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Local News

  • ‘Toppers celebrate Homecoming
  • LANB’s parent company enters into stock purchasing agreement

    Trinity Capital, the parent company of Los Alamos National Bank, has entered into a stock purchasing agreement with three private equity firms.
    Patriot Financial Partners, Strategic Value Bank Partners and Castle Creek Financial Partners will be acquiring a minority stake in LANB through a $52 million recapitalization plan.
    President and Chief Executive Officer John Gulas of Trinity Capital and LANB, said the transaction was a good sign for the bank, which is still recovering from the 2008 recession and an ugly episode of financial mismanagement that occurred several years ago.
    “We are encouraged that our new investors have confidence in our turnaround efforts,” Gulas said. “We believe this new capital enables us to address the most difficult remaining challenge in restoring the company to a safe and sound condition.”
    When the recapitalization deal is finalized in October, two of the companies, Castle Creek Capital and Patriot Financial, will have one representative each appointed to LANB’s board.
    Within a year of all parties signing off on the deal, Trinity Capital will also be able to offer current shareholders up to $10 million in stock.
    Once the deal is done, the bank will round a corner by putting a rocky decade of alleged fraudulent assets reporting and recession debt behind it.

  • DOE: $4 billion, 20 years to clean up legacy waste

    Representatives from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities scored a victory in Washington, D.C. last week when they came away with an official cost and time estimate of what it will take to clean up all the waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The group lobbied the Department of Energy to create a document called a “Lifecycle Cost Estimate.” The DOE estimates that it’s going to take about $4 billion and 20 years, if Los Alamos receives the annual funding recommended in the report. DOE officials made clear the document is meant only as a guideline
    The document covers 955 sites from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War eras. About 5,000 cubic meters of legacy waste remain. About half of that is stored below ground.
    Coalition representative and Los Alamos County Councilor Kristin Henderson said the report will make all the difference in keeping the cleanup organized, properly funded and on time.
    “Every DOE site has a lifecycle baseline, and for a long time, Los Alamos didn’t,” Henderson said. “What that meant is, we didn’t have a published understanding of all the things that needed to be cleaned up, what kind of level they were going to be cleaned up to, how much it’s going to cost and how many years it’s going to take.”

  • Today in history Sept. 20
  • 21 US states sue to block expansion of overtime pay law

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A coalition of 21 states sued the U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday over a new rule that would make about 4 million higher-earning workers eligible for overtime pay, slamming the measure as inappropriate federal overreach from the Obama Administration.

    Republican Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas, urging it to block implementation before the regulation takes effect on Dec. 1. Laxalt, a frequent critic of President Barack Obama's policies, said the rule would burden private and public sectors by straining budgets and forcing layoffs or cuts in working hours.

    "This rule, pushed by distant bureaucrats in D.C., tramples on state and local government budgets, forcing states to shift money from other important programs to balance their budgets, including programs intended to protect the very families that purportedly benefit from such federal overreach," he said in a statement.

    Labor Department officials did not immediately respond to telephone and emailed requests seeking comment.

    The measure would shrink the so-called "white collar exemption" that exempts workers who perform "executive, administrative or professional" duties from overtime and minimum wage requirements.

  • Today in history Sept. 19
  • Jemez Mountains fire contained

    A fire that started in the Jemez Mountains Sept. 8 was put out Monday night, fire officials said.

    The fire burned about 329 acres. The fire was located in Bear Springs Canyon, south of Forest Road 266. No structures were damaged or injuries reported. Due to precipitation in the area, the U.S. Forest Service decided to manage the fire to burn off extra fuel, rather than put it out right away.

    That changed recently when the area began to dry out.

    “We’ve gotten a lot of moisture and precipitation, and it was pretty dormant for quite a while,” said U.S. Forest Service Assistant Public Affairs Officer Clifton L. Russell “It wasn’t until last week it started to dry out and that’s what started causing a lot of smoke.”

    Using a burn scar to the north from the Las Conchas Fire, firefighters used that and an old logging road to hem the fire in and put it out.

    “We saw a very good opportunity to take advantage of the fire,” Russell said. “We were going to go for a bigger area, but it started to dry out over the weekend so they decided to go for total suppression.”

  • Police seek public's help to identify suspect

    The Los Alamos Police Department Investigations Section is asking for the public's help in identifying a female suspect in a fraud case. LAPD is offering a reward of up to $150 to anyone who has information on the identity of the suspect. Anyone with information can call L.A. crime stoppers at 662-8282. Those who make reports can remain anonymous.

  • Classes canceled at Albuquerque school because of threat

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Classes are canceled for the day at an Albuquerque middle school that was evacuated because of what police said was an emailed threat.

    Officer Tanner Tixier said the emailed threat sent to law enforcement said there might be an explosive device or active shooter at Eisenhower Middle School but that nothing was found immediately.

    The school district said earlier Monday the school was evacuated because of a bomb threat.

    Tixier told the Albuquerque Journal that police took into account weekend incidents that occurred in New York City and St. Cloud, Minnesota.

    District spokeswoman Monica Armenta says officials decided to cancel classes after police said their investigation might take hours.

    Armenta says all but a few of the school's more than 800 students have been handed off to their parents.

  • P and Z discusses comprehensive plan draft

    The Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the initial draft of the comprehensive plan update Wednesday, as well as the results of the recently completed random survey gauging public support of the draft goals and policies of the plan.
    The least popular survey question was whether the county should “consider the creation of a short-term rental ordinance for economic benefit to homeowners and Los Alamos County.” Only 49 percent of those surveyed supported that policy.
    George Chandler raised that issue during public comment.
    “The question is always phrased in positive terms, and encouraging short-term rentals, which CDD (Community Development Department) has been doing, and I think it should be phrased more neutrally, because from the research I’ve done around the country, short-term rentals are generally considered a blight to neighborhoods,” Chandler said.
    “They basically double the density, you have parking problems, you have party problems. And, believe or not, a lot of realtors believe that short-term rentals actually reduce the long-term housing supply because people take houses off the market and put them into short-term rentals.”