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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.

  • 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. 21
  • ‘Toppers celebrate Homecoming
  • Valerie Plame stumps for Garcia Richard

    Valerie Plame Wilson made an appearance in Los Alamos last Thursday to stump for Democratic Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, who is seeking her third term as New Mexico House District 43 representative.
    Plame is a former covert CIA operations officer who was forced to retire after her identity was revealed by the George W. Bush administration in 2003. She and her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, moved to New Mexico in 2007.
    “I’m speaking to you this evening as a neighbor, down the road a bit. We came to New Mexico in 2007, and we came here for all the reasons you know. It’s just stunningly beautiful,” Plame said. “But as we got settled in, we saw that there were things that needed to be done, once you take off the rose-colored glasses. So Joe and I have thrown ourselves into helping our community, and doing things that we can do, whether it’s early childhood education or getting behind candidates that we can believe in.”
    Plame spoke about her “very steep and sudden political education” after her identity was exposed.

  • Gov. Martinez lends support to Stover’s campaign

    Gov. Susana Martinez visited White Rock Sunday to support Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover, the Republican candidate in the New Mexico House District 43 representative race.
    Stover introduced Martinez by thanking her for her help during the Las Conchas fire, when Stover was chair of the county council. That was when the two first met.
    “And I have to tell you that you were there with us at all of the town halls in White Rock. You were at all the press conferences. You gave me advice. You made sure that all the resource our state needed were there in real time,” Stover said. “And what I took away from that, and I’ve seen it in almost eight years for this term in the county, is your compassion when it comes to crises in our state, and your leadership.”
    Stover also thanked Martinez for her support of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the cleanup efforts there, as for supporting the New Mexico’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Commission (JJAC) intervention and prevention programs. Stover serves as chair of that committee.
    “And from now on, we have seen a decrease of juveniles going into our detention centers,” Stover said.

  • LAPD arrests 2 on theft charges

    The Los Alamos Police Department Criminal Investigations and patrol divisions have investigated several check fraud, identity theft, theft, forgery, fraudulent use of credit card cases over the past month.
    LAPD investigators began putting together a profile that all the cases were linked and identified the potential suspects through their investigations.
    On Aug. 27, a patrol “A-team” apprehended the suspects on a traffic stop.
    John J. Lerma, 42, of Albuquerque and 38-year-old Rosalinda Hurtado of Alcalde were arrested by officers for charges of forgery, fraud and identity theft. Lerma also had a nationwide warrant out of Bernalillo County.
    There have been at least eight reported criminal cases investigated by the LAPD totaling in almost $20,000 in losses, according to police.
    Hurtado and Lerma are also suspected and being charged with stealing wallets from local Los Alamos athletes during sporting practices then fraudulently using the stolen credit cards.

  • County urges citizens to be bear alert

    Bears have been making their way into residential areas because of lack of food in the wild and ease of getting it out of trash roll carts. Here are some safe practices for managing waste to minimize encounters with bears:
    • Avoid luring bears on to your property by maintaining any fallen fruit; take it to the ECO Station and help donate to Dr. Ramsay’s bear cubs.
    • Stock up for the winter and preserve fruit by canning or drying fruit.
    • Strong and smelly odors will attract bears, so try to reduce odors by keeping smelly items out of the trash until trash pickup day. Try double bagging your trash or using special trash bags that eliminate odors.
    • Clean your trash roll carts frequently.
    • Keep your trash in a safe and secure place, like inside a locked garage.
    County code requires trash to be set out for collection no earlier than 5 p.m. the day prior to collection, but to avoid luring bears to your property, try to set out trash roll carts the morning of trash collections. Roll carts should be placed out before 8 a.m.  
    Instead of throwing your food away, compost it.
    Upon request, the ECO Station can provide residents with hardware to secure roll cart lids. Call 662-8163 for more information or to request yours.

  • New Mexico’s August unemployment rate rises to 6.6 percent

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in August, up from 6.4 percent in July.
    A year ago, the state’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.
    The state Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the state’s economy added 1,800 jobs from August 2015.
    Bernalillo County is New Mexico’s most populous county. Its August unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, the same as the previous month.
    The counties with the month’s lowest unemployment rates were Union County and Los Alamos County, both at 4.5 percent.