Stoughton fair: Bear essentials

Photo submitted. Bob Steele and four of his black bears will perform multiple times during the Stoughton Junior Fair with The Great Bear Show.

The Stoughton Junior Fair will be bringing in some big and burly acts to mark its 90th year – bears and wrestlers. But, for both their sakes, you won’t find them performing in the same area.

The festival, which will be held at Mandt Park from July 1-5, will feature The Great Bear Show from Texas and Brew City Wrestling from Milwaukee. Fair board president Steve Wethal said these additions were chosen to attract new people to the fair.

“We’re always looking for new ideas. It gets stagnant if it’s always the same (thing),” he said. “It fit into our budget, and we’re excited about it.”


Stoughton Relay for Life 2015

Stoughton’s honorary cancer survivor, Kathy Breuchel, shared her story with a crowd of supporters during the Stoughton-McFarland-Oregon Relay For Life opening ceremony Friday evening. She said her experience with cancer helped her find inner strength, humor and even her birth family from Kansas City. 


Nearly a year later, Viking still a work in progress

Photo by Bill Livick. Vik and Lori Malling opened Viking Brewpub in August 2014. The 4,300-square-foot restaurant features Nordic logs and a hand-carved Viking dragon ship as decor.

Vik and Lori Malling decided to build and open the Viking Brewpub downtown with virtually no experience in the dining, brewing and entertainment business.

But they had a good idea and business plan, and a simple philosophy.

“Lori and I want people to feel comfortable coming in here, just like they’re coming into our home,” Vik said.

“One thing in the business plan I didn’t figure is how much time it would take,” he added.

The 4,300-square-foot brewpub and restaurant opened in August 2014 but it has yet to become fully functional, with its brewing tanks still being installed after arriving last month.

In the meantime, it and has been the subject of much local attention and admiration for its warm, inviting atmosphere. It features lots of blonde wood, bold Nordic logs and an unforgettable hand-carved Viking dragon ship bar as the establishment’s centerpiece.


Stoughton music educator remembered

When Ruth Kvalheim passed away June 4 at the age of 91, she left behind an impressive legacy as one of the area’s most renowned and beloved music educators. 

She started teaching in Stoughton in 1946, and touched “thousands of lives” of young musicians in her 50 years in the area, said friend Janis Wegner. 

“(She was) a first-class lady whose passion, career and profession was rolled into one, being a music educator,” Wegner said, nothing that Kvalheim held the final performance in the old city hall auditorium (since renovated into the Stoughton Opera House). “The students she taught spanned multi generations and she never forgot a student’s name and could tell them exactly which grade she had them.”


Skaalen antique show is June 27

Got an antique that you’ve always wondered about? Some local experts are coming to Stoughton to help people possibly discover some treasure. 

Skaalen Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’s version of the Antique Road Show, is set for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27. Appraisals begin at 8:30 a.m. with experienced appraisers Joni Bozart from  Carousel Consignments in Janesville, Fred Waldburger of Stoughton, Lyle Wanless of Wanless Auction Group in Brooklyn and Sharon Wendland and Le Larson from the Antique Mall in Stoughton. 

Appraisal is a “learned, educated opinion,” according to a press release from Skaalen. People will be charged $5 for each item appraised, and there is no limit on the number of items you may bring. 


Stoughton Chamber Singers: a world of music

The Stoughton Chamber Singers performed their second spring concert at the Cooksville Historic Church on June 10. In the expansive genre of “World of Music,” the group performed Renaissance, 20th century and madrigal music. Their first spring concert was held at the Stoughton Opera House on June 8. 


A lesson on love: former Stoughtonites celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

Photos submitted. This undated photo of Gust Paris and Joan Hopkins was taken in Ipswich, England during World War II, before they were married.

It’s not often that a lucky couple gets to celebrate 50 years – the so-called “golden anniversary.” It’s even more rare to reach 70, but on June 23, former Stoughton residents Gust and Joan Paris are “going platinum.”

Platinum is the traditional gift for couples that have reached the magic 70th anniversary, but the couple’s son, Bob, a 1973 Stoughton High School graduate, said the gift that keeps giving for his parents and their growing extended family is even more priceless – love. 

“Time is a testament of love,” he wrote in an email to the Hub. “While most associate love with the butterflies they might feel when meeting that special someone for the first time, it really isn’t about that at all. How many married couples can say they still feel those butterflies after being married for a few years? 

“This is the love that has survived and flourished in Gust and Joan Paris.” 


Relay for Life 2015 photos

The 2015 theme for Stoughton-McFarland-Oregon Relay for Life, held at Mandt Park June 19-20, was "Saving the World One Cure at a Time." Approximately 30 teams of friends, caregivers and survivors (many dressed in superhero costumes) came together in support of one another and to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society.


Skaalen summer concert series underway

Skaalen Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is holding its summer concert series, the next of which is 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18 with “Side-By-Side.” All concerts are one hour in length and will be held outside at the Ridge St. Therapy entrance, weather permitting. People are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Here is the remainder of the schedule:

• 1:30 p.m. July 2 - Dick Larson

• 1:30 p.m. July 9 - Jesse Walker

• 1:30 p.m. July 16 - Mike McCloskey

• 1:30 p.m. July 23 - Cowboy Bob

• 6:45 p.m. July 30 - Stoughton City Band

• 1:30 p.m. Aug. 6 - The Music Doctors

• 1:30 p.m. Aug. 13 - Jesse Walker

• 1:30 p.m. Aug. 20 - Catfish River Revue Band

• 1:30 p.m. Aug. 27 - Strictly Elvis

• 1:30 p.m. Sept. 3 - Jesse Walker

• 1:30 p.m. Sept. 10 - Karen Wikum


Fighting back: Stoughton’s Breuchel lives to tell her story

Photo by Scott De Laruelle. Kathy Breuchel, owner of Main Street Flowers & Gifts, relaxes at her store Monday morning, where she talked to the Hub about being a Stage 4 breast cancer survivor, and how it feels to represent Stoughton as the city’s honorary cancer survivor at this weekend’s Relay For Life.

June 20, 2011, is not a day Kathy Breuchel remembers with great joy. 

But it’s a day that has changed her life to what it is today – a cancer survivor – and she’s determined to make the most of it and share her story with others who need to hear it. 

That’s when a biopsy test came back that showed Breuchel had breast cancer. And not just any type, but Stage 4 inflammatory triple-negative breast cancer.  According to, that type occurs in about 15 percent of diagnosed breast cancers, and can be more aggressive and difficult to treat, as it’s more likely to spread and recur. 

Before the diagnosis, Breuchel said, she could see a spot on her breast, but was “in denial” that it could be anything unusual.


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