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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Authority selects new CEO for Spaceport America

    UPHAM (AP) — An engineer who has held senior management and planning posts at White Sands Missile Range is Spaceport America's new CEO.

    The board of the authority that oversees the commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico announced Thursday the selection of Daniel Hicks to replace Christine Anderson.

    Hicks' 34 years as an Army civilian employee at White Sands has included working on strategic planning and numerous programs involving missiles, sensors and space.

    Hicks is expected to assume his new positon in November. He's a graduate of Las Cruces High School and New Mexico State University.

    Anderson resigned this summer after holding the position since 2011.

  • 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.”

  • On the Docket 9-18-16

    Sept. 8
    John Kelley  pled no contest in Los Alamos Municipal Court for failing to appear on two counts of failing to appear in court (non-traffic), failing to have rabies tag on his pet(s) and having animals at large. Defendant was fined $75 and must also pay $240 in court costs.

    Sean Paul Montano was found guilty by the Los Alamos Municipal Court to speeding 11 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. Defendant must pay $65 in court costs. Sentencing deferred until Oct. 22. Defendant also sentenced to defensive driving school.

    Kristopher W. Sinclair was found guilty by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court of battery. Defendant was assigned unsupervised probation for 182 days. Defendant must pay $73 in court costs. Probation conditions are defendant will obey all laws and not be arrested, indicted, charged or convicted of any other offense. Defendant will comply with all court ordered conditions of probation. Shall not possess or consume alcohol or enter a liquor establishment. Shall not possess a firearm, destructive device or weapon. Defendant shall also avoid all contact with the alleged victim or anyone who may testify in the case.

  • Police Beat 9-18-16

    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.

    Sept. 7
    10 a.m. — Alexander Martinez, 21, of Santa Clara Pueblo was arrested for not taking responsibility upon hitting a fixed object or property.

    10:02 a.m. — Andres Velarde, 22, of Questa was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos police department.

    1:46 p.m. — Police reported that a 52-year-old Santa Fe man was the victim of an accident with no injuries at Central Avenue.

    2:55 p.m. — Police reported that a 16-year-old Española female was the victim of an accident with no injuries at Central Avenue.

    7:05 p.m. — Valentin Orozco-Almanza, 30, of Española was arrested on a possession of drug paraphernalia at the 500 block of North Mesa Road.

    Sept. 8
    12:15 a.m. — Byron Henderson, 49, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of sexual offender registration non-compliance at the Los Alamos police department.

  • Bridging the gap
  • Investigation finds 7 more with deficient education licenses

    BY MARTIN SALAZAR AND MERCY LOPEZ
    Las Vegas Optic

    EDS NOTE: The jump on page 1 of today's Los Alamos Monitor should read: See PED, page 3.

  • Espinoza’s false attacks cover up ties to corruption, extremism

    BY MAGGIE TOULOUSE-OLIVER
    Candidate for Secretary of State

  • I encourage everyone to vote in favor of Question 1

    I am voting for county Question No. 1, to eliminate the office of sheriff in Los Alamos. I encourage everyone who believes in good government, strong public safety, and reduction of unnecessary risk, to do the same.
    Typically, a sheriff provides law enforcement in county, or rural, areas. The sheriff position in Los Alamos has no law enforcement duties, and Los Alamos has no county – only, or rural, land. All of the county land in Los Alamos is incorporated into the municipality of Los Alamos. There is not a square inch of just-county land for a sheriff in Los Alamos to stand on.
    Los Alamos became a municipal government in the 1960s. The County of Los Alamos had already been created  as a legal entity in 1949. When the Federal Government decided to no longer run Los Alamos as a Federal scientific base, in the 1960s, all of the county land was wholly incorporated into the municipality of Los Alamos.  Los Alamos remains the only city-county entity in New Mexico.
    While debating their preferred from of government, Los Alamos citizens got to choose who would provide law enforcement - a professional law enforcement agency (a police department), an elected sheriff, or both.

  • Subsidizing the cheese business

    Before you bite into your next green chile cheeseburger, pause for a moment to consider the importance of that chunk of cheese, not just to the taste of your burger but to our local economy.
    With 150 dairies averaging more than 2,000 cows each, New Mexico ranks ninth in the nation for milk production and fifth for cheese. The average New Mexico dairy ships 44 million pounds of milk a year worth nearly $6 million. Much of it goes to Southwest Cheeses in Clovis, which employs 300 people to turn 3.8 billion pounds of milk into 388 million pounds of cheese annually.
    According to NMSU’s Ag Science Center, dairy is the number one agricultural employer in the state, providing 12,524 jobs paying $600 million a year in wages. In 2014, the average dairy farm worker earned $47,811, compared to the state’s average mean wage of $42,230. At $1.5 billion, dairy is about tied with beef cattle for economic impact and together the two rival the oil and gas industry.
    But while it’s a big business, it’s not a particularly lucrative one. A milk cow eats 100 pounds of hay and grain every day. In return she produces six to seven gallons of milk. Dairy farmers live on the difference between the cost of her feed and the price of her milk, usually expressed as the cost vs. price per hundredweight of milk.