Report gives view of Wisconsin that gubernatorial candidates may not address

Posted September 3, 2014 at 8:33 pm

By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

Labor Day is over, which means the usual: go back to school, change the furnace filter, and prepare to clean out the garden.

Luckily for us, here in Wisconsin we can look forward to a gubernatorial election. Despite both campaigns’ best efforts to stir us up with misleading ads, few of us have been paying attention. Hey, it’s summer. Baseball, brats and beaches are a lot more alluring than either Scott Walker or Mary Burke.

But we know that as the weather cools down, the politics heats up. If you have been listening at all, it appears the big issue is jobs. Where are the 250,000 jobs Walker promised? Is Burke a hypocrite when she criticizes Walker while her own

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    N-O-W's $1.2 million loss in federal aid cannot be recovered easily

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    You can’t really blame the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School Board. After all, wouldn’t your curiosity be piqued had you learned that you had been shortchanged more than a million dollars?

    Consequently, when board members discovered that a change in school district boundaries due to the detachment of the Wilton area in 1999 had never been reported to the U.S Census Bureau, they wanted to know who had dropped

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    1930s textbook reflects Wisconsin's dramatic changes

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    I was rummaging around on a dust-covered shelf in the office last week when I came across a book someone had dropped off at one time called “Home Regions of Wisconsin.”

    Ah, just in time for our back-to-school issue, and just in time for an editor who has no column ideas.

    I’m not certain which age group the book was destined for, but fifth or sixth grade is probably a good guess. According to

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    Will Wal-Mart come to dominate medical care?

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Has the Wal-Marting of America been good or bad for the average citizen? Certainly we all like lower prices and one-stop shopping. But with Wal-Mart’s dominance, the mom-and-pop stores that catered to the family’s need for clothing, shoes, household appliances, books and hardware disappeared. In their place, Main Street filled up with tattoo parlors, dental offices and insurance agencies.

    With most of that market in the

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    Drug, alcohol abuse not in short supply locally

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Whenever I find myself totally disgusted with the newspaper business, as I did last week, when we ran two page 2′s, I remind myself that one could be in a worse career. Pumping septic tanks and law enforcement usually come to mind. Both jobs bring one face to face with the unattractive side of humanity.

    That point was driven home on Thursday evening, when I agreed to man the refreshment stand for the Ontario Community Club.

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    Kickapoo canoeing is a phenomenon

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    It appeared that every Wisconsin resident had come to the same conclusion Saturday: “Let’s canoe the Kickapoo.”

    I would like to accompany this column with a photo of the mobs of vehicles that filled nearly every bare patch along canoe livery row. But the only way to do that justice would have been from the air, and my wings weren’t working that day.

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    Kickapoo Pearls offers rare glimpse into local history

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    I was rummaging around last week for information on the now-gone Ontario dam and thought to look at an old copy of the Kickapoo Pearls. If you are too young or too new to the area or have a lapse in memory, four editions of the Kickapoo Pearls were published in 1979 and sold for a measly one dollar at stores around the area.

    I recall awaiting each new edition with bated breath. When I was

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    Municipal boards should consider taping meetings

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Woe to the Wilton Village Board, which prepared a “thank you for your service and goodbye” letter to Wilton-Norwalk Police Chief Steve Johnson based on a story in last week’s County Line, and woe to the Sparta Herald, which reprinted the story.

    As Mark Twain once said, “Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

    Johnson evidently spoke words along that line prior to the

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    Fourth of July a uniquely American celebration

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Here comes Independence Day, and I think we all ought to take a moment to recall our second president, John Adams, who was so annoyed with the July 4 date that he absolutely refused to take part in any celebrations.

    The Constitution, he argued, was actually signed on July 2, and that, as far as Adams was concerned, was the correct birthday of the country. It

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    Teen on quest to help the hungry

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Readers often tell me this corner of the paper is the most read, so pardon me while I use it for my own devious ends.

    In Ontario, we are in need of a few items for the educational exhibits at the Palen Park renovation. One is a pine cookie that is a slice of white pine, 2-4 inches thick off a stump or the butt end

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