Local News

  • LA state candidates in tight race to the end

    Los Alamos County had its eye on two state races this primary, with Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43) running for land commissioner and two Democratic candidates vying for the 43rd District position.

    Both races were too close to call as of press time.

    When Garcia Richard announced she was running for state land commissioner, residents of District 43 knew there would be a tight race to fill the seat, as the Republicans sought to reclaim the seat. Republicans held the seat for 20 years until Garcia Richard was elected in 2012. 

    Democratic County Councilor Pete Sheehey announced his bid in December 2017 and Christine Chandler started running for the District 43 primary race in January. 

    Chandler was leading with 1,743 votes, and Sheehey had 1,500 votes statewide at 11 p.m.

    “I’m feeling optimistic at this point that I will carry the race, We still see strong numbers coming in for us,” Chandler said when reached by phone at 11 p.m.

  • Democrats nominate Lujan Grisham for New Mexico governor

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Democrats chose three-term U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham as their nominee for governor Tuesday in hopes of reclaiming the state's top office after two terms of Republican control.

    U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce ran unopposed for the Republican nod and moved on to November's general election. Lujan Grisham could become the nation's second elected Latina governor if she succeeds GOP Gov. Susana Martinez, who cannot run for a consecutive third term.

    Democrats in the nation's most Hispanic state accounted for about two-thirds of Election Day balloting as voters decided competitive primary races for two wide-open congressional seats and several statewide offices.

    Lujan Grisham campaigned on making a clean break with the state's Republican administration to dramatically expand early childhood education, boost public and private investment in renewable energy, and make it easier for immigrants in the country illegally and others to obtain state driving credentials.

    Her victory against two primary opponents set up a showdown between an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump on immigration issues and a member of the hard-right Freedom Caucus in Congress who campaigned for Trump in 2016.

  • The Latest: Polls close in New Mexico primary election

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) —  Albuquerque attorney Brian Colon has won the Democratic nomination in the race for New Mexico state auditor.

    He will face off against the sole Republican challenger, State Auditor Wayne Johnson, in the November general election.

    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Johnson to the position after Democrat Tim Keller stepped down and took over as Albuquerque mayor.

    Colon is a former state Democratic Party chairman who now lives in Albuquerque. He grew up in Las Cruces and started his career there. In 2010, he ran to be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

    Colon said during the campaign that the most important role of the auditor is to fight waste, fraud and abuse. He called for promoting a fraud hotline that would allow residents to report suspicious activity.


    9:15 p.m.

    State Rep. Yvette Herrell has won the Republican nomination for New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District as the party looks to keep control of the seat along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Herrell on Tuesday finished ahead of a field that included former state GOP chairman Monty Newman and former U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs official Gavin Clarkson.

  • Primary elections voting underway in Los Alamos

    Voting in Tuesday’s primary elections was steady through the noon hour as the Los Alamos County Clerk’s office prepared for the closing of the polls a few hours later.

    “It’s been going well,” said county clerk Naomi Maestas. “Hopefully we’ll have all the ballots in by 7 or 7:15.”

    While the polls close at 7 p.m., Maestas said voters already in line at that time would be allowed to vote.

    Maestas said the county’s total for early voting, which closed Saturday night, was 1,848 ballots cast to go with 28 absentee ballots received by mail.

    As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 297 people had voted at the Municipal Building, 211 at the White Rock Town Hall, 177 at the golf course community building and 56 at the Betty Ehart Senior Citizen.

  • Police Beat 6-3-18

    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.

    May 18
    1:49 a.m.-Armando Gonzales, 19, of Espanola was arrested in White Rock on a Magistrate Court bench warrant.
    2:22 a.m.-Los Alamos police responded to an aggravated battery report at Los Alamos Medical Center. The case is still active.
    9 a.m.-Los Alamos police investigated a residential burglary. The case is still active.
    6:40 p.m.-Los Alamos police responded to a juvenile male runaway. The case is inactive.
    8:40 p.m.-Los Alamos police responded to a dog bite case.The case is still active.

    May 20
    8:18 p.m.- Los Alamos police arrested an individual at the Giant for aggravated DUI.
    9:01 p.m.-Los Alamos police responded to a group of people who left the Pajarito Brew Pub without paying.
    10:10 p.m.- Monica L. Cooper, 51, of Los Alamos was arrested for aggravated DUI and refusing to take a chemical test.

    May 21

  • Sheriff’s candidate Rich stresses communication

    Long-time Los Alamos County resident Hugh Rich wants it known he won’t be asking for a lot if elected the county’s sheriff.

    Rich, who’s running as a Republican against James Whitehead in Tuesday’s primary, simply wants a working relationship with the county’s council and its citizens.

    “I will work with county council and the community to see what we can do, but I won’t be asking for an inflated budget or any lawsuits,” he said.

    Rich knows the community is divided on the status of the sheriff’s office based on November 2017 election results in which Los Alamos voters passed a resolution to keep the office.

    “I know that some people voted for the resolution for keeping the sheriff,” he said. “Some voted for it based on the fact they were upset with the county council’s actions and obviously some people voted against it, which has divided this community.”

    Rich feels it’s clear that a lack of communication with the county council “has put us where we’re at,” adding, “With my stance, I won’t ask for inflated budgets, I won’t ask for lawsuits, I won’t ask for miscommunication … I believe all of that has been done by the current situation.”

  • Colón pledges to fight fraud and corruption

    Democratic State auditor candidate Brian Colón was in the last stretch of his campaign last week, traveling up and down the highways of the state with his message of how the people can help him make the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor stronger. He said he plans to stay on that message right up until Tuesday’s primary.

    “I really want to keep building on the foundation it has now as an office that fights waste, fraud and abuse,” Colón, an Albuquerque attorney, said. “That’s really my focus.”

    Colón said he’s uniquely qualified for the job, given his combined professional background in law and finance.

    “The people who called me about the state auditor’s office were very persuasive. They said ‘look, you got the combined background of our last two auditors (Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas) who have been very practical in making a difference in New Mexico’” Colón said. “For me, it seemed like a perfect intersection of not just qualifications, but experience.”

  • In the Lab: High-impact, hands-on materials scientist

    George “Rusty” Thompson Gray III is a tactile person. As a Los Alamos materials scientist, he uses high-powered gas guns to subject materials to dynamic forces, examining the resulting damage patterns to understand why materials fail.

    Outside of work, he uses his hands to modify materials – creating elaborate stained glass and woven baskets and tending the hives of thousands of bees.

    For more than 30 years, Gray has made essential contributions to the laboratory’s national security science mission.

    He’s made a name for himself within the materials science community.

    He was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering and is the only current Lab employee in the organization.

    “I sometimes wonder what my life would’ve been like in academia. But I wanted to defend the country and contribute to national security as well as publish papers and do research,” said Gray, a team leader in Materials Science in Radiation and Dynamics Extremes (MST-8). “I like science, engineering and being able to lead science that helps the Lab.”

  • County prepares for Tues. primary

    Of the total 10,126 Los Alamos County voters registered for primary elections Tuesday, 1,538 had cast early votes as of Friday afternoon.

    Residents had one more chance to take part in early voting, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the County Municipal building and at White Rock Town Hall. Voting will be closed Sunday and Monday.

    On June 5, the day of the primaries, the White Rock Town Hall and the County Municipal Building will be open for voters, as will be the Los Alamos County Golf Course Building and the Betty Ehart Center in Los Alamos. 

    The polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Only registered Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians can participate in early voting and the primaries. Registered in Los Alamos County are 5,391 Democrats, 4,548 Republicans and 187 Libertarians. As long as voters are in line at either polling place by 7 p.m. voters can vote, even if the clock goes past 8 p.m.

    “If we have 50 voters in line at 7 p.m., every voter will vote that night. We will not close down until every voter has voted,” Los Alamos County Election Manager Gloria Maestas said.

  • County closes LA Reservoir as fire danger looms

    The implementation of the Stage 3 fire restrictions by the Santa Fe National Forest means the closing of the Los Alamos Reservoir until the restrictions are lifted.

    While Los Alamos County owns the reservoir, the actual land around the body of water is owned by the SFNF and Department of Energy.

    Clay Moseley, an engineering project manager with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, said he’s as disappointed as anyone that the reservoir is now closed until the restrictions are lifted.

    “Nobody hates it worse than I do,” he said. “I coach kids, our family hikes, we run, ride mountain bikes … our whole life is open space and trails. So it’s pretty painful.”

    In the meantime, officials are taking measures to make sure access to the reservoir is limited to authorized vehicles only – even after the restrictions are lifted – by changing locks on the gate that’s meant to keep vehicles off the road to the reservoir.

    Moseley said he has heard reports – and seen pictures – of cars that had gained illegal access through the gate and driven up that road.