Best of The Gazette, Jan. 7: New year, “Secret Garden” and frigid cold
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 look at of some of The Gazette's best content from the last week or so:
The snow and cold that have settled in could be seen as a blessing in disguise, at least for snowmobilers. Riders from across the state are taking to the trails in Rock and Walworth counties because of the snow that has accumulated and the temperatures that are making it stick. “This season has been great,” veteran snowmobiler Mike Cerny said. “The best season we have had in years.”
You won't hear Seth Dailey yelling with ear-piercing volume at or for his team, even though he considers himself a faithful Packer fan. The doctor who specializes in voice, airway and swallowing disorders knows what can happen when fans spend much of the season screaming at the TV or in the flesh at Lambeau Field: Packer polyps.
Edgerton native Derek Carrier made his National Football League debut Nov. 17 in New Orleans as a tight end for the 49ers. Though his family and friends traditionally bleed green and gold, they were die-hard Derek fans at Lambeau Field this past Sunday. “When you see him run out onto the field with a professional team and fans erupt, it's goosebump-y, it's emotional,” said Derek's father, Bill Pennekamp.
Setting out seed and other avian treats during the winter can break the white monotony of the season. Columnist D.S. Pledger offers some tips on what the chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, titmice, juncos, blue jays, mourning doves, goldfinches and woodpeckers outside his kitchen window like to eat.
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has spent holiday time announcing which legislative proposals could see the light in this new year and which are as dead as 2013. Four issues in particular caught our attention: academic standards, campaign financing, Interstate speeds and drunken driving. Two earn “yeas,” and two get “nays.”
Wisconsin laws make it clear that there is a presumption of openness. If you want to keep a meeting or record from public view, you'd better have a good reason backed by a specific exemption in state statute. To help elected officials live up to that standard, Gazette Editor Scott Angus is offering them a ready-made resolution for 2014.
Rock River Repertory's new show isn't just for kids. The central character in the musical “The Secret Garden,” which opens Saturday, Jan. 4, in Edgerton, is indeed a child. But director Jim Tropp believes adults will relate to the embittered uncle who learns to accept the death of his wife.
Chef Dan Fox took on a big project when he decided to open Heritage Tavern last year in Madison. Fortunately, the result is a beautiful restaurant that serves outstanding food—including pork from Fox's own pigs, restaurant reviewer Bill Livick writes.
A new study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute agrees with previous ones that risks of a crash skyrocket when a driver dials, texts or reaches for a cellphone. However, the study also found a surprise: no evidence of increased risks when talking on a phone while driving. Opinion Editor Greg Peck isn't buying it.
Of all the plants used for holiday decorations, mistletoe is perhaps the strangest, garden blogger Janice Peterson writes. Part of that weirdness lies in its classification as a parasite.
Video blogger Glen Loyd offers closeups of a woodpecker and his fancy friends—the blue jay, the house finch, and male and female cardinals.
Newspaper workers use the term "stand-alone photos" to describe photographs that are displayed on their own and aren't necessarily associated with any stories. These photos document candid slices of life from the community that might otherwise go unrecorded. Scenes of snow, Santa and hockey are among the photos in December's gallery.