• Bank lawsuit alleges mismanagement

    A lawsuit filed by Los Alamos National Bank, and its parent company, Trinity Capital Corporation, in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico is alleging that two former LANB officers financially mismanaged the bank’s loan department to such an extent that it triggered an investigation by the federal government.
    Though those officers have left the bank, at least one of them, William Enloe, who was the bank’s chief executive officer at the time the mismanagement was uncovered, has filed a countersuit in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico alleging that he was not to blame and that he should be indemnified for travel, legal and other expenses incurred by him through TCC and LANB when he was subpoenaed by the federal government in 2013.
    The other person named in the bank’s suit is Jill Cook, who was the bank’s senior vice president and chief credit officer for the Los Alamos bank at the time as well. According to court records, Cook is alleging that LANB wrongfully terminated her, as well as engaged in gender discrimination.
    Cook is also demanding that TCC and LANB indemnify her for legal representation incurred during the federal investigation as well as related costs.

  • Children's Clinic earns certification

    The Children’s Clinic in Los Alamos was recently awarded level 3 recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, collaborative relationships.
    Children’s Clinic is the first practice in Los Alamos County to achieve such recognition, that according to a press release announcing the recognition.
    The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians.
    “NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high- quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that the Children’s Clinic has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”
    To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, Children’s Clinic demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home.

  • Investment office will reopen on Wednesday

    The Shelly A. Wiemann office of Edward Jones Investments will have a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting Wednesday.
    The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at its location, 555 Oppenheimer Drive, suite 206.
    Prior to the ribbon-cutting, there will be an open house at the office, starting at 3 p.m. Refreshments and light snacks will be served.
    Wiemann recently assumed responsibility for the Los Alamos office of the investment firm.
    “I am excited to take over the Edward Jones office in Los Alamos,” Wiemann said in a release announcing the event. “I know the people of this community have come to rely upon our firm to provide them with sound investment advice that is geared toward individual investors. I will strive to continue our tradition of excellence here.”
    Prior to joining Edward Jones, Wiemann was an associate financial advisor with an insurance company.
    According to her bio, Wiemann has many years of personnel management and data analysis experience, which was a natural progression of her education at the University of Minnesota.
    Wiemann earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial psychology in 2004.

  • First Anniversary

    Smith’s Marketplace had plenty to do, and to eat, to celebrate its first anniversary Thursday. There were bouncy houses for the kids and food and drinks for store patrons. The store opened with much fanfare in 2014.

  • Cuisine is the real thing

    When Joe and Ratchanida (Nam) Lovato opened Thailand Thai Cuisine a week ago Thursday, they were caught off-guard by the response.
    “The first two or three days they just kept coming. It was rough. We didn’t expect that,” Nam said. “But it’s good, because people are excited, because they love Thai food, and we always hear, ‘Oh, your food is so good.’ It’s all about positive comments. We’re really happy with it.”
    That rush of business has made for some slow service, since Nam was the sole chef until just this week. She is currently training another cook in how to make the complex Thai dishes.
    Thai cuisine is very labor intensive.
    Nam and Joe have spent several nights working until 2 a.m., preparing fresh vegetables and other ingredients for the next day. But every dish is made to order.
    The delicate blend of spices that goes into each dish does not come from a premade sauce or mix, but is prepared one dish at a time by Nam herself.
    According to Joe, who manages the front of the house and the accounting, they have averaged 100 tickets a day, with two to three people per ticket. That means that petite, 24-year-old Nam has been cooking approximately 225 meals a day.

  • Hilltop House under new ownership

    If all goes as planned, Los Alamos will have another lodging option before the end of the year.
    The new owners of Hilltop House have plans to renovate the property and reopen it.
    The hotel was purchased by Atomic City Investments, a subsidiary of Texas Capital Partners. The partnership also owns Sipapu Ski Resort, Purgatory Ski Resort in Durango, Colo., and is working on purchasing Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona.
    “We believe this investment in that city will bring a strong synergy, particularly with our linking of Durango, Snowbowl and Sipapu,” said Kuzi Mutsiwegota, one of TCP’s partners.
    “We just feel that we’re going to have a seasonal pass product that will allow people to come visit Los Alamos more, and having some lodging was pretty important to us.”
    Mutsiwegota acknowledge that the hotel is in need of significant work.
    “We need to work through some of the code requirements and assess some of those realities as far as getting it open.” Mutsiwegota said. “But we anticipate that it will be operating at some point before ski season.”

  • Unemployment is at 3.8 percent in county

    Unemployment ticked up slightly in Los Alamos County in the month of May, that according to New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
    Los Alamos had an additional 26 persons reporting as unemployed in May as opposed to April. In all, a total of 308 people were unemployed.
    Despite the uptick, the county still had the lowest unemployment rate among the state’s counties. Los Alamos reported a 3.8 percent unemployment rate for 8,167 job seekers, a number that was down from April’s adjusted number of 8,209.
    Los Alamos’ rate of unemployment is similar to that of a year ago, when a 3.9 percent unemployment was reported.
    The current rate is still well below the seasonally-adjusted rate for the state of 6.2 percent. That number held steady between April and May.
    Across the state, most numbers stayed steady. Albuquerque’s numbers remain strong, as do many of the metro areas in New Mexico.
    Workforce Solutions reported about 2,400 nonfarm jobs had been added last month, most of those in the service industry. Construction across New Mexico also added roughly 1,100 jobs.

  • Open Wide

    Los Alamos’ Subway store had its official grand opening Thursday with owner Larry Singh cutting the ribbon in a ceremony. The new store has been much anticipated after the old location closed in 2013.

  • Chamberfest returns on Saturday

    A showdown at high noon will be one of the highlights of this year’s Los Alamos Chamberfest.
    Chamberfest, an annual celebration of Los Alamos’ Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area.
    Central Avenue will be closed off for Saturday’s event, which will feature, among other activities, music by Eddy and the Nomads, a car show, bouncy houses and booths featuring chamber members.
    There will also be the popular kids’ sand pile, which is sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank. The sandpile is set up in the middle of Central Avenue for kids to dig through.
    But one of the main events is the showdown, that will feature the less-traditional weapons of water balloons. County VIPs will take on local business people and kids can take on Baxter the Bear, the mascot of Del Norte Credit Union.
    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit program of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. The LACDC operates the chamber, Los Alamos MainStreet, and the Los Alamos Meeting and Visitors Bureau.
    Suggested parking for Saturday’s event will be at Central Park Square at 15th Street and Nectar, the Metzger’s parking lot and Deacon Street behind CB Fox, as well as Mesa Public Library.

  • New Subway location now open

    The new Subway store on Central Avenue is now open for business. The store opened at 7 a.m. Today the store had a soft opening but there will be a grand opening Thursday, which will include door prizes, sandwich specials and a live remote broadcast by local radio station KRSN.