family YMCA Fourth of July Children’s Parade will start at 10:30 a.m. The staging area is at Ashley Park Pond at 10 a.m. The route will be along Central Avenue, then head down 15th Street and end at the Los Alamos Family YMCA. There will be free water, hot dogs and watermelon provided by the American Legion. Gift certificates will be awarded to children and pets that are the most patriotic, so dress accordingly.

    Trikes and bikes welcome, all pets must be on leashes. There will be a flag raising ceremony conducted by the American Legion after the parade. White Rock will have it’s own celebration for Fourth of July, thanks to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. An American flag will be brought from the Santa Fe National Cemetery to White Rock.

    The flag will be raised at 10 a.m. at the church, located at 366 Grand Canyon Drive. Veterans and all current military personnel are invited to the event, where a short history of the flag is read.

  • County to host July 4 event at Overlook Park

    The Kiwanis Club’s Fourth of July activities at Overlook Park may have been cancelled, but the fun will go on from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, thanks to a community event being hosted by the Los Alamos County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division.

    Dianne Marquez, recreation programs manager for the department, announced Monday there would be hot dogs, cold beverages, icy treats, games, water balloons, a bouncy house and music for families to enjoy at the park.

    “This is something that will definitely be much smaller and not something that’s every going to take over what (the Kiwanis Club) is doing,” Marquez said. “It’s something we hope we could do in collaboration with them going forward and something that can enhance the day and bring people together for some fun.”

    Stephen Boerigter, who coordinates the Fourth of July festivities for the Kiwanis Club, said, “I think it’s really wonderful that the parks division is stepping in and doing a little something for the people. What we bring to the table is that we have club members who are certified in putting on the fireworks show and the assets to put on this show, but there are many other people capable of putting on an event.”

  • Sen. Heinrich coming to Los Alamos

    U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) is making a campaign stop in Los Alamos Thursday at the UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square. The stop is one of five he has planned across the state this week.

    The event at UnQuarked is from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

    According to his campaign office, Heinrich plans to talk about his work in Congress concerning Los Alamos and the Los Alamos National Laboratory and answer other questions.

    "Martin Heinrich will hold a campaign stop in Los Alamos to discuss his work in the Senate and his vision for New Mexico's future," said Jackie Luchini, Heinrich’s deputy press secretary.

    Other campaign stops on Wednesday include Santa Fe Plaza in Santa Fe, the Corrales July 4 parade and the Marble Brewery in Albuquerque. On Friday, Heinrich will attend a barbecue hosted by the Taos County Democrats in Kit Carson Park.


  • On the Docket 7-1-18

    June 18
    Jacqueline Raye Seay was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court of improper starting, stopping of vehicle. Defendant must pay $125 in court costs. Sentencing deferred until Aug. 18. Defendant pled not guilty. Defendant was also sentenced to defensive driving school. Defendant was also fined $25 for failing to appear.

    Jay Stimmel  was issued a citation for not having an adequate drainage and roof on his house. Defendant must pay $60 in court costs.

    Gregory M. Casados pled guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding six to 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant was fined $50 and must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Christopher Lenley Salazar pled no contest to menacing behavior in Los Alamos Muncipal Court. Defendant must pay $60 in court costs.

    Jonathan Avila-Cisneros pled not guilty in Los Alamos Municipal Court for failing to appear. Defendant was found guilt and fined $25. Defendant must also pay $65 in court costs.

    Mark A Christon  pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court to menacing behavior. Sentence was deferred until Aug. 20. Defendant must also pay $60 in court costs.

  • Police Beat 7-1-18

    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.

    June 20
     11:13 a.m. –  Los Alamos police investigated a case of credit card fraud. Investigation is inactive.

    2:23 p.m. – Los Alamos police investigated an attempted shoplift at a grocery store in Los Alamos.

    7:59 a.m. – Los Alamos police investigated an argument at a local hotel. Investigation inactive.

    June 21
    Monica L Valdez Roybal, 41, of Velarde was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center for driving with a suspended license. She was later released.
    Johnny Joseph Lucero, 52 of El Rito was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center on three counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was later released.
    Becky Michelle Mondragon, 43 of El Rito was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant. She was later released.

    3:44 a.m. – Los Alamos police investigated a cyber harassment case that could be a black mail case.

  • Los Alamos receives PILT funds

    Los Alamos County will receive $93,625 in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds from the Department of the Interior, New Mexico’s U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Thursday.

    Last year, the county received $88,768 in PILT payments. Every year, the Department of the Interior distributes payments to rural counties throughout the nation. The monetary amount is based on the acreage of federal entitlement land with each county and the population of that county.

    The county deposits the money in its General Fund where it will be used for county operations.

    The funding increase was included in the 2018 Interior, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Related Appropriations Bill.

     “I’m glad we were successful in securing funding for this year’s payments, but we still need permanent funding for PILT to give counties in New Mexico more long-term predictability. I will continue to fight for full, permanent PILT funding so our counties have the budget certainty they need to succeed,” Heinrich said in a written statement.

  • Sentencing delayed for accused embezzler

    District Court Judge Jason Lidyard said Wednesday he did not think a sentence for accused embezzler Tabatha Jones was strong enough. He postponed the sentencing until he heard from Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist the reasoning behind the sentence. Asssistant District Attorney Michael Nunez was presenting Wahlquist’s case on Wednesday, as Wahlquist was not available.

    The sentence presented Wednesday included Jones pleading guilty to one count of embezzlement over $2,500, a third-degree felony. In return, Jones would have received three years of supervised probation and payment of $5,029 in restitution to the Los Alamos Youth Football and Cheerleading League.

    Lidyard had a problem with Jones receiving an early discharge from probation once restitution was paid in full. Lidyard had a differing opinion Wednesday when he learned that once she paid the full amount she would be discharged with a satisfactory discharge on her record.

  • Customers alerted to utility bill changes with county’s new system

    Utility customers in Los Alamos County can expect to see minor changes on the paperwork side of their accounts as the county unveils the first phase of its new enterprise resource planning software operating system Sunday.

    The initial phase of the program, called MUNIS, features a couple of name changes to information listed on the bill each customer receives. Customers will see that the numbers formerly known as the account number will now be called the customer ID number and the numbers formerly known as the location number will now be called the account number.

    “The important thing to note with the customer ID and account number is that the numbers themselves are not changing,” said Julie Williams-Hill, the public relations manager for the department of utilities. “So what used to be your account number is still the same number, it’s just now called the customer ID number.”

    Williams-Hill explained that the customer ID number would now translate into other departments as well.

    “So somebody who’s got a utilities account and also has an account with environmental services will now have a customer ID number that’s the same number used for doing all business instead of having multiple ID numbers,” she said.

  • Woman sentenced for church vandalism

    A 54-year-old Los Alamos woman was sentenced Thursday to 364 days probation and fined $500 plus court costs for vandalizing statues at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

    According to a police report by Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Michael Weiss, the statues were the target of vandalism between March 18 and June 7. In the June 7 incident, officers called to the scene noted that three of the statues were doused with white latex paint. Surveillance video of the incident caught the suspect, Qing Miao, on camera vandalizing the statues.

    While on patrol June 12, Weiss saw Miao in the parking lot and tried to approach her, but she drove off. Weiss pulled her over in a traffic stop.

    “I asked Ms. Miao questions about the vandalism,” Weiss said in his report. “Ms. Miao initially denied that she painted the statues and stated that she was only walking her dog.”

    When told about the surveillance footage, Miao said she was just rubbing the heads of the statues, but then she admitted to Weiss that it was her vandalizing the statues.

    Miao was asked why she would paint the statues and responded, “it’s what I felt.”  Weiss said she found an open can of paint on the property and painted the statues using a tissue in her pocket.