Best of The Gazette, Nov. 5, 2013: Country, cheerleaders and changing colors
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:
After rehab, houses help addicts learn to live sober
Sober living houses offer a long-term, relatively inexpensive solution for recovering addicts looking to live clean. With only three such houses in Rock County, experts say there aren't nearly enough. “We wish that we could have 20 of these houses,” said Dick Lynes of Lazarus House, a sober living home. “Unfortunately, financing … makes it impossible to do so.”
Local guitar boy headed to Texaco Country Showdown nationals
Zach Molitor, 17, just learned how to make a Fender Telecaster guitar twang three years ago. Yet the Milton High School senior has beat out over 50,000 competitors to play in the Texaco Country Showdown's National Championship at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 16. Yes, that's the home of The Grand Ole Opry. “I don't even think about it," he said. "I can't because it just doesn't seem real right now.”
Homebody: Whitewater suits Minett just fine
Whitewater native Lou Minett is wrapping up a fine four-year career with UW-Whitewater football. It didn't have to be that way. He lived in Kenosha and Illinois before moving to Whitewater to live with his grandparents when he was entering the sixth grade. “It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Minett said about his childhood move.
Go Pack go! The history of Packers cheerleaders
Green Bay is one of six franchises in the National Football League without an official cheerleading squad, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Not that the Packers never tried to field such a team. The Green Bay Sideliners wore go-go boots and short shorts at Lambeau Field in the mid '80s. But the Packers got out of the cheerleading business in January 1987 and have no intentions of getting back in, instead relying on cheerleaders from nearby St. Norbert College and UW-Green Bay.
Our Views: Five reasons to back global outreach in Janesville education
Critics wonder whether the costs of the Janesville International Education Program will outweigh the benefits. They argue the drive to bring foreign students to Janesville schools diverts focus from Janesville's children. They are wrong, The Gazette Editorial Board writes. And recent Gazette coverage of the topic provides more evidence about why Janesville's outreach program merits support.
Editor's Views: Changes to website mean fewer but better comments
The loudest and most consistent complaints about the old Gazettextra.com involved reader comments at the ends of stories. In the old world, we allowed anyone to comment anonymously, Gazette Editor Scott Angus writes. Stories generated about 5,000 comments a month, many of which were downright nasty and untruthful. Today, only subscribers can comment on the website. This has led to a huge drop in the number of comments, but at the same time, the quality has drastically improved.
Beer, wine festivals abound in November
This week's opening of Wisconsin Brewing Co. in Verona offers a nice segue into several local beer and wine celebrations. Remaining events on the list include the Girlz & Guyz Gray Tie Wine Event, a “Fifty Shades of Grey”-themed wine tasting; the Fall Fest of Ale, the annual fundraiser for the Janesville Kiwanians; and the Armory Fall Wine Fest, a popular wine event in Janesville.
Jefferson supper club reopens with local emphasis
The first sight of the Edgewater Supper Club, an old, wood-clad building along the Rock River in Jefferson, didn't inspire great confidence in Gazette contributor Joan Neeno. Then she opened the door, and the restaurant revealed itself in all its quirky, antique glory. Just use caution if you're tall, because the Edgewater's ceilings are not.
Glen Loyd Video: Rotary Gardens dimming beautifully
Community video blogger Glen Loyd visited Janesville's Rotary Botanical Gardens recently to see it transform during fall. What he found were picturesque scenes of blowing winds and vivid color.
Janice Peterson: Frost brings new beginnings in garden
It's a gift to live in an area with changing seasons, garden blogger Janice Peterson writes. Though the frost brings death to many plants, the transition makes room for new life the following year.
Stand-alone photos for Oct. 2013
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. Changing leaves, costumed kids and farmers at work make up some of The Gazette's best stand-alone photos for October 2013.
PHOTOS: Big Foot spoils Clinton's first home playoff game
The Walworth Big Foot Chiefs, despite being the top seed in their playoff group, had to travel to Clinton for the Cougars' first-ever home playoff game. Once there, the undefeated Chiefs took care of business, winning 38-7. The Gazette was there to capture the action.