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Friday, 16 September 2016 12:45

Whitewater's Jay Craggs is a music maker

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Guitarist Jay Craggs has shared the stage, opened for or recorded with musicians as varied as Wynton Marsalis, Buddy Rich and Kansas. He’s also a self-described technology geek and has done sound engineering and studio work for dozens of performers, including Rush, Prince and David Bowie.

He still has a recording studio in the basement of his Whitewater home, but these days, he’s the facilities coordinator at the James R. Connor University Center at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the school where he earned a degree in music education, and teaches an occasional class in audio recording for the communications department. He also plays with Cold Sweat and the Brew City Horns, an eight-piece band performing around Milwaukee, Chicago, Green Bay and Madison.

BLOOMFIELD -- A group of hungry ostriches approached the tour wagon looking for food. A few minutes later, alpacas, miniature horses and a miniature zebu joined them.

That’s just one of the things visitors will see as part of their visit to Safari Lake Geneva, which opened a 75-acre preserve last month off County Highway H, south of Lake Geneva. The park features a variety of animals representing five continents including rheas, zebras, llamas, blackbuck antelopes, bison and goats.

TOWN OF LINN—Hillcroft, the $16.45 million home currently for sale at W3245 Snake Road that stretches along Geneva Lake, not only has numerous luxurious amenities like a private dock, heated 8-car bay and two-bedroom guesthouse—it comes with a pedigree.
In 1927, the estate was the summertime residence of Phillip K. Wrigley, whose fortune at one time included the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company, the Chicago Cubs baseball team and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Friday, 02 September 2016 12:18

Crisscross the county for festival fun

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Music takes center stage on the village square when the East Troy Bluegrass Festival kicks up its heels Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.

The East Troy festival is among one of four fun events planned next weekend. There’s also Darien Corn Fest, the Taste of Lake Geneva and the Whitewater Main Street Festival to squeeze into your social calendar.

Friday, 02 September 2016 12:07

Photographer reflects on his famous father

WALWORTH  COUNTY SUNDAY -- On the outskirts of Walworth, off the shoulder of U.S. Highway 14, just over the railroad tracks, across the road from a storage unit and pier service and sharing the lot of a propane gas distributor, sits a small nondescript building. The sign says “Thompson Art Gallery,” which is owned and operated by Bruce Thompson and his wife, Joan.

Upon entering the building, however, the space blossoms into a habitat of beautiful images of stunning landscapes: lakes, rivers, pastures and woods in every season. The far wall is covered with the works of renowned impressionist painter, and Bruce’s father, Richard Earl Thompson.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- About 20,000 boats travel on Geneva Lake throughout the summer. Besides the boaters, the lake also is busy with swimmers, sail boaters, wakeboarders and water skiers.

With all that activity, someone has to make sure the lake remains safe for users. That’s where the Geneva Lake Law Enforcement Agency comes in.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- There is just something exciting about a new home. Despite the packing, unpacking and deciding where the family’s precious memories go, a new locale gives new perspective. This was exactly the case for members of the Historical Society of Walworth and Big Foot Prairie as they moved their displays and artifacts into a permanent location just one block off the village square.

The move literally took a village, as society President Nancy Lehman can attest.

WHITEWATER -- As a child, Dianne Moller constructed Styrofoam airplanes and then set them aloft to watch them soar.

"I love anything that flies -- airplanes, gliders," she says. "It’s that sense of freedom we don’t have (as humans) to just take off in flight."

Moller also grew to love nature’s most majestic fliers, and she’s now in her 20th year of rehabilitating eagles, hawks, owls and other birds of prey. While her five-acre facility, Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center near Whitewater, typically isn’t open to the public, Moller presents educational programs around Walworth and Rock counties.

EAST TROY -- Annie Haeger believes she didn’t choose her current path in life, it chose her.

Regardless, the East Troy area resident has combined her best qualities -- including athletic ability, work ethic and mental toughness -- to land a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Haeger, 26, and teammate Briana Provancha are among 15 members of the U.S. sailing team heading to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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.

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