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Today's News

  • Kiwanis Club waits for OK for fireworks

    The fireworks for the annual Fourth of July celebration at Overlook Park in White Rock have been purchased and are stored in a safe location in Los Alamos.

    Now comes the wait to see if the Kiwanis Club will be able to shoot off those fireworks at the annual celebration in White Rock.

    Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes will make that decision on Friday.

    “We’ve spent about $18,000 on fireworks this year and that’s about 5,600 shells,” said Kiwanis Club member Pat Soran, who is in charge of planning and coordinating the annual fireworks display. “We have a magazine that’s been certified by the ATF that we store the fireworks in here in Los Alamos. It has to be certified every three years and you have to have one regardless of whether you’re storing them for one day or several years.”

    The display was canceled the year of the Cerro Grande fire, as well as the next two years, forcing the Kiwanis Club to store those fireworks in the magazine for three years.

    “They stay in good shape,” said Soran. “I guess it’s like wine, they get better with age.”

    When it comes to fireworks Soran knows his business.

  • Parks offer activities despite fire restrictions

    Even though the threat of fire – not to mention an actual fire – has shut down portions of two local parks, officials want to assure potential visitors there are still plenty of activities to enjoy at both locations.

    Stage 3 fire restrictions have forced the closing of portions of both Valles Caldera National Preserve and Bandelier National Monument. And at Valles Caldera, the San Antonio Fire has limited areas where visitors can access the preserve.

    “Despite the fire restrictions, there are still a variety of opportunities for people visiting Valles Caldera,” said Kimberly DeVall, the chief of interpretation and education at the preserve. “Many visitors have been going on short, easy-guided hikes and van tours. These are wonderful opportunities to learn more about the preserve from our park rangers.”

    DeVall added that other visitors “have enjoyed watching the elk nursery herds and the prairie dogs scurrying about.”
    Valles Caldera has closed access to its backcountry and has suspended all fishing, equestrian, hiking and biking activities because of the restrictions.

    The preserve’s front country is partially open with ranger-guided activities. There are no self-guided activities.

  • Brenners file civil rights suit against county

    A Sandoval County resident filed a civil rights suit in federal court May 22, alleging that certain Los Alamos County councilors violated his and his mother’s federal and state constitutional rights.

    Patrick Brenner claims that former Los Alamos County Councilor James Chrobocinski and Councilor Susan O’Leary used their positions as councilors to harass him and his mother, Lisa Brenner, who is also named in the suit.

    Patrick Brenner said their troubles began in 2016, when he expressed his dissent to O’Leary and Chrobocinski on an upcoming vote for a $20 million bond sale that was set for May.

    Brenner claims in the suit that Chrobocinski threatened to undermine his candidacy for council if he didn’t come out in favor of the vote, which Chrobocinski and O’Leary were promoting through their political action committee, Los Alamos Futures.

    Patrick Brenner claims things came to a head when he learned from the media that an email he sent to council expressing his dissent to council over the recreation bond issue was going to be made public.

  • Overhauling the Overpass
  • Police Beat 6-24-18

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Jun.  13
    9:25 a.m. – Damien Blade Marquez, 24, of Espanola was booked into the Los Alamos Detention Center for aggravated battery and great bodily harm. Marquez was later released.

    10:03 a.m. – Los Alamos police arrested an individual on a warrant.

    10:57 a.m. – Los Alamos police issued a summons to an individual for shoplifting at Smith’s in Los Alamos.

    6:21 p.m. – Los Alamos police arrested an individual for simple battery.

    7:28 p.m. – Paul David Vincent III, 45, of Los Alamos was booked into the Los Alamos Detention Center for two battery against a household member and two counts of interference with an officer. Vincent was later released.

    10:43 p.m. – Los Alamos police arrested an individual for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

  • Immigration debate roils campaign for New Mexico governor

    SANTA FE — The campaign for New Mexico governor is playing out on Capitol Hill and at holding facilities for immigrant children on the Mexico border, as two competing candidates engaged in the national immigration debate as members of Congress.

    Gubernatorial candidate and Republican Rep. Steve Pearce voted Thursday for a failed bill that would have curbed legal immigration and bolstered border security.

    His rival in the governor race, Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, unsuccessfully sought to amend the bill with a new pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers” who arrived in the country illegally as children.

    Immigration policy has been pushed to the forefront of political discourse in the border state of New Mexico, as Pearce and Lujan Grisham compete to replace two-term Republican Gov. Susana Martinez – a hard-liner on immigration enforcement who recently sent National Guard troops to the border to bolster security.

    New Mexico’s Democratic mayors, state legislators and U.S. senators descended on the border in Texas this week to raise humanitarian concerns about the treatment of immigrant families, as President Trump reversed course on separating immigrant children from parents caught illegally entering the United States.

  • Sexual assault case hearing continued

    An alleged victim of a sexual assault, reported at a Los Alamos hotel in March, struggled through testimony Friday at Los Alamos Magistrate Court, as her accused attacker, Bryce Delano sat a few feet away with his defense attorney, Steve Jones.

    Friday’s preliminary hearing will determine whether Delano will be tried in district court. Delano is accused of criminal sexual penetration in the second degree, resulting in personal injury and false imprisonment.

    The criminal sexual penetration charge is a second-degree felony and the false imprisonment charge is a fourth-degree felony.

    The hearing has been continued to July 17 at 1 p.m. to allow Jones to present a witness.
    Delano did not testify Friday.

    The victim hesitated for as long as five minutes before answering questions from Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, often answering his questions with just a few words.  

    At the beginning of her testimony, she struggled to identify if the man sitting across from her was Delano, and she did not look at him.

    At one point during her testimony, she took a break and met with her psychologist, Brian Haigh, in the courtroom hallway.

  • Ex-police chief loses fight with county, insurance co.

    Former Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy’s three-year legal battle with Los Alamos County and its insurance company over lost benefits ended June 11, after a judge determined he was not entitled to nearly $70,000 in compensation.  

    Torpy lodged a complaint in February 2015 against Los Alamos County for breach of contract and the county’s insurance company, Union Security for unfair trade and insurance practices.

    First Judicial Court Judge Francis J. Mathew decided against Torpy’s claims, saying that the county and the county’s insurance company, Union Security Insurance Company, were right in denying Tory’s claim for lost benefits.

    Torpy claimed the county denied him money the county took out of his paycheck in lieu of Social Security for the eight and a half year’s Torpy was the county’s police chief.

    Torpy claimed that when he started with the county, he was given a written promise that he would be paid 60 percent of his monthly salary through the county’s insurance company, Union Security, if he ever became permanently disabled.

    In 2012, Torpy suffered a heart attack and a stroke, which resulted in him becoming permanently disabled.

  • New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.

    The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to travel to Washington, D.C., to testify Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about how the Trinity Test hurt generations of Tularosa residents.

    Consortium members say many who lived in the area weren't told about the dangers and were diagnosed with rare forms of cancer. They say they want acknowledgment and compensation from the U.S. government.

    "It's time, and we are excited to share our stories," said Tina Cordova, a co-founder of the group and cancer survivor. "We've tried to testify before, but the hearing was canceled. Hopefully, we will get to speak this time."

    Scientists working in Los Alamos developed the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, which provided enriched uranium for the weapon. The secret program also involved facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington.

    The bomb was tested in a stretch of desert near towns with Hispanic and Native American populations.

  • Ranger programs to start at Manhattan Project NMP

    The Manhattan Project National Historical Park will be offering a series of ranger programs designed to help visitors understand and connect with the story of the project.

    Josh Nelson, who began as the on-site ranger for the historical park six weeks ago, will be conducting the programs along with park volunteers.

    “It will be a 20-minute program by Ashley Pond Park and is free and open to everyone,” he said. “We still have the self-guided walking tour program. These ranger programs will not cover the walking tours; they’re just another way for people to better connect with the walking tour. They’re designed to complement one another.”

    The programs will start this weekend and last through July 22. They will be held each Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Los Alamos Visitor Center located at 475 20th Street. Reservations are not required.

    “These are brand new programs that we’re doing,” said Nelson. “We’ve never done these before and we’re looking forward to them. We’d be happy to have anyone from the community or any visitors come for the ranger program.”

    The ranger programs will incorporate the big picture of how the Project Y lab and community fit in with the complex events of World War II.