Local News

  • Today in History August 16th
  • Santa Fe legislator Stephen Easley dies at age 60

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Rep. Stephen Easley, a Santa Fe Democrat in his first term in the New Mexico Legislature, has died at the age of 60.

    House Speaker W. Ken Martinez said Easley died Wednesday after a prolonged illness. The cause of death or details of his illness weren't released.

    Easley was elected in 2012 to a district covering parts of Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia counties.

    He operated an information technology consulting business and had worked in state government, including as the Department of Public Safety's chief information officer in 2007-2010.

    Before moving to Santa Fe, Easley was an Alamogordo city commissioner from 2000 to 2003.

    The speaker described Easley as a "valued and well-respected colleague."

    Gov. Susana Martinez said flags will be flown at half-staff in honor of Easley.

  • NM court upholds religious leader's convictions

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the convictions of a New Mexico religious group leader for sexual misconduct with teenage followers.

    Wayne Bent, 72, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for criminal sexual contact with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    Bent's son, Jeff, said the ruling will be appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

    "I feel he was railroaded at trial. He is my dad and I have known him all my life to be a man of spotless integrity," the younger Bent said in an email statement. "He may be guilty of being controversial but he is not a sex offender."

    The elder Bent was convicted for lying in bed with naked 14- and 16-year-old sisters in separate incidents in 2006. He and the sisters testified that nothing happened sexually and that the incidents were spiritual exercises.

    Bent also testified he had placed his hands on the girls' sternums rather than their breasts.

    Bent is the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church. He claims God spoke to him in 2000 and told him he was the Messiah. His followers live in a compound that they call Strong City, in a rural area in northeastern New Mexico near Clayton.

  • New Teen Center director named

     Sylvan Argo, current Community Programs director at The Family YMCA, has been named the new director of the Los Alamos Teen Center. The position was left vacant when Michelangelo Lobato was hired by Los Alamos Public School District as a counselor for Chamisa Elementary School.

    "I believe the Teen Center is a critical asset for our community, and I am excited by the opportunity to explore, create and promote programs, including the development of a new space, that support the teens of Los Alamos," said Argo.

    Argo graduated Cum Laude from Whitman College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned distinction on coursework for a master’s degree in Human Ecology from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.

    She has lived in Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, Mozambique and Egypt and holds an avid personal interest in community development. Her personal credo is to embrace cultural differences and promote positive communication between individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and ages.

    She moved to Los Alamos in 1998 and graduated from Los Alamos High School with “the class of Cerro Grande.”

    "I can identify with life as a teen in Los Alamos, and appreciate our community for the assets it provides to support our youth."

  • Health office to offer immunization clinic

    The New Mexico Department of Health’s Los Alamos Public Health Office will be hosting a back to school immunization clinic Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Los Alamos Public Health Office, 1183 Diamond Drive Suite D.
    The immunization clinic is open to the public and free of charge.
    The special clinic is part of the Got Shots? Protect Tots! immunization campaign. The New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico Immunization Coalition (NMIC), the New Mexico Primary Care Association (NMPCA), and healthcare providers from across the state are partnering again to host immunization clinics from Aug. 3-17 for children 18 years old and younger.
    Parents should bring a copy of their child’s shot record and Medicaid or private health insurance card.
    For more information on the no-charge immunization clinic, call the Los Alamos Public Health Office at 662-4038.

  • Reorganization aims to save money

    The consolidation of two division manager’s positions into one for the new Parks, Recreation and Open Space division will net considerable savings for Los Alamos County, despite upgrading two positions.

    The division manager’s grade will increase from grade 32 to 34, with a salary range of $95,348–$115,847. The parks superintendent is also upgraded from 25 to 26 to compensate for the additional duties, with a pay range of $50,660–$78,410. Exact salaries will be determined when the contracts are finalized.

    The full time employee (FTE) position vacated by Dick McIntyre will be reassigned as a parks maintenance specialist I, which Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan said the parks are “desperate” for.

    “There has been a great expansion over 10 years to include additional parks such as the dog parks and the RV park, new recreation areas such as the skate park, the disc golf course and the mini golf, an enlarged Camp May. There are open space and trails, including Canyon Rim. They’ve taken on the medians, the streetscapes, Art in Public Places, where they’re often called in to design and install bases, and then landscaping and maintenance for all the new buildings.”

  • Update 08-15-13

    Butterfly count

    The 21st Annual Los Alamos Butterfly Meet 8:30 a.m. Saturday at PEEC or 9 a.m. at Burnt Mesa Trailhead.

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at White Rock Fire Station No. 3.


    The public is invited to a reception on Aug. 23 wishing Police Chief Wayne Torpy farewell as he retires from county service. The reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.. at the Justice Center.


    The Environmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the Municpal Building.

    Swearing in

    The public is invited to attend the official “swearing in” ceremony for newly-appointed Probate Judge Christine Chandler at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. First District Court Judge Sylvia LaMar will administer the oath of office. 

  • Parks and Recreation Dept. reorganizes

    The retirement of Parks Division Manager Dick McIntyre has prompted a reorganization of Parks and Recreation.

    “Whenever a major figure retires, it’s always a good time to look at how you do business, and are there things that need addressing or changing or improving or just a different model than you’ve had for all these years,” said Community Services Director Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan.

    Instead of separate division managers for parks and recreation, with open space a facet of parks, the entire unit will be integrated under one division manager and renamed Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

    Recreation Division Manager Randy Smith will be promoted to the new position. Some of the parks manager’s duties will be reassigned to Parks Superintendent Jeff Humpton.

    Council approved the reorganization as well as new job descriptions for the community and economic development director and three hydroelectric positions in the Department of Utilities by a 7–0 vote.

    “Part of what we’re trying to do is consolidate parks and rec so there is more interplay between the function and programming of a park and how the recreation division does events,” Kalogeros-Chattan said. “There’s a lot of opportunity there for collaboration.”

  • Today in History August 15th
  • Corrections 08-14-13

    Susan Gisler RN, MSN, CPNP is also a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, as well as an RN having received a master’s degree and PNP certificate. She has been at the clinic since 1989. The Business Spotlight in last Friday’s edition did not fully address Gisler’s credentials.

    Cyndi Wells pays $16.53 per square feet in rent for Pet Pangaea. The wrong dollar amount was reported in a story two weeks ago.

    In “Council appoints probate judge Tuesday,” published in Sunday’s Los Alamos Monitor, probate judge candidate Yvonne M. Deshayes was incorrectly identified as “lead tax attorney for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.” Deshayes is lead tax accountant for the laboratory.