Best of The Gazette, Oct. 22, 2013: Decades later, these frogs won't croak
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 seven days:
Rock County health exchange rates among lowest in Wisconsin
Rock County residents using the federal health exchange to buy health insurance will be paying some of the lowest rates in Wisconsin. That's due in part to fierce health care competition in neighboring Dane County, said Michael Bare, research and program coordinator for Community Advocates in Milwaukee.
Familes left with aging frogs given to children as gifts
The frogs that came in Grow A Frog kits from years ago continue to live with the parents of the children who received them as gifts. Deb Taylor, the former owner of a store that sold several dozen certificates for the tadpoles before it closed in 2001, admitted it's a dilemma. “It's a rather interesting phenomenon,” Deb said. “Like the energizer bunny—they just keep going and going.”
Yanking chains: Edgerton's Williams causes problems for defenses
How in the world does a 5-foot-6, 140-pound kid who didn't start playing football until three years ago lead the state in rushing? Better yet, how does someone the size of Edgerton's Ricky Williams not only survive but also thrive without some 250-pound linebacker crushing him? Edgerton High coach Mike Gregory said the answer is simple. “Because you never get a clean shot at him. That's the bottom line, and that's what makes him so special,” Gregory said of his talented tailback.
Edible fall mushrooms still around
Some wild mushrooms in south-central Wisconsin are edible—just be sure you know what you're looking at before you pop it in your mouth, columnist D.S. Pledger writes. Here are some tips on to where to find them and how to stay safe.
Our Views: City is right to lay down law on Quotes
That's right, Quotes tavern in Janesville is in the news—for the wrong reasons—again. The business and its owner, Denise Carpenter, had no more ended a four-month sanction when more problems caused more police calls to the bar. Now the city has taken the unprecedented step of dealing with Quotes and its issues through the chronic nuisance ordinance. Maybe that approach and the fines that come with it will finally get Carpenter's attention. But don't count on it, The Gazette Editorial Board writes.
Editor's Views: Bonds of old friends among life's greatest gifts
Gazette Editor Scott Angus will never be among the wealthiest nor most successful men, but he considers himself one of the luckiest. At least partly, he thanks his old friends from Fort Atkinson, whom he recently gathered with during the Badgers' homecoming in Madison.
Whitewater coffeehouse-café sure hits the sweet spot
Gazette restaurant reviewer Joan Neeno recently visited The Sweet Spot, a favorite among locals in Whitewater. What she found was a relaxed, friendly and unpretentious place that definitely earned its name.
Toyland tradition: Picking this year's favorites
On Saturday, Blain's Farm & Fleet opened Toyland. The event has become a local holiday shopping tradition. Toyland is a tradition for Vickie Larson, too, but of a much different sort. Larson has been toy buyer for Blain's for 18 years. She gave The Gazette the heads up on what are expected to be the hottest toys of the season—and Elmo's on the list.
Lawmakers should be fighting DISCRIMINATION in Wisconsin!
Community blogger John W. Eyster recently tackled a contentious state issue: The use of race-based nicknames, logos and mascots in public schools. Eyster says it's embarrassing that Wisconsin lawmakers are considering making it harder to strip public schools of American Indian mascots. What do you think?
Strange beauty of puffballs, mushrooms and tree fungus
Community blogger Glen Loyd has been enjoying the fungus among us lately. Follow him on a virtual tour along the Rock River in this video.
VIDEO: Artist Allegrea S.B. Rosenberg scavenges Janesville materials for her dark visions
To say Janesville artist Allegrea S.B. Rosenberg is dark doesn't tell the whole story. She is, but she uses painting, sculpture and recycled relics as a way to find beauty in pain, loss and the frustration of being a serious artist in a small town.
VIDEO: Organist celebrates 50 years of playing heaven's music
In autumn 1963, a young mother-to-be sat down to play a brand new pipe organ at Janesville's First Presbyterian Church. Today, 50 years later, Virginia Nitz continues to play the same pipe organ on most Sunday mornings. Hear her story and listen to her play in this story and video.