Best of The Gazette, Feb. 18: Home, birds and a controversial statue
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:
A few weeks ago, the 18-year-old woman was living in her broken-down car. For two years, the student had been homeless, sometimes bouncing between the houses of acquaintances, all the time trying to keep up with homework. She was the first to settle into a house for seven homeless girls, which Project 16:49 opened in Beloit recently.
Michael Powers was a freshman shooting hoops in the Clinton High School gym when his future wife caught his eye. He couldn't take his eyes off Kristi, a senior, as she walked across the court. But as Cupid pulled on Michael's heartstrings, a stray basketball nearly derailed their relationship before it even started. Powers was one of several readers who responded to a Gazette request for Valentine's Day stories about falling in love.
Milton's Connor Felstead won his weight division in the 2014 Junior National Weightlifting Championships, yielding him an invitation to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the Pan American Games camp in mid-March. He's hoping to parlay his strength into a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. “I don't know about 2016,” the 18-year-old said of his Olympic aspirations. “But in 2020 …”
The opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics means the Paralympics are weeks away. In preparation, the Blackhawk Curling Club hosted a training session for members of the United States paralympic curling team recently. This Janesville jaunt was the team's final full-group training session before it takes its turn in Sochi.
One shooting at one bar that wounds a man, though disturbing, does not signal a trend. A second shooting that injures another man within months at the same bar, however, comes much closer to a trend. It should prompt all parties—owner, law enforcement and elected officials—to ensure a third doesn't happen, The Gazette Editorial Board writes.
Gazette Editor Scott Angus and his wife and are among the unfortunate folks dealing with the unprecedented fallout of one of the nastiest winters on record. Twice in the last two weeks, a pipe between the water main in the street and their house has frozen. But a chance encounter at the grocery store put things in perspective for the angry Angus.
As an artist, you might know you've arrived in the national consciousness when your work appears on The Weather Channel. But even 1989 Delavan-Darien High School graduate and artist Tony Matelli is a bit surprised at the controversy his “Sleepwalker” statue has generated. The work, a hyper-realistic sculpture of a mostly naked man clad in underwear at an all-female college, has some of the students freaked out.
Heading to an event last week on Madison's west side, restaurant reviewer Bill Livick and his group had less than an hour to eat and were in no mood for burgers and fries. A friend suggested they check out Novanta, a Neapolitan pizzeria on Old Sauk Road. It was good advice, Livick writes.
Tucker Fredricks' Olympic career didn't end how he'd hoped on Monday, but area fans should still look back fondly on their three-time Olympian, Sports Editor Eric Schmoldt writes.
Gazette blogger Janice Peterson's mom was finding it harder to garden as she got older. The solution: A raised bed and a new practice called horticultural therapy.
More and more communities are passing laws allowing backyard chickens within city limits. Residential poultry farming is not about saving money on eggs or meat, local residents say. It's about the birds themselves. "(To) not have them cruising around the backyard would just seem wrong," said Peter Underwood, a Whitewater resident.
Video blogger Glen Loyd captures footage of a pair of mortal enemies on the Rock River: the bald eagle and the golden eye duck.