WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- There was a time in our nation’s history when taking up arms in defense of our allies took on a very different meaning than today. “Over there” was a rallying chorus designed to inspire our troops and signify other lands were in peril from contrasting beliefs. The political and physical landscape of Europe would be changed by World War II. The scars left by the Great War are still felt to this day.
There are hundreds of stories of personal sacrifice, courage and ultimately casualties. On a hillside in a small community of the Tuscany region of northern Italy, one such story recently was relived through the very personal journey of Brenda Dean, a town of Delavan resident.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- It has been just over a year since Gary Jurgensen, 62, of Sharon became a statistic in the West Nile Virus folder of confirmed cases in Wisconsin.
Although there were only 17 of them in the state last year, West Nile Virus is more common than we think. Eighty percent of those bitten by a mosquito that has fed on a bird infected with the disease show no symptoms. The other 20 percent likely believe they have the flu because the symptoms are similar. How many cases go unreported is anyone’s guess. Out of that 20 percent, about one in 150 become seriously ill, and some die.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The windows of the Circle of Friends Mission Thrift Shoppe at 23 E. Walworth St. in downtown Elkhorn are pasted with fliers: a lost dog, a blood drive, a charity 5K run event. It’s not surprising that in this social media age of Facebook postings and Twitter feeds, people still want to tape fliers up in a spot that’s central to many in the area.
But passersby soon may be searching for neighborhood news at a new location. The current store is bursting at the seams and may be forced to relocate.
WHITEWATER -- As any NCAA Division III team can tell you, it’s bad enough playing against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks, currently ranked first in the division, on their home field, but nothing punctuates that feeling better than the booming cannon fire that erupts right after they’ve scored on you.
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Mike Lesko, affectionately known as "The Cannon Man," has been making that victory blast possible for the past 20 years. Lesko, at the command of his 2 1/2-inch-bore confederate mountain rifle replica, has fired a powerful 6-ounce gunpowder shot to celebrate every single Warhawks touchdown during a regular season home game over his long tenure as the team’s artilleryman. The university’s football tradition is so entrenched that it predates much of the current athletic department’s staff.
LAKE GENEVA -- Some leaders are easy to spot, while others prefer to avoid the spotlight. Alex Martinez falls into the latter category.
However, the Badger High School senior takes that role seriously, and his cross-country teammates tend to follow.
EAST TROY -- You don’t need to love bluegrass music to love the East Troy Bluegrass Festival. That’s because there are so many styles of bluegrass nowadays -- new grass, country, swampgrass, folk, gospel --?plus fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar contests. Bring your instrument and enjoy the whole weekend. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 and Sept. 14. The rain location will be East Troy Middle School, 3143 Graydon Ave.
CLINTON -- The racehorse known as He’s So Hot was on track for a stunning career until an injury put a sudden stop to his racing days.
The Standardbred gelding was born in Illinois to a proud lineage, the offspring of prized horses Sportsmaster and She’s Redhot.
He’s So Hot was purchased in 2009 and trained for harness racing by the DeLong family of Clinton and had all the makings of a future champion.
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At the height of his performance in 2010, the then 2-year-old racehorse had earned $70,500 at the Mini Me Final at Balmoral Park in Crete, Illinois; $22,500 at the Governor’s Cup at Du Quoin, Illinois; $60,350 at the Cardinal Final at Maywood Park in Melrose Park, Illinois, and finished second in the $127,000 American-National Final at Balmoral Park.
TOWN OF SHARON -- A bridge that has been closed in the town of Sharon is causing concern among residents and town officials.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The word rustic can conjure up images of homes, woods or even something memorable on a shelf. Antiques can be rustic and appreciated by those with an eye toward collecting or a love of history. For younger generations, rustic can just mean old or in need of renovation (maybe there’s an app for that).
When our travels leave the day-to-day commute, some of us take the scenic route. If you know where to look, Wisconsin’s rustic road system can bring beautiful views or a trip down memory lane.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Scarecrows of many shapes and sizes will be dressed to impress visitors this September in downtown Delavan.
The scarecrows will be displayed as part of the 14th annual Scarecrow Fest, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13.