Best of The Gazette, Sept. 24, 2013: An 11-year-old gator slayer, 5 years of 4K
The Gazette publishes a lot of news in a week. Combine that with all the distractions a weekend brings, and that means there's a good chance you might have missed some important stories. Here's a summary of some of The Gazette's best content from the last week or so:
Should city give preference to local businesses?
Northland Equipment in Janesville missed out on a city contract because its base bid was $1,702 higher than the low bid. In response, city staff is considering proposing a policy to give preference to bids from local businesses. But one official warns the plan could increase city costs.
Janesville's 4K program thrives in first five years
As Janesville's 4-year-old kindergarten program turns 5, The Gazette took some time to investigate how the program was working: How many students are covered? How is it covering costs? And how are students handling school at such a young age?
Little girl, big game: 11-year-old bags monster alligator
An 11-year-old Afton girl has a hunting story for the ages, and it ends with her taking down a 1,000-pound alligator in Floridian swampland. Next up on Rachel Van Beek's list? Bear.
High school sport officials work hard to ensure correct outcomes
In the wake of the University of Wisconsin's controversial loss to Arizona State on Sept. 14, sports reporter John Barry took the opportunity to hear local referees' sides of the story. He found a group of professionals who take a lot of heat but love their jobs. “The No. 1 thing is that you've got to love kids and do what's best for them,” said Chris Nicholson, the director of officiating for the Janesville School District.
Our Views: Janesville report card deserves applause
The Janesville School District's score of 74.8 put it in the “exceeds expectations” category. That result bodes well not just for families living here but for Janesville's future, The Gazette Editorial Board writes. Quality schools are a priority when families consider moves and when companies consider relocating or expanding.
State Views: Men, women are not alike in problem gambling
Most people probably think of problem gambling as an addiction that typically affects men. But a growing number of women are dealing with this addiction, and the warning signs are actually different than with their male counterparts, writes Rose Gruber, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling.
VIDEO: YMCA drum lessons target 'healthier lifestyle'
Janesville native Marty Morgan went to school in California for drumming. But now he's back in Wisconsin, giving lessons at places such as the Janesville YMCA. The Y offers the lessons because it doesn't want to be "just the old gym and swim," said Jamie Seitz, fitness director at the YMCA. See Marty in action by checking out the video here.
Neighbors, family gather at Janesville's Aglio for comfort food
Since its June opening, Aglio Ristorante has become the neighborhood restaurant for those who live near downtown, restaurant reviewer Joan Neeno writes. The live jazz, black-clad servers and professionalism of Aglio are a welcome change of pace.
Greg Peck: What the heck is buzzing around our deck?
A hummingbird-sized insect surprised Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck during dinner last week. The experience led him on a journey of discovery about the friendly creature. It even was kind enough to pose for a photo.
Educational Jargon Generator can 'help' you write incomprehensible gaga
Education reporter and Word Badger blogger Frank Schultz introduces readers to the Educational Jargon Generator, an online tool that turns plain English into random edu-gaga phrases. One example: “We will help students learn” becomes “We will unpack dynamic competencies within professional learning communities.”