Best of The Gazette, April 8: Frozen pipes, produce prices and a tough loss
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:
Workers at Janesville's water utility toiled through a record-breaking winter season to keep the water flowing. The number of broken water mains from December through March doubled from the year before—62 breaks to 124. One worker noted he had only one day off in January; another, two. “You look back at it and wonder how the hell you did it,” said foreman Mike Fosmoen, a 35-year veteran.
This summer, if you want an affordable salad, you're either going to have to get your hands dirty or find a local source for your greens. A severe drought in California means that many of the salad bowl crops grown there, such as lettuce and tomatoes, are going to increase in price. “The longer the drought goes on, the higher prices are going to go up,” said Steven Deller, UW-Madison professor of agriculture and applied economics.
Fans bled Badger red Saturday night at Legends bar in downtown Janesville. Patrons cheered frequently and vigorously, jabbing fists into the air each time the Badgers scored or stopped Kentucky, as if they were watching the game in person. “It don't get much better than this,” said Jake Hassinger, a 2002 Craig High School grad.
Jordan Himley, the leading scorer on the season for the Janesville Jets, won the final star of the week award for the NAHL regular season in the North Division. “He always seems to come up with a big goal that changes momentum. He is going to do well at the next level,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.
When it comes to health costs, too many Rock County residents are their own worst enemies, The Gazette Editorial Board writes. We eat too much; we exercise too little; and too many of us use tobacco, according to state rankings. But as county health officer Karen Cain suggests, to really improve overall health, we need to fight poverty and boost education.
During a committee meeting, Rock County Board Chairman J. Russell Podzilni suddenly felt great pain and discomfort and had a staff member call 911. Within minutes, Podzilni got help—and a look at how well local agencies work together.
Sam Gulotta was thrilled when he found out Parker High School planned to stage “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Gulotta and other student actors were eager to take on the complex issues the play presents, including domestic abuse and alcoholism. “It feels really good to be doing something more serious and dramatic,” said Gulotta, a senior at Parker.
Two blocks along State Street in downtown Rockford, Ill., have some downright excellent restaurants, restaurant reviewer Joan Neeno writes. Paul Sletten's Social Urban Bar & Restaurant is one of the standouts. Recently, she tried Sletten's second restaurant, Abreo. While Abreo didn't quite measure up to Social on the knock-your-socks-off meter, it came awfully close.
As warm weather returns to the area, so are the pelicans. In fact, these once-scarce birds now are appearing in ever-growing numbers in Wisconsin, according to the DNR. To celebrate, community blogger Glen Loyd revisits a video he produced about the birds in 2012.
Have you pumped up those bicycle tires yet? The weather hasn't been ideal, but Opinion Editor Greg Peck has been out biking several times this spring. And that's nothing, compared to his neighbor.