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Stoughton Courier Hub 2-27-14
Stoughton Courier Hub 2-27-14

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Published by: veronapress on Feb 26, 2014
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Thursday, February 27, 2014 Vol. 132, No. 30 Stoughton, WI ConnectStoughton.com $1
Courier Hub
Retired, but not gone
Rigdon steps down as EMS chief, stays on as volunteer
Unified Newspaper Group 
There are not many people who know Stoughton bet-ter than Cathy Rigdon. She wasn’t born here, but Rigdon has called Stoughton home since the fifth grade.More importantly, she’s volunteered and worked for the city, in one capacity or another, for almost 30 years.Rigdon became director of Stoughton Area Emergency Medical Service in Novem-ber 2003 and has decided to retire March 2. But that doesn’t mean she’s leaving the service. She will continue on as a volunteer EMT.“This is kind of a small community, and there are so many wonderful people I run into, whether it’s here on my  job or if I’m out on an EMS call,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed working with people and for people. And even though I’m retiring, that’s not going to stop.”
Female pioneer
Rigdon took a job as the city’s deputy treasurer in December 1985. A little more than a year later, she became Stoughton’s first female volunteer firefighter.She said joining the fire department pushed the limits of the department’s “comfort level,” as well as her own.Then-fire chief Oscar For-ton was “forward thinking and progressive enough” to hire a woman, Rigdon said.“He asked me if I would consider applying,” she recalled. “I told Oscar I would apply if he put my brother on the fire depart-ment. My brother wanted it so bad.“So I applied in front of the Police and Fire Commis-sion, and they hired me. At the same time, my brother applied. They hired him 6 months later,” she continued.“Our family joke has always been it’s bad enough to be beat out by a woman, but being beaten out by your own sister is really bad,” she said with a laugh.In September 1992, Rig-don joined the EMS as a vol-unteer emergency medical technician while maintaining her full-time job at City Hall and continuing as a volunteer firefighter. She contin-ued to work as a volunteer EMT nights and weekends throughout her tenure as EMS director.“I am now in my 22nd year of service as a volun-teer EMT on Stoughton Area EMS,” she said.
Expanded service
Rigdon also worked as a volunteer firefighter for 22 years before retiring from the department. By then, she had become EMS director.She has accomplished a lot in that role. One of her big-gest accomplishments has been increasing the EMS staff from 23 to 43 while maintaining fiscal indepen-dence through grants and other funding sources.“We are a self-sufficient department at no cost to the citizens of Stoughton or the towns we serve,” she said.Rigdon’s been able to achieve that independence by writing and being award-ed more than $420,000 in grants in 10 years, she said. She’s also proud of the fact that Stoughton Area EMS received the highest award presented by Dane County
183 E. Main St., Downtown Stoughton 
www.Cheesers.com • (608) 873-1777
Grilled Cheese & Peg’s Homemade Tomato Soup!
Since 1995
 Lenten Special Fridays & Saturdays Only! 10am-2pm
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Hwy. 138
Study looks at corridor options
No construction planned
Unified Newspaper Group 
Don’t worry about seeing orange barrels along Hwy. 138 just yet – the Wisconsin Department of Transporta-tion is just studying the road corridor right now.Officials plan to study existing conditions and look for ways to improve safety along the stretch of highway from Hwy. 14 in Oregon to Hoel Road in Stoughton.WisDOT project manager Franklin Marcos said the purpose of the study is to see what traffic issues there are and plan for future safety improvements, if necessary. The need for planning is particularly important with other corridors and roads under review and set for reconstruction in the coming decade.Last Thursday’s meet-ing at Oregon High School gave a crowd of about three dozen people a chance to hear about what’s been stud-ied so far and share what their concerns were about the road as it is used now. The road is a busy one compared to similar-sized roads in the state: Hwy. 138 has a crash rate of nearly double the state average for similar roads. Farm access points make for more cross-ings than the average rural highway, as well. WisDOT officials empha-sized that no construction dollars have been set aside for the project. Marcos told the Hub that the study could possibly identify safety improvements – such as a passing lane or extended turn lanes – but there would be no major reconstruction efforts planned as part of this study. The main pur-pose is to develop a long-term plan for the existing corridor, he said. In order to do that, Wis-DOT officials have looked at data from previous years
Spring edition of the quarterly magazine included in
 issue of the Courier Hub.
Turn to
Hwy. 138
 /Page 16 
Turn to
 /Page 2 
Photo by
Bill Livick
Cathy Rigdon is stepping down as Stoughton Area EMS director but will continue to volunteer as an EMT.
February 27, 2014
Courier Hub ConnectStoughton.com
Students are reaching new heights!
 VOTE BEV FERGUSSchool Board • April 1
Please support Liz and Brett, too!
Paid for by Bev Fergus; Ruth Fortney, Treasurer 
“Noah’s Ark Story Time’’
 “Where Children Experience All The Wonders Of Learning’’ 
 Open to all 2 and 3 year olds.
1st and 3rd Wednesday of Each Month
 through May 21, 2014 • 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Located in the 3 Year Old Preschool Room
(900 West Wilson Street - Door
5 on the Van Buren Street Side)
Parents must attend with child.
MLCS Office: 873-8073 Childcare Office: 873-7884
 Visit us at www.mlcschool.org
Elementary School, Junior Kindergarten (JK), Four Year-Old Kindergarten (4K), 3-4 Year-Old Preschool and Childcare 6 Weeks to 12 Years
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• 4-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K)• 3-Year-Old Preschool• Junior Kindergarten (JK)• Elementary School K-5• Childcare 6 weeks-12 years
  2014-2015 S
900 W. Wilson St., Stoughton, WI(608) 873-8073mlcschool.org 
Celebrating Over 34 Years of Christian Education
Soaring in Faith & Excellence
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Martin Luther Christian School & Child Development Center
The rst step to a simpler, easier life with more time and meaning can bea good “spring cleaning”. Simplifying means reducing, not spreading out or organizing. Simple living is not about deprivation but about living an examined life through intentional decision making.Whether you are down-sizing or just want to be more purposeful in your life, this workshop will walk you through the process and decisions to simplify your life.
Friday, March 7th at noonStoughton HospitalBryant Health Education Center (lower level)  To register for this free event, please contact Sonja at 873-2356 or pr3@stohosp.com.
Simplify in Spring 
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Photo by
Victoria Vlisides
Sonny and Linda Swangstu sit front row at Norse Afternoon of Fun held in early February at Stoughton High School.
Syttende Mai
Swangstus will serve as 2014 royalty
Sonny and Linda (Olson) Swangstu were announced as the 2014 Syttende Mai King and Queen at the Feb. 9 Norse Afternoon of Fun. Sonny and Linda are both full-blooded Norwegians with grandparents that came from Norway. They have lived in and around Stoughton all their lives and have been mar-ried for 23 years. Linda and Sonny both graduated from Stoughton High School (Sonny in 1958, and Linda in 1961). Their children are also Stoughton High School graduates. Sonny has three children (Karie Manhart, Lynn Thors-en and Shannon Moungey). There are seven grandchildren on Sonny’s side. Linda has three children (Sherri Lausch, Ron Drogsvold and Mary Hougan.) There are three grandchildren on Linda’s side. Sonny attended Milton Col-lege in 1959 with a scholar-ship. He served in the United States Air Force from 1961-1964. He returned to Stough-ton to learn carpentry and was self-employed until retir-ing. Sonny has accomplished many things throughout his adult life.He has been a coach for kids in football, basketball and baseball. He also played base-ball for several years and man-aged the Home Talent League. He was also commissioner of 36 teams for the Home Talent League for two years. He ran the Stoughton Rec-reation Department as a vol-unteer for a period of time. He was the first candidate to win for the City Council as a write-in on a ballot. He has been on the council for 10 years. He has been an Ameri-can Legion member for 40 years and the commander for four years. He was in charge of renovating the present American Legion and also worked as a volunteer for four years renovating the Stough-ton Youth Center. He was nominated Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year in the past. Linda has not worn as many hats as Sonny but has con-tributed a lot to Stoughton through volunteering. She has been active with the American Legion Auxiliary. She was president for two years and vice president for one year. She is active in volunteer-ing at the American Legion for their funeral luncheons, fundraising, coordinating staff for Friday night Fish Fry, bar-tending and waitressing. She is also a volunteer member of Partners of Stoughton Hospi-tal at the Stoughton Hospital.
 Editor’s note: In the past, the Hub announced the Syttende Mai royalty right after the Norse Afternoon of Fun. We apologize for any confusion with the delay of the announcement.
– the Robert L. Brunning Award of Excellence.“We are the only EMS in the county to receive this award three times, in 2005, ’07 and ’09,” she said.And at an average of 4.5 calls a day, Stoughton Area EMS has the highest num-ber of calls per year in Dane County for a volunteer ser-vice, Rigdon said.Another little-known fact is that through Rigdon’s grant writing, the EMS has pro-vided 27 defibrillators to city departments.“Even though I’m so proud to have worked for the city for 29 1/2 years, I think my accomplishments on Stough-ton EMS have made me what I am,” Rigdon said.
Silent heroes
Rigdon thinks the EMS is something of an unseen and underappreciated entity.“Our members are so dedicated,” she said. “The community has no idea how much time and effort it takes for these members to volun-teer.”The public sees firemen as heroes, and people see police officers because they’re out every day, “but they don’t know what goes on with the EMS other than if they hap-pen to hear a siren or see an ambulance go by,” she said.“Most people don’t interact with us unless they’re the ones we’re serving because they have a medical need. Unless you’re someone who’s direct-ly touched by the service, you would probably not be aware of what the EMS is and what they do.”Rigdon noted that her retirement has prompted city officials to form an ad hoc committee to look into the pros and cons of consolidating the fire and EMS departments into a single organization.While she thinks it’s “OK to look at this … if there’s a feeling that there’s money to be saved by consolidating, I don’t think that’s realistic.“We can’t run much leaner and meaner than we’re run-ning,” she said.
Ready to kick back
Rigdon grew up the sec-ond oldest in a family of eight kids. After marrying, having two kids of her own and then divorcing, she was remarried to Roger Thorson, who retired last year from Stoughton Utilities. The couple has two grandchildren.Rigdon said she’d planned to work a few more years, but after seeing how much her husband was enjoying retire-ment, she decided to join him.“I’m thinking about all the things still in my life that I want to do on my bucket list,” she said. “So I decided why not do it while I’m healthy, and I can enjoy my time with my husband.”She developed a passion for quilting a couple of years ago and has joined two quilting groups.“I cannot wait to sit in my room and do some quilting,” Rigdon said.The Yahara River Quilters make quilts to give to the vet-erans every year, she said. The group donated some 70 quilts last year.The other group, called Feathers, uses antique sewing machines from the 1920s to the 1950s and sews quilts on them.While she has other inter-ests, Rigdon’s biggest passion remains providing emergency services to the community.“I am a Certified Emergen-cy Manager, a program hosted by the State of Wisconsin,” she explained. “There are probably less than 100 people who’ve completed that since it started around 1990. So I’m hoping to be able to be involved in any emergency preparedness issues that will be going on.“I will still be very involved in the Stoughton community because my life didn’t start and stop with being employed with the city.”
 EMS director spent nearly 30 years with city
Continued from page 1
February 27, 2014
Courier HubConnectStoughton.com
SHS senior wins Faith in Action scholarship
Hub Correspondent 
The person who played a large part in Stough-ton High School senior Annalise Panthofer’s faith couldn’t be there to watch her receive the scholarship that she got by following his example.“My grandpa had played a huge role in my faith jour-ney throughout my entire life, always exuding con-ditional kindness to every-one,” said Panthofer, a member of St. Ann Parish. “He volunteered through-out his entire life and often brought me with. I was able to follow by example and carry forward basic Chris-tian values.”Panthofer was awarded the Youth Faith in Action on Nov. 5 by Catholic Charities and received her award at the Madison Mar-riott West. The scholarship of $500 is awarded to two high school seniors, one girl and one boy, in the Madison Diocese each year for the past four years.Her grandfather was a member of the Monona Kiwanis, so as he did char-ity work for local projects like Adopt-A-Highway, food pantries and the Sal-vation Army.Panthofer would often tag along, finding joy in volunteering as he did.“My favorite thing to do was ring bells during the Christmas season with him through the Salvation Army,” Panthofer said.There were about 500 people in attendance to see Panthofer receive the scholarship. Some of those in attendance from St. Ann to support Pan-thofer were religious edu-cation Coor-dinated Cath-ie Truehl, retired priest Msgr. Gerard Healy, cur-rent priest Fr. Randy Bud-nar, former Journey of the Heart coordinator Tom All-cox and religious education teacher Sue Jorgenson.Panthofer figured that she would be a worthy can-didate for the scholarship when she first heard about it during a confirmation class.“I knew I’d be a fairly decent candidate based off my past three trips on Jour-ney of the Heart at the time and my years of elemen-tary school at St. Ann’s School,” Panthofer said.Applicants were required to write an essay about how they have brought faith to their parishes, schools, home and communities and the ways they live out their faith.“Through Journey of the Heart, our church’s annual mission trip, I’ve learned valuable lessons by serving disadvantaged communities throughout the U.S. I’ve learned that a lending hand to those in need is one of the most rewarding things you can do,” Panthofer said. “I’ve learned that you can always turn to God regardless of whichever cir-cumstance you may be in.”Panthofer is the first student from St. Ann Par-ish to receive the scholar-ship, stating that she was both excited and honored to have won this for the church.“I received a lot of con-gratulatory feedback from the community and church after having one,” she said. “Many unfamiliar faces made a point of saying something about it to me after mass.”Panthofer plans on con-tinuing to give back as she goes into the field of pedi-atrics in college after being inspired by the children she met on mission trips. She also plans to use those skills in the Peace Corps afterwards.“I will carry this honor with me forever,” Panthofer said. “My faith journey has impacted my outlook on life as well as my willing-ness to give of myself and help those in need.”
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Stoughton is happy to introduce Amanda Veum to our Salon Services team. Amanda offers all cosmetology services specializing in organic hair color.
 Welcome Amanda!
Believe Salon Services155 West Main Street(608) 873-7911
Introductory offer - mention this ad and take $10 off your first hair color with Amanda
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VFW Badger Post 328 Inc.200 Veterans Rd., Stoughton
Friday Night
All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry
Dine-in only. Regular menu also availableAlso Serving Tenderloin Dinner Special
Karaoke by Big Johnson
Sunday March 2 • 8 a.m. • 9th Annual
 Hunting & Fishing Garage Sale and Breakfast Buffet.
Tuesday, March 4 • 5 p.m.-7 p.m. • Bartenders Dinner
Serving Tenderloin
Saturday March 8 • 6:30 p.m. • Red Solo Cup Party 
Sunday March 9 • 8 a.m.-11a.m. • Bartenders BreakfastSunday March 9 • Noon-5 p.m. • Jam Session
 Every Friday Night Meat Raffle starts at 5 p.m. Every Thursday night Bingo starting at 7:00 p.m.
Serving Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.Open to the Public www.stoughtonvfw.org Like us on Facebook
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Reports collected from the log book at the Stoughton Police Department.
Jan. 26
4:55 p.m.
 Lights at the rail-road crossing were partially broken. Wisconsin and Souther Railroad was called to fix the issue.
5:50 p.m.
 A 33-year-old man was arrested for disorderly con-duct, violating a restringing order and trespassing on Rowe Street.
11:12 p.m.
 A 28-year-old man was reported as a trespass-er on South Academy Street. The man was not cited, but was taken home and turned over to his mother.
Jan. 29
7:40 a.m.
 A 41-year-old man was suspected of stealing candy bars from Kwik Trip West.
6:25 p.m.
 A 25-year-old woman was arrested for disor-derly conduct after a domestic disturbance on Moe Circle.
10:24 p.m.
 A 36-year-old man was arrested for disorderly conduct and property dam-age after a disturbance on Blue Heron Court.
Jan. 30
12:20 p.m.
 A 31-year-old man was arrested for disorderly conduct after making threats to his estranged wife.
Jan. 31
2:40 p.m.
 Police responded to Cooper’s Causeway after a per-son reported an older woman feeding the geese in the area. No one was found when police arrived.
9:09 p.m.
 A 15-year-old girl was arrested and cited for pos-session of THC after a blood draw at Stoughton Hospital. The girl was stopped on Hwy. 51 near Silverado Drive on suspi-cion of OWI.
– Mark Ignatowski 

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