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Local News

  • Hall unseats incumbent for UNM-LA board

    Challenger Michelle K. Hall won the lone contested seat for a spot on the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Advisory Board, beating out incumbent Ron Dolin, who has been on the board since 2009.

    According to County Clerk Sharon Stover, the unofficial results were 251-44.

    When reached at home, Dolin said that he did not have any statement to share with the public at the moment.

    UNM-LA candidate Micheline Devaurs, who went unchallenged, received 243 votes and John Hoffman, who received 234 votes, will replace Nelson.

    The other members of the board, Chair Stephen T. Boerigter and Secretary Linda Hull, do not come up for re-election until 2015.

    Hall was reached at the county clerk’s office shortly after the election results came in to the office Tuesday evening.

    She was glad to see so many people came out to vote in the election.

    “I’m thrilled to see that there was a strong showing of voters and support for UNM-LA overall. That’s a big plus,” Hall said. “I’m also honored to represent our community and to help UNM-LA through these next few years.”

    Hall will take office at the advisory board’s next meeting, March 11.

  • Police, FBI investigating suspected robbery at LANB in WR

    The FBI and Los Alamos Police Department are looking for a woman who robbed Los Alamos National Bank, 77 Rover Blvd., in White Rock this afternoon.

    The suspect is described as a Hispanic or Native American female in her late 20s or early 30s, approximately 5-feet-4 and weighing about 150 pounds.

    She may have a scar or tattoo below her left eye.

    The suspect wore a black jacket over a black hoodie and a gray hoodie. She also had on winter gloves. Frank Fisher from the FBI public affairs office in Albuquerque said no weapon was seen during the robbery.

    Witnesses say the suspect entered the bank shortly before 1:30 p.m. and demanded money from a teller.

    The teller gave an undisclosed amount of money to the suspect, who put the money in a plastic grocery bag and left the bank.

    Anyone with information about this bank robbery is asked to call the Albuquerque FBI Office at (505) 889-1300 (24 hours) or LAPD, (505) 662-8222.

    Bank robbery is punishable by a 20-year prison sentence for each offense, and the penalty increases if a dangerous weapon is used in the commission of the crime.

    LAPD was first on the scene and then the FBI was called in.

  • Briefs 02-05-13

    Authorities find fugitive hiding in Roswell home

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Authorities say a man described as New Mexico’s most wanted violent gang offender has been apprehended in Roswell.
    The Marshals Service says Jeremy Conde was found in a hiding space in the kitchen of a Roswell home after authorities received a tip Sunday.
    The service says Conde is on federal probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm and carjacking.

    Kirtland nuclear command changes Thursday

    ALBUQUERQUE — The command of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base is changing hands.
    The Air Force says Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan on Thursday will assume command of the center from Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak during a ceremony on the base.
    Finan entered the Air National Guard in 1982 as an enlisted cryptographic equipment repair specialist. She received her commission by graduating from office training school.
    She most recently served as a top official for a Department of Energy program that stores and secures nuclear weapons.
    Harencak is being reassigned to the Pentagon to serve as an assistant chief of staff for the Air Force.
    Finan has been nominated for promotion to major general.

    Man sentenced to jail for death of
    Pennsylvania cyclist

  • Supreme Court rules family can sue after 2004 collision

    SANTA FE (AP) - The Supreme Court has ruled that the family of a couple killed in a 2004 head-on collision near Los Alamos can sue the state Transportation Department for failing to install center lane barriers on N.M. 502.
    The high court overturned the Court of Appeals, which had ruled the agency was immune from such lawsuits. But the high court says the department is responsible for maintaining highways, and keeping roads safe is part of that duty.
    The lawsuit argued that the state had previously been warned of the dangers of the winding section of the mountainous road that leads in and out Los Alamos.
    The court ordered a new trial for the family of Donald Espinoza and his pregnant wife Amelia Martinez, who were killed in the collision with Anthony Griego.

  • Broadband survey for county businesses

    Los Alamos County is continuing its market research to assess demand and interest in broadband services, as well as explore preferences regarding methods of financing the Community Broadband Network project and willingness to pay for the various costs to install and operate the network.
    CBN is a “last-mile” fiber network that will provide open and advanced broadband communications access to all county residents, businesses and institutions.
    In an ongoing effort to gather community input, an online survey is now available until Feb. 15 for Los Alamos County businesses.
    The online survey for county citizens can be found at the CBN project website at: losalamosnm.us, keywords search: broadband.
    For more information, call 663-1998 or email CBNProjectManager@lacnm.us.

    From a press release 

  • Committee members sought

    The Los Alamos County Council announced Jan. 29 that it is re-opening the process to apply for membership on the Department of Public Utilities’ Charter Review Committee. Council will appoint a five-member committee to study utilities-related sections of the county’s charter.
    The committee will include one member of council, one member of the Deptartment of Public Utilities’ Board and three citizens who meet any one of the following qualifications:
    • A member of the community with management experience;
    • A member of the community with accounting experience; and
    • A member of the community “at large.”
    Applicants wishing to be considered for appointment to the committee are asked to send a one or two-page letter to the council with their name, address, phone number and email address.
    They are asked to state which of the three positions they are interested in and should furnish information about their employer (if applicable), as well as a listing of their qualifications and experience.

  • Update 02-05-13

    Movie premier

    The premier of Los Alamos resident Samantha Filer’s films, “The Sword of Arundel,” will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the First United Methodist Church, 715 Diamond Dr. The show is free.

    Fixing trash carts

    The Environmental Services Division announced it will fix trash and recycling roll carts free of charge. For more information, call 662-8163.

    Sierra Club

    Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy, will speak on “Securing a future without coal in New Mexico,” at the LASE/Sierra Club meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in media room 203, building two at UNM-LA.

    Have a news tip?

    Send press releases, photos and videos to laeditor@lamonitor.com or contact the newsroom at 662-4185.

    Brown Bag

    February’s Brown Bag performance will feature the Lads of Enchantment Chorus and the Hot Flashes two piano quartet, at noon Wednesday at Fuller Lodge. The event is free and open to the public.

    Free Film Series

     Mesa Public Library presents the Free Film Series, featuring “Rear Window,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. 

  • Audit findings good for NCRTD

    After several rocky years of financial disorder, the North Central Regional Transit District has had its second good audit.

    The audit was on time with very few findings. Even having the audit completed on time has been a major success.

    “The past two audits have shown marked improvement in terms of internal controls as well as timeliness of getting the audits done. While there were findings, the trend is in the right direction,” Council Chair Geoff Rodgers said. Rodgers is the current council representative on the NCRTD board and serves as treasurer. “I think this is a tribute to Mr. Mortillaro’s and the staff’s professionalism. That being said, we all realize there is still more we can do to improve.”

    Anthony Mortillaro was named executive director in September 2011.

    It is difficult to find what led to three years of unfiled audits with findings ranging from unauthorized salary increases to missing disbursement documentation.

  • Salazar earns LANL lifetime achievement award

     Members of the House of Representative applaud the honor bestowed to Rep. Nick Salazar (D- Colfax, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel- 40) by the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  LANL presented Rep. Salazar with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at a breakfast in Santa Fe last week.

     Rep. Salazar received the highest honor recognizing his profound and significant contributions during his 63 years of service which include expanding opportunities for research and development, small business and minority business development, transfer of technology initiatives, math and science programs, job training and development while advocating for stringent environmental protection regulations.  He always fiercely argued that we must work toward striking a balance.

  • Rio Grande Foundation releases city, county payrolls including Los Alamos

    The Rio Grande Foundation has requested and published payroll data for the 35 largest cities throughout New Mexico and all 33 counties in the state.

    Some cities including Albuquerque and Rio Rancho post payroll information online. Bernalillo County also posts salary data on its website. However, few city website has a comprehensive listing of payroll data from New Mexico cities and counties. 

    Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing said of his organization’s role in releasing the data, “Taxpayers are the ultimate ‘bosses’ of government workers and should have access to this data. Government is the only ‘business’ in which the boss often doesn’t have access to the company payroll.”

    Under New Mexico law, employee salary data is already public information, available on request from the county or city government. Now, thanks to legislation passed during the 2011 legislative session, this and other data must be made available in a format preferred by the requestor.  

    "Unfortunately, being required to comply with a request and actual compliance are not the same thing. All counties complied with our requests, but several cities including Bernalillo, Las Vegas, and Roswell failed to comply," Gessing said.