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Angela Major 

Julian Collazo, right, speaks to defense attorney Jeff Jensen during an appearance Wednesday morning in Rock County Court.

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A different kind of donation: Nonprofits share their wish lists


Between Thanksgiving an Christmas, people become remarkably generous.

Some of that is driven by the Christ child. For others, it’s just the tradition of the season.

Whatever the cause, the holidays bring the change out of pockets and put the desire to help into hearts.

That’s marvelous. But the organizations many people give to so generously between Thanksgiving and Christmas do their work all year round.

Keeping that in mind, we asked United Way agencies for their holiday wish lists, both for tangible items such as copier paper and bath towels and for their volunteer needs.

Of course, financial donations always are appreciated, but giving to the United Way’s annual campaign might make your dollars go further, said Mary Fanning-Penny, president and CEO of United Way Blackhawk Region. Often, contributions made in the workplace are matched by employers. In addition, the size of United Way grants helps nonprofits accomplish big things, Fanning-Penning wrote in an email to The Gazette.

“We can accomplish so much more together than any one donor can alone,” she wrote.

Fanning-Penny also encouraged people interested in volunteering—and nonprofits who have volunteer positions—to consider using the volunteer portal at liveunitedbr.org/volunteer.

Nutrition and Health Associates

Rock County WIC program, 32 E. Racine St., Janesville. WIC provides nutritional counseling and other services to low-income women.

Wish list: Diapers, sizes 2 to 5; diaper wipes; new infant blankets, knitted, crocheted, quilted or purchased; and new hats, mittens and gloves for infants and toddlers.

Volunteer needs: Board members.

Information: Call 608-754-3722 or visit nhawic.org

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Rock County

Rock County Courthouse, 51 S. Main St., Janesville, recruits and trains volunteers to be advocates for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Wish list: $10 gift cards to local restaurants or movie theaters so volunteers can take their children out, copier paper and stamps, thank-you cards, and birthday cards.

Volunteer needs: 120 children are on the wait list for advocates.

Information: Call 608-305-0187 or visit www.casarockcounty.org.

Boys & Girls Club of Janesville

200 W. Court St., Janesville. The club provides after school activities and summer camps for children.

Wish list: Copy paper, large electric pencil sharpener, Kid K’nex sets (engineering toys), construction paper, glue sticks, broom and dustpan.

Volunteer needs: Reading buddies for club members.

For information: Call 608-755-0575 or visit bgcjanesville.org.

YWCA Rock County

1735 S. Washington St., Janesville. Works to empower and support women and families and to eliminate racism.

Wish list: Arts and crafts supplies for young children, bath towels, women’s hygiene products and diapers.

For information: Call 608-752-5445 or visit ywcarockcounty.org.

Beloit Meals on Wheels

424 College St., Beloit. Provides meals to homebound seniors.

Wish list: Four rolls of stamps; two cases of copy paper; two boxes of 500 double-window business reveal-n-seal envelopes, security tinted, size 4 1/8 by 9.5 inches, white.

Volunteer needs: Drivers to deliver meals during lunch, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and office help.

For information: Call 608-362-3683 or visit beloitmealsonwheels.org.

Family Services

416 College St., Beloit. Provides services throughout the county, including a domestic violence center, sexual assault response program, mental health and financial counseling, and youth substance abuse program.

Wish list: Personal hygiene items; hair and skin care products for African American clients; household supplies such as trash bags, paper towels and cleaning supplies; new undergarments; and children’s books.

Volunteer needs: Child care providers, gardener, someone to do light maintenance, advocates for public campaigns.

For information: Call 608-365-1244 or visit familyservices1.org.

NAMI Rock County (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

120 N. Crosby Ave., suite 11, Janesville. Provides support, education and advocacy about mental illness throughout Rock County.

Wish list: Four chairs for a stationary conference table; copier paper; fidget items; colored pencils; notebooks; Post-it Notes; and purple, yellow and green two-pocket folders.

Volunteer needs: Chairperson for events committee.

For information: Call 608-743-9828 or visit namirockcounty.org.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Rock County

2433 S. Riverside Drive, Beloit. Helps people connect with volunteer opportunities throughout the county.

Wish list: A case of copy paper, bags of lollipops to be given to students following school programs and a box of letter-size file folders.

For information: Call 608-362-9593 or 608-756-4281 or visit rsvp-rock.org.

Edgerton Community Outreach

106 S Main St., Edgerton. Provides programs and services that help break down barriers to self-sufficiency.

Wish list: Diapers, sizes 4, 5 and 6; personal care items; cleaning supplies; canned soup and pasta for the food pantry.

For information: Call 608-884-9593 or visit edgertonoutreach.org.

Rock County Salvation Army

514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville. Provides a variety services including a food pantry, meal program and homeless ministry.

Food pantry wish list: Commercial freezer for Beloit office, commercial shelving for Beloit office, shampoo and conditioner, baby wipes, canned meat, peanut butter, jelly, canned pasta.

Meal program wish list: Napkins; cans of coffee; plastic forks, knives and spoons.

Homeless ministry wish list: Gloves, hats, scarves, warm socks, blankets.

Office wish list: Post-it notes, copier paper, highlighters, paper clips.

Volunteer needs: Contact the office at 608-757-8300.

For more information: Call 608-757-8300 or visit centralusa.salvationarmy.org/rockcounty.

Obituaries and death notices for Dec. 19, 2019

Dorothy E. Anglemoyer

Marilyn C. Ftizgerald

Larry L. Jabs

Chester Jozwiak

Juan Miguel Lopez

Connie R. Middleton

William D. Newman

Mary Alyce Paul

Melvin W. Schultz

Judith A. Slotke

Lori Ann Turner

Jerome P. Wesley

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Documents: UW-Whitewater veterans coordinator on leave, claims racism was behind it


UW-Whitewater’s coordinator of veterans and military services is on paid administrative leave following accusations of intimidating a student—a claim that documents show he strongly denies and instead asserts was racist.

Richard Harris was put on leave Dec. 5 after a dispute with Curtis Lemke, the president of UW-W’s Student Veterans Organization, about the use of the multimedia resource room within the veterans lounge, according to documents obtained by The Gazette and first reported Monday by Madison365.

After the argument, in which Lemke claims Harris tried to intimidate him, Lemke went to Whitewater Student Government, which documents show then reached out to Harris’ supervisor, Interim Director of Continuing Education John Fons.

The same day, the university put Harris on leave.

Harris the next day filed a complaint with the Milwaukee office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, calling Lemke’s allegations of intimidation false. He wrote that the student “has engaged in a pattern of racist and discriminatory conduct that has created a hostile work environment for me for several months,” according to the documents.

The documents show Harris has said Lemke called him a “big Black guy” during the Dec. 5 dispute. Lemke told Madison365, a nonprofit news outlet, that he did “partially regret” saying something to that effect.

Harris also claims part of a Navy uniform display was removed, placed in the room at the center of the dispute and made to resemble a noose. Harris, according to the documents, said Lemke made an “off-hand” comment about it to him—something the student denied to Madison365.

When reached Wednesday, Harris declined comment.

When asked this week if Harris was on leave, a UW-W spokesperson said school officials do not comment on personnel matters.

Fons and Lemke did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Lemke told Madison365 he stood by his belief that Harris was acting in an intimidating manner. He said Harris is 6 feet, 6 inches tall and “towering over me.” Madison365 included a photo showing Lemke appearing slightly taller than Harris, who is about 6 feet tall.

The disagreement over the multimedia room inside the veteran’s lounge, which itself is in Andersen Library, did not begin Dec. 5. Documents show the topic has been at issue for months at least.

It appears Lemke wanted to use the space for meetings with the Student Veterans Organization, but Harris in the documents raised the point that this clashed with the space’s intended purpose—for all student veterans in and out of the group to use for telecommunications and webinars, as well as to have a more quiet place to relax or hang out.

In November, Harris told Fons, his supervisor, Lemke did not accept alternative spaces where the group could meet, the documents state.

Harris said Lemke argued that his group had the authority to make changes to the lounge, according to the documents. Harris tried to have Fons intervene.

On the morning of the incident, documents show Harris alleged Lemke took chairs from the library to the lounge despite being told before not to do that. The rearranging on one occasion prevented another student veteran from using the space, according to the documents.

Harris wanted a meeting with Fons and the dean of students office about such actions that violate the student code of conduct—including unauthorized use of property and disrupting university-authorized activities.

Harris is on leave while the university investigates the incident.