NMFA Thief Gets Probation on Guilty Plea

SFgate - A former accountant for the New Mexico Finance Authority has pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion for stealing $59,000 from the agency that's embroiled in a scandal over a fake financial audit. The Taxation and Revenue Department announced Friday that Valerie Sandoval of Bernalillo pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced earlier this week to five years of probation. Sandoval also must pay $59,000 in restitution and $3,500 in taxes.
The department said Sandoval took money from the NMFA between August and December 2009, and deposited it in a friend's bank account. Read full story here: News New Mexico

The "Red Tape" is Parted to Land Interceramic Inc. Jobs for Santa Teresa

SANTA TERESA – Yesterday Governor Susana Martinez, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela, Representative Mary Helen Garcia, and Senator Mary Kay Papen visited Interceramic, Inc. for a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new distribution center. The Chihuahua-based company, which is one of the world’s largest tile manufacturers in North America, chose to locate its newest U.S. facility in Santa Teresa following bi-partisan action by Governor Martinez and the legislature to allow the operation of overweight cargo trucks within a six-mile radius of the Santa Teresa port of entry. Nobody in attendance complained about the fact that the Mexico-based company had "outsourced" the facility to the Unted States. The 80,000 square-foot facility will initially create 30 new jobs in New Mexico.
“This is further evidence that the state is committed to a business environment that allows companies to create jobs in New Mexico and take advantage of the robust infrastructure that we are developing along our southern border,” Governor Martinez said. “With Union Pacific as the cornerstone of this industry, we have taken additional bi-partisan measures to make our state a more attractive place to do business, whether companies are looking to get off the ground, expand, or re-locate here. We will continue to build upon this success and I look forward to welcoming more companies like Interceramic to New Mexico.”
Interceramic, which was founded in 1979, is one of the largest tile manufacturers in North America, with a total production capacity of 450 million square feet per year in nine facilities housed in four different manufacturing complexes: three in Chihuahua, Mexico and one in Garland, Texas. With annual sales of approximately $500 million, Interceramic is a leading manufacturer of ceramic tile, bathroom fixtures, setting materials, and natural stone. The company uses 240 franchise stores to distribute its product in Mexico, 14 stores in the south region of the U.S. located across Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Georgia, and 65 independent distributors for the rest of the U.S. and Canada. In addition to their North America operations, the company also has distribution centers in Panama and Guatemala and a venture in China to produce high design ceramic tile and offer it through exclusive local distributors.



Groups Lobby Martinez to Make Government Bigger

KRQE - More than 50 organizations are urging Gov. Susana Martinez to support expanding Medicaid to cover more uninsured New Mexicans.
The groups sent a letter this week to the Republican governor, saying the expansion of Medicaid under a federal health care law is a "win-win for New Mexico." Among those signing the letter are health care groups such as the New Mexico Pediatric Society and religious organizations including the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the federal government can't force states to expand Medicaid eligibility in 2014 by threatening to withhold money for the program. Expansion supporters say 150,000 low-income New Mexicans will receive health care coverage and the federal government will cover the cost for three years before the state pays a share. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Late Night Comedy

Jay Leno - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee the economic recovery is weakening. But the good news is most Americans will not be affected because they had no idea there was a recovery.
Jobless claims rose again by 35,000 last week. Not good. But it does show that if you're unsuccessful in this country, you didn't do it on your own. You had help. Thank you, President Obama.
Conan O’Brien - The United States postal service is about to default on $5.5 billion. They say they made the payment but the check got lost in the mail.
According to The New York Times, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were fired, gone. Charlie Sheen said he would like to be part of the show. He just wants to hang around to see if Paula Abdul left anything in her medicine cabinet.
Craig Ferguson - Oprah used to be the most powerful force on TV. It seems that's changed a little bit. But she's still teaching us some very important lessons, like: Never move to cable. There's a much tighter budget on Oprah's show. Last week her studio audience looked under their seats and just found gum.
Jimmy Kimmel - A new study claims that for the first time ever, Canadians are wealthier than Americans. We are their Mexico now, it turns out.
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, they handed out 100,000 condoms. This year it's 150,000. That's 100,000 for the U.S. basketball team and 50,000 for everyone else.