.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Today's News

  • Schools mourn student's passing

    The Los Alamos School District is doing what it can to help students and staff as people come to grips with the passing of freshman Nikolas Ventura-Arencon, who died last week in a head-on collision on N.M. 4.

    Another passenger in the car, Divine Fellers, 13, a Los Alamos Middle School student, remains at UNM Hospital in Albuquerque in stable condition recovering from injuries, according to Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department Captain Adan Mendoza.

    Drivers Jennifer Ventura-Trujillo, 41, of White Rock and Dennis Bernal, 43, of Santa Fe, were released from Los Alamos Medical Center and Santa Fe’s Christus St. Vincent Hospital, respectively the night of the Nov. 21 crash. Mendoza said this morning that a careless driving citation was issued to Bernal on the day of the crash. Bernal also submitted to a drug screen, Mendoza said.

    Mendoza said the investigation is ongoing.

    “We are still doing interviews and talking to witnesses as well as waiting on lab results,” Mendoza said. “The investigation should be done in a timely manner. After all the work is done in the investigation, we will see if other types of citations or charges are warranted.”

  • Unresolved costs at lab trouble Inspector General

    The Department of Energy Inspector General issued an audit report on costs incurred by the Los Alamos National Laboratory during Fiscal Year 2010 and the National Nuclear Security Administration management team agreed with it.

    Millions of dollars in questioned and unresolved costs at LANL have been under review for some time. The final IG report released this month does not point to any clear path for resolution in terms of how the millions in taxpayer money may have been expended at the national lab.

    The report stated, “We identified approximately $50,000 in questioned and unresolved costs claimed by Los Alamos during Fiscal Year 2010. We also identified nearly $24 million in subcontract costs requiring audit; nearly $1.4 million in unresolved questioned subcontract costs; and, approximately $10.7 million in unresolved costs pertaining to a potential Anti-Deficiency Act violation.

    “Finally, we identified more than $434 million in previously reported unresolved costs from prior years. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s management agreed with the findings and recommendations and provided proposed corrective actions.”

    As of July 2012, the contracting officer and NNSA’s Office of Field Financial Management were working with Los Alamos to resolve the questioned costs.

  • A small glimmer of hope

    A little bitty glimmer of light exists somewhere in the dark tunnel of the New Mexico economy. The tiny flicker is in construction, of all sectors. This word comes from economist Alison Felix of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    Felix tracks New Mexico from the KC Fed’s Denver office. She came to Albuquerque the day after the election as part of the occasional KC Fed economic outlook and update road show. The star was Felix’s overall boss, Esther George, KC Fed president and CEO since October 2011.
    Back in the tunnel, our economic situation remains ugly with a 1.3 percent drop in wage jobs from September 2011 to September 2012. That performance ranked 49th nationally with West Virginia taking Mississippi’s role and finishing last. Nationally, wage jobs grew 1.4 percent in the year from the second quarter of 2011 to 2012, Felix said.
    For real personal income growth, we place 48th with a 0.4 percent increase for the period. The anemic increase puts New Mexico’s personal income over the prerecession level of 2008.
    Felix discussed the entire state. See http://www.kc.frb.org/publicat/speeches/2012-Felix-NMEconForum-11-07.pdf.

  • Last-minute ways to trim your taxes

    From now until New Year’s is probably when you have the least amount of time to spare on mundane financial bookkeeping tasks. But if you can dedicate a few minutes to review your benefits and tax paperwork, you might be able to shave hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars off your 2012 taxes.
    Here are a few suggestions:
    If you haven’t already maxed out on contributions, ask your employer if you can make a catch-up contribution to your 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan before year’s end. Most people can contribute up to $17,000 in 2012 (a $500 increase over 2011), plus an additional $5,500 if they’re over 50.
    If you contribute on a pretax basis, your taxable income is reduced, which in turn lowers your taxes. At a minimum, if your employer offers matching contributions (essentially, free money), be sure to contribute at least enough to take full advantage of the match.

  • State Notes 11-27-12

    Lobos crack top 25 rankings

    The University of New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball team got nods in both major college hoops polls Monday.
    The Lobos (6-0), on the strength of their win at the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, earned a No. 23 ranking in the USA Today coaches poll and a No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press poll. The Lobos picked up 68 points in the USA Today poll — it had 16 the previous week — and had 141 points in the AP poll to crack the top 25.
    This is the third time in four seasons under head coach Steve Alford the Lobos have earned a spot in the two major national college polls. Prior to the 2009-10 season, the Lobos hadn’t been in the top 25 since the final poll of 1998-99.
    Indiana (6-0) sits atop both the USA Today and AP polls. Duke (6-0) is second in both polls and Michigan (5-0) is ranked third.
    UNM topped Portland 69-54 Sunday night in Albuquerque.
    In that game, former Los Alamos Hilltopper standout Alex Kirk had 14 points, leading all scorers. Kirk was 6 of 10 shooting from the floor and also grabbed 11 rebounds, who with teammate Cameron Bairstow also posted the game-high total.
    The Lobos led just 30-27 at the half of Sunday’s game, but started the second half on a 10-0 run to take control.

  • LA's Amy Neal named 4A Player of the Year

    For the second straight year, Los Alamos’ Amy Neal was named the Class 4A Player of the Year in girls soccer.
    Neal, the No. 2 scorer in 4A this season, was honored by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association for her performance in the 2012 season.
    Neal, who will attend the University of Tennessee next fall, earned 32 goals and 20 assists, both the second-best totals in 4A. She also led Los Alamos to the state semifinals before the Hilltoppers bowed out to Aztec.
    Along with Neal, two other Hilltopper girls were picked for the All-State first team. Goalkeeper Bryce Theesfeld and fullback Stephanie Blair were both named to this year’s 4A first team.
    State champion Albuquerque Academy led all teams with five first-team nods this season, including scoring champion MacKenzie Miller.
    On the boys side, Los Alamos didn’t pick up any first team All-State selections. Fullbacks Brandon Hodges, Ben Stewart and Zayne Walterscheid, and midfielder Henry Steinkamp were named to the All-State second team for the Hilltoppers.
    Farmington’s Jeremy Klepac was named 4A boys soccer Player of the Year and Chaparral head coach Fernando Mendoza, who led the Lobos to their first ever boys soccer title, was named Coach of the Year. Chaparral outlasted Los Alamos in overtime of their semifinal game Nov. 9.

  • Raw: Crane Catches Fire, Collapses in Australia

    Part of a crane caught fire and collapsed at a university building site in Sydney, Australia. The crane driver managed to escape before the arm fell onto the roof of a nearby building, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

  • Police: DUI Suspect Drove With Victim on Hood
  • Today in History for November 27th
  • Family Swept to Sea Mourned in Northern Calif.