Water science

Austin Skar, in blue, Jonah Baraboo, Jayda Adams and Adrienne Skar experiment with water.

Kids splash around with science at the Stoughton Public Library last week. [Photos by Mark Ignatowski]


Corn on the Kubb: Games aplenty at inaugural tournament

File photo by Mark Ignatowski. Kubb made its debut at Syttende Mai this year with an exhibition for people to try the game.

It just isn’t summer until you have a little yard-game competition among friends.

There will be plenty of games - along with food and drink - at the inaugural Corn-O-Kubbia tournament at Mandt Park later this month. The event is sponsored by the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce and aims to bring teams from all over to play cornhole and kubb, organizers said.

“We’re going to try to make it another event in the summer that brings people to Stoughton,” Kubb organizer Todd Fossum told the Hub.

The tournament takes place July 19 at Mandt Park. Organizers are hoping to draw teams from all over the state with a $250 cash prize for the winners of the kubb tournament and the cornhole games.

Kubb on the rise


Catfish River Music Festival photos

The inaugural Catfish River Music Festival drew crowds of folk music fans this past weekend at the Stoughton Rotary Park. The event is a fundraiser for the Stoughton Opera House.


Christian joins UNG staff

Samantha Christian has joined the staff of Unified Newspaper Group.

The Watertown native comes to UNG after three years covering her hometown area with the Watertown Daily Times, where she was the chief photographer and a feature writer. Christian will be the community reporter for all of UNG’s publications – the Fitchburg Star, Oregon Observer, Verona Press and Stoughton Courier Hub. She will also take a lead role in photographing events, so expect to see her out and about frequently.

Christian succeeds Victoria Vlisides, who left UNG to spend a year teaching in Japan.

Christian, a 2010 St. Norbert graduate, has also worked at Wisconsin Trails Magazine and at the St. Norbert Times. She lives near Fitchburg and enjoys outdoor activities, photography and writing.


Stoughton Junior Fair photos

Stoughton held its annual Junior Fair last weekend, with familiar attractions like rides, games, food and family-friendly fun spread throughout Mandt Park.


Helping and Healing: Free clinic strives to be recognized

Photos by Bill Livick. Physician’s assistant Todd Woodhouse is one of a handful of volunteer physicians at Shalom Holistic Health Services in Stoughton. The free health clinic offers health care to low-income people in the Stoughton Area School District.

Stoughton native Todd Woodhouse was studying to become a physician’s assistant more than five years ago when he faced a problem that could have prevented him from completing his education.

Woodhouse is a diabetic but was too old to be on his parents’ health insurance. As a student, he couldn’t afford the cost of lab work or the diabetes supplies he needed.

“I was home on break and was kind of in that gap,” he explained.

So he turned to the Stoughton free health clinic for help.

“I was able to get some financial help through a couple of the clinic’s grant programs, and also was able to get some lab work done,” Woodhouse recalled. “They helped with my diabetes supplies, which are well over $1,000 a month and I never would have been able to afford. It was very difficult for me to finish school without their help.”


Fireworks in the Park set for Fourth of July

Local favorites Second Swing Around will perform jazz and big band standards on July 4 at Veterans Park. The band’s performance begins at 8 p.m. will be followed by fireworks around 9:30 p.m.

Second Swing Around plays the hits of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and others from the 1940s.

Band members include Stoughton residents and former teachers Roger Goelke and Jim Keeney. Second Swing Around has performed for this event for 13 years.

a blanket, lawn chairs and a cooler for a great night in the park.


Dancing in the streets

Photos submitted. Old Tin Can String Band will play in Stoughton Rotary Park during the inaugural Catfish River Music Festival.

The folks who’ve turned the Opera House into one of state’s premier performance venues have also created a new music festival that will take place next week in downtown Stoughton.

The Catfish River Music Festival is largely the work of Opera House director Bill Brehm.

The four-day event, July 3-6, will feature 19 acts. Three headlining musicians, with two openers, will be staged in the Opera House, and 14 solo artists, duos or bands will perform – for free – in Rotary Park adjacent to the Fire Station.

Shows inside the Opera House will be ticketed events.

Some downtown streets near Rotary Park will be closed to traffic, and the festival area will be enclosed in fencing to keep beer and wine consumption in a confined area.

Profit after expenses are paid will benefit the Opera House.

“It’s the beginning of what I see as an annual fundraising event for the Opera House,” Brehm said. “The first year is always the most difficult.”


Program helps people get by, around

Photo by Victoria Vlisides. Ted Sehmer is the director of transportation services at Stoughton United Ministires.

Stoughton United Ministries is a relatively recent addition to the area’s roster of social service nonprofit organizations.

Since being started by Stoughton United Methodist Church in 2012, the secular organization has been gaining momentum with its growing transportation services.

SUM’s two main functions are focusing on low-income transportation and helping families who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness. Organizers say the two missions work well with one another because the problems they address often go together.

The Affordable Transport Program transports Stoughton Area School District residents from Stoughton to Madison for health appointments and job interviews or to a local food pantry, and the Pathways program connects people in need with a social worker.


Knowing where and whom to turn to in times of need

Photo by Victoria Vlisides. Dottie Petersen, President of the Stoughton United Ministries board, SUM social worker Sherri Schroeder (left) hold the resource guide to raise awareness about social services. Behind them are social worker Sharon Mason-Boresma and SUM transportation director Ted Sehmer.

Since the Great Recession, more and more families need a little extra help here and there to get back on their feet if their car breaks down or if someone loses their job.

“A lot of people who come upon a sudden hardship, they don’t know where to begin,” said Sherri Schroeder, a part-time social worker with local nonprofit Stoughton United Ministries (SUM), a secular program run through the Stoughton United Methodist Church.

According to statistics provided by Schroeder, SUM has assisted 36 homeless or at-risk-of-being-homeless Stoughton families from January 2013 to February 2014, including two clients who were living out of their cars, said Schroeder.

But, families facing eviction or other emergency situations may not be aware of programs and other resources available in Stoughton to get help with basic necessities like shelter, transportation and food.