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VP0619

VP0619

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Published by veronapress
Verona Press 6-19-14
Verona Press 6-19-14

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Published by: veronapress on Jun 18, 2014
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07/31/2014

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 Vol. 48, No. 4 Verona, WI Hometown USA ConnectVerona.com $1
 The
erona
P
ress
 The
 Verona Press
 Nobody knows Veronalike Bartels
 235-2927 
kbartels@cbsuccess.comcbsuccessrealty.com/bartels 
Coldwell Banker Success Kathy Bartels
 Kathy Bartels
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2014-2015 Season
Isthmus BrassSaturday, November 22, 2014
The finest professional brass  players in the Midwest 
Sons of the PioneersSaturday, February 7, 2015
The music of the American West celebrating the West 
Cooney’s Irish CabaretSaturday, April 25, 2015
One of the greatest singing sensations in Irish Music
Verona Area Performing Arts Series 
 Watch for your brochure to order season tickets www.vapas.org 848-2787
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HOMETOWN DAYS
Photos on pages 7-8
Photos by
Scott Girard
Above, room 206 at Country View Elementary School took the worst damage of the tornado that hit the Verona area early Tuesday morninga, with a gaping hole opening up in the wall. Bookcases, chairs and kid’s books were strewn about the classroom. Below, a view of debris in the yard outside Country View and houses on Tamarack Way that sustained damage.
Twister shreds school
Police close neighborhood with power lines down, gas leak worries
JIM FEROLIE AND SCOTT GIRARD
Unified Newspaper Group 
Almost exactly three years ago, a twister came through town just as Dorothy was calling for Auntie Em.It destroyed some garag-es, tore up some trees and made a general mess of things in Verona. But it wasn’t nearly as devastat-ing as Tuesday morning’s storm.Country View Elemen-tary School sustained sev-eral million dollars’ worth of damage, eight or more families were kept out of their homes at least through Tuesday night and power lines came down all over the northwest side of the city after an EF3 tornado with 140 mph-plus winds
Construction begins on new tennis courts
VAHS will now have 8 courts on site
SCOTT GIRARD
Unified Newspaper Group 
Anytime the Verona Area High School tennis teams hosted a varsity ten-nis meet, at least one match didn’t take place on the high school courts.That’s because with only six courts, the lowest num-ber in the Big Eight Confer-ence, there was at least one spillover match that had to be played at Harriet Park.“(It’s) always kind of dif-ficult for some, because a lot of times parents want their kids playing up on the big courts,” said VAHS boys tennis coach Rick Engen.That will all be history beginning this fall, when construction on new courts, eight total, finishes in time for the girls’ tennis season.“We’ll be able to get all of our varsity matches on at one site,” said VAHS girls tennis coach Mark Happel. “We were the only school in the conference that did not have eight courts.”Construction is set to begin in May, so over the summer, that means fewer options for tennis players in the Verona community while the courts are being built.“These courts are used
Turn to
Tennis
 /Page 2 
Turn to
Tornado
 /Page 9 
 
2
June 19, 2014
 The Verona PressConnectVerona.com
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GOV. SCOTT WALKER AND THE STATE OF WISCONSIN want you to be aware of the following public notices published the week of JUNE 11, 2014:Search public notices from all state communities online at:WisconsinPublicNotices.org is a public service made possible by the members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
DNR Air Pollution Permit Application Reviews:
Didion Milling Inc., Cambria; Waste Management Of Wisconsin, Inc., Whitelaw; Wpl - Nelson Dewey Generating Station, Cassville; InterFlex Group, Merrill;
BIDS/PROPOSALS:
UW-Eau Claire’s student newspaper, June 19, 2:30 PM;
GENERAL NOTICES:
Notice to Heirs Escheated Estates; Consolidated  Annual Performance and Evaluation Report; Withdraw Type A Registration Permit coverage;
Tennis:
 Courts open to community; Teams will have 8 courts to play on in proposed plan
Photo by
Anthony Iozzo
constantly,” said Engen. “If you ever come out here in the summer time, there’s not a court to be found sometimes because they’re so busy.”With a pair of courts at Harriet Park for tennis play-ers still to use this summer, Engen said the two months without courts at VAHS will pay off in the long run.“It’s going to be a great facility, not just for the school and the players in the programs, but the com-munity itself,” he said. That community use was also a key component of the city kicking in $25,000 to the project and a $20,000 grant from the United States Tennis Association for the courts.Engen said the city’s decision to put money toward the project, which came after he heard it was considering a new court project at Harriet Park, “got the big ball rolling.”The school board unani-mously approved the $344,577 bid from Mad-ison-based Wolf Paving at its April 7 meeting, the final step for the project.In addition to the USTA grant and the city fund-ing, the tennis program has raised $14,000 through fun-draisers and sales of paved bricks at the entrance to the new courts. Engen said the teams still hope to reach their original $20,000 goal.Both Engen and Happel said the biggest change for their teams will be practic-es, with improved supervi-sion and full team work.“Usually we have pretty decent numbers of play-ers coming out, and space is always an issue,” Engen said. “Having the six here and two in Harriet is help-ful, but then you’ve got to split people up. This way I can have a large prac-tice here. It’ll be nice hav-ing them all at one spot for practice.”In addition, the new asphalt has a life expec-tancy of 25-35 years, which Engen said is much longer than the previous pavement that had begun to show cracks.Engen is simply excited for the project, which he has been thinking about for five or six years, to come to its final step.“I’m just glad that we can finally come together and get this done,” he said. “It’s going to be a good feeling when it’s all done.”Construction is expected to be completed by July 31, and an alumni match in mid-August is planned as the first use of the court by the VAHS programs.
Continued from page 1
Rending courtesy
of Verona Area School District
Above is a rending of the new proposed tennis court plan to include eight full tennis courts for high school teams and the com-munity to use. At right is the space where the tennis courts will be built.
Fifth-graders get an early look at careers
SCOTT GIRARD
Unified Newspaper Group 
Fifth-graders won’t be entering the workforce anytime soon.But that doesn’t mean they can’t start thinking about their future career possibilities now, and a unit at Sugar Creek Ele-mentary School this year allowed fifth-graders to do  just that.“It’s never too early to start,” said fifth-grade teacher JoBeth Kroetz.Kroetz said the three-week career unit has sparked lots of interest from students thanks to a diverse set of guest speak-ers from a Verona alder to a Madison police officer.The latest visitor was U.S. Attorney John Vau-dreuil, who was appoint-ed by President Barack Obama to the post in 2010.Kroetz said the students loved his presentation, and have enjoyed the informa-tion they’ve received from all of the visitors.As part of the unit, stu-dents have researched and created displays of “what you need, what kind of schooling, what kind of salary, what the work envi-ronment is like, what your objectives are” at their different careers, Kroetz said. They will share those displays with each other at the end of the unit.She said students’ ideas have ranged from tradi-tional health professions or a marine biologist to the tougher to classify “inven-tor.”“Another little boy wants to live off the land, just fig-ure out how to build and make stuff on his own,” Kroetz said.
Fifth-grader Lazerek Austin stands with U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil after Vandreuil’s presentation to fifth-graders researching career possibilities Thursday, May 29.
 
June 19, 2014
 The
 
 Verona PressConnectVerona.com
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Town of Verona
County rezoning on June 26 plan agenda
The Town of Verona plan commission will discuss and vote on a county rezon-ing plan at its June 26 meet-ing.The county’s plan gets rid of “ag exclusive zoning,” which affects who can take a Farmland Agriculture tax credit from the state.The process has been ongoing for a few years, and was in response to state law changes, Brian Stand-ing from the Dane County Planning and Development department told the Press in April.Town planner/adminis-trator Amanda Arnold said the plan commission must make a decision June 26 to keep with the county’s timeline. The decision will then go to the Town Board July 1 and the county later in July.Arnold said she’s had “a few citizens raise some concerns” with the rezon-ing changes, and said it will be up to the commission to decided whether to adopt all of the county’s propos-als or modify them.Arnold also encouraged anyone with questions or concerns on the rezoning to contact her before the meet-ing so the commission can be prepared to discuss all concerns that are out there. Arnold’s email is aarnold@town.verona.wi.us.There will also be time at the meeting to raise further concerns.Arnold said that it’s not an option to maintain current zoning for those properties that are being rezoned, because that would require a change to the comprehensive plan, “and that would be a longer process.”Affected property own-ers should have received a letter in the mail about the changes.The meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at Vero-na Town Hall.
If you go
What:
 Plan Commission meeting
When:
 June 26
Where:
 Town Hall
Info:
 town.verona.wi.us
Verona Area School District
Exploration Academy adjusts schedule
SCOTT GIRARD
Unified Newspaper Group 
Exploration Academy students and advisers will have 18 days of even more flexibility next year.On late start Mondays, EA students, which will number 80 for the 2014-15 school year, will not have to attend school.Instead, they will devel-op a “Late Start Monday Learning Plan,” which will include community-based work experiences, time outside of the normal school day or regular proj-ect work.“We’ve long said that students don’t necessar-ily need to be within the four walls of the classroom or the school to engage in learning,” outgoing EA director Mike Murphy said. “What we’d really like to do is promote … that students could get out into the community or just work more flexibly rather than feel like they just need to be in the classroom.” The new plan fits with the mission of increased personalized learning for students at the charter high school, which opened for its first year in fall 2013.The school has students meet the same standards as all high school students statewide, but allows them to choose the projects they work on to meet those stan-dards and does not hold them to the traditional classroom setting. The changes to late start Mondays, of which there are 18 each year, will also help staff better work with students in the commu-nity and develop their own advising methods for per-sonalized learning.“That would afford us some time to work in a more collaborative man-ner, as well as our staff members getting out to the community where our stu-dents are working,” Mur-phy said, mentioning that it was an “immense” task this year to develop per-sonalized plans and get the school off and running. Staff would use half of the time, equal to nine days, for “professional learning community col-laboration” amongst them-selves and the other half to work with students outside of the normal school day for an evening showcase event or something similar.Murphy said parents of current and incoming EA students all were support-ive of the idea.“I don’t think we had anyone say ‘you can’t do that, that’s not going to fly,’” he said.Adviser Chad Welty said it would allow him to better work with students out in the community and make more connections himself.“I wasn’t able to get (to students in the community) as frequently as I would’ve liked,” Welty said.At least one adviser will remain at EA on late start Mondays for students who are unable to go elsewhere because they rely on the bus or transportation at only certain times of the day. 
Board passes preliminary budget
The board approved the $62 million dollar prelimi-nary 2014-15 budget Mon-day night.The budget would bring a mill rate drop to $12.10 per $1,000 of equalized value on a home. The new rate would save the owner of a $250,000 home an average of $42.50 on their property taxes.The district is required to pass a budget before the fis-cal year begins July 1, but it won’t be finalized until October after official enroll-ment numbers come in to determine state aid.The mill rate numbers will vary somewhat from com-munity to community within the school district.
Borrowing planned
The board also approved a resolution to borrow up to $35 mil-lion to fund the changes to the retirement system for district employees.The money would be sold as promissory notes to cover the costs, and will help pre-fund the obligations to retir-ees rather than the “pay as we go” system the district currently has, board president Dennis Beres said.“Between the changes that we’ve made and trimming those future obligations and the time value of money by allo-cating money to a bond-ing resolution, we’re able to pre-fund the amount of future obli-gations and drastically reduce the total obliga-tion to the taxpayers,” Beres said.The borrowing will now go through unless a petition with at least 7,500 electors or 20 percent of the voters from the last gubernato-rial election signing is filed within 30 days.The borrowing comes as the district changes the health benefits for future retirees based on a “tier system” to save the district mon-ey. District business manager Chris Murphy said the changes mean the annual cost will be around $2.5 million, but that would have grown to $5 million within 20-30 years without the changes.Unions for dis-trict support staff and teachers supported the changes when they were introduced two weeks ago and were involved in yearlong negotia-tions.The official changes to the employee hand-book will be voted on at the July 14 board meet-ing.
 – Scott Girard 
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