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Friday, January 9, 2015 Vol. 1, No. 11 Fitchburg, WI ConnectFitchburg.com $1

Office Next to Great Dane - Fitchburg



Stories of the Year




Surplus program
isnt used much
Page 2

Two more enter
mayoral race
Page 3

Cherokee Middle
School class
focuses on
science, tech
Page 10


Fisher bags first

legal musky
Page 11


Page 17

Construction, growth and sadness

In our first year back in print in Fitchburg,
we had no shortage of worthy stories to write
As growth began to pick up, so did headaches related to it, like road work on two of
the most heavily traveled Fitchburg roads.
One sad, violent incident rocked a northside neighborhood, and we saw the resolution of another one from two years earlier
on the northwest side. Hy-Vee added some

commerce to the west, and in the center of the

city, alders finally came to a decision on what
to do with the Nine Springs Golf Course.
Meanwhile, city departments went through
some shake-ups internally there were changes at the fire department and three new department heads sports teams did damage at the
state tournaments and voters in the Oregon
School District approved a $55 million referendum package.

1. Election
2. Referendums
3. Verona Road
4. Fire department
5. Food pantry
6. Fitchburg Fields
7. Westside
8. Northeast

Page 16

Forever thankful
Seth Jovaag
Star correspondent

Page 18


ahead to

2015 stories

Ten years after fire, family

recalls community response

center opens on
McKee Road


2014 stories
1. Road work
2. Double murder
3. Hy-Vee opens
4. Nine Springs
5. Fitchburg Star
6. Construction
7. Sports winners
8. Fire department
9. City staff changes
10. OSD referendum


Around 4 a.m. on a frigid January

night 10 years ago, Ed Peirick was
crawling back into bed after using
the bathroom. Before shutting his
eyes, he noticed a strange, orange
light beyond his drapes. He got up,
went to his living room and looked
"I just see a wall of flame, Peirick

The screened-in porch of their

21-year-old home at 5833 Timber
Land Circle had caught fire, setting
ablaze the homes cedar shingle exterior.
Ed woke his wife, Judy, and their
two teenage kids, Ben and Rachel.
Before getting out, Ed grabbed a
briefcase that held his wallet and car
keys. They backed their cars out of
the driveway, then stood outside as
the police and fire trucks arrived.
No one was hurt, but the house the
couple had built in 1983 was ruined.
They watched nearly all of their possessions family photos, furniture,

Photo submitted

Turn to Fire/Page 5 A fire destroyed the Peiricks house on Timber Land Circle on Jan. 17, 2005.

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January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star


Fitchburg Police

Local police rarely tap military surplus program

No plans for body
cameras, either
Seth Jovaag
Star Correspondent

Protests sparked by
police killings of unarmed
men in Ferguson, Mo. and
New York City have cast
a spotlight on law enforcement tools and procedures.
Two topics police use
of body-worn cameras and
military-grade gear and
weaponry have drawn
media attention nationwide and in Wisconsin.
But in Fitchburg, police
currently have no plans to
purchase body cameras and
havent utilized a program
to obtain leftover military
gear free of charge from the
Department of Defense in
more than eight years, said
assistant chief Donald Bates
Fitchburg police in 2006
obtained $22,000 worth of
surplus military gear through
a federal program known as
Fitchburgs take included two generator-powered
floodlights worth a combined
$21,590, 12 pairs of protective glasses for the firing

On the web:


View military-grade gear obtained

by Wisconsin law enforcement
agencies including Fitchburgs
since 2004. at:

A federal program
that lets law
enforcement agencies
obtain military gear
free of charge was
used by Fitchburg in
2006 to obtain $22,144
in gear, including:
Two generatorpowered floodlights,
each worth $10,795
12 ballistic
spectacles kits worth
A small rack for
storing weapons, $371


Photos by Samantha Christian

Above, the Fitchburg police

obtained 12 pairs of protective glasses for the firing range
through a federal program
known as 1033. Right, the
Fitchburg Police Department
obtained two generator-powered
floodlights, like the one shown
in storage, through the military
surplus program.

range ($183) and a small

weapons storage rack ($371),
according to a database of all
1033-related acquisitions in
Wisconsin since 2004. All
are still used, Bates said.
The department hasnt
tapped into the program
since then because were

funded well by the city,

Bates said.
Were pretty well set on
our equipment, he said.
Criticism that police are
too militarized heated up in

August after authorities in

Ferguson used military-style
vehicles and weapons to
quell protests over the fatal
shooting by a police officer of 18-year-old Michael

State spending
In the past decade, Wisconsin law enforcement
agencies obtained more than
$28 million of surplus military gear through the 1033
program. In all, more than
67,000 military-grade items
were given to 219 agencies
since 2004, according to a
report in August by Gannett
Media Wisconsin.
Twenty-four agencies
including Madison police
- obtained mine-resistant
armored trucks in the past
year through the program,
according to the Wisconsin

State Journal. That raised

eyebrows in small cities like
Neenah, whose armored vehicle was highlighted in a New
York Times article in June.
But much of the gear,
which would otherwise be
disposed of, is more mundane. Gloves, trousers,
cabinets, rope and sandbags
are common examples. But
some departments have used
the program to obtain assault
rifles, grenade launchers or,
in Kenosha County, a helicopter valued at $916,000,
according to the database.
Fitchburg hasnt seen a
need for those more controversial items, Bates said.
In addition to the .40-caliber Glock handguns issued
to officers, Fitchburg police
have had assault rifles in each
squad car for about a decade,
which is common in most
area departments, Bates said.
An infamous Los Angeles
shootout in 1997, in which
bank robbers outgunned
police, prompted many law
enforcement agencies to
switch from shotguns to
rifles that have better range

and accuracy, Bates said. No

Fitchburg officer has ever
fired a rifle in the line of
duty but they are deployed
occasionally, he said.
Fitchburg can also call
Madison or Dane County if
they need an armored vehicle to confront a possible
shoot-out, he said.

Body cameras
Body cameras for police
are also in the news. Earlier this month, President
Obama asked Congress to
spend $75 million to help
pay for 50,000 small cameras that could be mounted
on police officer uniforms.
Proponents say the cameras
could foster public confidence that police are doing
their jobs correctly, though
critics see it as a costly
requirement that could raise
privacy concerns.
In Dane County, it
appears only Stoughton and
McFarland police departments have body cameras,
said McFarland chief Craig
Sherven, president of the
Dane County Chiefs of
Police Association.
Fitchburg police already
have cameras in squad cars
that activate when the siren
or lights are turned on. To
his knowledge, Bates said,
Fitchburg is also the only
police force in Dane County
to have cameras in Tasers
that activate when drawn
from their holster.
Body-worn cameras might
be on the horizon for
Fitchburg, Bates said, but
there are many unknowns,
including whether Fitchburg
might be eligible for grant
Were a forward-thinking department and we have
to consider all of our options
for the safety of our officers
as well as our citizenry, he

A small group of eager scientists looks at an experiment
Dec. 18 at the Fitchburg Public
Library. The event featured stories about science and a handson experiment.
Right, Isabel Webster watches
her experiment as it begins to
Photo by Mark Ignatowski


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January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star

Spring election

Two more enter mayoral race

Primary on Feb. 17
Scott Girard
Unified Newspaper Group

A former mayor and a former neighborhood president

joined the Fitchburg mayoral
race at the last minute, meaning a primary will be needed
to narrow the field to two.
That primary will be Feb.
17, with the general election
April 7.
Jay Allen, who served as
an alder from 1993 to 2009
and mayor from 2009 to 2011
but has lost to Mayor Shawn
Pfaff in the last two mayoral
elections, said he wants to get
back to working on the priorities he had while in office.
"I really enjoyed the work
that I was doing when I was

the mayor
and when I
was on the
city council,
Allen said.
had been
working on
many envi- Allen
policies, and many of them
became model policies for
the county."
He added that Pfaff seems
unconcerned with environmental issues.
Janell Rice, 56, has lived
in the Lacy Heights neighborhood for 13 years and
said rising city tax rates over
the last four years was her
top issue.
Theres some questions
that we have about why that

Mayoral forum
Thursday, Feb. 5
The Fitchburg Star is planning to hold a
forum for the four candidates ahead of the
primary election Thursday, Feb. 5, at the
Fitchburg Senior Center. FACTv will broadcast
the forum on channel 987.
Check ConnectFitchburg.com, visit our
Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for
is, the self-described fiscal
conservative told the Star.
Theres a number of people that want to just see that
thing get stabilized.
Rice said the other issue
she would prioritize, and one
she hears about regularly
from neighbors and friends

around the city, is appropriate development and ensuring there is not too much
developable land.
Rice and Allen only took
out nomination papers Jan.
2, leaving them well-behind
incumbent Pfaff and Ald.
Steve Arnold, their two

in getting
their campaigns. Rice
said shes not
The feedback that Im
getting is that
theres sufficient concern
about the two issues that Ive
identified that people would
like an option of looking at
something different, she
Allen, who has lived in
Fitchburg since 1988, also
said he wasnt concerned
about he and Arnolds campaigns overlapping too
much, as he talked about the
environment and transportation as two of his top issues,
both of which have been

priorities for Arnold in the

past as well.
I have a lot of respect
for Steve and the policies he
believes in, Allen said. I
believe I will be able to bring
(the city) together and get
things accomplished more
Rice cited her time as neighborhood president, which
included setting up a neighborhood watch program and getting the city to reassess some
of the neighborhoods properties to lower the tax bills, as an
experience that readied her for
the mayors office.
At the end of the day, its
hard to say how many people are going to say, I want
my taxes addressed, I want
appropriate planning, but I
think thats also the beauty of
the process, she said.

Council elections feature 6 contested races, 1 primary

While the mayoral race
will take center stage for the
City of Fitchburg election, six
aldermanic districts will also
be contested this April.
In District 2, Richard
Bloomquist filed for noncandidacy of Seat 3, opening
the door for three newcomers.
Julia Arata-Fratta, Matthew
Pulda and Roger Backes all
took out papers for the race.
Bloomquist did not return a
request for comment about
his non-candidacy as of press
time Wednesday.
Pulda grew up in Verona
and graduated from the UWMadison.
As a legislative staffer,
I am excited at the opportunity to use my constituent casework experience in
the service of my neighbors
here in Fitchburg and do
my part to make this city
a great place to live and
work, Pulda told the Star.
Arata-Fratta and her family
have been residents of Fitchburg since 2004. She works
as a tax accountant at Wegner
I am also very engaged
in the community through
my work with the Latino
Chamber of Commerce,
Arata-Fratta said. As alder,
I will use all what I learned
developing businesses to

strengthen the economic

development of Fitchburg.
Backes has been a Fitchburg homeowner for 25
years with a background as
a mental health counselor,
program manager, personal
coach and Vietnam veteran.
As a Fitchburg alder I will
work to create city leadership
based on trust and respect
to implement positive civic
changes for everyone in our
community, Backes said in
an email.
In District 1, incumbent
Carol W. Poole will face
a challenge from Michael
Childers is a UW professor and 10-year resident of
Jamestown neighborhood.
I am passionate about representing my neighbors and
pledge to support policies
that put people first, and create smart growth for a strong
Fitchburg, Childers wrote to
the Star.
District 2, Seat 4 will have
a race between incumbent
Patrick Stern and challenger
Gary Hoerchner.
I will take this opportunity to exercise those rights
afforded to an elected official
to improve the lives of the citizens of Fitchburg, Hoerchner
Ald. Jason C. Gonzalez will
face a challenger for District
3, Seat 5. Roger Laurel Tesch
will try to oust Gonzalez in

April. Tesch did not return

a request for comment as of
press time Wednesday.
For Seat 6 in District 3,
incumbent Dan Carpenter
faces a challenge from Zyronia Mims.
Mims did not return a
request for comment as of
press time Wednesday.
Mayoral candidate Steve
Arnold vacated his council
seat in District 4. That leaves
the seat open for newcomer
Jake Johnson.
Johnson, a City of Fitchburg parks commission member, has lived in Fitchburg for
over a decade.
District 4 alder Becky
Baumbach decided to not run
again, so two challengers will
vie for that seat. Michael Gernetzke and Henrick "Tony"
Hartmann plan to run for that
Baumbach said she enjoyed
her time on the council, but
she was looking for more

flexibility with her time.

In my current phase
of life, I want to be free
to travel more and pursue
activities that are more flexible in their commitment,
Baumbach told the Star. I
enjoyed being on the council and bringing balance
to a sometimes polarized
group. The last 4 years have
brought significant positive
change to the city.
Gernetzke, who serves as
president of the Byrnewood
Neighborhood Association
and is a member of the Board
of Public Works, moved to
Fitchburg seven years ago
to start and raise a family, he
told the Star.
I am running to ensure
Fitchburg listens to its citizens, grows responsibly, and
provides basic services in an
excellent fashion, Gernetzke
Hartmann, who serves on
the Resource Conversation

Full Service Postal Station Available

(in Fitchburg only)

Unified Newspaper
Group reporters Scott De
Laruelle and Scott Girard
contributed to this story.

Get to know Steve:

20-year resident
10 years of service
on Common Council
Married 43 years
to Nancy Arnold
2 daughters,
5 grandchildren
Recognized as an
Steve and grandson Jae
expert in city planning
Community leader in responsible land use
Enjoys public service, bicycling,
gardening, snowshoeing, and kayaking

Sues Hallmark
3000 Cahill Main, Fitchburg

Two incumbents, Joanne

Gauthier and Renee Zook,
are running for reelection. Board treasurer John
McCulley will be moving
soon and will not run again
for his at-large seat, but former board president Tom
Duerst has turned in nomination papers to run. All
three candidates will run

Steve believes in a Fitchburg that

provides everyone with opportunity, open
government, parks, and public safety.

Something for
Every Occasion!

Small Classes with Talented Instructors

Ready to Encourage Your Child

Open Swim, Birthday Parties and Scouting Events

Two seats are up for reelection Area I in the village

of Oregon and Area IV,
encompassing the village
of Brooklyn and towns of
Oregon, Montrose, Brooklyn
and Union. Area I incumbent
Steve Zach will face a challenge from Marilyn McDole,
while Area IV incumbent Jeff
Ramin will run unopposed.

Oregon School District

21st Century Leadership

for everyone in Fitchburg

Quality Made, Reasonably Priced

Otter Babies Open Swim & Play

Verona Area School


Incumbent Mary Burke will

run again for the board, while
Arlene Silveira will not run
for another term. Newcomer
Anna Moffit was the only person to file papers to run for the
open seat, meaning she and
Burke will run unopposed.

for Mayor

(608) 630-9800
5200 Anton Drive, Fitchburg

Continuous EnrollmentCall and Enroll Today!

Madison Metropolitan
School District

Steve Arnold

Cards Candy
Unique Gifts
Badger/Packer Items

Confidence Building Curriculum

Taught in Warm Water

Commission and has lived in

Fitchburg for 12 years, is a
small business owner, born in
Dane County.
The goal before and after
Election Day, April 7, is to
find out whats on your mind.
Im a good listener, Hartmann told the Star.
In District 1, incumbent
Dorothy Krause is running
unopposed for her Seat 1

6909 University Avenue, Middleton


(608) 278-7700 http://Arnold.US

2530 Targhee St, Fitchburg, WI 53711


Unified Newspaper Group


Mark Ignatowski

Please vote Feb. 17 and Apr. 7!

Paid for by Friends of Steve Arnold, Sam Cooke, Treasurer

January 9, 2015


The Fitchburg Star

Letter to the editor

City leaders have been

showing wrong priorities
The Fitchburg Common Council majority recently
passed a resolution to help fund, with nearly $700,000
in future tax revenues, a private building to be owned
by the Alexander Company.
The same night, in the 2015 budget debate, the mayor
broke a tie vote to reject $10,000 in funding for programs for at-risk youth.
The council majority then rejected a $112,000 plan
for transit to serve the Post Road and Jamestown neighborhoods. The residents of these neighborhoods would
have finally had the transportation to the public library
previously promised by the current administration.
These decisions once again demonstrate the administration's favoring of the politically well-connected. It
is wrong! The City of Fitchburg should be providing
opportunity for all of its residents.
I want to live in a community that cares about atrisk youth. If we can fund the Alexander Company, we
should be able to fund these effective programs. We
should expand transit for everyone who needs to get
around the city. Not everyone can drive and own a car.
Everyone deserves access to a the city offers.
I am glad to see that Steve Arnold is running for mayor. He advocates for all residents of Fitchburg.
Ada Deer
City of Fitchburg

Letters policy
Please keep submissions under 400 words. All letters should be signed and include addresses and phone
numbers for verification. Anonymous letters will not be
The editorial staff reserves the right not to print any
letter, including those with libelous or obscene content.
For questions on our editorial policy, call editor Jim
Ferolie at 845-9559 or email ungeditor@wcinet.com.

Friday, January 9, 2014 Vol. 1, No. 11

Periodical Postage Paid, Verona, WI and additional offices.
Published weekly on Friday by the Unified Newspaper Group,
A Division of Woodward Communications, Inc.
POSTMASTER: Send Address Corrections to
The Fitchburg Star, 133 Enterprise Drive, Verona, WI 53593.

Office Location: 133 Enterprise Drive, Verona, WI 53593

Phone: 608-845-9559 FAX: 608-845-9550
e-mail: ungeditor@wcinet.com


This newspaper is printed on recycled paper.

General Manager
David J. Enstad
Donna Larson (west side)
Rob KItson (east side)
Kathy Woods
Carolyn Schultz
Jim Ferolie
Jeremy Jones
Scott Girard
Community News
Samantha Christian
Mark Ignatowski, Anthony Iozzo,
Scott De Laruelle, Bill Livick

Unified Newspaper Group, a division of

Woodward Communications,Inc.
A dynamic, employee-owned media company
Good People. Real Solutions. Shared Results.
Printed by Woodward Printing Services Platteville


Showing restraint goes both ways

stensibly, people go to war

because all other avenues of
protest or attempts at redress
have been tried and exhausted.
Black people in America have been
crying and singing and marching to
protest police brutality in this county
since before 1619. The bloody history of treatment of freedmen in the
custody of law enforcement is obese
with stories and
episodes from
the annals of Jim
violence to the
Missouri neighborhood of Big
Mike Brown.
knows there is
nothing new
about this, and
its not unique to Ferguson.
I must say in the same breath that
we also know that the vast majority
of American police officers are honest, hard-working professionals who
strive to get it right in a frequently
difficult, almost always dangerous
As a former 20-year veteran director of the gang-diversion program
in Milwaukee and coordinator of a
restorative justice program at Marquette University law school, I am
close to this population and this subject is part of my life experience.
I know many officers, black and
white, who are just sickened by what
happened on that cold November day
in Cleveland to young Tamir Rice or
the choking death of Eric Garner in
NYC. Ive been in conversations with
cops who will tell you that the incident in Cleveland, for example, was
one of the worst examples of police
work theyve ever seen. So much
could have been done differently to
avoid killing that 12-year-old child,
playing with a toy gun all by himself
in a deserted park.
Sure, it was the trigger-happy, panicked rookie who jumped out of the
car with guns blazing, but it was also

the veteran driver who drove up so

close to the kid that the deadly result
was almost inevitable.
Even in the case with Mike Brown
and officer Darren Wilson, someone
with a clearer thinking process and a
cooler head could have avoided the
deadly consequences of emptying a
clip, center mass in the body of an
allegedly belligerent, albeit unarmed,
We assume that Mike Brown was
belligerent. We never heard his side
of the story. But even if Big Mike did
all they said he did, his death was still
quite avoidable.
Officer Wilson was literally in the
drivers seat and held all the advantages. First, he was in his squad car-a
protected and mobile environment
he had a bulletproof vest on, he had
radio communication with backup
officers and he possessed an array of
weapons at his disposal. Why didnt
he just roll up his window, or pull
forward a little bit? So many options.
Was it his training, his ego or the
culture of fear of big black men that
is so ingrained in the psyche of so
many people in this society? Why is
it always a white officer and a black
youth? Is that merely a coincidence?
But thats where it happens. Thats
where the rubber meets the road.
At that point of contact when the
officer stops a youth the attitudes,
the words, the actions of both parties
determine what happens next.
The officer invariably is loaded
with his/her fears, training, perceptions and expectations. Likewise for
the would-be detainee, who also has
his fears and a latent distrust of law
enforcement very often he doesnt
see a human being, he sees a blue
uniform with a gun.
I work with a group of men and
boys in an outdoor camping adventure called the Father and Son
Retreat, and one of the things we
teach the boys at camp is how to act
when stopped by police. Its a survival skill:
Pull your car over immediately.

Turn off the engine and turn on your

interior lights. No sudden movements
and whatever you do, dont reach
down between your legs or under
the seat under any circumstances.
Put your hands at 10 on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to
approach you.
Dont cuss, dont get loud, tell
the truth and answer questions as
courteously as possible. If there is a
gun in the car or anything illegal or
questionable, pre-empt. Let the officer know what he/she is dealing with
before they stumble up on something.
We can think our way out of this
mess. Its only a matter of time
before it happens again.
My fear is that the youth are going
to start shooting back or shoot first.
We need police officers and good
policing in our neighborhoods and
communities. Some of our neighborhoods are dangerous places, endemic
with the culture of violence and an
insane proliferation of guns.
Many people say, Why dont you
riot and protest when a black person
kills another black person? Well,
when a black person shoots and
kills someone, or chokes someone
to death, we fully expect that person to be arrested, indicted and held
accountable for his/her actions. When
a police officer is rogue or makes
an egregious mistake, we, likewise,
expect justice to prevail.
We know that police have a tremendous responsibility. We also
know they have a great deal of
power and authority. This power and
almost absolute authority has got to
be accompanied by and tempered
with a profound understanding of the
extraordinary responsibility and
restraint it represents.
Rioting is the voice of the voiceless; burning and looting are the
actions of those who have lost hope
and no longer care.
Ron (Shongo) Johnson is a Fitchburg resident who has recently transitioned from Milwaukee.

Holiday spirit goes better with harmony

ny devotee of prime-time television knows one of its sacred

traditions is the holiday show.
Sometimes its Halloween, facing
fears or getting pranked and taking it
with humor, or its a Thanksgiving or
Christmas show about togetherness
or being charitable (or taking a midseason break).
I've often written a
New Years column
looking back on
the year or looking
ahead or touching
on holiday themes,
often with a political or current events
spin. Its become a
bit of a love-fest lately, trying to remind
people we all share
wonderful communities and can work
together to make them better even if
we don't always agree how.
I hate to admit it, but Im not ready to
change that tradition yet.
As 2015 comes around, I sense true
optimism in our communities. No. 1 on
everyones mind is the economy is back
finally! and as a double bonus, gas
prices are way, way down... even if we
all know it might only be temporary.
The midterm elections are over,
thankfully, meaning even if your candidate lost, at least you wont have any
more nasty political ads for a while.
And heck, we also know the winter
can't possibly be as bad as last year's.
Sure, there are always things to be
down about and there are plenty of
ills in the world (hello, Ferguson), but
compared to the past few years, there's
an obvious general feeling that things
are in a positive, right direction.
Local budgets are adding people.
Businesses are advertising. People are
volunteering and donating. Theres just

a little bit more energy everywhere.

As we exhale and start walking into
the light of what I hope is a new, postrecession era, its important to remember those who are less fortunate, who
might not be benefiting from outside
economic forces or just happened to
have a lousy year.
Anyone who has made volunteerism
or charity a regular part of their lives
knows sharing is better than hoarding.
If youve got a little extra time or food
or a few extra bucks, its rewarding to
help those who dont.
Something that can be just as rewarding, however, is taking that same attitude when interacting politically with
The communities we cover here at
UNG have been through some bitter
battles the past few years - some specific and localized, some with widerranging political undertones.
In Verona, city government went
through a major shift in political leaning, leading to verbal sniping and nastiness that spilled over into other parts
of the community. It made things quite
tense when the city dealt with a lawsuit
over a fire department union.
In Oregon, a battle continued to brew
over whether teachers should be treated
with more respect, and voters ousted
three school board incumbents and
overwhelmingly approved $55 million
in referendums.
In Stoughton, while celebrating its
own successful school referendum, it's
been Wal-Mart and Kettle Park West
all year long exhausting, frustrating
and upsetting. A lot of talk, a lot of
complaints, a lot of close votes and far
too many political tricks on both sides.
Fitchburg didnt have anything that
captured that kind of attention, but
the golf course debate and the Northeast Neighborhood plan ruffled some

feathers, and there will no doubt be

some mudslinging in the four-way
mayoral race this spring.
In all of our communities, there are
outspoken people who are natural lightning rods, and there are people who
always complain. After a while, people
who tend to disagree on certain recurring topics start to tune out one another
and forget that we all have reasons for
our perspectives.
One thing we journalists all have to
learn early on, particularly those who
cover a variety of beats in small communities, is that people on every side
of a divisive issue all have good points.
We might agree with points of one side
or another, but we learn to respect each
for the perspective they bring.
So while youre angrily firing off
letters to the editor, making cranky
Facebook posts or yelling at your televisions or newspapers, remember that
some of those people youre upset with
are still your neighbors. Good or bad,
agree or disagree - we have to live with
each other because we chose the same
community to live in, and we'll all be
better off if we manage to live together
in harmony.
Harmony, after all, is an interesting
concept - two opposite sounds merging
for something better than either one. It's
yin and yang.
Think about it: Our divergent opinions
are not just natural, theyre necessary.
I hope every one of you had happy
holidays, however you celebrate them,
and that we can all muster the strength
this year to disagree with one another
both vigorously and respectfully.
Jim Ferolie is the group editor of
Unified Newspaper Group, which publishes the Stoughton Courier Hub, Oregon Observer, Verona Press and Fitchburg Star.


January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star

Fire: Family recalls kindness of neighbors on 10-year anniversary of fire

Continued from page 1

Photo submitted

new watch.
It was an amazing gesture, he said. "The watch is
dead now but I kept it. I never
want to get rid of it."

Missing some embers

Normally, Peirick said, he
dumped ashes from his woodburning stove into the snow in
his backyard. But the morning before the fire, temperatures were well below zero.
He didnt feel like walking
outside. He checked the ashes
with one hand to be sure they
were cool, then dropped them
in a plastic bin on his homes
porch. Apparently, he missed
some embers. The fire ignited

between 18 and 20 hours later.

His son was home for winter break from his freshman
year at UW-Milwaukee. His
daughter was a student at
Verona Area High School.
Had Peirick not awoken to
use the bathroom, the homes
smoke alarms would have
roused them eventually, but
he thinks the familys escape
might have been a very close
Losing their home and possessions changed the family, Peirick said. He said he
realized that everyone faces
adversity in their lives, and it
made him see how vital family, friends and the kindness
of strangers can be to those in

Both the Peiricks had fulltime jobs when the fire hit,
Judy as a human resources
executive at a Madison firm,
Ed as a controller for a hotel
management company.
Between work, haggling
with insurance adjustors and
making countless decisions
during the rebuilding of their
home, they were run ragged
for months after the fire. Help
from the community buoyed
their spirits. Long-time neighbors and groups like the Seminole Womens Club and the
Seminole Forest Neighborhood Association provided
clothes, food, transportation
and encouragement.
A couple weeks after the
fire, a family in the Swan

Community voices

New Year, new you: how to make it last

the two may seem similar at
first, theyre quite different
and just what you need to
stay on track all year long.
These goals I refer to are:
To achieve your goals,
you need to be as specific
and concrete as possible. It
doesnt help to say youre
going to walk more.
Instead, write down a goal
saying youll walk three
times a week for 30 minutes. This also makes it
easier to tell whether you met
your goal or not.
Although being ambitious about your resolutions is admirable, it also
means youre more likely
to set yourself up for disappointment. Set a goal that is
doable with your schedule,
current life situation and one
that youre likely to be able
to meet.
Going from not working
out at all to becoming a gym
fanatic or going from eating
holiday cookies and drinking
pop every day to completely
eliminating all sugar from

your diet is unlikely. Instead,

gradually work your way up to
your long-term goal, like eliminating added sugar in your
diet, but dont try to do it with
the all or nothing mentality.
When you make resolutions, youre usually wanting
fast results like expecting
those extra 15 pounds will
come off by the end of the
month. Once the end of the
month rolls around and nothing has happened, you lose
steam. Making goals that
are realistic will help keep
you in a good frame of mind
and prevent a burn out come
Month Two.
Rather than saying you
want to lose 15 pounds in
four weeks, start by writing down a goal of losing a
pound every week. It may
not seem like a lot, but the
result is lasting and realistic.
Finally, anything longterm or vague can make
things seem too daunting
to actually keep with it or
to even start. Give yourself
a deadline. Timely goals
include a specific length of
time to achieve that goal.
Rather than say youre
going to run your first 5K in
2015, make the goal to run a

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specific 5K in June, for example. This will help make the

goal seem more approachable.
When youre ready to get
started, write down your
goal or goals and keep them
on the refrigerator or on the
bathroom mirror so you
always see it as a reminder.
Just making a mental note of
your goal makes it too easy
to forget and doesnt keep
you accountable.
Make yourself some smart
goals this New Year and lets
plan on seeing each other at
the gym come June.
Kara Hoerr, MS, RD,
CD, is the registered dietitian at the Fitchburg HyVee. This information is
not intended as medical
advice. Please consult a
medical professional for
individual advice.
For more nutrition information or questions, contact her at khoerr@hy-vee.
com or 273-5125.

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The holiday decorations

are down (or at least youre
thinking about it), everybody
is back to their daily work
routine and pants are feeling
a bit snug after the generous holidays. Time to head
to that long-forgotten place
called the
J a n u ary, the
of people
w o r k ing out
at gyms
to shed a few extra pounds.
For a few weeks, anyway.
Then, inevitably, the spike
in people gradually dwindles
to the normal crowd the
ones who have made their
workout into a habit.
What sets the regular
attendees apart from those
who only see it for a couple
of months each year is those
overly ambitious, temporary
New Years resolutions newcomers make.
I love the start of the New
Year because its a time
to start new and fresh. It
only makes sense why New
Years resolutions are so
popular. And its not surprising, based on the snug
pants so many people feel
after the holidays, that losing weight was the No. 1
resolution in 2014.
Even though over half of
Americans make New Years
resolutions, only about half
of those keep the resolution
past a month.
Im all for starting the year
in a new and healthy way,
but I like to see it last all
year long rather than for a
few weeks. Instead of making resolutions (which, if
youre honest, are usually
temporary), I recommend
you make smart goals. While

Creek neighborhood offered

the Peiricks a vacant home to
live in. One day, a woman and
her toddler stopped by with a
casserole dish. She told them
to keep the pan, gave them a
hug and said good bye.


The Peirick family is pictured in their backyard in 2010. From left

are Ed, Judy, Rachel and Ben.


Photo submitted

The Peiricks house rebuild took place in the summer of 2005.


5440 Caddis Bend

Fitchburg, WI 53711
tel 608-270-9200

McKee Rd



clothes go up in smoke.
The Peiricks were devastated by the fire. But looking back on the Jan. 17, 2005
blaze, Ed Peirick said many of
his memories from that time
including the nine months it
took to get their home rebuilt
are good ones.
I can give you a hundred
examples of what people did
for us, easy, he said in an
interview last month.
The morning of the fire, his
neighbors, Joe and Terri Littel, were leaving for vacation.
Before going, they handed the
Peiricks their keys.
They said, Our house is
your house, Peirick recalled.
The Peiricks stayed there
for more than a week as they
picked through the rubble of
their own home. A couple
of days after the fire, another
neighbor and former co-worker of Eds checked on him. As
they were talking, Ed realized
he might be late for a meeting. He checked his wrist. No
watch. It, too, was gone.
That moment, for some reason, got to him.
I broke down, he said.
The woman consoled him
for a few minutes, then left.
Fifteen minutes later, she
drove back and handed him a

"To this day, I don't even

know who that woman is, he
said. But 10 years later, it's a
moment in time that my wife
and I will never, ever forget."
For years after the fire,
Fitchburg fire chief Randy
Pickering a long-time friend
occasionally had Peirick and
his wife meet with other families dealing whod lost homes
in fires. They would share lessons learned from their own
Peirick, now retired, said the
charred bark of a hickory tree
in their backyard is a physical
reminder of a very bad night.
But on the 10th anniversary,
he said he wanted to again
express thanks to all the people who helped his family.
This community is pretty
special, he said.

January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star


Coming Up
Insurance assistance

pose involved in Tai Chi

Chih with Stan Corwin during a seven-week program at
the senior center, starting at
11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Register by calling 2704290. The payment of $25
must be made to the Fitchburg Senior Center and is
due by Jan. 13.

Stop by the library for

assistance with enrolling in
the Health Insurance Marketplace from 12-3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 13.
Experts from Covering Kids and Families will
be on hand to answer your
questions and to help you
enroll. All are welcome, Fitball classes
and this program will be
The senior center will
offered again at the same hold fitball classes for eight
time on Tuesday, Feb. 10.
weeks with Ironman finisher Shannon Maguire,
Housing decisions
an ACE-certified personal
A S h o u l d I S t a y o r trainer.
Should I Go? senior housClasses will be held from
ing decisions presentation 8-9 a.m., Wednesdays Jan.
will be held at the senior 14 through March 4.
center at 1 p.m., Tuesday,
Participants must provide
Jan. 13.
their own exercise ball. Call
Bring your questions to 270-4290 to register. Paythe panel that is ready to ment of $35 for the series is
discuss the difficult deci- due to instructor day of first
sion between staying in class.
your home versus moving
to an independent or assist- Digital device help
ed living community.
Digital Device AppTo RSVP, call the senior stravaganza! will provide
center at 270-4290.
an overview of a variety of
apps that will help make
Tai Chi Chih classes
the most of the capabiliDiscover the 19 easy-to- ties of your digital device.
learn movements and one If you got a new tablet or

smartphone over the holidays, consider stopping

by the library at 7 p.m.,
Wednesday, Jan. 14.
Registration by calling
729-1763 is appreciated but
not required.

Teen Iron Chef

All teens in grades 6-12
are invited to compete
in the Fitchburg Public
Librarys Iron Chef competition at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15.
Each participant will
make a concoction using a
top secret ingredient, which
will be evaluated based on
originality, taste and presentation.

Post-it party
Come spend Martin
Luther King, Jr. Day at the
library. All teens grades
6-12 can decorate the large
window in the teen room
with Post-it notes at 5 p.m.,
Monday, Jan. 19.

History of Metcalfes
Amanda Metcalfe fifth
generation of the Metcalfe family will share
the history of her family's

business, Metcalfe's Mar- of 10 mystery items in the

ket, at the senior center for childrens library.
Learning Annex at 2 p.m.,
Kids 8-12 years old are
Tuesday, Jan. 20.
invited to participate in
Scavenger Hunt 2.0 at 6:30
Free tech class
p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29,
The staff from the City of for an event sure to inspire
Fitchburg FACTv Depart- some friendly competiment will be teaching peo- tion and promote the use of
library search tools.
ple how to use iPads.
The free class will be
held at the senior center Spanish classes
The senior center is offerfrom 10:30 a.m. to noon on
Thursday, Jan. 22. Space is ing beginner and advanced
limited, so call 270-4290 to beginner Spanish classes
starting Feb. 3. Both classsign up.
es will meet Tuesdays for
Opera preview
eight weeks at a cost of $50.
Beginner Spanish will be
Interested in learning more about a famous held from 10-11 a.m., and
opera? Come to the library Advanced Beginner will
at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, be held from 11:15 a.m. to
Jan. 28, where Madison 12:15 p.m.
Payment to the senior
Opera staff will offer a free
entertaining and informa- center is due upon sign up.
tive multimedia preview To register, call 270-4290.
about their upcoming performances of Sweeney Green Thursdays
Learn about urban garTodd The Demon Barber
of Fleet Street: A Musical dening at the library at 6:30
p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5. Presenters will discuss events
Scavenger hunt
and workshops that support
Its a race to the finish as community and school garkids work individually or in dens, creating more resilteams to find the location ient cities.

Chamber celebration
The Fitchburg Chamber
will hold its annual celebration from 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5, at Tri-North
Builders, 2625 Research
Park Drive.
Chamber members are
invited to A Red Carpet
Event for an evening of
conversation, food, drinks
and awards.
Tickets are $60. To register, visit fitchburgchamber.

Agrace offerings
Agrace HospiceCare will
offer volunteer training
from 1-5 p.m., Tuesday,
Jan. 13, and 5-9 p.m., Monday, Jan. 26, at the Madison
campus, 5395 E. Cheryl
Pkwy. Call 327-7163.
Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group will be held
from 6-8 p.m., Mondays
Jan. 12 through Feb. 9. Call
327-7418 to register.
Kids Grief Support
Group will be held from
5:30-7 p.m., Thursdays Jan.
22 through Feb. 19. Call
327-7135 to register.

Calendar of events
Friday, January 9

4 p.m., Little Makers: Duct Tape (ages

6-12), library, 729-1760

Saturday, January 10

10:30 a.m., Stress Reduction

Roundup, library, 729-1760
1-3 p.m., Ice skating (inclement weather date Jan. 11), McKee Farms Park

Monday, January 12

9:30 and 11 a.m., Preschool Storytime

(ages 2-5) - Mondays, library, 729-1760
1 p.m., Cards with Katie ($10, register), senior center, 270-4290
6 p.m., Family Storytime, library

Tuesday, January 13

11 a.m., Lapsit Storytime (ages 0-2) Tuesdays, library, 729-1760

12 p.m., Health Insurance Enrollment
Assistance, library, 729-1760
1 p.m., Senior housing decisions
(RSVP), senior center, 270-4290
2 p.m., Mens Group, senior center

Wednesday, January 14

10 a.m., Toddler Art (ages 1-3),

library, 729-1760
7 p.m., Digital Device Appstravaganza!, library, 729-1760

Thursday, January 15

Tuesday, January 20

7 p.m., Kindle Fire, library, 729-1760

2 p.m., Learning Annex: History of

Metcalfes Market, senior center
5:30 p.m., READ to a Dog (sign-up),
library, 729-1760
7 p.m., Resume and Interview
Coaching, library, 729-1760

Tuesday, January 27

2 p.m., Active Womens Group, senior

center, fitchburgseniorcenter.com
6 p.m., Teen Library Council, library

Wednesday, January 28

Wednesday, January 21

10 a.m., Book Discussion, library

11:30 a.m., Healthy Snacking: UW
Extension Nutrition with Tonia presentation, senior center
2-5 p.m., Game Day, senior center
7 p.m., Mother Daughter Book Club
(grades 3-5), library, 729-1760
7 p.m., Android Devices, library

Thursday, January 22

10:30 a.m. to noon, iPads: Free tech

class (register), senior center, 270-4290
1:30 p.m., I Love a Mystery Book
Club: The Spy Who Came in From the
Cold by John le Carre, senior center
6 p.m., Bird Bonanza (ages 2-6),
library, 729-1760

Friday, January 23

12:40 p.m., Movie Day: The HundredFoot Journey, senior center

Saturday, January 24

10 a.m. Build It! (ages 2-5), library

6:30 p.m., Madison Opera Preview:
Sweeney Todd, library, 729-1760

Thursday, January 29

6:30 p.m., Scavenger Hunt 2.0 (ages

8-11), library, 729-1760

Friday, January 30

11 a.m., Bead It! (ages 3-6), library

Saturday, January 31

3 p.m., Kids Movie, library, 729-1760

Tuesday, February 3

7:45-9 a.m., Breakfast Before 9: Turn

Your Marketing into an Investment, Not
an Expense, Candlewood Suites, 5241
Caddis Bend, 288-8284

Wednesday, February 4

10:30 a.m., Kids Dance Party (ages

1-5), library, 729-1760
5 p.m., Based on the Book Group
The Princess Diaries Movie Screening
(for teens), library, 729-1760

10:30 a.m., Chinese/English Storytime,

6 p.m., Iron Chef (for teens), library
Thursday, February 5
library, 729-1760
10 a.m., Be Mine, Valentine! DropMonday, January 19
12 p.m., Slave Free Madison Film
in Valentines Day Crafts (ages 2-6),
Senior Center and City Hall closed for Festival, library, 729-1760
library, 729-1760
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
1 p.m., LEGOs (ages 5-11), library
11:30 a.m., Crafternoon : Book and
5 p.m., Post-it Party (for teens), library,
Monday, January 26
craft group (for adults), library, 729-1760

5-8 p.m., Annual Celebration A Red

Carpet Event, Tri-North Builders 2625
Research Park Drive, 288-8284
6:30 p.m., Green Thursdays: Urban
Gardening, library, 729-1760

Friday, February 6

11 a.m., Frozen Party! (ages 0-6),

library, 729-1760

Saturday, February 7

1-3 p.m., Ice skating, McKee Farms


Monday, February 9

6 p.m., Family Storytime, library

Tuesday, February 10

12 p.m., Health Insurance Enrollment

Assistance, library, 729-1760
2-4 p.m., Extended travel presentation
(register), senior center, 270-4290
7 p.m., Excel Basics, library, 729-1760

Wednesday, February 11

10 a.m., Toddler Art (ages 1-3),

library, 729-1760
6 p.m., Girls Craft Club (ages 7-12),
library, 279-1760
6 p.m., Based on the Book Group
The Princess Diaries Book Discussion
(for teens), library, 729-1760

Thursday, February 12

11 a.m., Family Storytime (ages 2-5),

library, 729-1760
11 a.m., Cookbook Club International
Celebration!, library, 729-1760
6 p.m., Be Mine! Valentines Day Card
Making (ages 5-11), library, 729-1760

Memorial United Church of Christ

A welcoming community growing together in Christ

8:15 and 10 a.m.
Sunday School at 10 a.m.
Loving Child Care Provided

Sons of the Pioneers

Music of the can West

Saturday, February 7, 2015


5705 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg

273-1008 * www.memorialucc.org
Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/MemorialUCC


Sunday Worship

Tickets available at www.vapas.org, State Bank of Cross Plains-Verona, Capitol Bank-Verona or call (608) 848-2787


Take an extended trip

The Fitchburg Senior
Center Friends will hold
a second travel presentation on its 2015 extended
travel trips from 2-4 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 10 at the
Fitchburg Senior Center.
The group is helping sponsor the trips, along with
McFarland Senior Outreach Services, the Stoughton Area Senior Center,
Oregon Area Senior Center, Verona Area Active
Adults, North/Eastside
Senior Coalition, West
Madison Senior Coalition
and Center, and senior
outreach centers in Black
Earth and Mt. Horeb.
FSCF volunteer extended trip coordinator Georgia Ascher will host the
event, which will include
presentations from tour
representatives from Collette Vacations & Mayflower Tours. They will
be available afterward
to answer questions and
book reservations. Trip
brochures, including daily
itineraries, will be available to take home. Light
refreshments will also be
Trip brochures are
available at the Fitchburg
Senior Center and all participating co-sponsoring
senior centers. The travel
presentation is free but
registrations are required.
Call 270-4290.
The three remaining
trips are:
April 11-18: Flavors of the South (New
Orleans, Memphis and

If you go
What: Fitchburg Senior
Center 2015 travel presentation
When: 2-4 p.m.,
Tuesday, Feb. 10
Where: Fitchburg
Senior Center, 5510 E.
Lacy Road
Info: 270-4290
Lake Charles). Motorcoach. Eight days; 13
meals. First-time travelers receive a discount. A
pre-trip meeting will be
planned and departure
will be from the Fitchburg
Senior Center.
May 16-25: Shades of
Ireland (Dublin, Waterford, Blarney, Killarny,
Limerick, Kings Court).
This 10-day trip includes
airfare to and from Madison, 13 meals, Irish evening, jaunting car ride,
farm visit and last night
castle stay.
Sept. 3-Oct. 12:
National Parks of the
Southwest This 12-day
trip includes airfare to
and from Madison, 17
meals, visits to Salt Lake
Citys Temple Square, six
national parks, two national monuments, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and
Scandia Peak, a Colorado
River float trip and cruise
on Lake Powell. A pre-trip
meeting is probable, with
departure from the Fitchburg Senior Center.

January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star

County offers $100K grant, low-cost lease

Food pantry, other services to
relocate to old hospital
Samantha Christian
Unified Newspaper Group

Everything seems to be falling into

place for the Verona Area Needs Network to get a new home at the old county hospital next year.
Dane County recently awarded
VANN a $100,000 economic development block grant, helping it reach more
than two-thirds of its fundraising goal to
renovate the building. And next month,
the County Board will consider a resolution to approve a lease of the former
administration building at Badger Prairie Health Care Center in Verona.
That roughly 20-year-old facility
would more than double the space for
VANN to carry out its mission. VANN,
which runs the Verona Food Pantry, has
been operating out of a cramped, dark
basement of the citys former library on
Franklin Street.
For just $20 per year, VANN would
lease the underutilized county building
on East Verona Avenue. VANN could
choose to extend the 15-year lease for
another 10 years.
County Sup. Jenni Dye introduced
the resolution during the Dane County
Board meeting Dec. 18 and said the
county is excited to partner with VANN.
VANN is going to be expanding
their existing food pantry by moving
to this location as well as providing the
opportunity for growth with complementary services that are really aimed
at the causes of poverty and addressing
generational poverty, she said at the
Earlier that day, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and VANN board president Bob Kasieta announced a partnership between the county and VANN to

help address the issue of inequality.

In addition to managing the food
pantry, VANN hopes to expand its programming to possibly include job training, nutritional education, health and
legal clinics and community gardening.
Theres poverty across our county;
and we have to be comprehensive at
where, when and how we address the
issue, Parisi said. This year VANN
came to us because they have an
increased need from the clients they
Kasieta said the food pantry serves
about 10,000 people during the year, up
180 percent from just over four years
ago. As the need has grown, VANN
has outgrown its space, which the City
of Verona has provided to the nonprofit
free of charge since 2006.
If we dont have this new space
available to us, a lot of people will go
hungry and the problem will be worse
than it presently is, Kasieta said.
Kasieta, a former mayor of Verona
who made the resolution to provide
space for the pantry back in 2006 as
a city alder, declined to catalog the
shortcomings of the current building.
Rather, he expressed gratitude toward
the city, county, community and volunteers for their ongoing support, as well
as focused on the opportunities the new
facility would provide.
Were thinking of all kinds of opportunities that will permit people coming to us with certain needs to have a
one-stop shop where we can address
not only the issue of nutrition, which is
vital, but also very much the question
of those other needs that are central to
somebody who is suffering as so many
of our clients are, he said.
VANN serves the Verona Area
School District, and nearly half the people it serves are children. According to
a news release, VANN reports that 64
percent of the families served live in

Fitchburg/South Madison and 34 percent live in the town or city of Verona.

Kasieta told the Fitchburg Star the
county facility will meet VANNs needs
because it is more accessible to the
public and large enough for VANN to
increase the size of its pantry store and
storage capacity to save money by buying food in bulk.
It is a conveniently located, singlestory structure in good condition that
will permit us to provide clients and volunteers with a dignified, safe environment, a statement on VANNs website
VANN has been in the midst of its
Move the Food capital fundraising
campaign, and as of Wednesday, it had
reached 72 percent of its $420,000 goal.
Donations will help VANN with renovation efforts and to serve more families
and reduce operating costs.
To date, VANN has received more
than $120,000 from local businesses
and individuals, along with the countys
grant, another $40,000 from the City of
Verona and another $20,000 from WalMarts Food Pantry Holiday Makeover online contest.
To raise the remaining one-third of its
goal, VANN will be searching for more
grants, knocking on doors and holding
more fundraisers in the coming months.
Parisi said VANN is a boots-on-theground, grassroots organization with a
broader vision.
In addition to being a food pantry,
VANN has a vision of being a hub for
services ... so people can get (and connect to) the support they need, he said.
If the board approves the lease and
the weather cooperates for construction
efforts this spring, Kasieta told the Star
hes optimistic the food pantry will be
set up at the facility by July.
For information on upcoming events
or to donate, visit vanncares.org.

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Oregon schools

The Fitchburg Star

OHS principal on leave

after multiple OWI arrests

Whats online
Read more Oregon School District stories at
ConnectFitchburg.com, including the following:

Oregon High School students are taking advantage of
a district competition that focuses on skills needed for
careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. OHS hosted the event, with nearly 200 students
from 14 schools involved.

Meyers had been on

medical leave before
3 stops Dec. 1-11

NKE classroom receives certification

The Netherwood Knoll Arboretum recently became
certified as a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

Scott De Laruelle

OHS freshmen in state honor choir

Unified Newspaper Group

Sean Cashman and fellow Oregon High School freshman Erin Schultz were chosen to sing with the Wisconsin
State Honors Music Project Middle Level Honor Choir,
performing with the group Nov. 1 at the Marriott West, the
final day of the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference.

Oregon High School

principal Kelly Meyers has
been placed under administrative leave by school
district officials after she
was arrested three times in
December on suspicion of
operating a motor vehicle
while under the influence of
If convicted, that would
make her the second straight
OHS principal to be arrested

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month she planned to return

to work on Feb. 1, before they
heard news of her arrests for
allegedly operating a motor
vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
As a result of these incidents, Ms. Meyers has been
placed on administrative
leave, pending an investigation of these matters,
Busler wrote, later clarifying to the Star that investigations would be conducted
by law enforcement and
district officials. He said
its standard practice for
the district to place staff on
administrative leave when
they are accused of such
A standard provision in
administrators contracts
would allow for termination
based on breach of contract,
and typically that would be
based on a conviction in a
court of law, Busler said.
However, a decision on her
future could be made by
district officials before the
conclusion of the legal process or based on a separation agreement.
Everyone gets their due
process in these kinds of

situations, Busler said.

Busler said he has known
Meyers since 1985.
Shes an exceptional
educator, he said. We feel
absolutely terrible about
Jason Wilhelm, who
has been serving as interim principal in Meyers
absence, will continue in
that role through the end of
the school year, Busler said.
Meyers, a Monroe native,
was hired in 2012 to replace
Chris Ligocki, who retired
after six years as OHS principal.
Ligocki was also charged
with OWI in July 2008 after
he was found hitchhiking
around 2 a.m. around Beaver Dam.
Meyers had served for the
previous year as OHS associate principal after serving
as principal at Verona Area
High School from 19942008 and then as executive
associate director with the
Association of Wisconsin
School Administrators.
None of the criminal
complaints were available
by the Stars Wednesday

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for OWI, following a previous principals arrest in 2008.

superintendent Brian
Busler told
the Star that
Meyers, who
had been
on medical
leave since
the beginning
of the school
year, was arrested Dec. 1, 10
and 11 for incidents in Oregon and Fitchburg. He said
district officials found out
about the arrests shortly afterward and emailed a letter to
It read, in part, that Meyers told district officials last

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January 9, 2015

Its flu season once again,

but this month, the Oregon
School District will be a laboratory for a research project
designed to identify early
signs of flu outbreaks in communities.
Dr. Jon Temte, long-time
Oregon resident and professor
in the department of family
medicine at the University of

Wisconsin School of Medicine

and Public Health, will direct
the project. His research team
was recently awarded a $1.5
three-year grant by The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention to follow trends in
student absences from school,.
The team began monitoring student absences on Jan.
5. Temte said the goal of the
study is to determine what role
influenza plays in absenteeism
and then correlate that to influenza data in clinics to see what
patterns emerge.

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Verona schools


January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star

Kindergarten info sessions begin Jan. 20

Choice forms available
online Jan. 28
The Verona Area School
District will bring back its
annual kindergarten information session meetings
this year after only providing an online video last
The main information
session at Badger Ridge
Middle School is planned
for Thursday, Jan. 27, 6:308:15 p.m., and will provide a chance for parents
with students entering kindergarten in the 2015-16
school year a chance to ask

questions of school leaders.

There will be other meetings Jan. 20 and 22 for families that cannot make it to
the Jan. 27 meeting.
The Jan. 20 meetings will
take place 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Jan. 20 at the Stone Crest
Apartments, 5673 King
James Court, Fitchburg,
and 6:30-7:15 p.m. at the
Boys and Girls Club, 4619
Jenewein Road, Fitchburg.
The Jan. 22 meetings will
be 5:30-6:15 p.m. at Nakoma Heights Apartments,
4929 Chalet Gardens Road,
Fitchburg, and 6:30-7:15
p.m. at Fire Station No.
2, 5415 King James Way,

Whats online
Read more Verona Area School District stories at
ConnectFitchburg.com, including the following:

Social safety
A decade ago, Twitter did not exist and Facebook was
just getting started and open only to college students.
Thats not to mention Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr and
the ever-growing list of other social media outlets high
school students find themselves using on a daily basis,
with some starting even while in middle school.
That use can create tension among teens as posts spiral
into put-downs, outright bullying or plans for parties that
can get them into trouble.
Those issues are so prevalent now that a group of mentors and mentor leaders on staff at Verona Area High
School has decided using them safely and wisely was an
important lesson to teach incoming freshmen.

Calendar changes
The school board looked at a pair of possible 2015-16
calendars at its Jan. 5 meeting. Both options would shorten a pair of traditional long weekends.

VASD provides the meetings to inform parents of
their choices as their students enter the district,
including the three elementary charter schools, area
attendance schools and the
two-way immersion program.
Last year, the district
decided to do away with
the in-person meeting, and
instead sent a DVD to each
house they identified with
an incoming kindergarten
Officials had said the
meeting wasnt reaching
enough parents, and hoped

the DVD approach could

change that.
A new video outlining
the choices is also supposed
to be posted on the school
districts website, verona.
k12.wi.us. Click on District Information and then
Incoming K information
to view the video and read
the newsletter the district
sent to parents.
The deadline for parents
to return school choice
forms to the district is Feb.
The forms will be available online beginning Jan.

Meeting schedule
Jan. 20
5:30-6:15 p.m.: Stone Crest Apartments, 5673 King
James Court, Fitchburg
6:30-7:15 p.m.: Boys and Girls Club, 4619 Jenewein
Road, Fitchburg
Jan. 22
5:30-6:15 p.m.: Nakoma Heights Apartments, 4929
Chalet Gardens Road, Fitchburg
6:30-7:15 p.m.: Fire Station No. 2, 5415 King James Way,
Jan. 27
6:30-8:15 p.m.: Badger Ridge Middle School, 740 N.
Main St., Verona

April land purchase referendum

will be for $8.35 million
Board set to finalize
language at Jan. 19
Scott Girard
Unified Newspaper Group

After slight changes in

land boundaries and official surveys, the final price
for the April Verona Area
School District referendum
is set.
While the school board
members did not take any

action on the referendum

wording at the Jan. 5 meeting, drafts of the resolution
they plan to consider Jan.
19 and of the referendum
question itself revealed the
final price to be $8.35 million for around 126 acres of
VASD business manager Chris Murphy told
the board the lands actual
price is $8,344,380, but the
district is required to round
up for the purposes of the
If the board approves

the referendum language

as expected, it will trigger notice requirements for
the district throughout the
spring before the April 7
Theres another step the
district hopes is taken care
of before Jan. 19, though,
as the Town of Verona still
needs to approve a land use
change application for the
18-acre Herfel property this
month at a pair of meetings. The town Plan Commission pushed back a vote
scheduled for last month

because of concerns on
how increased traffic could
affect Locust Drive and
who would pay for possible
upgrades to the road.
The commission will
hold a special meeting Jan.
12 before the Jan. 13 Town
Board meeting to consider
the land use change application.
The City of Verona
Common Council approved
various changes to zoning
and survey maps and the
comprehensive plan for the
land sites in December.

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January 9, 2015

Madison schools

The Fitchburg Star


Engineering the answers

Project Lead the Way program finds success at Cherokee

Scott Girard
Unified Newspaper Group

Bug wars, bottle rocket launches and earthquakes are all part of the
curriculum in a relatively
new class at Cherokee
Middle School.
The Project Lead the
Way class, part of a
national set of classes that
focus on Science, Math,
Engineering and Technology, or STEM, came to the
school two years ago when
teacher Vern Laufenberg
joined the staff.
Its that applying engineering concepts and principles with science and
math and having them do
the heads-on, hands-on
problem solving, Laufenberg said of the class.
There may be 20 different
answers and still have the
right answer. They all have
their own way of doing it.
When he arrived in the
summer of 2013, the classroom he had for PLTW
was not quite up to snuff.
At one time this used
to be a computer lab so
we basically had to redo
everything, he said, estimating he spent 90 hours
getting it ready for the
He has two sections of
each grade for one quarter
at a time, and every student
should go through the class
once a year while at the

Photo by Scott Girard

Cherokee Middle School teacher Vern Laufenberg explains some of the projects students work on in the Project Lead the Way classes he
teaches, which focus on applying engineering principles.

The sixth-graders work
on projects including an
air skimmer to apply measurement, a puzzle cube
to get thinking in 3D and
a mousetrap car to learn
about simple machines.
In seventh-grade, they

expand on that knowledge

with a wooden car, then
a circuit board and then a
rocket they launch outside
in the fall and spring.
But the highlight for
seventh-graders is likely
a robotic bug unit, which
culminates in a bug war

event at the end of the project.

Now were into the
schematics and wiring,
Laufenberg said.
Finally, eighth-graders
build a tower and test it
against an earthquake,
build a Geodesic dome out

of newspaper and design

an entire city in a simulator.
Laufenberg said the Geodesic dome project, specifically, allows for a lot of
learning beyond the traditional subjects as he backs
off and lets the students


Board finalizes
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voters will have a chance to weigh in April
7 on a set of construction projects the district hopes to begin.
The Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education finalized a project
list for a $41 million referendum to go on
the April ballot at its Dec. 15 meeting.
Projects funded through the referendum
will not affect any Fitchburg area attendance schools, though $2 million will go
toward upgrading the districts technology
infrastructure, which would affect every
school in the district.

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run the project independently.

Its teaching the cooperation and the social skills
that need to be (there) when
you go into the workforce,
he said. Were incorporating a lot of that. Youve got
to be cooperative, youve
got to gradually release
your responsibility.
He said those types
of lessons are present
throughout the class, as
much of it is driven by
each student individually.
They like the motivation
of being independent, he
said. To hear them talking
through this, its a complete
learning experience. They
get motivated and excited.
There are times they get
frustrated. But we built all
of this so that they can be
Laufenberg, who has get
go to classes to remain certified to teach the PLTW
classes, said hes seen students get extra motivation
from the class, even taking
personal time to do extra
research on concepts they
learn about.
This is an important
thing for kids to know, he
said. Even if youre not
going to be an engineer,
just to know how things
function, how things work,
how to problem solve, how
to apply those skills that
youve learned in other

registration Feb. 2
Registration for 4- and 5-year-old
kindergarten for Madison Metropolitan
School District students will be Monday, Feb. 2, from 2-6 p.m.
Parents can register their students
at the MMSD elementary school they
will attend, though Lincoln, Randall
and Marquette elementaries will not be
open for registration.
Children are welcome, but not
required, to attend the registration
Parents can begin pre-registration
Jan. 26 online and print off the verification form to bring with them to the
For more information on 4-year-old
kindergarten, visit mmsd.org/4k. For
more information on 5-year-old kindergarten, visit mmsd.org/kinder.



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Jeremy Jones, sports editor

845-9559 x226 ungsportseditor@wcinet.com

Anthony Iozzo, assistant sports editor

845-9559 x237 sportsreporter@wcinet.com
Fax: 845-9550


Friday, January 9, 2015



Fitchburg Star

For more sports coverage, visit:



VAHS bowling

first legal
JEremy Jones
Sports editor

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

Verona Area High School graduate David Drews (right), who currently attends Bemidji (Minn.) State University, celebrates his National Letter of Intent signing Friday,
Dec. 19, to bowl at Robert Morris University with the head coach for the Eagles, Dale Lehman. Robert Morris is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics (NAIA).

Earning his strikes

VAHS grad, Drews, signs

National Letter of Intent
to bowl at Robert Morris
Anthony Iozzo
Assistant sports editor

Verona Area High School graduate David Drews showed up to bowl

a few games for Robert Morris University head bowling coach Dale
Thinking he was going to need
to impress Lehman, he showed up

about 30 minutes early to bowl a

few games and get loose on the lower numbered lanes at the alley.
That is when a man came over
after seeing him throw a few balls
down the lane and asked if he was
the one that came to bowl for Lehman.
Not thinking anything of it, Drews
later was surprised the man was
actually Lehman, and Lehman had
already seen what he had to see.
Drews, who bowled for the
VAHS team that won a state title
in 2010, cemented his next step in

life by signing a National Letter

of Intent to bowl at Robert Morris,
where he will also major in Business
Information Systems/Entrepreneurial Studies.
I said to (Lehman), Thanks for
the opportunity. He said, I didnt
give you anything. You earned it,
Drews said. These things dont just
come up for any reason. You have
to earn these things and go out there
and get them.
Just to reach a level like this is
something I used to dream about as
a kid. And now that it is happening,

Growing up near Vilas

Park John Fisher could be
found with a fishing rod
in his hands the majority
of his adolescence. Heck,
you cant even spell his last
name without fish.
It was so easy for us to
walk right down there and
get crappies and bluegills,
Fisher said. As I got older, I fished Mendota a lot.
I caught a lot of northerns
and in those days, jumbo
Later getting married and
starting a family, fishing
trips became less frequent.
The only time I went
fishing after that was to take
the kids, he said. It was
the only way you could get
Trading in his fishing
gear for golf clubs shortly
thereafter, Fisher never
imagined his life would
come full-circle.
Turning 80 last August,
he was posed with the question that many struggle to
answer as they get older:
What do you want for your


Drews began at 4 years old as the

youngest sanctioned bowler in Wisconsin.
He spent a lot of time at Wildcat
Lanes which used to have a day
care center to take care of children
while parents or babysitters bowled
in a league watching his brothers
He wanted to play but couldnt

Fisher, who golfs out at

Edelweiss Golf and Country Club in New Glarus,
thought back a couple of
There was this guy out at
Edelweiss who was given a
birthday card from his wife
and family to go musky
fishing with a guide in Madison, he recounted. There
arent any muskies in Madison I told him. He went and
caught one.

Turn to Drews/Page 15

Turn to Musky/Page 12

it is like everything is paying off.

Early games

MWHS boys hockey

Regents take conference, sectional hits

Evan Halpop
Unified News Group

The Madison West High School

boys hockey team came into the season with high hopes of winning the
Big Eight Conference and moving on
to state.
Those goals are still possible with
one more game against both Middleton
and Madison Memorial but losses to
the rival Cardinals and Spartans does
put the Regents conference finish and
sectional seeding in question.
West is 9-3 overall (4-2 Big Eight)
with all three losses coming to Middleton (9-2-1, 6-0) and Madison Memorial (10-4, 5-2).
Memorial and Middleton played a
game Thursday that did not meet the
Stars deadline this month.
As of now, West is behind both the

Cardinals and the Spartans not just in

the conference but in the sectional.
West head coach Bret Farley said
in an email that getting healthy and
reducing penalty time will be crucial in
the second half of the season.
We are also working on a few new
things but not just because of Madison
Memorial, Farley said.
Another team in the mix for the conference title is Janesville (8-4-1, 4-2).
The Regents defeated the Bluebirds
5-2 earlier in the season.
West gets another shot at the Spartans at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the
Madison Ice Arena. Janesville visits
West at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, and
Middleton comes to Madison at 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 10.
The Regents also have tough nonconference matchups with Marquette
University High School at 6:15 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 10, at Eble Ice Arena

and Madison Edgewood at 8 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 15, at Madison Ice Arena.

West 7, Beloit 3
The Regents knocked off Beloit
Memorial 7-3 Dec. 13.
West scored two goals in the first
period. Cole Fuhrman put West on the
scoreboard first, and a few minutes
later, Cole Paskus added a power-play
In the second period, West picked
up a third goal from Kalen Balas goal
with an assist to Paskus.
Beloit Memorial would tie it up with
three goals of its own mid-way through
the period.
Paskus ended the comeback with his

Turn to Regents/Page 12

Photo by Evan Halpop

Madison West junior forward Kalen Balas (18) fights for possession with
Monona Grove senior forward Alec West (5) Dec. 28 during the Culvers
Cup at Madison Ice Arena. The Regents won the game 4-3 but lost in the
championship to Madison Memorial, 3-1.


January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star

Madison West High School/Fitchburg area


Regents: West takes second at Culvers Cup

Continued from page 11
second goal of the game with
assists coming from Pretto
and Balas.
Pretto later scored twice in
the third period, with assists
from Paskus and Fisher.
Paskus finished the scoring
with a power-play goal with
assists coming from Fisher
and Messner.

Mad. Memorial 4, West 0

Madison West could not
muster a goal in a 4-0 loss to
Madison Memorial on Dec.
Photo by Evan Halpop
West had ten minutes of Madison Wests Cole Paskus (left) and James Pretto celebrate
major penalty time, as well as after a game-winning goal scored by Paskus in round 2 of the
eight minutes of minor penal- Culvers Cup Dec. 28 against Monona Grove.
Dec. 29 in the Culvers Cup tournament on Dec. 27, the
West 8, Waunakee 2
championship at Madison Ice Regents knocked off Lakeland 4-0.
West came back strong Arena.
Despite striking first with
Schuyler Hedican scored
two days after losing to the
Spartans by shellacking a power-play goal by Paskus twice, while Paskus and
the Spartans tallied three Messner added the other
Waunakee 8-2.
In the first period, West unanswered goals to pull out goals.
outscored Waunakee 3-1 the 3-1 win.
West had six minutes of Middleton 5, West 2
with goals from Lentz, Balas and Pretto. They would minor penalties for tripping,
West dropped a 6-2 game
come with assists from Mick elbowing and head contact in against Middleton in a Big
Messner, Fisher, Paskus, and the loss.
Eight Conference matchup
The previous night, the Friday, Jan. 2, at Capitol Ice
Pretto, Paskus, and Lentz Regents were able to come Arena.
back against Badger South
added goals in the second.
West scored in the first
In the third, Messner powerhouse Monona Grove period on a powerplay goal
scored on a power play with with three goals in the third to from Pretto.
an assist from Lentz and Max pull out a 4-3 win.
Paskus later scored a shortThe Silver Eagles grabbed handed goal. However, MidFrey. Balas later scored the
final goal with just under four a 2-1 lead after two, but dleton would dominate the
Paskus scored twice in the rest of the game putting one
minutes left.
third, while Furhman added a up in the second period, and
Culvers Cup
third goal.
three more in the third.
Messner struck first for
After knocking off LakeAnthony Iozzo contributed
land and Monona Grove, West on a powerplay in the
to this story
West earned a rematch first.
In the opening game of the
against Madison Memorial

Submitted photos

Eighty-year-old John Fisher of Fitchburg displays a 46 musky he caught in Lake Monona last August
with guide Jeff Hanson of Verona.

Musky: Bucket list of possibilities

It has always been on
my mind since, if you hire
a guide, you might get one.
So Fisher told his wife
his bucket list would probably start off with catching
a legal musky (40 inches).
She responded, why dont
you do it?
Shortly after, he called
Madison Musky Guide
service and was given the
name of three guides. He
ultimately settled on Jeff
Hanson of Verona a guide
on the Madison chain of
lakes for the past 19 years
and they decided to meet
up for a 1/2 day fishing trip
at 5:30 a.m. Aug. 30, at Olin

Tempered expectations
Though expecting a boat
ride across the lake, Fisher
and his 15-year-old grandson Drew stayed right in
that area west of the boat
Although Drew had never
used a baitcaster, he caught
on pretty quick. Casting to
the shoreline right at daybreak, his grandson got a
strike, but failed to hookup. Shortly after, Hanson
hooked a small musky and
let Drew fight the fish to the
boat before releasing it back
to the water.
Fisher, who hadnt used a
bait-casting reel in nearly 30
years, wasnt so fortunate.
He spent about 20 minutes
battling backlash.

The moment of truth

Sessions include time for consultation and dressing.

New clients only. May not be combined with any other
offers or discounts. Limited time offer.

After several more hours

without any action he
looked at Hanson and said,
You know I heard the
musky is the fish of 10,000
cast. I think Im over 9,000
Hanson knew his clients
arm was getting tired and

Start the New Year

feeling your best.

asked him if he wanted to

call it a day.
For his part, however,
the typically jovial Fisher
wasnt about to quit until he
landed a fish or the day was
We kept going and all of
a sudden, bam, Fisher said.
The guide had me keep
the rod underneath my arm.
I didnt know how to fish
like that, but by God, its
a good thing I was holding
the rod like that. The way
that thing when it hit could
have pulled me right out of
the boat.
A short battle ensued
the reward for which was
a 46 spotted musky in
the net. Taken on a white
spinnerbait, the fish was
promptly measured and
photographed by his grandson before being released.
Honestly, I didnt think I
was going to catch one, but
I was going to be there, he
said. I was just so happy
to check that off my bucket
Ten minutes later and
boom, I got another one,
Fisher said.
This time it wasnt a
musky, though, but a 39
I didnt pay attention. I
was more concerned with
the musky, he said. Later
I thought, why didnt I take
another look at it?
With the photo and measurements of his musky,
Fisher contacted legendary
taxidermist Joe Fittante of
Antigo based on the recommendation of Hanson.
Usually its a yearlong wait
to get a replica so lifelike
that it looks like it is dripping water. Fisher expects
to have his $700 mount in
March, though he joked
about not letting his wife

know the price tag.

Back home
Roughly six hours after
his most memorable day on
the water had begun Fisher
and his grandson walked
into his eastside Fitchburg
My grandsons father,
along with my wife were
there and Drew says, Do
you want me to tell her
about it or are you going
to? He got more excited talking about it than I
thought I would, Fisher
said. It was a thrill.
For Fishers part, he apologized for not getting a photo of his grandson with his
I feel so bad, he said.
Rather than being upset,
Drew, who may have been
bitten by the musky bug
himself said, thats alright
grandpa, Ive got a long
time to get one before Im
To this day he said people
still dont believe he caught
the fish in Madison.
They say I must have
gone up to Minocqua, he
Asked what else is on his
bucket list, Fisher said, Im
trying to figure out something else, like a hole-inone, but I dont think that
will happen. There are a
few other things Ive been
thinking about, but it never
seems to work out.
The father of five sons,
Fisher said he would like to
get at least one son to come
back in the summer anfone
in the fall to pursue an even
bigger fish. Though he may
have ulterior motives.
That way I wouldnt
have to pay for two because
theyd have to pay, he

6317 McKee Road

Orchard Pointe


John Fisher caught this 39 northern just 10 minutes after catching his first legal musky with guide
Jeff Hanson.

Boys basketball

Panthers fall to
Anthony Iozzo
Assistant sports editor

Head coach Jon Nedelcoff said that the first half is

where he thinks the Oregon
High School boys basketball
team could have played better defense, secured deflected
passes and other loose balls.
But a few mistakes piled
up to allow Stoughton to
grab an 11-point lead in a
Badger South Conference
tilt Tuesday, and the visiting
Panthers couldnt steal away
the momentum in the second
half, allowing six 3-pointers
en route to a 70-42 loss.
We got handed to the
woodshed tonight, and the
best thing for this team is to
come back and be ready to go
tomorrow, Nedelcoff said.
Oregon cut Stoughtons
lead to six at halftime after
a 3-pointer by senior Mitch
Morhoff and a basket at the
buzzer by junior Alex Duff,
but Stoughton started the
third quarter on a 12-0 run.
Stoughton junior Adam
Krumholz scored twice.
Senior Brad Graffin and
junior Tommy McGlynn
added 3-pointers, while sophomore Troy Slaby picked up
three points the old-fashioned
way after a basket and a foul.
Senior Nick McGlynn was
also able to get to the basket
on a putback.
In the second half, you
have to give them credit.
They were knocking down
shots. Bottom line, Nedelcoff said. I dont care if
you were on them or not,
they were still hitting 21- or
The Panthers were never
able to get the deficit back to
single digits after Stoughtons
run, and struggled to get any
stops on defense in the second half.
But it was a different
story in the first half. Offensively, Oregon was able to
get the ball to senior Markus
Tobias who scored all 10
of his points in the first half
on the inside. Seniors Mitch

Morhoff (13 points) and

Peter Kissling were able to
move the ball around and
get juniors Charlie Soule
(nine points) and Alex Duff
involved at times.
But the Vikings were able
to open up a lead in the second quarter following a 7-0
run. During the run there were
a few times the Panthers were
able to force a deflection only
to see Nick McGlynn secure
the loose ball once for a putback, while a second time led
to a Slaby pass to McGlynn
for a 3-pointer.
We werent doing the
things we usually do on
screens or getting ball pressure or adjusting to where
we needed to be on the weak
side, Nedelcoff said. We
played some possessions
where we got some deflections on the ball but never
finished off the deflection.
They scored eight points off
of deflections.
And it showed in the
rebound battle as Stoughton
collected 29 to Oregons 15.
We talk all the time about
hustle plays, Stoughton head
coach Matt Hockett said.
Aside from rebounding, we
want to win every 50-50 possession, and I would say that
we won over 70 percent of
those tonight.

Waunakee tournament
The Panthers traveled to
Waunakee High School Dec.
29-30 for a holiday tournament and won both games,
knocking off Hartford 58-42
and Green Bay East 44-28.
Oregon jumped out by 13
at halftime against Hartford
and led by 19 after three.
Morhoff led the Panthers
with 19 points, while Soule
and Tobias added 12 and 10,
Against Green Bay East,
the Panthers held a five-point
lead after three before putting
the game away at the freethrow line.
Soule led with 16 points,
while Tobias added 10.
Morhoff chipped in eight.

Girls basketball

Oregon steals game from Jefferson

Anthony Iozzo
Assistant sports editor

The Oregon High School

girls basketball team came
back from a two-week break
Friday and knocked off nonconference Jefferson 54-46.
The Panthers (4-4 overall, 3-1 Badger South) had
12 steals, including five by
senior Riley Rosemeyer, and
also knocked down three
Oregon let Jefferson back
into the game in the second
half with 19-for-34 shooting
at the free-throw line, but did
enough to pull out the win.
Senior Kelsey Jahn led
the Panthers with 13 points,
including going 2-for-4
from the 3-point line, while
Rosemeyer added 11 points
and two blocks. Junior Cassidy Nikolai chipped in eight
points, and junior Leah Koopman picked up four points,
three steals and four blocks.

Junior Calli Linse led Jefferson with 21 points.

Oregon 35, Parker 34

The Panthers traveled to
Janesville Parker on Tuesday
in a non-conference matchup
and lost 35-34.
Parker senior Paige Smith
knocked down two free
throws with five seconds
left, and Oregon was unable
to knock down a shot at the
other end.
The Panthers trailed by
four going into the fourth
quarter in a defensive struggle.
They did capture the lead
late, but a late foul and some
clutch free throws sealed
Oregons fate.
Parker was 9-for-14 at the
line, while the Panthers were
Nikolai and Rosemeyer
finished with nine points,
while Smith picked up 11 for

Oregon High School

January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star


Boys hockey

Photo by Jeremy Jones

Oregon senior captain Cole Hefty (25) and Ian Schildgen try to steer Verona forward Grant Smith away from the puck Thursday during
the second period. The Panthers lost the game 5-1.

Panthers looking to closeout the season on a high note

Jeremy Jones
Sports editor

Oregon boys hockey fell to 4-61 overall (2-1-1 Badger South) last
The Panthers tied second place
conference rival Monona Grove
inside Hartmeyer Ice Arena on Dec.
16 before upending Homestead
three days later.
Badger South leading Madison
Edgewood rang up a 3-1 victory
over Oregon on Dec. 23 before the
Panthers lost by the same score a
week later at Reedsburg/Wisconsin
January started off with Oregon
cruising to a 5-0 victory over the
winless Green Bay United co-op. A
day later the Panthers were all but
completely shutdown in a 6-1 loss
against the Neenah/Hortonville/
Menasha co-op.
Oregon scored four first-period

goals en route to a 5-0 drumming of

Green Bay United last Friday at De
Peres Cornerstone Ice Center.
Junior Max Dosher, senior Colin
Hughes, sophomores Calvin Schneider and Alex Verhagen all collected
first-period goals for the Panthers.
Schneider and Verhagen assisted
on two more goals throughout the
game, while fellow sophomore
Lucas Hefty added Oregons final
goal in the blowout.
The loss dropped the Gryphons
United to 0-11-0 on the season.
The Panthers closed out the tournament with a 6-1 loss against the
Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha co-op.
Cole Hefty scored on the power
play near the seven-minute mark of
the third period to account for Oregons lone goal. The Panthers were
already trailing 4-0 by that point,
Carter Grishaber and Mitch Gerhartz each scored twice and assisted

on another goal for the Rockets.

Sophomore Henry Roskos made
32 saves, while Riley Malone
stopped 21 of 22 for the Rockets
Roskos, who has started in goal
for all 11 games this season, has
posted a 2.74 goals against average
and a .903 save percentage so far.
He has one shut out.
A team that has struggled to put
the puck in the net all season, Dylan
Ziomek (1 goal, 11 assists) and Joey
Andriacchi (4G, 7A) are the only
Panthers with double-digit point
Of Oregons nine remaining
games during the regular season,
five are conference games.
Over the final month of the season, the Panthers faceoff against
Waukesha (8-3-1), seventh-ranked
Madison West (9-3-0) and Madison
Edgewood (8-4-0).

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January 9, 2015

Verona Area High School

The Fitchburg Star




Schmid, Coons place at Bi-States Molitor finishes third in all-around

All three losses were the first for Coons this
season, and Ott said that the close match with
defending state champion Chadd was hard to
rebound from.
Dakin wrestled a good match, but it was
hard to bounce back from that match emotionally and physically., Ott said.
But Ott added that Coons looked great on
the first day and looked like a state contender.
Garrison Stauffer (220) and senior Jackson
Bryant (160) finished 3-2 at the Bi-States but
didnt place.
Stauffer defeated Jack Hessil (Tomah) 6-0,
pinned Brenden Fleshner (Prairie du Chien/
Wauzeka-Steuben) in 4:17 and won by forfeit. Bryant pinned Marshal Toelle (New Lisbon) in 1:19 and Hunter Kluender (Baraboo)
in 1:21. He also edged Tyson Wolf (Lancaster in a 3-2 decision.
Verona was 12th overall in Division 1 with
96 points. Hudson was first in Division 1 (267
1/2) and second overall followed by Eastview
(242, third overall) and Pulaski (232). Luxemburg-Casco (206 1/2) was first in Division
2 followed by Ellsworth (204) and Caledonia/
Houston Spring/Spring Grove, Minn., (201).
Stratford was first in Division 3 and overall
(304 1/2) followed by Lancaster (136 1/2)
and Iowa-Grant/Highland (133 1/2).
The Wildcats host Madison West in a Big
Eight Conference dual at 7 p.m. Friday and
hosts the Verona Duals invite at 9 a.m. Saturday. They finish the week with a non-conference dual against Mukwonago at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 13, at home.
With a month left in the season, Ott said
there are six legitimate wrestlers with a
chance to qualify for sectionals and state.
The few mistakes that we made at BiStates are very fixable, Ott said. We know
what we have to work on for this month.

Anthony Iozzo

Assistant sports editor

Seniors Eric Schmid (152 pounds) and

Dakin Coons (195) both battled tough competition Dec. 29-30 in the Bi-States Classic
at the La Crosse Civic Center and both made
the podium.
Schmid ranked second in Division 1
took second overall with a 4-1 record. He
pinned Aaron Zitelman (La Crosse Logan) in
23 seconds and Cole Mahoney (River Valley)
in 52 seconds.
Schmid also edged Anders Lantz (Ellsworth) ranked No. 6 in Division 2 3-2 and
knocked off Dustin Reynolds (Lancaster)
ranked No. 5 in Division 3 in a 9-0 major
Schmid fell to Derek Dowd (New Richmond) ranked No. 8 in Division 1 in a 6-4
decision in the title match. Dowd had a takedown in the final 10 seconds.
Co-head coach Jason Ott said Schmid and
Dowd might meet again at state.
It was definitely one that he could of one,
but it is a learning process, Ott said. You
have to learn from what happened and move
Coons finished 3-3. He pinned Trevor
Hemmersbach (Cashton) in 38 seconds and
Louis Wiklund (Bloomington Kennedy,
Minn.) in 3:43. He also defeated Chris Marks
(Burlington) 7-5 in a sudden victory in overtime.
Coons dropped matches to David Chadd
(Lancaster) ranked No. 1 in Division 3 in
a 2-1 decision, Levi Van Lanen (Pulaski) by
pinfall in 2:54 and Mike Delich (Eastview,
Minn.) in the fifth-place match by a 6-5 decision.


Brisack earns first-team All-State selection

did, Brisack said. I wouldnt be here
without the effort of the entire team.
Brisack said she was very happy to
not only make the All-State list but to also
have junior Kylie Schmaltz join her.
Schmaltz was named an honorable mention All-State. She finished the season with
286 kills, 61 aces, 20 blocks (four solo),
317 digs and 19 assists in 2014. All of
those numbers were career highs in a season.
All the individual accolades and stats
werent what Schmaltz was thinking about
when she entered the season.
Instead, she was thinking about the
teams goal of getting to state for the first
time since 2010.
I couldnt have done it without my
teammates, Schmaltz said. Being named
an honorable mention really shows how
my hard work has paid off.

Anthony Iozzo
Assistant sports editor

Verona Area High School junior Victoria Brisack earned a first-team All-State
volleyball selection this season.
Brisack, who had 2,192
assists in her career, finished 2014 with 125 kills,
65 aces, 41 total blocks
(seven solo), 161 digs and
838 assists.
She had career highs
in kills, digs and assists
this season while helping Brisack
the Wildcats win the Big
Eight Conference and earn
a No. 2 seed in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs.
It took a lot of hard work and dedication for the whole team to finish like we

Sports editor

Verona/Madison Edgewood kicked off the Big

Eight Conference season
with 131.800-130.675 Big
Eight Conference loss Dec.
18 against Madison West
inside Madison Memorial
High School.
Our focus for the team
last night was to just get out
there and give a clean performance.Being early in the
year, we arent as worried
about filling the routines with
bonuses or going for the big
skills yet, especially with the
freshmen or girls new to the
team, head coach Rachael
Hauser said.We had a goal
of hitting 130, and Im happy
to say we accomplished that

Edgewood newcomer
Maddie Molitor finished
third in the varsity all-around
competition with a combined
33.250 points. She finished
second on the balance beam
(8.775) and tied teammate
Sammy Seymour for second
on vault (8.450).
I was really impressed
with everyones performance
last night. I think the girls
were a little nervous, but honestly, it didnt really show in
their routines; they looked
confident, Hauser said.
Mandy Michuda finished
runner-up on the uneven bars
(8.225) and third on floor
(8.425) en route to a fifthplace finish as a varsity allaround (32.400).
Hannah Semmann placed
second on floor (8.5).
We have some new floor

Have a SpongeBob, Dora the

Explorer, or Go, Diego Go!-themed

Continued from page 11

until he became sanctioned
to bowl in the league.
Drews kept on bowling
into high school, where he
joined the VAHS team, and
it was then, that he started to
make a name for himself.
He helped the Wildcats
win a state title in 2010 and
also added a gold medal at
the Badger State Games in
the youth division.
Drews shot a 262, a 248, a
226 and a 228 en route to a
first-place finish at the Badger Games that year, winning by over 100 pins in the
But Drews decided to
focus on academics after
he graduated from Verona, going to Bemidji State
(Minn.) University which
didnt have a bowling team.

The road from Bemidji

Bemidji is a small town in
northern Minnesota, about
two hours from Canada.
There isnt much to do
there, so Drews said he got
back to his roots a little bit
hunting and fishing and
doing anything outdoors to
entertain himself.
And although he didnt
bowl competitively, he still

worked at a bowling alley

while attending and practiced
when he could.
As a sophomore, he decided to further pursue his academics by getting into a good
Masters program.
Looking in Chicago, he
found Robert Morris, which
had one of the better Business Information Systems/
Entrepeneurial Studies
degree in the country.
But as fate would have it,
Robert Morris also had one
of the best bowling teams in
the nation a team that has
won four national titles and
has been ranked in the top 5
several times in the 10 years
since the team was founded.
I kind of realized that I
wanted to get back to what it
was that I started with when
I was really young, Drews
So Drews called the coach
and set up a practice, and
that is when Lehman noticed
something special.
He has very good fundamentals, is a good spare
shooter and has a nice strike
release. He has a lot of tools
we can work with, Lehman
said. He is already a pretty
good bowler, but we look
forward to taking those tools
and advancing them to make

Call or go online to book your

birthday adventure at The Little

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2014 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants and all
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routines this year, and with

changes to the rules (they
change every two years), we
have had to modify our beam
and bar routines a bit, Hauser said. It will take a couple
meets for the girls to really
settle into those changes, I
Regent Louisa Forrest won
the vault (8.975) and bars
(8.225) to secure the varsity
all-around title with a 33.725.
Teammate Claire Curley won
other two titles, taking the
balance beam (8.9) and floor
competition (8.5) to finish
second with a 33.500.
The Wildcat/Crusaders
were only competing half
a JV team since Edgewood
has finals and some of the
squads newest members
werent ready with their routines yet.

Drews: Bowling for Robert Morris

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him an even better bowler.

Ready to compete at
Robert Morris
Drews still has a semester
left at Bemidji before he travels to Chicago, and besides
only being a few hours from
family in Verona, he is also
looking forward to compete
Lehman said he expects
Drews to start competing
for the team right away, but
it really comes down to what
he does to earn it.
There are 37 bowlers on
the roster, with 25 making
the travel roster. Lehman
said Drews will probably
make the travel roster and
will have a shot to make the
A team if he shows results.
But regardless, Lehman said
he expects Drews to at least
start on the C team when he
makes it to Chicago.
However, Drews said he
knows he has a long way to
go before he can compete at
the level he wants to.
The one thing he hopes to
work on is the mental side
of the game, one that comes
with making the correct lane
adjustments and having confidence that the changes will
work throughout a tournament.
One second of doubt and
your ball might not make it.
If that is what you think, it
probably wont, Drews said.
But if you think, Yeah,
this is going to be there and
is going to strike. I am going
to hit the exact board on the
lane that I want to hit, exactly
where I want to hit it. Then,
that is probably what it will
Reading the lanes and
making the right adjustments
are some things I am hoping
they will teach me there.
Drews is going to bowl in
some tournaments over the
summer and hopes to qualify
for the USBC to get some
work in before joining Robert Morris.
But what also helps is having four years of eligibility
still while he goes for a Masters degree.
What will happen after
Drews completes his time at
Robert Morris? He said that
will depend on where bowling takes him in the future.
Regardless, he added, I
do see bowling as having a
place in my life for my entire

January 9, 2015 - The Fitchburg Star - 15

Ask the Fitchburg



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Q. Are you an expert in your line of work and interested in

this happen?

joining our Ask a Professional page?

A. Feeling down after the holidays can happen to us all; however folks

over 65 may feel down after the holidays for several reasons. All the
hustle and bustle of the holidays may have physically exhausted them.
They may realize that they may not see family again for many months.
They may feel sad because some of their loved ones are no longer living,
and perhaps they fear declining health, or just being alone. To help with this difficult time, take your
elder out for coffee, lunch or just for a drive. Or if that is not possible, just stop in and visit, and try
to do so often throughout the year. If you suspect depression in your loved one, seek medical advice.

Better Care. Better Living.

their home. While each case is different, a coat of fresh paint, cleaning the carpet
(or new carpet if it is worn or out of style), and even new countertops if they are
outdated. Because its winter time, you cant really spruce up the landscaping but
you can make certain the driveway and sidewalks are clear of snow and that the
property looks neat and clean. Remember to stay neutral with colors in all your
updates. Give me a call, I would be happy to help you get your home ready to list.

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Your Photo

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133 Enterprise Dr. Verona, WI 53593 (608) 845-9559


If you would like to join our Ask a Professional page, contact Donna Larson at 608-845-9559 or Rob Kitson 608-835-6677 to find out how!


January 9, 2015

The Fitchburg Star

While 2014 featured plenty

of politics at the state level,
and certainly some political
moves and debates on the city
council, its likely nothing
compared to this spring.
Theres a four-way race for
mayor and challengers in six of
eight aldermanic districts. Not
only that, all three school districts Fitchburg students attend
will hold referendums in April.
And 2015 promises to be
eventful around the city after
April, as well, with Verona
Road construction, continued
development, two nonprofits making big moves, more
changes at the fire department
and a possible resolution on
the Northeast Neighborhood.

1. Busy election
While many may have
felt a bit of relief when the
November 2014 election was
over, local election season
this spring will bring its own
onslaught of ads and politics.


Stories to watch in 2015

Mayor Shawn Pfaff took

over the citys leadership in
2011 after defeating incumbent Jay Allen. In 2013, voters reaffirmed their support
for him when he won nearly
three-quarters of the vote
against Allen.
Allen is back again this
year, but Pfaff also faces a sitting alder and a community
member whos focused on
Ald. Steve Arnold, who
frequently clashes with Pfaff
during council meetings,
especially related to development, declared his intention to
run in November.
On Jan. 2, 13-year Fitchburg
resident Janell Rice and Allen
took out nomination papers to
create a four-way race.
While whoever wins will
have an effect on the messaging coming out of City Hall,
the six contested aldermanic
seats could have a major
effect policies over the next

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two years.
The council has had a solid
6-2 majority on most contested
issues, with Arnold and Ald.
Dorothy Krause (Dist. 1) most
often aligned in the minority.
Krause is one of two incumbents running unopposed.
Scott Girard

department. They would be a

mix of paid-on-call or paidon-premises and full-time
staff. Paid-on-call firefighters
will also see a pay increase
for the first time in 15 years.
The city will also work
toward building one new fire
station and acquiring land for
2. School referendums
The Fire Station Oversight
Committees recommended
Every voter around Fitchplan calls for designing and
burg will have a say in the
building the northwest station
future of a school district
in 2015. A land purchase was
this year, though what youll
approved in late 2014, and the
be voting on varies greatly
department could occupy that
among the three districts
station as soon as late 2015 or
Fitchburg children attend.
early 2016.
Verona Area School District
The larger northeast station
voters will be asked to sup which will house the adminport major long-term expanistrative offices is planned
sion through three new pieces
to be built in 2016 and 2017.
of land totaling more than 100 4. More fire changes
Mark Ignatowski
Several changes will likely
acres for $8.35 million.
In Oregon, the district is take place this year for the
5. Verona food pantry
hoping to revamp its system Fitchburg Fire Department.
On the personnel side,
for teacher compensation.
The Verona Area Needs
Those in the Madison Met- the department will see new Network is expected to have
ropolitan School District will leadership after city officials a very busy 2015 if the Dane
be asked to help the district included funds to hire a full- County Board approves a
renovate and improve access time chief, a first for the city. 15-year lease at the old counThe Common Council vot- ty hospital.
at 16 schools around the district none of which are in ed to include around $37,000
If so, VANN which draws
the Fitchburg attendance area. to hire a new chief around about two-thirds of its clients
Scott Girard September.
from Fitchburg would be
The studys recommended able to begin renovating the
3. Verona Road
organization structure for former administration buildExpect more orange barrels the departments would have ing at Badger Prairie Health
along Verona Road and the several commanders over- Care Center on East Verona
Beltline as the first phase of seeing different parts of the Avenue starting March 1.
The nonprofit would move
the Verona Food Pantry
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VANN has reached 72
percent of its $420,000 capital fundraising campaign to
Move the Food, which it
hopes to do by July pending
county approval.
To make these services a
7035 Raywood Rd., Madison, WI 53725
reality, VANN will be searchwww.pellitteri.com
ing for more grants, knocking
on doors and holding more funAA/EOE
draisers in the coming months.
Samantha Christian
reconstruction continues.
Much of the project will
be confined to the Beltline
and right near Verona Road
as crews look to expand the
interchange. It includes adding a third lane to the Beltline
and building a new singlepoint interchange. Carling
Drive will be expanded in
spring 2015 to connect to
Thurston Lane.
The project wont move
closer to Fitchburg until 2016,
when the second phase begins.
Businesses in the area have
already banded together to
make sure theyre ready for
the construction and that customers know theyre open.
Mark Ignatowski


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6. Fitchburg Fields
Fitchburg Fields spent most
of 2014 trying to find a garden
to relocate to, but the search
for a place to run its community food-growing operation
will continue into 2015.
The nonprofit organization, which grows produce
for local food pantries, has
been working with the City of
Fitchburg parks and planning
departments to look for a spot
for them to start digging again
in spring.
The land the group had
been using since 2009 through
an agreement with a private
landowner near Lacy Road



The Bruce Company is currently recruiting for temporary equipment

operators (Skid Steer and Front End Loader) that may lead to
seasonal employment in the spring. Qualified candidates must be
reliable and available at different times of the day and/or night,
as positions are weather dependent and must have a valid U.S.
drivers license. Pay is $16.50/hr. and employees may be eligible
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2830 Parmenter St., Middleton, WI 53562
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and Fahey Glen is no longer

available because the property
might switch ownership.
An option was introduced
in fall to relocate Fitchburg
Fields to a portion of a parcel
of land attached to Greenfield
Park, but blowback from the
neighborhood buried that proposal.
The nonprofit and city staff
hope to have an update on the
progress of the search in February.
Samantha Christian

7. Westside
It was almost a year ago
that Fitchburg and Town of
Verona residents packed the
fire station meeting room to
hear from Yahara Materials on a proposed quarry on
Grandview Road.
But the quarry has not even
received a road use permit
from the Town of Verona
for its trucks to use Fitchrona
Road. It also has not entered
the official approval process
from the City of Fitchburg.
That process, if the town
approves, is likely to begin this
year, likely with some strong
opposition from area residents.
Some even started a website to
oppose the 50-acre quarry at
6194 Grandview Road.
Just up the road, however,
plans for additional residential housing are taking shape
in the former Hammersley
Quarry lot. The development
known as Quarry Vista
will include three, 3-story
multi-family buildings this
spring, along with close to
150 single family lots over
the next few years.
Scott Girard and Mark

8. DNR decision on
Northeast plan
After the controversial
Northeast Neighborhood plan
was turned down by CARPC,
it still could get state approval.
The Northeast plan was one
of two the Common Council sent to the Capital Area
Regional Planning Commission earlier this year. CARPC
approved the North Stoner
Prairie Neighborhood but voted down the Northeast Neighborhood.
If the city appeals, the
state Department of Natural Resources will now have
the final say on the Northeast
Neighborhood sewer service
expansion. Mayor Shawn
Pfaff told the Star in December he believes the DNR
should approve the plan based
on the science behind the plan.
Opponents have expressed
concern with how development could affect the Waubesa
Wetlands, though a CARPC
staff report had recommended
approval of the plan as long as
the city pursued a list of stormwater management and erosion control protections.
Scott Girard


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As you cruise down County Hwy. PD, its hard to think

that just a few short months
ago the road could have
been easily mistaken for a
rodeo. The bumps, cracks and
heaves made for a wild ride.
Its also hard to remember
how Verona Road had been
reduced to two lanes in each
But both projects had significant impacts on Fitchburg
area drivers, residents and
business owners. With both
happening at the same time
this fall, it was not uncommon to have significant delays
while trying to navigate the
City of Fitchburg.
Verona Road wrapped up a
major phase of the multi-year
Verona Road improvement
project this fall.
Crews completed a bridge
and roundabout combination
at the Atticus Way intersection. The goal is to move
through-traffic over the local
road network and still provide access for residents and
businesses along the corridor.
The project took a toll on
folks in the area with businesses reporting fewer sales,
Walgreens announcing that
it was closing and residents
having to deal with additional traffic and noise from
the project. Other business
owners banded together to
get through the disruption
with a coalition that is providing marketing and other
The work on PD, meanwhile, was a one-time fix.
Construction lasted from
early August through late
October. The 6-inch layer of
existing asphalt pavement
was removed from the entire
stretch of McKee Road from
S. Seminole Hwy. to Fish
Hatchery Road and replaced.
Mark Ignatowski

2. Deputy kills wife,

Tragedy struck the Fitchburg community Aug. 22
when a former sheriffs deputy shot and killed his wife and
sister-in-law in his Fitchburg
Andrew Steele, 39, who
along with his wife Ashlee,
39, and their children had
lived in Fitchburg for more
than a decade, was found by
police in the laundry room
of the Steeles home at 3038
Yarmouth Greenway after
shooting both of the women
earlier in the day.
Andrew Steele had been
diagnosed earlier in 2014
with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a nerve condition more commonly as Lou
Gehrigs Disease, and his
wife had led a campaign to
fundraise for his care needs.
The second victim, Andrew
Steeles sister-in-law, was
38-year-old Kacee Tollefsbol.
The community rallied
with an Aug. 31 candlelight
vigil at Rosecommons Park
in the neighborhood where
the Steeles lived. The vigil
was lead by faith leaders from
around Fitchburg, as Ashlee
Steele had worked at The
Church at Christ Memorial for
six years as a preschool teacher.
Andrew Steele faces two
charges of first-degree homicide. The trial is scheduled to
begin in April.
Scott Girard

3. Hy-Vee opens
A little more than two years
after the city council approved
the Hy-Vee grocery store in
the Orchard Pointe Shopping
Center, the 85,000-squarefoot store opened in February.
Shoppers flooded the
chains third Madison-area
store Feb. 25 for the opening,
and business has been doing
well since, said store director
Lucas Glasgow.
Everyone seems to really
enjoy the store, all the offerings, he told the Star. We
get a lot of comments on our
The store brought 141
full-time jobs and 605 total
employees to Fitchburg.
The development was a
point of controversy late in
2011, as alders disagreed over
the impact of the store on
nearby businesses, including
Super Target and Aldi, which
both sell groceries in the same
shopping center. There were
also disagreements over the
likely traffic impact at the
A staff report and two commissions had recommended
rejecting the proposal then,
but the Plan Commission recommended approval.
Scott Girard

4. Nine Springs
remains a golf course
The debate over Nine
Springs Golf Course pitted
two groups that might not
often interact around Fitchburg: golfers and residents in
the North Fish Hatchery corridor.
Discussion began in 2012,
but the official process
began and ended in 2014
with no significant changes.
It centered on the areas
22-acre deficiency in park
space and what some city
officials considered a lack
of alternative options in the
Although the council
approved the park alternative
plan in March, when it came
time to choose between that
plan and the course in May, it
sided with the passionate golfers who use the course. Golfers
who argued the course was a
special attraction for Fitchburg.
The citys annual one-year
agreement with course manager Sam Schultz, approved
in December, outlined a
requirement for more city and
community access to the park
in 2015 through city park
The city also held a Nine
Springs Community Night
Aug. 23, with carnival games,
music, disc golfing and other
Scott Girard

5. Return of the Star

At the risk of tooting our
own horn, we have to include
return of the Fitchburg Star.
We journalists, of course,
would always rather report
the story than be the story, but
sometimes its unavoidable.
And in this case, it went far
beyond us.
The return of the Star was
a truly collaborative effort,
involving some risk from both
our company and the City of
Fitchburg. It required lots of
help from people connected
with the community at getting
our reporters up to speed on
the issues facing the community. It took extra effort from
our advertising and frontoffice personnel and from city
department heads who had to

Stories of 2014

On the web

Read our honorable mention stories for 2014 at:

learn a new way of passing
along information.
And it required the attention and patience of Fitchburg
readers, many of whom had
been asking about getting a
newspaper back for the past
five years.
It started in the fall of 2013,
four years after the previous
publication had shut down,
with an idea that had to pass
the citys budget: doubling
the citys postage costs from
its bimonthly newsletter, the
Fitchburg Update, to ensure
delivery to all 25,000 Fitchburg citizens and all of its
But all sides agreed it
couldnt be another city product; it had to have editorial
independence in order to capture the attention of readers.
The contract ended in
December and the Star continues this month on its own,
supported entirely by advertising.
Jim Ferolie

and sent for approval in 2014,

but they still face hurdles
before any construction starts.
The 327-acre North Stoner
Prairie Neighborhood, one of
two new neighborhood plans
the Capital Area Regional
Planning Commission is considering for Fitchburg, passed
on a 9-2 vote Oct. 9. Land use
recommendations call for a
mix of low- and medium-density housing, industrial, business and park space.
The Northeast Neighborhood plan approval was voted
down by CARPC in November. It would include an additional 498 acres of development in addition to the existing development already in
the neighborhood, city planner Tom Hovel said.
The neighborhood, bounded by Nine Springs Creek to
the north and the Lacy Road
corridor to the south next to
Hwy. 14, would cover nearly
986 acres, including environmental corridors and existing residential development.
6. Growth picks up
Final approval is up to the
Fitchburg saw several con- Wisconsin Department of
struction projects get under- Natural Resources.
Mark Ignatowski
way this year, as well as plans
for more in the coming years.
Much of the major con- 7. State champs and a
struction in the upcoming national record
season will be for new apartWherever Verona Area
ments. Avante Properties High School girls swimming
added to its existing 84-unit standout Beata Nelson went
Riva apartment complex on this year, records seemed to
East Cheryl Parkway with fall.
construction of a new 78-unit
Some 629 days from potenbuilding. Single family homes tially swimming in the Olymalso popped up in the Uptown pics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
neighborhood off Hwy. 14.
in August 2016, and with the
In nearby Swan Creek, two Olympic time trials earlier
new buildings with 95 units that summer, the 16-year-old
total were built this sum- Verona Area/Mount Horeb
mer. And the Vue added 286 standout cruised to state
apartment units near Post and championships and national
Index roads on the north side. records.
In the Fitchburg TechnoloAlready the defending
gy campus, a developer added record holder in three individa 39-unit apartment building ual events, Nelson went a step
this summer. Seventeen sin- further at the WIAA Divigle-family homes were also sion 1 Girls State Swimming
planned for Phase II.
and Diving Championships
The Quarry Vista subdivi- in November, breaking Katie
sion north of Lacy Road and McLaughlin of St. Margarita
east of Fitchrona Road is on (Calif.) High Schools nationtrack to add 156 multifamily al high school and 15-16
units and 172 single-family national age group record in
lots. Construction is planned the 100-meter butterfly in
for spring and summer.
51.7 seconds.
Plans for future growth in
There were plenty of
the Northeast Neighborhood other big accomplishments
and the North Stoner Prairie for sports stars in Fitchburg
neighborhood were debated

The Fitchburg Star

school districts.
Madison West boys cross
country season ended with the
ultimate prize, the schools
second Division 1 state title in
three years.
The Regents placed all
five-varsity runners in the top
26 at The Ridges Golf Course
in Wisconsin Rapids top
dominate the meet with a gaudy score of 77. Stevens Point
finished a distant second, 80
points behind.
Madison West senior Olin
Hacker repeated as the D1
state champion in 14 minutes,
59 seconds.
Verona had three state titles,
as well, with the boys hockey
and girls golf teams each winning their first crowns and
boys lacrosse adding another.
Jeremy Jones

8. Fire dept. changes

The city saw a big shake-up
in the City of Fitchburg fire
department and how the operation will be overseen.
The department had been
scrutinized after discovering accounting irregularities
using money from the sale
of surplus equipment to purchase new equipment, clothing and other items. It hadnt
been approved through regular city processes.
An 18-month investigation
of the Fitchburg Fire Department found that its off the
books accounting practices
werent criminal, but longtime chief Randall Pickering
resigned in January after serving the city since 2002. He said
he would no longer be living in
the City of Fitchburg and therefore was ineligible to continue.
The citys Police and Fire
Commission got new appointees after Mayor Shawn Pfaff
filed a complaint as a private
citizen alleging PFC members
Cora Higginbotham, Thomas
Marquardt and Tom Shellander improperly received
jackets and polo shirts from
the fire department that were
purchased by a slush fund.
Before the complaint was
to be heard, Higginbotham
resigned and Pfaff withdrew
his complaint. Former alder
Denise Solie was appointed to
that seat.
Throughout it all, the city
moved forward with plans to
build two new fire stations.
In August, the city
approved an offer to purchase a lot on the northwest
corner of Marketplace Drive
and Executive Drive near
Breakaway Sports Center.
That will be home to the


northwest station. A second,

larger northeast station will be
located closer to Fish Hatchery Road.
Mark Ignatowski

9. City staff changes

The city lost three longtime
staffers in May, as two left
and another died after a battle
with cancer.
Norma DeHaven, 55, who
had served as the finance
director for the last two years
and was also a former city
administrator, died May 25.
Current city administrator
Tony Roach described her
loss as devastating.
It brings home a lot of
emotions into the organization, but I think we all handled it pretty well, Roach
said in June. Im sorry to see
her go.
In the same month, public
works director Paul Woodard
and administrative assistant
Marcie Rekowski both left
their positions. Woodard took
a new job as the City of Janesvilles public works director,
while Rekowski retired.
The city hired Cory Horton in September to replace
Scott Girard

10. OSD referendum

Oregon School District
officials reached out and connected with area voters in the
late winter and early spring,
and the result was a comfortable win for two referendums
totaling nearly $55 million.
On Nov. 4, district voters approved both by more
than a 60-40 margin; the
first approved $54.6 million
in building renovations and
improvements, the second
authorized an annual increase
of $355,864 for the districts
operational expenses.
The vote came after several years of preparation
and learning lessons from
a $33 million referendum
plan defeated in 2012 amidst
some criticism that its needs
werent communicated well
enough to residents.
The fall referendum projects cover all schools in the
district, except for the newest, Rome Corners Intermediate, built in 2001. Oregon
High School will get the most
nearly $38 million including $8.3 million for a two-story classroom addition, $5 million for a physical education
addition and locker room renovation and $4.4 million for a
three-station gymnasium.
Scott De Laruelle

turn it down
when youre not around
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or call 252-7117.
GS1181 02/25/2014


1. Road work has big


January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015


The Fitchburg Star


A quick adjustment

works on
the spine
of wellness
Jodi Hatala
at The Joint
chiropractic. The
does not
take insurance and
offers walkin appointments.

New chiropractic practice offers quick appointments, does not take insurance
Scott Girard
Unified Newspaper Group


Photo by ,
Scott Girard

If you feel a tweak in your

back and happen to be near
the Orchard Pointe development, there might be a quick
The Joint chiropractic
opened Nov. 20, 2014, with
a new angle on fixing back
The business, first opened
in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1999,
has expanded to 242 locations nationwide. The Fitchburg location is only the second in Wisconsin, though,
and the first in the Madison
But rather than the traditional chiropractic practice
focusing on fixing big problems and helping people
recover from major injuries,
The Joint doesnt do x-rays
or even take insurance.
You have to follow certain rules based on the insurance, said lead doctor Mandy VanNatta. So its basically like youre being told
by the insurance company
how you can treat the patient.
Here, its all my discretion.
That also means The Joint
focuses more on upkeep and
maintenance of the spine, as
they dont deal with workmans compensation issues
or anything required to go
through insurance.
Well say, When youre
done and youre feeling

The JointFitchburg
6317 McKee Road,
Suite 400
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday
Cost: First visit: $19
Single appointment: $29
Premium Wellness Plan:
Wellness plan: $59/
good, then come back and
see us for your maintenance
(to) keep you feeling good,
said business manager Terry
Those maintenance visits
often only last three to five
minutes, making it accessible
for walk-in appointments.
The first visit, however, will
last a bit longer as VanNatta
explains the benefits of chiropractic care and discusses
a new patients medical and
chiropractic history.
(My two friends who
came here) told me they
learned more from doctor
Mandy in the 20 minutes she
spent with them about what
chiropractic does for them
and what all of this means
than they had ever learned,
Ballard said.

As chiropractors we
should be educating people,
VanNatta added.
Ballard said Jeff Bosco,
who owns the business and
also works as a senior vice
president at CUNA Mutual,
and his family also use the
practice regularly. Ballard
said Bosco hopes to open
two more locations in the
Madison area in 2015, likely
in Sun Prairie and Middleton.
In the just under two
months since it has opened,
The Joint has had 137 visitors, with 44 of them becoming members.
The first visit to any Joint
location in the country is
$19, and after that there are
plans available depending on
how often you plan to visit.
Ballard emphasized that
this is a different model
than traditional chiropractic
businesses, but that doesnt
necessarily mean theyre in
Were not competing
with the traditional practice
of chiropractic, she said.
Were to go alongside of
that. They treat the acute
active injuries. People cant
afford regular maintenance
with the traditional form of
chiropractic. This allows
them to do that.
The clinic is open from
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. MondayFriday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In brief

A walk in the woods led me to ...

Ganshert Nursery
receives NARI award
Fitchburgs Ganshert
Nursery and Landscapes
received a 2014 Contractor
of the Year award from the
National Association of the
Remodeling Industry.
The award was part of an
annual competition held by
NARI. Submitted projects
were an improvement or
addition to an already-existing structure or landscape.
A panel of industry
experts served as judges.
Judging criteria included
before and after photos, a
project description, problem solving creativity,
innovation and craftsmanship.
Trophies were given out
on Dec. 4 in Madison.

Have a business
story to share?

staff eing.
exper o my we

Submit your business

story ideas, news,
briefs and photos
on our website,
or email UNGbusiness@

At Oakwood Village University Woods, youll nd a community dedicated to enhancing and maintaining your
well-being. From group tness classes to healthy meals and life-enriching programs, University Woods offers myriad
opportunities to improve wellness. Youll also have peace of mind in knowing that, should your needs change, the
caring, committed people youve already come to know and trust will be here for you every step of the way.
Call today to schedule a personal appointment and meet some of the caring professionals dedicated
to your well-being at Oakwood Village: 608-230-4266. Or visit us online at www.oakwoodvillage.net.
Oakwood Village University Woods 6205 Mineral Point Road Madison, WI 53705

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January 9, 2015 - The Fitchburg Star - 19

Public Works
Recreation/Community Center
Senior Center


5520 Lacy Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711 www.fitchburgwi.gov

Refuse & Recycling caRt Placement

Winter time means new challenges for

everyone as we deal with the snow and cold.
However, its important to follow these two
Fitchburg Refuse (aka trash) & Recycling Cart
Placement guidelines all year round:
Place your carts ~1 to 3 behind
the back of the curb (or edge of the
street) and at least 4 feet away from
surrounding objects NOT in the
street. The photo above shows the
recommended placement. Each cart
needs to be close enough to the street
for the arm of the collection truck to

reach it, and 4 away from surrounding

objects for the grabbers to be able to
wrap around the cart. Carts placed in
the curb or street are a safety hazard for
traffic, create obstacles for snow plows
and street sweepers and can be damaged
if hit. (Damages caused by carts placed
in the street are the homeowners
Please avoid placing your carts curbside
the night before collection if high winds
or storms are expected. High winds and
storms can tip over the carts and leave a
mess to be cleaned up.
By city ordinance, refuse and recycling
carts cannot be placed at the street more
than 24 hours prior to the scheduled pickup and need to be removed within 12
hours after the pick-up. Also, the carts can
not be stored in front of a house or along
its side yard. For more information, please
visit our website at: www.fitchburgwi.gov/
solidwaste or contact Fitchburg Public
Works at 270-4260.

Holiday trees will be collected

curbside on the following dates:
January 5th 9th and January
20th-23rd. When discarding your
tree, place it at the curb and please
remove all ornaments, lights, tree
stands and tree bags.

Pet licenses
Pet licenses are available for the
2015 licensing year. You may apply
for a license in person at City Hall
or by mail. Please note you must
provide a copy of your current rabies
vaccination certificate for each pet

For more information and to register visit www.fitchburgwi.gov/recreation

or call the Rec. Dept. at 608-270-4285.

Kids will build robot soccer

players and operate them using
a laptop.
Grades: K-1st
Location: Fitchburg Community
Center, Fitchburg Room
Dates: Jan. 22-Feb. 26
Day/Time: Thursdays, 6:00-6:45pm
Fee: $95

Robotics: Mindstorms 101

Beginning in January, you can recycle large,

Plastic Bulky Items in a special dumpster at
Fitchburgs Recycling Drop Off Site, 2373 S.
Fish Hatchery Rd, 24 hours/day, seven days/
Also new in 2015, Non-Rechargeable
Batteries can now be dropped off in the
Fitchburg City Hall Lobby E-Cycling Bin, 5520
Lacy Road. The City Hall Lobby is open 24
hours/day, seven days/week. Fitchburg residents can drop off the following items:
Rechargeable batteries
Non-rechargeable batteries
Cell phones
Inkjet/toner print cartridges

Eye glasses
Hearing aids
A special thanks to the following partner organizations who provide free pickup
service: Lions Club (eye glasses, hearing
aids), Friends of Vilas Zoo (cell phones),
American Hindu Association (inkjet/
toner cartridges, cell phones), and call2recycle (rechargeable batteries, cell phones).
PKK Lighting provides fee-based recycling
services for non-rechargeable batteries.
For more information, visit www.fitchburgwi.gov/solidwaste for updated recycling and
solid waste collection information. The 2015
Solid Waste Collection Calendar and 2015
Recycling Guide are also available on this site.

PRoPeRty taxes foR HomeowneRs

The first installment
for real property taxes
is due January 31st.
on or before January
31, 2015 should be
made payable to and
mailed to the City of
Fitchburg Treasurer.
Do not include any
other payments on the
same check. Postdated checks will not be
honored. Real property payments made after
January 31, 2015 should be made payable to
and mailed to the Dane County Treasurer.
A timely U.S. postmark is adequate for a
payment to be considered paid on time, if the
payment is received within five business days.

You may pay your

taxes in person at City
Hall, 5520 Lacy Road,
between 7:30 a.m. and
4:30 p.m., Monday
(Exception: City Hall
will be closed Monday,
January 19, 2015 in
observance of Martin
Luther King Day.) A
drop box is available 24/7 in the foyer of City
Hall. Cash payments in the drop-box are not
Note: Different rules may apply for
Personal Property Tax.
DocumentCenter/View/9447 for more information.

you are licensing. For more information please call 608-270-4200 or

visit www.fitchburgwi.gov/165/PetLicenses to download the application
or read the brochure.

RecReation DePaRtment
Junior Robotics: Lets Play Soccer

new Recycling oPtions foR 2015

For more information regarding residential refuse and recycling,

please visit the City of Fitchburg
website at: www.fitchburgwi.

Kids will learn the basics of designing,

programming, and controlling a fully
functional robot.
Grades: 2nd-5th
Location: Fitchburg Community Center,
Fitchburg Room
Dates: Jan. 21-Feb. 25
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 5:15-6:45pm
Fee: $125

Dance Pre-Ballet

This class works on basic loco-motor steps

and ballet positions of the feet and arms.
Ages: 3-4 yrs. Old
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Dates: Jan. 24-Mar. 14
Day/Time: Saturdays, 9:00-9:30am
Fee: $55

Dance Ballet

Class is intended to expose

dancers to ballet as a dance style
and practice a ballet piece.
Ages: 5-7 yrs. Old
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Dates: Jan. 24-Mar. 14
Day/Time: Saturdays, 9:30-10:00am
Fee: $55

Dance Jazz

A dynamic, upbeat class focusing on rhythm,

expression, and style.
Ages: 5-7 yrs. Old
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Dates: Jan. 24-Mar. 14
Day/Time: Saturdays, 10:00-10:30am
Fee: $55

Dance Poms

This class will help kids who

want to explore an interest in
team dance.
Ages: 7-11 yrs. Old
Location: Fitchburg
Community Center
Dates: Jan. 24-Mar. 14
Day/Time: Saturdays, 10:30-11:00am
Fee: $55

Dance Hip Hop

Class combines jazz, street, and funk styles
in a high energy class.
Ages: 7-11 yrs. Old
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Dates: Jan. 24-Mar. 14
Day/Time: Saturdays, 11:00-11:30am
Fee: $55

Henna Retreat
This class will discuss
the history and origin
of Henna Art. Each
participant will also receive
two Hennas of their choice.
Ages: Adults
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Date: January 23rd
Day/Time: Friday, 7:00-8:00pm
Fee: $25

Learn Basic Piano with

Chords Beginners
Have you always wanted to learn how to
play piano but dont have the time? Then
this is the class for you! You will be able to
play your favorite songs immediately. This
class is designed for beginners.
Ages: 12-75 yrs. old
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Date: February 5
Day/Time: Thursday, 6:00-9:00pm
Fee: $50

Learn Piano
with Chords
Intermediate Class
Do you know how to
play piano but dont
have time to learn new
music? If so, this class
is designed for you.
You will expand your
chord knowledge and put to work the basic
concepts you already know.
Ages: 12-75 yrs. old
Location: Fitchburg Community Center
Date: February 19
Day/Time: Thursday, 6:00-9:00pm
Fee: $50


Public Works Contact:

Rick Eilertson, rick.eilertson@fitchburgwi.gov

HoliDay tRee collection

20 - The Fitchburg Star - January 9, 2015


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Acura, Audi, Al
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issan, In
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Cadillac, Bui

We will service ANY VEHICLE,

regardless of make, model or year!

We take care of your family by taking care of your familys car

Hours: 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday - Closed on Saturday

1324 Hwy. 51-138 Stoughton, WI www.conantauto.com