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ROCKTON -- The sports dome at Hononegah High School collapsed about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 28, 2015, likely a victim of ongoing high winds.

About the size of a football field, the facility was an inflated dome next to the high school and used for sports practices and community events.

BELOIT -- Who will lead Beloit’s police department now that Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin have agreed to leave at the end of January? That decision is in the hands of the Beloit Police and Fire Commission.

Jacobs and Dunkin agreed Monday to part ways with the city after the two sides hammered out a separation agreement. The agreement avoids what could have been a lengthy termination hearing that was set to begin Jan. 7, 2016.

Oh what a difference two years and a new speaker of the House make.

It was a October of 2013 when the government began a disastrous two-week shutdown after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democrat-controlled Senate were unable to come to a temporary spending agreement.

LAKE GENEVA -- Will a drone be landing under your Christmas tree this year? If so, you’re not alone: The Federal Aviation Administration estimates 1 million of the unmanned aerial vehicles will be given as gifts this holiday season.

As a highly sought after gift-gadget that drones have become for the hobbyist, they also come with an ever-hovering cloud of regulations and controversy. Existing guidelines already place drones at a 400-foot ceiling and mandate that they cannot be flown within three miles of an airport or landing strip. After hearing suggestions from the aviation industry, the FAA issued a new policy last week requiring all to register.

EAGLE -- It’s the people around the table who are the most important during the holidays, and the tie that binds them together often is reflected in the food served.

A blend of old and new traditions add continuity to family gatherings. The old traditions remind us of the past and those who have passed, while the new traditions propel us forward as we welcome friends and new members to the family.

In this season of good wishes, a special variety of kindness has broken out in some of the communities we cover with our CSI Media newspapers.

I first noticed it earlier this month in a Facebook post from the Rockton Police Department. One of our papers, the Stateline News, covers the village located just over the border in Illinois.

The post showed a photo of a Starbucks gift card with the now familiar hashtag #bluelivesmatter, which began on Twitter in support of those who serve in law enforcement.

Beloit Interim Police Chief David Zibolski will be staying around for at least a little while after the city of Green Bay selected Andrew Smith as its next chief of police.

Zibolski had been one of three finalists for the job. Zibolaski has made no secret of his desire to become a police chief. He said last month that he would be interested in a permanent job in Beloit should the job open up.

Zibolski was hired as interim chief in June, after Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin were placed on administrative leave.

The fate of Jacobs and Dunkin now is in the hands of Beloit's Police and Fire Commission.

Smith, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette, spent nearly three decades with the Los Angeles Police Department but has strong ties to Wisconsin. He was born in Waukesha and raised in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Well, the cookie baking has begun and there are so many good recipes coming my way I have to share these, sent in by friends and readers of this column. I’m going to try them all, especially the highly recommended eggnog cookies.

Eggnog

— This recipe starts with a cooked custard, eliminating any danger from raw eggs.

Makes 6 cups

6 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

2 cups whipping cream or 2 cups half-and-half

1-1⁄2 tsps. vanilla extract

1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Use a saucepan or stockpot large enough to hold 2 quarts.

In saucepan, beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth.

Stir in 2 cups milk.

Cook over medium low heat, whisking or stirring frequently.

Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches 160 F on a food thermometer.

Remove from heat.

Slowly add the 2 cups whipping cream or half-and-half while whisking together until smooth.

Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and combine until incorporated.

Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled —several hours or overnight.

Serve garnished with your choice of toppings: whipped cream, chocolate curls, maraschino cherries, cinnamon sticks or peppermint sticks.

Brandy, rum, whiskey or flavored liqueur may be added before serving if desired.

Eggnog cookies

— Doris Johnson, a dairy farmer, says she makes her own eggnog using eggs from her chickens. “Sometimes I’ll use duck eggs if they’re still laying,” she explains. “But the real reason I make the eggnog is to make these cookies.”

Cookies:

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup eggnog

1 tsp. vanilla

2-1/4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

4 to 5 Tbsps. eggnog

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheet and set aside.

To make cookies: In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars until fluffy. Add egg yolks, eggnog and vanilla, continue beating until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well combined.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned on bottom. Let cool on wire racks.

To make frosting: Cream butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add eggnog, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat for three minutes until smooth. Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle nutmeg over the frosting if desired.

Chocolate rum balls

3-1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

3 Tbsps. corn syrup

1/2 cup rum

In a large bowl, stir together the crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, cocoa and nuts. Blend in corn syrup and rum.

Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in additional powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container for several days to develop the flavor. Roll again in powdered sugar before serving.

Lebkuchen

— Lebkuchen or Pfefferkuchen is a traditional German Christmas treat, somewhat resembling gingerbread. There are many variations of this cookie. Some are iced with a powdered sugar glaze and some have chocolate; most are decorated with almonds. Often, these are made using cookie molds and these can be quite large.

Debbie writes, “I brought this recipe over from Germany almost 20 years ago. It has molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, honey and brown sugar in it. This is one of my favorite memories of Germany at Christmastime.”

Makes 6 dozen cookies

Cookies

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup molasses

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/3 cup diced candied citron

1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts

Icing:

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan, stir together the honey and molasses. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the citron and hazelnuts. Cover dough and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheets. Using a small amount of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into small rectangles and place them 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until no imprint remains when touched lightly. Brush the icing over the cookies while they are still hot and quickly remove them to wire cooling racks. Store in airtight container with an orange or apple for a few days to mellow.

To make the icing: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat to 235 F or the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar. If icing becomes sugary while brushing cookies, reheat slightly, adding a little water.

STATELINE NEWS -- Dealing with a chronic illness or the death of a loved one is perhaps the most difficult thing a family can face, especially during the holidays.

But a variety of community organizations offer programs and services designed to help families get through the holiday season.

BELOIT -- When it comes to redefining the perception of a destination, a variety of tools can be utilized to accurately share the story.

Following a lengthy rebranding process in 2014 that involved all of the Beloit Vision Partners -- Visit Beloit, Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Beloit Association and the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation -- the vision of how to attract and sell Beloit to non-residents became much clearer.

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