June 03, 2010Williams Bay — "There were a lot of people who said it would never happen in Williams Bay. They said 'there's not enough business in the community,' 'no one will join the group,' 'it'll fizzle.'"
Seven years later, Jim D'Alessandro said the Williams Bay Business Association has surpassed even its members' own expectations.
The co-founder and leader of the group admitted it took a couple years to get the organization up and running, but the number of businesses that work with the association have tripled since its conception in 2003.
June 03, 2010Elkhorn — Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gibbs sat forward in his chair and warned former Walworth Elementary School teacher Katie Luessenhop that one more mistake will land her in prison for 3-1/2 years.
"Time is waiting for you if you do anything else," he said during her sentencing Thursday, May 27. "The next time you look at drugs, a line of heroin, decide whether you want to give 3-1/2 years of your life away."
Luessenhop, 28, Clinton, was found guilty on Feb. 5 of drug possession after purchasing and using heroin in the Huber dorm bathroom on Oct. 16, 2009, while serving for a previous conviction of drug possession. During the sentencing, Luessenhop said she is a recovering drug addict and has been sober for about eight months.
Recent Geneva Lake West
Veterans share World War II storiesMay 27, 2010Walworth — Frank Ontl still proudly wears his original World War II jacket, although the slim veteran jokes that he gained weight and it is now snug.Inside of his home, the 89-year-old Ontl recently discussed his service in World War II, as he paged through documents from an era that soon only will be known in history books and films.Ontl is one of only 15 World War II veterans who are still part of the Ingall-Koeppen American Legion Post 102. Years ago the number of World War II veterans in the legion was much higher, but as time passed those numbers have dwindled.
Fontana school going green?District looks at becoming ‘green certified’May 27, 2010Fontana — Suzy Accola wants the village’s elementary school to decrease its impact on the environment. Accola, a district parent and certified green consultant, has offered to help make Fontana Elementary School “green certified,” which will recognize it for decreasing its impact on the environment. “Like most of you I’m concerned how we affect our environment,” said Accola, who is donating her services to the district.
Walworth may drop engineerVillage “re-evaluating” serviceMay 20, 2010Walworth — Foth, the village’s current engineering firm, soon may be down a client. During its May meeting, the Village Board renewed its committee appointments and providers for professional services.However, when it came to the village’s engineer, the board didn’t act on whether to keep Foth.
Geneva Lake Law Agency upgrades patrol boatLake safety for users,
officers should increaseMay 20, 2010Williams Bay — With the recent addition of a custom-made patrol boat, Geneva Lake Law Enforcement officials believe safety on the lake will increase this summer. The replacement of a six-year-old GLLEA boat comes just in time for National Safe Boating Week.The new boat will specifically meet the needs of the police officers on Geneva Lake, GLLEA Manager Tom Hausner said.
Volunteers help rebuild walkway on Shabbona DriveMay 20, 2010Fontana — A crew made up of a soon-to-be Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts, the Big Foot Football team and other local volunteers dug their hands into the dirt to reopen an old path on Shabbona Drive. On Saturday and Sunday, the crew laid gravel, built stairs and created landscape along the path, which is commonly referred to as “Path Closed” or the “Fourth of July Path.”The end result of the volunteer’s efforts is an improved walkway that connects the top of Country Club Estates to Shabbona Drive.
District will defend use of “Chief” nicknameMay 13, 2010Walworth — If challenged, Big Foot High School won’t give up the use of its nickname, “The Chiefs,” without a fight.With a new state law about to take effect, the district may find itself defending the use of its name and nickname to the state superintendent. Gov. Jim Doyle recently signed a bill into law that will allow someone to file a formal complaint against the use of a Native American mascot or name. The state superintendent will then host a public hearing and will determine whether the use is offensive.
Board hears park concernsRecreation Director lists
suggestions, maintenance needsMay 13, 2010Walworth — On Monday night, Big Foot Recreation Department Director Chuck Thiesenhusen questioned whether the Village Board was dedicated to its parks and made suggestions on how they could improve them. “I feel, at times, the leadership in Walworth views the parks as a burden instead of an asset,” Thiesenhusen said.Last month, board members raised concerns that maintenance demands on the parks were being made by Big Foot sports teams and other area youth teams. They questioned whether these groups were asking for too much from the village.
School Board approves teacher contractsIncrease in salaries, benefits lower than expectedMay 06, 2010Williams Bay — The School District is focused squarely on its finances in the midst of a growing deficit, according to acting School Board President Peter Miller.On Monday, the School Board formally approved an agreement with the Teachers Association for the 2009-11 contract. The contract included a 3.06-percent increase in salaries and benefits. “We have people wondering about our referendum issues and we’ve been doing our due diligence financially,” Miller said Monday. “We have a raise less than other districts in the area. That’s a good thing for this district in an era when raises are mandated by arbitration and you have to give that raise.”
Intersection will receive flashing lightsMay 06, 2010Elkhorn — George Spadoni began to choke up. He apologized for becoming emotional about the serious car accidents that have occurred at the Highway 67, F intersection. It is the same intersection where a drunken driver caused a three-car accident that seriously injured several people, including Spadoni’s wife, Donna. On April 22, Spadoni told his story to the Walworth County Highway Safety Commission and asked that they install solar-powered flashing stop lights at the intersection.
School finds way to save moneyMay 06, 2010Fontana — Last week, the Fontana School Board laid off one teacher. On Monday afternoon, another volunteered to reduce her full-time position to 50 percent.On Monday afternoon, District Administrator Mark Wenzel said a teacher agreed to a voluntary 50 percent reduction of her position, which will last for one year.“That person is going to do fourth-grade reading instruction,” Wenzel said.