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Today's News

  • Budget committee hammers out priorities

    After a few weeks of fact-finding into what the Los Alamos Public Schools spends its money on, the 2015 Education Budget Committee came up with a list of priorities the district should focus its funds on. The top three, in order, are:
    • Teacher compensation (23 votes)
    • Financial and educational support for the professional development of teachers (12 votes)
    • Mental health and well being of students (10 votes)
    The committee, which is made up of parents, teachers, business people, school administrators and executives from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, worked out the list of priorities during a meeting held at the Los Alamos High School Media Center.
    Committee member Bill Wadt, who also has a seat on the LANL Foundation’s board of directors, was glad to see mental health was a priority.
    “I think that shows the sensitivity of this community, that it realizes there is a mental health issue in this community and that we need to do more to address it,” he said, shortly after the vote was taken.
    Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn oversaw the process, and was also glad to see how the entire list of priorities turned out.

  • Golf Course manager moves on

    This is Steve Wickliffe’s final week as manager of the Los Alamos golf course. Wickliffe has accepted a position managing the golf course at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in Montana.
    Wickliffe was hired as manager in October 2009, shortly after Dennis McCloskey retired. Wickliffe had previously managed the Old Works Golf Club in Anaconda, Montana, for 13 years.
    “He was the first person I hired when I became supervisor in 2009,” said Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division Manager Randy Smith. “So we’ve had a close relationship working together. I’m sad to see him go.”
    Wickliffe was instrumental in bringing one of McCloskey’s projects to fruition: the building of the new golf course community building.
    McCloskey had set the project in motion before his retirement, but council did not approve funding until 2010. Construction on the new facility began in August 2012. According to Smith, Wickliffe was very involved in monitoring the construction of that facility.
    Wickliffe himself is too modest to take credit for that.
    “Anything like this, it takes a team effort,” Wickliffe said.

  • Legendary resident dies at 94

    One of the most iconic residents in the history of Los Alamos County died over the weekend.
    Lou Pierotti, known for his entrepreneurship, his charity work and his on-field persona as the outrageous front-man of his world famous 5-man softball team, died Saturday afternoon. He was 94.
    Pierotti is best remembered for the Pierotti’s Clowns, the undermanned fastpitch team he founded. The team, which dressed from head-to-toe as circus clowns, complete with face paint, played 200 games in its history, winning 177 of them, in a span of three decades. The team was known for its antics, with Pierotti behind most of them.
    The team drew hundreds of fans to its games, which it played both in Los Alamos County and on the road.
    In its heyday, Pierotti’s Clowns raised more than $200,000 for charity — as Pierotti told the Los Alamos Monitor in one of his last public interviews in 2009, “that was a lot of money back then.”
    “Lou was a big part of the history of this county,” said Heather McClenahan of the Los Alamos Historical Society. “There was so many people he touched. So many things he did for so many people. To say that we’ve lost a treasure seems so inadequate.”

  • Battling for the ball
  • LA baseball team goes 1-2 at tough Piedra Vista tourney

    The Los Alamos baseball team took on the defending state champs, Piedra Vista, for a second time this season on Saturday. For the second time Piedra Vista was able to beat the ’Toppers by a 3-2 score, but it needed extra innings to get the win.
    “It was a good ball game,” Los Alamos manager Mike Gill said.
    The Panthers led 2-0 after five innings, but Los Alamos fought back.
    Connor Mang started the top of the sixth inning with a single. Jared Mang hit a single and moved Connor to third base. Lane Saunders then got an RBI with a ground out.
    Los Alamos tied the game in the seventh. Jarrett Genero singled. Zealand Waltersheid laid down a sacrifice bunt to put Genero in scoring position. Then Jake Rutten hit a single into right field to bring Genero home.
    Piedra Vista had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, but Los Alamos’ defense came through and made a play at the plate. With a runner on second, Piedra Vista hit a single into center field. Jared Mang fielded the ball and threw home. Trevor Pacheco did a good job blocking home, Gill said, and tagged the runner out to send the game into extra innings.
    In the bottom of the ninth, however, two Los Alamos errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Piedra Vista then plated the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

  • Altmann sends it in Alaska

    With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Garrett Altmann didn’t hold anything back, Monday, in Haines, Alaska.
    After three attempts, the conditions finally allowed the Freeride World Tour’s competitors to take on The Venue in Alaska. The tour had been there for nine days, but the wait paid off with sunny skies and fresh snow.
    Altmann started the day in 15th place and needed to move into the top-12 to advance to the tour’s finale in Verbier, Switzerland.
    On the top section Altmann launched off a cliff and was in the air long enough to do a couple of tricks — crossing his skis and then doing what the judges called a “donkey kick.”
    On the bottom section Altmann went big again, tossing a front flip off of a blind rollover. He was unable to land the rick, however, and ended up doing a couple of cartwheels before regaining control.
    Altmann fell once more in a tight spine section and ended up kicking both skis off while tumbling down in his slough.
    The two falls kept him from moving up in the tour’s rankings and qualifying for Verbier, but the good news for Altmann is he’ll get another chance.

  • Lecture to focus on tuberculosis

    Los Alamos researcher Harshini Mukundan will discuss the re-emergence of tuberculosis in the first Frontiers in Science lecture of the season.
    The lecture will take place at the Duane Smith Auditorium. It is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
    Mukundan's lecture, "The Microbe Strikes Back: The Return of Tuberculosis," will focus on focus how effective diagnosis can prevent the spread of tuberculosis and save lives.

    For a video on the topic, visit https://youtu.be/IgEm0HKGhn4

  • Today In History, March 23
  • Legendary resident Lou Pierotti dies

    Lou Pierotti, longtime Los Alamos resident and famous for his 5-man softball team, has died, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church priest Glenn Jones confirmed today.

    Pierotti, who was 95, died Saturday afternoon. Pierotti, who was a local entrepreneur, also founded Pierotti's Clowns, a famous 5-man softball team, sponsored by the local Kiwanis group.

    No funeral date has been announced. Check back at LAMonitor.com for more details.

  • Today in history March 22