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Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00

Voices of hope raised in song

MESSENGER -- A group of young singers from Africa will travel to the area soon to share their musical talents and their stories.

The African Children’s Choir, Choir 42, will perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 700 N. Bloomfield Road, Lake Geneva; and at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, at Faith Community Church, 2931 Lucerne Drive, Janesville.

The group performs gospel, contemporary Christian and native African music. Tina Sipp, chaperone for the African Children’s Choir, said the children put on an entertaining performance that audience members should enjoy.

“The audience is going to enjoy the bright colors of the children’s costumes,” Sipp said. “The children have a lot of energy and joy. (The audience) will get a taste of another culture.” Read the current edition here: http://www.server-jbmultimedia.net/CSI-JanesvilleMessengerSunday

The choir usually presents four concerts a week, two on Sunday, one on Wednesday and one on Friday. Choir 42 will be performing throughout the Midwest and South until next April before embarking on an Australian tour. The choir is made up of children between the ages of 7 and 10 from seven African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

Free-will offerings collected from concert attendees are used for educational programs and relief and development programs in the children’s home countries. Carrie Lyman, chaperone, said being involved with the program gives the children an opportunity to make a difference in their communities.

“The program is education based,” Lyman said. “We want to provide education to as many children as possible. We want to make sure the children’s needs are met and they can go back and contribute to their community in a positive way.”

The children are recommended for the program by their school administrators. They are then sent to a camp where they audition. Most of the children who are involved with the program have lost a parent or come from poor families.

“(The children) don’t know they are auditioning. They attend the camp for a week and then they go home,” Lyman said. “The staff then identifies which children would be a good fit for the program. Then we talk to the children’s guardians about receiving additional training. The children will receive an education that they may never have received, and it helps them break out of poverty.”

Being involved with the choir helps the children prepare for further education and future careers, Sipp said.

“The children are creative, bright and talented. It’s fun to watch them develop. They come to the West and learn. They see what they can do with their lives,” Sipp said. “It’s a fun process to see. They go back home to live their dreams. They go on to secondary education and they excel because they’ve already learned English. They usually go on to a vocational school or a trades school.”

Now in its 30th year, the African Children’s Choir has helped more than 52,000 children.

Sipp said she enjoys being involved with the program and helping to make a difference in the children’s lives.

“I’ve been with the organization for over 10 years. For us, it’s a joy to know that ... children have been helped through the program,” Sipp said. “They’ve received an education. They’ve learned to become self-sufficient.

“It’s good to know that we’ve made a difference in their lives. It’s a privilege to work with them and to know that we’re helping them improve their lives for the better.”

The choir has recorded several CDs, which can be purchased online at AfricanChildrensChoir.com.

The children also have performed for world leaders, been featured on TV and even performed with musicians such as Paul McCartney, Keith Urban, Michael W. Smith and Annie Lennox.

“The children have performed throughout the world. They have performed for the queen of England. ... They have performed for President George Bush. They’ve recorded music with Bono ... “ Sipp said. “They’ve been on the Ellen DeGeneres show. They’ve been on Jay Leno. There’s been a tremendous amount of opportunities for them.”

On the days the children aren’t performing, they have the opportunity to do some sight-seeing.

“We let the kids see as much of the United States as we can,” Lyman said.

Sipp said being involved with the choir has been a learning experience for her, as well.

“They remind us that our lives are good. They bring things to us that our culture doesn’t stress,” Sipp said. “They help bring out the joy during the day.”

It's a little more than two months until the 2014 general election, and Paul Ryan and Rob Zerban are ramping up their campaigns.

The winner of the Nov. 4 general election will be Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District congressman for the following two years.

EDGERTON -- Charlie Hendrickson has been working with steam engines and other antique farm equipment for most of his life.

Friday, 22 August 2014 00:00

Thresheree: turning back time

MESSENGER -- Charlie Hendrickson has been working with steam engines and other antique farm equipment for most of his life.

A year ago, Tom and Lori Hathaway threw a party. A Janesville letter carrier, Tom Hathaway lives on his mail route, so he invited his neighbors and customers. To his surprise, more than 200 people showed up, and by all accounts they had a great time.

Another wild and exciting high school football season kicks off Thursday, Aug. 21, but Stateline area teams open their seasons Friday, Aug. 22.

Here is a rundown of the games and some tidbits to look for:

Baraboo at Milton

Former Janesville Craig coach Bill O’Leary now patrols the sidelines at his alma mater, Milton, as the Red Hawks try to improve on their 3-6 overall and 3-3 Badger North records. Milton last played Baraboo in the 2012 season opener, a 48-0 Red Hawks’ win, and tries to avoid repeating last year’s 0-4 start.

Janesville Parker at Middleton

Eric Skrzypchak’s Vikings travel to Breitenbach Stadium for this Big Eight confrontation, the site of Parker’s last win in a series that the Cardinals have owned. However, it’s been awhile because Middleton has won the last seven meetings. Parker’s last victory was a 19-0 decision to finish off a 9-0 regular season in 2006

Beloit Memorial at Janesville Craig

New coach Rodney Wedig takes his first Purple Knights squad to Monterey Stadium, where the Cougars hope to get off on the right foot in an attempt to get back to the WIAA postseason for the first time since 2008. Craig hasn’t won a playoff game since 1999, which is the last time Memorial even reached the postseason.

Orfordville Parkview at Columbus

The Vikings fell, 38-6, in this matchup in last year’s season opener as the Cardinals went on to end a seven-year playoff drought. Parkview went winless last year (0-9) and is trying to break an 11-game losing skid.

New Glarus/Monticello at Edgerton

The Tide will keep riding the back of star runner Ricky Williams as it chases a fourth consecutive postseason appearance after winning the Rock Valley North title for the first time and earning its first playoff triumph since 1990.

Cambridge at Beloit Turner

The Blue Jays grabbed a postseason spot for the second time in three years, which included a 41-6 verdict over the Trojans. Turner finished 2-7 and claimed its only Rock Valley South victory over winless Parkview as the Trojans missed the playoffs for a 21st straight fall.

West Allis Hale at Badger

The Badgers lost a lot of talent from their eighth consecutive playoff squad, but they should be in the hunt for their third piece of the Southern Lakes pie in four years. This is the sixth straight year the teams have played, with Badger winning three of the first five meetings in this nonconference series.

Shoreland Lutheran at Clinton

The Cougars claimed their first playoff berth since 2000 and won their first postseason contest in school history, starting their big year with a 54-13 decision over the Pacers.

Catholic Central at Whitewater

The Hilltoppers reached the playoffs for a 14th straight time since joining the WIAA, while the Whippets will try to regroup after starting the year 3-0 but missing the postseason for a fourth time in a row in the rugged RVC North.

Palmyra-Eagle at Martin Luther

The Panthers finished 3-6 overall and it will be tough to get past last year’s three RVC South playoff teams -- Clinton, Big Foot and Brodhead-Juda -- to end their three-year postseason drought.

Kenosha Christian Life at Williams Bay

The Bulldogs have not earned a playoff berth since 2004 and will find the sledding tough again in the Trailways Small. Williams Bay finished 4-5 overall and will take another outcome like last year’s 41-0 win over KCL.

Westosha Central at Big Foot

Greg Enz is no stranger to postseason football, having led Little Chute to seven playoff trips in 12 seasons. So he knows what big expectations remain after taking the reins from Wedig, who led the Chiefs to the postseason all 11 years at the helm. Big Foot is again favored in the RVC South and has won 50 straight games against Rock Valley opponents.

River Valley at Brodhead/Juda

The Cardinals have qualified for the playoffs for 22 consecutive years, advancing to at least the third round eight times. Brodhead/Juda won last year’s meeting on the road after losing three straight season openers to the Blackhawks.

Evansville/Albany at Union Grove

The Blue Devils -- either as Evansville or as a co-op -- have appeared in the playoffs 15 of the last 18 seasons. E/A hopes to improve on its 5-5 mark that included a 30-21 home win against the Broncos.

Delavan-Darien at East Troy

A basketball game can’t break out for a second straight year, or can it? DDHS downed the Trojans, 70-52, last year behind quarterback Jesse Collins. He is back, but East Troy doesn’t have standout signal caller Brandon Matz.

Elkhorn at Cudahy

The Elks snapped a four-year playoff drought last year, which included a 38-0 thrashing of the Packers.

With the results in from Tuesday’s primary vote, the field now is set for the Nov. 4, 2014 general election.

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Businesses and organizations are teaming up to make sure students have the supplies they need when they return to school.

MESSENGER -- Friends of Riverside Park hopes that a day of music, games, food and activities will help make more people aware of the amenities that are offered at the Janesville park.

The friends group is hosting the Riverside Music Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at the north pavilion of the park, 2600 Parkside Drive.

JANESVILLE -- Police are investigating an early morning incident where a woman was discovered dead by an apparent gunshot wound.

Police were called shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, with a report of a domestic incident with both husband and wife reportedly stabbed, according to a police department news release.

Upon arrival, officers met with the husband outside of the home. Shortly thereafter, officers entered the home to find the wife dead of an apparent gunshot wound, according to police.

More details are expected at a 1 p.m. news conference at the Janesville Police Department in the chief's conference room on the first floor.

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