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Local News

  • Today in History, May 6th
  • Soccer referee punched by player in Utah dies

    MURRAY, Utah (AP) — Ricardo Portillo's daughters had begged him to stop refereeing in a soccer league because of the growing risk of violence from angry players.

    Now they're faced with planning his funeral after he succumbed to injuries late Saturday that had put him in a coma for a week since a 17-year-old goalie punched him in the head.

    Authorities say the teen punched Portillo after the youth was called for a foul and issued a yellow card.

    "The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call," Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal said in a statement.

    The suspect has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault. Hoyal said authorities will consider additional charges since the 46-year-old Salt Lake City man has died.

    Hoyal said an autopsy is planned. No cause of death was released.

    Portillo suffered swelling in his brain and had been listed in critical condition, Dr. Shawn Smith said Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.

    The victim's family spoke publicly of Portillo's plight this past week, but has asked for privacy, Hoyal said.

  • Bride, 4 others die in limo fire on Calif. bridge

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When one of the nine women in his limousine complained about smoke, Orville Brown pulled to the side of a San Francisco Bay bridge to check. As he got out, the back of the vehicle became engulfed in flames.

    A newlywed bride and eight of her friends were still inside, but passersby quickly pulled three from the burning Lincoln Town Car late Saturday night. And one woman managed to reach safety by squeezing through the partition from the passenger section to the driver's compartment, Brown told authorities.

    But five others, including the bride whose marriage they were celebrating on a girls' night out, became trapped.

    The five were found dead as firefighters doused the vehicle — all huddled near the partition, apparently unable to squeeze through.

    "My guess would be they were trying to get away from the fire and use that window opening as an escape route," said San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault, who also relayed some of the comments the driver made to investigators.

    The San Mateo Fire Department was looking into the cause of the fire, while the coroner's office was working with the California Highway Patrol to determine if anything criminal occurred.

    "We don't believe there" was, Foucrault said.

  • Today in History May 5th
  • Trail plan ready for review

    In recent meetings about “branding” Los Alamos, the county’s trail system was mentioned repeatedly and passionately as an asset. 

    With approximately 60 miles of formal trails and 40 miles of informal trails, the system is double the size of Santa Fe’s and far beyond the scope of most communities.

    However, the system has some noticeable weaknesses, such as a lack of signage and poor connectivity. In the first step toward correcting some of those flaws, the county’s Parks Division retained the Trail Solutions program of the International Mountain Bike Association to assess the network and develop a Community Trail Plan.

  • State officials to impose fire restrictions next week

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Fire danger is high across New Mexico, and state officials announced Friday that they will impose fire restrictions for all 33 counties starting next week.

    The restrictions will take effect Wednesday at 8 a.m. They will prohibit the use of fireworks, campfires and other open fires. Smoking will only be allowed in buildings, on paved surfaces or in vehicles with ashtrays.

    Officials said the restrictions will apply on all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands in New Mexico and will remain in effect until rescinded.

    “New fire starts are becoming difficult to control,” said State Forester Tony Delfin. “I’m urging all state residents affected to follow the restriction guidelines to protect lives and property in their communities.”

  • Trail plan ready for review

     

    In recent meetings about “branding” Los Alamos, the county’s trail system was mentioned repeatedly and passionately as an asset. 

    With approximately 60 miles of formal trails and 40 miles of informal trails, the system is double the size of Santa Fe’s and far beyond the scope of most communities.

    However, the system has some noticeable weaknesses, such as a lack of signage and poor connectivity. In the first step toward correcting some of those flaws, the county’s Parks Division retained the Trail Solutions program of the International Mountain Bike Association to assess the network and develop a Community Trail Plan.

  • Bandelier opens iconic archaeological site

    LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — One of the most popular sites at Bandelier National Monument is open again.

    Monument officials announced Friday that the public can again visit the Alcove House site. Accessible only by a series wooden ladders and steep stone steps, the site is perched in a niche along Frijoles Canyon.

    The site was closed in April due to concerns over structural stability of the kiva. The walls of the structure have loosened and there are other signs of severe erosion.

    The kiva is now fenced off, but visitors can still climb the ladders to access the niche. Signs are posted to keep visitors from walking around the kiva.

    Monument spokeswoman Claudia Brookshire says another closure is planned in late fall 2013, when crews will repair the cracks in the kiva walls.

  • Visitors rescued in two different Bandelier incidents

    Monument staff, supported by county resources including the Los Alamos Police and Fire Departments, were involved in two rescues in the last two weeks - one of a couple on Saturday May 4 and the other of a group last Friday.

    In both cases, the lost parties were rescued safely. Around midnight on Saturday, the Los Alamos Police Department’s dispatch received a call from a couple in Bandelier’s backcountry. The couple had planned to hike the 15 mile loop from Ponderosa campground to Yapashi Pueblo and back to Frijoles Canyon where they had parked a second car. They hiked through the strenuous Alamo and Lummis Canyons before sunset but as it got dark the couple realized they could not find their way without flashlights and called 911.

    After the call was received, police officers contacted the monument’s Chief Ranger and crews gathered in Frijoles Canyon to begin the search. Before hiking to the couple, police were able to get in touch with them on their cell phone. They were in good condition with food and water but were getting cold. Searchers were able to deduce that the couple was on the trail between Lummis and Frijoles Canyon. Around 1:15 am two Los Alamos County police officers hiked into the backcountry and made contact with the couple at 2:28 am.

  • Orb rallies to win Kentucky Derby

     

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Orb splashed through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby, coming from way back in the pack and giving Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first victory in the 3-year-old classic.

    When the field turned for home on the cool, overcast Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs, Normandy Invasion grabbed the lead while Orb was gearing up. But in the deep stretch, Orb prevailed, carrying Joel Rosario to his first Derby win.

    Long shot Golden Soul was second with Revolutionary third.

    Normandy Invasion faded to fourth.