• Christmas at Neiman Marcus: $1.9M Diamond Deal
  • 965 federal employees submit unemployment claims in NM

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say nearly 1,000 federal employees submitted unemployment claims in New Mexico.

    Federal employees who are laid off — including those furloughed during the temporary shutdown of the federal government — can file for unemployment benefits through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

    Department officials said Monday that there have been 965 total initial claims for federal employees filed on or after Oct. 1.

    They say federal employee claims are about 36 percent of all new claims, which total 2,700.

  • Great Reset: How Great Recession Changed Habits
  • E-cigarette shop aims for smoke-free world

    Gator’s LA Vapor opened in May with the purpose of helping people quit — as their motto suggests, “Thank You for Not Smoking.”

    Owners Darin Diffey and his wife Shannan know how hard it is to stop smoking so they both have turned to vapor after being heavy smokers for several years.

    E-cigarettes are different than its tobacco counterpart because there is no burning or smoke involved. An e-cigarette starter kit consists of a mechanism with a battery and a vaporization chamber that holds a cartridge of liquid nicotine. When someone takes a puff off the contraption, the liquid is heated, delivering nicotine into the lungs and the person exhales vapor instead of smoke.

    The argument that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco products is still in question by the FDA; however, according to the website Discovery Fit and Health, e-cigs only contain nicotine, which in itself is relatively safe. The e-cigarette lacks the 4,000-plus toxins and carcinogenic chemicals that tobacco cigarettes contain.

    Diffey said he always keeps up to date on the latest findings. This and other e-cigarette companies do not make safety or health claims, however they do push the benefits of e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco. There has not been enough research to reach a definite conclusion.

  • LANB parent company inks deal with KC Fed

    Trinity Capital Corporation, the parent company of Los Alamos National Bank, reached an agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, to develop a plan to provide financial support to the bank and maintain sufficient capital.

    The written agreement, signed Sept. 26, between the two entities bars Trinity from paying dividends or incurring additional debt without the Fed’s approval.

    “We entered into the agreement with the federal bank last week,” LANB president Steve Wells said. “The agreement also requires Trinity and LANB to abide by a Nov. 30 agreement between the bank and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. That agreement called for the bank to review its management team and credit underwriting and administrative policies."

    According to Wells, the OCC was concerned that LANB overextended itself on $5.5 million in loans that were spread out amongst seven customers. The bank extended the loans into 2012. The OCC’s opinion was that the bank should have called in the loans in 2011. Wells said the bank has about $1.2 billion in total loans.

  • Warm hearts

    If there’s one thing Tina Derr remembers about the Cerro Grande Fire, it’s the Christmas ornaments.
     She was one of the 400 residents who lost her home to the fire, but someone, somewhere thought about her family’s plight, and gave them Christmas decorations.
    A small gesture, but one she remembered as going a long way toward adding a little normalcy as well as dignity to the end of what was a very gut wrenching and tumultuous year for many.
    “People were so kind to us, and someone did a really nice gesture by giving us some Christmas ornaments after the fire so we had something, ” she said.
    “To have something like that happen in the midst of rebuilding, it just touched our hearts, just knowing that somebody cared.”
    Now, a full 13 years later, Derr was thinking about this as she watched what the residents of Black Forest, Colo., were going through earlier this year, as fire raged through their town claiming 509 homes and two lives before it was over.
    “One day, God put this in my head, saying, ‘hey, we need to make gloves, hats and scarves because it’s going to start getting cold up there,” she said. “It’s been two months since the fire, but for some reason, God dropped this on my head and said ‘get it done.’”

  • Food truck offers variety of fare

    At festivals and outdoor concerts around Los Alamos, Chuck’s Wagon is there to make sure no one goes hungry.
    Chuck’s Wagon mobile food truck travels throughout the state to festivals, carnivals, picnics and other events that require “Fair food.” Most recently, they were the only food vendor at the Next Big Idea Festival at Fuller Lodge and they also were a vendor at Zozobra and the Renaissance Fair in Santa Fe. It was occasionally one of the vendors at the Friday Night Concerts. It plans to be at Mountain Elementary School’s Halloween Carnival.
    Chuck’s Wagon is known for its “Fair” food, burgers, funnel cakes, fresh cut fries and fresh squeezed lemonade.
    Chuck and Miracle Miller make their business a family affair. Their two sons, Reagan, 12 and Hunter, 10, also help out during festivals. It was first established in July.
    The plan is to expand their menu and find a permanent spot in the Los Alamos community, which is a plan already in the works. They leased the space from the property owner and went to the county for approval on the space. They received a permit to park across from Ashley Pond and they can begin operations on Oct. 1.

  • Sporting goods store to open soon

    Many are looking forward to one new business scheduled to open soon: Fusion Multisport.
    Owners Rose and Brad Nyenhuis relocated from Indiana in order to open their business here.
    “My husband and I were looking for business out West: Utah, Colorado, and Brad expanded his search to New Mexico,” Rose said. “So we were looking for business opportunities, because we love the mountains and we wanted to live somewhere near mountains or in the mountains.”
    The Nyenhuises came to Los Alamos to look at an existing business that was on the market. They decided that business was not a good fit for them, but they fell in love with the town while they were here. They had never been in Los Alamos before that.
    When they were preparing to visit Los Alamos, Brad posted a question on an online mountain bike forum, asking if anyone could tell them about mountain biking here. He received a response from one of the local cyclists and an invitation to go for a ride while he was here.
    That person introduced the couple to several other residents during their visit, and that group suggested opening a sports oriented business. Rose is a hiker and Brad is a biker, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

  • Officials: LA commercial development looking up

    They may not have signed on the dotted line yet, but many commercial enterprises are taking a closer look at Los Alamos.

    “There’s a lot of tire kicking, a lot of people looking —hotels, restaurants, retail,” said Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Scott Randall.

    “There are a lot of prospects. We ­—Economic Development, LACDC, the brokers — are seeing a lot of activity out there,” said Los Alamos Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher. “I really don’t know that there are any deals that have closed yet, but the good news is that there’s a lot of activity. I’ve estimated about 50,000 square feet.”
    Fisher admits he does not know why interest has surged, but he suspects the Trinity Site development is a key factor.

    “$28 million being spent by Kroger Corporation for the Trinity Center is a huge catalyst. That’s a huge commercial investment: probably one of the largest commercial investments in decades in Los Alamos. And that attracts attention,” Fisher said.

  • Los Alamos County lowest uninsured rate in NM

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Census Bureau reports that Los Alamos County has among the lowest uninsured rates in the nation.

    The federal agency estimates that 4.7 percent of the county's population under 65 lacked health insurance in 2011. Only Norfolk County in Massachusetts had a lower uninsured rate — 3.1 percent.

    The Census Bureau released a report last month on county-level insurance coverage.

    McKinley County in northwestern New Mexico had the highest uninsured rate — 31.8 percent — among the state's 33 counties.

    Statewide, more than a fifth of New Mexicans lacked health insurance.

    In New Mexico, as with all states, the uninsured rate is higher for adults than children.

    Nearly 29 percent of New Mexican ages 18 to 64 lack health insurance, but about 10 percent of children are uninsured.