STORY ARCHIVE

4PeteSake announces date for day in the park and golf outing, new recipients

Spring Green, WI – After a year hiatus, 4PeteSake’s Day In The Park returns to Spring Green’s North Park on Sunday, August 15th. What began in 2005 as an impassioned eff ort to help a 20-year-old cancer survivor has become a summer tradition and a symbol of the River Valley’s commitment to helping neighbors in need.

Anna Stocks-Hess

Finding your gender and sexuality in a rural small town

Discovering yourself in any space can pose challenges for someone. Whether it be your career choice or becoming the person you were born to be, figuring yourself out is a long journey. This is also a journey that never ends. Don’t expect to wake up one day, and suddenly be your completed self. You should be growing and changing every single day.

Business Spotlight: Inspired Nutrition

Tell us a bit about Inspired Nutrition and your mission
Inspired Nutrition started after my cousin opened her Nutrition club in Muscoda. We started these nutrition clubs because we were seeing great results with the Herbalife product. Our mission is to get our products into households to help people live a more healthy active lifestyle.

Last Leaf public house open for apps, cocktails in pub and patio

Last Leaf Public House (134 W. Jefferson Street, Spring Green), in the former Freddy Valentine’s location, is now open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. serving cocktails and appetizers for dinning inside the pub and on the patio.
Appetizers include hand cut fries, sweet potato fries, smoked salmon dip, chicken curried frites and chicken wings.
Menu options, hours and dining will increase sometime in mid-July.

Award winning farming family shutters dairy barn doors among difficult industry

This was a 4th Generation Farm, Steve himself has farmed for 38 years of his life. He was now farming with his 2 daughters Cassie and Mandi. The Fuller’s have many honors they have received over the years, 2 time Richland County Outstanding young farmer and with Steve’s mom and Grandma receiving Richland County Outstanding Farm woman.

Community Column: Racial injustices and the importance of Juneteenth

We had our own homegrown Juneteenth celebration here in Plain last weekend, in a village known more for its homogeneity than diversity. The party in our neighborhood was ostensibly a birthday party for a one-year-old, but it was charming and inspiring in its inclusion of a wide variety of ages, races, and genders.

‘I Did This All My Life’: One Family Farm’s Fight For Survival

In honor of June Dairy Month, Valley Sentinel is sharing stories of three regional farms throughout Sauk and Iowa Counties. The following story is a first-person account of the Reisinger’s dairy farm between Plain and Spring Green as the family made the decision to end their generational milking operation.

RVACG holds inaugural student gardening program to get young students outside

The River Valley Area Community Garden started a Student Gardening program to get young students out in nature and learning about gardening. The program had its first event June 8 where students had the chance to assist gardeners with planting different type of plants and produce in garden beds. The program will include planting and tending to the garden beds, arts and crafts as well as story time in the garden.

RV trap team takes home the Division 2A state title

The River Valley Trap Team won the Division 2A State Title June 13 in Rome, Wisconsin. River Valley’s score of 485 edged out West Salem’s team by one point to take the title. Clear Lake’s team finished third with 482.

Community Column: Flag Day — Wave The Thing But Don’t Worship It

The radio this morning has paid homage to Flag Day by playing some of my favorite music –for example, John Philip Souza’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”– and some that I have an aversion to –e.g. our national anthem, which is unsingable and filled with bloodthirsty war images besides. I much prefer “America the Beautiful”, which contains stirring, idealistic phrases that move beyond a narrow definition of patriotism and aspire to something far better, such as “crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”

RV Golf takes on conference cup

Saturday, May 29th was the 11th annual SW Golf Cup between rival SWAL and SWC conferences. The event is held each year at Dodgepoint Golf Course. The top 24 golfers from each conference compete head to head in various formats of match play.

RV Girls Soccer

This week was a fun week of soccer. Our JV team played extremely well against Platteville. We moved the ball well and Claire and Isabelle scored great goals.

RV Trap first in the conference

RV Trap Shooting finished 1st in the top conference for the Spring 2021 season. With a total of 59 shooters, we had 5 finish in the Top 100 for the State: Joseph Day, Jaydon Rose, Sam Cady, Gaige Dilley and Joshua Crook.

RV softball dominates season

RV Softball Player Emily Esser making a catch. The RV softball team is currently No. 1 in conference play, dominating Lancaster June 1 11-0, and beating out Mount Horeb 6-4 June 5.

Birding report: Early June — migration wanes and nesting waxes

As we head into the unofficial start of summer, bird migration is winding down. Shorebirds are the most prominent remaining migrants, many of them headed for breeding areas on the far northern tundra. Species most commonly being seen include semipalmated, least, and white-rumped sandpipers, ruddy turnstone, sanderling, dunlin, and semipalmated plover. Unusual finds include whimbrel (especially along northern Lake Michigan), red-necked phalarope, and American avocet. Wilson’s phalaropes, a species whose core range lies in the Great Plains, have been far more numerous in the state this spring than any in recent memory.

The Sauk County Gardener — scouting for Japanese beetles

This last week’s higher temps and humidity made me think we skipped summer and jumped right to August! I tried as best I could to time my plantings between the bouts of rain and the times of high heat. I wasn’t able to completely avoid the high heat as I spent one afternoon out in my newly installed cutting garden beds planting 50 dahlia bulbs and 30 ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental lilies. I ran out of steam before I could plant the nine rose bushes. I’m still working on getting all my annuals planted and there are some vegetables I need to get planted as well. Now is the time of year when I have way more garden tasks compared to the hours I have to spend in the garden – especially when the heat and rain do not cooperate with my schedule. I am sure many of you feel the same way.

Home Talent: Plain A’s Fight Back in Loss to Mazo Mustangs

Plain A’s’s effort to come back from down six runs in the seventh inning came up just short, as they fell 14-12 to Mazomanie Mustangs on Sunday. Plain A’s put up nine runs in the failed comeback. Keegan Smith, Jack Meixelsperger, Derek Bodendein, Will Jewell, Zach Paulus, and Brock Mahoney powered the rally with RBIs.

Driftless Grace — this week: seeing double

I just made a short visit to a place three degrees of latitude farther north. That’s not much for seasoned travelers, but it served to remind me that my home is only halfway to the equator. The farther north you go, the more the spring is compressed into a few fleeting days. (We had our share of frosty weather last month, but at least we don’t have a Great Lake messing with our temperature.)

Before and after: See how Wisconsin republicans redrew the state’s congressional districts to their advantage

tatewide election in the last four years, including U.S. president, governor, U.S. senator and attorney general. Yet Republicans have easily held five of the state’s eight seats in the U.S. House for all of the last decade. And they nearly took a sixth in the 2020 election. Some experts say gerrymandering is at least partially to blame for that. Others say mostly.

Highway 23 bridge ready to open for one lane traffic June 12

The good weather and the dedicated employees at Kraemer North America have kept this project on schedule. Kraemer North America and their subcontractors have poured all the concrete for the bridge and are now working on the necessary road improvements to open STH 23 to traffic again.

Waterfowl go for a stroll near Wilson Creek Pottery

Lucy and Poncho, a duck and goose duo from a neighboring farm went for a stroll down Highway WC near Wilson Creek Pottery last week. The waterfowls are new to the Valley and were captured and returned to their owners. The duo got their names from a follower of Wilson Creek Pottery.

Three-week closure starts June 9 for US 14/Commercial Street in Mazomanie

Starting Wednesday, June 9, US 14/Commercial Street near County KP in Mazomanie will be closed to all traffic until late June. Through traffic should follow the signed detour route of WIS 78 to Sauk City, US 12 then WIS 60 to Spring Green. Access will be maintained to local residences and businesses. Crews will install storm sewer pipes under the highway near County KP.

American Players Theatre 2021 season is underway, capacity upped

American Players Theatre’s (APT) in-person season began May 14 with Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop in the 201-seat indoor Touchstone Theatre. The first performance of James DeVita’s world premiere of An Improbable Fiction took the Hill Stage on May 27. These two plays will run in repertory until The Mountaintop closes on June 19, and An Improbable Fiction closes on June 26. These will be the first in-person performances since APT was forced to cancel the 2020 season, and the company is beyond thrilled to be welcoming audiences back to the theater.

Wander Provisions Owner, Kyle Adams, left, chats and checks out customers at the stores open house May 22. The store offers hand-curated, locally sourced snacks, picnic options and vintage recreational items. The store can be found on Instagram @Wanderprovisions. Photo by Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

‘Go outside. Take a snack.’ Wander Provisions opens, offering community the tools to do just that

Albany Street in Spring Green has a new business, and they want to encourage you to head out and explore the area, snacks in hand. Wander Provisions held a soft opening May 21 and 22, showcasing an abundance of vintage picnic and camping supplies and curated, upscale, locally sourced snacks.

Rep. Dave Considine

Rep. Dave Considine column: Shifting to a restorative model

Over the past twenty years, Wisconsin’s prison population has grown twenty percent. This growing prison population puts a strain on our budget and the people of Wisconsin. Instead of heavily funding prisons we need to fund restorative programs like the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program. Wisconsin’s TAD program allows District Attorneys or judges to offer off enders the opportunity to enter into voluntary substance abuse treatment, case management, or another risk reduction program as a safe alternative to jail or prison. TAD was implemented in 2005 in Wisconsin and has had a positive impact on many lives. As a member of the Committee on Mental Health, I recognize the trauma that many off enders have faced in their life that led them down the wrong path. I commend Governor Evers’ proposed investment in TAD so we can continue to more towards a restorative criminal justice system.

Ruby enjoying her time on the Popple River.

An Outdoorsman’s Journal: Florence County Trout Fishing Trip

Follow along each week on the adventures of Mark Walters, a syndicated outdoor adventure columnist who lives in Necedah, Wisconsin. He began writing his column, An Outdoorsman’s Journal, in 1989. It includes hunting, fishing, lots of canoeing and backpacking. He currently writes for around 60 newspapers on a weekly basis. He hopes you enjoy reading about his adventures!

This week’s column is all over the map. My plan was to trout fish in Florence County and sleep in the bed of my truck at night, simple, inexpensive, and adventuresome. I had obtained some information from some very good friends of mine and my plan was to fish Woods Creek and either the Pine or Popple River.

Now is a great time to find dozens of warbler species in Wisconsin, including nearly a quarter of the world’s population of Golden-winged Warblers. Photo via Ryan Brady, Wisconsin DNR

Birding report: Birdwatchers enjoying a bounty of birdsong & colors

Birdwatchers are delighting in a bounty of song and color as birds continue to return statewide. Baltimore and orchard orioles, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, rose-breasted grosbeaks, ruby-throated hummingbirds and other backyard favorites like house wrens, gray catbirds, American goldfinches and red-headed woodpeckers are showing well in most areas. Warblers are moving later than usual this year with large numbers still being seen in the southern tier of the state, only now including later species like Canada, bay-breasted, and Connecticut warbler.

The Sauk County Gardener—Lots to do in the garden in June

This last week’s higher temps and humidity made me think we skipped summer and jumped right to August! I tried as best I could to time my plantings between the bouts of rain and the times of high heat. I wasn’t able to completely avoid the high heat as I spent one afternoon out in my newly installed cutting garden beds planting 50 dahlia bulbs and 30 ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental lilies. I ran out of steam before I could plant the nine rose bushes. I’m still working on getting all my annuals planted and there are some vegetables I need to get planted as well. Now is the time of year when I have way more garden tasks compared to the hours I have to spend in the garden – especially when the heat and rain do not cooperate with my schedule. I am sure many of you feel the same way.

Emily Landmann searched for birds at the Jordahl Farm in Richland County. Photo via Barbara Morford

Annual Birdathon finds 133 species on protected private lands

Call them crazy, but birders like Barbara Morford and Emily Landmann enjoy getting up in the dark to reach the field right as the chorus of birds gets into gear, around 5:30 a.m. The morning of Monday, May 17, they headed to the Jordahl Farm north of Richland Center to go birding for the Driftless Area Land Conservancy’s annual birdathon.

RV girls softball takes on Cuba City, Girls Soccer scores

Our games on Tuesday and Friday were postponed due to field conditions. The highlight on Thursday was the goal scored by Kylie. Svea Youngquist was fouled just outside of the 18 yard box to earn a free kick. Kylie’s shot went over the wall and beat the keeper near post.

A view of the field behind the Leed Building, where an art installation will go just outside of downtown Plain. Photo by Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

Village of Plain to see colorful, community oriented art installation

At it’s monthly board meeting, the village of Plain heard from leaders at the Wormfarm Institute about an interactive, community oriented art project being constructed in the village over the summer.

Meadows Assisted Living and Memory Care receives a visit

Meadows Assisted Living and Memory Care would like to thank students from St. John the Evangelist School in Spring Green for delivering handmade spring flower baskets on May 17th. Residents were thrilled to see the children and appreciated the joy they brought with their window visit. We look forward to the day when can all gather together safely again!

Art from around the Valley: Jen Salt’s ‘Frank’s Hill’

I first climbed Frank’s Hill in Richland County a dozen years ago for the Vernal Equinox celebration. A large group had gathered at the top of the hill near the effigy mounds, along with some of the elders and Frank Shadewald, to watch the sun set, the moon rise and the stars come into view.

Letter to the Editor: Inspiring Hope through Healing

The year 2021 was a unique year for Sauk County Rural Safety Days. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was held virtually. We had nearly 1,100 third and fourth graders (last year’s third grade who missed the event due to COVID-19) participate this year. This event would not have been possible without the generous donations and support from our numerous sponsors. We believe that prevention is the best medicine and are so thankful for their support.

An Outdoorsman’s Journal: First Turkey

Follow along each week on the adventures of Mark Walters, a syndicated outdoor adventure columnist who lives in Necedah, Wisconsin. He began writing his column, An Outdoorsman’s Journal, in 1989. It includes hunting, fishing, lots of canoeing and backpacking. He currently writes for around 60 newspapers on a weekly basis. He hopes you enjoy reading about his adventures!

This past week I spent a lot of time in the turkey blind with Michelle Chiaro who was hoping to harvest her first turkey and with my 20-year old daughter Selina who has was hoping to harvest her ninth.

Blue river sand barrens expansion to involve pine removal

MUSCODA—The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board met virtually on May 13th to conduct a regular monthly business meeting. The board heard a presentation from Eddie Shea, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Biologist, based in Boscobel. Shea described various habitat projects ongoing in the west half of the Riverway. Major prairie and grassland plantings will occur in the Town of Millville, Grant County, at Russell Hill and Swanson’s Ridge.

Baltimore orioles and other backyard favorites like hummingbirds and rose-breasted grosbeaks have begun their return to Wisconsin. Attract orioles with a dish of jelly, halved oranges or sugar water. Photo via Wisconsin DNR

Mid-May birding report: backyard favorites return…warblers too!

The most anticipated time of year for birdwatchers has arrived! Right on schedule, May ushered in a wealth of neotropical migrants this past weekend, including Baltimore and orchard orioles, ruby-throated hummingbirds, rose-breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers and more. Not seeing any yet? Don’t despair as this is just the beginning of their return and has been limited mostly to the southern half of the state so far. Now is the time, though, even up north, to fill the seed feeders, prep the sugar water and offer orange halves and jelly.

The Sauk County Gardener: Oh Honey, it’s Time to Plant!

I recently had the pleasure of taking a guided tour of the Riverland Conversancy Merrimac Preserve on Hwy 113 located between Devil’s Lake State Park (near Roznos Meadow Trailhead) and the town of Merrimac. This is a very nice conservation area with tons of trails that is close to our home. Within the more than 1,600 acres, you can explore wetlands, prairies, oak savannas, woodlands, and various streams and lakes. It’s pretty spectacular. During our guided tour, we were able to enjoy some of the wildflowers that were just starting to bloom such as the lupine and marsh marigold. I really loved seeing the marsh marigold as it was a reminder of the ones that my grandmother had transplanted to her wet area of the yard. It made me consider my own yard to see if I had a place to plant some marsh marigold.

Guest Column: Driftless Grace—Familiar rhythms return to the Valley

I had a busy April, but most of that was one-on-one activities with friends (or events with a defined endpoint where I couldn’t linger). Recently, though, I had the pleasure of going to a real live Event. It came complete with kids running across the lawn, adults from outside my “bubble”, delightful vintage items for sale, and lunch served by a local business. It was my new community in miniature, and the energy was infectious.

Area residents and Citizen Action of Wisconsin organizers met at North Part for a rally advocating for BadgerCare expansion on May 5

Local citizens, state activist group hold BadgerCare rally in Spring Green

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, along with various area residents held a rally in May 5 in Spring Green to show support for BadgerCare expansion in the state 2021-2023 biennial budget, a single day before State Sen. Howard Marklein and the Committee on Joint Finance took its first votes to bring the budget “back to basics,” removing those expansions.

An Outdoorsman’s Journal: Six days in the Great Outdoors!

Follow along each week on the adventures of Mark Walters, a syndicated outdoor adventure columnist who lives in Necedah, Wisconsin. He began writing his column, An Outdoorsman’s Journal, in 1989. It includes hunting, fishing, lots of canoeing and backpacking. He currently writes for around 60 newspapers on a weekly basis. He hopes you enjoy reading about his adventures!

This past week I spent six days either turkey hunting at my food plot in northern Juneau County or crappie fishing on backwaters of the Wisconsin River in Columbia County.

The Sauk County Gardener: Oh Honey, it’s Time to Plant!

Recently I wrote about deterring bunnies and deer from eating your garden plants. This past week, we had a new visitor to our garden and our beehives – a bear. The first night, he just took down all our bird feeders, so we assumed it was a family of naughty raccoons. We brought in the bird feeders the next night and in the morning, we discovered he had tipped over and ripped the hinged roofs right off two of our four bee hives. Luckily, we were able to upright the hives without much drama (except for the three bees that got inside my bee suit and one small sting on my thigh). We moved the hives so they would be closer to the nearby trees so my husband, Scott, could chain the hives to the trees. That evening, as I was moving my plants I was hardening off back into the house, I was sure I heard the bear rustling around in the nearby bushes. You’ve never seen anyone run so fast in rubber garden boots! In the morning, Scott went to check his hives. The bear still got the chains off one hive and damaged it pretty good. Scott wasn’t ready to give up though. We moved all the hives closer to the house and put electric “goat” fencing around our orchard/now apiary. We hung wind chimes and bells and left the yard lights on. Unfortunately, we had to re-queen a couple of the hives as they didn’t handle the trauma well. Luckily, we believe the bear has now moved on. All I can say is that this year’s honey is going to be the most expensive honey we’ve ever had.

Community Gardens host demo, prepare for 2021 season

The River Valley Area Community Gardens (RVACG) held a community gardening demonstration to kick off the 2021 growing season on Saturday, where new gardeners were given tips and tricks of the trade and a tour of their garden home. 

David Armiak

Wisconsin Watch—Officials use digital dodges to hide records

In March, The Washington Post reported that University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank sought to move a conversation around the COVID-19 pandemic and students returning to campus in the fall to a private portal used by presidents and chancellors of the 14 Big Ten universities.

Photo via Jane Briehl, Softball Head Coach

Girls Varsity Softball dominate with three-game streak

The River Valley Varsity Softball team took on Richland Center May 4, taking down the RC team 15-1. The varsity girls also beat Deforest during a May 5 home game 6-1. On May 6, the team overtook Platteville 22-2. Pictured, varsity player No. 6 Katie Hahn hits at the away game May 6.

Ryan Klein on the RV Varsity Baseball team pitches at the May 10 home game against Wisconsin Dells. RV Baseball took on the Platteville Hillman last week, and fell 7-6. Photo by Mike McDermott, Contributor

RVHS Varsity Baseball falls to Platteville Hillmen, Girls Soccer scores

Ryan Klein on the RV Varsity Baseball team pitches at the May 10 home game against Wisconsin Dells. RV Baseball took on the Platteville Hillman last week, and fell 7-6.

Tortilleria Zepeda production facility officially open in Lone Rock

Tortilleria Zepeda hosted an open house at it’s Lone Rock location Wednesday, which featured tours of the production facility, fresh tortillas and unconventional twists on traditional Mexican fare. The open house allowed members of the community to tour the facility where the Heidi and Julian Zepeda produce their authentic and organic nixtamal corn tortillas, and learn more about their unique process that differs from typical, mass produced corn tortilla manufacturing. The couple also uses locally grown ingredients. The open house offered samples of their original tortillas, dressed with serrano-avocado salsa and traditional tamales. The event also offered cocoa tortillas and dessert tamales with strawberries and cream cheese. Julian also offered a fermented mesa drink that is traditional to his home area of Mexico, called Tejuino. Currently, Heidi and Julian are planning to host different social events or host classes at the location, and are considering opening monthly to offer fresh tortillas and other options.