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Business Briefs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solar installation firm awarded grant

The state’s Job Training Incentive Program board has approved $8,680 to help cover the cost of training one high-wage position in Taos.

Paradise Power Co. (PPC Solar), this month’s JTIP recipient, established its business of solar installation nearly four decades ago in rural Taos. PPC Solar serves northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and has 10 employees.

For more information on JTIP, visit

Ex-insurance chief named to panel

SANTA FE – Former State Insurance Superintendent Chris Krahling has been named to a panel that will select New Mexico’s top insurance regulator.


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A nine-member committee will select the next superintendent of insurance, who starting in July will be in charge of an independent office regulating insurance rates and policies.

The committee is accepting applications for the superintendent’s position until the end of the month.

A voter-approved constitutional amendment removed insurance regulation from the five-member elected Public Regulation Commission, which currently picks the superintendent.

Woman admits to counterfeit checks

An Albuquerque woman has pleaded guilty to identity theft charges that stemmed from the cashing of more than $141,000 in counterfeit checks at stores in five states including New Mexico.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Shelly Nichols, also known as Shelly Lopez, entered her plea Thursday.

Nichols admitted that she and her co-defendant, Donna Gabaldon, cashed fake payroll checks at Wal-Mart stores in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Texas.

Nichols faces 25 months in federal prison. Gabaldon was sentenced to two years in prison last September.

Two honored with leadership awards

Robert Stamm and Tony Atkinson were recently recognized for their outstanding leadership and dedication to the state of New Mexico at the 2013 Leadership New Mexico Annual Awards Dinner in Albuquerque.


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Stamm, chairman emeritus of Bradbury Stamm, was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Leadership Award and Atkinson, former San Juan County commissioner, was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

More than 260 people attended the awards dinner.

Ariz.’s economy slowly on the mend

PHOENIX – Job growth and home prices are slowly rebounding, but the state has a long way to go and automatic federal budget cuts aren’t helping, some of Arizona’s top business experts said Thursday.

Four faculty members from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University delivered their latest forecasts at an annual economic outlook luncheon.

They said Arizona has gained back nearly 40 percent of the 314,000 jobs that were lost during the recession, but that pace is well behind the nation as a whole.

Arizona is projected to add 61,000 jobs this year.