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WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Missing summer fun like camping, hiking and zip-lining?

Don’t let winter stop you.

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities for the season, like skiing, sledding and skating. But what if you want to do something that feels a little more like July when it’s January? You’d be surprised at what’s available:

Thursday, 19 January 2017 12:30

Dog rescued from car fire in Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva firefighters rescued a dog trapped in a burning van as they battled a fire in a Wal-Mart parking lot Wednesday afternoon. The fire caused damage to at least five vehicles, according to news releases from the Lake Geneva police and fire departments.

According to a release, emergency responders were dispatched at 12:56 p.m. Jan. 18, to a car fire in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at 201 N. Edwards Blvd. in Lake Geneva.

Crews found a fire engulfing two vehicles and used foam and dry chemicals to battle the blaze, which spread to three adjoining cars.

Firefighters entered a burning van to rescue a trapped dog. Crew members resuscitated the animal and transported it to the Lake Geneva Animal Hospital for treatment.

No other injuries were reported.  

“This was a serious and stubborn fire. Our crews worked hard to prevent further loss.  We’re glad the dog was rescued and that no one was injured,” Lake Geneva Fire Chief John Peter said.

The fire’s cause and origin remain under investigation. Criminal activity is not suspected at this time, according to a release.    

Two vehicles were total losses and one sustained minor damage.

A woman was seriously injured and a man arrested Monday after a methamphetamine cook ignited at a Lake Geneva hotel, according to a news release from the Lake Geneva Police Department.

Friday, 06 January 2017 10:14

Living in the time of Shakespeare

Literature Lady Chris Brookes will portray Lady Anne Bacon in her program “An Elizabethan Experience” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the Lake Geneva Public Library.

During her costumed performance, Brookes will capture the essence of what it was like to be a Renaissance courtier and will bring to life the times of William Shakespeare and his queen, 400 years after his death.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Lake Geneva Public Library. Brookes will sell her DVD “Introduction to the Elizabethan Age” after her program, donating part of the proceeds to the Friends.

From the royal schoolroom to the formal presence chamber, Lady Bacon educated her son, Francis Bacon, and traveled with Queen Elizabeth.

In her portrayal of Lady Bacon, Brookes will take her audience back in time to the 12-day Yuletide celebrations at Greenwich Palace, which have just concluded.

The courtiers are flushed with the spirit of masking and mumming, feasting and frivolity. The debut of Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night” drew the festivities to a close.

Lady Bacon will share some of the lines destined to become known the world over: “If music be the food of love, play on!”

As the Literature Lady, Brookes owns more costumes than clothes in order to bring history and literature to life for her re-creations of figures from a variety of time periods, including the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, Victorian times and the 1860s to the 1960s.

Her love of performing started in kindergarten when she played the Troll in “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Since then, she has performed as Lady Bacon at the Bristol Renaissance Faire and has played a variety of characters with several community theater companies.

After retiring from classroom teaching, Brookes, a Lake Geneva native, added performing, presenting and traveling to her repertoire. Currently she offers adult travel classes for graduate credit through Tools for Learning and regularly teaches for Road Scholar, a division of Elderhostel Inc. Brookes is a member of the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Everyone is welcome to attend this free program.

For information, call 262-249-5299 or visit online at

Friday, 30 December 2016 09:14

2016: Top stories in Walworth County

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- It’s 2017, and people don’t gather around the water cooler anymore to talk about what’s going on in their communities.

They gather around their smartphones to comment on Facebook posts.  

The technology may be changing, but good local stories always generate a buzz, whether it’s a 20-year-old Sharon woman who overcame life-threatening odds or 19th century shipwrecks as close as the waters of Geneva Lake. As we look back on the year just past, we review five of the stories that really got readers talking in 2016:

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 10:11

Lake Geneva man dies in early Saturday crash

LAKE GENEVA -- A Lake Geneva man died early Saturday after the car he was driving lost control and crashed into a tree.

Joseph Ahlgren, 22, of Lake Geneva was driving south in the 800 block of South Lakeshore Drive in his 2008 Nissan shortly after 2 a.m. Nov. 26, 2016, when he crashed, according to a news release from Lake Geneva Police Chief Michael S. Rasmussen.

LAKE GENEVA -- The resident of a Lake Geneva home escaped injury Saturday night after noticing smoke coming from the walls around their fire place.

Lake Geneva firefighters responded to the call at 11:11 p.m. Nov. 19, 2016 and found fire in the area of the fireplace chimney and ceiling of the single family home at 1113 Madison St.

The resident, who had exited the home, called 911 after noticing light smoke and the wall above the fireplace turning brown, according to a fire department news release.

Fire crews quickly knocked down the fire and conducted a primary search. Truck crews ventilated the roof and assisted with overhaul and salvage.

The living room and fireplace received extensive damage.

The cause and origin are under investigation.

Crews cleared the scene at 1:10 am.

"Our crews worked hard and did a great job, containing the fire and preventing further loss. We are grateful there were no injuries, since nighttime fires can be very dangerous for sleeping residents. We encourage everyone to have fireplace chimneys cleaned and inspected regularly, as well as having working smoke detectors," Lake Geneva Fire Chief Chief John Peters was quoted as saying in the news release.

WALWORTH COUNTY TODAY -- Black Point Estate is partnering with Horticultural Hall once again on their popular winter lecture series, Veranda Views from the Hall. Kicking off the series this year is a program by Wisconsin author and storyteller Rochelle Pennington on the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald .

No other Great Lakes shipwreck is more well-known than the Edmund Fitzgerald, which disappeared into a stormy Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975, when wind gusts peaked at nearly 100 miles per hour and waves reached the height of three-story buildings. The Edmund Fitzgerald remains the largest shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

Pennington delves into the various theories and opposing views of dive detectives who are still trying to solve the mystery of what led to the demise of the 29-man crew.

Audience members will be led from the launch of the ship to its final radio broadcasts, and from the Fitz's discovery on Superior's bottom to the raising of artifacts from its watery grave.

This program also includes a complete circle tour of Lake Superior's extraordinary shorelines.

Pennington is an award-winning newspaper columnist and bestselling author of ten books including "Highlighted in Yellow" co-authored with H. Jackson Brown, "The Historic Christmas Tree Ship," "An Old-Fashioned Christmas," and more. Her work has been included in multiple bestselling series over the past two decades.

“Rochelle is both a lively storyteller and an entertaining lecturer so we are thrilled to bring her back to the Lake Geneva area,” Black Point Director David Desimone was quoted as saying in a news release.. “Last year’s program on maritime archeology drew over 150 people and we expect a similar turn out for this program on the fascinating story of the Fitzgerald."

Additional programs in this year’s series include Doll Play, A History of Doll Houses with Wisconsin Historical Society curator Leslie Bellais; Wisconsin Supper Clubs with author Mary Bergin and filmmaker Holly Deruter; Pabst: The Man and The Mansion with Pabst Mansion executive director John C. Eastberg and The Impact of World War One on Milwaukee with Milwaukee County Historical Society archivist, Kevin Abing. More information about each event will be released as the program date approaches.

If you go

When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
Cost: $5. Reservations can be made by calling Black Point Estate at 262-248-1888.
Where: Horticultural Hall, 330 Broad Street, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 53147
For more information on any of these programs, please visit Black Point Estate at To purchase tickets please call 262-248-1888.

Friday, 28 October 2016 09:21

Local teens star in high school productions

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The plays taking center stage on Walworth County high schools next month showcase some wonderful theater, with several presenting familiar stories given a new twist.

Big Foot High School

Audience members will see a familiar fairy tale turned on its head with “The Cinderella Complex” at the newly remodeled auditorium at Big Foot High School, said director Rachel Wenndt.  

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- In Wisconsin, 42 percent of the state’s households have adults who go to work every day but aren’t sure they’ll be able to put dinner on the table tonight for their families, pay the electric bill this month or buy prescription drugs to manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

The findings are the result of a United Way of Wisconsin report released in September on the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, or ALICE. Often referred to as the working poor, these are people who don’t fall under the poverty level but can’t afford basic necessities.

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