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A New Year's Gift

Dec. 31, 2012 12:00 a.m. |

Even though conservatives and Republicans may be upset at the results of the recent banana republic presidential elections (yes, folks - the number of votes in several precincts in Pennsylvania and Ohio outnumbered the residents living in said districts- and many areas went 100% for Obama (unheard of in an honest election).  In addition, the "same day registration" and early voting allowed the cheaters to vote early and vote often.  Here in Wisconsin we witnessed yet again chaos at many polling places (especially in Milwaukee and Racine), with bussed-in voters showing up to overwhelm poll workers, who had no chance of actually challenging whether or not many were voting in their own district - or state, for that matter.  Banana republic? - you bet.  Let's get Voter ID back and ensure honest elections!) - don't lose hope.

Now, for the New Years Gift.  Look at the map above.  From the New York Times.  The red areas went for Romney, the blue for Obama.  (Actually, in the future I would suggest using red  to designate the Dems, since they embrace  socialism/communism.  It would be more appropriate to use "red" ala Mao's little red book and the color of the communist flag of China, to refer to them.)

So in viewing the map, realize that all hope for saving our country is not lost.  Most of the U.S. is NOT in the tank for Obama, despite how the media wishes to portray the political landscape.  Remember, this past election only saw Barry Hussein Obama win by a very small (3.9%) percentage of the popular vote.  Obama won 26 states plus D.C.  Romney won 24 states.  Mandate?  No way. 

At least half the country (and I would venture to say more than half, since approximately 3 million Republicans chose to sit out this past election) wants nothing to do with Obama and his socialist agenda.  That bodes well for the future.  So despair not.  Even though we are in for a rough ride these next four years - with a president who couldn't give a darn about the economy, unemployment, national security, the American dream, or other issues that presidents usually do care about - we will endure.  Hopefully the House and the individual states will block most of the socialist wishes of the Dear Leader.  Four years.  Four long years.  Four long years with an anti-American leader intent at destroying the foundation of the country.  Scary times are ahead, but we will weather the storm.

» Read Full Article

What's next...regulating the Hemingway cats?!?

Dec. 28, 2012 4:20 p.m. | Having visited the Floriday Keys earlier this year, a recent story in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel got my attention.  The story, written by Lizette Alverez of the New York Times, was called:   "Hemingway house in legal cat fight - Museum's 45 six-toed felines are subject to federal regulations."   For those who may not know,  famed author Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for several years.  He penned "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" while living at his estate.  Hemingway committed suicide in 1961.  The beautiful house and lush tropical grounds were purchased after Hemingways death by  Bernice Dixon, who later turned the property into a museum.  The house, the biggest toursit attraction in Key West,  averages 250,000 visitors per year.  Michael Marowski, the great-nephew of Bernice Dixon, is currently the chief executive of the Hemingway home and museum.  

Aside from being designated a National Landmark,  the Hemingway property is home to many cats (approximately 40 to 45 at last count).  Most of them are the "polydactal" variety, meaning they have an extra toe (or claw) on their paws.  (Our family became familiar with the term when we adopted a kitten 8 years ago.  He, too, is a polydactal.  He has big feet that look similar to oven mitts, and the extra toe on each of his front paws is very noticeable - and part of his charm.)  The cats are rumored to be descendants of Hemingway's cat, Snowball, and are said to provide a true "link to the past."

Anyhow, while in the Keys we toured the Hemingway site.  We were treated to seeing many of the cats.  They are, to be blunt, very well-fed, lazy, and have the run of the household.  Visitors are told to refrain from petting them and instructed not to pick them up, and for the most part they are left alone, only to be featured in many pictures taken by  the tourists.  The cats are well-taken care of, with weekly vet visits and most are spayed or neutered.  They really live the good life!

The cats have their own apartment complex, aside from having the run of the main house and grounds.

» Read Full Article

Visitation and gathering Saturday for Pewaukee's Dick Olson

Dec. 28, 2012 12:51 p.m. | Life long sports enthusiast, Richard “Dick” Olson, of Pewaukee, died Saturday of complications of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS/Leukemia).
He leaves his best friend and devoted wife of 35 years, Elizabeth “Libby” Olson of Pewaukee and his daughter Kristin (Scott) Stein and grand-dogs Riley and Murphy of Menomonee Falls. He is preceded in death by his siblings Laura (George) Kueppers, Kathie Schmitz, and Edward (Barb) Olson as well as many other family members and friends.


Born December 29th, 1946. Graduated from Cretin High School (MN) and received his B.A. from St. Thomas College (MN).
Retired from Target Distribution Center of Oconomowoc. His body is being donated to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
He was a lover of all sports, and followed a variety of area prep sports and athletes closely. He also enjoyed watching baseball, football, and his lifetime passion, golf. He was an avid golfer and even got a hole in one.
In honor of his birthday a 10 a.m. to noon visitation will be held at
Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, N35W23360 Capital Dr.,
Pewaukee, on Saturday, December 29th with a Memorial Mass to
follow. All friends and families are invited to attend a luncheon at
Doc’s Dry Dock Sports Bar, N38W27091 Parkside Lane, Pewaukee,
WI 53072.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center in name of Dr. Ehab Atallah, MD Medical Research Program. C/O Director of Development, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226.
 

Enjoy some winter sports in the New Year

Dec. 28, 2012 12:22 p.m. | To have weekend entertainment events listed in Weekend Happenings, fax (262) 367-1136 or email happenings@jcpgroup.com. Make sure the time, date and place are included. Deadline is noon Monday.

ART

The Art of Layering — Creative Color: Janet Hudachek, Connie Pelzek, and Marcia Schneider: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 2-4; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 5; 12-4 p.m. Jan. 6; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 7-11; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 12 (through Feb. 15), Almont Gallery, 342 W. Main St., Waukesha. http://www.almontgallery.org/.

Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) Exhibit: 12-5 p.m. Jan. 6, 11-13, 18-20, 25-26, Whitewater Arts Alliance Cultural Arts Center, 402 W. Main St., Whitewater. http://www.whitewaterarts.org/.

BOOKS

» Read Full Article

Two tournament wins for Arrowhead

Dec. 28, 2012 10:32 a.m. | The first two rounds of the Milwaukee Admirals Cup high school boys hockey tournament turned out to be successful ones for the red-hot Arrowhead Warhawks.

Playing at home at the Mullett Ice Center, Arrowhead whipped Milwaukee Marquette on Wednesday night, 5-2, and then trounced Whitefish Bay on Thursday afternoon, 7-3. The two wins vaulted the Warhawks into the tournament championship game on Friday (Dec. 28) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee against Cedarburg.

The game was played after holiday deadlines for this edition of the Lake Country Reporter.

The win over Whitefish Bay (11-2) was the second straight for Arrowhead (8-2-1) and seventh in its last nine games. Earlier in the season, the Warhawks stopped Whitefish Bay by a 5-4 score. The Warhawks have handed the Storm both their losses this season.

In the victory over Marquette (3-4-1), the Warhawks scored first and never trailed in the game. The Warhawks led 1-0 after the first period and then watched as the Hilltoppers tied the game less than three minutes into the second period.

» Read Full Article

Watt makes Pro Bowl, Defensive POY next?

Dec. 28, 2012 10:30 a.m. | This accolade wasn't really a surprise. The big ones come next.

Pewaukee native and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was unspurpisngly listed as a starter for the AFC when the National Football League Pro Bowl rosters were released Wednesday.

"It's a huge honor," Watt said to the Houston Texans team website. "I'm very fortunate. I give a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches. I really appreciate the respect from peers, other players in the league and coaches and the fans. I really want to say thank you to all the fans who voted."

Watt entered the final week of the season leading the NFL with 20 ½ sacks in just his second year on the job.

The rosters are determined by a vote of fans, coaches and players. Watt won the AFC fan vote as his position for the showcase, scheduled for Jan. 27 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Teams participating in the following week's Super Bowl won't send players to the Pro Bowl, and Watt's Texans are naturally in the mix to fall under that umbrella as AFC South champion.

» Read Full Article

Win autographed photo of Henderson

Dec. 28, 2012 10:30 a.m. | Former Green Bay Packers fullback and Super Bowl champion William Henderson will present "A Night of Inspiration" at the Oconomowoc Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28, covering topics of teamwork, respect and community involvement, with a Q&A session to follow.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 17 and under, available through oac.net.

Young fans can win an 11x14 autographed picture of Henderson ($35 value) by playing our trivia contest. Entrants must be 18 or younger.

Simply answer thesequestions:

1 Henderson is known for wearing No. 33, but when he started with the Packers in 1995, he wore what number?

» Read Full Article

Germantown makes big-time statement

Dec. 28, 2012 10:30 a.m. | Arrowhead boys basketball coach Craig Haase, in his 13th season at the helm at his school, has won conference titles and a state championship. He is generally regarded as a knowledgeable person when it concerns to Wisconsin prep hoops.

He knows a good team when he sees one, and his squad is one of them at 10-2.

So, it is probably safe to say no one will accuse him of exaggeration concerning his remarks after unbeaten Germantown, ranked No. 1 in the state, annihilated his crew by a 100-47 count in the nightcap of the WBBY Shootout at Concordia University on Thursday night.

"The way they do things, they just play with a confidence that I've not seen before," he said of Germantown. "I don't think I've seen anything like them, and I don't think we've ever played against anyone this good.

"They don't have any weaknesses, and they play like they don't have any weaknesses, and that is an extremely tough combination to crack.

» Read Full Article

PHS run sinks Cooney

Dec. 28, 2012 10:30 a.m. | After sleepwalking through the entire first half last Thursday night, Pewaukee's girls basketball team finally answered its wake-up call in the third quarter. And once that happened, the party was over for visiting Oconomowoc.

The Raccoons (2-5) led almost every minute of the first half, stunning the Pirates (8-2) by leading at halftime, 23-21. They kept Pewaukee off-balance midway through the third period, taking their biggest lead of the game at 32-27 after two Sydney Snyder free throws with 3:49 remaining in the quarter.

But that's when the Pirates turned things around, picking up the intensity and going on an impressive 15-1 run that turned that five-point deficit into a 42-33 advantage. That surge continued into the fourth period as Pewaukee eventually made it a 23-4 run, making the score 50-36. PHS ended up winning the game, 60-47.

"In the first half it was like we were slow, stagnant," Pewaukee coach Todd Hansen said. "We were a step slow, and it was like our feet were in cement. It was like we were on Christmas break. You only get so many games and you have to come out and play with some energy, we have to create some things.

"Finally, in the third quarter we turned the switch on and suddenly we're playing at the speed we like to play. That's how we have to play. We're not big. We have to play fast, not crazy, but at a good pace. We finally did that in the third quarter and throughout the half."

» Read Full Article

Watermain break in Oconomowoc

Dec. 28, 2012 10:28 a.m. | City of Oconomowoc - A watermain break in the 500 block of Franklin Street occurred around 10 a.m. on Friday. City crews are conducting repairs. It is expected to be complete within three to four hours.

16 car accident on Highway 16

Dec. 28, 2012 8:11 a.m. |  Due to slippery conditions caused by a freezing rain and temperatures in the high 20s, a 16-car accident took place at 7:45 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 16 westbound at Jungbluth Road just east of Hartland.

Cars and trucks collided with each other, sending many of the vehicles into the ditches on both the north and south-bound lanes. Nobody appeared to receive serious injuries even though several of the vehicles suffered a lot of damage.

Traffic was able to get through the mess via one lane at aout 5 miles per hour.. Four police vehicles were on the scene by 8 a.m. 

Pewaukee girls down Oconomowoc

Dec. 27, 2012 10:26 p.m. |  Pewaukee's girls basketball team stopped visiting Oconomowoc Thursday night in a nonconference game, 60-47. PHS had a 23-4 run in the second half.

Pewaukee (8-2) was led by Abby Gerrits with 17 points, Dani Jasinski 14 and Sarah Caccese had 11.

Sydney Snyder led Cooney with 20 points and Erin Vande Zande had 10.

Court Actions 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 5:56 p.m. | The convictions listed below come straight from the records of Lake Country Municipal Court, Pewaukee Village Municipal Court, Waukesha Municipal Court or City of Pewaukee Municipal Court. To the best of our knowledge, each case is new and distinct. Any repetition of the same conviction is caused by municipal court offices and is not the fault of this newspaper. The convictions are for fines of $100 and greater. Our goal is to publish convictions within about three months of the court date.

Heather L. Markovich, 24, Colgate, following too closely, $114; Alexander Forrest Cochrane, 20, Delafield, possession of controlled substance, $303; Devin M. Obrien, 25, Dousman, retail theft, $366.

Kaitlynn M. Erickson, 21, Hartland, speeding, $114; Colleen D. Hulen, 64, Hartland, speeding, $114; Jeffrey Scott Conn, 41, North Prairie, speeding, $114.

Jean M. Flesch, 69, Oconomowoc, driving wrong way on divided highway, $240; Glen E. Myers, 62, Oconomowoc, speeding, $114; Benjamin D. Romero Gamarra, 20, Oconomowoc, operating with a .suspended license, $114

Amanda L. Bergmann, 19, Pewaukee, speeding, $114; Heather M. Grogan, 31,Pewaukee, speeding, $114, and operating with a suspended license, $114; Jacob J. Treptow, 30, Pewaukee, speeding, $114.

» Read Full Article

Tony Evers pushes for smaller class sizes

Dec. 27, 2012 5:56 p.m. | Madison - State Superintendent Tony Evers is asking the Legislature to fully fund a state program that helps students succeed by reducing class sizes in early grades. The state superintendent's proposed 2013-15 education budget includes $10.9 million for the second year of thebiennium, to ensure the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program can provide participating school districts with the per-pupil payment set down in state law.

"Small class sizes give young children more time with their teachers, and research has shown this can be a powerful way to help them graduate on time and achieve more during their schooling," Evers said. "That's why Wisconsin created the SAGEprogram 16 years ago, but we haven't been able to provide districts with the full support intended by the law."

SAGE helps Wisconsin school districts pay the costs of smaller class sizes, especially for low-income children. Districts that sign a five-year SAGE contract must ensure student-to-teacher ratios of no more than 18:1 or 30:2 in SAGE classrooms at the kindergarten and first grade levels (and optionally in second and third grade SAGE classes). These districts then receive a certain amount of annual funding for each low-income student in the SAGE classes. The per-pupil payment is stipulated in state statute as $2,250, but since the 2007-08 school year, funding has not kept up with increasing demand, and the actual rate has been pro-rated to lower amounts. In 2012-13, actual per-pupil payments were $2,046 per student.

To participate in SAGE, districts must also increase collaboration between schools and communities, implement a rigorous curriculum, and improve professional development and staff evaluation practices.

The number of low-income children in SAGE classrooms has increased five of the last six years. This growth has been fueled primarily byincreasing poverty.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County offers health clinics

Dec. 27, 2012 5:56 p.m. | The Waukesha County Public Health Division (WCPHD), 615 W. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha, offers walk-in services from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Services include TB skin testing, blood pressure screening, adult and child immunizations and pregnancy screening. Public health services are available on a fee for service basis and/or for a nominal fee. Children can receive immunizations for a $7 fee, which may be waived. Adult vaccines range from $8 to $220 and will not be waived. No child will be turned away for inability to pay. Cash, check or Medicaid (T19) are accepted for payment at all sites.

These walk-in services are in addition to the monthly immunization clinics offered throughout the County by the Waukesha County Public Health Division. The services offered by the International Travel Clinic and Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinics will continue to be by appointment only.

The following services are also offered on a first-come, first-served basis: lead screenings from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday; Lipid Panel (fasting cholesterol) screenings.

WCPHD has begun administering the influenza vaccine to the public. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends yearly flu shots for all people ages 6 months and older. All immunizations records must be brought to each clinic, and parent or legal guardian must sign for children being immunized.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (262) 896-8430 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

» Read Full Article

Community Briefs 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 4:36 p.m. |

Donate during National Blood Donor Month

January can be an especially challenging month to collect blood donations because of inclement weather and seasonal illnesses; it is also National Blood Donor Month. Participate in the following blood drives at the Waukesha Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee: 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 and 10, Tuesday, Jan. 8 and 15, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11.

To donate blood or for more information, call (800) 733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Keep vents, gas meters free of snow this season

We Energies reminds customers to avoid the dangers of snow and ice buildup on exhaust vents and natural gas meters. Snow and ice accumulation on furnace vents can lead to potentially deadly carbon monoxide levels in homes. Accumulated snow and ice also can damage natural gas meters, which could lead to potentially dangerous gas leaks. Keeping meters clear also allows We Energies employees to properly service meters in case of emergencies.

» Read Full Article

Community Briefs 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 4:36 p.m. |

ProHealth Care's new sexual health program

Waukesha - ProHealth Care announced a new Women's Sexual Health program at Waukesha Memorial and Oconomowoc Memorial Hospitals.

"We understand that for many women, sexual health is a very personal issue they may be hesitant to talk about," said Sarit Aschkenazi, MD, MS, medical director of the ProHealth Care Women's Sexual Health program. "That's why our program provides a professional and private environment so women can feel comfortable discussing their sexual health."

Approximately 43 percent of American women experience sexual concerns at some point in their lifetimes. Sexual issues may occur at any age. They can result from physical or psychological factors, past or current relationships, stress, trauma, medications and certain medical conditions. However, sexual concerns are often very treatable.

ProHealth Care's medical experts take a personalized approach to each woman's care. A customized care team is created for each patient, based on her diagnosis, treatment plan and goals. Care teams may include advanced practice nurses, physicians, physical therapists,registered nurses, behavioral therapists and other specialists. Each of these clinical professionals is specially trained in the field of sexual health, and is a member of leading national professional organizations.

» Read Full Article

Community Briefs 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 4:36 p.m. |

Branch Club Dinner meetings

The Republican Party of Waukesha County will hold Branch Club Dinner Meetings on the following dates: Monday, Jan. 14, the East Central event will be held at the Venice Club in Brookfield; Monday, Jan. 21, the South Central event will be at La Estacion in Waukesha; Thursday, Jan. 24, the North Central and Western Branch Clubs will hold a joint event at 18 West (formerly Saxe's) in Genessee; Monday, Jan. 28, the South East Branch will hold theirs at Charcoal Grill in New Berlin and Tuesday, Jan. 29, the North East event will be at the Village Bowl in Menomonee Falls.

For details such as times, menu, featured speakers and how to register, visit www.waukeshagop.org or call (262) 542-8532.

Reserve county park space starting Jan. 2

Dec. 27, 2012 4:36 p.m. | Hosting a family reunion, company picnic or planning an outdoor wedding?

The Waukesha County Park System has the venue for you; 2013 reservations begin Wednesday, Jan. 2, starting at 8:15 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 515 W. Moreland Boulevard, Room AC230, in Waukesha. Reservations are first-come first-serve, so we suggest you have a second date or location option. New for 2013: full payment is due at time of booking.

There will be a member of the Parks staff standing outside the main door entrance of the courthouse beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, handing out numbers to those individuals waiting in line. Park personnel will be there until the front doors open at 7:30 a.m. After that time, Park personnel will continue handing out numbers upstairs in the hallway outside Room AC230. If you do not have a number, you will not be able to place a reservation. Walk-ins will be taken care of first, then phone messages and emails, left after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, will be returned in the order that they were received. Messages received BEFORE 8 a.m. will be returned last.

Persons will have to go through security to enter the building. You can always make a reservation through the Park Reservation Desk Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the facilities available on first-come, first-served bases.

You can also purchase your Waukesha County Parks' 2013 Annual Park Entrance Stickers. These entrance stickers are good from date of purchase through Dec. 31, 2013. You can purchase your stickers at: Retzer Nature Center, S14W28167 Madison St.,Waukesha; Eble Park Ice Arena, located at 19400 W. Bluemound Road in Brookfield; Naga-Waukee Park Ice Arena, 2699 Golf Road in Delafield; or the Parks and Land Use Office located at 515 W. Moreland Blvd., Room AC230, in Waukesha or through the entrance hut pay tank at the park locations.

» Read Full Article

2012 in review

Dec. 27, 2012 4:36 p.m. | 2012 was undoubtedly a fast-paced year, filled to the brim with many unforgettable events. This year leaves us with recollections of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, a world record space jump, a presidential election, the death of Whitney Houston, the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and, of course, the tragic news of Hostess going out of business.

The London Summer Olympics was one of my favorite highlights of 2012. It's always inspiring and impressive to see the stamina, control and dedication of the athletes, coaches and families of those who participate in the games. Amazingly, a total of 25 world records were set at this year's games. Records set from the United States came from the help of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter in track and field, along with Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt for swimming.

The Olympic athletes weren't the only ones breaking records throughout 2012. During October, Felix Baumgartner attempted a daredevil 24-mile sky dive. On that remarkable day, he broke not only one world record, but five. He became the first human to ever break the sound barrier without the protection of a vehicle, made the record for the highest free-fall altitude, highest manned balloon flight and the longest free-fall in history. Additionally, his jump platform is said to have been the largest manned balloon in history. Thankfully, the jump was a success. The 43-year-old man reached an incredible 690 mph within a span of 34 seconds.

As everyone knows, 2012 also held the presidential election. With Barack Obama running for re-election and Mitt Romney holding out for a position as the new president, the race was close. With a lead of six out of eight swing states though, Obama leaped ahead to beat out Romney for another chance to lead the country.

2012 holds the deaths of a prominent and well-respected artist Whitney Houston. Houston's death shocked the nation. The loss was unexpected and stunned everyone.

» Read Full Article

Don't miss these great 2012 blockbusters

Dec. 27, 2012 12:34 p.m. | If the Golden Globe nominations provide any insight into the Oscar race, then there a number of movies from 2012 that you'll want to make sure you see.

We took a look back at our movie reviews from 2012. Here are some of our top picks (reviews edited for space).

Silver Linings Playbook

Reviewed by JR Radcliffe

With its late-November release, this film feels to me the way "Little Miss Sunshine" did in 2006 (though the latter movie was released in August before earning a Best Picture nomination). Both are stories about messed up people who care about each other, and portraits so genuine that they're capable of building Oscar attention as the little engines that could. The comparison between "Sunshine" and "Playbook" fits right down to the plot, with both movies culminating in a much-anticipated dance recital. Pat (Bradley Cooper) has agreed to assist Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) in said recital in exchange for a favor as he desperately tries to reconnect with his estranged wife, Nikki, after his release from an eight-month stay in a mental hospital.

» Read Full Article

State art contest offers creative opportunity for kids over their holiday break

Dec. 27, 2012 12:00 p.m. | The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aeronautics encourages children, ages seven to 17, to showcase their artistic talent by participating in its annual statewide poster contest.  This year’s theme is “My Favorite Air Sport.” Examples of air sports include ballooning, hang gliding and parachuting.

The top three entries in three different age divisions will advance to the national competition, with the potential to be entered in the international aviation art contest. In addition, statewide winners will receive the following prizes: First place - $100 art supply gift certificate or an airplane ride for two, second place - $75 art supply gift certificate, third place - $50 art supply gift certificate.

All artwork must be original and cannot be computer generated. For complete contest rules and the appropriate entry form, visit the DOT website.

Entries must be postmarked by January 28, 2013, and mailed to: Nicole Wiessinger, WisDOT – Bureau of Aeronautics, P.O. Box 7914, Madison, WI 53707-7914

Superintendent Evers works to fully fund Wisconsin's program for smaller class sizes

Dec. 27, 2012 11:36 a.m. | Madison - State Superintendent Tony Evers is asking the Legislature to fully fund a state program that helps students succeed by reducing class sizes in early grades. The state superintendent's proposed 2013-15 education budget includes $10.9 million for the second year of the biennium, to ensure the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program can provide participating school districts with the per-pupil payment set down in state law.

"Small class sizes give young children more time with their teachers, and research has shown this can be a powerful way to help them graduate on time and achieve more during their schooling," Evers said. "That's why Wisconsin created the SAGE program 16 years ago, but we haven't been able to provide districts with the full support intended by the law."

SAGE helps Wisconsin school districts pay the costs of smaller class sizes, especially for low-income children. Districts that sign a five-year SAGE contract must ensure student-to-teacher ratios of no more than 18:1 or 30:2 in SAGE classrooms at the kindergarten and first grade levels (and optionally in second and third grade SAGE classes). These districts then receive a certain amount of annual funding for each low-income student in the SAGE classes. The per-pupil payment is stipulated in state statute as $2,250, but since the 2007-08 school year, funding has not kept up with increasing demand, and the actual rate has been pro-rated to lower amounts. In 2012-13, actual per-pupil payments were $2,046 per student.

To participate in SAGE, districts must also increase collaboration between schools and communities, implement a rigorous curriculum, and improve professional development and staff evaluation practices.

The number of low-income children in SAGE classrooms has increased five of the last six years. This growth has been fueled primarily byincreasing poverty.

» Read Full Article

January designated National Radon Awareness month

Dec. 27, 2012 10:40 a.m. | January is Radon Action month according to the Surgeon General. Health agencies throughout the United States have joined forces to promote awareness of the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers. The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control, and National Cancer Institute all agree that radon is a National health problem and encourage radon testing during the January awareness drive.

Radon is a naturally-occuring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas. One in 15 American homes contains high levels of radon. A recent study by Harvard University ranks radon as America's No. 1 in-home hazard. By taking simple steps to test your home for radon and fix if necessary, this health hazard can be avoided.

Radon gas is not isolated to certain geographical areas or home types and caused more American fatalities last year than carbon monoxide, fires, and handguns combined. If a home hasn't been tested in the past two years, EPA and Surgeon General urge you to take action. Contact your state radon office for information on locating qualified test kids or qualified radon testers.

The federal commitment made by EPA, the General Services Administration, and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Veterans Affairs will focus efforts on radon reduction and mitigation in homes, especially those of low-income families, many of whom do not have the resources to make the simple fixes necessary to protect their homes and loved ones. Learn more about the Federal Radon Action Plan at www.RadonPlan.org.

Learn more at www.RadonMonth.org

My favorite stories to tell in 2012

Dec. 27, 2012 10:30 a.m. | As we plunge into 2013 (take that, Mayans), it gives me a chance to look back at the stories that I had the most fun writing in 2012. Here are my favorites:

"Hardcourt heroes: Chargers girls win first-ever Greater Metro Conference title," March 7, Sussex Sun. When I was in college, I served as radio play-by-play man for the Valparaiso University women's volleyball team, and one of the things that made that experience so fantastic was watching that team evolve from a middle-of-the-pack unit during my sophomore year to a first-time NCAA Tournament qualifier as a senior. There was something so fascinating about being on the ground level.

Watching the Hamilton girls basketball team get better and better every year has been a treat, to see the evolution into a team that could win its first conference title. The win was perhaps the most competitive game I saw last year, complete with overtime, an energetic crowd and a great individual matchup between Hamilton's Mackenzie Latt and Divine Savior Holy Angels freshman Arike Ogunbowale. The winner would get the title, the loser would finish one game back. It was a moment that meant so much to those in attendance.

"Course Corrections," March 22, Lake Country Reporter. I used to cover Whitnall High School several years ago, and there was a story there that I counted it as perhaps the biggest missed opportunity in my journalism career. The Falcons had a cross-country runner named Matt Kruger, who happened to be autistic, and he was a key part of their operation until he contracted Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Not only did he beat cancer, he came back much sooner than anticipated, taking last place in his first race back and ultimately getting back to state before his career was over.

It was a triumph, but I never was able to get the pieces together to make a bigger feature out of it. His former coach at the time, Richard Dodd, used to call me and talk at length about his team, but he wasn't still in charge when Kruger went back to state. There wasn't enough space during the fall season and I wanted to talk to Kruger in person, not over the phone, and those timing issues led me to push the story to the back burner. When Dodd called me out of the blue in the early part of 2012, I was stunned.

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Community Briefs 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 10:30 a.m. |

Donate during National Blood Donor Month

January can be an especially challenging month to collect blood donations because of inclement weather and seasonal illnesses; it is also National Blood Donor Month. Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been celebrated in an effort to educate Americans about the importance of regular blood donation and the effect it can have to help treat trauma victims, surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, cancer patients and more.

Participate in the following blood drives at the Waukesha Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee: 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 and 10, Tuesday, Jan. 8 and 15, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11.

To donate blood or for more information, call (800) 733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Holiday happenings at Museum

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Designate before driving this New Year's Eve

Dec. 27, 2012 10:30 a.m. | Although no one really knows what the New Year will bring, everyone can take steps to make sure 2013 doesn't start with a drunken driving arrest or crash.

To crackdown on drunken driving on New Year's Eve, the Wisconsin State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin will be stepping up their patrols, includingmultijurisdictional OWI Task Forces in Dane, Milwaukee, Manitowoc, Winnebago, Sheboygan, Outagamie, Brown and Marinette counties.

"Drunken driving is a serious offense, and law enforcement officers don't give warnings or second chances to drivers who are impaired," says State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of theWisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Safety. "There were approximately 35,000 convictions for drunken driving in 2011, and for approximately two out of three of those drunken drivers it was their first conviction."

The expense, hassle, embarrassment and possible jail time for a drunken driving arrest are not the worst things that can happen for those driving while impaired. On average, someone is killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash about every 2½ hours in Wisconsin.

Instead of risking an arrest for drunken driving on New Year's Eve or even worse - killing or injuring yourself or someone else - the Wisconsin State Patrol offers the following suggestions:

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Spread your wings 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 10:28 a.m. | Waukesha County Technical College will offer two noncredit enrichment classes in January at the Waukesha campus, 327 E. Broadway, Pewaukee.

Intro to Knitting

301-613B Intro to Knitting CRN 21232: 9:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12-26, in Room WK005, Waukesha campus. Knitting is proven to be a meditative and relaxing way to lower heart rate and blood pressure. In this three-week course, learn how to cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease and bind off while completing a project at the same time. Project selection will include a scarf, felted purse, cowl or hat. Supply list will be mailed before to the first class. Cost: $62.

Self-massage

510-400 Self-massage CRN 21418: 6:30 to 9:25 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 and 15, in Room WK110, Waukesha campus. The benefits of massage reach through all ages. Learn self-techniques to promote circulation and reduce swelling, speed healing of injuries, relieve mental and physical fatigue, and promote more restful sleep. Class is taught by a registered massage therapist. Techniques will be practiced in class. Cost: $21.54.

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Community Briefs 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 10:28 a.m. |

2012 Builder of the Year announced

Bill Binn of Wyntree Construction, Inc. in Lake Geneva, WI received the Lakeland Builders Association 2012 Builder of the Year award at the annual Christmas/Award Banquet held on Dec. 14. Wyntree Construction is a New Home and Remodeling company serving the Walworth and western Racine/Kenosha county areas.

Binn has been in the building industry since 1973 and started Wyntree Construction in 1988. He has served on many committees not only for the Lakeland Builders Association but also on the State and National levels. Binn has been the Wisconsin Builders Association president, installed into the WBA Hall of Fame and also awarded the WBA Builder of the Year. He has been a past president of the Lakeland Builders Association and will serve again in the year 2014.

"I encourage anyone looking to build or remodel a home to take advantage of the members of the builders association because membership shows the sincerity and commitment to an industry that they are involved in," says Binn.

Drunken driving problem continues

Dec. 27, 2012 10:28 a.m. | Over the years, Wisconsin has ranked high in the nation on many positive fronts, such as high school graduation rates and its ranking for a pro-business climate. Unfortunately, Wisconsin also continues to rank first in the nation for the highest rates of binge drinking and the highest rate of drunken driving. This is an ongoing problem, not only for the Legislature, but for all of us.

In a state famous for its established beer brewing industry and where alcohol is usually a part of sporting events and family celebrations, there is no question drinking is woven deep into Wisconsin's culture. While many attribute - and even celebrate - Wisconsin's drinking culture as a part our heritage and European ancestry, drinking to excess can have severe consequences, especially for those who make a dangerous decision to drive while intoxicated.

In Wisconsin, one person is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash every 2.3 hours. In 2011, alcohol-related crashes killed 225 people and injured almost 3,000. More than 35,000 motorists were convicted of drunken driving in Wisconsin last year, and nearly 300,000 Wisconsin drivers have at least one operating while intoxicated (OWI) conviction; more than 5,000 Wisconsin motorists have four such offenses.

The consequences of an OWI conviction are often very punitive, including heavy fines, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, loss or restrictions ofdriving privileges, and even jail time. If someone else is hurt or killed in a crash, the intoxicated driver can face extremely serious charges, such as negligent homicide or operating while intoxicated causing injury. Further, when a person drives drunk with a child under age 16 in the vehicle, the penalties double. Even with all that, some still make a reckless decision to drive while drunk.

As mentioned, drunken driving is a problem the Legislature must face and continue to address. Last session, I authored several bills to strengthen drunken driving laws, including Senate Bill 76, which requires the drunken driver - rather than taxpayers - to bear the burden of costs associated with drunken driving tests. I also authored Senate Bill 158, which would eliminate immediate eligibility for an occupational license for individuals convicted of OWI offenses, and Senate Bill 379, to prohibit a person whose driver's license is suspended or revoked for a drunken driving offense from purchasing or leasing a vehicle. Unfortunately, those bills were not passed before the 2011-2012 legislative session came to an end.

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Ham it up this holiday: Arjadis' Ham

Dec. 27, 2012 10:26 a.m. | Between Christmas, New Year's, Three Kings Day and now a Ukrainian Christmas (thanks Dear), we've got a lot of holiday meals coming up. One of my favorite dishes to serve during this time is ham. This next recipe is an adaptation of a recipe my father, Arjadis, used to make when I was a child. I've always loved ham and this is one of my favorites.

Arjadis' ham

Ingredients

1 spiral-sliced half ham (a butt end or shank end will work)

¾ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark, your choice)

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

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Community Briefs 12/30/12

Dec. 27, 2012 10:26 a.m. |

Keep vents, gas meters free of snow this winter

We Energies reminds customers to avoid the dangers of snow and ice buildup on exhaust vents and natural gas meters. These areas often are overlooked when buried under several inches of snow.

Snow and ice accumulation on furnace vents can lead to potentially deadly carbon monoxide levels in homes. Accumulated snow and ice also can damage natural gas meters, which could lead to potentially dangerous gas leaks. Keeping meters clear also allows We Energies employees to properly service meters in case of emergencies.

To avoid problems: use a broom to gently brush snow off the meter; avoid kicking or hitting the meter to break away built-up snow or ice; always shovel away from the meter; take care when using a snow thrower or plow near your meter.

Any customer who smells a natural gas odor should leave the house immediately and call the We Energies gas emergency number, (800) 261-5325 from a nearby phone.

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MHS Dancing With Our Stars heats up

Dec. 27, 2012 10:26 a.m. | Since the beginning of December, local Mukwonago "stars" have been practicing three days a week, preparing for the Mukwonago High School pom and dance team's fourth annual Dancing With Our Stars on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Mukwonago High School. After the dance team's normal practice, the dancers worked with this year's stars, consisting of firefighters, police officers, athletic coaches, a Chamber board member, a business owner and the 2012 prom king, all from Mukwonago.

Step by step, choreographing a dance routine and teaching each piece to their partner, 10 MHS dancers prepare for the final dance off to determine the best dance team. The evening, which sold out in three days, consists of a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, raffles and the 'dance off' show.

The Dancing With Our Stars 2013 lineup includes: Stephanie Nicoson and Dale Quakkelaar, Megan Schedlbauer and Mike Weis, McKenzie Madden and Brad DeGrow, Maggie Schmidt and Nick Nelson, Chelsea Machajewski and Steve Frank, Catie Stanzer and Rob Kreiser, Brittany Carpenter and Levi Leppin, Brenna Schmid and Clay Iverson, Ashley Schubel and Pat Hitt, and Alyssa Zidar and Scott Babinat .

Arthritis Foundation exercise program

Dec. 27, 2012 9:18 a.m. | Lake Mills - The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program will be offered to the public for free at Willowbrook Nursing & Rehab starting Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Developed by physical therapists specifically for people with arthritis, this low-impact, joint-safe exercise program has been documented to help decrease arthritis pain and relieve stiffness while increasing flexibility, range of motion. The program can build stronger muscles and overall stamina through balance and endurance exercises. The program will be taught by Josh Knops, a certified Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program Instructor, who has completed an in-depth training on arthritis and the program. During the eight weeks, participants will go through a series of gentle movements and activities designed to increase mobility and range of motion. This low-impact class is suitable for every fitness level and can be done while sitting or standing. Recent program additions also allow for the incorporation of resistance bands and weights for an added workout as well as interactive health education lessons and stress-reducing relaxation techniques to help participants better manage their arthritis.

"In addition to reducing pain and stiffness, the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program helps people with arthritis keep joints flexible, maintain muscle strength and build overall stamina," said Alison Eschweiler of the Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest region - Wisconsin Chapter.

Results are backed by research studies. In one study, individuals who attended the class for four months reduced their pain by 24 percent and increased confidence in their ability to continue activities by 22 percent. If you think you have arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation urges you to seek an early and specific diagnosis. With more than 120 forms of arthritis and related diseases, a specific diagnosis is critical because each form requires a different treatment plan.

The eight-week program will go from Tuesday, Jan. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 28, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. Classes are free and open to the public. Classes will be held at Willowbrook Nursing & Rehab at 901 Mulberry Street in Lake Mills. Limited to 10 participants. Walk-ins are welcome but registration is encouraged. For more information or to register before Jan. 4, contact Sara Fitch, therapy dept., at (920) 648-8344.

Use a fresh start to get organized with these tips

Dec. 27, 2012 9:18 a.m. | Whether you're celebrating a new job, new house or new member of your family, fresh starts and major life events herald a time to rejoice. While you're feeling good about a positive change in your life, it's also a great time to get organized so you can focus on what's to come instead of worrying about where to find this or where to put that.

A large-scale reorganization of your home, office or life can seem like a tall order, but if you do it right, it can save you a lot of trouble down the line. And whether you're moving or doing some rearranging, it makes sense to take the opportunity to pre-organize to ensure a smooth transition.

One of the biggest organizing mistakes you can make is putting things away only to forget where you put them the next time you need them. Labeling as you go can help avoid future stress and messes that could lead you to reorganize everything all over again.

When you have all kinds of boxes, drawers and other items to label, a label maker can be a huge help. Rather than having to hand-label everything, consider an automated label maker that features a full keyboard and four one-touch buttons so you can easily change fonts and add symbols and frames.

Here are a few labeling and organizing tips that will help you keep everything in order and avoid headaches down the line:

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Rock Lake Activity Center classes

Dec. 27, 2012 9:18 a.m. | As we all look forward to the holidays and a new year, the entire family can look forward to so much to do at the Rock Lake Activity Center, Lake Mills' own health and wellness center. Anyone may participate in programs at the RLAC or become a member of the center. For more information regarding memberships, visit the RLAC website at www.rocklakeac.org. Nonmembers are also welcome and pay the nonmember fee for programs offered.

Adventure Time is a newly developed preschool enrichment program. It will meet on Tuesday and Friday morning or Wednesday afternoon. Jessica Mlsna is the coordinator for this program. Her program at the RLAC serves children and their parents from infants to age 5. Children will be active and engaged throughout the session. Jessica focuses on building a child's confidence in their abilities, independence and socialization skills. They will have fun learning! Registrations are now being taken for the next session of January 7 - February 15th. Class times and themes are: Tuesdays (Discovery World) 9 to 9:45 a.m. ages 3- 5 and 10 to 10:45 a.m. ages 1 - 3. Wednesdays (Wiggle and Jump) from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. for ages 2 - 5. Fridays (Movin' and Groovin') at 9 to 9:45 a.m. for ages 3 - 5 and 10 to 10:45 a.m. for ages 0 - 5. A minimum of 3 children per class is required with a maximum of 12. Fees for the 6-week program are $20/RLAC family members; $30/nonmembers per class.

The RLAC has added two new Hip Hop dance instructors to the Rock Lake Dance Studio. Both instructors come from Lake Mills and are members of the Lake Mills Dance Team. Their direction will be focused on learning the basic moves and attitude of hip hop dance. Students will learn choreographed dance moves and have fun learning. Hip Hop classes will be scheduled on Tuesday or Wednesday evening for grades 2 and up from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and on Saturdays for grades 2 and up from 9 to 10 a.m. A minimum of 3 students is required per class with a maximum of 10. Fees are $30/RLAC family member and $40/nonmember. Registration is due by January 2.

Krafty Kidz Saturdays is a new program designed to keep kids engaged and stimulated creatively. Each Saturday from January 26 through March 16th, participants will dabble in a different art form and media. From string art to paper m che, there will be something for every art interest. Each week will be a different theme. Students may register for as many classes as they desire. Class times are 10 to 11:45 a.m. Fees are $10/class or $70/all 8 classes for RLAC family members; $20/class or $140/all 8 classes nonmembers. Minimum of 4 students per class and maximum of 20. Registration for any and all classes is due by January 19.

More programs in the arts will also be offered by professional artist, Ben Zoltak. Ben will be offering Maskmaker for ages 5 - 15 on Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. January 5 - 19. Students will create a paper m che mask using traditional paper and other materials. Puppetmaker will have young artists creating hand puppets out of paper m che and fabric. This class is for ages 7 - 15 and will meet Mondays from January 7 - 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. Fees for both classes are $45/members and $55/nonmembers. register for both classes = $75/members and $95/nonmembers.

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Community Briefs 12/28/12

Dec. 27, 2012 9:16 a.m. |

Snowmobile trails

The Southeast Quadrant (South of the Glacial Drumlin Trail and East of State Highway 26) of the Jefferson County Public Snowmobile Trails is currently CLOSED. All other public snowmobile trails are OPEN. As you are heading out, use caution and respect the property owners. There is an extremely limited frost situation; stay on marked trails; ride safely; be aware that all lakes, ponds and streams are considered unsafe at this time; be aware that the bridges over the Rock and Crawfish Rivers on the Glacial Drumlin Trail have a 5 mph speed limit. Contact the Snowmobile Alliance 24-hour hotline at 920-699-SNOW (7669) for current information. Snowmobile trails in adjoining counties may be closed. Trail users should check with each county to determine trail status.

Community Briefs 12/28/12

Dec. 27, 2012 9:16 a.m. |

Changes for FSA producers and vendors

Beginning with calendar year 2012, farm producers whose total reportable payments from Farm Service Agency are less than $600 will not receive IRS Form 1099-G (Report of Payments to Producers) and producers who receive payments from more than one county will receive only one Form 1099-G if the total of all payments from all counties is $600 or more.

"Producers who receive less than $600 in combined payments should consult a tax adviser to determine if these payments must be reported on their tax return," said Debra Schut, Jefferson County FSA executive director.

If the payments were subject to voluntary withholdings or subject to backup (involuntary) withholdings a Form 1099-G will be issued regardless of the total amount of the payments.

The same changes will apply to producers and vendors who normally receive IRS Form 1099-MISC from FSA.

ThirdĀ annual candlelight snowshoe and hike

Dec. 27, 2012 9:16 a.m. | Winter adventure awaits your family on Jan.19 in and around the Horicon Marsh, one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States. Whether you're looking to build a snowman, savor a steaming hot bowl of chili or snowshoe candlelight trails of the beautiful Horicon Marsh, experiences of the season can be yours in Dodge County.

Start your day at Satterlee House in Horicon. Enter your best chili recipe into the chili cook-off at the Satterlee Clark House from 1 to 3 p.m. Your family can also participate in their snowman building contest. Afterward, head over to Discher Park to ice skate starting at 3 p.m. There will be free hot chocolate available and bowls of chili for $1. Warm up at one of the local restaurants for supper and then bundle up for the Third Annual Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike on the trails of the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and activities at the Education Center.

From 6 to 9 p.m. outdoor enthusiasts can snowshoe or hike by candlelight the Horicon Marsh. The trails will be lined with candle-powered luminaries to guide hikers and snowshoers. New this year, there will be two trails available. One trail is 1.5 miles long and another "Family Loop" is only .36 miles. Snowshoes are available to the public on a first come first serve basis at no charge thanks to a Wisconsin Environmental Education Board grant and matching funds from the Friends group. Volunteers will be on the trails to assist. There must be at least six to eight inches of snow on the ground to loan out snowshoes. Horicon Marsh Bird Club members will be on the trail conducting short owl talks and calling for owls. Pets on a leash are allowed on the trails but not in the building. After a trek on the trail, enjoy a bonfire and warm up with refreshments inside.

Horicon Marsh International Education Center will also be open for guests to step inside and view the 20 minute "Horicon Marsh Story" and visit the Flyway Gift Shop. Kids can make a fun craft or explore winter hibernation in the Children's Discovery Area. The Northern Cross Science Foundation astronomers will be on hand to help you view the night sky through their giant telescopes. You can learn about "Winter Adaptations" in one of our indoor classrooms.

Also new this year is a mitten campaign and food drive. Mittens and gloves are being collected to be donated to local grade schools and nonperishable food will be given to local food pantries. Collection bins will be on the upper level of the Education Center.

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Keep your pets healthy and happy all winter

Dec. 27, 2012 9:16 a.m. | Dry skin, winter weight gain and the common cold - humans aren't the only ones to struggle with winter woes. Cold weather can affect our pets' health, too. While you can put in some extra time on the treadmill and layer up for the cold weather, pets rely on their human companions to help them stay healthy all year long.

As temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, keep these simple safety tips in mind to help keep your pets safe and healthy this winter:

Dress to impress AND stay warm

With thick coats and hardy constitutions, some animal breeds are made to stand up to Old Man Winter. But most domestic dogs will feel the cold, so it makes sense to outfit them for the weather. Sweaters, booties and other winter essentials aren't just fashionable, they're functional; they can help protect your four-legged friends from extreme cold, snow and ice.

So be sure to dress your pet appropriately for the weather.

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AHS hockey team defeats Marquette

Dec. 26, 2012 9:24 p.m. |  Arrowhead's boys hockey team stopped Milwaukee Marquette Wednesday night, 5-2 in a nonconference game.

Nick Peterson and Jake Miller had two goals each for the Warhawks and Brett Stapelfeldt had one score. Trevor Macey turned back 26 of 28 Marquette shots.

AHS put the game away with three goals in the third period.

Raymond hockey tourney at Naga-Waukee

Dec. 26, 2012 9:13 p.m. |  The annual Joe Raymond Memorial Hockey Classic will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Naga-Waukee Ice Arena. Six teams will take part in this year's meet. John Marino is the tournament director.

Teams taking part this year are Waukesha, Janesville, Brookfield/Catholic Memorial, University School, Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc and Stevens Point.

Three games will be played all three days. Games will start at 4 p.m. on Thursday, at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The championship game will be Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

KM/Mukwonago/OHS will play Stevens Point at 8 p.m. on Thursday and will play USM on Friday at 6 p.m. Saturday's pairings will be determined by the outcome of the games from Thursday and Friday.

Charlie's Choices 12/27/12

Dec. 26, 2012 3:38 p.m. | Chalk up another good week for the bankroll. I had my third straight winning week.

Thanks to a successful $1,000 winning play on Carolina over Oakland, the bankroll rolled up a $900 profit for the past weekend. For the season, I'm now $1,900 ahead. I'll put those numbers up against any of the so-called professionals.

I had Green Bay defeating Tennessee last Sunday, 34-17. They ended up winning, 55-7. I thought Tennessee might try a little bit, but they decided to just tank it instead.

The best game on the NFL card this week finds Green Bay playing at Minnesota. The game is big for both teams. If Green Bay wins, it clinches the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. The surprising Vikings need to win the game to make the playoffs. How's that for a season-ending game?

I think superstar Adrian Peterson is going to have a big game and get the 208 yards he needs to break the NFL record. But I just can't see the Vikings winning the game. Green Bay has won 9 of its last 10. The difference will be Aaron Rodgers clearly outplaying Christian Ponder. Now that's a shock. I've got the Packers winning, 31-28.

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Reality check - We must do more

Dec. 26, 2012 3:06 p.m. | The topic of conversations and discussion has become more frequent lately, another gunman, for reasons unknown, viciously attacking and killing innocent people. Our blame remains the same - assault rifles. I do not necessarily agree or disagree with those who quickly blame these mass casualty events on the lack of gun control, what I do know is we can and must do more to protect children and employees from violence. Where do we go from here?

Just recently I gave a couple of my workplace safety presentations to fellow county employees. The intent was to provide some ideas regarding self-protection at work and in the field and share some indicators which may provide some early warning of a bad event. We spoke of essential things such as deterrence and delay measures, appropriate response, and how to conduct a risk assessment. My point was we live in a new world where violence will increase and become the norm, so we must do what we can to counter the increase in violence. The first step is to stop saying "it will never happen here," because we could be next.

I am fortunate to hold a certification in inspections and risk assessments of buildings and other important infrastructure. So when I travel or visit a building I always look around and identify areas of vulnerability. It's easy in most schools, glass doors (because they look nice) and main gymnasium entrances that require you to walk through the entire school exposing the entire facility to risk during a simple basketball game.

My favorite is the one-door classrooms, one door which requires the students to evacuate the school through the wall way the shooter is using. Classrooms need a direct evacuation capability to the outside. Each classroom and office needs the big red panic button. In the event of a shooter, the button is pushed and all classroom doors auto lock and can only be opened from the inside. Schools need safe rooms, closets are great but they are not hardened and most are full of supplies. The list goes on.

Most importantly, parents, law enforcement, employers, and managers must train and educate our staffs and students regarding response to an active shooter. Policies must be drafted, reviewed, and ingrained into each and every one of us. Staffs need to participate in exercises, and then assist students in conducting drills. In active shooter events, the first 5 minutes will be critical and unless you have a law enforcement officer in the building you are on your own until one arrives. We must deter the aggressor from getting in, and when he does, we must delay his deadly efforts long enough for police to arrive.

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Funeral Services 12/27/12

Dec. 26, 2012 2:54 p.m. | Robert O. Brunner of Oconomowoc died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at the age of 78. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, with the funeral service at 11, at Glenview Memorial Gardens, W1219 Glenview Ave., Ixonia.

Death Notices 12/27/12

Dec. 26, 2012 2:54 p.m. |

Patsy Claire McWhirr (nee Mueller)

Patsy Claire McWhirr (nee Mueller), age 86, of Summit, passed away on Sunday, December 9, 2012, at Seasons Hospice in Waukesha, Wis. She was born on July 5, 1926 in Milwaukee, Wis. to Milo and Christine (nee VanLangen) Mueller. Patsy is survived by her children Arthur F. Rosenow III of Oconomowoc and Christine C. (William) Walker of Whitefish Bay, grandchildren Catherine C. (Mike) Paprocki and Thomas W. Walker, great-grandson Sammuel Paprocki, along with other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands Arthur W. Rosenow and James McWhirr and sisters Nancy C. Mueller and Muriel A. Schimmelpfennig. Funeral services will be on Saturday, December 29, 2012, at Zion Episcopal Church at 10:00 a.m. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. with Eastern Star Honors at 9:30 a.m.

Patsy was a member of Zion Episcopal Church in Oconomowoc, WI. Other memberships include Charter Member and Past President Evergreen Garden Club, last surviving Charter Member, Oconomowoc Woman's Club, Oconomowoc Hartland #13, OES, Past Matron, LaBelle Temple #35, Pythian Sisters, Past Chief, Past Grand Chief of Pythian Sisters in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Court #2, Order of the Amaranth, Past Royal Matron and Deputy Grand Royal Matron, Kenwood Shrine #9, White Shrine of Jerusalem, Past Worthy High Priestess and Supreme Press Correspondent, member of the First Board of Directors of Wisconsin Education and Corrections, member of the Daughters of the Nile and Charter member of Silver Lake Yacht Club. She was a graduate of Wauwatosa High School, Franklin College, Indiana; Carroll University; UW Whitewater; and UW Madison. Patsy taught in local schools for many years prior to retiring. She was a special person who touched the hearts of many. She forever is remembered by those who love her.

Pagenkopf Funeral Home

1165 E. Summit Avenue

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There's no place like home (court) for the holidays

Dec. 26, 2012 2:52 p.m. | The Christmas Break is always a time for tournaments and, more recently, showcase events.

Oconomowoc's varsity boys basketball team will make two trips to Concordia University, playing in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout.

The Raccoons were scheduled to meet Mukwonago on Dec. 26. At 6 p.m. Dec. 28, Oconomowoc faces Lodi.

A quick trivia question: Name the Mukwonago and Lodi mascots.

The Raccoons varsity girls basketball team is at Pewaukee for a 7 p.m. game against the Pirates on Thursday.

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Oconomowoc Area News 12/27/12

Dec. 26, 2012 1:56 p.m. |

Holiday deadline

The holiday deadline for this column is 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, for the Thursday, Jan. 3 column.

Oconomowoc tax collection

The Oconomowoc Treasurer's office is open for tax collection from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, on the first floor of City Hall, 174 E. Wisconsin Ave. The last day in 2012 for in-person tax payments is Dec. 28. The office will be closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for the holidays.

To make payment on Dec. 31, use online payment methods (with service fees applied) or 24-hour drop box available on the east wall of City Hall. For information, call (262) 569-2170.

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Your Letters 12/27/12

Dec. 26, 2012 1:52 p.m. |

The meaning of Christmas

To the editor,

In a few short days it will be Christmas; a time where many will be celebrating a variety of traditions including Santa, some festive parties, maybe a midnight mass, or caroling, or possibly even some eggnog. It is a wonderful time of year to consider the many kinds of gifts you have been given and the gifts you will give to others, those wrapped in a bow and those wrapped in a smile or perhaps forgiveness.

One special gift I have received is the ongoing, day to day dedication of the teachers, staff and administrators at my children's school. I am continually amazed at the teachers' ability to focus their students' minds and bodies to read, write, add and subtract, create beautiful artwork, to play games, sing and dance, to play instruments, and even to read music. Perhaps like many of you, I have been receiving updates from my children's school. The notices relate sorrow over the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. They give some indication of updates to existing security plans. They communicate the availability of counselors and give advice on how to talk to children about the shooting. I cannot look at the pictures of the beautiful young children who were killed without a spasm of sorrow that springs to my eyes.

But, in among this titanic sorrow lies hope. I see it in the stories of heroism: the teacher who grabbed two children out of the hallway as bullets were whizzing past them; the teacher found dead after attempting to shield children from the gunman; the principal and school counselor who charged the gunman; teachers who hid their students and kept them calm; the love they will continue to give their students as they all work through their sorrow and grief.

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No signs of rust as Pewaukee sparkles

Dec. 26, 2012 12:52 p.m. | Pewaukee's girls basketball team didn't look like a team out of practice, smothering Cudahy on Friday in a Woodland Conference test, 56-29.

The Pirates hadn't participated in a practice since Monday, with a game Tuesday, a bomb threat at PHS canceling activities Wednesday and snow canceling Thursday activities.

"We go on the road and haven't practiced since Monday; I thought the kids responded awesome," coach Todd Hansen said. "We hadn't touched a basketball in a few days. We had a walk-through shootaround before we left, and we had the game Tuesday, but how many individual shots can you get in a game?"

Any ill effects were hard to see. Pewaukee outscored Cudahy in the first quarter, 23-1.

"We got on them right away with some steals, hit a couple 3-pointers, and six different kids scored in the first quarter," Hansen said. "We did a really nice job."

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PHS boys pack a wallop

Dec. 26, 2012 12:52 p.m. | Pewaukee senior guard David Girmscheid knocked down his first three shots, all 3-pointers on Dec. 21, pointing the Pirates in the right direction at home against Cudahy.

The Pirates (8-3 overall, 6-2 in the Woodland Conference West) went on to rack up a huge point total in a 95-39 victory against the Cudahy (1-9, 0-8).

At the half, Pewaukee was already in front 51-25, but the Warhawks completely owned the third quarter, outscoring the Packers 32-2.

"David got us going and then we really played well as a team the rest of the game," Pewaukee head boys basketball coach Mike Basile said.

Junior Ryan Stepanovich scored 14 points to lead the Pirates. Girmscheid had 13 points, the same total as junior Jordan Hass. Sophomore Chandler Bentley and senior Ryan Clement each scored 9 points. Senior Dan Kemp had 8 points.

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Sharpshooting can't keep AHS from loss

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Marquette University men's basketball coach Buzz Williams always preaches the value of "paint touches" to succeed. On Marquette's campus at the Al McGuire Center, the Arrowhead boys basketball team found that out the hard way.

The Warhawks rained down 14 three-pointers, but, unable to get an inside game generated, they incurred their first loss of the year in a 70-66 setback against Brookfield Central on Saturday. Hot shooting from beyond the arc enabled the Warhawks (9-1) to stay close, but Central (5-1) never trailed in the second half.

"It's a strength of ours, but you have to do a better job scoring in the paint, too," Arrowhead coach Craig Haase said. "You make 14 threes and you lose, it doesn't do you a lot of good. We have to find ways to get the ball inside and finish inside better. Offensively, we just didn't get into the lane as much as we needed to. And then defensively, we gave up too many second-chance points when Billy (Hirschfeld) wasn't in the game boxing out. They had a lot of second chance rebounds, that just killed us in the second quarter."

Hirschfeld, the team's inside presence, had just four points. Central big man Elijah Goodman scored 9 of his 15 points in that second quarter after the Warhawks hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter, enabling them to fight back from a 16-5 deficit to tie the score at 18-18. AHS hit three straight triples, the last a four-point play converted by D.J. Escamilla.

The senior Escamilla, who sustained a shoulder injury during the football season, finished with 10 points.

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Talking sports (NFL version) with some of my friends

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Here's my NFL version of Talking Sports with Some of My Friends. With just one week of regular season play remaining in the 2012 season, here are some of my opinions, observations, facts and just plain guesses. Enjoy!

Trust me on this one. Right now, the Atlanta Falcons have the best record (13-2) in the NFL but they are not the best team in the league, not even in the NFC. The Packers would love to play in the NFC championship game in Atlanta.

Answer me this question. How in the world did the Arizona Cardinals win five games with the guys they have playing quarterback? Same question for the Tennessee Titans.

On the same train of thought: How do the Detroit Lions, with some very good talent, have a 4-11 record with one week to go? Could it be that they are the worst-coached team in the league? I think so.

Speaking of the Lions, I've got them defeating the Chicago Bears at home on Sunday. Detroit 28, Chicago 24.

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Area players gear up for upcoming Rose Bowl

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Local athletes will be on display in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day (4 p.m. locally, ESPN), as the Wisconsin Badgers attempt to win the prestigious crowns after back-to-back close calls in the same game. The Badgers will face Stanford in Pasadena, Calif.

Pewaukee native and redshirt freshman Derek Watt, who had one catch for 10 yards in the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 1 (a shellacking of Nebraska), will be among those on display. Watt, a converted linebacker made 12 catches for 150 yards in 2012 and also finished with 12 tackles and a forced fumble.

Watt joined former Arrowhead standout Derek Landisch as Academic All-Big Ten this season. Landisch, a sophomore, recorded two tackles in the Big Ten title game and made his first career start for the Badgers Nov. 24 against Penn State, recording a career-high 11 tackles. He has 28 tackles for the year, including one for loss, and a pass defended.

Landisch's former high school teammate, punter Drew Meyer, was consensus honorable mention in his redshirt freshman season. He hit a career-long 61-yard punt among his three chances against Nebraska and finished the year with a 41.2 average on 73 punts.

The Badgers will be in a unique position, helmed by current Wisconsin athletics director and former head football coach Barry Alvarez taking the reins for the game. Alvarez, who won Rose Bowl titles three times in 1994, 1999 and 2000, took over when head coach Bret Bielema accepted the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas.

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Last eight minutes painful for KM

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Kettle Moraine led Mukwonago's varsity girls basketball team 26-18 heading into the fourth quarter, but an eight-minute meltdown was the difference.

Mukwonago stormed back with pressure defense and an all-out will to win in KM coach Janine Emmer's mind, surging for a come-from-behind 41-34 Classic 8 Conference achievement.

Until the fourth quarter, Emmer believed in what her team was accomplishing.

"For three quarters, we played incredible defense against a very good team that's averaging around 60 points a game," Emmer said. "We held them to 9 points in the first half."

But in the fourth quarter, the Indians cranked up the intensity on defense, forced turnovers and showed just what can happen in eight minutes' time.

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Goals still eluding Lasers co-op hockey

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | One of these days, the pucks are going to go in.

The Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc boys hockey team continues to mount a stronger attack than the opponent, but the Lasers still haven't been able to score consistently, and last week was a prime example. Despite outshooting Neenah on Saturday, 35-20, the Lasers came away with a 1-0 loss at Naga-Waukee Ice Park.

"Sooner or later, this team is going to start popping goals in, and when we do, look out," coach John Brymer said. "I guess it's good to be going through this drought now vs. February. I'm pretty confident come February, things are going to start going in the right direction."

The Lasers fell to 4-5-1 after Neenah scored a goal in the second period that held up.

"If you go back and look at our losses, we're outshooting every team," Brymer said. "We outshot Arrowhead, we outshot Neenah, we outshot Stoughton and Marquette. Our close games are losses or ties. The kids are doing all the right things; we just don't have an answer right now as to why the puck's not going in."

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Glacier girls co-op skates to 9-0, tops Bay Area

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Fashionably late, the Brookfield Glacier girls hockey team traveled to the Cornerstone Ice Arena, facing off with the Bay Area Ice Bears on Dec. 21 in the Wisconsin Prep Hockey Game of the Week.

The team skated for early-season bragging rights in the Eastern Shores Conference.

It was the Glacier that came out on top 6-2.

"We found ourselves still sitting on the bus with 10 miles to go when we should have been on the ice for warm-ups," Glacier head coach Brian Smith said. "As expected with such a long bus ride and no time to warm up off ice, the Glacier got off to a slow start in the first period, tied 1-1."

After the 12-minute Zamboni break, the Glacier (9-0) regrouped for the second period.

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Win autographed photo of Henderson

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Former Green Bay Packers fullback and Super Bowl champion William Henderson will present "A Night of Inspiration" at the Oconomowoc Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28, covering topics of teamwork, respect and community involvement, with a Q&A session to follow.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 17 and under, available through oac.net.

Young fans can win an 11x14 autographed picture of Henderson ($35 value) by playing our trivia contest. Entrants must be 18 or younger.

Simply answer thesequestions:

1 Henderson is known for wearing No. 33, but when he started with the Packers in 1995, he wore what number?

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Volk to appear in Orange Bowl

Dec. 26, 2012 12:50 p.m. | One of the great stories of the college bowl season includes a former Arrowhead football player. Jared Volk and his Northern Illinois teammates will suit up in the Orange Bowl against Florida State on New Year's Day.

Volk, the team's starting left guard, helped the Huskies with the MAC championship for the second consecutive year. They became the first MAC team to receive a BCS bid in the 14 years of the BCS system and closed the year ranked No. 15.

Northern Illinois needed to be ranked No. 16 or higher to grab the BCS bid.

The Huskies are 21-1 since Oct. 2, 2011 - the best mark in FBS football during that stretch. Quarterback Jordan Lynch leads the nation with 1,771 yards rushing and 4,733 total yards. Lynch happens to be Volk's roommate, and the two were pictured along with starting left tackle Ryan Brown in the Chicago Tribune after the BCS announcements were handed down.

The Huskies, coached this year by former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren (who recently accepted a head job at North Carolina State), won the MAC championship game in double overtime against Kent State, 44-37. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and Lynch scored from two yards out to open the second, with a block from Volk helping to lead the way.

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Community Watch

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Lake Country Players present “The Diary of Anne Frank”: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Lake Country Playhouse, 221 E. Capitol Drive, Hartland. $13 - $18 (262) 367-4697, www.lakecountryplayhouse.net.

Cottonwood Wayside Nature and Education Center Grand Opening: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 4, Cottonwood Wayside Nature and Education Center, 901 Cottonwood Ave., Hartland. Features the new chimney which will be home to more than 1,000 displaced chimney swift birds. Event also includes face painting, nature scavenger hunt, games and more. Hot dogs, chips and soda will be available for purchase.

Indian Summer: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 3; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 4; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 5, Ashippun Town Hall, Highway P and Highway O, Ashippun. Buckskinner encampment, tepee tours,wigwams, Native American drummers and dancers, Highlanders Voyageur Camp plus Revolutionary, Civil and Spanish-American War camps. Free admission. (920) 474-4619 http://www.ashipppun.com.

Dark Carnival: 7-10:30 p.m. Oct. 4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 31, Enterprise Building, 212 Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc. Formerly Haunted High, exhibit features more than 70 volunteers creating 50 specters and zombies plus special effects, lighting and sounds. $15, $23 fast pass. Open 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 25 for kids 5-12 ($5) with lighted displays and treats along the way.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

All weekend happenings.