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Local News

  • Teacher walkouts shut Arizona, Colorado schools

     
    PHOENIX (AP) — Teachers in Arizona and Colorado turned their state Capitols into a sea of red Thursday as they kicked off widespread walkouts that shut down public schools in a bid for better pay and education funding, building on educator revolt that emerged elsewhere in the U.S. but whose political prospects were not clear.

    Tens of thousands of teachers wearing red shirts and holding “Money for Schools” signs launched the first-ever statewide strike by marching 2 miles in 90-degree heat to a rally at the Arizona Capitol. They plan to walk out again Friday to press lawmakers for their demands as will Colorado educators.

    Educators in both states want more classroom resources and have received offers either for increased school funding or pay, but they say the money isn’t guaranteed and the efforts don’t go far enough. The walkouts are the climax of an uprising that spread from West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

    Most of Arizona’s public schools will be closed the rest of the week, and about half of all Colorado students will see their schools shuttered over the two days as teachers take up the Arizona movement’s #RedforEd mantle.

  • Construction begins on airport hangars

     

    The Los Alamos County Airport is expanding its current hangar space with the addition of one box hangar and three T hangars.

     

    While the pads have been in place at the location east of the existing hangars for a couple of years now, the steel didn’t start going up until this week. The new metal buildings will allow more covered space for the aircraft at the airport.

    “We currently have 60 based aircraft,” said Los Alamos County Public Works Director Philo Shelton. “This will add space for five more.”

    The hangar farthest from the runway will be the 60-foot by 60-foot box hangar, which could house as many as two aircraft. The three T-hangars can hold as many as two planes each with space for storage.

    The work is being done over an old landfill that was cleaned out and re-filled with compacted fill dirt. This came after the Department of Energy had poured five pads on that end of the property, only to have the ground settle underneath them, making them not fit to put anything on top of them.

  • Feds lose track of 1,475 migrant children

     
    Federal officials lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children last year after a government agency placed the minors in the homes of adult sponsors in communities across the country, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee Thursday.

    The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.

    Federal officials came under fire two years ago after rolling back child protection policies meant for minors fleeing violence in Central America. In a follow-up hearing on Thursday, senators said that the agencies had failed to take full responsibility for their care and had delayed crucial reforms needed to keep them from falling into the hands of human traffickers.

    “You are the worst foster parents in the world. You don’t even know where they are,” said Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. “We are failing. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. And when we fail kids that makes me angry.”

  • Loope to remain in jail until hearing

     

    Marion Loope, a Los Alamos resident, who is accused of putting a knife to her mother’s throat during an argument April 15, will be held in custody without bond until her preliminary hearing, according to a ruling made by Judge Glenn T. Ellington in court Wednesday. 

     

    “The judge granted the safe motion, and she’s being held without bond,” Assistant First Judicial District Attorney Kent Wahlquist said. 

    Loope’s next appearance is in Los Alamos County Magistrate Court is expected to be May 11, when she is scheduled for a preliminary hearing.

    The hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to try her on the charges.

    On April 15, Loope’s mother reported to police that her daughter had attacked her at the home they shared on the 2100 block of 34th Street. 

    According to the police report, during the altercation, Loope apparently accused her mother of taking her medications. The mother then reportedly told Loope to stop acting like she was sick. 

  • Public airs concerns about proposed nuclear waste project near WIPP

     
    Environmental activists, leaders of nuclear safety organizations and New Mexico residents voiced concerns Wednesday during an online meeting about Holtec’s plans to build a temporary holding facility for spent nuclear waste in southeastern New Mexico.

    The company plans to store up to 8,680 tons of spent fuel from nuclear reactors from across the United States. 

    Holtec has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 40-year license for the project. The overall lifespan of the facility is for 120 years. 

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held the meeting Wednesday to gather public comment for Holtec’s environmental review application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the project.

    Many were concerned about the company’s plans to bring waste from all over the country to the facility.

  • Gregorio Trujillo’s Los Alamos preliminary trial postponed

    The courts decided to postpone Los Alamos burglary suspect Gregorio Luis Trujillo’s April 27 preliminary trial so he can be tried for other crimes he is accused of committing in Santa Fe and elsewhere.

    “I’m not OK with releasing him onto the street, I’m OK with releasing him from Los Alamos so Santa Fe can house him,” Assistant First Judicial District Attorney Kent Wahlquist said in court Friday.

    Wahlquist further stated that since Trujillo has multiple cases in Santa Fe and elsewhere, it was agreed that justice would work more quickly if Trujillo’s Santa Fe based attorneys had easier access to him.

    Trujillo’s April preliminary hearing in Los Alamos was reset for May 25.

    Trujillo was released on a $2,000 bond with conditions. Probation can still subject Trujillo to urinalysis, and Trujillo cannot be in contact to his brother, Antonio Trujillo, who was arrested in connection to the Los Alamos burglaries at Pajarito Cliffs.

    Gregorio Trujillo, 29, of Santa Fe and his brother Antonio Trujillo, 30, are accused of burglarizing a county maintenance facility in February, allegedly multiple times.

  • Advisory board sets location for new sculptures

    The Arts in Public Places Advisory Board discussed plaques for two outdoor art exhibits, decided on the location for a third and touched briefly on two other possible future projects during its meeting Thursday.

    The board voted to locate the new Kinetic Wind Sculptures in the open area in front of the Mesa Public Library between the Skate Park and Central Avenue.

    Board member Pete Carson said he and other board members liked the location because it was a place where the sculptures would be visible “from the street, the sidewalk along the street, the entrance to the library and if you’re walking out (of the library) or even walking in from the parking lot.”

    “It’s a pretty visible location,” he continued, “so we thought it would be a good spot for them.”

    Carson said even though there’s no utility hookups currently at the location there is power close enough so that the sculptures could be illuminated at night.

    The meeting opened with a discussion on the installation of an informational plaque for the White Rock Pottery Project, which will be affixed to the railing at the White Rock Visitor Center.

  • Smiles for the Earth
  • County files new argument in sheriff case

    Los Alamos County attorneys filed a reply in Santa Fe First Judicial Court they hope strengthens their position in its argument for an injunction to the Los Alamos County Sheriff from carrying out his duties.

    The county filed its request for the temporary restraining order in October in response to Lucero’s lawsuit against the county. The county, as well as the plaintiff in the case, Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero are scheduled to argue their case in Los Alamos County District Court May 10.

    The county submitted a brief April 20 arguing that because the county voted to become an incorporated county in 1964 and that the residents also voted in 1976 to limit the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff to duties that didn’t include law enforcement, Lucero is violating an amendment in the county charter, a charter that is protected by the state constitution because Los Alamos County is an incorporated county.

    “When the Sheriff of the Incorporated County engages in law enforcement duties, the Sheriff surpasses his lawful authority as given to him by the citizens of the Incorporated County as provided for and permitted by the State constitution, and in doing so, violates the specific constitutional rights of self-government vested in the citizens of the Incorporated County,” a statement in the brief said.

  • Police Beat 4-29-18

    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.

    April 18
    10:38 a.m. –Los Alamos  police arrested an individual on a warrant.
    7:08 p.m. – Los Alamos police investigated and aggravated assault case, and arrested a suspect.
    9:03 p.m. – Trenton Paul Engelking, 20, of Los Alamos was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center.
    9:03 p.m. –  Michael Weiss was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center on a magistrate court bench warrant, attempting to escape the custody of a police officer, aggravated assault against a household member, resisting/evading or obstructing an officer, tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon.
    4 p.m. – Los Alamos police were called out to investigate a suspicious package at Tech Area 55.

    April 19
    2 .a.m. – Los Alamos police referred an emergency evaluation to another agency.