JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Wisconsin’s oldest and longest running art show, the Tallman Arts Festival, is celebrating Art in Nature as the 2014 festival theme. Located at the Rock County Historical Society campus on N. Jackson Street, the Tallman Art Festival provides art enthusiasts with more than 90 artists from all around the Midwest.
STATELINE NEWS -- Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin Altar Boys will perform at the Celebrate Weekend and Street Dance in Beloit from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and The Eddie Butts Band from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1.
Downtown Beloit Association Executive Director Shauna El-Amin says that it’s not only a great party, it supports the work the DBA does throughout the year. “It’s our largest fundraiser of the year,” El-Amin said. “But really, it’s just a good chance for people to get out on the streets and dance. It has a nightlife sort of feel to it. We have local bands playing onstage, and we close down the whole block of State Street.”
The street dance begins at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, the festivities continue with the farmers market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and sidewalk sales until 2 p.m. For more event details, http://downtownbeloit.com/us/events/celebrate-weekend/
WILLIAMS BAY -- Picture yourself surrounded by pristine blue water and sandy beaches. You’re snorkeling with friends, it’s the perfect day, when suddenly you emerge from the surf and come face to face with ... a teacher.
This beach-bound instructor is a genius in biology and asks what species you just observed underneath the waves.
“Popular music is the soundtrack of our individual lives. Anything that ever happened to you, good or bad, was scored with the music you listened to.”
-- Dick Clark
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Dick Clark, longtime host of “American Bandstand,” said it best when he referred to music as “the soundtrack of our lives.” Who among us hasn’t flashed back in time when we hear a song that epitomizes a certain time in our life?
“I know I always watched that show -- it was our MTV before there was such a thing,” said Cindy Halpren of Janesville. “Still those songs come on now and I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. And going to concerts was always a big thing in the summer.”
MESSENGER -- Milton’s city offices have a new address these days. City hall and the police department moved recently to 710 S. Janesville St., the former Dean Clinic building.
It’s a move that Mayor Brett Frazier said improves efficiency for city operations.
“The good thing about the building is it’s set up to function like we use it. With the old building, we pretty much functioned but it wasn’t necessarily designed with its use in mind,” Frazier said of the former location at 430 E. High St. “(In the former location), it was just here’s some space we’ve got, let’s cram ourselves in there and survive. Now, we’re in a space that’s designed for our needs. ... It’s a very modest facility, but it presents us as the progressive community that we are.” Read the current edition here: http://www.server-jbmultimedia.net/CSI-JanesvilleMessengerSunday
Outgoing City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said the new location has a more professional atmosphere and is more accessible to residents.
“There’s greater safety and security for staff and people using it,” Schuetz said. “It provides for a much more visible street presence than the previous building, and it has much easier access. We believe we’re able to provide higher level and more effective service.”
One section of the building is dedicated for city offices, and the other section is for the police station. The council chambers, which also serves as a municipal court and training space for police officers, is located between the two sections.
The city staff portion of the building includes office space for the mayor, city administrator, finance director, city clerk and assistant to the city administrator, as well as conference rooms and storage areas.
The police station area includes office space for the police chief and lieutenants, a secured area for bringing in suspects and three interview rooms.
“Once you’re in the secured area, you can’t get out. Police officers will be able to get out with a key,” Police Chief Dan Layber said. “Everything is audio and video (in the interview rooms). As soon as you close the door, video and audio starts, and we’re required by state law to record interviews of subjects.”
Layber said after suspects are questioned, they are transported to the Rock County Jail.
“We don’t hold prisoners here. We’re not allowed to do that because if you do, you need a correctional officer, and we don’t have correctional officers,” Layber said. “This is a temporary stop along the way.”
Layber said the new police station has separate locker rooms for male and female officers, whereas there was only one locker room in the previous building.
The lower level of the police station includes a secure evidence storage area for the police department and storage space for city staff.
“So instead of having added construction costs on the city hall side for their basement, they’re using our basement, which is a compromise,” Layber said. “(Evidence storage) is only accessed by authorized personnel of the police department, which is rather large for us. We have plenty of room.”
Layber said the building also has a speaker system for the police radios.
“We have speakers located throughout the building, and we have fire suppression and fire alarms,” Layber said. “We didn’t have that in the previous building, either.”
City officials have been planning to move to a new location since 2009. The city purchased the former Dean Clinic building in 2012 for about $2.5 million.
Frazier said the city purchased some of the office furniture on craigslist.com to help save on some of the costs.
“The bids initially came in substantially higher than ($2.5 million), but the council and I and the staff were firm on that $2.5 million range,” Frazier said. “That’s what we could afford. ... One of the neat things is the administrative side of this building was paid for with cash.
“We were able to do that because of our strong fiscal management. Most communities can’t do that, and it’s been a blessing for us because it allowed us to elevate the level of professionalism and quality of the facility.”
The city began renovating the building in October 2013. Schuetz said even though most of the renovations have been completed, there is still some minor finishing work to be done.
“It was a fairly substantial renovation,” Schuetz said. “It’s turned out well for us so far.”