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Today's News

  • Baiting the development hook with a different tax

    This year’s hot term in economic development jargon is the “single sales factor.”
    Some of the current buzz in economic development circles is that the single sales factor is the first concern of businesses considering locating in New Mexico.
    If we don’t have it, the rumor goes, they won’t look further. (They used to say that about workers’ comp, but that issue is off the endangered species list for the moment.)
    The single sales factor is at the top of the wish list Economic Development Department Secretary Jon Barela is calling the New Century Jobs Agenda, a package of mostly legislative proposals that EDD is hoping will boost our state’s persistently lagging private sector economy.
    If New Mexico is serious this year about economic development, our legislators have to pay attention to the fact that business wants the single sales factor, and 25 other states have it.  
    That’s the nature of the highly competitive game of economic development these days.

  • Feds clamp down on LANB

    The Los Alamos National Bank is once again under regulatory restrictions by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal agency that regulates the federal banking system.

    The bank had just came out of a similar regulatory agreement this spring, which was entered in 2010.

    “The Comptroller has found unsafe or unsound banking practices relating to management and board supervision, credit underwriting, credit administration and deficiencies in internal controls,” according to the agreement

    According to bank President Steve 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.

    “They have requested us to recognize our risks in the time that it should be recognized and we don’t disagree with that,” Wells said. “We understand the intricacies of the regulations and that we weren’t in alignment.”  

    Wells also noted that the OCC “is one of the toughest regulators out there” and that part of the problem was the two entities have two different viewpoints when it comes to community banking.

  • Homestead lecture kicks off series

    In commemoration of its 70th anniversary, Los Alamos National Laboratory kicks off a year-long lecture series at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, with a presentation about homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau at the Bradbury Science Museum.
    The inaugural lecture is based on a book by local writers Dorothy Hoard, Judy Machen and Ellen McGehee, about the area’s settlement between 1887 and 1942.
    On hikes across the Pajarito Plateau, Hoard envisioned the Los Alamos area before modern roads and bridges made transportation much easier. The trails she walked along were once old roads, often steep, with parts carved with picks and axes out of the tuff bedrock. The roads differed from trails in that they had to be wide enough to accommodate a wagon and not too steep for a horse to pull the wagon’s contents up the Los Alamos cliffs.
    Hoard developed a curiosity about the early settlers who used ordinary tools available to them to build roads and expand their settlement of the region. Her growing interest led to collaboration with Machen and McGehee. The result is the book, “Homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau, 1887-1942.”

  • Bill includes CMRR funding

    Last week, President Barack Obama signed the FY13 defense authorization law and in that bill, there is a little bit of life for the Chemistry Metallurgy Research Replacement facility.

    The legislation permits up to $70 million in new funds for the building’s construction in the budget year that runs through Sept. 30, and it makes available $120 million in money previously appropriated for the project.

    The bill also establishes a $3.7 billion spending cap for the structure, which is intended to assume the responsibilities of PF-4.

    The text would require the Energy Department to give lawmakers a “detailed justification” for any projected CMRR spending in excess of the threshold.

    “We’ll move forward and get a plan in place as the law requires,” National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Josh McConaha said in a statement. “At this point, we still need funding from Congress to ensure continuity of important mission capabilities, and we’re working with them to get it done. Either way, it’s too early to know what the plan will entail or what our final approach will be.”

    In February of last year, the Obama administration and the NNSA deferred the project for five years and Los Alamos National Laboratory has been closing down the project.

  • Update 01-06-13

    County Council

    The Los Alamos County Council will hold its first regular session of 2013 at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

    Advisory Board

    The Fuller Lodge Historical Districts Advisory Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.

    Planning meeting

    The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Los Alamos Police Department Training Room, 2500 Trinity Dr., Suite A.

    LWV meeting

    The League of Women Voters will have their monthly Lunch with a Leader meeting at 11:40 a.m. Thursday at the Mesa Public Library. To order lunch, contact Karyl Ann Armbruster at 661-6605 or kaskacayman@gmail.com.

  • Briefs 01-06-13

    Sheriff: Man arrested in pot plantation case

    ESTANCIA (AP) — A man wanted in the case of a huge marijuana plantation that a couple of hunters stumbled upon in the Manzano Mountains is now in custody, authorities said.
    KRQE-TV reports that Torrance County Sheriff’s Department said this week that U.S. marshals recently arrested Joseph Hazle in Texas. He will soon be extradited back to New Mexico to face charges for the illegal plants on his property.
    In September, two hunters told deputies that they stumbled upon the plantation and four men started shooting at them. The men escaped before authorities arrived on the scene, police said.

    Police: Dad, son linked to drive-by shooting

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Authorities say a New Mexico father and his son are facing charges in connection to a drive-by shooting.
    KOB-TV reports that 47-year-old David Martinez Sr. and his 17-year-old son were arrested for the drive-by shooting Thursday in Albuquerque.
    Police say the victim, whose name has not been released, had a got into a fight with the elder Martinez. The victim told police that two men shot at him from a car. He’s recovering from surgery.
    The victim told investigators that it was a drive-by shooting out of fear of retaliation.
    It was unclear if either man had attorneys.

  • Animal farm

    Horses and chickens brave the elements at the North Mesa Stables.

  • LA pulls away late vs. Belen

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team bent but didn't break against the Belen Eagles Saturday night and extended its winning streak.

    Los Alamos pulled away from the scrappy Eagles squad at Griffith Gymnasium late. Erin Kirk and McKenzie Logan combined to score 9 points in the fourth quarter to win 50-40.

    Saturday's win was the Hilltoppers' fourth in a row. It wasn't pretty, however.

    Los Alamos turned the ball over 6 times in the opening quarter and 8 times in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for the Hilltoppers, the Eagles struggled to capitalize.

    The Eagles (4-5) were able to hang with the Hilltoppers with their 1-on-1 penetration. Mariah Forde in the first half and Jordan Rodriguez in the second half found holes in the Los Alamos interior defense and took advantage with strong moves to the hole.

    It was Forde doing much of the damage until the second half, when Los Alamos (9-6) matched Kirk up against her. Kirk, who had 10 points along with a big defensive showing in the second half, limited Forde to just one bucket in the third quarter and none in the fourth.

    Logan, who came off the bench and saw only limited action in the first quarter, finished with 12 points, the game high along with Forde. Anna Scott added 7 points.

  • Andrew and Mousie 01-06-13
  • Births 01-06-13

    Los Alamos Medical Center reported the following births:

    • Dec. 2: A boy, Justin Lei, born to Yaping Huang and Zhou Lei
    • Dec. 7: A girl, Michaela Karaulanov, born to Budinka and Todor Karaulanov
    • Dec. 7: A boy, Brady Mason Grondin, born to Mindi Macias and Jeremy Grondin
    • Dec. 12: A boy, Frank Guo, born to Bei Yin and Zehua Guo
    • Dec. 21: A boy, Christopher David Rutherford, born to Becky and Perry Rutherford
    • Dec. 22: A boy, David Ignacio Caro, born to Eliza Ulibarri and Ignacio Chavez