Drug, alcohol abuse not in short supply locally

Posted August 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm

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. What could go wrong? It was a beautiful summer evening: Handsome young men in the prime of life swatted a ball around under star-studded skies, with wives and girlfriends exchanging gossip in the stands and little tykes giving the playground equipment a workout.

How

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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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    Country life gives close-up view of nature's inequities

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Living in the country is hard on us softies. The flat cat on the highway, the alfalfa field that froze out, the death of a favorite tree all occur with enough regularity to make one feel that living on the 10th floor of a high rise must surely spare a person from the inequities of mother nature.

    This was not an easy

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    Visitors remind us of region's beauty

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    ‘Tis the season for road trips, at least for some people. I like a good road trip myself, but it’s almost as fun watching the swarms of people passing through Ontario on a summer weekend. Like bugs on a windshield, there are too many to count. Most days a person could shoot a cannon down Main Street and not hit anyone, but come the golden days of summer,

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    Is Post Office declining by design?

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    It is an improvement. A few months ago, the County Line disappeared into the USPS black hole for two weeks. This time it was for only five days. It would be nice if we could print each newspaper with little legs so that each one of them could walk from Sparta to your home. Surely there is no town in the 546 zip code that could not be reached in five days by an able-bodied person or a newspaper with legs.

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    Local government goes beyond the mundane

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Pity the poor headline writer thrashing about for a catchy phrase that would draw the reader into a story that, at its core, is just plain dull. Board meetings are often like that. Most months consist of necessary but tedious housekeeping duties. Sewer plant issues, street repairs and barking dogs all must be dealt with, but they hardly make headlines that grab attention. At times, I could cap the story with “Board

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