OHS brings some love for ‘3 Oranges’

Oregon High School students are presenting a tale this weekend promising a little levity. People are invited to follow the tale of a lonely prince, love, friendship, laughter, a witch and much more in “The Love of the Three Oranges,” a comedy by Hillary DePiano based on a scenario by Carlo Gozzi.

Students are performing the show (rated PG-13), Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the OHS performing arts center. Tickets are $5 at the door. 

“Three Oranges” follows the story of Prince Tartaglia (Andrew Nelson), whose life is filled with misery until an evil witch (and her equally evil henchmen) curse him to search for three giant oranges. But this quest proves more fruitful than anyone could have imagined, as a once-lonely prince discovers love, friendship and laughter when he encounters wizards, monarchs and a wild narrator who isn't sure how far removed from the story he really is. 


A Journey of the Heart

Photos submitted. Jeff and Lisa Arndt plan to ride bicycles nearly 3,000 miles next month in a fundraiser for Custom Canines, a company that provides service dogs for people in need. The Arndts did virtually the same ride in 2013, but this time will each be riding individually instead of using the tandem they rode last time. At right, the Arndts are giving out T-shirts to the people who sponsor their coast-to-coast bike trip.

Two years ago at this time, Lisa and Jeff Arndt had already shipped their tandem bicycle to San Diego and were on their way to the West Coast themselves.

They spent the next 47 days riding coast to coast, almost 3,000 miles, to raise funds for the Custom Canines Service Dog Academy in Madison.

The academy provides service dogs for clients free of charge, and the Arndts have raised and trained puppies to become service dogs for the past nine years.

The couple is repeating that feat and hoping to raise more funds for a project that is close to their hearts. They’re leaving March 7 from San Diego and ending their journey April 27 in Florida.

Along the way, they’re looking to have some fun and adventure. And this time, they’re each riding their own bicycle instead the tandem they took last time.


Eleanor Roosevelt portrayal photos

Nearly 50 people welcomed Jessica Michna to the Oregon Area Senior Center as she portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt on Feb. 12. 


The man behind ‘That Tree’

Photo submitted. Platteville-based photojournalist Mark Hirsch will give a public presentation to students, staff and community at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the OHS Performing Arts Center on his recent project, “That Tree.”

Ever had a photography subject you just couldn’t get enough of?

For photojournalist Mark Hirsch, that subject was an old bur oak tree near his Platteville home.  He took a photo of the tree every day for a year, and turned that into his recently published photography book, “That Tree.”

Hirsch will give a presentation about his book and his career at Oregon High School on Tuesday afternoon, as the guest of Michael Derrick and the OHS art and photography department. The lecture coincides with the Oregon School District’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) initiatives.

Hirsch, an editorial and corporate photographer who spent 20 years in the newspaper industry as a photojournalist, photo editor and visuals editor, began a freelance career in 2006, working for Getty Images and The New York Times. 


OHS junior dies in crash

Photo by Scott De Laruelle . A makeshift memorial for Allyson Norland with cards, flowers and stuffed animals has been set up along Storytown Road, at the site where she was killed in a car crash Feb. 11. Norland, a Fitchburg resident, was a student at Oregon High School.

As they worked through the sudden grief of losing a friend, Allyson Norland’s fellow Oregon High School classmates took to social media to share stories about her all-too-brief life. 

Norland, 17, passed away Feb. 11 after she was involved in a car crash in the Town of Oregon.

According to a press release from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, deputies responded to a single-vehicle fatality crash on Storytown Road, near the intersection of County D/Sun Valley Pkwy., around 4 p.m. Preliminary investigation indicated Norland, who was traveling alone in a 1999 Honda Accord, was headed south on a long, straight area of the road when her vehicle went airborne and struck a large tree along the side of the road.


2015 OMS Madrigal Dinner photos

Oregon Middle School students welcomed friends and family to a medieval feast Friday at the school. The night was filled with song, dance and food and refreshments. 


Grad offers aid in Nicaragua

Photo submitted. McKenzie Parks recently spent two weeks in Nicaragua to volunteer with local physicians in clinics that lack basic medical equipment.

A study-abroad trip for a recent Oregon High School graduate last month offered a first-hand glimpse of how much good health care matters.

McKenzie Parks, 20, spent two weeks in Nicaragua with classmates from Carthage College in Kenosha, where she is a junior studying health care administration.

The college sends students to the island of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua twice a year to volunteer with local physicians in clinics that lack some of the most basic medical equipment, Parks said.

“A lot of the time the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with these patients, because they didn’t have blood tests, they didn’t have x-rays,” she said. “They basically just had to go off what the patient was saying.”


Calling all quilters

Photos by Samantha Christian. During the month of February, locally made quilts will be displayed throughout Firefly Coffeehouse.

In February, the Firefly Coffeehouse is displaying local quilts, including many from Oregon resident John Bonsett-Vealm, who is also assembling a “Community Quilt.” 

People are asked to send quilt squares to be attached to the finished quilt, which will be displayed prominently at the Firefly (114 N. Main St.), according to a press release from the coffeehouse.

The deadline to participate is April 1, and the theme is “Community, Coffee, Love, Oregon.” 

For more information, call 835-6238 or visit


Get medieval at OHS madrigal dinner

Share in the merriment with fellow lords and ladies at the Oregon Middle School Madrigal Dinner, set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14 at the middle school cafeteria. 

There will be plenty of music, song and good times, provided by the middle schoolers, dressed in period attire.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, students and staff.

Only advance tickets to the event will be sold. Forms are available at the OMS office or by emailing


Transforming a nightmare into a dream

Photo by Bill Livick. From left, Terry Parisi, Doug Brethauer, Nick Brethauer, Brian White-Stout, Cheryl Stout and Jim Stout gather in Brian’s family home in the lower level room that’s being built for him as he tries to cope with a rare form of cancer.

After being diagnosed with a rare, aggressive and probably incurable form of cancer, Brian White-Stout told his pal Nick Brethauer that his dream has been to take a sailing trip in the Caribbean.

The pair had talked about saving money for such a trip. But when Brian received a diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Carcinoma Stage 4 in September, he figured sailing the Caribbean was out of the question.

“I thought, I’m not going to be working so I can’t save any, and I’m not going to be up for it, anyway,” White-Stout told the Observer. “When you first hear something like this, the first thing you imagine is how bad it’s going to be.

“But my friend Nick refused to allow that to be true. It was nice to have someone who cared that much.”