Oregon teen a Miss Wisconsin finalist

Photo submitted. Jessica Lorenz, 13, of Oregon, has been selected as a state finalist in the National American Miss Wisconsin Pageant to be held Aug. 24-25 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

Jessica Lorenz, 13, of Oregon, has been selected as a state finalist in the National American Miss Wisconsin Pageant to be held Aug. 24-25 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The National American Miss pageants are held for girls ages 4-18 and have five different age divisions. Lorenz, who will be an eighth-grader at Oregon Middle School this fall, will participate in the preteen age division. Her activities include participating in the school choir, playing the alto saxophone and maintaining high honor roll grades. She also enjoys playing competitive soccer, horseback riding, camping, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Lorenz’s sponsors include Dairy Queen on Mineral Point Rd., Dream Closets, Unwind Therapeutic Massage, Associated Machinery Sales, Wicked Maintenance Solutions and family and friends.


LEGO Creations Expo photos

The Oregon Public Library held its first LEGO Creations Expo on Thursday, July 17. There were 37 entries in four categories: kindergarten to first grade, second to third grade, fourth to sixth grade and team/family. Judges for the original creations were officer Cindy Neubert, Chamber of Commerce president Judy Knutson and architect Arlan Kay. Winners from each category received a LEGO trophy, and all participants received a certificate and brick candy.


Answering the call: Bowers settling in as new fire chief

Photo by Samantha Christian. Tom Bowers, who has been a firefighter for 23 years, took over as chief of the Town of Brooklyn department in January. Bowers said he hopes to continue the tradition established by longtime chief Phil Mortensen.

After serving as a volunteer firefighter in Brooklyn since 2009, Tom Bowers took over as the village’s fire chief in January this year.

Bowers had been a lieutenant and assistant chief with the Brooklyn Fire Department and stepped up to fill a vacancy at the top when former chief Leif Spilde decided he could no longer make the time commitment. That commitment included an officer core review of the Fire Department’s policies and procedures in light of a 2012 dispute with the Oregon Police Department, something Bowers said he and the officer core are continuing.

Spilde continues to work for the department as a lieutenant. He became fire chief after the December 2012 death of the department’s longtime chief, Phil Mortensen, who had worked as a firefighter for 38 years.

Bowers told the Observer he hopes to continue a tradition that Mortensen started when he “created a fantastic fire department and built a fantastic fire station.”


Catapault Science Lab photos

Oregon Public Library held a Science Lab on Monday with the theme “Catapults.” Children made catapults out of craft sticks, rubber bands and the bottom of paper cups. They also built forts to launch the puff balls over. The next Science Lab will be held Monday, Aug. 11, at 1 and 2:30 p.m. with the theme “Robots.”


Fun can be a mess

Photos by Scott Girard. Michael Schliem, 10, looks on as the slime stretches down from one hand to the other.

Kids got a chance to get a little messy Friday afternoon at the Oregon Public Library with “Gross Stuff” at the monthly Fuss With Stuff event. The kids played with slime, “blood” and “bird poop,” all made with household ingredients.


Submit photos from Dane County Fair

The Courier Hub is looking for submitted photographs from the Dane County Fair of area youths’ participation. If you have a camera, bring it along and snap a few photos. We’re looking for mostly individuals with their animals or projects, whether youth are showing them, getting them ready or turning them in. 

We will run these photos in our annual Dane County Fair section in the July 31 edition.

Posed and non-posed photos are OK, however, we like “action shots” whenever possible. Group photos are also good, too. 

Please include a brief description of what’s happening in the photo, the first and last name of the youth in the photo, and what organization they are from. 


Zoo to you

Photos by Scott Girard. Valentina Rizzo, 7, of Woodbury, Minn., pets a black-footed ferret, an animal that the animal ambassadors said can be a pet, but often gets into sticky situations like climbing inside a Lazyboy chair. Rizzo and her brother Antonio, 11, were visiting their grandmother at the senior center.

The Henry Vilas Zoo sent some animal ambassadors and their animals to the Oregon Senior Center July 11. The program’s attendees had a chance to pet many of the animals, including a lizard and a ferret, and learn about the animals from the ambassadors.


Focused on fun

Photo by Samantha Christian. Faith Majors-Culp is rarely seen without a smile while competing in 4-H shooting sports. She is pictured behind a bow after a pre-fair indoor archery round June 28 at the Stoughton Conservation Club.

“Don’t Be Hatin’ Because I Shoot Like A Girl,” is printed in bold letters on the neon yellow shirt worn by Faith Majors-Culp. The 14-year-old steps to the line in her pink shoes, hair tie and ear protectors, yells “pull” and fires off five rounds with her shotgun at the Stoughton Conservation Club.

Majors-Culp was not intimidated by the boys next to her while shooting trap, one of eight classes she entered for the Dane County Fair last month. The other events included outdoor 3D archery, indoor archery, muzzleloader, .22 pistol, air pistol, .22 rifle and air rifle. 

Although the fair officially kicked off Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Alliant Energy Center, some competitions were held early. Nearly 130 youths, from third-graders to recent high school graduates participated in shooting sports this year, but not many tallied up the number of events Majors-Culp did.


Transformation in Sweden

Photos submitted. Oregon High School graduate Anna Wangen bakes traditional Christmas gingerbread cookies, or “pepparkakor.” Wangen spent 12 months in Sweden, time that had a profound effect on her. She returned in the last week of June.

The 12 months Oregon native Anna Wangen had spent in Sweden in the past year had a profound effect on her and opened a window to possibilities she’d never considered.

Wangen returned to the United States the last week in June after spending her time as a foreign exchange student in Lund, Sweden, a university town of roughly 100,000.

The 2013 Oregon High School graduate had been accepted to Lawrence University in Appleton but decided to defer admission for a year.

She spent much of that year “repeating” her final year of high school.

“They go to high school a year longer, so I was in the final class there and I graduated again,” Wangen explained.

“I took a guest year, and people here thought I was out of my mind when I decided not to go to college right away. Then I got there, and nobody knew what they were going to do after they graduated.

Everyone takes at least one year off before continuing their studies. They all go travel.”


Brooklyn Police Officer recognized for two awards

Photos submitted. Wade Engelhart stands with Brodhead Police Chief Tom Moczynsk, president of the Green County Law Enforcement Administrators Association..

Officer Wade Engelhart of the Brooklyn Police Department was recently recognized for his law enforcement service.

The Oregon-Brooklyn-McFarland Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10272 presented Officer Engelhart with the 2013 “Police Officer of the Year” award on June 9 at the Village of Brooklyn Board of Trustees meeting. An inscription on the plaques reads: “In grateful recognition of unyielding adherence to the highest ideal of law enforcement in maintaining, preserving and protecting the lawful rights of all citizens.”

The VFW also recognized David Dorn as the Brooklyn EMT of the Year and Alton Erickson as the Brooklyn Firefighter of the Year.

Engelhart was also recognized by the Green County Law Enforcement Administrators Association as the 2013 Officer of the Year in recognition of “professional and outstanding performance.”