Database to let drivers look into car crashes
The government has unveiled a new public database that will allow consumers to look up the number of alleged deaths, injuries and cases of property damage involving passenger vehicles.
Consumer groups have sought the information, which was part of legislation enacted by Congress following the massive recall of Firestone tires in 2000. It required manufacturers to provide data on complaints of deaths, injuries, property damage and warranty claims.
The early warning reports can be found at: http://www.safercar.gov
Utilities commission plans consumer session
The Public Utilities Commission will hold a consumer session at 6 p.m. today at the Sahara West Library at 9600 W. Sahara Ave. to hear comments on Southwest Gas Corp.’s proposed rate decrease.
The gas distribution company is asking the commission to lower the monthly winter bill of the typical Southern Nevada residential customer by 1.96 percent starting Nov. 1.
A residential customer using 6,500 cubic feet of gas would pay $76.63 a month, down from $78.16 before the rate change. The rate change reflects changes in the cost of natural gas over recent periods.
Las Vegas rated low for expansion by think tank
A think tank that ranks cities based on economic performance gave Las Vegas low marks for expansion in the most recent year.
The latest edition of the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities list shows a significant drop in the vitality of the local economy. Las Vegas dropped from No. 9 on the 2007 list to No. 75 on the newest version, released Wednesday.
The California institute put Las Vegas on its list of “biggest losers” — the markets that suffered the biggest declines in performance.
Reno-Sparks also made the list of biggest losers, falling from No. 26 in 2007 to No. 133 in the 2008 edition.
The Milken Institute evaluates job formation, wage growth and high-tech growth, among other indicators, to develop its list.
Defense Department to delay tanker decision
The Defense Department will push back its decision on a $35 billion tanker contract to the next administration, delaying again the hotly disputed competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman to replace the Air Force’s aging aerial refueling fleet.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told lawmakers Wednesday that he decided to cancel the current round of bidding on the plane — a competition that has stretched seven years — because the Pentagon’s plan to award the contract by the end of the year no longer seemed possible given the complexity of the project and the rancor between the two companies.
No sign of rebound for hard-money lender
Vestin Group, a Nevada hard-money lender that makes public reports on its loan portfolio, has seen no indication of a rebound from hard times, new reports suggest.
Vestin Realty Mortgage II, one of two real estate investment trusts Vestin Group manages, late Tuesday said problem loans continue to increase.
The company counts 39 loans outstanding for a total of $264 million as of Aug. 31. Of those, 20 with a principal amount totaling $166 million were delinquent.
The company has started foreclosing on 15 loans totaling $118.5 million. Vestin intends to start foreclosing on the other five loans with a total principal amount of $47.6 million.
Vestin II owns 12 real estate properties that are for sale; they have a book value of $60.2 million.
Vestin Realty Mortgage I, the smaller of the two REITs, classifies 16 of its 28 outstanding loans as nonperforming. Nonperforming loans have a total principal value of $32.3 million out of the total $41.5 million for all outstanding loans.
Treasury prices decline as stocks head higher
Government bonds slid Wednesday, as a gain in the stock market led investors to give back some of Tuesday’s run-up in Treasurys.
In late trading Wednesday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 0.47 points to 103.06. Its yield rose to 3.63 percent from 3.59 percent late Tuesday.
The 30-year long bond fell 0.88 points to 104.63, while its yield rose to 4.23 percent from 4.19 percent on Tuesday.