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Business/Economy

  • Unemployment aid applications near a 4-year low

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment aid neared a four-year low last week, a positive sign that strong hiring could continue in the coming months.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000. That's the second-lowest level since April 2008.

    The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 366,250, the lowest since late April 2008.

  • 13,000 Is Next Dow Milestone, Record in Sight

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is within reach of the rarefied 13,000 mark, a level it hasn't seen since May 2008, four months before the financial system almost came apart. There's evidence that the rally has room to run.

  • NM regulators repeal carbon cap and trade rules

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's participation in a regional cap and trade program aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions became more unlikely Monday with a unanimous vote by state regulators.

    The decision by the Environmental Improvement Board to repeal the cap and trade rules came in response to petitions filed by New Mexico's largest electric utilities, oil and gas developers and others who feared the rules would push businesses and jobs to neighboring states.

    Gov. Susana Martinez, a critic of regulating carbon emissions at the state level, was pleased with the board's decision, spokesman Scott Darnell said.

  • Residents voice support for deal

    Public comment on the Trinity Site lease agreement was overwhelmingly in favor of moving ahead on a lease agreement with North American Development Group. Proponents outnumbered opponents 10 to one.

    Although a handful of people advocated for renegotiating in an attempt to achieve higher rents, using the site for something other than retail development or expressed fears of a Smith’s monopoly, it was impossible to turn a deaf ear to the numerous impassioned pleas from mothers who turned out for the joint meeting of the school board and county council.

  • U.S. economy grew 1.7 percent in 2011

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2.8 percent in the final three months of last year, the fastest growth in 2011.

    Americans spent more on cars and trucks, and companies built up their stockpiles. But growth in the October-December quarter — and all of 2011 — was held back by the biggest annual government spending cuts in four decades.

    The Commerce Department says the economy grew just 1.7 percent last year, roughly half of the growth in 2010 and the worst since the recession.

    Consumer spending rose in the final months of the year and businesses invested more in inventories, a sign they expect more demand.

  • Grill owners get new lease on life

    For now, the Central Avenue Grill in Los Alamos will remain open under the ownership of Min Sung Park.
    “The judge (Robert H. Jacobvitz) ruled yesterday the lease has not been properly terminated and it is still in effect,” Park’s attorney George M. Moore said in a telephone interview this morning.
    “Now, we need to get the judge to approve the assumption of the lease and that will be the next step.
    “We need to show the judge we will be able to cure the existing debts under the lease, pay the back rent within a reasonable period and honor the remaining part of the lease.”

  • Grill owners get new lease on life

    For now, the Central Avenue Grill in Los Alamos will remain open under the ownership of Min Sung Park.

    “The judge (Robert H. Jacobvitz) ruled yesterday the lease has not been properly terminated and it is still in effect,” Park’s attorney George M. Moore said in a telephone interview this morning.

    “Now, we need to get the judge to approve the assumption of the lease and that will be the next step.

    “We need to show the judge we will be able to cure the existing debts under the lease, pay the back rent within a reasonable period and honor the remaining part of the lease.”

  • New-home purchases fall, 2011 worst ever for sales

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people bought new homes in December, making 2011 the worst sales year on record.

    The Commerce Department said Thursday new-home sales fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold in a healthy economy.

    About 302,000 homes were sold last year. That's less than the 323,000 sold in 2010, making 2011 the worst year on records dating back to 1963.

    The median sales prices for new homes dropped in December to $210,300. Builders continued to slash price to stay competitive.

  • Gender income disparity greatest in Los Alamos

    A comparison of paychecks indicates that it’s still a man’s world.
    On Numbers looked at the median earnings of men and women in 942 metropolitan and micropolitan areas, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.
    The final score: Men outearn women in 941 markets. Women have the edge in only one place, the tiny micropolitan area of Clewiston, Fla.
    Among medium-sized markets, the income disparity among genders is the greatest in Los Alamos. Men in the community that is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory earn a median of $81,712, while women earn $41,392.
    In the Albuquerque area, median income for men is $38,372, while the median for women is $27,827.

  • Central Ave. Grill’s fate still uncertain

    A number of parties are awaiting the results of a meeting that took place Thursday in Albuquerque between attorneys for Central Avenue Grill owners Min and Monica Park, attorneys for the restaurant’s landlords C1C2 Investments of Daytona Beach, Fla., and Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Jacobvitz.

    The judge’s decision, on whether the Park’s downtown property lease remains intact, has not been released.

    Park explained in a previous interview that due to the ups and downs in the Los Alamos economy over the last few years, he occasionally fell behind on his lease payments of about $8,500 per month, which technically put the restaurant in default on its lease obligations.