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Friday, 31 March 2017 09:42

Welcome to Spring Home and Outdoors 2017

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It’s been nearly two weeks since March 20, 2017, the official first day of spring. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the seasons have changed with the extended stretch of cool, cloudy and gloomy weather.

We’re here to help.

This week's paper is a special edition, Spring Home & Outdoors, to get readers thinking about all of the possibilities of the season ahead.

The paper is packed with stories and ads to get your moving as the weather gets nicer.

(More Spring Home & Outdoors stories are HERE.)

(Read our full digital edition HERE: Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap on the edition of your paper.)

Senior Editor Lynn Greene spearheaded this project with a collection of stories we hope will help you get motivated for the new season.

In our lead feature, Greene interviewed experts in the field of home organizing and clutter control. They offered suggestions about how to tackle our homes and our lives to be more organized and efficient.

We also head to the golf course to preview what’s ahead in the golf season, from the U.S. Open coming to Wisconsin in June to a variety of local events and activities.

Mixed in, there are suggestions for summer camps for our kids and tips for painting.

Hopefully we’ve done our part to get ready for the new season. Now, we just need the weather to cooperate.

Dan Plutchak, editor

In a stunning defeat for a president and party that rode repeal of the Affordable Care Act to improbable wins in the November 2016 election, Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville and President Donald Trump this afternoon pulled a replacement bill that had no chance of passing.

The move on March 24, 2017, was a significant failure for House Republicans, who had voted by some counts 54 times during President Barack Obama's two terms to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

As the only statewide race on the ballot April 4, 2017 the contest for Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction has received more attention than usual.

Current Superintendent Tony Evers is running for his third term as head of the state Department of Public Instruction and is facing Dr. Lowell Holtz, former district superintendent for the School District of Beloit and the Whitnall School District southwest of Milwaukee.

It's a little over halfway through Kurt Picknell's first term as Walworth County's sheriff, and he appears to have settled comfortably into the job.

But things change quickly in law enforcement, even in largely rural Walworth County.

The challenge for media companies, and what makes it interesting, is how to reach our readers where they happen to be in a format that’s useful to them.

We still refer to ourselves as a weekly newspaper group, but in reality we've become a complete media company that serves our readers 24hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

That's a big reason behind our recent launch of a new website in Walworth County to match employers with job seekers.

It complements our print publications that still arrive at the doorstep of your home twice a week. For the advertisers that make our newspapers possible, it is an important part of their marketing plans.

Between all of our papers -- Walworth County Sunday, the Wednesday Shopper/Advertiser, the Janesville Messenger and the Stateline News -- we deliver nearly 100,000 copies.

Of course, the news doesn't happen only twice a week.

Last week's visit to Janesville by Vice President Mike Pence illustrates the point.

Early in the week we learned that Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price would be in Janesville on Friday, March 3, to make the case for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

We also knew the visit would draw protesters concerned that the new program would result in large numbers of people losing their health insurance.

However, our Sunday paper already had been printed by the time Pence and crew landed in Janesville.

In the old days, that would have meant any or our coverage wouldn't have been available to our readers until the following Wednesday or Sunday.

But, because were also are an online company, we were able to cover the event in a variety of ways.

We posted photos and updates to Facebook and Twitter early Friday as media was setting up to cover the event. We also had updates while Pence gave his remarks, as well as coverage of protesters outside the venue. By later that day, we had full coverage online on our website and shared through social media with stories and photos.

That coverage was then updated and ready for print publication on Wednesday.

That's just one of the many ways readers and advertisers find us these days, which pings us to our latest innovations.

Earlier in the year, we launched our online classified tool, where readers can place classified ads through our website at CommunityShoppers.com. The complete classifieds from our papers also are online to read as well.

Our latest initiative rolled out two weeks ago when we launched WalworthCountyCareers.com.

We've always been the go-to source in the area to place and read help wanted ads, but now they are available online and in print.

The response has been great so far, and the advantage for those looking for jobs is that ads are local, rather than having to search through the large job sites.

To help get the word out, we're partnering with the upcoming Walworth County Business EXPO and Job Fair by sponsoring keynote speaker and "Return on Integrity" author John G. Blumberg.

The expo will be held from 8 a.m. to noon April 25, 2017, in the forum at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.

Blumberg will present from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and his program inspires attendees to build a return on integrity both organizationally and personally, according to a news release. Blumberg will sign copies of his book after his program.

Here's more from the EXPO news release:

Coordinated by VISIT Lake Geneva, 70 exhibitors will their business or organization and connect with past, current and potential customers, businesses and employees.

Exhibitors represent a variety of industries including business services, manufacturing, lodging, restaurants, health care, attractions, financial services, digital media, marketing and education.

More than 50 percent of the exhibitors are participating in the job fair.

"While exhibitor space has been selling at a steady pace, there still are some spaces available," said Nancy Elder, VISIT Lake Geneva events director. 

"We’re happy to be able to ping such a sought-after keynote speaker to this important event," Elder said. "John Blumberg has authored three books and is a speaker who has been featured in keynotes and workshops in 10 countries."

Supporting organizations include Delavan/Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Discover Whitewater, East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce, Geneva Lake West Chamber of Commerce, VISIT Lake Geneva and the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance. Business EXPO sponsors for the event are Mercy Health and Daily Herald Business Ledger. Kikkoman is the job fair sponsor and Central Printing is the bag sponsor.

Admission is free to all job seekers who ping their resume or complete a standard job application form. Admission for others is $5 at the door and includes access to all booths and keynote speaker presentation.

For a complete list of exhibitors, go to www.VisitLakeGeneva.com/wcbe-job-fair/.

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