Love for Landmarks

Photo by Bill Livick. Peggy Veregin, chair of the Stoughton Landmarks Commission, and former longtime chair Alan Hedstrom say the commission is interested in finding a use for the vacant power plant building on Fourth Street (in background), as well as the school district’s 1892 high school building.

Alan Hedstrom and Peggy Veregin have strikingly similar stories about first discovering the city and marveling at its historic character.

It happened for Hedstrom and his wife in the early 1980s. Veregin and her husband had the same experience about 25 years later. And now both are active members of the Stoughton Landmarks Commission.

The Veregins were drawn to the Madison area from Evanston, Ill., five years ago, after Peggy’s husband landed a job in Madison.

“From an outsider’s perspective, coming from a place that has a lot of historic architecture, I still remember that first drive into town,” she recalled. “It was a very easy decision for us to focus our house search here in Stoughton.” 

Hedstrom, the Landmarks Commission chair since the early 1990s until he passed the gavel to Veregin less than two years ago, first visited the city in 1981 for Syttende Mai.


Thanksgiving meal for homebound individuals

The senior center is partnering with Stoughton Hospital, On Track Communications and McGlynn Pharmacy to deliver a noon Thanksgiving Day meal for homebound individuals 60 years and over who live in the Stoughton Area School District.

To register for a meal (three meals can be delivered per home address), call 873-8585 by Monday, Nov. 23.


Photos: Honoring Veterans

All throughout Stoughton, veterans were honored Nov. 11 for their service with free lunches, car washes and concerts by local kids. Veterans and loved ones stood and faced the flag, at right, as students from Fox Prairie Elementary sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at a Veterans Day ceremony at the senior center.


Home away from home

Photos submitted. Stoughton High School student Tara Holte, left, has a new “brother” this school year, Niki Herzog, right, who is staying with the family as an exchange student. Here, the two enjoy carving pumpkins for Halloween.

A new school year always bring changes, but for a pair of Stoughton families, this year has brought new “children” as well, in the form of exchange students. 

Jeff and Brenda Kitsembel and Darlene and Greg Holte have opened their homes to Marisa Reyer and Niki Herzog, exchange students from Germany who will be staying at their homes throughout the school year. 

The Kitsembels welcomed Marisa Reyer to their home Aug. 22. Jeff Kitsembel said they have been host families previously for exchange programs, but on a shorter term than an entire school year, so this is a new experience for them.

He said it’s particularly exciting for his daughter Alyssa, who is a junior at Stoughton High School, like Marisa. Kitsembel said the family thought the two would make a good fit. 

“We had thought we would like to do it, and somebody we know was already hosting,” he said. 


St. Ann’s holiday gift fair this weekend

St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 324 N. Harrison St., will hold a holiday gift fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15. Proceeds will help fund parish youth events. 

The fair will feature more than 30 vendors and businesses, including local artists selling handmade food and items including pottery, African straw baskets, jewelry, natural soap, gift baskets and beadwork. 

Also present will be vendors, including Wildtree, Pampered Chef, Origami Owl and Jamberry Nails.

Those looking to bundle up this season will find a selection of quilted, knitted, crocheted, embroidered and sewn items.

There will be Norwegian donuts and lefse for sale, as well as homemade jams, jellies, nuts and honey.

Students will also be selling refreshments during the fair. 


Stoughton High School Fab Lab to host 3D printing workshop

File photo by Scott De Laruelle. A Fox Prairie Elementary School fourth-grader is a picture of concentration as he works on his project at the Fab Lab family open house at Stoughton Area High School.

Stoughton High School’s digital fabrication laboratory, known as the Fab Lab, will host a free workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 14, that focuses on how to operate a three-dimensional printer.

Families in the Stoughton Area School District, as well as members of the community, are welcomed to visit and use the Fab Lab, the only high school lab of its kind in Wisconsin. In addition to the 3D printer, the lab is equipped with a vinyl cutter, two Epilogue laser cutters/engravers, a milling machine and a computer-guided router.


Stoughton PD graduates first class of ‘Citizens Academy’

Joe Freye waves to his son, Austin, 10, as he files into the Stoughton Council Chambers for the academy graduation.

It’s not every day someone asks to get tased by police – but four such people is a virtual impossibility.

That is, unless you were part of the inaugural class of the Stoughton Police Department’s Citizens Academy, where people got a bit of a behind-the-scenes peek at what police work is really like. 

“Nowadays in law enforcement, there’s such a backlash, and a lot of people think that things are not transparent,” Sgt. Pat Disch, coordinator of the academy, told the Hub. “We figured, hey, what better way to have transparency than by inviting people to our department and telling them what we do.”

The 10-week program graduated a class of 12 in an evening ceremony on Nov. 5. The group comprised several local leaders, including Mayor Donna Olson and school board member Joe Freye.


Veterans Day events

School district

Every year, a group of Stoughton area veterans in honor guard uniforms visit Stoughton schools. At 7:30 a.m., will veterans stand at the entrances to Stoughton High School to greet students. At 11 a.m., veterans will visit Fox Prairie Elementary School, where students will line up in the hallways to listen to a brief speech on the significance of Veterans Day, and taps will be played. Later, many veterans will head to other district schools to visit classes. 

“This is special for those vets who have grandkids in those schools,” said Stoughton American Legion Post 59 member Bud Erickson. 

Senior center


Notes of nostalgia

Photo submitted. The Stoughton Chamber Singers will present their fall concert 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13, in the Stoughton Village Players Theatre.

The Stoughton Chamber Singers, under the direction of John Beutel, will present their fall concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 and Friday, Nov. 13 in the Stoughton Village Players Theatre, 255 E. Main Street.

The concert’s theme, “Gershwin and Friends,” aims to highlight 20th century composer George Gershwin and his brother Ira, a lyricist. The Gershwins blended popular songs and classical traditions, writing familiar songs such as “Embraceable You,” “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and were among the “great American (musical) geniuses of the century,” Beutel said.

In addition to works from the Gershwins, the concert will feature more popular music from the 1920s through the 1940s taken from “The American Songbook,” a collection of prominent composers from that time period.


Stoughton Vietnam vet honored by city, state

In the mid-1960s, when Don Heiliger sat on a lonely South Korean runway with just his thoughts and his nuclear-armed jet fighter, he had plenty of time to think about never returning home. 

A few years later, those thoughts turned into a haunting possibility during six years in captivity as a P.O.W. in North Vietnam’s infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

On Monday, the long-time Stoughton area resident and former Dane County Board member was honored by Gov. Scott Walker, Stoughton Mayor Donna Olson and officials from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs during “Don Heiliger Day” at Stoughton VFW Post 328. The event was a part of a department initiative to honor Vietnam veterans during the 50th Commemoration of the conflict. 


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