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Friday, 02 December 2016 11:29

Pearl Harbor: A reunion with history

STATELINE NEWS -- Stan Van Hoose will be returning to the site of one of the more horrific attacks in the history of the United States.

Van Hoose, 96, is set to attend the Pearl Harbor 75th Commemoration on Dec. 7, 2016.

The Beloit resident was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was aboard the USS Maryland when Japanese fighter planes attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.

Even though it’s been 75 years, Van Hoose recalls the attack vividly.

Monday, 28 November 2016 14:43

2016 Rockton Christmas Walk and parade

STATELINE NEWS -- The annual Christmas Walk will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in downtown Rockton.

Highlighted activities include the Candy Cane Craft Fair, which will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Greater Community Center.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 13:44

This just in blog: Our election hangover

Instead of a presidential honeymoon, Americans have been given a campaign hangover.

This election season was historic, more for careening off the rails of how traditional campaigns are run than any significance the candidates might bring to the office.

Trump voters seemed as surprised as Clinton voters that the disruptive New York businessman so decisively claimed the race.

And Wisconsin was the final domino to fall in the early morning hours after the polls closed.

The Scott Walker coalition not only delivered the state for Donald Trump, but returned Sen. Ron Johnson, who had trailed in the polls through the fall, to the Senate, assuring that Republicans would have control of the House and Senate.

Now, the question is can we come together as a country?

Maybe, but we have a long way to go.

Hidden in the ugly campaign was a roadmap for the new president and Congress showing what voters want from their government.

We’re frustrated by the rapidly growing income gap.

We’re worried about the influence of unaccountable money in our electoral process.

More people have health insurance than ever before, but costs continue to rise and we don’t know why.

Terrorism remains a threat.

Although the national economy rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession, a wide swath of the working class saw little change for the better.

That frustration fueled the Trump surge.

Although Trump’s transition team touched on a range of topics this past week, wage growth could solve a lot of problems.

Workers with more money feel more secure. They contribute more in taxes. Rising incomes mean people rely less on government services.

More money in people’s pockets means businesses can grow to accommodate increased demand.

Republicans surely will pitch tax cuts as a way to raise wages, but those cuts initially benefit the wealthy and businesses.

A raise in the minimum wage is unlikely, but tax reform can directly drive wage growth by giving companies incentives to raise wages or by penalizing them if they don’t.

So too with health care.

"It'll be great health care for much less money," Trump told Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes" last week.

I suspect it won’t be quite that simple or easy.

Republicans, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville, finally will be able to reveal their long-alluded to replacement to the Affordable Care Act.

Frustrated voters, on the other hand, won’t have much patience for solutions that are retreads of previous proposals.

There are lots of ways to move forward as a country.

But one way that never came up in the dozens of letters to the editor that we ran in the weeks leading up to the election was that we should do nothing.

It’s commendable that our representatives stick to their principles, but the overarching principle should be to make government work for the people.

Republicans were loath to soften their positions during the almost eight years of President Barack Obama’s term.

They may need to now in the Senate to get Democrats to play along. Republicans will need 60 votes in many cases.

Sometimes that means accepting a compromise and living to fight again in the arena of public opinion. Finding ways to work together means moving away from personality and moving toward policy.

Now that the votes have been counted, our Constitution provides a process by which government can work together to tackle the country’s most serious problems.

We don’t really have much of a choice but to let that process play out.

And maybe we’ll get something done in the two years before the next election season rolls around.

Hopefully we’ll be over our hangover by then.

Dan Plutchak is the editor of CSI Media, publisher of the Janesville Messenger, Stateline News and Walworth County Sunday. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on Twitter @danplutchak.

ROCKFORD -- Everything continues to be undead and well in the city of "Bloody Hills," the setting of the locally produced YouTube sitcom "The Deadersons."

The online show, which first aired about a year ago, explores a city of zombies that tries to associate with a neighboring city of the living after the apocalypse. The series is inspired by the 1960s television series "The Munsters" and "The Addams Family."

BELOIT -- Beloit Ribfest, a fundraiser for Beloit Regional Hospice, was honored at the 12th Annual Doves and Diamonds gala with the Spirit of Caring Award.

The gala was held Nov. 5, 2016 at the Eclipse Center in Beloit.

BELOIT -- The day after Thanksgiving traditionally is known as the start of the holiday shopping season, but the city of Beloit has a tradition all its own -- the Grand Lighted Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will be held Friday, Nov. 25, 2016.

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with live music at the First National Bank plaza in downtown Beloit. Santa arrives at 6 p.m. for the tree lighting ceremony at the plaza followed by the parade, which begins at 6:15 p.m. along Grand Avenue, from Third Street to Horace White Park.

The parade features floats decorated by local businesses and organizations. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three decorated floats in the business and nonprofit categories.

Crystal Cribbs, program coordinator for the Downtown Beloit Association, said the parade usually is well attended.

"About 30 floats is normal for the parade. Hopefully, we will have more to make the parade last longer," Cribbs said. "It’s not only a community tradition, but also a family tradition for people throughout the area."

After the parade, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be at the Turtle Creek Bookstore, 444 E. Grand Ave., to take photos with children.

Cribbs said planning for the parade takes place throughout the year.

"Usually right after the parade ends, we have a committee that discusses how the parade went," Cribbs said. "Planning starts the day after it ends. We see what worked and what didn't work. Three months before the parade, we send our correspondence to get people to participate. We contact volunteers to man the different locations. We have a Santa crew that makes sure Santa lands safely at the First National Bank plaza. We work with the police and fire departments to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible."

Holidazzle, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

People can do their holiday shopping and enjoy an evening of entertainment with the annual Holidazzle in Beloit, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in downtown Beloit.

Participating downtown businesses will host crafters, musicians and artisans throughout the evening while offering sales and specials to customers.

"Basically, it’s an opportunity to shop for unique holiday gifts," said Crystal Cribbs, program coordinator for the Downtown Beloit Association. "It’s an opportunity to shop local and in downtown Beloit. The businesses host artisans and crafters, and people get to meet the people who are making their holiday gift."

About 25 businesses will be participating this year. Cribbs said the DBA begins contacting businesses early in the fall to encourage them to participate in Holidazzle.

"We reach out to businesses to get them on board," Cribbs said. "We then reach out to the vendors and artisans to get them to particate."

For more information about Holidazzle, go to

Beloit Memorial

The Purple Knights have not won a league game since December 2013, a futile string of 49 straight setbacks against their rivals.

Teshonna Bennett's first Memorial squad never tasted victory last year, something the program hasn't done since the season opener in 2014-'15.

This year's chances for improvement will depend on players such as senior Sydnee Marshall (4.4) and juniors Aniah Williams (11.1) and Nadiya Connor (5.8).

Janesville Craig

Kerry Storbakken's Cougars fell one game short of a third consecutive 20-victory season, finishing 19-7, including a 14-4 mark and third-place showing in league play.

Craig must replace one of the program's top players for a second straight year, losing conference scoring leader and first teamer Delaney Schoenenberger a season after Alison Hughes graduated.

Annie Schumacher (13.0) and Kamryn Brittingham (8.4) also are gone. However, the Cougars' lineup still features Ali Carlson, who made the third team after averaging 8.8 ppg, and fellow senior Sam Pierson (5.1).

Janesville Parker

The Vikings' 9-9 record placed them fifth in the always-tough league race. That helped them finish 14-10 overall, losing four contests by four or less points during Jennah Hartwig's first year after replacing Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Tom Klawitter.

Parker also must replace its best player in league first team choice Bree Porter, who topped the team at15.4 ppg, reaching double digits in 22 of 24 outings.

While Porter has taken her skills to NCAA Division II school Hillsdale (Mich.), the Vikings' fortunes will hinge a lot on senior Julia Hartwig. She led the Big Eight in rebounding (11.0) and averaged 15.3 ppg.

Also back are senior Kameron Blaser (5.6), sophomore Brooke Graesslin (4.0), junior Jacy Benway (3.7) and senior Sydni Brewster (3.1).

Thursday, 17 November 2016 11:49

Shed destroyed after fire near Clinton

CLINTON—Fire destroyed a 20-by-40-foot shed in rural Clinton on Wednesday.

“It was a total loss,” Clinton Fire Chief John F. Rindfleisch said.

Owner Jared Nortier at 5:21 p.m. Wednesday reported the fire at 8719 E. Highway 67.

Rindfleisch called it a "fairly large fire." Firefighters dispatched from the village about four miles from the fire could see a glow from the flames in the sky, he said.

Area fire departments were called for help, he said.

Firefighters found the structure engulfed in flames and partially collapsed, Rindfleisch said.

“It had gone up pretty fast,” he said.

All of the fire departments except the town of Turtle and Sharon were called off before they arrived, Rindfleisch said.

Damage is estimated at $20,000. The cause is undetermined, he said.

The homeowner told fire officials he was burning leaves and brush earlier in the day but not next to the shed, Rindfleisch said.

There was no electricity to the building, he said.


BELOIT -- The Overflowing Cup in Beloit is looking for food donations and volunteers serve about 300 people on Thanksgiving Day.

If you can help, call Wendy at 608-365-0365 and leave your name and number.

Date: Thursday November 24, 2016

Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What: Thanksgiving Day meal

Where: The Masonic Lodge, 229 West Grand Ave., Beloit

Sponsored by The Overflowing Cup In cooperation with The Masonic Lodge, area churches, businesses and other organizations



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