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Education
New opportunities and old uniforms: The early days of Parker girls sports

“Sports days must be conducted in such a manner so as to control spectator appeal and minimize publicity.”

“Participants shall be removed at once from a practice or an event if ill, injured or excessively fatigued or if there is evidence of extreme emotional instability.”

—Rules for girls sports, WIAA handbook, 1967-68

JANESVILLE

Carol Luther started her career as a physical education teacher at Franklin Middle School in 1967.

It was an exciting time. Less than a mile down the road, Parker High School was opening its doors, and Janesville was in the midst of a school building boom.

Luther taught at Franklin for three years and enjoyed teaching the sports she loved to boys and girls.

When Luther was in high school, girls sports were limited to intramurals. Even when she got into teaching, girls still didn’t have the same sports opportunities boys did.

“We had volleyball, basketball and softball,” Luther said. “That was pretty much it, and you didn’t get but one night a week.”

One night a week?

“Well, the boys had intramurals, and they had to have their time,” Luther said.

In those days, girls didn’t play official games, she said. They had “sports days” when they would play against other schools. Sometimes, the rules required them to mix up teams instead of playing school against school.

Æ Æ Æ

“A girl shall be limited to four sports days per sport per school year.”

“Participation during the menstrual period shall be voluntary, subject to the approval of the woman in charge or the group, with reference to a physician in case of uncertainty.”

—Rules for girls sports, WIAA handbook, 1968-69

Æ Æ Æ

When Luther interviewed for the physical education job at Parker High School, she told them she wanted to start girls sports teams.

“WIAA was starting to loosen things up,” Luther remembered.

At that time, Craig and Parker had Girls Athletic Associations or GAAs, clubs that allowed girls to informally participate in a variety of sports. The clubs also had service and social aspects. Girls held barbecues, helped out with elementary school “play days” and did secretarial work in the athletic office.

Luther wanted real teams.

“I knew that there were some track kids (from middle school) that were good,” she said.

The YMCA had club swimming at the time, too.

Why organized sports for girls?

“Well, come on,” Luther said. “I know I wanted to do that in high school, but there wasn’t anything there for us. I wanted girls to have that experience.”

In those early years, she coached volleyball, swimming, basketball and track.

The seasons were short with the girls only playing a handful of games. It all had to be done under the auspices of the Girls Athletic Association—that’s what the athletic director wanted. It’s also the way WIAA preferred it.

The rule was outlined in bold font in the 1969-70 WIAA handbook: “Sports days must be conducted only as an outgrowth of the intramural program.”

In other words, no forming teams outside of intramurals.

Girls who did well in sports could get a letter from the GAA, but the letter was smaller than the boys’ letter and a slightly different color.

But never mind that; the girls wanted to play.

“Almost immediately we had teams,” Luther recalled. “I had no trouble finding girls that wanted to play.”

Æ Æ Æ

“A girl is limited to six sports days per sport, per year.”

—Rules for girls sports, WIAA handbook, 1969-70.

Æ Æ Æ

Luther began to see things change.

The girls got spikes for their track shoes. OK, they were sort of “cheapos,” but they were spikes.

In those years, girls wore boys’ hand-me-downs.

“The girls volleyball team handed them on to the basketball team, who handed them on to the track kids,” Luther said. “I think it was the tennis girls that hated them the most.”

Luther understood: There wasn’t any money to buy uniforms.

Indeed, any money for uniforms would come out of the athletic department’s budget, reducing the amount the boys teams would get.

Nobody wanted that.

Things didn’t really start to change until Title IX passed in 1972.

Æ Æ Æ

“No person shall … on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal assistance.”

—Educational Amendments of 1972, better known as Title IX

Æ Æ Æ

Now Luther and her counterpart at Craig, Barb Dietz-Mayer, had some leverage.

They both had to tread carefully, but the law was the law.

“When Title IX came in, it was, ‘OK, you gotta make this quicker,’” Luther said.

Imagine: Now girls would need to have equal access to practice time and space for games. There was no sense in denying that it would impact boys’ sports.

She had some champions.

“(Parker basketball coach) Bob Morgan was supportive,” Luther said. “He had girls. And the dads of girls, bless their hearts, were some of our biggest supporters.”

Some of the boys who played basketball or ran track saw the girls practicing and understood their desire to compete.

But the football and wrestling boys weren’t happy about it, nor were the guys whose games got moved to Thursday nights to accommodate the girls’ schedules.

“Ohhh, when the boys had to play on Thursday night, it was so hard on them,” Luther said. “Some of them wouldn’t come in until noon the next day.”

Then athletic letters became an issue.

Luther had a boy in her class who didn’t think girls should get the same athletic letters as the boys.

When she asked him why, he said that the girls didn’t work as hard as, say, the football team. The girls could have a different letter, but not the same one the football players got, he said.

“I said to him, ‘Do you mean to tell me that the boys’ golf team is working as hard as the football players?’” Luther said.

Throughout it all, Luther used the same argument. Sports were good for girls for the same reasons they were good for boys: They build character, teach teamwork and keep young people healthy and active.

“Those same opportunities weren’t available to half of the population,” Luther said. “The biggest thing was the fairness part.”

Both Luther and Dietz-Mayer were inducted into the Janesville Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 for their work establishing girls athletics at local schools.


Crime
top story
Hidden device used to control inmates at trials

JANESVILLE

Deputy Bryan Hanthorn is one of the few people who has worn a stun cuff and experienced the 50,000 volts the device can deliver.

Hanthorn said the jolt focuses the mind on one thing only: how to get the device off.

Hanthorn had it strapped to his arm, but it’s usually fastened to the legs of defendants.

“It locked my whole arm up, every muscle group in my forearm and arm was locked. It froze me, and it got me up on my tippy toes,” Hanthorn said. “It’s discomfort, but I wouldn’t say it’s like pain.”

The cuff is strapped onto defendants’ ankles during jury trials in Rock and Walworth counties to provide control over inmates without tipping off jurors that defendants are in custody, officials said.

Rock County uses a model called a Band-It. Walworth County uses the Stun-Cuff, which is said to deliver 80,000 volts.

The 50,000 volts is the same as that delivered by a police officer’s Taser, Hanthorn noted.

Like a Taser, the stun devices deliver very low amperage, which prevents any lasting damage.

“It’s a voltage that’s safe to a human. Now, that’s not to say someone’s not going to have a medical problem from it,” Hanthorn said.

Some other jurisdictions might use the cuffs for transporting prisoners thought to be particularly dangerous, but not here, said Hanthorn and Sgt. Brian Panfil of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

The shock devices were first used in Walworth County, and Rock County adopted them about eight years ago, Hanthorn said.

Rock County recently bought a back-up Band-It at a cost of $940.

The Gazette found out about the device during the recent trial of Joseph Jakubowski, who burglarized a local gun shop last April. At the start of the Jakubowski’s trial, Judge James Daley ordered news media not to photograph Jakubowski below the waist.

The cuff was hidden under Jakubowski’s pant leg, but the outline of a rectangular box—about 8 inches long by 3 inches wide—could be seen.

Jakubowski didn’t wear the cuff because he was more dangerous than other defendants. He wore it because all in-custody defendants wear them during jury trials, officials said.

For all other court appearances, Rock County Jail defendants wear leg shackles connected to handcuffs by a chain passed through a ring on a leather belt.

Courts want to keep juries from finding out that a defendant—who is innocent until proved guilty—is being held at the jail.

The thinking is that jury members would tend to think defendants, who are dressed in civilian clothes for jury trials, are guilty if they see them in chains.

Use of the cuffs is a decision of the sheriff’s office, whose job is court security. A deputy close to the defendant typically holds a remote-control device, Hanthorn said. The deputy has to insert his finger under a plastic guard to push the button.

A short push activates a high-pitched beep to warn the defendant. A long push on the button delivers the shock.

The volts flow through two metal buttons about 3 inches apart on the defendant’s skin.

When activated, the device gives off a loud crackling sound similar to that of hand-held, electric, self-defense devices available commercially.

A Maryland judge was removed from the bench last year for ordering a deputy to activate a Stun-Cuff on a defendant who would not stop talking after the judge ordered him to stop. The defendant screamed and fell to the floor, as seen in a video obtained by ABC News.

The judge was found guilty of a misdemeanor civil-rights violation. He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and take anger-management class.

But that’s not how things work here, Hanthorn said. The decision to activate the cuff is up to deputies.

No defendant in Rock County has ever been shocked in court, and the warning tone has never been used, either, Hanthorn said.

Walworth County’s Panfil said he has never seen the cuff used in his three years on the job, and others who have worked in the courts for 10 year told him they have never seen it used.

“Once we explain what it can do, most people are pretty well behaved,” Hanthorn said.

Both counties use a notification form that the inmate and deputies sign. The Rock County form says the inmate is being required to wear “an electronic immobilization system” that can cause:

  • “Immobilization, causing you to fall to the ground.”
  • “Possibility of self-defecation”
  • “Possibility of self-urination.”

The form goes on to say that a deputy with a remote control will activate it if the defendant makes any outburst or quick movement, hostile movement, tampers with the system, tries to escape, anytime a designated deputy can’t see the defendant’s hands and “any overt act against any person within 50 feet of the defendant.”

The Public Leadership Institute, which describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that raises awareness on issues of equity and justice, has proposed a model law to prohibit such devices.

The institute cites an Amnesty International report and European Union regulations that ban trade in such devices.

“Even when such electric-shock ‘restraints’ are worn by humans but not activated, they may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, maintaining prisoners in constant fear of instant pain for as long as they are worn,” the report states.

Bernie Horn, the institute’s senior director for policy and communications, said alternatives exist that do not involve what he sees as torture devices.

A defendant can be seated in the courtroom before the jury enters and be chained to a desk in a way the jury can’t see, Horn suggested.

“It’s very likely to be used in an abusive way if its available,” Horn said. “Somebody wants to make a buck, and police like to have the latest gadget.”

Myers Enterprises, which makes the Stun-Cuff, states on its website: “Today’s criminal is hardened, desperate and more dangerous than ever. ... They are out of control! ... You can’t allow a murder suspect freedom in the courts, filled with innocent bystanders where they may attempt to break free. ... Whether taking a prisoner for a doctor visit, transporting them for trial, interrogations or dealing with a prisoner that is under the influence. They must be controlled.”

StunTronics, which makes the Band-It device, says “It’s been used on tens of thousands of prisoners nationwide by local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service.”

Rock and Walworth counties use the cuffs only during trials, but Horn says this still constitutes torture, and even if the defendants are never zapped, the threat of being shocked is psychological torture.

An Oklahoma defense attorney in 2016 argued the use of stun cuffs disproportionately affects poor people who are incarcerated because defendants who are out of custody after paying bond were never required to wear the cuffs, according to a news report.

Panfil said he has never heard a complaint from defense attorneys. Hanthorn said he has never heard of any attempt to sue the county for using the device.

Hanthorn said Rock County formerly used a “lockout brace” that fastens on the knee and restricts movement. It poses a risk of injury, and that’s why the Band-It was adopted after a search for alternatives, Hanthorn said.

Lockout braces are still used to transport inmates on airplanes when shackles are prohibited, Hanthorn said.

StunTronics, meanwhile, says its Band-It device has produced no deaths or serious injuries.


Anthony Wahl 

Elkhorn’s Grant Truesdale pins Beloit Memorial’s Marco Olivares in a 126-pound weight division match in the WIAA Division 1 regional competition at Elkhorn on Saturday. Elkhorn won the regional championship by totaling 240 points. Lake Geneva was second with 195.5 points. Craig was third with 168 points. Elkhorn advanced wrestlers to WIAA sectional competition in 12 of 14 weight divisions. Story on Page 1B.


Come visit: South Korea's leader invited to North Korea

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea

A rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korea’s president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty’s southern road tour Saturday, part of an accelerating diplomatic thaw that included some Korean liquor over lunch and the shared joy of watching a “unified” Korea team play hockey at the Olympics.

Nothing has been settled on any trip north by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. But the verbal message to come at a “convenient time” from dictator Kim Jong Un, delivered by his visiting younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, is part of a sudden rush of improving feelings between the rivals during the Pyeongchang Olympics. The result: a heady, sometimes surreal, state of affairs in a South Korea that has seen far more threat than charm out of the North.

Still, it wouldn’t be South Korea if people weren’t asking the perennial question when it comes to North Korea changing gears and showering its rival with apparent affection: What’s in it for Pyongyang?

Past “charm offensives” have been interpreted as North Korea trying to recoup from crippling sanctions on their nuclear program, or trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its U.S. ally.

A massive military parade in Pyongyang on the eve of the just-opened Pyeongchang Games has been used as Exhibit A by skeptics. In it, Kim Jong Un highlighted several huge intercontinental ballistic missiles, which were successfully flight tested three times last year and could reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.

Even so, there’s also cautious optimism, or curiosity at least. If peace isn’t imminent, a summit in Pyongyang between Moon and Kim Jong Un seems preferable to recent months’ threats.

Moon told Kim Yo Jong that the North and South should continue to build conditions for a summit, Moon spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said. The U.S. and the North should quickly resume dialogue, he said.

The lunch Saturday at Seoul’s presidential mansion between Moon and Kim Yo Jong was the most significant diplomatic encounter between the rivals in years. The night before, Kim and other North Korean delegates attended the opening ceremony of the Olympics, watching a “unified” Korean team march under a banner showing an undivided Korean Peninsula.

In a surreal mixture of dignitaries, the Olympic Stadium’s VIP box included Kim Yo Jong and North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, sitting above and behind U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and fellow hard-liner Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister. Pence and the Kims seemed to go out of their way not to acknowledge each other.

That was not the case with Moon—either at the games, when he enthusiastically reached up to shake Kim Yo Jong’s hand, or at the lunch the next day. South Korean television showed its smiling president entering a reception room Saturday and shaking hands with the North Koreans.

The opening part of the talks was mostly about the weather.

“You went through a lot of trouble braving the cold until late” last night, Moon told the North Koreans, referring to their attendance at the frigid opening ceremonies.

At the luncheon, Moon proposed a toast, calling for peace and “mutual prosperity” for the two Koreas. He then recalled his past visit to the North’s Diamond Mountain resort, where he and his mother met his North Korean aunt during a temporary reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

He also talked about visiting the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where the countries operated a joint factory park that had been a symbol of rapprochement before South Korea shut it down in 2016 after a North Korea nuclear test.


glance

local • 2A-3A

Using yoga as therapeutic tool

Tori Cavanaugh’s eating disorder started in high school and worsened when she went to college. Years later, she got into treatment, which included yoga. Eventually, Cavanaugh became trained to teach yoga to both children and adults. Today, the 35-year-old Janesville woman reminds her students to leave their judgment outside the class as she helps young people see their bodies in a positive light.

Voter ID suppressing votes?

Rick Daniels, Oakton Community College’s director of campus inclusion, spoke Saturday afternoon at UW-Rock County about issues that inhibit some groups from voting and engaging in the democratic process. Daniels said Wisconsin’s voter identification laws are a form of voter suppression that keep minorities from the ballot box.

sports • 1B-8B

Bucks top Orlando, 111-104

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and 40-year-old Jason Terry came off the bench to score 11 points in the second half as Milwaukee scored a 111-104 victory over the Orlando Magic in Orlando on Saturday night.

nation/world • 9B-10B

Israeli plane shot down

In its most serious engagement in neighboring Syria since fighting there began in 2011, Israel shot down an infiltrating Iranian drone Saturday and struck Iranian targets deep in Syria before one of its own jets was downed. The sudden escalation offers what could be a harbinger of what lies ahead as the Syrian fighting winds down and an emboldened Iran establishes a military presence that Israel vows it will never accept.

False alarms raise questions

John Grosso knew it was highly unlikely a monster wave was barreling toward the Connecticut coast. But when a tsunami warning appeared out of the blue on his phone Tuesday, he felt a twinge of fear. His co-workers, who got the same alert, asked whether they should evacuate. It turned out to be a false alarm, a computer glitch. The damage? An erosion of trust.