Today's News

  • State reports first 2 cases of West Nile virus

    The state health department confirmed Thursday two people were infected this year with West Nile virus.

    The cases involved a 43-year-old San Juan County man and a 71-year-old Doña Ana County woman. Both were taken to the hospital.

    Mosquito populations remained on the rise after weeks of rain statewide, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

    “Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, where hundreds of mosquitoes can emerge at once and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for a person to get sick,” said Department of Health spokesman David Morgan.

    Last year, there were 33 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in New Mexico, including one fatal case, and in 2016, there were
    six confirmed West Nile virus cases in New Mexico, with one reported death.

    West Nile virus is regularly transmitted by mosquitoes around the state, and can be fatal.

    People ages 50 and older are at higher risk of having serious consequences from infection with West Nile virus and should be especially careful to avoid mosquito bites, Morgan said.

  • Scouting mission underway along proposed Rio Grande Trail

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A couple of hikers have embarked on a 500-mile (805-kilometer) expedition that will traverse New Mexico from end to end.

    The mission: Chart out the best route and identify what challenges might lay ahead as the state moves closer to establishing the Rio Grande Trail.

    Following in the footsteps of other states, New Mexico is looking to capitalize on its vistas, mild weather and culture with the creation of a long-distance trail along one of North America's longest rivers.

    Officials say outdoor recreation in New Mexico is already a multi-billion-dollar industry and the Appalachian, the Continental

    Divide and other famous long-distance trails have proven to be beacons for attracting visitors.

    The Rio Grande Trail Commission just approved the official logo for the trail and a master plan is expected to be rolled out later this year.

  • Rio Arriba county commissioner Trujillo indicted on felony counts

    A Rio Arriba County Grand Jury has indicted County Commissioner Barney Trujillo on three felony counts, including one felony count of unlawful interest in a public contract, and one felony count of campaign contribution disclosure and prohibition, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Thursday.

    Trujillo, a Democrat from Chimayo, has been a county commissioner since 2010. He served on the Legislative Council Service from 1998-1999 and worked in the State Land Office for 10 years, from 2000-2010, according to the county website.

    He ran unsuccessfully for the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2016.

    According to an article in the Albuquerque Journal, investigators with the attorney general’s office were accompanied by New Mexico State police when they executed a search warrant and raided Trujillo’s home in January 2017.  

    The article also said the attorney’s general’s office filed suit against the Española Public Schools in January 2017 for failing to provide documents, including emails, that were sought relating to Trujillo’s company, which held a $50,000-a-year, no-bid contract with the school district for marketing services.

  • Conservation Voters NM looks to bash Pearce over ties to oil, gas industry

    The Conservation Voters New Mexico plans to spend about $500,000 to highlight the ties between Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce and the oil and gas industry, according to the Associated Press.

    Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Demis Foster said Wednesday that television and online ads take aim at Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce for accepting campaign donations from the oil and gas sector while siding with the industry in Congress.

    A television ad paid for by the conservation group's Verde Voters Fund says Pearce voted to make it easier to privatize public land.

    Pearce campaign spokesman Kevin Sheridan called that accusation false and ridiculous. He notes that Verde Voters Fund is supported by contributions from billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    The Conservation Voters New Mexico and CVNM Action Fund endorsed the entire slate of Democrats running for state office across the board, releasing the list Friday but admitted no other candidates were considered because they did not fill out the group’s questionnaire.

    The group also endorsed Democrat Andrea Romero, who has been found negligent in two critical investigations that probed her financial management of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.

  • LAHS volleyball struggles against St. Michael’s

    With a deadly combination of size and speed, the St. Michael’s High School volleyball team is one of the frontrunners for a state championship in Class 3A this season. Tuesday in Santa Fe, the Lady Horsemen proved to be too much for Los Alamos High School to handle, as the Hilltoppers fell 3-1. 

    From the first serve of the match, it was obvious that it would be a challenge for the Hilltoppers to keep up, as the Lady Horsemen always seemed to be in the right spot on the floor, jumping out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first set. 

    After falling behind 12-2 in the set, LAHS seemed to settle down a bit and played with more confidence, but the deficit was too large to overcome as the Hilltoppers fell 25-12 to go down 1-0. 

    The second set was far more competitive, as the Hilltoppers grabbed an early lead and hung with the Lady Horsemen through the middle part of the set. However, the LAHS blockers struggled to defend against the strong attacking of St. Michael’s in the latter part of the set, falling into a hole once again. 

    Despite a tough effort, the Hilltoppers lost the second set 25-19 to go down 2-0. 

  • Volleyball drops second straight road game

    Despite playing well for much of the match, the Los Alamos High School volleyball team struggled to close out sets against Santa Fe High and fell Thursday night 3-1. 

    The Hilltoppers entered the match hoping to rebound after a loss earlier this week against St. Michael’s, and got off to a much better start against a tough Demonettes team. 

    After falling behind 11-6 in the first set, LAHS quickly rebounded to take a 14-13 lead on an ace serve by Elodie Thelliez. The Hilltoppers were unable to extend that lead, however, as Santa Fe quickly gained control again. Though Thelliez, Gracie Swenson and Elise Olivas picked up big points at the end of the set, the Hilltoppers fell behind 1-0 with a 25-20 loss. 

    The second set was the best of the night for LAHS, but it was far from perfect. After taking a 12-10 lead on a kill by Gabriella Duran, the Hilltoppers were outscored 10-1 over the next 11 points, and fell behind 19-13. That’s when the team picked up its energy, as Natalie Gallegos picked up a powerful kill and Kyla Sandoval followed with an impressive ace serve to cut the deficit to 19-16. 

  • Atomic City Update: LAHS coaches create great sense of community

    During the opening weekend of fall sports at Los Alamos High School, several things made me smile and proud to be a part of this community. All of the teams were victorious, the crowds were loud and supportive and the atmosphere was exhilarating. 

    However, the thing that made me happier than anything was seeing coaches of other sports supporting the fall sports along with the rest of the fans. 

    I arrived at the LAHS volleyball game on Saturday about an hour before the varsity team took the court. I watched the JV game in its entirety and was impressed at how many other people arrived early to watch the young players. 

    Lanse Carter, the new girls’ basketball coach at LAHS, arrived and sat right next to me at the media table in the middle of the bleachers. He sat there for the entire varsity match, taking time to talk to some of the fans while cheering for the Hilltoppers. 

    After the match ended, we were talking and he said that at his previous schools, he had not spent much time watching volleyball, but felt that it was important to make a good first impression at LAHS and that he enjoyed watching the team. 

  • LAHS earns fourth place at Cernicek tourney

    For the first time in four years, the first place trophy for the Louie Cernicek Memorial Tournament does not belong to the Los Alamos High School boys’ soccer team. 

    After winning its opening match Friday morning 5-1 over Los Lunas, the team could not keep the momentum rolling into Saturday. LAHS played the first match of the day Saturday morning against Clovis, falling 2-0. Then, in the third place match, the Hilltoppers fell again, this time 3-2 against Roswell to earn fourth place at the tournament. 

    It was clear early in the game against Clovis that offensive opportunities would be hard to come by. The forward combination of Arthur Steinkamp and Aiden Semelsberger had a difficult time getting through the defense of Clovis, and every attempted pass over the top of the defense was quickly cleared away. 

    Things became even more difficult seven minutes into the game, as Clovis’ Elias Ortega found the back of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead. 

  • Cross country impresses at UNM Invitational

    Both cross country teams started the season strong at the UNM Invitational last weekend in Albuquerque, as the girls finished second and the boys finished third despite tough weather conditions. 

    The start of the race was delayed by lightning, which forced the event schedule to shift, and rain continued on and off throughout the morning, making the course more challenging than normal. 

    However, the conditions didn’t keep anyone from having a strong meet. The varsity boys raced first, and ended with a third place finish, behind only Albuquerque Academy and El Paso Americas, a school from Texas. 

    Steven Strevell went to the front immediately, fell back a little in the middle, and came back for an incredibly strong second place finish to last year’s state best Kashon Harrison of Kirtland Central. Duncan Fuehne also ran aggressively and fought hard throughout for a seventh place finish.

    Head coaches Rob and Kathy Hipwood were impressed with the performance of both runners. 

    “Those two really emerged on the scene last track season and were ready to start where they left off,” Kathy Hipwood said. 

  • Ohio offers the island life

    Special to the Monitor

    Most people are incredulous when they hear there are islands in Ohio, even residents of the Midwest. I was born and raised in Chicago and I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of their existence. I had to look at a map for proof, but it wasn’t until I actually visited the area that my doubts were dispelled.

    Known as the Lake Erie Islands, these bodies of land are clustered together in the lake’s western basin, north of Ohio’s mainland. Easily accessible from the metropolitan centers of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, they’re regarded as the Jersey Shores of the state and are a prime vacation destination for those in the region. There are over two dozen islands, a few of which are Canadian, but only five are inhabited and only three have ferry service.

    I began my adventure with an exhilarating trip on the Jet Express, heading from Sandusky to South Bass Island. The boat is a high-speed passenger ferry that makes additional stops at Kelleys Island and Cedar Point. The latter is a famous amusement park, rated tops in the U.S., boasting over 150 rides, shows and attractions, including eighteen adrenaline pumping roller coasters.