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WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The universe captured on glass plates, with the earliest images dating over a century ago -- from photographs of Halley’s comet to the Andromeda galaxy -- have added layers of data to research for astronomers like Wayne Osborn. An extensive collection of these plates can be found at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, where Osborn has been making it his job to ensure their preservation.

Born in Los Angeles, Osborn and his family crisscrossed California while he was growing up. He moved across the country during his graduate studies, ending up with a doctorate degree in astronomy at Yale University.

Friday, 04 November 2016 12:38

Janesville-area students star in fall plays

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JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Participating in a school play or musical gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents, develop valuable life skills and escape reality for a while.

This weekend and the next several weekends are full of high school productions. Here’s what that talented teens in your neighborhood have in store:

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- The Luther Valley Historical Society hopes to breathe new life into an old church.

The historical society is renovating the former Footville United Methodist Church into a museum that will feature Footville historical artifacts, including documents, photographs, clothing, musical instruments, school furniture and church artifacts. Several of the items will come from the historical society’s Footville State Bank Restoration and Archive Museum and Footville Telephone Dial Building.

BELOIT -- Karen Soto feels like she’s making a difference by educating her peers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. As a member of the Rock County Youth2Youth 4 Change, Soto is on the front lines of student education.

"I’m really grateful for this program because not only have I seen the progress of us helping out the community. It had me informed, which helped me stay away from drugs and alcohol," Soto, 19, of Beloit said. "This is like my second family."

Friday, 07 October 2016 10:32

Nurturing the native landscape

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WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Mariette Nowak believes making a positive impact on the environment is as close as your backyard.

The former director of the Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, and recently retired planning commission member in the town of Troy -- where she now lives -- says by planting native trees, shrubs and plants, people cultivate a biodiversity that affects not just a neighborhood, but the world.

Native plants create a healthy ecosystem for birds and bees, which, in turn, create a healthy ecosystem for humans, says Nowak, a naturalist with degrees in botany and zoology. She’s also the president of the Kettle Moraine Chapter of Wild Ones, a national native gardening organization.

People wanting to know more about native gardening that attracts birds and butterflies can turn to her book, “Birdscaping,” where they might be surprised by the variety of flora in the state, including the blooming prickly pear, a cactus that is native to Wisconsin.

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