A mother and son enjoy the music played by the city band at Division Street Park while hundreds watch the portage.
Silly String was everywhere at the Street Dance.
A Viking canoe racer gets tagged by string on his way back to the water.
Strolling along Main Street.
Every so often, racers capsize on their way back into the water.
Despite the persistent threat of rain, the weather was warm and welcoming Friday evening for Syttende Mai.
Kids carted Silly String by the armful to Division Street Park to wait for the canoe race and later to the Street Dance outside St. Vincent de Paul while the streets filled with revelers.
The festival continues through Sunday, with the kids' parade Saturday, the big parade Sunday and performances of all sorts -- music, theater and dance -- and demonstrations of Norwegian heritage all weekend.
Stoughton High School will send two teams to the national high school Quiz Bowl championship tournament later this month. Team A (above) is, from left, Timmy Tyson, Sophie Geister-Jones, Quinn Wermuth and Nathan Sullivan. Team B (below) is, from left, Peter Dirks, Ryan Skotzke, Amara McCune and Tim Melland.
Stoughton High School has not one, but two teams headed to Atlanta later this month to compete in the national Quiz Bowl tournament.
The school sent one team last year, the first time in at least several years it had done so, but this year they will have company.
“This year’s success is a culmination of a lot of hard work by many different members of the team,” Chris Wiemer, a SHS math teacher and one of the academic team coaches, wrote in an email to the Hub. “We currently practice every week, and many of the team members have spent hours studying various academic topics that might come up in competition.”
In quiz bowl, teams of students compete head-to-head, seeing who can answer questions about everything from history to science to current events to popular culture.
People who live in Cooksville, a hamlet of about 70 residents located some 22 miles south of Madison, tend to think of their community as “the town that time forgot.”
“It’s a small but charming place,” said Cooksville historian Larry Reed.
He thinks the community could attract more visitors and become a little more charming “if some creative person” would step forward to reopen the Cooksville General Store, which closed in January 2012 when the former proprietor could no longer keep the business afloat.
Built in 1847, the store is among about 30 buildings located within the Cooksville Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cooksville is unincorporated and was established in 1842.
Reed thinks there’s a good chance the building may be the oldest general store in Wisconsin, but said it’s hard to know for sure.
Lisa Koenecke, a counselor at River Bluff Middle School, will be presented with the 2013 Educator of the Year Award by The Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools on Saturday, May 11, at Monona Terrace in Madison.
The award is given to an “outstanding Wisconsin K-12 educator who has demonstrated a commitment to promoting safe, respectful, and just schools for LGBT youth and their allies,” according to a news release from the district.
Koenecke has been a counselor at both the high school and middle school levels. Before working at River Bluff, she was a professional camp director for both the YMCA and the Girl Scouts, according to the district website.
In a little more than a week, thousand of visitors will descend on Stoughton for the annual Syttende Mai festival.
Organizers are finalizing details of the events, and coordinator Laura Trotter is leading the charge.
“I’m just really struck by how much this community knows how to run this festival,” Trotter said. “My committees are well-oiled machines, or else I’d never be able to do this.”
Trotter said April is the busiest time of the year for her, while May has been a bit more quiet. This time of the year, most of the duties shift to committee chairs while Trotter is left to make sure the whole operation runs smoothly.
“I’m trying to remove myself from details,” Trotter said.
And there are a lot of details that go into making a $120,000 festival run smoothly.
An osprey that has made Stoughton his summer home soars near its old nest in Mandt Park. The city moved the nest behind the wastewater treatment plant because there was too much human activity at Mandt Park for the birds. [Photos submitted by Pat Ready]
An osprey makes its way back to its nest with a branch near the wastewater treatment plant. The birds’ nests were moved there from Mandt Park.
Thanks in part to the efforts of city employees and volunteers, Stoughton is becoming a popular place for ospreys.
Three pairs of the majestic birds are making their summer homes here. They typically arrive from their winter nesting grounds in Central or South America in April, have offspring and leave sometime in September.
In the past 12 years, the three pairs have fledged 44 chicks, according to the count of local bird expert Pat Ready.
Early last summer the Hub reported on the city’s work to build and place a platform for a new pair of ospreys atop a light pole in Mandt Park. Ready thinks the birds may have been the offspring of one of the two pairs already nesting here.
The Mandt Community Center is seeking the public’s help with a pair of large capital improvements it is eyeing for the summer.
The board of directors for the 19-year-old nonprofit community center and hockey rink is accepting donations for two planned projects totaling $275,000: new ice-making equipment and an air conditioning system to keep the main floor space cool in the summer. The center hopes to do the projects together to save money.
Its board is set to make a decision May 15 about whether both projects can move forward in time for the Stoughton Youth Fair and the new hockey season.
“It’s more (if) anybody can help us out,” said Bart Quale, the center’s manager, about fund-raising. “We’re looking at all avenues to still proceed with the project (regardless).”
The center receives no public funding for its operations, and many have the misconception that the center is part of city services, the center said in a news release.
A group of people from the Stoughton area have organized a bike ride to educate participants about invasive species and show examples of progress in eradicating them along the Badfish Creek and elsewhere.
The 15- to 30-mile ride will take place May 11 and is open to the public. Proceeds will benefit the Invasive Species Issue Team of Town and Country RC&D, as well as Rock County Parks and the Friends groups that are helping to organize it. An added feature of the ride is that locally sourced food, including pheasant brats from MacFarlane Pheasants and items sourced from farmers markets, will be served at stops and at a free picnic lunch to follow.
“People can sign up for one or the other (15 miles or 30 miles) and the route will be different based on one or the other,” explained Lynne Diebel, a ride organizer and leader in the Friends of Badfish Creek.
Five-year-old Bauer Englehart, along with his dad Justin and mom Tiffany Olson, will be going to Florida thanks to the Make A Wish foundation. [Photos submitted]
Bauer Engelhart, 5, has been fighting a rare form of epilepsy known as a SCN1A mutation since he was 6 months old. Bauer and his family will travel to Orlando, Fla. through the Make A Wish charity.
Just like any nearly 6-year-old boy, Bauer Engelhart is a ball of energy.
Unlike most boys, though, Bauer has been fighting a rare form of epilepsy known as a SCN1A mutation since he was 6 months old. This disorder causes varying types of seizures, some of which have been as long as 45 minutes and can be life-threatening because they don’t stop.
With the help of medication and the efforts of his parents, Tiffany Olson and Justin Engelhart, Bauer has been in control of his epilepsy since November.
“On paper, he should be severely challenged,” Olson said. “The doctors call him an enigma because he is doing so well.”
With that newfound control, Bauer and his family will be able to take Bauer to swim with dolphins next week – a wish granted by the Make A Wish Foundation.
“Because of epilepsy, Bauer has not been able to travel and do things that he probably would have, and Make a Wish is giving him the ability to do it,” Engelhart explained.