Best of The Gazette, Jan. 28: Propane, crashes and cookies
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 rural Rock County intersection with the most crashes has stoplights, turn arrows, good sight lines and a separate left turn lane—virtually all the traffic safety innovations available. Despite those features, the intersection of highways 14 and 51 north of Janesville was the site of 189 crashes, including one fatal crash, between 2000 and 2013. Many of the other rural Rock County intersections share similar safety features.
A combination of cold weather and a wet fall harvest have created a propane shortage and rising propane prices throughout the Midwest, including Wisconsin. Local propane vendors say the problem isn't going to let up anytime soon. “Product is limited,” said John Arndt, president of Milton Propane. “You really feel for customers who have been with us as many as 50 years.”
It seems like whatever the sport and whatever level you're talking about, everybody likes to hand out midseason awards. They do it at the professional level, the collegiate level and, in some cases, the high school level. With that in mind, Gazette Sports writer John Barry decided to get in the mix and hand out his midseason awards for high school basketball in southcentral Wisconsin.
Milton High graduate Nate Hammon was always confident in his abilities—even when others weren't, necessarily—and believed he would make an impact on the field for the University of Wisconsin. He just didn't think it would be this past season as a redshirt freshman, a season in which he finished with 24 tackles (20 solos) despite admitting he didn't understand the new coaching staff's concepts through 15 spring practices and fall camp.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Scott Walker proposed returning extra funds to taxpayers in the form of property and income tax cuts. That idea sound great, The Gazette Editorial Board writes. Wisconsin, however, has been here before. Exhibit A is the man in the red vest, the late Gov. Lee Dreyfus.
This winter, Katherine Hackett is wearing a hat and coat around her house. After 17 years in the health-care industry, after raising two sons who are now in the military, Katherine abruptly got a pink slip and has been unemployed for more than a year. By failing to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, Congress has cut off the jobless benefits that help Hackett and millions like her keep the lights on and the rent or mortgage paid, writes Thomas E. Perez, U.S. secretary of labor.
Early January typically is as quiet for the performing arts as it is for Wisconsinites who water-ski or play outdoor soccer. As the month nears its end, though, signs of life start to appear. Here's what's going on in the latter half of the 2013-14 season.
So many details go into opening a fine dining restaurant. It's not easy to get everything right. That was fairly apparent when restaurant reviewer Joan Neeno dined with a group of friends at Copper Falls, a new fine dining restaurant in Clinton, on a recent Saturday night.
Members of the Rock County Board of Supervisors deserve praise for passing a same-sex benefits resolution for their workers, community blogger John W. Eyster writes.
Gazette Sports writer Tim Seeman doesn't mean to cause alarm, but in case you didn't know, football season will be over soon. Luckily, he has a suggestion to satisfy that itch for a sport played on rectangular patches of grass: soccer! It's a World Cup year—and it might finally be the year soccer really catches on in the United States.
On Saturday, more than 175 Girl Scouts attended Cookie College at Craig High School. Girls played games, set goals and learned about the new gluten-free offerings. Selling cookies has been a fundraiser—and a learning experience—for the Girl Scouts since 1922, said Eliza Zimmerman, program specialist for the Badgerland Council.
Tufted titmice seem shy at the winter bird feeder, video blogger Glen Loyd writes. But when these birds nest, hang on to your hair. They love to use it to make their homes.