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WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Many an avid reader has fond memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and “Little House on the Prairie.” The story re-creates feelings closely woven into Wisconsin memories -- family, heritage and handmade crafts. Author Kathleen Ernst writes about these situations as she delicately intertwines her historical fiction series featuring Chloe Ellefson.

Ernst was born in Maryland. Her earliest jobs involved work as a naturalist and interpreter in Maryland and other states.

In 1982 Ernst moved to Wisconsin, accepting a job with the Wisconsin Historical Society at Old World Wisconsin near Eagle. She worked on site as an interpreter for two years before moving behind the scenes as curator of interpretation and collections. Following another decade writing children’s programming for public television, she committed to becoming a full-time writer.

DELAVAN -- His military assignments took him to places as exotic and distant as Morocco, Trinidad and Cuba, and his post-war business trips had him crisscrossing the United States from Florida to California, but next week will be Dave Perkins’ first trip to Washington, D.C., when he and some 200 other veterans depart Beloit and roll into the nation’s capital on a fleet of buses.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Take a city girl from Ohio and a guy with 35 years of experience as a computer engineer and you get ... two dedicated local cheesemakers. Terry and Denise Woods started selling their cheese only last year, but the two have been part of the agricultural landscape in the town of Linn since 1984. Over the years, they’ve raised sheep and Highland cattle, even chickens -- although “they’re not warm and cuddly,” Denise says -- on their farm, complete with a barn built in 1911 and a 1914 Sears and Roebuck house.

Now, in what Terry calls the smallest milking parlor in Wisconsin at their Highfield Farm Creamery, a herd of 19 cows provides the milk the couple turn into the cheese they sell seasonally at their farm to individual consumers, small retailers like the Green Grocer in Williams Bay and area restaurants such as Pier 290, also in Williams Bay.

JANESVILLE -- Want to party on a parking structure rooftop high above Parker Drive? Check out a church-turned-entertainment center? Step out on the third-floor ballroom at the Odd Fellows Lodge?

You can do all those and more, thanks to a one-day Downtown Open House Wisconsin on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

VILLAGE OF WALWORTH -- To say that Hazel Schuth has lived a long and fulfilled life would be an understatement.

Schuth, 108, who is set to turn 109 in July, said she does not feel her age, even though she’s likely one of the oldest or maybe even the oldest county resident.

Born in 1907, Schuth says her upcoming birthday, "doesn’t feel any different than if I was turning 10."

LAKE GENEVA -- Two residents at Arbor Village in Lake Geneva recently reached the century mark.

Louise Weber turned 100 on Jan. 6, and Francis Drews turned 100 on Jan. 8, 2016.

They share their birth years with Kirk Douglas, who turns 100 on Dec. 9, 2016. Gregory Peck, Olivia de Havilland, Dinah Shore and Walter Cronkite also were born that year.

Drews said she is pleased to have lived a long life and is looking forward to the future while remembering her past.

By Cathy Durkin Mestek

I don’t think it’s my imagination that we’ve lost some ground. There’s no time like the present to work together to do better.

When my late husband, Steve, and I decided to have children, we opted for adoption and brought Jimmy, Cassi and Timmy into our family as infants from Korea during a span from 1984 to 1991.

LYONS -- The first year Joe Schaefer was elected as a Walworth County Board supervisor, President Nixon had resigned due to the Watergate scandal, Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle" and "The Godfather: Part II" was playing in the movie theaters.

A lot has changed since 1974, but one thing that has remained consistent in Walworth County  is Schaefer’s service to the county board. That service will continue as Schaefer, 72, of Lyons was re-elected April 5, making him the longest continuous-serving board member in the county’s history at 42 years. Schaefer said he is looking forward to serving another term.

LAKE GENEVA -- "What gets saved is often more by chance than by merit, and I think that’s true whether it’s buildings or photographs," says David Desimone, the director of Black Point Estate, the Queen Anne-style summer home of 19th-century Chicago beer baron Conrad Seipp, that lies along the shores of Geneva Lake.

Desimone became director of the Wisconsin historical site in 2013, some eight years after the property was donated to the state by a Seipp descendant.

EAST TROY -- Singing is all the rage on reality TV shows. Programs such as "The Voice," "America’s Got Talent" and the iconic, recently retired "American Idol," give the illusion that anyone can sing well given that one big break. But closer to home, talent abounds, and some of those who are dedicated but less decorated sing for the loveof it in the East Troy Community Choir.

In its 10th year, the mix of male and female voices is directed by Rodger Trader.



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