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ELKHORN -- The stars of the dog show -- that poofy-haired Pekinese, the easygoing beagle, the eager-to-please golden Labrador -- make it look so easy, posing for the judges while their handlers accept the ribbons and accolades.

But organizers know that to put on a good show, it takes dedication, a lot of behind-the-scenes work and sometimes even a little bit of string cheese.

Thursday, 28 July 2016 12:25

Editor's blog: Welcome to our new look

Our work here at the newspaper is never really done. I’m sure our jobs are much like yours in that way.

Yes, we publish a new edition each Sunday and Wednesday, but at the same time we’re working on new stories and new ways to connect with our readers.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Editor’s note: Saving Downtown is an award-winning series by freelance writer Lisa Schmelz exploring how Walworth County communities are breathing new life into their historic downtown districts. This is the seventh installment.

Visit other towns in the Saving Downtown series by going online to communityshoppers.com/tag/Saving-downtown.

David John Dietrich, a classically trained artist, recently purchased one of the 16 historic buildings that once served as the main artery of downtown Darien. He opened the doors to his gallery in March with an exhibition, bringing storefront occupancy on this lonely stretch of the past to 53 percent.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Thousands of people will be converging this week on a Lake Geneva-area farm to view the latest in agricultural technology and to see firsthand how a family farm is operated.

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, July 19 through July 21, at Snudden Farms, N764 Zenda Road. This is the first year the event has been held in Walworth County.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Should you discover a purple toilet parked in your yard in the next few days, don’t be alarmed.

Instead, think of it as an unusual invitation to one of the most enjoyable -- and worthy -- local events of the summer: Relay for Life of Walworth County, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, July 15, at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn, and running through 8 a.m. July 16.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- For Mark Duran, memories of war are a constant companion. But so, too, is Duran’s art. And it’s the latter that helps him focus on a future that’s alive with color and hope.

Duran, 43, of Delavan is an Army veteran who served and was seriously injured on the front lines in Afghanistan in 2005.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- On most days, “the Kettle” rewards hikers with scenic views, wildflowers, wildlife and the enjoyment of being outdoors in the glacial landscape.

But those who venture along the Kettle Moraine State Forest’s interpretive trails garner even more -- historical insights, cultural information and maybe even a glimpse of what the land might have looked like long ago.

Are you a frequent photo poster to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter?

We’re seeking submissions for the inaugural photography edition of our CSI Media publications that will publish July 31, 2016.

The photo edition will coincide with the launch of the new size and all-color format of Walworth County Sunday, The Shopper/Advertiser, The Stateline News and The Janesville Messenger.

Most of the time when I’m on Facebook or Twitter, I’m checking up on news that I otherwise may have missed.

One of my favorite delights is to see some of the awesome photography that people put on their social media feeds. I follow lots of people who post great images every week.

Those photographs are the inspiration for our inaugural photo edition.

Although social media is a great way to discover and share photography, there’s still something to be said for seeing an image in print on paper.

Especially with a combined circulation of 100,000 for all of our Sunday editions.

The other reason we’ve decided to do an edition devoted to photography is that before now, we’ve never been able to print color on every page of the paper.

But beginning with the July 31 edition, we won’t be constrained by limitations of color because of our printing press.

As you may remember, we announced a while back that we would begin printing our publications at the state-of-the-art Bliss Communications print facility on the outskirts of Janesville.

There are lots of reasons for switching to a different press, but one of them is the increased demand from advertisers for color in the ads they run in our paper.

Our current press has limited capacity, which means that some advertisers were shut out of color, or some of our features stories or photographs ran on black and white pages because all of the color pages had been spoken for.

With the new press, we’ll be able to print color on every page.

The move to the new press also will provide us an opportunity to give the paper a fresh new look and provide new opportunities for our advertising partners to share their message with our readers.

So, with this new color capability, we began brainstorming ways to best show it off, which led us to plan our photography edition.

We plan to run all the submissions online, and as many as we can in the paper. We’ll include the photographer’s name, caption information and how to find them on social media.

We’re looking for photographs that were taken during the past year. Our preference leans to spontaneous and arty.

If you’re looking to add followers, this will be a great way to make new connections.

If you have a photograph or two you’d like to submit, email me a link or post it to our timeline on Facebook. You can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Then mark your calendar for the paper that comes out July 31, 2016 and help us celebrate our fresh new look.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Madison Gruman is looking forward to showcasing her singing and dancing talents in front of a hometown crowd.

Gruman, 20, is a member of the Kids from Wisconsin, which is set to perform at 7 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Burlington High School.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Maybe it’s been years since you’ve made s’mores or joined in a sing-along by an open campfire, practiced archery or worked on arts and crafts under a green spread of trees. But if you’re missing those carefree summertime days and nights, you can re-create them -- or start your own memories.

Adult summer camps are a growing business, with more than 800 camps in the United States and more than a million adults attending them in 2013, according to the marketing company Grownupcamps.com site.

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