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ELKHORN -- The National Barrel Horse Association will move its 2017 Wisconsin state finals to the Walworth County Fairgrounds in August of 2017.

The finals will be held Aug.  17 to 20, 2017, just prior to the Walworth County Fair, according to a news release.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Members of the Williams Bay High School History Club don’t just study the past. They mine it to bring old traditions into the present. In some cases, they even use it to create a piece of the future.

Take, for example, one of the club’s biggest projects -- Frost Park. The slice of land at Congress and Geneva streets was created by the Williams Bay Garden Club in 1935 to honor Edwin B. Frost, a physicist and astronomer who worked at Yerkes Observatory in the early 20th century. It was designed with astronomical symbolism, including a moon garden. But more than 70 years later, the park had slid into neglect.  

Thursday, 08 December 2016 08:59

Adding to prep legacy

Athlete profile:Grant Truesdale

Athlete’s name: Grant Truesdale

School: Elkhorn Area High School

Year: Junior

Sports: Soccer and wrestling

Honors/recognition for each sport: State runner-up in soccer; first-team all-conference and conference wrestling champion

Season scoring stats, best times, etc.: Most pins in 2015-’16 season (22), placed third at sectionals in wrestling

Describe yourself on/off the field: Work hard on and off the field and it will get you places.

How did you get started in playing each of the sports or your favorite sport: Began wrestling around age 6 and loved the sport from the start. Started soccer in middle school, team kept winning and it was an all-around fun time.

Biggest influences/role models and why: My parents, who have influenced me to work hard at everything I do.

Most memorable moment(s) in high school sports: Winning conference my sophomore year and placing second at state in soccer.

What advice would you give younger athletes about competing at the high school and/or collegiate levels: Work as hard as you can every day in practice. It’s a whole new level and takes a ton of offseason and in-season work to be good. Nothing is handed to you.

Your nickname, if any: Truesie

Favorite athlete(s): Kyle Snyder (American Olympic gold medalist wrestler) and Eddie Lacy

Favorite team(s): Green Bay Packers

Any other hobbies outside of sports: Playing backyard games with friends as much as possible

Post-high school plans: Attend college; pursue a degree in the medical field

To participate in CSIMedia’s Athlete Profiles, coaches and/or student-athletes should email Sports Editor Todd Mishler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a questionnaire. Please submit the completed form and any action or school photos at your earliest convenience. If you don’t have a photo available, we can arrange to come and take one.



Friday, 02 December 2016 10:28

Young entrepreneur digs into organic farming

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Casey Medema’s organically grown vegetables and herbs have not only graced the plates of diners at Pier 290, a lakeside restaurant in Williams Bay, but they’ve shown up in area food pantries and at farmers market stands.

This is Medema’s second year as operational manager of Farm 290, where his past summer she worked about an acre of land owned by the restaurant’s president, Bill Gage, and supplied Pier 290’s chef with fresh produce for the menu. She also has a greenhouse on the property to help her expand the growing season.   

TOWN OF GENEVA -- A utility company finished clearing trees along a power line route in Geneva Township before town officials had a chance to stop them in court.

Instead, the town issued citations to American Transmission Company for violating ordinance No. 58. The ordinance says a building permit from the town's building inspector is required before removing any trees or brush and prohibits "clear-cutting" trees.

Read more at HERE

The town filed the suit Oct. 28, 2016, and was going to ask a Walworth County judge to issue a temporary restraining order Nov. 21, 2016, but that hearing was cancelled, according to town attorney Richard Torhorst.

ATC maintains it was never "clear-cutting" the trees, according to an affidavit from Joe Benzschawel, an ATC Vegetation Management Specialist. An ATC Spokeswoman, Jackie Olson, previously said in an email to The Gazette that ATC told local officials "on several occasions" the company believes the local ordinance does not apply to public utilities.

"ATC will not be able to achieve clearances necessary to assure safety and reliability if stopped from performing tree trimming and removals on the X-55 transmission line," Benzschawel wrote. "The close proximity of trees to the X-55 line puts the public, including landowners and non-certified tree workers, at risk of electrocution should they touch such a tree."

Part of ATC's X-55 line, the power line in question, runs north along County Highway H from County NN, then along Palmer Road to Wisconsin Highway 67. The X-55 line is also located in Elkhorn and the town of Delavan.

Walworth County Judge Daniel Johnson ruled Oct. 13 that ATC could trim or remove trees near the Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital. The ruling came in a case filed in June by Fellow Mortals, owned by Yvonne and Steven Blane, in an attempt to block the tree cutting, saying the removal would harm injured animals.

The citations against ATC will be held before a municipal court judgement, Torhorst said.

Because ATC filed a request for substitution of judge with the town of Geneva Municipal Court, the date the citations will be reviewed is not yet known, Torhorst said.

Thursday, 01 December 2016 16:20

Recount underway in Walworth County

ELKHORN -- About 20 volunteer ballot counters were hunkered down Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in the basement of the Walworth County Government Center in Elkhorn to begin the presidential election recount.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and independent candidate Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente filed recount requests last Friday and will pay the cost of the recount.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission earlier this week received about $3.5 million from Stein's group to cover the recount in Wisconsin's 72 counties.

The Walworth County recount was being overseen by County Clerk Kim Bushey, as several Stein observers watched the volunteers went through the ballots.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted unanimously Monday on a timeline for a recount of the state's presidential election and rejected a request that all of the nearly 3 million ballots cast be reviewed by hand, according to the Associated Press.

Stein's Wisconsin recount request included an affidavit from University of Michigan computer scientist J. Alex Halderman stating that a hand recount is the only way to determine whether there could have been a cyberattack that affected the results. He argued that records stored in electronic voting equipment could have been manipulated in an attack.

The decentralized nature of Wisconsin's voting system, and the fact that the equipment in question is not connected to the internet, makes it difficult to see how there could have been a widespread attack, said Wisconsin Election Commission administrator Mike Haas.


WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- A utility company finished clearing trees along a power line route in Geneva Township before town officials had a chance to stop them in court.

Instead, the town issued citations to American Transmission Company for violating ordinance No. 58. The ordinance says a building permit from the town's building inspector is required before removing any trees or brush and prohibits "clear-cutting" trees.

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.

ELKHORN -- Walworth County Clerk Kimberly Bushey is seeking volunteers to serve as tabulators at the upcoming statewide Presidential recount, according to a news release from the clerk's office.

A tabulator counts ballots under the direction of the county clerk and board of canvassers.

Tabulators must be 18 years old. Those interested should e-mail their name, address, telephone number and e-mail address to Kimberly Bushey or stop by the County Clerk’s office, Room 101 at the Walworth County Government Center, 100 W. Walworth Street, Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Email Bushey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The effort comes at the request of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who raised $6 million to recount presidential ballots in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three states the Donald Trump won by slim margins.

A group of computer scientists, including John Bonifaz, a voting rights attorney, and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, according to New York Magazine, say the detected discrepencies in vote totals for counties that used computer ballots versus those that used optical scanning machines, like those used in Walworth County.

The recount would have to tilt in favor of Hillary Clinton in all three states to change the Electoral College outcome.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016 13:44

This just in blog: Our election hangover

Instead of a presidential honeymoon, Americans have been given a campaign hangover.

This election season was historic, more for careening off the rails of how traditional campaigns are run than any significance the candidates might bring to the office.

Trump voters seemed as surprised as Clinton voters that the disruptive New York businessman so decisively claimed the race.

And Wisconsin was the final domino to fall in the early morning hours after the polls closed.

The Scott Walker coalition not only delivered the state for Donald Trump, but returned Sen. Ron Johnson, who had trailed in the polls through the fall, to the Senate, assuring that Republicans would have control of the House and Senate.

Now, the question is can we come together as a country?

Maybe, but we have a long way to go.

Hidden in the ugly campaign was a roadmap for the new president and Congress showing what voters want from their government.

We’re frustrated by the rapidly growing income gap.

We’re worried about the influence of unaccountable money in our electoral process.

More people have health insurance than ever before, but costs continue to rise and we don’t know why.

Terrorism remains a threat.

Although the national economy rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession, a wide swath of the working class saw little change for the better.

That frustration fueled the Trump surge.

Although Trump’s transition team touched on a range of topics this past week, wage growth could solve a lot of problems.

Workers with more money feel more secure. They contribute more in taxes. Rising incomes mean people rely less on government services.

More money in people’s pockets means businesses can grow to accommodate increased demand.

Republicans surely will pitch tax cuts as a way to raise wages, but those cuts initially benefit the wealthy and businesses.

A raise in the minimum wage is unlikely, but tax reform can directly drive wage growth by giving companies incentives to raise wages or by penalizing them if they don’t.

So too with health care.

"It'll be great health care for much less money," Trump told Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes" last week.

I suspect it won’t be quite that simple or easy.

Republicans, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville, finally will be able to reveal their long-alluded to replacement to the Affordable Care Act.

Frustrated voters, on the other hand, won’t have much patience for solutions that are retreads of previous proposals.

There are lots of ways to move forward as a country.

But one way that never came up in the dozens of letters to the editor that we ran in the weeks leading up to the election was that we should do nothing.

It’s commendable that our representatives stick to their principles, but the overarching principle should be to make government work for the people.

Republicans were loath to soften their positions during the almost eight years of President Barack Obama’s term.

They may need to now in the Senate to get Democrats to play along. Republicans will need 60 votes in many cases.

Sometimes that means accepting a compromise and living to fight again in the arena of public opinion. Finding ways to work together means moving away from personality and moving toward policy.

Now that the votes have been counted, our Constitution provides a process by which government can work together to tackle the country’s most serious problems.

We don’t really have much of a choice but to let that process play out.

And maybe we’ll get something done in the two years before the next election season rolls around.

Hopefully we’ll be over our hangover by then.

Dan Plutchak is the editor of CSI Media, publisher of the Janesville Messenger, Stateline News and Walworth County Sunday. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on Twitter @danplutchak.



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