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Today's News

  • Committee mulls shelter’s future

    Residents concerned that Los Alamos County might make its animal shelter into a transfer-only shelter expressed anger and disappointment Wednesday at a committee meeting.  

    Many residents attended after reading a Facebook post written by one of the committee’s members Tuesday.

    “It is quite possible that the Shelter will turn into a transfer only shelter, due to lack of funding. There would no longer be a place to adopt animals in Los Alamos County. Public outreach programs would stop and volunteer opportunities would end. All due to the lack of $150,000.00/year,” said Los Alamos Animal Shelter Advisory Committee member Wendy Marcus in the Facebook post.

    The advisory council was created by the Los Alamos County Council last summer to come up with solutions to the shelter’s ongoing staffing and support issues.

  • C’YA to raise funds for Sonic workers

    Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) wanted to get involved with the Million Acts of Good, sponsored by Cheerios and Ellen DeGeneres and they hope the community will join the effort. 

    One month ago, large amounts of snow caused an awning to collapse at the local Sonic. The business was forced to close for renovations affecting about 25 Sonic employees. 

    Some were able to travel to other Sonic locations for available shifts, while others were forced to wait it out, for possibly a few weeks longer.

    At the annual meeting for Champions of Youth Ambitions, the board of directors discussed how they could help their local neighbors. The recent government shutdown highlighted how weeks without pay can effect local families. 

    Now plans are underway for, “A Sonic Assist.”

  • Heavy winter storm on the way

    The National Weather Service is reporting there is a storm watch in effect from now until 5 a.m. Saturday. Today, Friday, snow is beginning to fall in Los Alamos County and snow showers are expected to continue as the day goes on. The National Weather Service is predicting four to eight inches of snow below 7,500 feet and at least 10 to 12 inches above 7,500 feet.  As of 9 a.m., most businesses are open and school officials are saying school is in session until further notice. The Los Alamos Family YMCA is reporting there will be no Morning Child Watch today, and fitness classes begin at noon. The Valles Caldera National Preserve is closed today.

    Check back to The Los Alamos Monitor for more details.

     

  • Another winter storm expected Thursday night

     The National Weather Service is reporting that a large storm system is moving into Los Alamos County, which will result in heavy snowfall overnight Thursday and all day Friday.  

    During the day Thursday, expect scattered snow showers with an accumulation of less than half an inch. Thursday night however, the National Weather Service is predicting three to five inches of snow accumulation. 

    On Friday, during the day, the National Weather Service is expecting another three to five inches of snow with high of 35 degrees during the day and a low of 19 degrees in the evening. The storm is expected to move into the area around 8 p.m. Thursday, and last into early Saturday morning.

  • Former State Rep. Trujillo sues accusers

    Former Democratic State Rep. Carl Trujillo filed a defamation and civil conspiracy lawsuit against a group of animal rights activists and Planned Parenthood lobbyists Thursday.

    Trujillo, a LANL employee who represented Dist. 43, is suing Animal Protection Voters, Animal Protection New Mexico, Laura Bonar, Jessica Johnson, Elisabeth Jennings and Planned Parenthood/ACLU lobbyist, Julianna Koob, in the Bernalillo County, Second Judicial District Court.

    The suit comes after the dismissal of false allegations of sexual harassment against Trujillo by a legislative panel late last year.

    “While sexual harassment is a very serious matter, false allegations aimed at destroying the career and reputation of a good man and public servant cannot stand. It is also disturbing the voters in District 46 were intentionally manipulated by these false statements.” said Luke Ragsdale, the attorney representing Trujillo.

    Trujillo was defeated in the primary by Andrea Romero, who was later elected to the Dist. 46 seat.

  • Task force to address New Mexico's public pension problems

    SANTA FE (AP) — Officials who oversee one of New Mexico's major public pension funds say they're encouraged Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is creating a task force to address mounting unfunded liabilities.

    The board chair of the Public Employees Retirement Association, Jacquelin Kohlasch, is among those who will serve on the 19-member task force. She said Thursday the goal is developing meaningful solutions to "our very real solvency challenges."

    The Public Employees Retirement Association, or PERA, covers roughly 50,000 active state and municipal workers and 40,000 retirees. It had an unfunded liability of $6 billion at the end of the 2018 budget year.

    Lujan Grisham issued an executive order Monday calling for the task force. The panel's recommendations are due Aug. 30 and will serve as the basis for legislation during the 2020 session.
     

  • Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours canceled tonight

    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours set for tonight at the Los Alamos Medical Center has been canceled because of a winter storm warning in the region.

    The event will be rescheduled at a later date, according to the chamber.

    For any questions, contact Chamber Director Ryn Hermann at 661-4807.

  • LANL employee arrested after federal agent finds possible child porn on lab computer

    A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee was arrested Feb. 14 after a federal agent found possible inappropriate materials and possible child pornography on a lab computer. Steve J. Sandoval, 54, was arrested by local police following a federal investigation that started in April 2018.

    Sandoval was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center at 8:36 p.m. Feb. 14 and later released.

    Sandoval was still employed at the lab as of Wednesday, according to a lab spokesman.

    Federal agents searched Sandoval’s personal computer and catalogued several images and videos of suspected child pornography, according to his arrest report. Sandoval voluntarily allowed federal agents to search his personal computers, according to the report. Los Alamos police were notified in September 2018 of possible crimes by a special agent with the Department of Energy’s Technology Crimes Section in the Office of the Inspector General.

    The federal agent told police that Sandoval was interviewed April 11, 2018, for having “inappropriate” materials and “possible” child pornography on his work computer.

  • Crime on the rise in LA

    According to the Los Alamos Police Department’s annual crime report, crime tracked by the department increased by 8 percent last year.

    Property crime increased by 8.9 percent over 2017. In 2018, 110 property crimes were committed in Los Alamos County.

    There were 19 burglaries, eight more compared to 2017. There were 88 larcenies committed in 2018, the same amount were committed in 2017.

    Two auto thefts occurred last year, the same amount as in 2017, but in 2018, the county had one arson.

    There were 25 violent crimes committed in 2018, the same amount that was committed in 2017.

    In 2018, there were no homicides or manslaughters reported.

    However, there were five rapes reported to police, one more than in 2017.

    In 2018, there was only one aggravated robbery, but there were two aggravated robberies in 2017.

    There were 19 aggravated assaults committed in 2018, the same amount were committed in 2017.

    Los Alamos police wrote fewer traffic tickets in 2018, according to the numbers. Minor offenses, DWI incidents and vehicle accidents increased. In 2017 police wrote 2,110 traffic tickets and in 2018 they wrote 1,573. In 2017, there were 32 DWIs and 44 in 2018.

  • House committee advances $462M infusion for education

    BY ROBERT NOTT
    The New Mexican

    The House Education Committee on Saturday unanimously advanced a bill that would appropriate $452 million in new public school funding in the coming fiscal year for at-risk students in New Mexico and millions more for small schools.

    The action comes as lawmakers and the governors are drafting an overall state budget for fiscal year 2020 that includes a $400 million to $500 million infusion for education to help fulfill a state District Court ruling in a lawsuit that says New Mexico has shortchanged several groups of students with the highest needs -- those learning English as a second language, special-needs students, low-income kids and Native American children.

    District Judge Sarah Singleton of Santa Fe issued a final decree Thursday in the case, in which a group of plaintiffs argued New Mexico is failing to provide an adequate education for these students.

    In her final ruling, Singleton again wrote that state leaders and the Public Education Department have violated the state constitution and “the rights of at-risk students by by failing to provide them with a uniform statewide system of free public schools sufficient for their education.”