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Walworth County Fair

Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2017

Mobile guide and schedule

TOWN OF SHARON— Investigators say a town of Sharon teen failed to stop at a stop sign Wednesday and crashed into the car of a man who then died at the scene, according to a Walworth County sheriff's news release.

Loren Huffman, 67, also of the town of Sharon, sustained critical injuries from the crash and died, according to the release. The teen, driving a blue 2005 Ford Taurus, was Isabel Lavariega Bazan, 19.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- A library is more than a collection of books; it’s a place to read, to access the internet, to borrow music and movies and a place for children to grow socially and intellectually. It’s a place outside of home and work where you choose to spend your time. So, when a library outgrows its space, you’d think everyone would be for its expansion, right?

 Yes. Sort of. But not at the expense of our past, said a collection of concerned Whitewater citizens. That’s not to say they don’t recognize the need for a library expansion.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Russ Hays has been busy. As co-chair of the Cars Time Forgot car show, he’s lined up vendors, recruited volunteers, answered innumerable questions from potential visitors and exhibitors and given interviews — heck, he even  built the show trophy.

He’ll see all his work come to fruition on Sunday, July 9, 2017 when more than 1,000 show cars, trucks, motorcycles and special interest vehicles are expected to cover the grounds of Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan. This is the sixth year the show has been at the resort after outgrowing its original location in downtown Delavan.

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:46

Preserving memories on the homefront

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY — Bill Sigmund’s model airplanes are replicas of the real thing — many of them the aircraft flown by pilots in World War II.

Now the Elkhorn man’s model planes will be displayed among the real artifacts of area residents, who like him, have served in the U.S. military.

Friday, 16 June 2017 09:04

Young racer learning fast

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Ava Hanssen already has made winning circles around the Midwest her second home. And she doesn’t turn 7 until July 15.

The Elkhorn youngster began racing snowmobiles and go-karts at age 4.

EAST TROY -- The Trojan boys’ tennis team made history by qualifying for the WIAA Division 2 state tennis tournament in Madison.

The team tournament will be held Friday and Saturday, June 9-10, 2017 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The individual championship was held June 1-3, 2017.

TOWN OF LYONS — It’s a dueling exercise of labor and love. Kayaking creates a physically challenging activity but offers a soothing mental break from work and life’s daily grind.

Several Walworth County residents said that combination is what keeps them searching for any excuse to hit area waterways.

Lyons Township resident Jack Hawkins turns 80 in July and isn’t about to quit paddling.

“I started kayaking in the early 1990s before it really became a popular sport in the Midwest,” Hawkins said.He has been active all of his life, whether downhill skiing, sailboating, hiking, fly fishing or working as a ski patroller, a role he played for 15 years at the American Birkebeiner and at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The Illinois native moved to Walworth County nearly 20 years ago and owns a place in Door County, a frequent destination to quench his kayaking thirst.

However, much of his time is spent on Geneva Lake.

“ClearWater Outdoor does a social paddle Monday mornings … we usually hit the water by 8 and are off the lake by 10,” Hawkins said of beating the heavy boat traffic of the county’s largest and busiest lake. “Sometimes I’ll start at Big Foot Beach and go to the north shore and back, about a 7-mile roundtrip. You get quite a workout.”

But that’s nothing new for Hawkins.

“I’ve always been a ‘quiet’ sports kind of guy,” Hawkins said of his many outdoor recreational pursuits. “I was trying to decide which kind of watercraft that I would get more use out of.”

Kayaking it was. And now Hawkins proudly talks about the three wooden kayaks — 12-, 14- and 18-footers — he has built himself.

“I like the idea of using something that’s self-propelled but light enough that, unlike a canoe, I can maneuver myself,” he said. “Although, it feels at least 5 pounds heavier every time.

“It’s fun zipping around to all the different places, maybe stopping somewhere for lunch,” he said of his many Geneva Lake excursions.

“It gives you different looks and perspectives. They’re all challenging, but yet they’re refreshing. It’s nice to have something close by like this.”

Picking up the paddles

Polly Marzahl and her husband, Jim, took up kayaking about three years ago thanks to CSI Media co-worker Katie Busateri.

“Katie posted a picture on Facebook with her feet sticking up with lily pads and everything in the background … it was such a pretty picture, and the next day I said, ‘I can do that. I want to do that,’” Marzahl said.

“We went out with them and floated around Lake Comus and loved it … then we bought our own kayaks, a cheaper set,” she said. “But we quickly realized we wanted something better and bought new ones the next year.”

And Marzahl can be found paddling somewhere every chance she gets from spring through fall.

“I try to get out every weekend, sometimes twice, and sometimes even during the week,” she said. “So that’s probably at least 30 times a summer.”

Busateri got her first taste of kayaking during a trip to Maine in 2002, enjoying a sea kayaking adventure in the Atlantic Ocean.

“I fell in love with it on that first trip,” said Busateri, who tools around in her 12-foot Wilderness Systems kayak, nicknamed “The Hulkster” because it’s big and green.

She used to kayak on a lot of lakes and has enjoyed the waters of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with relatives and her late husband, Jason Chase, including a short jaunt on Lake Superior.

“Polly really got me into doing the creeks and rivers around here,” Busateri said. “I still do Geneva Lake, but you have to get out early to avoid all of the boats. We have seen more and more people, but it’s still not as busy on the creeks.”

She enjoys Turtle Creek and the Yahara River and has traveled sections of the Sugar and Kickapoo rivers.

The Marzahls, Sugar Creek Township residents, own 13-1/2-foot Jackson Journeys.

“They could be overkill … they’re like a sea kayak, which start at about 14 feet long,” she said. “So ours are on the edge of being too long for creeks.”

But as far as she’s concerned, there is no going back.

“A lot of people think about the little hole (cockpit) and if they capsize they’ll not get out and drown, but gravity usually sucks you right out,” Marzahl said. “If you take the proper precautions and are all geared up you’ll be completely safe. But it’s always safety in numbers — I never go alone because crazy things can happen.”

Turtle Creek and the Yahara River are Marzahl’s favorite destinations, although she has navigated the Sugar River near Brodhead and has tackled the Fox River in Waukesha County, the Kickapoo River and even a section of the Wisconsin River.

“Turtle Creek is a favorite because it has a lot of different sections you can do,” she said of its great scenic and natural variety. “You can do the School Road section, the Oriley Road section, the Highway 140 section to Sweet Allyn Park. Each part offers something a little different.

“Sometimes we go from County C to Oriley Road, what some people call the Fairfield section. We always see a lot of wildlife, birds and turtles.”

They also typically run into one of their special acquaintances, a customer they’ve nicknamed Larry the Heron.

An important thing for novices to know is that kayaking can be time consuming because of loading, unloading, transferring to vehicles, etc.

Many of the Marzahls’ escapades cover about four hours, but they’ve done six-hour adventures.

“I just love it,” said Marzahl, who when properly fitted for inclement weather has paddled in the rain.

She also enjoys the Yahara, often doing a stretch north of Janesville from Stebbinsville Road to Fulton.

“The Yahara is our favorite,” Marzahl said. “It’s so beautiful and more secluded, and it’s wider, faster and the water is clearer. We often see multiple eagles along that stretch.”

Marzahl recommends that veteran and novice kayakers alike check out Timothy Bauer’s website www.milespaddled.com or www.usgs.gov for detailed information about whatever waterway you’ll be using.

She keeps a diary of her outings, jotting down such information as where they went, what they encountered as far as downed trees, what they saw, water levels, etc., to use as reference the next time.

But the main thing is getting away and communing with nature.

“It’s like an emotional de-fragmenting of your hard drive,” Marzahl said. “Your mind needs to get out where you can listen to everything going on around you … like the sound of your paddle going through the water. It’s so peaceful and soothing. It’s therapy.”

Busateri couldn’t agree more.

“I would recommend the Kickapoo because it’s the most scenic with all of the rock formations,” Busateri said. “But regardless of where you go, you see all kinds of birds … like the time we went on Cravath Lake in Whitewater. I didn’t even know what it was at first, but it was a huge crane. You see duck hunters, who stir up different birds and things. But you see different kinds of nature every time. All of the places we go have their own little attractions.

“And it’s so relaxing and takes away all of the stress,” she added. “We’ve seen more and more people on the various streams, but it’s still a pretty peaceful experience.”

WHITEWATER -- Before taking her immense talents to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Myriama Smith-Traore repeated as the player of the year on the 20th-annual All-Walworth County Girls Basketball Team. The honor for the 6-foot-2 senior continued a run of four years in a row for the Whippets having the POY.

“Myriama is a one-in-a-lifetime player -- one of the best in the entire state,” said Coach Judy Harms of Whitewater. “(She is) extremely unselfish, and celebrates the success of others more than anyone that I have ever coached.”

Smith-Traore is joined on the all-county first team by her running mate, 5-7 senior Rebekah Schumacher. Both have been first-teamers for the past three seasons. Also on the first team are: Olivia Briggs, 5-10, senior, Walworth Big Foot; Courtney Oomens, 6-1, junior, Lake Geneva Badger; and Kenna Timmerman, 6-0, senior, Delavan-Darien.

“(Smith-Traore is a) phenomenal player, amazing both on and off the court, and I can’t wait to see her play at the next level for Marquette,” said Harms.

The Whippets fell short of the state tournament this past season, but Smith-Traore and Schumacher helped the team to a state championship as sophomores. Smith-Traore, while garnering an array of top player honors, scored 1,393 career points (422 this past season in 25 games), grabbed 1,186 career rebounds (377), and had 214 career assists (72). She is a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association all-star team selection and was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American team and as a Gatorade player of the year.

Before Smith-Traore, Whitewater players of the year on the all-county team were Sarah Schumacher in 2014-15 and Brooke Trewyn in 2013-14.

Rebekah Schumacher, team captain, was also chosen for the WBCA all-star game. The guard has 1,197 career points and 377 career assists. This past season she had 333 points, 96 rebounds and 106 assists. Her assists are a school record and she is second in steals (366) and holds the single-season marks in assists and three-point baskets. During her time, the Whippets were 94-7, including 56-straight conference wins.

“Rebekah is an exemplary player and has had a phenomenal career playing for Whitewater,” said Harms. “Rebekah exhibits a passion for the game, a hard work ethic, and is an absolute joy to coach.”

Briggs, a guard, had 884 career points, 454 rebounds and 169 assists, with 295 points, 132 rebounds and 90 assists this past season. She also added 70 steals this season and 229 in her career. The team captain and most valuable player was a first-team all-Rock Valley South Conference choice.

Oomens, a forward, averaged 11.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game this past season. She was named to the Southern Lake Conference first team. Oomens led the SLC in rebounding.

Timmerman was a wing/post player for the Comets. She compiled 344 points, 174 rebounds and 30 assists. Her coach said she covered the opponent's’ best post player every game.

The second team included: Brooke Wellhausen, 6-0, senior, Big Foot; Payton Courier, 6-0, junior, Big Foot; Erin Rice, 5-7, sophomore, East Troy; Jaida Speth, 5-10, junior, Delavan-Darien; and Jenn Freeman, 5-8, senior, Badger.

Receiving honorable mention were: Mackenzie Lindow, 5-7, sophomore, East Troy; Ali Ketterhagen, 5-10, junior, Whitewater; Miranda Reynolds, 5-11, junior, Whitewater; and Allison Heckert, 5-6, junior, Whitewater.

The 2016-17 all-county team was selected by area coaches and media.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Vacationing tourists are starting to fill Walworth County, and Black Point Estate and Gardens is ready to welcome them. Of course, Black Point has been opening its doors to guests for well over a century.

This season visitors will see a major restoration of the covered veranda that wraps around the house after it was meticulously rebuilt from top to bottom.

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