October 2020

Fri
16
Oct
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Rongstad chasing his coaching dreams

Derek Rongstad would sit in his living room as an elementary student. He’d flip to whatever basketball game was on, and within minutes he’d pretend to be coaching the teams that were competing.

“My parents would probably say I’ve been planning on coaching basketball since I was in elementary school,” said Rongstad, a 2014 MHS graduate and one of the finest players in school history.

Pretty soon, Rongstad just might find himself running his own program.

Rongstad is currently a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama.

Rongstad — who’s affectionately known as “Doc” — majored in Economics and recently earned his MBA (Masters of Business Administration). Even as Rongstad pursued those degrees, though, he knew he might eventually choose a different path.

“I did some internships and looked at different career options in college, but nothing could ever bring the same excitement that basketball brings me,” Rongstad said.

Thu
15
Oct
Thu
08
Oct
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Monkey King...

We stopped at a yard sale the other day, and my daughter asked if she could get a monkey. It was teal and plastic, and its little arms were permanently curved as if holding onto a miniscule tree, or, more likely, a child’s finger. 

“How much is it?” I asked. 

“It’s seven, five,” my daughter replied.

“Seventy-five cents?” I said. “Sure.”

Times are tough right now, money is tight, the economic landscape is bleak in a Mad Max kind of way. It feels entirely reasonable to suspect that by this time next year we will be wandering the side of a desolate road, wearing trash bags pulled translucent in places and tarps dotted by tattered holes, pushing shopping cart that contains all our family’s belongings and yet are not even close to full. Hockey and football pads will be dusted off and moved from the garage to the “everyday” and “casual” sections of our wardrobes.

But 75¢? That couldn’t possibly bankrupt us. Could it?

“Yay! Thanks dad!” 

Thu
08
Oct
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Erpenbach Discusses COVID-19 Response at Hub Meeting

MIDDLETON–Sen. Jon Erpenbach joined the Middleton Good Neighbor Hub virtual meeting on Oct. 2, and answered questions concerning the state’s COVID-19 response.

He told local community leaders that he understands the frustration Wisconsinites feel regarding response to the pandemic, particularly at the local and county level as county have been left to deal with the pandemic themselves due to lack of state guidance, or lawsuits rejecting safety measures put in place by Gov. Tony Evers.

The most recent suit was filed the same day as the Hub meeting, and stives to end the most recent statewide mask mandate put in place by Evers in September. Erpenbach said Republican legislators were successful in overturning the governor’s first order.

“It’s chaotic,” Erpenbach said of the legal actions.

Thu
08
Oct
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Non-Profits Look for Ways to Fundraise During Pandemic

MIDDLETON–This fall, nonprofit organizations are remembering the times “before COVID-19” with a bit of sadness. How they are able to serve and reach out to the community has changed dramatically since February, and while some are receiving the support they need from the community, others are struggling to make themselves known without large fundraisers and in-person events.

Sixty percent of nonprofits nationwide are expecting significant decreases in their ability to fundraise this year as a result of COVID-19, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Podcast recorded on July 15, entitled “The Current and Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits.”

In the Times-Tribune reading area some nonprofits are struggling to scrape together the funds to keep running. Fundraising is critical to their efforts and requires community investment.

Middleton Outreach Ministry

Thu
08
Oct
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Residents View Airport on Wrong Path

MIDDLETON–Opponents of expanding Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field cautioned city planners not to use the updating of the Comprehensive Plan to facilitate changing the airport’s role as serving recreational pilots to encouraging commercial aviation.

The Airport Commission first reviewed the Transportation Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan at their September meeting. Last week, Abby Attoun, director of Planning and Community Development, sought feedback from the commission on the transportation chapter.

Protecting the airspace and approach corridors from future encroachment was mentioned by Commission Chair John Hallick and Airport Manager Richard Morey.

“We need a policy to protect airspace and approach corridors that goes beyond transmission lines,” said Hallick. “If we have powers that prevent penetration of our airspace we should use them.”

Thu
08
Oct
Wed
07
Oct
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A Q&A with Middleton A.D. Jamie Sims

Jamie Sims took over as Middleton’s athletic director on July 1. 

Three weeks later, the Big Eight Conference canceled fall sports. And in a year where very little has been normal, things have been completely unconventional for Sims.

Friday Night Lights have been replaced with meetings. Instead of overseeing volleyball and tennis matches, Sims is planning for an “alternative fall season” next spring.

During a recent wide-ranging interview, Sims talked with the Times-Tribune about the unorthodox start to his tenure, his thoughts on winter sports and the challenges that lie ahead. What follows is an edited version of that interview.

 

Times-Tribune: You started on July 1 as the athletic director for one of the state’s elite athletic departments. Since then, Middleton hasn’t had a single sporting event. How strange has that been for you?

Fri
02
Oct
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Kleinschmidt wants to give boys volleyball team a memorable year

Rob Kleinschmidt has only been Middleton’s boys volleyball coach about a month.

But Kleinschmidt is already certain of one thing: he wants the senior class he inherited to go out on a high.

Middleton High School voted earlier this summer to push all fall sports to the spring due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. That means Middleton’s boys volleyball season will now take place from Feb. 22-April 12.

And Kleinschmidt still hopes to make it a season to remember.

“This year’s seniors put in a lot of time,” Kleinschmidt said. “We want to make sure these seniors get everything they want.

“There’s going to be challenges. This year is already different and unique and crazy. But when it’s time to have a season, we want to make sure we give the kids everything they want.”

That won't be easy.

Thu
01
Oct
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Virtual Learning to Continue Through Semester

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) Board of Education voted to continue virtual learning through the semester or until health metrics for returning to in-person learning put out by Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) are met. The board will revisit the decision at its Dec. 7 meeting or schedule a special meeting in the event PHMDC metrics are met.

Superintendent Dana Monogue presented two options for the board to vote on at its Sept. 28 meeting: 

Option one: Remain in virtual model until PHMDC/CDC guidelines are met.

Option two: Bring PreK through second grade students into schools in a blended model starting on Nov. 2 and delay bringing 3-12 students into schools until PHMDC/CDC guidelines are met.

On Aug. 21 PHMDC released health metrics for in-person instruction, which the board committed to following at its Aug. 24 meeting.

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