Local News

  • Police find Mesa Library flasher suspect

    Police on Saturday picked up a man suspected of exposing himself to two female patrons at the Mesa Public Library June 28.

    Police picked Gustavio Salaiz up in the area of 20th Street and Central Avenue, according to the police report. Information about Slalaiz’s age and address in the report was redacted by the Los Alamos County Municipal Court.

    Officers issued him a summons to appear in Los Alamos County Municipal Court for indecent exposure. A court date has not yet been set. Police were able to identify Salaiz through a photograph the victim took of the suspect on her phone shortly after the incident happened, according to the report.

    “The male from the victim’s picture still wearing dark shorts and red socks and red shoes,” LAPD Cpl. Robert Larsen said in a police report.

    The victim told police that while sitting in the southeastern corner of the library, Salaiz stood next to her, appearing to look for a book. He then walked away, only to come back a short time later and exposed himself to her, according to the report.

    As he walked away, the suspect looked over his shoulder, and the victim took his picture.

    The incident happened at 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Mesa Public Library.

  • Owners hope Bob’s Bodacious BBQ takes off

    Bob’s Bodacious BBQ may be under new ownership, but that ownership wants to assure its customers it plans on continuing to serve the same barbecue that’s made it such a popular Los Alamos eatery.

    “We may make some changes over time, but if it’s a successful model why break it?” said Lyle Cunningham. “We have no intention of doing anything drastic. If we start getting negative feedback then guess what? It goes back the other way. Your goal is to improve and not fall behind.”

    Cunningham and his wife, Gayle, purchased the restaurant from Frank Good and Pamela Hushman and celebrated its grand re-opening Monday evening.

    “Frank and Pam were ready to step away and they wanted to go play some golf and enjoy Florida,” Lyle Cunningham said. “They gave us the option to take a look at it. We liked what we saw and were able to negotiate a good transfer.”

    The Cunninghams also own Papa Murphy’s, which is located in the Hilltop Center on Arkansas Avenue at the opposite end from their new restaurant.

    After purchasing Papa Murphy’s about four years ago, they entered into discussions with Good and Hushman to purchase the barbecue restaurant earlier this year.

  • Special sessions meeting set for July 11

    County Council will meet for a special session to discuss options and preparations needed to address a potential shortfall in gross receipts taxes resulting from the recent contract award by the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Los Alamos National Security operations and management contract to Trial National Security, LLC.

    The meeting is set for at 6 p.m. July 11 in Council Chambers.

    The county expects it might be without about $20 million in annual gross receipts taxes if Triad files as a nonprofit entity with the state.

    The county council will consider options at the special session meeting, possibly including revenue enhancements or reductions in service, beginning later in 2018.

    Los Alamos County has already approved a flat budget for the next fiscal year given the currently unknown impact of a change in the laboratory’s management contract, and anticipated the need to develop a revised budget once the details of the new contractor’s tax status became known. The contract is expected to be in place Nov.1, and the county would need to be prepared to implement changes in the fall.

    The meeting is open to the public and will be given an opportunity to provide comment. The meeting will also be televised on PAC-8 and streamed at losalamosnm.us/government/county_council.

  • LANL marks 75 years of discovery

    When J. Robert Oppenheimer invited the world’s top scientists, physicists, engineers and technicians to Los Alamos in 1943 to build the world’s first nuclear weapon, no one really knew what the results were going to be.

    What they did know however, was that they had to succeed at all costs, as intelligence reports told them the Axis Powers were working toward the same goal. 

    Seventy five years later, just yards away from where plans for the first nuclear bomb were developed, the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s 11th director, Terry Wallace, talked about what Oppenheimer’s plans meant to the world, and New Mexico’s future.

    “Over a series of lectures, they came up with a plan, and that plan was to do something they had never done before,” Wallace said. “… They weren’t going to be just physicists, they weren’t going to be just chemists, they weren’t going to be just engineers they had to be able to have the world’s best technicians, they had to be able to have the world’s best craft to be able to build the facilities around us.”

    Wallace said that blueprint of hiring the best people to work on the world’s most difficult problems has been serving the nation and the world ever since.

  • Scout ranch closes backcountry activities due to fire threat

    CIMARRON (AP) — A Boy Scouts ranch in northern New Mexico is closing its summer backcountry season due to continued threat from extreme wildfire conditions in the region.

    Philmont Scout Ranch's announcement Thursday says the closure of backcountry activities such as camping, hiking and climbing was forced by a lightning-caused wildfire that closed activity areas used since a previous fire burned part of the ranch.

    The mountainous ranch covers 219 square miles (567 sq. kilometers) and includes hundreds of miles of trails and dozens of camps.

    Philmont says its backcountry will be closed the rest of the summer but the headquarters, base camp, museum and training center courses aren't affected.

    A fire that started May 31 burned 57 square miles (148 sq. kilometers), including 41 square miles  (106 sq. kilometers) on the ranch.

  • White Rock hosts patriotic Fourth of July celebration

    The Fourth of July Celebration in White Rock started solemnly Wednesday morning, as hundreds of residents lined Grand Canyon Drive to see veterans march by with an American flag that once flew over the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

    The veterans started early in the morning at the national cemetery and escorted the Old Glory to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. The flag was handed over to a local Boy Scouts troop at the church and then raised on the flagpole as patriotic music played in the background. The group sang the Star Spangled Banner and said the Pledge of Allegiance.

    The popular children’s parade followed the ceremony as children on bikes, in wagons and on top of parents’ shoulders made their way down a side street to circle back to Grand Canyon Drive. The parade ended with a festival full of games, food and music on the church’s grounds.

    Click here to see a slideshow of pictures of the White Rock Fourth of July celebrations.

  • Bandelier Monument to host July 4th citizen ceremony

    LOS ALAMOS (AP) — A group of immigrants will be sworn in as U.S. citizens during a special July 4th ceremony at the Bandelier National Monument.

    U.S. District Court Judge M. Christina Armijo is scheduled to administer the Oath of Allegiance to 16 citizenship candidates.

    Officials say the new citizens are from Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is welcoming around 14,000 new U.S. citizens in more than 175 Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country between June 28 and July 10.

  • State Land Office to donate pump jack to San Juan College

    The controversial pump jack, a symbol of the oil and gas industry that is displayed outside the State Land Office in Santa Fe, is headed to San Juan College.

    Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has donated the replica pump jack to the college in Farmington because of its strong oil and gas program and neat building, according to the land office’s spokesman.

    “They (SJC) also agreed to display the pumpjack in front of the new building,” said Spokesman Gerald Garner.

    Dunn, who was elected in 2014 as a Republican, is not running for re-election. He is instead running for the U.S. senate as a Libertarian.

    The pump jack was installed in the garden area in front of the land office in August 2015, replacing a sculpture called “Brickface Hope,” which was moved back to a gallery in Santa Fe, at Dunn’s personal expense.

    The pump jack is a working model of an oil and gas pump jack, powered by solar energy. It represents the “Flynn-Welch-Yates State #3” well, which was the first commercial oil well on State Trust Lands, drilled in 1924 in Eddy County.

    Dunn said the pump jack was chosen to symbolize the critical role the oil and gas industry played in New Mexico and at the State Land Office.

  • 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.