Today's News

  • Feds lose track of 1,475 migrant children

    Federal officials lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children last year after a government agency placed the minors in the homes of adult sponsors in communities across the country, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee Thursday.

    The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.

    Federal officials came under fire two years ago after rolling back child protection policies meant for minors fleeing violence in Central America. In a follow-up hearing on Thursday, senators said that the agencies had failed to take full responsibility for their care and had delayed crucial reforms needed to keep them from falling into the hands of human traffickers.

    “You are the worst foster parents in the world. You don’t even know where they are,” said Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. “We are failing. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. And when we fail kids that makes me angry.”

  • Loope to remain in jail until hearing


    Marion Loope, a Los Alamos resident, who is accused of putting a knife to her mother’s throat during an argument April 15, will be held in custody without bond until her preliminary hearing, according to a ruling made by Judge Glenn T. Ellington in court Wednesday. 


    “The judge granted the safe motion, and she’s being held without bond,” Assistant First Judicial District Attorney Kent Wahlquist said. 

    Loope’s next appearance is in Los Alamos County Magistrate Court is expected to be May 11, when she is scheduled for a preliminary hearing.

    The hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to try her on the charges.

    On April 15, Loope’s mother reported to police that her daughter had attacked her at the home they shared on the 2100 block of 34th Street. 

    According to the police report, during the altercation, Loope apparently accused her mother of taking her medications. The mother then reportedly told Loope to stop acting like she was sick. 

  • Public airs concerns about proposed nuclear waste project near WIPP

    Environmental activists, leaders of nuclear safety organizations and New Mexico residents voiced concerns Wednesday during an online meeting about Holtec’s plans to build a temporary holding facility for spent nuclear waste in southeastern New Mexico.

    The company plans to store up to 8,680 tons of spent fuel from nuclear reactors from across the United States. 

    Holtec has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 40-year license for the project. The overall lifespan of the facility is for 120 years. 

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held the meeting Wednesday to gather public comment for Holtec’s environmental review application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the project.

    Many were concerned about the company’s plans to bring waste from all over the country to the facility.

  • Gregorio Trujillo’s Los Alamos preliminary trial postponed

    The courts decided to postpone Los Alamos burglary suspect Gregorio Luis Trujillo’s April 27 preliminary trial so he can be tried for other crimes he is accused of committing in Santa Fe and elsewhere.

    “I’m not OK with releasing him onto the street, I’m OK with releasing him from Los Alamos so Santa Fe can house him,” Assistant First Judicial District Attorney Kent Wahlquist said in court Friday.

    Wahlquist further stated that since Trujillo has multiple cases in Santa Fe and elsewhere, it was agreed that justice would work more quickly if Trujillo’s Santa Fe based attorneys had easier access to him.

    Trujillo’s April preliminary hearing in Los Alamos was reset for May 25.

    Trujillo was released on a $2,000 bond with conditions. Probation can still subject Trujillo to urinalysis, and Trujillo cannot be in contact to his brother, Antonio Trujillo, who was arrested in connection to the Los Alamos burglaries at Pajarito Cliffs.

    Gregorio Trujillo, 29, of Santa Fe and his brother Antonio Trujillo, 30, are accused of burglarizing a county maintenance facility in February, allegedly multiple times.

  • Advisory board sets location for new sculptures

    The Arts in Public Places Advisory Board discussed plaques for two outdoor art exhibits, decided on the location for a third and touched briefly on two other possible future projects during its meeting Thursday.

    The board voted to locate the new Kinetic Wind Sculptures in the open area in front of the Mesa Public Library between the Skate Park and Central Avenue.

    Board member Pete Carson said he and other board members liked the location because it was a place where the sculptures would be visible “from the street, the sidewalk along the street, the entrance to the library and if you’re walking out (of the library) or even walking in from the parking lot.”

    “It’s a pretty visible location,” he continued, “so we thought it would be a good spot for them.”

    Carson said even though there’s no utility hookups currently at the location there is power close enough so that the sculptures could be illuminated at night.

    The meeting opened with a discussion on the installation of an informational plaque for the White Rock Pottery Project, which will be affixed to the railing at the White Rock Visitor Center.

  • Smiles for the Earth
  • County files new argument in sheriff case

    Los Alamos County attorneys filed a reply in Santa Fe First Judicial Court they hope strengthens their position in its argument for an injunction to the Los Alamos County Sheriff from carrying out his duties.

    The county filed its request for the temporary restraining order in October in response to Lucero’s lawsuit against the county. The county, as well as the plaintiff in the case, Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero are scheduled to argue their case in Los Alamos County District Court May 10.

    The county submitted a brief April 20 arguing that because the county voted to become an incorporated county in 1964 and that the residents also voted in 1976 to limit the duties of the Los Alamos County Sheriff to duties that didn’t include law enforcement, Lucero is violating an amendment in the county charter, a charter that is protected by the state constitution because Los Alamos County is an incorporated county.

    “When the Sheriff of the Incorporated County engages in law enforcement duties, the Sheriff surpasses his lawful authority as given to him by the citizens of the Incorporated County as provided for and permitted by the State constitution, and in doing so, violates the specific constitutional rights of self-government vested in the citizens of the Incorporated County,” a statement in the brief said.

  • Police Beat 4-29-18

    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.

    April 18
    10:38 a.m. –Los Alamos  police arrested an individual on a warrant.
    7:08 p.m. – Los Alamos police investigated and aggravated assault case, and arrested a suspect.
    9:03 p.m. – Trenton Paul Engelking, 20, of Los Alamos was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center.
    9:03 p.m. –  Michael Weiss was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center on a magistrate court bench warrant, attempting to escape the custody of a police officer, aggravated assault against a household member, resisting/evading or obstructing an officer, tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon.
    4 p.m. – Los Alamos police were called out to investigate a suspicious package at Tech Area 55.

    April 19
    2 .a.m. – Los Alamos police referred an emergency evaluation to another agency.

  • Community celebrates reopening of Duane Smith Auditorium

    As the late afternoon light filtered through the new glass lobby of Duane Smith Auditorium some school board officials were just thankful.

    “We’re very appreciative of the community effort it took to get this done,” School Board President Jenny McCumber said about the auditorium’s new lobby and other improvements. “Just standing in here with the sun shining in, it’s so bright.

    We’re happy we’re finished, and we’re excited about Topper Revue.”

    Topper Revue, the Los Alamos High School’s annual showcase of student talent, was officially the first event Thursday night to be shown at the auditorium since renovations started on the building two years ago.

    Many county officials and relatives of Duane Smith showed up Thursday night to reopen the auditorium.

    “This facility has hosted so many great events, school events, community events, it really is a central part of the community,” Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz said.

    The schools and the county share the auditorium. The 944-seat auditorium is one of the largest venues north of

    Albuquerque. The Los Alamos Concert Association has brought world-class entertainment to the complex, and it is also used quite a bit for school functions.

  • Regional Coalition passes joint powers agreement

    ESPAÑOLA – The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities passed an amended and restated joint powers agreement Friday, but not before amending the amended version.

    The coalition met at the Española City Hall Council Chambers without enough members present for a quorum, which would have allowed the meeting to be official.

    However, the members who attended in person called one of the absent members and put him on speaker phone, in order to make the meeting official.

    In attendance were Santa Fe County Commissioner Henry Roybal; Los Alamos County Councilor Christine Chandler; Taos County Commissioner Mark Gallegos; and Española City Councilor Peggy Sue Martinez, who was sitting in as an alternate. Town of Taos Councilor Darien Fernandez attended via conference call.

    The coalition reworded a portion of the existing joint powers agreement to show it is concerned with supporting the wishes of the communities it represents.

    Under the section of the agreement that entails the purposes of the coalition, with respect to the Los Alamos National Laboratory and LANL-related activities and issues, is the point detailing the promotion of economic development.