Page 1

Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Page 1

Ripon Commonwealth Press

20 Wisc 11 on Week sin News ly Single copy — $1 pa Thursday, July 19, 2012 of th per e Year

Issue No. 28 Serving the Ripon community since 1864

Ripon, WI 54971


Fish tale Northern haven? Looking for a cool way to beat the heat? Anglers have been hitting the Mill Pond, which seems to be well stocked with northern pike this summer. See page 3

Our Views

The day Ripon Y R O T IS H e d a m —— That was 20 years ago! ——

by Ian Stepleton

Dead wrong That’s what this weather is — simply wrong. So, how do we make it right? Maybe with a little help from our sister city in England, which has a different problem. See page 4

Peter Kasuboski felt sick to his stomach. “I was going to go out back and puke,” he recalls. “It was going to be a disaster.” It wouldn’t have been a total surprise, either. None of the three test bakes in the preceding weeks had been a success. But now it was the big day, and no one had anticipated this. Ripon was gunning for the “Guinness Book of World Records,” and the frame of the oven holding the dough for the giant cookie was breaking apart. And, frankly, it kind of was Guinness’ fault. “The oven was designed to only hold [enough dough for a] three-quarter inch [cookie], and we had to go for 1 inch,” said Kasuboski, seen in the photo below right, sitting up after putting dough onto the oven frame. Guinness had told the organizers of Riponfest 1992 that it would not add a new

category for “giant cookie” to its book. But then, at the last moment, it relented after identifying a town in England that once had baked a big “biscuit.” The only caveat? That cookie was an inch thick, so therefor Ripon’s had to be, too. “All of our weight calculations no longer applied,” said Lee Prellwitz, then the director of manufacturing at Ripon Foods, which helped in the effort. “The oven was only designed for so many pounds,” Kasuboski said. “This increased the weight quite a bit. “The welds started popping, and I started to get sick to my stomach. I thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t good.’” Panic set in. “I thought, ‘What am I going to do if it fails?’” Kasuboski said. “If everything goes bad, I was going to push it into the middle and have a big cookie-dough wrestling. “It was scary for a while.”

See HISTORY/ page 15


okie o c e h t g n i t Cut

Placing the dough

The World’s l argest cookie !

Could we make history a ga in someday? by Ian Stepleton

When the world-record cookie was created 20 years ago, it baked with more than just a mix of chocolate chips and cook ie dough. Ingredients even more key in its creation may have been ones the thousands of visitors to Riponfest that year never tasted . “You have to come up with creative ideas, and you have to have people that are willing to work to get them done,” said Lee Prellwitz, who helped make the cookie a reality back in 1992, addin g dollars must be available as well. And, 20 years ago, Ripon experienced that “perfect storm ,” as he puts it, that enabled the cookie to be baked. Could it happen again? Could Ripon accomplish some spectacular that the whole world stops to pay attention? thing so “Maybe” seems to be the consensus. The people factor is one hurdle, organizers of the big cookie bake suggest.

Prellwitz admits he worries a nationwide malaise towa rd joining groups could be a problem. “There was a book written several years ago. The name of the book was ‘Bowling Alone,’” Prellwitz said. “Reason for the title is, the number of games bowled [nationally] goes up every year, but leagues goes down. People don’t want that commitmen the number of t.” He fears this trend is reflected locally as well. “I can see what a struggle it is to get members [for servi ce clubs]

See AGAIN/ page 15

Clean sweep Wish you had someone to step in and take care of unwanted errands and chores? This business will do exactly that for you. See page 12

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there ...


Barlow Park School moves to trimesters by Aaron Becker

Back on top This Riponite stepped away from martial arts for years — but you wouldn’t know it. He’s shaken off the rust and headed back to a national tournament. See page 19

RUN, FIDO, RUN! While some cloud formations really live in the eye of the beholder, it seems pretty clear what these cumulus clouds are forming: a pooch trying to escape another animal, possibly another dog, as it charges over the skies of Ripon. Michele Pease Deblock shared this photo with the Commonwealth on its Facebook page last week. Deblock, a Scotts Valley, Calif. resident whose family long has owned a vacation home in Green

Lake, snapped this photo after a recent dinner at Roadhouse. “We were hoping for rain since even in June, it was dry and we were watching the sky, hoping it would hit us, but most of the storm skirted north,” Deblock said. “We saw these clouds as were leaving Roadhouse where the two roads converge. The image was gone after a minute but my husband said ‘What do you see?’ We both agreed it was a dog chasing a dog.”

Fewer report cards, but more individual conferences between teachers and parents. That’s the new strategy being implemented at Barlow Park Elementary School when children return in September. The Ripon Area School Board approved switching to trimester report cards for grades K-2 at Barlow Park at the regular board meeting Monday. That means three report cards will be sent annually rather than four. At the same time, Barlow Park classroom teachers will be stepping up the time for parent-teacher conferences, with at least two per school year. School Board members made this change 9-0. Principal Myra Misles-Krhin told the board this new change could be “a pilot [program], if nothing else.” Some teachers likely will be

See BARLOW/ page 18

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - Page 1

Ripon Commonwealth Press

Issue No. 18 Serving the Ripon community since 1864


Queen Jessie, King Michael

Rain, rain

JESSIE SHIRODA AND Michael Birschbach were crowned Ripon High School’s 2012 Prom queen and king Saturday afternoon in the school auditorium. For more photos from the pre-prom activities, see page 10 and

Storms dump 5” A series of storms last week meant wet basements, flooded fields and a bunch of unhappy Ripon College students with waterlogged cars. See page 3

20 Wisc 11 on Week sin News ly Single copy — $1 pa Thursday, May 10, 2012 of th per e Year

Riponite charged following highspeed chase

Tim Lyke photo

by Aaron Becker

A Ripon teenager who allegedly led police on a dangerous, high-speed chase last week now faces five charges, including two felonies. Troy A. Krueger, 19, 44 Parkway Terrace, was charged last week Friday in Fond du Lac County Court with: ‰ Operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, as a repeater (felony); ‰ Attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer, as a repeater (felony);

Our Views

It’s in the mail When it comes to receiving an envelope from this Green Lake woman, that phrase is cause for celebration. See page 4


New growth You’ve seen the name around the area before: Stuart’s Landscaping. Now you can find it a lot closer to home than ever. See page 12


Thanks, Bob After more than three decades leading Ripon College sports teams, Bob Gillespie coaches his last game for the Red Hawks. See page 19

No snow? That’s OK with school officials

Ripon, WI 54971

‰ Misdemeanor battery, as a repeater; ‰ Criminal damage to property, as a repeater; ‰ Disorderly conduct, as a repeater. Krueger could face a maximum penalty of $41,000 in fines and more than 10 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Court records indicate Krueger is a felon (convicted of burglary of a building in 2011) and has a criminal history in court. Last week’s incident alleg-

See CHASE/ page 18

The hole truth: Rescued fowl are lucky duckies

by Aaron Becker

No snow is good snow — at least in terms of the Ripon Area School District’s budget. The mild winter of 2011-12 brought not only cost-savings for snow removal and salting on school grounds, but also broke a trend that goes back years: Not a single snow day or delay due to weather. “First time in [at least] eight years — since I’ve been here,” Superintendent Richard Zimman explained. The district can schedule three snow days that don’t need to be made up, because e x t r a irst time in minutes [at least] are alr e a d y eight years — since a d d e d I’ve been here.” to each Richard Zimman school Superintendent day to meet the state requirement, Zimman said. But this past winter, it wasn’t even a question — with no snow days or delays. That means students will get out for the summer on time, and the district saved money through less snow and ice removal. “We used less salt; there were less staff hours that had to be put into clearing the grounds,” Zimman said. The district’s plowing and salting expenses were the lowest in at least the last four winters. An itemized breakdown went as follows: ‰ 2008-09 $21,965 ‰ 2009-10 $16,223 ‰ 2010-11 $24,011 ‰ 2011-12 $10,872 Zimman indicated it can be tricky to predict the necessary budget in this area. “We don’t budget for the worst winter in 40 years every year,” Zimman said. “Because most of the time, you would be taking in excess money and that’s not fair to taxpayers to be doing that, so we try to shoot for the average.” The school district does have one advantage over the city with regard to budgets, though: “Unlike the city — because we have a fiscal year budge from July to June — the winter falls all within one budget year,” Zimman said.


hen Ripon Police officer Mark Preissner an animal rescue call last week ThursWtook day, he could have

considered it an afternoon down the drain. But the avid hunter put aside his temptation to place a distraught Mama Duck on his plate, and instead helped pen one amazing duck tale fit for a children’s book. TEN DUCKLINGS WAIT while dangers such as broken glass surround them. Call it the softer, fluffier side of local law enforcement. sorts of dangers: broken bottles, drain lines heading to parts unknown. These babies were in trouble. Chapter 1: Mama Duck knew it. Though wary of the crowd of humans gathTrouble brews ering around the drain hole, Mama wouldn’t leave her family. t was shortly after 3 p.m. Those humans, meanwhile, had a problem: the hole was narrow, when the call came in to the drop deep. Ladders would be too big, arms too short. OFFICER MARK Preissner the Ripon Police Department: a What to do? peers into the drain, where man walking near the back side of Ripon Drug encountered a rather a group of ducklings sit Chapter 2: upset Mama Duck. stranded. Ian Stepleton photo Getting help Evidently, her little ducklings t was time — only hours after hatching in to find help. their nest outside Ripon College’s Farr Hall of Science — had fallen Biologists from Ripon through a storm sewer cover, and came to rest about 8 feet down. College were called in Mama was not happy, by a bystander, while and she was telling the Officer Preissner rang world about it. public works employIt seemed the rescue of ee Randy Cluppert. the downy ducks would be Each arrived feeling up to Officer Preissner. equally perplexed. He peered down the MAMA DUCK speaks with duckling No. That’s when Mama hole, and counted: 1, 2, 3, 11 in a second storm drain. Duck leaned over a 4, 5 ... second drain cover, Ten little ducklings this time just outside could be seen splashing Ripon Drug’s back door, and began to quack nervously. around, surrounded by all MAMA DUCK stays close by.



Story and photos by Ian Stepleton

See DUCKIES/ page 15

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - Page 1

Ripon Commonwealth Press

INSIDE REMEMBER: Set your clocks

Issue No. 44 Serving the Ripon community since 1864

City-hired attorney reviewing development agreement for possible changes, direction by Ian Stepleton

As a second project completion date came and went Tuesday without any apparent work being done by Boca Grande Capital LLC, movement is afoot, though not necessarily with the downtown developer. An outside attorney hired by the city of Ripon continues to analyze

Our Views

the developer’s agreement reached two years ago with Boca, which also has been doing business as Ripon Renew. Attorney Bruce Block of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C. of Milwaukee was hired in midSeptember to offer an independent evaluation of a developer’s agreement reached in October 2009 with Boca Grande regarding its downtown revitalization process.


Still rolling After 40 years putting wheels on Ripon residents, the Baird family is going strong — and sees growth in its future. See page 12


Wheel good Recognize this guy? No? How about take him off the court and put him at Ripon Middle School. Now do you recognize this teacher? See page 17

included speaking with Hugh O’Halloran, attorney for Boca and its principal, Jim Connelly. “[Block] has initiated initial contact with the attorney for Boca/ Ripon Renew, and he has indicated he will be getting back with us within the next couple weeks regarding our next course of action,” Wurtz said. Wurtz went on to explain Block’s goal is “to identify areas of the developer’s agreement that need to be reviewed — specifically, by the city, that may call for modification.”

He explained that “everything is on the table. He is trying to educate himself, and as part of the process, he is communicating with the attorney for Boca/Ripon Renew.” While Block continues his review, Boca apparently continues to fall further behind on its project timeline. A call to Connelly to discuss the projects and the timetable was not returned. Project B-5, a renovation of 217 Watson St. (otherwise known

See BOCA/ page 15

911 gets the fastest response, but sometimes cell calls go unexpected places by Ian Stepleton

These weren’t costumes for the office Halloween party. Just another Friday night dinner for this Ripon-area family. See page 4

Block is authorized, per the city’s decision, to bill up to $5,000 for that review, without additional approval. At almost $500 an hour for his work, that gives him about 10 hours of billable work time. City Administrator Lori Rich explained she has “met with the attorney and with Lud” Wurtz, Ripon city attorney and the individual in charge of monitoring Block’s progress. “We went over the agreement and any questions he had; he did request some additional information.” According to Wurtz, that has

Who answers when you call 911? 911: Fond du Lac County 911. Where’s your emergency? Caller: Between Ripon and Green Lake on Highway 23. Two cars just crashed. 911: OK, can you tell me exactly where exactly you are at on 23? Caller: I’m just before J. (breathing) 911: Just before J? Caller: Oh, people are crying. Oh, please hurry. 911: Oh, no, that’s OK. I just need to find out exactly where you are at. Are you still in Green Lake County, or are you in, are you in Fond du Lac County? Caller: I’m in Fond du Lac County. 911: OK, because we don’t have a County Trunk Highway J, so that’s why I need for you — Caller: A! A! A! It’s A! It’s 23, I’m sorry. 911: OK, but I st — Caller: Hello? 911: Yes, I need to know exactly where you are at on 23. Can you see an address or anything? Caller: (sighing) I’m just past Surface and Surroundings ...

Togas & hobos

Ripon, WI 54971

Second Boca deadline missed

BACK Sunday at 2 a.m.

Single copy — $1 Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

It was Wednesday, Oct. 11. Marion Kuster was on her way back to Green Lake after teaching at Murray Park/Quest. It was a drive she’s made hundreds of times over the past 30 years. But this was one she would never forget. “All of a sudden, I saw an explosion of two black objects,” she said, noting there wasn’t flame, just a massive collision. Kuster quickly pulled up to the scene of a violent crash, a 10-50 in police-speak. Two vehicles had collided more or less head-on. The scene was a mess. From one car, Kuster could hear the wails of an injured woman. At the car in front of her, she saw a young man, a teenager judging by the letter jacket in the back seat, slipping in and out of consciousness. She did what we’ve all been trained to do. Kuster punched in 9-1-1 on her cell. What ensued frustrated her. But, as she found out later, the situation that followed may have been unavoidable. As authorities will say, call 911 when an emergency occurs. But don’t be surprised if, when you call on a cell phone, you get a dispatch center for a county other than the one you’re in. That’s the small price to be

To hear the complete call, listen at

paid by having a link to emergency help sitting right in your pocket. frustrating call

Kuster, though, didn’t see it as such at the time. When she saw a badly injured young man in the car, she dialed 911 and expected the dispatcher to say, “We’re sending an ambulance.” Reality differed slightly. “I said [to the Fond du Lac County dispatcher], ‘I’m between Ripon and Green Lake

Fewer $$ may mean fewer books at library long-term

and I need an ambulance,’” Kuster said. “She said, ‘What county are you in?’ She said, ‘Can you see an address on a house?’ I said, ‘No.’ She said, ‘I have to know what county you’re in.’” From Kuster’s standpoint, it was an infuriating waste of precious moments. “All that time that passed with anyone who would be calling, that’s what I’m concerned about,” Kuster said. “They could have bled out,

both of them. Seconds count.” To Kuster, it seemed like an eternity had passed. As she fully admits, she has no idea how long the exchange took; she was “too juiced up on adrenaline” to be sure. “I was very frustrated,” she said. “I couldn’t help this guy; I couldn’t get him any help.” more to the story

Kuster, though, may have been seeing just one part of the bigger picture of the emergen-

cy response for the accident. Jim McNabb, director of communications and emergency government for Fond du Lac County, likens the situation to a jig-saw puzzle. The pieces? Numerous calls that will come in on any given accident — and typically, more than one call is made about a given crash. “Everyone might have a different piece of that puzzle

See 911/ page 16

Don’t cross this crossing guard...

by Jonathan Bailey

The stacks at the Ripon Public Library might shrink over the next several years, but it won’t be noticeable right away. The library’s board of trustees decided to trim its materials (book) budget by approximately $6,600 at last week Tuesday’s meeting. It was the most significant of a number of budget adjustments made to reduce its spending by 5 percent, which the city had asked it to cut. “I laid out a couple of different options,” said Desiree Bongers, library director at the Ripon Public Library. “There were a couple of smaller areas, some periodicals that could have been cut. “The other major portion was looking at Sunday hours and the board really didn’t want to adjust any staffing or services at this point ... so adjusting the book budget was the easiest.” Also seeing a significant budget cut was the account used for the library’s shared automation system, the Winnefox Automated Library Service (WALS). The library board had budgeted additional dollars for computer replacement but ultimately decided it was not necessary. While a few other categories were trimmed slightly, it is the book budget that Bongers said could affect people the most. “We would have less amount of materials for people to checkout,” she said. “We would be focusing more on [continuing to buy] the

ON HALLOWEEN MONDAY a gorilla gave crossing guard Louis Bock the day off in order to hand out bananas to pint-sized pedestrians before escorting them across the street. Murray Park/Quest Elementary students crossing Sunset Avenue are, from left, Morgan Schultz, Sadie See LIBRARY/ page 16 Cumberbatch, Liam Armstrong and Amelia Armstrong. Tim Lyke photo

General Excellence entry 2012  

Each year, we submit entries to the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest. This is our 2012 entry for "General Excellence...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you