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Trust The Best Scott Stewart & Kathy Bartels (608) 512-8487 • (608) 235-2927 adno=50066

It’s your paper! Friday, January 11, 2019 • Vol. 5, No. 11 • Fitchburg, WI • • $1


Stories of the year 2018

Stories to watch in 2019

Spring election set, includes primaries in MMSD, District 4

Planning ahead

Page 3 Library eliminates late fees Page 5


Dave’s Guitar Shop opens Fitchburg location Page 15


Photo by Scott Girard

The new Verona Area High School made progress throughout 2018 from its April groundbreaking to much of its core being constructed by the end of the year.

Building momentum In 2018, Fitchburg planned for and reacted to continued growth SCOTT GIRARD

Verona boys hockey ranked third in state Page B1

Schools RCI adds STEAM class Page B6 Cherokee to change start times next year Page B7

a local election on their ballot, with local seats now up for election every spring for the first time since Fitchburg became a city in 1983. 1. School district expansions The next four spots all relate to 2. Housing growth rebounds law enforcement, from an early-year 3. (tie) Fitch-Rona EMS future homicide and new police chief, to the debate roll-out of a body camera program and some unexpected immigration 3. (tie) Businesses begin expansions enforcement action in September. 5. Elections switch to every year The new dog park opening rounds 6. Police launch body camera out our top 10, as it is an amenity program many in the community pushed for, even as some neighbors expressed 7. Robbery leads to a homicide concerns about potential flooding. 8. ICE detains people in city An ongoing car theft problem, 9. Brecklin named new police chief two new school principals and a new library outreach program didn’t even 10. First city dog park opens make our final list, but all could have long-term impacts on various populagrowth, as the market had more than tions in the city, so we had to include 100 single-family permits issued for them as honorable mentions. the first time in more than a decade. Just behind that on the list comes 1. Expansions in two school a pair of business expansions, one districts already here and one moving to FitchTwo of Fitchburg’s three school disburg. That was tied with discussions tricts took big steps toward opening about changing how the Fitch-Rona new schools students here will soon EMS Department operates and is attend – including one located within governed, which could have big consequences in the years to come if any city limits. While Verona Area School Disaction is taken. Next is a change that will affect trict residents already knew they’d be how often voters go to the polls with Turn to 2018/Page 9

Stories of 2018

Unified Newspaper Group

F i t c h bu r g i s D a n e C o u n t y ’s third-largest municipality by population, and it’s likely to keep growing. Last year, the city made strides toward accommodating that growth – from new schools and a rebounding housing market, to body cameras for police officers and its first dog park. While growth was not a theme of all of the Fitchburg Star’s top 10 stories of 2018, as voted on by staff, it was the impetus for many of them. And those that aren’t about planning for growth could be considered a consequence of it. In 2018, Fitchburg saw progress on the new Verona Area High School, which while it’s in the City of Verona, will make a big difference for Fitchburg students who will soon be able to make use of the modern high school and by younger students who could end up switching schools as a result of the domino effect of moving other schools to the current high school campus. Oregon School District residents here, meanwhile, will soon have their first school within city boundaries, as voters approved a referendum to build a new elementary. At No. 2 on our list was housing PRSRT STANDARD ECRWSS US POSTAGE


If 2018 was a year of momentum and growth for the City of Fitchburg, 2019 looks like a year that will be spent planning for the next round. Our top stories to watch for the year reflect that, especially at the top. At No. 1 is two of the city’s three school districts determining what schools students will attend when the new schools open in fall 2020. The construction on those new schools is just behind it on the list, with the new $160 million Verona Area High School already starting to take shape, and the new Oregon School District elementary going up in northeast Fitchburg. Some big road construction projects will involve plenty of headaches in 2020, and while one has been ongoing for years, two big ones are expected to get the final go-ahead this year with approval of their plans. Our list also includes the final ballot with every City of Fitchburg elected office on it and the planning the city will do for its takeover of part of the Town of Madison — currently set for 2022, but possibly sooner. A housing development along Seminole Highway that sparked plenty of controversy throughout 2018 is likely to remain in the headlines this year,

Turn to 2019/Page 11

Stories to watch 1. Planning new school attendance areas 2. School construction 3. More major road construction 4. Final full spring election ballot 5. Town of Madison dissolution 6. North Stoner Prairie neighborhood 7. Fire station opening





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January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star

Tara Beardsley, 9, folds a paper airplane during the paper airplane competition on Monday, Jan. 7, at the library.

Photos by Kimberly Wethal

Emmylou Terry, 3, starts to fold the point of her paper airplane during the paper airplane competition on Monday, Jan. 7, at the library.

High flyers

Molly Flage, 3, colors the wings of a paper airplane during the paper airplane competition on Monday, Jan. 7, at the library.

Children showed off their The library provided difpaper airplane design skills ferent designs for children on Monday, Jan. 7, at the to create and test out how far their planes could fly. library.

Jerric Terry, 6, smiles at his craftsmanship as he inspects his finished paper airplane during the paper airplane competition on Monday, Jan. 7, at the library.

Re-Elect TOM CLAUDER Alderperson, City of Fitchburg

A Lifetime of Service & Community Involvement

Stephanie Blankenheim 2990 Cahill Main Suite 102 608-271-5100

Curt Arnold

2979 Triverton Pike Dr Suite 101 608-238-3664

Matt Miron

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Denise Faust

5510 Nobel Drive Suite 215 608-416-5300

Member SIPC

Vote Tuesday, April 2nd District 4, Seat 7


Authorized and paid for by Friends of Tom Clauder. Tom Clauder, Treasurer


5950 Seminole Centre Ct Suite 100 608-270-9064


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• City Council - 2 Years • City Council Finance Committee Member • Past Mayor - City of Fitchburg • 26 Years in Fitchburg Law Enforcement • Prior City Juvenile Officer • Past President of Wildwood South Neighborhood Assoc. • 10 Years on the Dane County Board • Past Chair of EMS Commission • Past Vice Chair - the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee - County Board • Past Member - AFSCME Local 333 • Elks Club Member • Life Member of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Officers Association • Past Member - Operation Lifesaver

January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star


Mayor, 4 alder races contested in spring election SCOTT GIRARD Unified Newspaper Group

Every City of Fitchburg voter will have a choice for mayor on the April ballot, and all but District 3 will also have a contested race for alder. The filing deadline for candidates was Wednesday, Jan. 2, and by 5 p.m., there were multiple candidates for five city seats, including one that will require a primary. That race, in District 4, Seat 8, is also the only contested race without an incumbent running, as Ald. Tony Hartmann announced in December he would not seek re-election. April will be the last time all eight aldermanic seats and the mayor are on the ballot in the same election, after the Common Council voted last spring to change election terms. Each of the four oneyear alder terms this spring will be on the ballot again in 2020 for two-year terms, while the mayor’s seat will be up for three years in 2020. Voters in one school district will have plenty of choices, as well, with three seats all requiring primaries. The other school board elections will have fewer choices, as both the Verona Area and Oregon school districts have the minimum number of candidates for their open seats. Ballots will also include the statewide election for a state Supreme Court justice, with Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn vying to succeed retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson, and uncontested elections for a Dane County Circuit Court judge and Court of Appeals judges. The primary election will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, while the general election is Tuesday, April 2.

City of Fitchburg Every city seat other than the primary will be a two-person race, with two-year terms at stake for District 1, Seat 1, District 2, Seat 3 and District 4, Seat 7. Both the Seat 8 race and the mayoral election between incumbent Jason Gonzalez and District 3 Ald. Aaron Richardson are for one-year terms. In District 1, Dorothy Krause will face challenger Rich Tate for the

second-straight election. Krause defeated Tate 412-348 in 2017. Tate, a Jamestown neighborhood resident since 1988, wrote in an email that he believes District 1 “needs a new voice and I believe that I am the voice that district residents need and deserve.” “We need someone who will collaborate with all stakeholders, listen to residents and advocate for neighborhoods,” Tate wrote. “Major issues facing the city include revising the Comprehensive Plan and reviewing the annexation agreement with the Town of Madison.” Krause wrote in an email that “there has been greater and greater economic pressure being placed on folks in the city who are finding it harder to keep up,” with many of them living in District 1. “As much as it would be nice to be the affluent suburb that many like to think of Fitchburg as, the fact is that we still need to pay a great deal of attention to not only those living below the poverty line, but also those that are creeping toward it,” she wrote. “There is so much we could do, if the political will exists for it. Unfortunately, they tend to be the silent majority, so we seldom hear much from them. It doesn’t make them less important, however. Former District 2 alder Patrick Stern, who did not run for re-election in 2017 after serving three terms, is challenging Ald. Julia Arata-Fratta, who is running for her third term. Stern told the Star in an email he is running again “because Fitchburg needs to stop getting in the news for the wrong reasons.” “Instead of fighting with non-profits, we need to fix Fish Hatchery Road, find ways to work together with Madison to help lower crime in the district and figure out if we’re going to annex the Town of Madison,” Stern wrote. “Unfortunately, it feels like my opponent has been busy running for Assembly and our mayor’s campaigns to focus on those issues, or even simply being responsive to constituents’ requests.” Arata-Fratta wrote in an email she wants “to continue working on the important issues facing our community and, most importantly, representing the residents of District 2,” adding that the North

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Contested elections City of Fitchburg Mayor: Jason Gonzalez (i), Aaron Richardson District 1, Seat 1: Dorothy Krause (i), Rich Tate District 2, Seat 3: Julia Arata-Fratta (i), Patrick Stern District 4, Seat 7: Tom Clauder (i), Matthew Jones District 4, Seat 8: Marc Jones, Ed Kinney, Scott Lehmann, Janell Rice MMSD Seat 3: Kaleem Caire, Cris Caruisi, Skylar Croy Seat 4: David Blaska, Laila Borokhim, Albert Bryan, Ali Muldrow Seat 5: TJ Mertz (i), Amanda Mirilli, Amos Roe (Suspended candidacy, but will appear on ballot) State Supreme Court Candidates: Lisa Neubauer, Brian Hagedorn

Fish Hatchery Road project planned for 2019 is “vital” to the city. “I want Fitchburg to not only be the best suburb of Madison to live in, but to also create our own identity and realize our full potential,” Arata-Fratta wrote. “Our city can be a place where everyone come to work, live, raise a family and give back to the community as a whole.” District 4 has a pair of contested races, with the race for a two-year term between incumbent Tom Clauder and Matthew Jones, the president and co-founder of Bike Fitchburg, who has lived here since 2014. Both Jones and Clauder wrote in emails to the Star

they would listen to constituents in making decisions if elected. “I want to be known as an alder who is always available to talk, always calls back, responds to issues respectfully, and genuinely wants to help solve a wide array of issues,” Jones wrote. “Listening is crucial in our search to find fairness and recognition within district 4 and citywide.” Clauder wrote he would prioritize public safety and planning for the eventual Town of Madison annexation if re-elected. “Planning responsible development and listening to my constituents is very important,” Clauder told the Star in a voicemail. The one-year seat will have a group of mostly familiar faces, with a pair of former mayoral candidates and a plan commissioner among the four candidates. On the Feb. 19 primary ballot will be Janell Rice, who lost in the 2015 mayoral primary; Marc Jones, who lost in the 2017 mayoral primary; Ed Kinney, a member of the Plan Commission since 1995; and Dane County Sheriff’s deputy Scott Lehmann. Jones told the Star he wants to work on rural issues and the North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood, which had a controversial development proposal and zoning change brought up last year. Kinney wrote in an email that he wants to focus on the upcoming update to the city’s comprehensive plan, and he believes his involvement in the last two updates will provide helpful context to the discussion. Lehmann wrote in an email that he would prioritize “common-sense growth in both rural and urban areas,” public safety and education if he were elected. Rice, a former neighborhood association president,

wrote that she decided to run for alder based on her experience last year with the controversial North Stoner Prairie neighborhood development planning, and said she’s heard from “frustrated neighbors who see traffic issues, question development choices and feel like the city has lost touch with our priorities and values.” For mayor, the election between Richardson and Gonzalez pits someone looking to create long-term stability in the future against someone trying to see a few projects through before the new election cycle begins. Gonzalez has said this will be his last run for mayor, but that he wants to have some continuity from what he’s accomplished the past two years. Richardson, meanwhile, struck a tone of longevity in his campaign announcement in November, saying he thought the city needed a mayor who planned to stick around.

Seat 5 has a three-way race, with Amanda Mirilli and Amos Roe challenging incumbent TJ Mertz, who is running for his third term.


The Verona Area School District has two incumbents and one newcomer running for three seats. Both Noah Roberts and Amy Almond are running for an additional three-year term on the board. Roberts is the board president, and Almond is its longest-serving member. Deborah Biddle is the new candidate, who is running for an at-large seat to fill the vacancy left by Russell King’s resignation in December. Her term would be one year on the board. In an email to the Star, Biddle wrote she is running to “be part of the effort to advance student achievement in Verona area schools.” According to a biography sent to the Star, she is a founder and chief consultant at High Performance Development MMSD Solutions LLC, which is a There are plenty of choic- diversity and inclusion cones for Madison Metropolitan sulting, training, coaching school board. and speaking firm. Each of the races – for Seats 3, 4 and 5 – includes OSD at least three candidates and There won’t be a contested will require a primary. The race this spring for the Orerace for Seat 3, however, will gon school board, with two include only two active can- candidates for two open seats didates, after one withdrew after incumbent and former his candidacy too late to be president Dan Krause decidremoved from the ballot. ed not to seek re-election. In that race, Skylar Croy Incumbent Krista Flanatold the Capital Times on gan, first elected to the board Jan. 4 he was suspending his in 2016, is joined on the balcampaign for personal rea- lot by newcomer Ahna Bizsons. That left parent and jak, a Fitchburg city employUW-Madison employee Cris ee who is seeking to succeed Carusi facing Kaleem Caire, Krause. the founder of Madison’s One Both seats represent Area City Schools charter. I in the Village of Oregon. The four-way race for Seat School board terms are three 4 features Ali Muldrow, who years. lost a campaign for the board Bizjak did not respond to in 2018, former county super- a request for comment about visor David Blaska, physician running for the board before Albert Bryan and Madison the Star’s Wednesday deadrestaurateur Laila Borokhim. line.

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MMSD races include 3 primaries


January 11, 2019


Fitchburg Star

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Sustainability requires social connections


ustainability is about more than the environment. In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The United Nations established 17 goals to balance economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainable development with the intention of achieving them around the world by 2030. To work toward all 17 goals, we need action at the local and individual levels as much as at the international scale of United Nations. The City of Fitchburg has a role to achieve these 17 goals at the local level for positive local impact. We are already working on many of the sustainable development goals, even though many don’t realize it. Recently, there have been several stories about the city’s role in working toward the goal of Affordable and Clean Energy through solar installations and other measures, which also addresses the goal of Climate Action, and the city has long been committed to the goal of Clean Water and Sanitation. But the city also has been working on social components of the 17 goals through its policies, planning and programming. City programs enhance social connections, and participants can enjoy additional positive effects that include improved physical health and emotional well-being. The Fitchburg Public Library works toward the goal of Quality Education by conducting outreach programs, such as numerous reading clubs, English education and summer outreach programming at the park. Libraries are open places that welcome everyone. The Fitchburg Senior Center takes small steps to reach the Zero Hunger goal and the Good Health and Well-Being goals by serving older residents who might otherwise be isolated or lacking social networks. In addition to on-site and delivered

U.N. sustainability goals

daily meals, the senior center offers educational programs and travel opportunities that bring people together. Volunteer groups distribute donated food to three food pantries and dedicate time at Second Harvest, extending the impact beyond Fitchburg. The city works on Partnerships for the Goals by participating in the Dane County Council on Climate Change, collaborating with state and national organizations and building relationships with private businesses. Private businesses support social connections that benefit the larger community, and there are many examples in Fitchburg, including efforts by Promega and Saris. Promega hosts quarterly art showcases open to the public, supports Woods Hollow Children’s Center and maintains landscaping that enhances quality of life for people who work in the area. Saris works with regional businesses to source their supply chain, which causes a ripple effect creating employment opportunities and long-lasting human connections. We as individuals also add to the sustainable side of social issues. We each play a role in the goal of Peace and Justice by striving to understand people with different opinions and beliefs. That builds connections, making us stronger when faced with challenges like the flooding experienced in August 2018. Failure to understand others through civil discussion and open dialogue will leave us in splintered social groups each trying to guard our own piece of the pie. Civil discussion, clear communication and engagement in governance at all levels are some ways we all impact social

1. No poverty 2. Zero hunger 3. Good health and well-being 4. Quality education 5. Gender equality 6. Clean water and sanitation 7. Affordable and clean energy 8. Decent work and economic growth 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure 10. Reduced inequalities 11. Sustainable cities and communities 12. Responsible production and consumption 13. Climate action 14. Life below water 15. Life on land 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions 17. Partnerships for the goals sustainability. As residents and the city work toward the goal of Sustainable Cities and Communities, it is important to remember this meeting means a broad scope and goals to balance economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainable development. Ellen Geisler is a sustainability specialist for the City of Fitchburg.

Healthy living

Train your brain to handle stress better


was just about to start the last two hours of my post-holiday drive home when the text came through: “Everything is good, all benign.” I took a deep breath. It was a gift to read those words. A week prior, this friend had told me she had to have some tests done. She had to wait for the results, and we were worried. After my first sleepless night, I realized I needed to pay attention to how I was handling the Konopacki uncertainty of her going through this. Any time we face a situation that feels overwhelming, it’s helpful to know we can train our brain to handle stress better. Now is a time of year when many of us have something to practice on. The holidays can act like an amplifier, making things feel more intense and more charged with emotion. And after the holidays, we’re dealing with less daylight, more sugar, holiday bills and an adrenaline letdown. Some ideas and tools that have helped me get through times of more stress are being mindful and accepting of my stress and what causes it, redirecting negative thoughts and teaching myself and allowing myself to disconnect from it. If you learn how to do these things, you can be better prepared for when things don’t go as planned. It starts by developing an ability to tune in. Try and find where you hold your stress. Tightness in the neck and shoulders, stomach tension and headaches are common signs of stress. Notice if your breathing is shallow and where it feels like your breath is moving.

If you can stay tuned in to how stress feels and that level of intensity for a few moments, you’ll likely see it start to change. Next, accept where things are at – in this moment. You might want to write your thoughts down or share it with a friend. Accepting the situation doesn’t mean you have to like what’s happening, but it will free up the energy that’s held by resisting what’s right in front of you. You’ll be able to see more clearly how to move forward. Another key is to not do avoidance behaviors. It’s important to become aware of what you do to avoid intense feelings. Trying to numb the intensity by flipping through channels, or with food or drink or other comforts won’t help you in the long run. Focus on whether you are you having a glass of wine in a relaxed manner, genuinely enjoying the experience, or are you trying to block out your day. Be careful not to make any assumptions about the situation. It’s easy to jump to the worst-case conclusions, convincing yourself there’s no hope and it will never get better. Any version of mindfulness meditation can help take your brain’s focus away from the scary imagined reality clips that are playing and bring it to what’s right in front of you. Another positive step you can take is setting worry boundaries. Try a “no worry at night” policy. Or no worry for the next minute. Expand that out to 2 minutes, and then longer as your brain starts to shift its focus. These mini-breaks can do wonders to reset the stress response in your body, especially if the situation is intense. Or you can allow yourself a certain amount of time every day to engage in full-on

worrying, but nothing outside that. If you want to look for some expert help, I have some resources I can recommend. Byron Katie’s “The Work” provides four easy questions to apply to any thought that is stressing you out. It’s a meditation of sorts, and if you’re interested, everything you need to learn her method can be found on her website: thework. com. Her teachings got me through many a sleepless and stressful night in the past after I had first moved to Spain years ago. I didn’t speak the language yet, and at times, I felt really overwhelmed by fear around putting my new life together over there. I’d watch YouTube videos of her working with other people until I fell back asleep. Eckhart Tolle’s books are another great resource, especially The Power of Now. He teaches how being in the present moment is one of the simplest and most helpful things we can cultivate. My holiday drive around the Loop in Chicago shows lots of the same billboards every time. But this trip I caught a new one: Worrying about your future takes more effort than planning for it. It was a financial planning advertisement, but it sure rang true for me at that moment, before I had gotten news from my friend. The news isn’t always going to be good. So take the times that it is to relax into the gift of a change of perspective, where other “big” problems seem to disappear. Continue to train your brain to handle stress, so when life brings challenges, you are better able to stay resourceful and manage it well. Dr. Laura Konopacki is the owner of Body Wave Chiropractic in Fitchburg.

January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star


Library eliminates late fees, removes prior fines Director said move is a step toward socioeconomic equity KIMBERLY WETHAL Unified Newspaper Group

The library is hoping to make its services more accessible to all Fitchburg residents this year by eliminating all late fees associated with overdue materials. Director Wendi Rawson said the change was made because nickel-and-diming patrons wasn’t a catalyst in getting rented

materials back in time; a trend in public libraries in recent years. “Research shows that late fines have a shockingly little effect on people’s behavior,” she said. Since the library opened in 2011, access services manager Phil Hansen said checked-out materials from the children’s department were never subjected to late fees – around 50 percent of the library’s materials. A year later, the library suspended late fees on materials checked out by patrons 65 and older. The late fees are the equivalent of 1 percent of the library’s operating budget, around $16,000,

which Rawson said wasn’t a reliable source of funding. All cards with late fees will have them cleared in the next few months, starting with ones with a “blocked” status where late fees exceeded the $20 limit, preventing them from checking out new materials. However, the library doesn’t have the authority to clear fines accrued by other libraries in the South Central Library System. Because of late fees, Rawson said, some families had previously been afraid to check out items from the library. “They’re afraid of overdue fees, and they don’t want to get

blocked,” she said. “This ensures access to the library. the whole community can use the The library has also attempted library the way we want them to. to better serve Fitchburg’s economically challenged residents Providing equity through their outreach program. When Rawson and others at Librarian Liz Zimdars drove a the library mapped out where library van to Leopold Park on the the owners of the blocked library northern side of Fitchburg four cards lived, they found many were days a week, along with hosting from city areas that face econom- special events on Tuesday nights, this past summer to bring the ic barriers, she said. “We felt like this was an easy library to the people. way to provide some equity in Email reporter Kimberly Wethal Fitchburg that we need,” Rawson at said. Hansen said eliminating late and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​ fees and erasing prior fines on cards “breaks down barriers” to

City of Fitchburg

City of Fitchburg

N. Stoner Prairie developer wants to ‘compromise’

Mayor McKee Farms beer garden proposal killed

SCOTT GIRARD Unified Newspaper Group

The North Stoner Prairie developer who drew criticism from nearby neighborhoods throughout 2018 told the Common Council he wants to “work on a compromise.” Chris Ehlers, whose proposal to build a 182-unit apartment building on six acres last year, led dozens of neighbors to attend meetings throughout the year, said he is working on “several different options” for the area now. “It’s still on my radar

to get something done out there,” Ehlers said. “It’s really gotten to the point where I’ve got the Council divided, and we’ve got teams within the neighborhoods, and it just turns into this big win-or-lose game here.” He told alders he wanted their help on finding the right idea for the area, as well as to hear from neighbors. A proposed change to limit the density allowed in the neighborhood was stuck between the Plan Commission and Common Council over the last half of 2018, as residents pushed for a cap that was closer to what was approved in the neighborhood plan more than five years ago. That plan had been

changed to allow high-density zoning in 2017, with no resistance. But when neighbors saw what Ehlers proposed following the change, which included condos that he called “affordable” south of the apartment complex, they asked the Council to go back to the limited zoning available before the 2017 change. The city is currently awaiting an opinion from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities on whether the two bodies have to approve the same amendment to the comprehensive plan for it to go into effect. Contact Scott Girard at and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.

City of Fitchburg

‘Significantly higher’ cost to combine fire, Fitchburg EMS, ‘rough estimate’ says SCOTT GIRARD Unified Newspaper Group

The City of Fitchburg would face a “significantly higher” cost to run a combined fire and EMS department, according to a “rough estimate” provided to the Council Jan. 8. Finance director Misty Dodge compiled the numbers at the request of Mayor Jason Gonzalez following a study and Council discussion on the topic last year. She stressed her calculations were a “ballpark” and based on conversations with fire chief Joe Pulvermacher and Fitch-Rona EMS chief Patrick Anderson.

The city would pay about $515,000 more in annual operating costs than it currently does for the service, bringing that cost to $1.17 million, and $21,000 more in annual capital costs for a total of $113,000. “We generate about 60 percent of the calls, but we only pay under the current formula less than half,” Dodge told them. Pulvermacher also said it would be “foolish to step away” right now. But, he added, the spreadsheet Dodge created can serve as a check for them “if the formula changes, if operating costs change.” “This is exactly what we were looking for when we

tried to evaluate what was best for the city,” Pulvermacher said. “This gives us a really good idea of what needs to happen, at least in the short term.” Dodge’s numbers did not include the costs or equity that would come with withdrawing from the FitchRona EMS District, which includes the town and city of Verona. Some alders have expressed concerns about the governance of that district, which includes three members from each municipality with an equal vote. Contact Scott Girard at and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.

What’s online Read these and more City of Fitchburg stories at

Commission supports facility use policy updates Groups hoping to use a sports facility at a City of Fitchburg park could have some new rules for making reservations, including paying the fee up front.

City could purchase N. Fish Hatchery church site Though a hotel plan for North Fish Hatchery Road is “basically dead,” Mayor Jason Gonzalez said the city is still hoping for development in that area.

SCOTT GIRARD Unified Newspaper Group

A proposal for a beer garden at McKee Farms Park is no longer being worked on by city staff, following opposition from some neighbors. Staff had been working with BMK Group, which opened a beer garden at Madison’s Olbrich Park last year, on a similar idea for McKee after a request for proposals for food or beverage operations in city parks. They were working toward a Jan. 31 public meeting on the idea, but city project planner Wade Thompson told the Star in an email Monday Mayor Jason Gonzalez directed staff to stop work. Gonzalez said at the

Jan. 8 Common Council meeting he heard from residents opposed, and was concerned with the setting, as he considered McKee Farms Park more of a destination for kids compared to Olbrich Park in Madison. The proposal was first discussed by the Parks Commission in August 2018 and again at the commission’s December meeting. Staff held a public meeting with some area residents in November. Some people continued to oppose the idea at the commission’s January meeting, as well, with eight speakers all against the proposal. Their reasons ranged from its proximity to the splash pad to the potential of public space becoming privatized, as the operating group would have used the park shelter as part of the proposal. Prior the directive to stop work, Thompson told the Star that the proposal and the reasoning behind the request for proposals last

March was an example of a new way to look at parks and their functions instead of the “cookie-cutter approach” of many suburban parks. “ Yo u ’ve g o t a l l t h i s green, unused lawn, you’ve got a few playgrounds,” Thompson said. “What we’re noticing is that recreational demands and trends are changing. “Park spaces are not just for running and jumping and being physically active, but also for socializing. “As we were developing our plan, we really recognized that we were missing that social aspect to some degree in our city park system.” A pair of vendors, Kona Ice and Smokin Dragons BBQ Company, operated in city parks last summer. Contact Scott Girard at and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.

Cannonball bike path to close until mid-February The Cannonball Bike Path closed earlier this week to allow incompatible and invasive species to be removed from the right-of-ways. The path, which runs from the Military Ridge State Trail along Verona Road south of McKee into the city of Madison at Fish Hatchery Road near the University of Wisconsin-Madison arboretum,

will be closed to “ensure the safety of the public,” according to a news release from the American Transmission Company (ATC). The vegetation clean-up work is split into four phases and is scheduled to be complete by Feb. 21. ATC workers will mow and hand-prune along the trail to clean up unwanted plants as a part

of a larger vegetation management project throughout Dane County this year, according to ATC’s website. Alternate routes for cyclists during all four stages of the project are listed on the website, which can be found under the “Learning center” tab of

MARC JONES For Alderperson District 4, Seat 8

• Born in Fitchburg on a family farm • Lifelong operator of the Jones Family Farm • Owns and operates the Jones Construction Co. for 36 years • Served on: The Fitchburg Township Board Fitchburg City Council Fitchburg Ag & Rural Committee • Serves on: The Heartland Credit Union Board of Directors for 18 years


Primary Feb. 18, 2019 • Spring Election April 2, 2019 Authorized and paid for by Marc A. Jones


Tells Council he has ‘several different options’

Staff directed to stop work ahead of Jan. 31 public meeting


January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star

Bowling fundraiser set for Feb. 2 Four Dane County area animal non-profits will be the beneficiaries of a bowling fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 2. The annual fundraiser, Boomer’s Bowl Your Balls Off, will donate all funds raised to Heartland Farm S a n c t u a r y a n d A n g e l ’s Wish in Verona, Diamond Dogs Rescue in Madison and Paddy’s Paws in Fort Atkinson. The fundraiser runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 2, and will be held at Ten Pin Alley, 6285 Nesbitt Road.

The first round of bowling will begin at 11 a.m., and the second round will begin at 1:30 p.m. Participants play Scottish Doubles in two-person teams, with registration for each person $20. The event will also feature a DJ, live and silent auctions and a bake sale. To register for bowling, call Boomer at 516-2671. To donate items or to sponsor a lane, call Wendi at 576-2103. – Kimberly Wethal

If You Go What: Boomer’s Bowl Your Balls Off animal fundraiser When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 Where: Ten Pin Alley, 6285 Nesbitt Road Cost: $20 per person Info: search “Boomer’s Bowl Your Balls Off 2019” on Facebook or call Boomer at 516-2671 or Wendi at 576-2103

File photo by Kate Newton

Mike Norris of Madison poses for a quick picture with Percy the pig, who gets a welcome reward of an orange for his cooperation at the 2016 event.

Calendar of events Friday, Jan. 11

• 11 a.m. to noon, Preschool art (ages 2-5), library, 729-1762

Saturday, Jan. 12

• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free Bikes 4 Kidz donation drop-off, UnityPoint Health – Meriter, 2690 Research Park Dr., • 10:30-11 a.m., “Silly” storytime and crafts (ages 2-5), library, 1762

Monday, Jan. 14

• 1-2 p.m., Ukulele classes ($10 to rent instrument), senior center, 270-4290 • 4-5 p.m., Read aloud party (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Tuesday, Jan. 15

• 11 a.m., Lapsit storytime (babies and toddlers), library, 729-1762 • 2:30-3:30 p.m., Senior center travel show with Mayflower Cruises and Tours, senior center, 270-4290 • 6-7 p.m., Adult craft evening (registration required), library, 729-1763

Wednesday, Jan. 16

• 10-11 a.m., Wednesday morning book discussion: “The Lost City of the Monkey God” by Douglas Preston, library, 7291763 • 11:30 a.m., FoodWise Nutri-

tion: Cooking with Herbs with UW Extension, senior center, 270-4290

Thursday, Jan. 17

• 10 a.m. to noon, Wellness checks with a nurse, senior center, 270-4290 • 6-6:30 p.m., UnBook Club (ages 9-12), library, 729-1762

Friday, Jan. 18

• 11-11:45 a.m., Book boogie (ages 2-5), library, 729-1762 • 4-5 p.m., Beach Party! (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Saturday, Jan. 19

• 10:30-11:15 a.m., Royal playtime (ages 2-5), library, 7291762 • 3-4 p.m., Candy sushi (ages 13-17, registration required), library, 729-1762

Monday, Jan. 21

Library closed

Tuesday, Jan. 22

• 11 a.m., Lapsit storytime (babies and toddlers), library, 729-1762 • 6-7 p.m., Hygge (ages 13-17), library, 729-1762

Wednesday, Jan. 23

• 6-6:30 p.m., Family pajama storytime (ages 2-5), library, 729-1762 • 7-8 p.m., Digitize your printed photos seminar (registration required), library, 729-1763

Thursday, Jan. 24

• 1-1:45 p.m., Bouncing babies storytime (ages 0-2), library, 729-1762 • 1:30 p.m., I Love a Mystery Book club: “If Books Could Kill” by Kate Carlisle, senior center, 270-4290 • 6-7 p.m., Late night breakout challenge (ages 13-17), library, 729-1762

Friday, Jan. 25

• 11-11:45 a.m., Snow stories and crafts (ages 2-5), library, 729-1762

Saturday, Jan. 26

• 11 a.m. to noon, Optical illusions (ages 5-12), library, 7291762

Monday, Jan. 28

• 1-2 p.m., Ukulele classes ($10 to rent instrument), senior center, 270-4290

Tuesday, Jan. 29 • 9:30-11:30 a.m., Playdoh • 6-8:30 p.m., Verona Area palooza (ages 2-5), library, 729School District Attendance Area 1762 Advisory Committee meeting,


Central Office board room, 700 N. Main St., Verona, verona.

challenge (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Wednesday, Jan. 30

• 10:30-11 a.m., Toddler dance party (ages 1-3), library, 7291762 • 6-6:30 p.m., “We are in a Book Club!” (ages 5-8), library, 729-1762

• 10-11 a.m., Toddler art (ages 1-3), library, 729-1762

Thursday, Jan. 31

• 10-11 a.m., STEAM Power! storytime (ages 2-5), library, 729-1762 • 10:30 a.m., iPhone and iPad – Both! seminar with FacTV, senior center, 270-4290 • 6-7 p.m., Minute to Win It Challenge (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Wednesday, Feb. 6

Monday, Feb. 11

• 6-7 p.m., “I Survived @ the Library” challenge (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Tuesday, Feb. 12

• 6-7 p.m., 3D printing (ages 13-17, registration required), library, 729-1762

Friday, Feb. 1

• 4-5 p.m., Perler beads (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Wednesday, Feb. 13

Saturday, Feb. 2

• 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Boomer’s Bowl Your Balls Off bowling fundraiser, Ten Pin Alley, 6285 Nesbitt Road, search “Boomer’s Bowl Your Balls Off 2019” on Facebook • 10:30-11 a.m., Superhero storytime (ages 2-5), library, 729-1762

Monday, Feb. 4

• 1-2 p.m., Ukulele classes ($10 to rent instrument), senior center, 270-4290 • 4-5 p.m., Candy building

• 10-11 a.m., Toddler art (ages 1-3), library, 729-1762 • 6-7 p.m., Cooking in a mug (ages 13-17, registration required), library 729-1762

Friday, Feb. 15

• All-day, AARP tax help (registration required), senior center, 270-4290 • 4-5 p.m., Dog Man party (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762

Saturday, Feb. 16

• 11 a.m. to noon, Drop-in art (ages 5-12), library, 729-1762


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January 11, 2019

Bike drop-off scheduled for Jan. 12

MJS opens 35th season

Got growing kids? Those out-grown bicycles taking up space in the garage can get back on the road SatWhat: Free Bikes 4 Kidz urday, Jan. 12, during the Free drop-off Bikes 4 Kidz’s donation event. When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., chilSaturday, Jan. 12 dren- and adult-sized bicycles Where: UnityPoint Health – can be dropped off at UnityMeriter Clinic, 2690 Research Point Health – Meriter, 2690 Park Dr. Research Park Dr. The Minnesota-based non-profit, which Info: partners with UnityPoint Health, will take any size bicycle, but is in need of smaller bicycles, including tricycles, eight years, according to their according to their website. website. Five other UnityPoint Health For more information, visit – Meriter clinic locations in Dane County are also participating in the donation day, Email reporter Kimberly including Monona, Madison, Wethal at kimberly.wethal@ DeForest, Stoughton and and follow her on dleton. Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​ Free Bikes 4 Kidz has given away 32,000 bikes in the past

The Madison Jazz Society will be kicking off its 35th year in a city as old as it is. Their first concert of 2019 will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 2969 Cahill Main. The concert will feature the Chicago Cellar Boys and vocalist Roya Naldi, according to a news release from MJS. The band plays jazz and “hot dance music” from the decades of 1920s and 30s. “The Chicago Cellar Boys attracted a large crowd to our year-end party in June 2018 and this January concert, with Roya Naldi performing with them, will be another trip back to the jazz age!” Linda Marty Schmitz, president of MJS, wrote in the release. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for MJS members and children are free. According to the release, MJS, a non-profit organization, encourages

Preschool art

Jan. 19, at the library. A vote will be conducted on the sushi projects for the most colorful, most authentic and “Best in Show.” Registration is required. For information, call 7291762.

Preschoolers can make a mess – while learning about cause and effect – during an art seminar from 11 a.m. to noon on Friday, Jan. 11, at the library. The activities are meant to assist children in devel- Hygge time oping fine motor skills. The library will host a For information, call 729- “hygge” session for teen1762. agers ages 13-17 from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. Read aloud party Hot tea and cocoa, snacks The library will host a and crafts will be provided. “Read aloud” party from Dress in comfy clothes 4-5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14. and bring along a book to “Clementine” by Sara read. Pennypacker is this sesFor information, call 729s i o n ’s b o o k s e l e c t i o n . 1762. Copies of the book will be Digitize printed photos available for check-out. The party is recommendHave a lot of printed phoed for children ages 5-12. tos, but not sure what to do Popcorn and an activity will with them? The library will be provided. offer a seminar on preservFor information, call 729- ing and digitizing print1762. ed photos from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Beach party The seminar will cover Leave the snow outside different kinds of tools that and join the library for can be used to digitize phosome beachy vibes from tographs. 4-5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, Registration is required. with a party for children For information, call 729ages 5-12. 1763. The party will include beach-themed activities, Breakout challenge crafts and snacks. Test out your critical thinkFor information, call 729- ing skills and bust out of the 1762. library during the Late Night Breakout Challenge from 6-7 Candy sushi p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. Teenagers 13-17 can try The escape room activity their hand at making candy will have attendees solving sushi from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, puzzles, decipher clues and

If You Go What: Madison Jazz Society performance When: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 Where: Wyndham Garden Hotel, 2969 Cahill Main Cost: $25 general admission, children free Info: the education and performance of jazz music, the release stated, funding annual concerts and a school jazz education grant program. Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​

unlock a mystery. smocks for art to help them Registration is required. develop fine motor skills. The activity is recomFor information, call 729mended for teens ages 1762. 13-17. For information, call 729- Apple product help 1763. Did you receive an iPhone or an iPad during the holSpeed limit forum idays this year? FacTV District 4 Alds. Tony Hart- employees will hold a semmann and Tom Clauder will inar at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, hold a speed limit forum at Jan. 31, at the senior center 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at to teach you how to use it. the Fitchburg Senior Center, Registration for the semi5510 Lacy Road. nar is required. All residents are welFor information, call 270come, especially those 4290. w h e r e n ew h o u s i n g o r changes in traffic patterns Minute to Win It have resulted in increased The library will host a volume, speeding or dan- “Minute to Win It” game gerous conditions. session from 6-7 p.m. For information, email Thursday, Jan. 31. Clauder at Tom.Clauder@ The activity is or Hart- mended for children ages mann at Tony.Hartmann@ 5-12. For information, call 7291762.

candy challenges from 4-5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at the library. Structures can be built as a solo activity or with a team of friends. For information, call 7291762.

Library survival


Send it in! We like to send reporters to shoot photos, but we can’t be everywhere. And we know you all have cameras. So if you have a photo of an event or just a slice of life you think the community might be interested in, send it to us and we’ll use it if we can. Please include contact information, what’s happening in the photo and the names of people pictured. You can submit it on our website at, email to editor Jim Ferolie at ungeditor@ or drop off electronic media at our office at 133 Enterprise Drive, Verona. Questions? Call 845-9559.

For information, call 7291762.

Toddler art Children ages 1-3 will have an opportunity to get messy and creative from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the library. Caregivers are encouraged to dress children in messy clothes or bring along smocks for art to help them develop fine motor skills. For information, call 7291762.

Can you survive the Children’s Blizzard of 1888? Children ages 5-12 will be able to prove their survival skills from 6-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, at the library. The event will feature fun activities based on different Cooking in a mug survival skills. The library will offer a For information, call 729- “cooking in a mug” class 1762. from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. 3D printing The cooking class, geared Teenagers wanting to for teens ages 13-17, will design and print their own demonstrate how to cook 3D projects will be able to food in a mug, and will then do so from 6-7 p.m. Tues- give them a chance to make day, Feb. 12, at the library. a few recipes. Optical illusions Recommended for ages All materials will be proChildren can come to the Candy challenge 13-17, teens will use Tin- vided. library from 11 a.m. to noon Registration is required. Children ages 5-12 can kerCAD software to design Saturday, Jan. 26, to explore show off their construct- projects. For information, call 729Registration is required. and create optical illusions. ing skills by completing 1762. The event is recommended for children ages 5-12. For information, call 7291762.

OPENING SOON The Legacy at Noel Manor

Toddler art Children ages 1-3 will have an opportunity to get messy and creative from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the library. Caregivers are encouraged to dress children in messy clothes or bring along

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Coming up


If You Go

Fitchburg Star


January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star

Strummin’ along Ukulele lessons began on Monday, Jan. 7, at the senior center. Participants learned how to play basic chords and songs with teacher Judy Christie for an hour on Monday afternoon. Additional lessons will be held on Mondays Jan. 14 and 28 and Feb. 4. Instruments can be rented from the senior center for $10. Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.

Photos by Kimberly Wethal

At right, from right, Sue Klein and Judy Forester strum together during a ukulele lesson on Monday, Jan. 7, at the senior center.

Kay Sweeney strums along during a ukulele lesson on Monday, Jan. 7, at the senior center.

Caroline Tu Farley strums a song along with more than a dozen others during a ukulele lesson on Monday, Jan. 7, at the senior center.

‘Today is the next step’ BPNN expansion officially opens KIMBERLY WETHAL Unified Newspaper Group

BPNN, Community Action Coalition For South Central Wisconsin, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, Epic, UW Health Clinics and CUNA Mutual. BPNN’s industrial kitchen, along with its new cooler and freezer space, will allow unserved food made in the cafeterias at Epic, UW Health Clinics and CUNA Mutual to be “rescued” and brought back to the food agency, where it’ll be repackaged and stored. From there, Second Harvest and CAC, or the food pantries they serve, can come to BPNN and load up the packaged meals for distribution throughout southern Wisconsin, Kasieta said. “We have had a mission of fighting hunger and ending poverty locally for all of those three decades,” she said. “Today is the next step, where we move beyond local assistance and we have an impact regionwide throughout all of southern Wisconsin.” Dane County executive Joe Parisi said both the completion of the additional facility space and the start of the “Kitchen to Table” initiative wouldn’t be possible without “the drive of so many people.” “What’s happening here is the embodiment of everything that is good in our community,” he said.

Badger Prairie Needs Network officially launched the “Kitchen to Table” partnership this past weekend, with a ribbon cutting and open house events. Several speakers discussed the project before people toured the new 576foot warehouse and 1,000-foot cooler and freezer space added onto the western side of the building. “This expansion is critical in helping us advance our mission of both feeding families, as well as reducing waste in Dane County and throughout southern Wisconsin,” Kurt Billings, president of the BPNN board of directors, said during the grand opening on Friday, Dec. 14. The warehouse, built over the past few months, provides BPNN with more food storage. That’s desperately needed, said Marcia Kasieta, executive director for BPNN, because the agency has been “bursting at the seams” since they moved into their facility in 2015. The cooler and freezer space will also store food for BPNN patrons; however, it also becomes the linchpin for the imple- Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberPhoto by Kimberly Wethal mentation of the new “Kitchen to Table” and follow her on Badger Prairie Needs Network executive director Marcia Kasieta, project manager Ken Berg initiative. Twitter @kimberly_wethal. and board president Kurt Billings cut the ribbon in the doorway of BPNN’s expansion on FriThe initiative is a partnership among day, Dec. 14.

January 11, 2019


Fitchburg Star

2018: City sees more than 100 single-, multi-family housing permit applications this year Continued from page 1 getting a new high school in fall 2020 after a successful April 2017 referendum, those in the Oregon School District had a decision to make this year. Like their Verona counterparts, they voted overwhelmingly in favor in November to approve funding for a land purchase and building expenses for a new K-6 elementary school. That school will be located in the new Terravessa development on Fitchburg’s northeast side, and it’s scheduled to open for the 2020-21 school year. The same referendum also approved purchasing land just north of the Village of Oregon limits for an eventual new middle school, though funding for construction would require a future referendum approval. With a student population expected to jump from around 4,000 to more than 6,000 by 2030, OSD officials have sought the best places to site new schools t o p r eve n t ove r c r ow d ing in district elementary schools within a few years. After nearly two years of research, district officials identified the fast-growing northern section of the district in the northeast part of the City of Fitchburg as the most effective location for a new school. According to OSD, the maximum tax impact of the first part of the referendum is around $112 per year for the owner of a $200,000 home and around $132 per year, starting in 2020, for the second. In VASD, residents knew 2018 would be full of construction and anticipation over the new high school, and planning for the school continued to dominate headlines for other reasons. Most notably, the district wrapped up a long dispute with the City of Verona over who should pay for what roads and where they would be located. At one point, the higher-than-expected cost of the road led the school board to consider reducing some of the amenities it had planned – including a second pool. The board also looked at design changes in response to concerns about the safety of the building that had hallways lined with glass into classrooms. Each decision had a sense of urgency, given the district’s tight timeline to make a fall 2020 opening. The eventual solution to the first dispute with had the city contribute $4.5 million to road construction in return for the Sugar Creek Elementary School site “as is” (not demolished, as at one point requested) while also requiring the district to improve various intersections in the area of the high school. It was not what the board had hoped for – but it included funding for the second pool and turf. The access road, originally planned to come from Paoli Street, will now come from South Nine Mound Road, and to make that happen, the district paid $1.7 million to the owners of a nearby excavating business

Photo courtesy Fitch-Rona EMS

Fitch-Rona EMS has ambulances stationed in both Verona and Fitchburg. to acquire the right-of-way through their land to the road. City of Verona officials had preferred the Paoli Street location because of its value in keeping traffic out of the middle of the city, but the higher overall cost – including giving up more of the forest next to the bypass for development – made it unpalatable for the board. Inside the school, the eventual solution to the safety concerns was praised as a “balance” with maintaining the natural light environment. The changes were mostly made for emergency situations like an active shooter, altering floor-to-ceiling glass walls throughout much of the school within two months of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. – Scott Girard

2. Housing growth rebounds from lull Fitchburg’s single-family housing market saw a long-awaited rebound in 2018 after more than a decade without reaching 50 single-family homes constructed in any given year. At the same time, there was lots of movement on a plan some city officials hope can maintain the momentum and also create avenues to make some of the new construction more affordable. There continued to be a strong market for apartments, as there is throughout the county, even though a North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood proposal for more than 100 units sat in limbo amid yearlong opposition from neighbors. The housing study states that both single-family and multi-family housing need more than 100 units per year through 2030 to keep up with anticipated population growth here. Last year was a start, with more than 100 of each permit issued. That included committing some public funding to a new senior housing development on the north side of the city, which addressed a demographic that had been identified as a “need” in the draft study released earlier this year. The use of public funding, usually in the form of tax-increment financing, is one of the potential strategies outlined in the study to encourage developers to bring projects here and keep costs for

renters or buyers low. Others include waiving fees, reducing parking requirements or setting up funds for loans or grants for new home buyers, each of which could prove politically sensitive. Another issue fraught with controversy was a development in the North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood, along Seminole Highway. It could also serve as an example for the city and developers in the year ahead of how – and how not – to continue the 2018 “momentum” in building both multi- and single-family housing here. From January through December, a development proposal drew dozens of angry neighbors who showed up at city meetings to complain about a plan to build 182 apartments and some “affordable” homes. Some said the proposal violated the neighborhood plan approved more than five years earlier, even though an amendment had been approved in 2017. Complaints and testimony against the move helped set up a series of 4-4 votes, with ties broken by Mayor Jason Gonzalez in their favor. The Plan Commission and Common Council were unable to agree on how much density should be allowed, and by the end of the year, the city had to asked for legal advice from a statewide municipal advisory agency on how to proceed. A rewrite of the city’s c o m p r e h e n s ive p l a n i s expected to begin this year, and the North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood could be one of the more contentious sections. – Scott Girard

3. (tie) Debate over future of Fitch-Rona EMS The 40-year-old department that provides ambulance service to Fitchburg and two other communities came under intense scrutiny in 2018. Though the question of how the Fitch-Rona EMS Department is governed and structured wasn’t a new question, a study some said was flawed led to ongoing conversations among city leaders about changing or dissolving the district that runs it. The study, presented by a consultant in August, suggested several ways the city

could find more efficiency or provide better service with the department, which serves the cities of Verona and Fitchburg and the Town of Verona. It had been requested to explore Fitchburg’s options partly because it is governed by a commission that comprises three representatives from each municipality, which some felt didn’t provide the city with enough representation. But multiple alders complained the $18,600 study failed to provide enough information to adequately assess their options. The option that seemingly had the most benefits for the city, according to the report, was creating a city fire/EMS department and contracting with the Veronas, which drew an immediate rebuke from City of Verona Mayor Luke Diaz, a former member of the EMS Commission, and EMS chief Patrick Anderson. While some alders pushed for changes in an October discussion on the topic, others warned that opening the contract to negotiations could hurt the city financially.

Eventually, Mayor Jason Gonzalez eventually directed staff to compile information on the cost of combining the fire and EMS departments within the city. Alders asked for the information by the end of the year, but it wasn’t discussed before the New Year. While the discussion over the department’s future waited, the city also once again delayed a plan for a third front-line ambulance that will be stationed at the new east-side fire station. The city had put off the plan entirely each of the past two years as it went through tight budgets, and it considered holding off one more year, but instead alders voted to delay a few months, until August. – Scott Girard

3. (tie) Two businesses begin expansions here Tw o companies announced major expansion plans in Fitchburg in 2018. But both will cost millions of dollars in tax incentives.

B i o t e c h fi r m P r o m e ga announced early in the year it planned to add a new, 270,000-square-foot research and design facility, as well as new parking structure and a central utility plant, in exchange for the city authorizing up to $14.5 million in tax-increment financing. All of the new Promega buildings will be located on the company’s campus off East Cheryl Parkway. Occupancy is expected by the end of 2020. The city created a new tax-increment financing district, TID 12, to help fund the project, which Promega estimated would add $190 million in the value to the city. An agreement with the company allows the city to reduce its financing if the project is assessed at a lower value than expected. The city is also using TIF to attract Monona-based tech manufacturing company Phoenix, which broke ground on a 50,000-squarefoot “global headquarters”

Turn to 2018/Page 10

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2018: Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests Fitchburg residents in September sting Continued from page 9 on the northeast side and a 10,000-square-foot neutron imaging facility off of Lacy Road in exchange for about $10 million in TIF benefits. The Phoenix project plan authorized the city to spend about $10 million on infrastructure and incentives, including $5 million for a parking structure, $3 million in onsite infrastructure and $2.1 million in developer incentives. The company has projected it will add 150 jobs in the move, with an average salary of $81,000 a year. “The last few years, Phoenix has really been growing like crazy,” Phoenix CEO Ross Radel said at an October groundbreaking ceremony. “We’ve been moving quickly and becoming a real manufacturing company over the last couple of years here … We’re building more machines this year than we have in the entire history of the company up to this point, Photo by Kimberly Wethal which has been very, very A combination of Phoenix employees and public officials conducts the groundbreaking on the new Phoenix Neutron Imaging exciting.” Center on Lacy Road on Tuesday, Oct. 30.


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the cameras that were previously installed in the squads. Police chief Chad Brecklin told the Star in June he hoped the body cameras would create an additional layer of transparency in the form of an impartial third-person view during interactions between officers and citizens. “The cameras are there to try to bring those things that people have felt have been behind the scenes for so long out into the forefront,” he said. This extra layer of transparency is providing another avenue of collecting evidence for prosecutors and defense lawyers and serves as both a check on officers’ performance during traffic stops and interactions and a defense when their actions are questioned. With increased scrutiny on police in recent years, partially fueled by citizen video spreading around the internet in high-profile incidents, Fitchburg police and other departments across the country have been considering the pros and cons of integrating the cameras into their operations. Originally hesitant about why a city the size of Fitchburg would need body cameras when the program was first pitched to the Common Council in 2015, the department’s officer eventually came around to the idea. It first collected feedback and developed a code-ofconduct policy, requiring officers to turn them on during incidents involving arrests, restraint or searches of a person or their property, as well as if there’s a chance a situation could become hostile. Then, a select group

Photo by Scott Girard

Fitchburg Police Department Lt. Chad Brecklin, left, was announced as the new chief of police Thursday night by Mayor Jason Gonzalez, right. Brecklin was chosen from the list of two finalists during a closed session meeting of the Police and Fire Commission Wednesday. of officers began wearing them in January as a pilot project. One of those was Lt. Edward Hartwick, who spoke with the Star during a ride-along last year. “I think the idea for anyone to say, ‘Starting tomorrow, you’re going to have a camera attached to you that’s going to follow you and record everything that you’re going to say and do’ could potentially be viewed as a daunting or potentially negative assignment,” he said. “But … I think people really realized the value of being able to review their work on a call and see if there was anything they may have missed in their initial report.”

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7. Robbery leads to a homicide

The city had its first and only homicide of 2018 in March. The result of the March 12 robbery-gone-bad left three teenagers charged with the incident – two have been convicted – and a 20-yearold Fort Atkinson man dead. The suspects had set up a meeting over Facebook with a woman and her boyfriend, Julian Patterson, planning to rob them of 3 ounces of marijuana. When Patterson got out of the van where the robbery was occurring, 17-yearold Joshua McInnis shot him. McInnis pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide while having the – Kimberly Wethal first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery charges dismissed. His sentencing hearing is scheduled



– Scott Girard past decade – and three since 2015 – often with differing 5. Elections switch to attitudes about development, every year governance and communicaIn 2018, the city decided to tion. Mayor Jason Gonzalez led end its every-other-year electhe charge on the change and tion system. Beginning with the 2019 argued that having someone election, alder terms will be there for three years can help staggered with one from each solidify the city’s position of the four districts on the and give developers confiballot every year. The mayor- dence a project will be seen al term was also changed to through. The mayor’s next term be three years. As a result, Fitchburg vot- will be for one year, howevers will have a city election er, as Gonzalez said he did not want to ask others to run on the ballot every spring. Until the January ordi- for a one-year term without nance was approved, every doing so himself. In this tranelected seat in the city had sitional year, four alders are been on the same cycle – running for one-year terms leaving a quiet spring one in April, and four are runyear and an often full ballot ning for two-year terms, with the next, especially in recent every alder’s seat back to two years beginning in 2020. years. Gonzalez will face a chalSome years, that has meant a large group of alders learn- lenge from Ald. Aaron Riching the ropes of governance ardson (Dist. 3) this spring, together. With staggered and there will be four conterms, as most municipalities tested races for aldermanic in the area have, some can seats, as well. learn while those already a – Scott Girard year into their term can continue making proposals and 6. Police launch body leading discussions. The mayoral term expan- camera program sion is aimed at adding conPolice officers within the tinuity, specifically in the city gained a new point of development sector. The city view this year, in the form of has had five mayors in the body cameras clipped partway down their chests. Beginning in June, all STONER PRAIRIE Fitchburg Police Department Fun & Affordable patrol officers now wear After School Program body cameras after a threeyear long process to start a at Legacy Academy body camera program within for ages 7 - 12 the department. Weekly Tuition: The department has 48 $60 for one child camera units, one for each $100 for 2+ siblings officer, which connect with (608) 270-9977

for February. Travon Jackson, 19, who set up the meeting, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in a July plea deal that had his felony murder charge dismissed. He was sentenced in October to five years in state prison and five years of extended supervision. The other suspect, 17-yearold Gary Mays, is scheduled to face a jury trial this month. – Scott Girard

8. ICE detains people in city What at first seemed like a quiet weekend in Dane County ended up being full of questions for area Latino families, as reports spread of immigration officials detaining some undocumented immigrants. A news release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Sept. 25, the day after the action ended, reported 20 arrests in Dane County and 83 across Wisconsin during a four-day “enforcement sting.” Those 20 included “parents or family members of Verona Area School District students,” according to a news release at the time from the school district, as well as a group stopped while driving in Fitchburg, according to an email from Sam Singleton-Freeman, communications coordinator for immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera. While area law enforcement departments were not notified directly, ICE agents requested a Verona Police Department officer stand by while they carried out one warrant, though there was no answer when they knocked. VPD chief Bernie Coughlin told the Press that ICE had called the county’s 911 communications center that Friday morning, the day before its presence in Verona began, while Fitchburg Police Department chief Chad Brecklin said the department had not been contacted by ICE ahead of its presence there. – Scott Girard

9. Brecklin selected as new police chief The Fitchburg Police Department got its first new leader in 17 years in January, when then-Lt. Chad Brecklin received a promotion to chief. Brecklin succeeded Thomas Blatter, who retired in November 2017. He was one of three finalists chosen by the Police and Fire Commission among 21 applicants. One dropped out of consideration, and Brecklin was chosen over Oshkosh Cpt. Kelly Kent. Brecklin, 45, began working for the Fitchburg department in 1999, and

Turn to 2018/Page 11

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Honorable mentions Car thefts continue in city, county There was no shortage of vehicle thefts – or Fitchburg police’s involvement in arresting suspects found driving them – in 2018. The year started off with 12 car thefts between Jan. 1 and Feb. 6 from the city of Fitchburg alone, with three stolen car incidents in the city of Verona and 57 in the city of Madison during that same time span. Car thefts have become a county-wide trend, and through examining arrest patterns, police in multiple municipalities have determined the thefts are being

carried out by organized groups of people; however, their behavior is so unpredictable as to when and where they’ll steal a vehicle from that it’s been a challenge for officers to prevent criminal activity. “We’re not here to blame the victims, we’re here to educate the public and ask that you … take preventative measures and help us,” deputy chief Don Bates said in a Jan. 24 press conference. “Lock your vehicles, keep your doors shut, and if you hear something, make sure you call the jurisdiction you live in.” Most of the car thefts committed in Fitchburg resulted in arrests of

juveniles. One incident on Nov. 18 resulted in two 14-year-olds being taken to a local hospital after they hit a building under construction during a stolen vehicle pursuit.

Library outreach program expands City of Fitchburg outreach librarian Liz Zimdars didn’t spend the summer waiting for kids to come to her. Instead, she loaded up the library’s outreach van four days a week, Monday through Thursday, to take books and activity supplies a little further north in the city to Aldo Leopold Park.

On average, she told the Star in July, the library sees around 50 people show up to each event. The program had a slower start in the summer of 2017, where Zimdars said she would take the outreach van out a couple days a week at most. The outreach program began as an initiative to strengthen community relations between residents and the library, and provide an opportunity for residents who faced socioeconomic barriers to using its services to take advantage of library programming. There are hazards to the job of being an outdoor librarian, though, Zimdars said.

“I haven’t slept for weeks, I’m full of mosquito bites and covered in sunburn,” she said in July. “It has been so much fun.”

New Stoner Prairie, Leopold principals A pair of elementary schools attended by Fitchburg students got new principals this year. Both Stoner Prairie, in the Verona Area School District, and Leopold, in the Madison Metropolitan School District, have new leaders. At Stoner Prairie, Tammy Thompson Kapp came from Lapham Elementary School in Madison to head the

K-5 elementary off Lacy Road. She succeeded Mike Pisani, who left at the end of the 2017-18 school year after years of complaints from parents and some staff about the school’s culture. On Post Road, just outside the City of Fitchburg boundaries, Peg Keeler took over as the Leopold principal, succeeding Karine Sloan. Keeler was previously at Van Hise Elementary School, also in MMSD. Her hiring drew some criticism initially, as some parents felt the process did not fit the “Community School” designation Leopold received in 2016.

2018: Fitchburg’s first dog park opened in June after three-year planning, building process Continued from page 10 became a lieutenant in 2005. His first year included a March homicide, the roll-out of body cameras for every officer on duty in June, a rash of shots-fired incidents over the summer and outreach to the community to get feedback on how the department was doing. The hiring process included a community survey in 2017 that got 125 responses about “core values,” leadership qualities and personal characteristics desired in a new chief. Narrative responses on the survey varied between compliments about the department and criticism of how it has been run in recent years. The Common Council also continued discussions of a new police facility, with some sort of additional space expected sometime next decade. – Scott Girard

10. Fitchburg opens first dog park The year of growing in Fitchburg included grass in the city’s newest dog park to allow it to be opened in late June. Located on the corner of Fish Hatchery Road and Irish Lane, Sunnyside Park was years-long process that Fitchburg Dog Park

Advocates founder Jake Johnson first pushed for when he joined the Common Council in the spring of 2015. “When I was running for office years ago, this was the No. 1 thing people wanted,” he told the Star in May. The park cost around $100,000 to build, with half collected from donations to the FDPA and half from park dedication fees to the city, which come from developers who build in the city but don’t provide the required amount of green space. The park, designed by FDPA member Rachel Holdener, features several sustainable features. It has recycled pathways created from crumbled-up asphalt from a recent Lacy Road construction project, solar-powered lights that dim as the evening stretches closer to closing and a retention pond to minimize the effects that stormwater runoff will have on the surrounding neighborhood. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel,” Johnson said. “There’s hundred of dog parks in Wisconsin. There’s thousands of dog parks in the United States. So we took the best ideas.” – Kimberly Wethal Photo by Justin Loewen

Fitchburg resident Kristin Niedzwiecki and her dog are visited by a fellow canine at Sunnyside Dog Park.

2019: Balance of eight criteria the focus of discussions of new attendance zones in VASD Continued from page 1 as well, especially with the city beginning a new comprehensive planning process. Rounding out our list is opening of the second new fire station in the second half of the year.

1. Planning new school attendance area While no new attendance areas are expected to take effect this year, 2019 will set the stage for some students in the Oregon and Verona Area school districts to switch schools in fall 2020. The process has yet to be outlined for Oregon, but it began in Verona in earnest last year. The VASD school board aims to approve new attendance area boundaries by mid-April at the latest, and meeting its priorities for racial and economic diversity and neighborhood integrity, among other things, will be a tough task.

A 29-person committee established last year is still going through various options and will eventually narrow three maps or fewer to recommend to the board. It could also recommend having different grade levels at different schools, splitting up a language-immersion program that has so far always been at one site and planning for a future referendum. It has so far considered four options developed by consultant Mark Roffers, with at least one more coming early this year before they begin to refine them. The eight criteria the board plans to measure the maps against are: student diversity, contiguous attendance areas, fiscal efficiency, logical feeder structure from elementary to middle school, efficient future building utilization, minimizing the number of students affected by changes, neighborhood unity and transportation efficiency.

Photo by Scott Girard

A group discusses Boundary Option A at the Attendance Area Advisory Committee meeting Dec. 5 as consultant Mark RofTurn to 2019/Page 12 fers, third from right, listens in.


January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star

2019: Main traffic corridors in Fitchburg will see either construction or planning this year election. The year should also bring an answer about if the sooner-than-usual next election affects alders’ decisions as the year winds down and another election cycle approaches.

Continued from page 11 It’s already clear no option will meet all of them. Student diversity and neighborhood unity, for example, are at odds in many plans, as many of the district’s minorities and students of low socioeconomic status are concentrated in the northeast Verona Road corridor. Another factor is whether students in the Cathedral Point and Scenic Ridge neighborhoods which had to switch schools in 2015 to accommodate a space crunch will have to change attendance areas again. Some of those families have already spoken out against such a change. The board will also have to determine what, if any, grandfathering would be allowed under the plan, possibly allowing some older students to finish their schooling in the same location. There’s also likely to be discussion of a future elementary school, as each of the options so far shows overcrowding will be likely. Another discussion could include the prospect of siting the Two Way Immersion program at a single school, or splitting it at the Sugar Creek and Country View sites, with one hosting grades K-2 and the other grades 3-5. Oregon’s adjustment will likely be much simpler. The new elementary school will be located within Fitchburg and likely will include many students from the city. Superintendent Brian Busler said with the expectation is that families living closest to an elementary school would probably want their children there. He said the district would “do its best” to accommodate parent preference, with the goal of keeping siblings in the same school. “We’ll work through a process that’s fair,” he said. – Scott Girard

2. School construction It was our No. 1 story for 2018, and construction on new schools in two of Fitchburg’s school districts is expected to continue to make headlines in 2019. By the end of 2019, the schools – a high school in Verona and an elementary school for the Oregon School District – should be just months from completion, with opening for both set for fall 2020. With the Verona Area High School project, the result of a successful $182 million 2017 referendum, construction began last year while peripheral issues stayed in the news. The City of Verona site includes athletic fields, a new performing arts center and two pools, and construction crews will keep busy even during the winter, moving to the inside of the building at some point in the year. Residents can expect to see the district send out more photos throughout the year, likely showing classrooms and other areas shaping up. Some renovations also could begin on two existing buildings that will change grade levels when the high school opens – Badger Ridge Middle School and the current high school. Sugar Creek Elementary School will move into the middle school, which will shift down the street to the existing high school. The charter schools will move into the high school and K-Wing. The most significant effect of the renovation schedule for most families will be an accommodation the district is making to facilitate all of these moves. Families will have to adjust summer schedules and calendars to prepare for an Aug. 23 start date for the 2019-20 school year.

– Scott Girard

5. Town of Madison dissolution

Rendering courtesy Bray Architects

A rendering show the outside of the planned new K-6 elementary school in Fitchburg that’s planned to open in time for the 2020-21 school year. Electors approved the district’s land purchase in November. That will allow school to end by May 2020, creating a larger window for renovations and movein that summer, especially in the K-Wing. For the OSD school in Fitchburg, construction could begin as soon as March on the city’s northeast side. After voters approved referendums totaling $47 million to fund a new school and two land purchases in November, the district spent $2.1 million for a roughly 12-acre parcel in the Terravessa development, with plans to open a new grades K-6 school by September 2020. The district will also spend $250,000 for road development around the school. The district has retained its architect and general contractor from past referendum construction – Bray Architects and J.H. Findorff and Son, respectively – and Oregon School District superintendent Brian Busler told the Star last month the district hoped to have projects bid out in February. With a window for construction of just over a year, the last half of 2019 should be a busy one, as there’s a lot to build. The plans for the approximately 130,000-square-foot building include several playgrounds, three inner courtyards and a butterfly garden.

– Scott Girard

6. North Stoner Prairie neighborhood

– Scott Girard

3. More major road construction Drivers on Verona Road have gotten used to construction after the past few years, but those who have been using alternative routes like McKee and Fish Hatchery roads should begin preparing to switch back in 2019. The year will include planning for rebuilds of both significant projects, with construction expected to begin in 2020. The North Fish Hatchery Road project will have traffic down to one lane in each direction from McKee up to the Beltline when it begins in early 2020, with some staging expected at the end of this year. The McKee project will run from Commerce Park Drive and Seminole Highway, and it includes plans for a bicycle overpass for the Badger State Trail. Traffic will shift to one side of the road with one lane in each direction when the project begins. This year, there should be final designs for both projects, as well as public meetings to discuss traffic patterns with residents and business owners. Progress on each of the projects can be followed on the city’s website. Ve r o n a R o a d , m e a n w h i l e , will remain under construction

When will the City of Fitchburg take over parts of the Town of Madison? That answer could come in 2019. As the year began, a 2003 agreement had it set to happen in 2022, with the town dissolving and split between Fitchburg and the City of Madison. But the two cities have continued discussions about moving up that date and changing what areas become part of which city. The furthest those discussions got came in 2016, but town officials eventually rejected the proposal. The area that would go to Fitchburg is south of the Beltline, east of U.S. Hwy. 14 and mostly west of County Hwy. MM (Rimrock Road) and has about 1,500 residents. The Common Council spent about 45 minutes in closed session last month to discuss the latest update on negotiations with Madison, and after returning to open session, there were few details. “I don’t think we have a consensus, really,” on next steps, city administrator Patrick Marsh said. Alders asked Mayor Jason Gonzalez to put the issue on a future agenda, so discussions are expected to continue this year and perhaps progress to another official proposal.

Photo by Jim Ferolie

The City of Fitchburg is planning to reconstruct North Fish Hatchery Road, seen here looking south, from the Beltline to McKee Road beginning in late 2019. throughout 2019, with work focused on expanding Verona Road to three lanes and building the Verona Road bridges over Hwy. PD as part of Stage 2 of construction. The Williamsburg Way bridge over Verona Road is also expected to be completed by summer 2019. Progress there can be tracked at – Scott Girard

4. Final full spring election ballot For the final time in the foreseeable future, every elected seat in Fitchburg will be on the ballot this spring. Five of the nine are for just a one-year term. Alders and the mayor elected in those elections will be up for re-election again in 2020; to a two-year term for the alders and a three-year term for the mayor. As usual, there are plenty of contested races, though none will require a primary. Each of the past two mayoral races had one, and perhaps 2020 will bring a

The future of six acres in the North Stoner Prairie neighborhood did not get resolved in 2018, so expect to keep hearing about it this year. Neighbors criticized the plan, saying they had understood no high-density apartments would be built in the neighborhood. A change to the comprehensive plan in 2017 that was approved without any resistance allowed for the apartment proposal, but resident opposition and questions about the process killed that specific project. What’s still being debated is whether the comprehensive plan will be returned to a lower-density restriction for the parcel or remain as is, with no density restrictions. Thus far, the Plan Commission and Common Council have been unable to agree on what limit to impose, leaving an amendment to the plan in limbo. The city’s attorney has advised that the two bodies must approve the same amendment, but some residents and alders questioned that assessment, so the city has sought advice from a statewide municipal advisory group. That opinion from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities is expected sometime around the end of January, with the council expected to reopen discussion at its Feb. 12 meeting.

return to that pattern along with its three-year term. For this spring, voters citywide will all have a choice between incumbent Mayor Jason Gonzalez and challenger Aaron Richardson, a District 3 alder. District 1 voters will have a choice between incumbent Dorothy Krause and challenger Rich Tate for a two-year term. The pair faced off in 2017, with Krause victorious, 412 to 348. District 2 will have a race for its two-year seat as well, with incumbent Julia Arata-Fratta facing a challenge from former alder Patrick Stern. Finally, both District 4 seats will be contested – one with an incumbent, the other open. Tom Clauder will face challenger Matthew Jones for the two-year term in District 4, Seat 7. – Scott Girard While Ald. Tony Hartmann elected not to run for a one-year 7. Fire station opening term in District 4, Seat 8, the seat The City of Fitchburg is expected garnered lots of interest. Janell to open its second new fire station Rice, Scott Lehmann, Ed Kin- in three years in late summer 2019. ney and Marc Jones will face off The eastside station, which will for the seat in a Feb. 19 primary, replace the Lacy Road station, with the two highest vote-getters advancing to the April general Turn to 2019/Page 13

January 11, 2019


Fitchburg Star

2019: Second fire station project set to open in July after project is delayed by two months Continued from page 12 was sited at the corner of Syene and Clayton roads to help serve developments on that side of the city, especially the Terravessa development that began seeing construction in 2018. It will be the site of a new ambulance for Fitch-Rona EMS by the end of the year. Contractors broke ground on the station in August, and

originally planned for a May opening. That’s been delayed until at least July, with the project about two months behind schedule. The Lacy Road station will remain under city ownership, as administration continues to operate out of that location. That change to the planning allowed the Photo by Amber Levenhagen city to save on the cost of The new Fitchburg East Fire Station on Syene Road is expected to open this summer, with a new Fitch-Rona EMS ambulance the new station. stationed there.

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A. It’s simple, just call Donna Larson at (608) 845-9559. We can fill you in on all the details. Don’t miss out on this valuable piece of advertising that runs every month in the Fitchburg Star and Great Dane Shopping News. Fitchburg Star & Great Dane Shopping News 133 Enterprise Dr. • Verona, WI 53593 • (608) 845-9559


Stephen Rudolph FACHE, CSA


14 Fitchburg Star - January 11, 2019

City Hall - Main Line Administration Assessing Building Inspections City Clerk Economic Development

270-4200 270-4213 270-4235 270-4240 270-4210 270-4246

FACTv Finance Fire Department FitchRona Human Resources Library Municipal Court

270-4225 270-4251 278-2980 275-7148 270-4211 729-1760 270-4224

Parks & Forestry Planning/Zoning Police Public Works Recreation/Community Center Senior Center Utilities

270-4288 270-4258 270-4300 270-4260 270-4285 270-4290 270-4270

5520 Lacy Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711 • adno=50061



Tuesday, February 5th Fitchburg Community Center, 5510 Lacy Road – Oak Hall 11:30 am – 3:30 pm Appointments not required but can be scheduled by calling 1-800-733-2767 or by visiting Use sponsor code: Fitchburg

PET LICENSES Pet licenses are available for the 2019 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 you are licensing. If submitting by

mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. For more information, please call (608) 270-4200 or visit DocumentCenter/View/105 to download the application or read the brochure.

PROPERTY TAXES FOR HOMEOWNERS The first installment for real property taxes is due January 31st. Payments made on or before January 31, 2019 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, 2019 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 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (Exception: City Hall will be closed Monday, January 21, 2019 in observance of Martin Luther King Day). A drop box is available 24/7 in the foyer of City Hall. Cash payments in the dropbox are NOT recommended. Note: Different rules may apply for Personal Property Tax See: for more information

Holiday tree collection will begin the week of January 7th. A second collection will take place the week of January 21st. Actual collection dates may depend on weather. When discarding your tree, place it at the curb by 6:30 am on Monday morning of the collection week with the trunk facing the street. Remove all ornaments, lights, tree stands and tree bags. In the event of snow, please pull your tree back from the curb so it does not become buried in the snow pushed back by the plow. Trees that

SNOW & ICE REMOVAL GUIDELINES FOR CITY OF FITCHBURG PROPERTY OWNERS Property owners are required to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice so that pedestrians can navigate safely. Fitchburg ordinance states: Sec. 27-114.- Snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks. The owner of each lot or part of lot shall remove or cause to be removed all snow and ice which may have fallen or accumulated upon the sidewalk in front of the premises which he/she owns not later than 6:00 p.m. of the day after the same has ceased to fall or accumulate; provided that when ice has so

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT THE SENIOR CENTER Meals on Wheels Drivers on Thursdays & Fridays Kitchen help on Wednesdays and Fridays Start 2019 off right, make a commitment to Volunteer! Call (608) 270-4293 for more information

become frozen or lost in snow banks might not get picked up. Evergreen decorations such as wreaths, boughs, arrangements, and hanging baskets should be bagged and placed in your garbage container for regular weekly pick up. For more information regarding residential refuse and recycling, please visit the City of Fitchburg website at: http://

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formed upon any sidewalk that it cannot be removed, then the owner shall keep the same effectively sprinkled with sand, salt or other suitable substance in such manner as to prevent the ice from being dangerous, until such time as it can be removed, and then it shall be promptly removed. The fine for failure to remove snow/ice is $187. A notice/reminder is typically given to violators on the 1st offense, however NO warning is given for 2nd & subsequent violations. Go to for guidelines on effective salting and sanding practices that also protect Fitchburg waterways. and Follow us on


RECREATION DEPARTMENT Go to and click on “View Activities” to see our list of programs for this Winter!

Daddy-Daughter Dance

Girls, take Dad or Granddad out for a special night of dinner and dancing. Fathers, enjoy a wonderful evening with your daughter(s) while creating lasting memories. FACTv will take your photo and then you will have access to download your digital copy online. • Ages – 12 and under • Day/Time – Friday, February 15, 6:00-8:30 pm • Location – Fitchburg Community Center • Fee - $45 per couple

Musikgarten – Winter Music II

Join us inside, when the weather is chilly and cold, to sing, play instruments and move! Our songs will be reflective of the winter season; snow and ice, the night sky, daytime activities and winter animals. The multi-age activities and musical learning make this class engaging for all ages between birth and 4 years along with their adult family member or caregiver. • Ages – Birth-4 • Day/Time – Thursdays, February 7 – February 28, 9:00-9:40 am • Location – Fitchburg Community Center • Fee - $40

Spanish for Preschoolers – Welcome to Spanish

Children ages 3-5 learn Spanish vocabulary and basic phrases in a fun and active way with these lively classes. Awardwinning teacher, Marti Fechner of Grow into Spanish LLC, incorporates music, movement, games, stories and more to make learning Spanish easy and engaging for preschool-age children. It is easy for children to learn a foreign language at this young age, and SO beneficial. Come try it! It’s a great way to prepare your child for a bilingual future. • Ages – 3-5 • Day/Time – Mondays, February 25 – April 8, 12:45-1:30 pm • Location – Fitchburg Community Center • Fee - $70

Computer Use – Forms and Tables

Have you ever created or filled out a form in Microsoft Word? Have the lines gotten messed up or pushed around? Are things not lining up? Learn how to easily create a form that not only looks nice but works well and does not leave you shaking your head in frustration! Knowing how to manage tables and forms in Microsoft Word will come in handy for a variety of projects at home and at work! This 2-hour session will allow you to watch and DO. Each participant will have access to a computer, and do not worry about forgetting what you did, because you will leave with a handout summarizing what was presented! Try it! You will like it! • Age – Adults • Day/Time – Tuesday, February 12, 6:00-8:00 pm • Location – Fitchburg Community Center • Fee - $40

FORCE Winter Fitness Challenge

If you have been turned off by the lack of instruction and help, high price tag, monotony, and huge class sizes at CrossFit, HIIT, or Bootcamp-style classes elsewhere, then Force is for you! Now in its 8th year, FORCE workouts provide the best in complete functional fitness training. Achieve fitness that is applicable to real life’s strength and conditioning needs under the guidance of an educated and experienced Personal Trainer! Experience the most effective workouts of your life, and have fun using sandbags, kettlebells, TRX suspension trainers, medicine balls, weighted sleds, battle ropes, plus team and individual challenges, and so much more-plus entry into the famous Force Fitness Challenge. During the FFC, your fitness level and body composition will be tested at the beginning and end of the 3-month training block to determine if you have made the most progress and will take home the coveted winner’s trophy! In addition, there will be a prize for the overall fittest male and female-all of this for less than $6 per workout! • Ages – Adults • Day/Time – Mon., Wed., Fri., February 25 – April 6, Mornings and Evenings • Location – Fitchburg Community Center • Fee - $219 for unlimited class, other options available


January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star


No need to fret Dave’s Guitar Shop opens third location in Fitchburg, manager discusses first half year EMILIE HEIDEMANN Unified Newspaper Group

D ave ’s G u i t a r S h o p , established in La Crosse in 1982 by Dave Rogers, has found its way to Fitchburg. The location on 2990 Cahill Main, Ste. 200 opened its doors June 1, and general manager/guitar technician Adam Steinquist said the first half-year has gone well, with some “peaks and valleys.” Customers were thrilled when the shop opened, and he said they still see around two or three new faces each day. An intern for Rogers at his La Crosse shop a decade ago, Steinquist said the holiday season even went better than expected. Rogers started the original La Crosse shop by selling the instruments out of his home before opening a modest, 400-square foot retail space in 1982. In 2017, a second location opened in Milwaukee.

Much to absorb The entire independently-owned company carries around 2,500 guitars, both electric and acoustic. When entering the Fitchburg store, there’s a lot to take in – flashes of colors and gleaming metals, and of course, the sounds of music. Customers first see a room packed full of electric guitars room when Photos by Emilie Heidemann they enter, with all types of Adam Steinquist, general manager and guitar repair person at Dave’s Guitar shop, checks the intonation of a customer’s electric guitar. designs, builds and brands lining the walls and racks. Leather seats sit in the center of the room for customers to try out a Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, “hard-tofind” Rickenbacker, G&L 2990 Cahill Main, Ste. Gretsch and more. 200 As he checked the into405-8770 nation on an electric, Steinquist sat behind one of the Hours: main desks, explaining Monday: his theories on guitars. He’s actually more par10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tial to acoustic, he said, Tuesday: and there’s also plenty to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. choose from for aficionados of that type, as well. Wednesday: In the next room over, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Martins, Taylors, Huss & Thursday: Daltons, Collings and more hung gracefully around a 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. pair of leather seats and a Friday: Persian rug. The enclosed side room has even more 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “boutique” acoustics. Saturday: Overall, Dave’s generally 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. has around 425 guitars and 75 amplifiers in stock in the Sunday: Closed “brick and mortar” store, though the company sells even more online – around sound quality. a 40/60 percentage, he said. “If you’re someone who doesn’t play an instrument Offering options at a higher-level, you don’t Guitars start at around always notice,” he said. $150 and max out at And while Dave’s Gui$10,000 for some of the tar Shop carries its share of more expensive electric new high-end instruments, b r a n d s l i ke Pa u l R e e d the store also repairs and Smith Private Stock and refurbishes used models to Wood Library, Gibson Cus- sell, and likes to give good tom Shop and Fender Cus- deals on trade-ins to keep Dave’s Guitar Shop sells 2,500 models of guitars across three locations and online. tom Shop. a fresh stock handy. While credit, (which is) higher in are treated equally. Stein- what Dave’s can provide Quality matters, too. new inventory might take comparison to other shops,” quist said he considers music-lovers in the Fitch- relationships.” Steinquist recalled a con- months to sell, Steinquist he said. m u s i c t o b e a m e d i t a - burg area from now on. Email Emilie Heidemann at versation with an inexperi- said, used inventory takes Though whether a musi- tive practice in need of “A guitar shop is kind of emilie.heidemann@wcinet. enced musician, while the mere weeks. cian looks to trade their an inspiring, yet helpful a destination,” he said. “We com or follow her on Twitcosts in the thousands might “We give a little bit more instrument in or buy a new environment – a “hangout are trying to learn people ter at @HeidemannEmilie. appear shocking, there’s a in value if someone trades one, he said all customers space” – and he hopes that’s by name and build those noticeable difference in the it in – 80 percent trade in

Dave’s Guitar Shop

16 Fitchburg Star - January 11, 2019

Every Day Freshness EVERY Day,

Miller & Sons has some of the best fresh produce, quality meats, deli, spirits and more!

210 S. Main St., Verona • 845-6478 Open Daily 6:30am-9:00pm adno=50064

Jeremy Jones, sports editor

845-9559 x226 •

Mark Nesbitt, assistant sports editor 845-9559 x237 • Fax: 845-9550

VAHS boys hockey


Friday, Jan. 11, 2018



Fitchburg Star For more sports coverage, visit:

Oregon Youth Wrestling

Wildcats have pair of top five teams next JEREMY JONES ​Sports editor

Junior forward Cale Rufenacht scored an early power-play goal and sophomore goaltender Kaden Grant did the rest Friday, Jan. 4, as the Verona boys hockey team blanked Madison Memorial, 3-0. The third-ranked Wildcats improved to 9-0-0 in the Big Eight with the win (13-1-2 overall) and have outscored conference opponents 48-8, including shutouts against Janesville, Madison East/La Follette and Madison Memorial. Friday’s win was also big for a team with games coming up against two of the state’s top four teams – second-ranked Wausau West (10-2-1) and fourthranked conference rival Sun Prairie (10-1-0, 8-10). “It’s great to be undefeated in conference, but w e ’v e g o t s o m e h u g e games coming up,” Rufenacht said. “We’re not going to look at anyone’s record and think we’re unbeatable” Verona, which has gone 31-4-1 over the last 2 ½ years in conference and has won the last two Big Eight titles, hasn’t lost a c o n f e r e n c e ga m e s i n c e Dec. 7, 2017, at Sun Prairie. The Wildcats have gone 20-0-1 since then, tying Madison Memorial last February.

Photos by Jeremy Jones

Second-grader Keaton Chard takes down his opponent Saturday at the Oregon Youth Wrestling tournament. Chard was one of 13 Oregon youth wrestlers to finish first at the tournament, while another 17 finished runner-up.

Oregon crowns 13 champions JEREMY JONES ​Sports editor

Oregon Youth Wrestling hosted a tournament Saturday, Jan. 7 and crowned 13 champions. Oregon also had 17 runner-up finishers and 63 total entrants. Champions were: kindergartener J.K. Vidal,

first-grader Alec Brenner, second-graders Keaton Chard and Olivia Soumphonphakdy, third-grader Caden Schwartz, fifth-graders Kailee Spilde, Paytin Danz and Peyton Kratochvil, sixth-grader Danny Heiser and eighth-graders Brandon Liddle, Thomas Lyon, Owen Heiser and Seth Niday. Runners up were: kindergartener Cohen Gehin, first-graders Jackson Clemment and

Jason Heiser, second-graders Jackson Corbit and London Girga, third-graders Tom Heiser, Jayce Klein and Aleena Adili, fourth-graders Thomas Ruth and Logan Steffen, fifth-graders Evan Fahey, Gabe Klahn and Landon Kamin, seventh-grader Abram O’Rourke and eighth-graders Logan Vine and Karl Brooks.

Verona 6, Janesville 5 With back-to-back games against top-5 ranked Wausau West and Sun Prairie looming, Verona was nearly upset Dec. 9 in Janesville. A 3-3 game through one period, the Wildcats got goals from Keryluk and a power-play goal from Rufenacht three minutes apart in the second. That 5-3 lead proved to be just enough as Breyden Enloe (6) and Grant (13) combined for 19 saves to preserve the win. Keryluk and senior forward Ryan Mirwarld each had two goals in the game. Senior forward Michael Fischer also scored.

Verona 3, Memorial 0 Verona set the tone with a goal three minutes into their Dec. 15 game inside Madison Ice Arena on a power-play and kept the pressure on with another goal early in the third period. Rufenacht capitalized on his eighth goal of the season just over a minute into the Wildcats’ first of three first-period, power-play

Turn to Hockey/Page 5

Third-grader Jace Klein celebrates a win Saturday. He finished second.

Seventh-grader Abram O’Rourke works to turn his opponent. He finished second.

West boys swimming

Top-ranked Regents win Marquette invitational MARK NESBITT Assistant sports editor

The Madison West boys swimming team, ranked No. 1 on the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association’s Division 1 state poll, won five events and set four meet records, cruising to the Marquette Invitational team title Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Schroeder YMCA Aquatic Center in Brown Deer.

Madison West senior Wes Jekel set a meet record in winning the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.47 seconds. He also won the 100 butterfly (50.49). The Regents set meet records in capturing titles in all three relays en route to racking up 357 points, which was well ahead of runner-up Middleton (257). The Marquette invite featured the top four teams in the Wisconsin Swim Coaches Association Division 1

state poll. The other top-ranked teams included Middleton (No. 2), the Waukesha South co-op (No. 3) and Verona Area/Mount Horeb (No. 4). The meet also included Chicago Fenwick. The Waukesha South co-op took third (196) and Verona/Mount Horeb took sixth (160). In the 200 medley relay, senior Jaden Weiss teamed with senior Henry Miller, Jekel and junior Charlie Feller to win the race

with a time of 1 minute, 34.35 seconds. The Regents’ 200 freestyle relay team of junior Isaac Casey, junior Andrew Fernandez, Constantin Bensch and Feller won with a time of 1:26.61. Jekel and Fernandez teamed with Bensch and Casey to win the 400 free relay (3:08.01). Casey took second in the 100

Turn to West swimming/Page 3


January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star

Verona Area/West/Edgewood High School

Verona boys tennis

Tennison commits to Marquette, first Wildcat to go D1 JEREMY JONES Sports editor

Senior Will Tennison has one more season left to continue rewriting the record book for the Verona boys tennis team. A three-time state qualifier, Tennison was the first player in program history to finish in the top eight at the WIAA Division 1 individual state tournament. He accomplished that in each of his first three seasons, including a personal-best fourth place as a sophomore. H e a l s o b e c a m e t h e fi r s t Wildcat tennis player to sign a DI National Letter of Intent in November and will play collegiately at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Tennison said his recruitment was based mainly on his USTA performance and that he has been playing on the USTA tour pretty much his whole life. “That’s how you get out there and make a name for yourself,” Photo by Jeremy Jones he said. “I think somewhere between (age) 8 and 10, I played Will Tennison signed his National Letter of Intent last month to play tennis at Marquette University in Milwaukee. in my first tournament.” Tennison’s father, Joel, runs Hitters SportsPlex and was a DI Will Tennison, who took a bit during the recruitment process, national rank is right now. recruit himself, at Western Illiof a break to focus on his game said he wasn’t sure what his The senior took only one nois in Macomb.

Verona girls basketball

official visit, to Milwaukee. “Marquette was really the first school that I went for, and that’s what I got, so I was happy with that,” he said. “I like the campus, coach is great, and I liked all the guys on the team.” Marquette reached the opening round of the NCAA championships in Urbana, Ill., last year, falling to No. 9 Illinois (22-7). “It’s a very competitive program,” Tennison said. “They won the Big East last year. I’ll just be fighting for my spot next year.” As a college player, he will also get the opportunity to play singles and doubles. Tennison had to withdraw from the individual and state team tournaments last year due to a shoulder injury. He said he is more motivated than he’s ever been in his life. “I am just putting in the work and I think it will all pay off in the end,” Tennison said. “Obviously, an individual state title would be my ultimate goal. “I’m always going to be working toward that, but most importantly I want to get the team back to team state.”

Girls hockey

Verona to zero-in on defense Lynx earn wins over Viroqua, Icebergs MARK NESBITT Assistant sports editor

The highlight for Verona the past month was winning the Ab Nicholas Holiday Classic in Waunakee that included a victory over Divine Savior Holy Angels, which was ranked No. 10 in the Division 1 Coaches’ state poll. Verona (8-6 overall, 5-5 Big Eight) have run into a tough stretch, going 1-4 in the conference in their past five games that included a two-point loss to Big Eight co-leader Madison Memorial. “We need consistent effort on both ends of the floor from all players,” coach Angie Murphy said after the loss to Madison East Tuesday, Jan. 8, in which the Wildcats had an 11-point lead in the first half. “Defense is all effort and some kids are taking too many plays off. We are not running offense well on the other end and we are settling for bad early shots.”

East 60, Verona 53 With any young team, finding ways to win can bring a roller coaster of emotions. The Verona girls basketball team experienced that in a Big Eight loss to Madison East on Tuesday in which the Wildcats had an 11-point lead. “We definitely didn’t play a good game,” junior guard Rayna Briggs said. “We know how to score. We just have to take care of it on the defensive side. At this point it’s just up to us. It’s our effort defensive wise.” Briggs scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had three steals Tuesday, but Verona couldn’t withstand Madison East’s pressure defense and lost 60-53 to the Purgolders. Verona erased a six-point

Pederson and Rae had five points and six rebounds.

Verona 77, Beloit 38 Smith scored a game-high 22 points and Briggs had 21 points Jan. 5 to lead the Wildcats to a 77-38 road win over Beloit Memorial. “They are doing a good job attacking the rim and sharing the ball with each other and teammates,” coach Angie Photo by Mark Nesbitt Murphy said. Verona sophomore Morgan Verona raced out to a 40-19 Grignon drives to the basket lead at the half. against Madison East Murphy said the Wildcats Tuesday in the Wildcats’ played good team defense and 60-53 loss. capitalized on turnovers. Junior guard Rachel Pardeficit with a 20-9 run fueled man added a season-best 11 by Briggs, who scored 17 points and Pederson chipped points in the first half. Senior in seven. center Sydney Rae converted a three-point play to give the La Follette 54, Wildcats a 25-14 lead with Verona 40 3:57 left in the first half. In a battle for fourth place Verona junior point guard in the Big Eight ConferAaliyah Smith picked up two ence, Verona’s fast-break fouls in the first eight minutes and was forced to the bench. game was limited in a 54-40 She picked up her third foul loss to Madison La Follete with 20.3 seconds to go as the Jan. 3. Murphy said the team Purgolders rallied to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 30-26 at the didn’t play with energy and that limited their running half. East broke the game open opportunities on the break. The Lancers led the Wildwith a 17-4 run to start the cats by six points at the half. second half that was ignited La Follette outscored Verooff Verona turnovers. na 27-19 in the second half. The Purgolders lived at the “We did not bring the free-throw line, making 17 of intensity that we should 28 in the game. “We knew they were going have,” Murphy said. “I was to pressure us, trap us and do disappointed in our overall all of that stuff on defense,” team effort in the game. We Briggs said. “We just need didn’t deserve to win the to get more controlled in the game.” Briggs scored a team-high game.” 16 points. Smith added 12 Verona trailed by as many as nine points. Smith buried a points and senior forward 3-pointer and Briggs also hit a Sydney Rae pitched in 10. 3 to slice the Purgolders’ lead Verona 58, to 48-45 with 7:11 to go, but that’s as close as the Wildcats Waunakee 52 would get. Smith scored 16 of her Smith finished with 13 points. Both sophomore Katie Turn to VAHS girls/Page 3

JEREMY JONES ​Sports editor

The Madison Metro Lynx girls hockey co-op (5-9-0 overall, 3-3-0 conference) is tied with Viroqua for third place in the Badger Conference standings.

Fond du Lac 5, Metro Lynx 2 The Lynx were back inside the Madison Ice Arena on Jan. 5 to face the Fond du Lac co-op. But despite playing even for a period, they lost the nonconference game 5-2. Lynx forward Abbigale Ahlborn scored both goals for the Lynx. The Fond du Lac co-op scored four unanswered goals in the final two periods, including two in the second period. Alyssa Heim, who set up both second period goals, scored twice in the first eight minutes of the third period to put the Warbirds/Beaver Dam Alliance ahead 4-1 and the game out of reach.

Metro Lynx 9, Badger Lightning 0 Sierra Berg scored four goals and assisted on another and freshman goaltender Abby Nutini was perfect in her varsity debut Thursday, Jan. 3. That was enough to help the Madison Metro Lynx (5-9-0 overall, 3-3-0 Badger Conference) girls hockey team earn its first shutout of the season. “I think we were all working as a team tonight for sure. It definitely wasn’t one person for sure,” Berg said. “It was a total team effort.” In an up and down season in which the Metro

Lynx have struggled to score at times, Berg netted a first-period hat trick Thursday. The Metro Lynx never looked back from that point with Nutini in goal, rolling past the Badger Lightning, 9-0. Senior forward Haley Meskin, who didn’t have a goal this season, scored twice in the first period and capped her own hat trick with a short-handed goal 11 1/2 minutes into the second. “To have senior leaders like that on your team, we’re pretty blessed,” coach Mike McKersie said. “They put a lot of pressure on the Badger Lightning, that was exactly what we’ve been trying to get out of our first line this year.” Ahlborn added a second short-handed goal in the final 46 seconds of the second period. Ruby Dykstra scored a goal earlier in the period, and the Metro Lynx got ice time for everyone on the bench. Nutini made her first varsity start and earned the win, turning away all 20 shots she faced. “I can’t say enough about how Abby played tonight,” McKersie said. “She had to make a couple tough saves on breakaways, a couple of rushes and scrambles. She stayed out and challenged shooters, and she controlled her rebounds very well.” Natalie Buss stopped 33 of 42 shots on goal for the Badger Lightning.

Culver’s Cup The Madison Metro Lynx girls hockey co-op hosted the Culver’s Cup holiday tournament Dec. 27-29 and won one of three games.

Berg scored a hat trick and assisted on two more goals Thursday as the Metro Lynx opened the Culver’s Cup with an 8-1 win over Northland Pines. The Lynx followed that with a one-goal loss to Superior and a 6-3 to sectional rival Onalaska.

Metro Lynx 2, Icebergs 1 Junior forward Alina Yazek scored her first goal of the season in a 2-1 win over the Icebergs on Dec. 22. Yazek rushed up the ice and scored a short-handed goal 8 minutes, 41 seconds into the first period that Icebergs goaltender Cora Zimmerman got a piece of it, before it slipped behind her. It gave the Lynx an early lead they would never relinquish. “Scoring that first goal felt great,” Yazek said. “I wanted to make sure it passed onto my teammates and make sure we all got that energy.” Metro Lynx freshman forward Ruby Dykstra followed with the game-winning goal 5:26 into the second period. It was Dykstra’s first career goal.

Fury 4, Lynx 1 Sophomore forward Eva Held scored her first career goal and senior goaltender Gwen Parker played solid in net Dec. 18 but the Metro Lynx were unable to make the lead stick, dropping a conference game 4-1 to the Rock County Fury. “The girls came out really hard and we had them on their heels in the first period,” Mike McKersie said. “We had several

Turn to Lynx/Page 4

Oregon/West High School

Oregon boys basketball

Oregon tied for first in conference MARK NESBITT

Victorson scored 17 of his points in the first half to spark the Panthers to a 39-34 lead at the break. Oregon outscored Dodgeville 37-27 in the second half. Look scored eight of his 10 points in the second half. The Panthers hit seven 3-pointers, led by Ethan Victorson with three and Erik Victorson, who added 13 points, made two. Oregon shot 80.9 percent from the free throw line (17-for-21). Senior forward Adam Yates chipped in eight points.

Assistant sports editor

The Oregon boys basketball team has been on a tear since a heartbreaking four-point buzzer-beating play in a loss to Madison Edgewood earlier this season. Oregon (7-3 overall, 5-1 Badger South) has won four straight games the past month and moved into a firstplace tie with Stoughton in the conference. The biggest wins for the Panthers were a home win over Monona Grove Friday, Dec. 21, and a win over Stoughton Saturday, Jan. 5. It marks the first time the Panthers have beaten the Vikings since 2013. The Panthers are 5-1 in games decided by eight points or less and 2-0 in overtime games. As the Panthers approach the halfway mark in conference, they are in a position to win the Badger South. Coach Chris Siebert doesn’t want the Panthers to lose sight of the long-term goal. “The biggest message we are harping on our kids is we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Siebert said. “Our goals are to be here in March and not in January. All we have accomplished is earning the right to play in games and atmospheres like this. These are memorable nights, and they have earned the right to play in more of them.”

Oregon 55, Stoughton 48

Oregon 57, Monona Grove 54

Photo by Mark Nesbitt

Oregon senior Nolan Look puts up a shot down low against Stoughton sophomore Cael McGee.

Victorson drilled a 3-pointer to key the run. In the final minute, the Vikings committed two turnovers and Oregon made 6 of 8 free throws including 3 of 4 from Ethan Victorson. Junior guard Adam Hobson scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Vikings. Sophomore forward Reece Sproul added eight points. Junior guard Nathan Hutcherson and senior guard Drew Anderson both pitched in seven points. Erickson added nine points and Erik Victorson chipped in eight points. Ethan Victorson saw the win as a springboard to contention in the Badger South. “We’ve been a middle-pack team the past five years,” Ethan Victorson said. “Every team we play, they think they can beat us. Now everyone will know Oregon’s name. It’s pretty exciting for our town and team.”

Ethan Victorson scored a gamehigh 20 points and made some big free throws in the clutch to propel the Oregon boys basketball team to a 55-48 win over Stoughton Jan. 5. “It’s been a long time,” Victorson said. “We had this game circled on our calendar the whole year. From the start of our season, we had one goal to win a conference championship. We are starting to get there.” Oregon used a 10-4 run in the second half to build a 41-31 lead with 13 Oregon 78, Dodgeville 60 minutes, 13 seconds left, fueled by Ethan Victorson scored a gameseveral Stoughton turnovers. Senior high 22 points to lead the Panthers to Carter Erickson came up with a a 78-60 nonconference win over Dodsteal and layup and sophomore Erik geville Jan. 7.

Ethan Victorson hit two free throws with 21 seconds to go Dec. 21, as Oregon clipped Monona Grove 57-54 in a Badger South game. “We made some tough plays down the stretch,” Siebert said. “The kids went out and played hard and with a lot of energy. Our kids showed a lot of toughness. They are growing and learning how to win.” Senior guard Nolan Look had a steal and layup in the final 2 minutes that propelled the Panthers to the victory. “That showed great concentration because he knew he had people chasing him,” Siebert said. The Panthers got a defensive stop in the final minute to preserve the lead when senior Carter Erickson came up with a steal. The Silver Eagles missed a 3-pointer on an ensuing possession the Panthers survived. Ethan Victorson scored a team-high 14 points and drilled three 3-pointers. Sophomore Erik Victorson added 10 points and hit two 3s.

Oregon 36, Watertown 35 Ethan Victorson drove in and hit a pull up jumper with 21 seconds to go Dec. 15 to give the Panthers a thrilling 36-35 win over Watertown. “It was a tough shot,” Siebert said of Victorson’s game-winner. “He’s hit big shots for us all year. Hopefully, he continues to do it. We believe he will.” Sophomore guard Erik Victorson scored a team-high 10 points and Ethan Victorson added nine points.

Oregon girls basketball

Panthers win three nonconference games during streak MARK NESBITT Assistant sports editor

and the Panthers pulled away from Fort Atkinson for a 55-40 conference win. The Panthers were clinging to a 28-24 lead at halftime but outscored the Blackhawks 27-16 in the second half. Uhl scored a game-high 18 points and had five steals for Oregon. Junior Izzie Peterson also had four steals. Senior Jenna Statz hit three 3-pointers to finish with nine points.

After a tough Badger South stretch earlier this season, the Oregon girls basketball team is heating up and finding its shooting groove. The Panthers (8-6 overall, 3-4 conference) have won four straight games since a two-point loss to Watertown Dec. 18. Both Stoughton and Monona Grove are tied atop the conference. Coach Adam Wamsley is encour- Oregon 75, Whitewater 32 aged about the team’s recent play. The Panthers whipped Whitewater “We are still working on attacking the rim,” Wamsley said. “When 75-32 Dec. 28, where they mixed in a press and a 1-3-1 zone to stymie the we get both aspects going we will be Whippets in Oregon. tough.” Uhl scored a game-high 12 points and knocked down two 3-pointers. Oregon 70, McFarland 45 Schrimpf added 11 points, and PeterThe Panthers made 10 three-point- son added 10 and hit two 3s. ers Tuesday, Jan. 8 en route to a 70-45 Statz pitched in eight points. Junior nonconference win over McFarland in guard K.T. Schwass and senior guard Oregon. Vanessa Goltz each added seven. Junior guard Liz Uhl scored a teamhigh 13 points. Senior Jenna Statz Oregon 82, Burlington 17 drilled four 3s for 12 points. Schrimpf scored a game-high 16 Junior guard Kaitlyn Schrimpf, points Dec. 20 to power the Panthers senior forward Peyton Spilde and to an 82-17 win over Burlington. sophomore guard Carleigh Roberts Schrimpf did most of her damage each added eight points. on layups on the break and slashing to the basket. She added six steals and Oregon 55, Fort Atkinson 40 five rebounds. Wamsley had Oregon switch to a Oregon raced out to a 45-15 lead 1-3-1 zone in the second half Jan. 4, at the half. The Panthers outscored

Burlington 37-2 in the second half. Senior guard Katie Eisele added 10 points and junior guard Brinlee Hall pitched in eight points.

Watertown 45, Oregon 43 The Panthers were one final shot away from sending the game to overtime against a Watertown team and its signature 1-3-1 zone that features two 6-foot players. Peterson had her shot partially blocked on an in-bounds play with 11 seconds to go and the Panthers couldn’t grab the rebound and lost a nail-biter to Watertown 45-43. Oregon jumped out to a 16-14 lead at the half. The Goslings built a 10-point lead in the second half with a 16-0 run before Oregon rallied. Roberts added 12 points. Uhl pitched in 10 points.

Stoughton 76, Oregon 64 Stoughton switched to a 2-3 zone late in the first half of a road battle against the Vikings Dec. 14. The Vikings’ zone and man defenses helped contain the Panthers’ shooters, as Oregon shot 35.5 percent (21for-59), and lost to the Vikings 76-64. Uhl scored a game-high 21 points and drilled three 3-pointers. Roberts added 12 points and Schrimpf chipped in 11.

January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star


West swimming: Defending champs keep rolling Continued from page 1 free (47.14) and fifth in the 200 free (1:45.11). Miller placed fourth in the 200 IM (1:59.76) and Weiss was fifth (2:00.88). Weiss added a fourthplace finish in the 100 back (53.12) and Bensch took fourth in the 100 fly (52.29).

Parker double dual West swept a double dual against Janesville Parker and Beloit Memorial Friday, Jan. 4. The Regents won nine of the 11 events. West rolled to a 125-45 win over Janesville Parker and knocked off Beloit Memorial 116-54. The Regents dominated every freestyle race. Feller won the 50 free (22.41) and Ethan Dong took first in the 100 free (51.06) and the 100 breaststroke (1:03.09). Fernandez finished first in the 200 free (1:51.79). The Regents also won the 200 free relay (1:29.95). Jekel won the 200 IM (1:55.51) and Miller won the fly (54.72). Casey took first in the 100 back (53.78) and the Regents won the 200 medley relay (1:40.84).

Parker relays West won seven of the 10 relays to claim the Janesville Parker Invitational title Saturday, Dec. 8. T h e R eg e n t s r a c ke d

up 151 points to outduel Middleton (137) for the championship. The Regents won t h e 4 0 0 m e d l ey r e l a y (3:54.43), 300 back relay (2:37.82), 500 crescendo (4:20.91), 200 breast relay (3:08.36) and the 200 medley relay (1:39.4). We s t a l s o c a p t u r e d titles in the 200 free relay (1:28.64) and the 800 free relay (7:32.73).

Janesville Craig double dual The Regents decimated a double dual Janesville Craig and Sun Prairie Friday, Dec. 7. The Regents swept all 11 events Dec. 7 against Janesville Craig and Sun Prairie in a Big Eight Conference double dual at Craig High. Madison West defeated the Cougars, 275-46, and the Cardinals, 231-109. Casey won the 100 free (48.31) and the 200 free (1:47.94). Jekel won the 100 fly (52.63) and 100 breast (1:00.23). Bensch finished first in the 500 free (4:59.10) and Fernandez took the top spot in the 50 free (22.83). Miller took first in the 200 IM (2:03.31).The R eg e n t s w o n t h e 2 0 0 medley relay (1:37.65), 200 free relay (1:28.32) and 400 free relay (3:18.63).

VAHS girls: Wildcats top No. 10 Divine Savior Holy Angels Continued from page 2 game-high 18 points in the second half to lead the Wildcats to a 58-52 win over the Warriors in the Ab Nichols championship game. Sophomore guard Katie Pederson added 13 points and Briggs pitched in 11. Rae had 10 points and five blocked shots. “We need other girls to look for scoring opportunities, and they did that in this tournament. That is a huge reason for our success,” Murphy said. “We need to take some scoring pressure off Smith and Briggs and kids are doing that.” Smith had two points in the first half, but the Wildcats led the Warriors 25-20 at the break. “Kids know we can win regardless of who is scoring,” Murphy said.

Verona 72, DSHA 64 With Smith’s quickness and some athletic wing players, it’s only natural a coach would want to push the ball. Smith and the Wildcats took Murphy’s coaching to heart Thursday, Dec. 27 in the first-round of the tournament. Smith scored a game-high 28 p o i n t s a n d t h e Wi l d cats raced to a 23-point

second-half lead and hung on for a 72-64 win over Divine Savior Holy Angels. Rae added 15 points, had seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Briggs scored 16 points, and Pederson added six points and had a teamhigh 11 rebounds.

Middleton 65, Verona 49 The Wildcats struggled a t t a c k i n g M i d d l e t o n ’s smothering 1-3-1 zone and lost a road battle to the Cardinals 65-49 Dec. 20. Briggs was the driving force for the Wildcats’ offense, scoring a gamehigh 25 points and drilling five 3-pointers. “They are a good team,” Briggs said. “It’s always a competition with them. I think we ran those new plays well for just learning them. Our goal is to get better every game.” Smith, who scored a game-high 39 points in a two-point loss to Madison Memorial Dec. 11, was limited to two points in the first half as Middleton ran out to a 30-21 lead. Smith caught fire in the second half, going 6-for10 shooting and finished with 18 points.


January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star

Madison West/Edgewood High School

West boys hockey

Regents third in Big Eight behind pair of top-five teams JEREMY JONES

West within a goal, 3-2, entering the third period. Verona leading scorer Mack Keryluk capped his hat trick with a power-play goal midway through the third to ice the win. Hedican had 21 saves.

​Sports editor

The Madison West boys hockey team (11-4-1 overall, 7-3-0 Big Eight) enters the second half of the season trailing a pair of top five ranked teams. The Crusaders sit third in the conference standings behind third-ranked Verona (13-12-2, 9-0-0) and fifthranked Sun Prairie (11-2-0, 8-1-0).

West 5, Memorial 4 Madison West opened up a 3-1 lead with three second-period goals Dec. 21 and then held on in the third to beat Madison Memorial 5-4. Senior forward Nico Rahabhat, Jiang and Baldwin each had a goal and an assist. Senior forward Max Chambers and Horein also scored. Hedican had 37 saves.

West 6, Beloit 0 The state’s top returning goal scorer, senior forward Drake Baldwin, scored three goals and set up two more Jan. 5 as the Regents cruised to a 6-0 win over Beloit Memorial. He leads the team with 31 goals and 45 points. Senior forward Felix Jian added two goals and sophomore forward Alex Duchemin assisted on a pair in the conference win. Sophomore goaltender Ian Hedican had 10 saves in the blowout.

Sun Prairie 4, West 3

West 6, Lakers 1 Freshman forward Eric Horein scored four goals and assisted another Jan. 3 as West cruised to a 6-1 conference win over the Madison La Follette East co-op. Baldwin added two goals and a pair of assists and sophomore goaltender Avery Pliner had 15 saves.

Culver’s Cup The Regents went 2-1 at the Culver’s Cup Dec. 27-29 inside Madison Ice Arena. West opened the tournament with a 6-5 win over West

Photo by Jeremy Jones

Madison West goaltender Ian Hedican stops Verona junior forward Cale Rufenacht on a third period breakaway Dec. 22. The Regents lost the Big Eight Conference game 4-2. Salem. The Regents followed that up with a 5-3 win against Baldwin-Woodville and 5-1 loss to Madison Memorial in the championship game. The Regents took a twogoal lead with three goals in the second period but needed to weather a third-period storm to survive with a 6-5 win over West Salem. Junior defenseman Devin Huie scored an even-strength

g o a l , Ko h n a d d e d a short-handed goal and Horein had a power-play goal in the second period. Baldwin added another short-handed goal in the third period for West. Sophomore forward Ryan Buencamino scored his first goal and the game-winner, 10:22 into the third. Pliner had 11 saves. Baldwin-Woodville took a 2-0 lead early in the second

period before West answered with a pair of second period goals and three more in the third to earn a 5-3 victory. Junior defenseman Joe Clark and Jiang each scored in the second period. Senior forward Kaleb Kohn and Baldwin each added a power-play goal in the third. Hedican had 32 saves. West scored first as Baldwin struck 10 minutes into the first

The Regents dropped backto-back games to fifth-ranked Sun Prairie on Dec. 14 and 15, falling 4-3 and 5-2. West rallied from a 3-0 deficit with two second period goals from Baldwin and another from Huie. The Cardinals iced the game 3:29 into the third period, however, with a power-play goal from Roger Schoenike. Hedican had 28 saves in the loss.

period but Madison Memorial responded with five-unan- Sun Prairie 5, West 2 swered goals to close out the A day earlier, the Regents championship game. dropped a 5-2 conference game to the Cardinals. Sun Verona 4, West 2 Prairie scored twice on the The Crusaders fell behind power play in the first 28 minearly Dec. 22 on the road to utes to build a 3-0 lead. third-ranked Verona and were West tried to rally with a unable to dig their way out, pair of Baldwin goals but it falling 4-2. was as close as the Regents Baldwin and Kohn scored would get. in the second period to pull Hedican made 28 saves.

Edgewood boys hockey

Crusaders remain undefeated in Badger South Conference JEREMY JONES

in the win. Cody Menzel added a pair past Panther senior goaltender Hunter of goals and an assist. Zach Walker (17) Newton for the game-winner. “He threw the puck on net. Huntand Cam Broderick (10) combined for 27 er didn’t seal that post up, and the puck The Edgewood boys hockey team saves. banked in,” Oregon coach Larry Clemens (11-4-0 overall, 6-0-0 Badger South) Showdown in Titletown said. “It’s an awkward place for goalies, remained undefeated in conference and Edgewood pulled its biggest upset and as much as we want to say it’s an an honorable mention on the state poll of the season so far Dec, 27, defeating easy save, it’s a tough spot with a lot of through the first half of the season. Of the Crusaders four losses, half have Notre Dame 3-1 in the opening round of traffic.” Rothering said Smith “made a good come against Verona, including a sea- the Showdown in Titletown. Sophomore forward Nathan Walker opened the scor- read” after getting in position. son-opening 5-2 loss on Nov. 20. “When you get to overtime, no puck Edgewood won 10 straight following ing with a power-play goal and Teddy the loss, including a 3-1 win over Notre Kluesner and Weis helped the Crusad- on net is a bad shot,” he said. Menzel scored in the first period and Dame at the Showdown in Titletown ers close out the win with even-strength holiday tournament. The Crusaders were goals in the second and third periods, Weis netted a power-play goal with 2:33 unable to carry the momentum through- respectively. Walker finished with 23 left in regulation to force overtime. Walker finished the game with 19 saves. out the rest of the tournament, though, saves on 24 shots. A young team with just three seniors, In the second round, the Crusadfalling 4-2 against fourth-ranked Superior (12-2-0) and 6-1 to third-ranked Verona ers were tied 2-2 through two periods the Crusaders didn’t have their best night with Superior on Dec. 28. Edgewood in terms of their start but found a way to (12-1-2) in Ashwaubenon. “We’ve gotten a lot better since our was unable to secure the win, allowing win. “That’s the biggest takeaway,” Rotherfirst game for sure,” coach Peter Rother- two-unanswered third period goals in a ing said. “We have a pretty young team to 4-2 loss. Freshman forward Aidan Lenz ing said. “We found a way to get it done.” be honest. We’ve beaten some teams that and Menzel each had a second period Edgewood 9, Stoughton 4 we’ve been a little bit better than, but we power-play goal. Walker finished the Weis and Menzel each scored four have a lot of good competition coming game with 28 saves. The Crusaders closed out the Show- goals and set up four more Dec. 15 as up.” The Crusaders went 1-1 to start the down in Titletown Dec. 29 at the Cor- the Crusaders rolled 9-4. Menzel had two new year, beating Middleton 5-4 and los- nerstone Ice Rink in Ashwaubenon with even strength goals and a short-handing 9-1 to top-ranked University School a 6-1 loss against Verona. Freshman for- ed and power-play goal. Weis had three ward Cooper Fink scored Edgewood’s even-strength goals and a power play of Milwaukee. lone goal in the first period before the goal. USM 9, Edgewood 1 Walker finished with 13 saves. Wildcats scored six-unanswered goals. The Crusaders suffered their worse Edgewood 3, Oregon 2 (OT) Edgewood 8, Milton 2 loss of the season Jan. 8 inside LaBahn Edgewood had four straight conferWeis scored five goals as Edgewood Ice Arena against the University School ence wins prior to the Showdown in cruised to an 8-2 win over Milton on of Milwaukee. Titletown, which culminated with a 3-2 Dec. 14 at LaBahn. Stracka and Lenz Edgewood 5, Middleton 4 win in overtime Dec. 20 against second each added a goal and two assists and sophomore forward Nathan Walker had Edgewood allowed four goals in the place Oregon (7-4-0, 5-1-0). Junior forward Payton Smith netted the a goal and an assist in the blowout. Cam second period Jan. 5 but rallied for a 5-4 win against the Cardinals inside Capitol game winner 2:43 into overtime. Smith Broderick had 18 saves. skated with the puck around the back of The win came on the heels of a 7-1 win Ice Arena in Middleton. Leading scorer, junior forward Thomas the net. The sharp-angle shot near the over McFarland on Dec. 11 and a 10-0 Weis, scored a hat trick and had an assist goal line ricocheted through traffic and drubbing of Monona Grove. ​Sports editor

Photo by Jeremy Jones

Freshman Abby Nutini makes an arm save on a breakaway Jan. 3 against Badger Lightning forward Kaylee Engal. Nutini finished with 20 saves in her first start. The Metro Lynx won the game 9-0.

Lynx: Girls tied for third Continued from page 2 odd-man rushes and breakaways but couldn’t capitalize.”

Viroqua 2, Metro Lynx 0 The Metro Lynx outshot Viroqua 49 to 20 on Dec. 15 but could not solve Blackhawks goaltender Abigail Severson. The Lynx had several rebound chances in

t h e fi n a l t w o p e r i o d s but dropped the Badger Conference matchup 2-0 inside Madison Ice Arena. “We had tremendous p r e s s u r e , bu t A b i g a i l stopped everything that came her way,” coach Mike McKersie said. Metro Lynx freshman Camryn McKersie made 18 saves on the night, including a breakaway in the third period.

January 11, 2019

Fitchburg Star


Hockey: Third-ranked Wildcats undefeated in conference, suffered first loss to Wausau Continued from page 1

he bailed us out.” Preston Ploc scored an empty-net, power-play goal with three seconds remaining to ice the game. Marshall thought the Wildcats moved the puck well, almost too much at times. “We should have shot the puck a little more, but that’s been our demise all year,” he said. “We hold onto the puck too much in a game like this, trying to look for that wide-open net.” Friday was the second time Verona had defeated Madison Memorial (7-8-0, 3-5-0) this season. The Wildcats defeated the Spartans, 2-1, on Dec. 15. Wildcat senior defenseman Jake Osiecki and Rufenacht helped Verona build a 2-0 lead early in the third period of that game, and sophomore Kaden Grant had 26 saves. Despite holding a 2-0 lead early in the third period again Friday, Rufenacht said this time felt different. “Mack getting that goal early in the third kind of put them on their heels,” he said. “With Kaden playing the game of his life in net, that gave us even more momentum with a two-goal lead.”

Verona 8, Beloit 1 Photo by Jeremy Jones

Sophomore goaltender Kaden Grant (31) makes one of his 26 saves Friday against Madison Memorial. tournament at Cornerstone Rinks in Ashwaubenon. The Wildcats (11-1-2 overall, 7-0-0 Big Eight) beat the honorable-mention Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes 5-3 in the opening round but dropped a 4-3 game to eighth-ranked Wausau West in the second round. The loss set up a second showdown with sectional rival Madison Edgewood for third place, which Verona dominated 6-1 behind six different goal scorers.

and sophomore Kaden Grant stopped 29 shots on goal Saturday as the topranked Verona boys hockey team beat Madison West 4-2.

Verona 2, Memorial 1

period. Spartan center Parker Lindauer cut the Verona lead in half :26 into the third period. Memorial called time out with 1:33 remaining for an extra attacker but were unable to find an equalizer. Verona sophomore goaltender Kaden Grant posted 26 saves, including 11 in the second period. Wes Turner stopped 14 shots in the first period and made another 10 of his 29 saves in the third.

Junior forward Cale Rufenacht and Madison Memorial exchanged goals 26 apart early in the third period Saturday but the Wildcats survived for a 2-1 conference win inside the Verona Ice Arena. Senior defenseman Jake Osiecki scored two minVerona 4, West 2 utes into the second period Verona 6, Middleton 2 T h e Wi l d c a t s s c o r e d Junior forward Mack and Rufenacht added a secKeryluk scored a hat trick ond goal 2:30 into the third six straight goals Friday,

S e n i o r f o r wa r d R y a n Mirwald and Keryluk each scored twice Tuesday as the Wildcats cruised, 8-1, inside Beloit’s Edwards Ice Arena. Verona had five different goal scorers in total as senior Drew Dingle, juniors forwards Walker Haessig and Ryan Ritter and freshman forward Brooks Brazeau each added a goal. Purple Knight goaltender Aidan Wright stopped 75 of a whopping 83 shots on goal. He had 29 saves in the first period, 24 in the second and 22 in the third. Ve r o n a j u n i o r B r ey d e n Enloe faced just 13 shots and never more than five in a period.



chances. The junior got behind the defense before toe-dragging the puck back into his body and beating Spartan goaltender Wes Turner high over his glove and into the short-side corner with his backhand. “Mack dropped off a nice little saucer pass, and I was able to go around the backside and slip a backhander through,” Rufenacht said. “It was a big momentum shift for us. It got Memorial off its game and got us rolling.” Keryluk added his team-leading 24th goal 2 minutes, 7 seconds into the third period, getting behind the Spartans’ defense for a breakaway goal thanks to a long outlet pass through the neutral zone by Haessig. “Walker made a great pass right on the tape,” Marshall said. “Memorial plays a really defensively sound game when they don’t have the puck and kind of trap you in the zone at times. If you can beat it, you get some high rewards.” Grant, who faced three shots in the first period, took care of the rest with 14 saves in the second period and 13 in the third. Showdown in “Kaden has come up huge for us in a couple Titletown games,” Marshall said. “We Verona boys hockey suftook a couple penalties fered its first loss of the in the second period, got season Dec. 27-29 at the trapped in our zone and just Showdown in Titletown lost some momentum, and

including five in the second period, and won a 6-2 conference game against Middleton. The Cardinals led 1-0 a little more than one minute into the first period. Verona forward Leo Renlund answered six minutes later with a short-handed goal. Walker scored twice in the second period. Michael Fischer, Parker Ploc and Mack Keryluk also added a goals. Grant made 27 saves for the Wildcats. Luigi Pugliese (22) and Noah Hogan (3) combined to make 25 saves for Middleton.

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January 11, 2019

Oregon schools

Fitchburg Star

Thinking big, working together at RCI Real-world challenges highlight new STEAM class

Catapult grand finale The students’ final project for the first semester is a “catapult unit,” one of the things students said they most wanted to do in the class when they were surveyed last year. They each will create catapults using craft sticks, rubber bands and a spoon to launch a marshmallow onto a target, going through the engineering design process to test, tweak and retest their designs. The unit will commence with a grand tournament, with the students unleashing their catapults. “They are having great discussions about what changes will change different variables (forces, directions, height, distance,” RCI fifth-grade STEAM teacher Michelle Minter said in an email to the Star.

SCOTT DE LARUELLE Unified Newspaper Group

Photo by Emilie Heidemann

Annabell Schwartz and Jacy Andrew, RCI fifth-graders, build a catapult for their STEAM class. their sense of wonder, flex their creative muscles and participate in the important work of solving world problems.” S h e s a i d i n p r ev i o u s years, students in those grades had “tech tools” classes that taught computer and technology skills, but now the program is more integrated into the district’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) curriculum. “The elementary schools

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Building bridges

Some projects start as science or engineering problems and then involve the other disciplines. In one project, students were given a challenge by the “mayor of Steamville” to build a new bridge. Working in teams with a predetermined budget and assigned roles – with only toothpicks as the main building material – students Thinking big Other projects work the had to figure out what the bridge should look like, other way, starting with

a social issue and finding ways to involve engineering or math. For a “global issues” unit, students explored environmental and human issues and ways they could create beneficial change. Students used Padlet, an online social sharing site for groups and classrooms, to brainstorm and share questions. One example students c a m e u p w i t h wa s t h e “Kancer Killer,” a device programmed to detect and attack only cancerous cells, while also delivering vitamins to the body. Minter said one student noted how “in current cancer treatments, people get very weak and sick when they go through treatment because the medicine damages both healthy and cancerous cells.” Students took their invention designs to Tinkercad and made a 3D digital prototype, and some of the designs will be selected to be printed on the 3D printer. “It was really impressive to see how invested students were in their learning, and what great ideas they were able to come up with,” she said. Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at

What’s online

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superintendent Brian Busler said, with a goal to provide students with interdisciplinary learning opportunities linking science, technology, engineering, arts and math – an extension of the more common STEM curriculum that has caught on all over the country in recent years. He said the new STEAM class at RCI is designed to bridge STEAM curriculum between elementary and middle schools. “We are building the program from the ground up,” he said in an email to the Star.

what supplies they should order and how far off the wa t e r t h e b r i d g e d e c k should be so the river can still be used recreationally, because Steamville relies on tourism. Students researched types of bridges and explored an online “shapes lab” to figure out what shapes will make their bridge the strongest. Once built, students had to market their bridge by recording a short video describing why their bridge is the best for Steamville. Students and parents then watched the videos and voted on their favorite three bridges. Minter said the greatest learning in this project was students “figuring out how to work together toward one common goal when there are different ideas on the table.” “Students had plenty of opportunities to share their ideas, listen to others’ ideas and then take turns weighing the pros and cons of each to decide on the best solution for the group,” she said. “Students are practicing seeing things from a different perspective, yet advocating for ideas they feel passionate about.”

Read these and more Oregon School District stories at

OSD schools receive health awards When it comes to healthy schools in Wisconsin, you can’t top the Oregon School District. Once again, all six district schools earned “gold” ratings in the 2017-2018 Wisconsin School Health Awards, announced last month by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. An award ceremony was held Dec. 5 in Wisconsin Dells.

Prairie View administrative intern settles in Anna Seidenstricker, a “Badger at heart” is getting a chance to attend her “home” university, after all, through an Oregon School District program to help its educators gain experience and opportunities in administration.

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do a great job of fostering a sense of curiosity and wonder, and when they get to fifth grade, traditionally we start seeing things getting a little more rigor in the curriculum,” she told the Star last week. Minter said it’s great to start teaching STEAM concepts to students at that age because they “still have that feeling that they can make a difference, and that innocence to think, ‘I can do anything, I can change the world.’” “They are still excited about learning new things, so it’s a great time to capitalize on that sense of wonder they have and hope it lasts a little bit longer and help them realize that they can apply that learning toward making a difference,” she said. “And fifth-graders can make a difference in the world, just like adults, and maybe more, because they don’t see the roadblocks that adults do.” The district began its STEAM initiative around eight years ago, district


Building bridges, curing cancer – it’s all in a semester’s work for fifth-graders at Rome Corners Intermediate School. The group is participating in the school’s first dedicated STEAM course this year. The district describes the course, split into two semesters so all fifth-graders can attend, as a “handson/minds-on class that focuses on applying the engineering design process to learn and develop solutions to problems.” Fifth-grade teacher Michelle Minter had previously taught at Oregon Middle School before taking a hiatus in real estate and is in her first year at RCI. She said the goal is to eventually transition into a full STEAM program at grades 5 and 6. “Fifth-graders are starting to become much more aware of themselves and their world and are thinking big thoughts and asking big questions,” Minter said. “STEAM class gives them another place in school where they can hold on to

Verona schools

January 11, 2019

Food drive reaches goal The Verona Area High School food drive surpassed its goal for the first time in adviser Megan Wenn’s 11 years leading the effort. The drive, which ended with a seventh and final collection Wednesday, Dec. 19, collected more than 20,000 pounds of food to donate to Badger Prairie Needs Network. The group also collected $987.29 in money to donate. Read more at Photo submitted

The Verona Area High School food drive team poses with their last delivery to Badger Prairie Needs Network, which put them over the 20,000-pound goal they had set.

SCOTT GIRARD Unified Newspaper Group

Parents looking to choose something other than their neighborhood school might get to apply to their top two in coming years. But not this fall. Since the first two charters’ inception in the early 1990s, and as other choice programs like Two Way Immersion have been created here, the district has required parents to apply to only one. But school board members asked late last year if there could be a way to allow for two choices and have them be ranked. While nothing will change for the current enrollment period, which begins Jan. 10 and ends Feb. 15, administrators and the board are considering how it would affect the lottery system and outreach. With several complicating factors, including charters’ struggles attracting diverse populations and the prospect of making the system more complex, the board directed administrators to come back with some potential solutions for further discussion as soon as February.

Some schools have had trouble attracting enough enrollment to fill their open spots in recent years. Administrators who had analyzed the idea told the board Monday it could help fill those openings, with students not getting their first choice going to a different school. The board agreed to wait to make any changes until later this year – meaning it could go into effect for the 2020 enrollment process – rather than try to put something together within two weeks. “I would rather do it right than do it fast,” said board member Meredith Stier Christensen. Administrators told the board they fear it would exacerbate racial and socioeconomic disparities between the charters and the other attendance area schools. “For some on the team, it was a ‘no’ right away, unless it leads us to a better process that helps us ensure more diversity,” said director of student services Emmett Durtschi. “It could create an opportunity to think about how are we actually going about that process right now?” That left some board m e m b e r s wo n d e r i n g i f there was a way to counteract that and use the change as an opportunity to spur different ways of reaching out to those communities. Director of instructional

equity and bilingual programming Laurie Burgos told the group adding a second choice that parents could put down when applying to programs would not likely solve the diversity problem. “ I f i t ’s r e a l l y a b o u t increasing diversity at the schools, then the timeframe seems to be more of an issue than the number,” Burgos said. Board members discussed the idea of asking charters to leave a certain number of spots open during the spring enrollment period for summer enrollment, which could include parents who were not thinking as far ahead as their children prepare to begin school. “I still encounter district residents who say, ‘I didn’t even know that was a choice,’” said board member Kristina Navarro-Haffner. “It’s better for them to know as much as possible and for us to go out of our way to make sure they know as much as possible.” Superintendent Dean Gorrell said there would be some issues with the timing, and board member Carolyn Jahnke expressed concern about what “assumptions” would be made by charter groups doing outreach looking for diversity.


What’s online Read these and more Verona Area School District stories at

Boundary committee moves to ‘refining’ The Attendance Area Advisory Committee saw the fifth and final option from consultant Mark Roffers Jan. 9, with the conversation now set to shift to refining the options they like. The options for new boundaries that will begin in fall 2020 with the highest support, based on worksheets by the committee, are D and E. Option D would have Sugar Creek and Country View elementaries partner, with one being K-2 and the other for grades 3-5. Option E would put most of the expected growth at Country View and Glacier Edge, in anticipation of a new elementary school being built in the mid2020s. That would require a successful referendum. The committee’s next meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 29. The group is expected to recommend up to three options to the school board, which plans to make a final decision by April.

Upper-grade Chinese discussion continues

Charter choice could expand Change under review would not come before big 2020 switch

Fitchburg Star

Jahnke is a former Governance Council president for Verona Area International School. “(It can lead to) some pretty big leaps and assumptions about people, which is probably not what we want to be encouraging our charters to be doing,” Jahnke said. Administrators also pointed out it could “complicate” the lottery process, which is currently done by random draw. With a twochoice system, they would have to rethink it. Burgos also pointed out that the “charter programs and choice options are quite different,” and allowing parents to put more choices down could lead to them seeking out a certain type of community, rather than way of learning. “Perhaps families aren’t really interested in a different curriculum but a smaller school,” she said. One advantage the administrators identified was the data they could gather on interest in the schools. That was among the reasons behind exploring the idea in the first place. Contact Scott Girard at and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.

The best solution for Chinese language instruction beyond fifth-grade in the Verona Area School District might require some “out-of-the-box” thinking, board members said Jan. 7. With about 20 people in attendance, the board discussed a pair of staffing options presented by administration of how to add Chinese language instruction into the school day for middle and high schoolers. Graduates of the K-5 Verona Area International School charter, 20 of whom are already in Verona Area middle schools, are the impetus behind the conversation, but some board members hope other students could benefit, as well. Parents at the school have pushed for a formal program for the past three years, when students first moved onto middle school. It’s gotten more urgent as the number of VAIS alumni has increased, up to 37 next year, including eight at the high school.

District using new fundraising portal Scrolling through the Verona Area School District’s “Classmunity” site is a bit like scanning the options at a buffet for donors. The web portal, which the district joined in October to add consistency to fundraising efforts, allows staff to put forward their projects for approval from administrators and create a one-stop shop for donating. Efforts include paying down overdue lunch balances and funding a music department trip to New York.

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January 11, 2019

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Fitchburg Star

Cherokee to change start times next year SCOTT GIRARD

Send it here If you have news you’d like to share with readers of The Fitchburg Star, there are many ways to contact us. For general questions or inquiries, call our office at 8459559 or email Our website accepts story ideas, community items, photos and letters to the editor, at Several types of items have specific emails where they can be sent directly.

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have in the past. More details on routes will be available in the fall, though students will no longer be able to acquire a city bus What: Meeting on school day time pass that would allow them to ride change buses outside of the school day. The When: 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. FAQ states that “about 33 percent of 30 the rides used by middle school stuWhere: Cherokee Heights Middle dents are not during school hours.” School, 4301 Cherokee Dr. After-school activities, including through Madison School and ComInfo: munity Recreation and neighborhood centers, are expected to continue as the school works with the programs at the end of a three-year, phased-in to plan for time changes, according to the FAQ. approach. An FAQ document on the school’s Contact Scott Girard at ungreportwebsite also indicates that students and follow him on will begin taking Badger Bus rather Twitter @sgirard9. than the Madison Metro buses they

If You Go

Unified Newspaper Group

Cherokee Heights Middle School will be among the first three in the Madison Metropolitan School District to shift to a later starting time, beginning in the 2019-20 school year. The school day will begin at 8:40 a.m., with dismissal at 3:52 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 2:20 p.m. every Monday for early release. The school will host an informational meeting on the change from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, for parents. The change is part of a districtwide policy approved by the school board last year, and will eventually affect every middle school in the district



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