#FlashbackFriday with the Historical Society: State Central Baseball League Field

This week’s #FlashbackFriday post features a familiar location for summer fun!

Pictured here is the State Central Baseball League field, Starin Park’s first-class baseball facility of the early twentieth century. The Central State League, a local amateur league comprised of many area teams, including Fort Atkinson and Jefferson, was first organized in about 1915. Whitewater continued to field a team for only a few years after that; however, Whitewater’s baseball legacy continues on today with the park’s current first-class baseball facility, Treyton’s Field of Dreams.

Join us next week for more from the Whitewater Historical Society collection!

(5431PC, Whitewater Historical Society)

The Whitewater Historical Society collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Whitewater and the surrounding area. Be sure to join us next week for more from the Society’s collections. Please “like” us on Facebook, and check out our website at whitewaterhistoricalsociety.org!​ 

WUSD Turf Ground Breaking Ceremony Mon., July 26

(Whitewater Unified School District submission) On Monday, May 10, the WUSD School Board approved the following future athletic facilities upgrades: Turf Stadium Field; Turf Varsity Baseball Field; Turf Varsity Softball Field; Tennis Court (Mill/Pulverize and Replace); Track Resurfacing; and Contribution for Future Turf Replacement.

The Whitewater Unified School District will break ground on the future turf facilities on Monday, July 26 at 5:00 p.m. on the Whitewater High School Softball Field. Members of the School Board, District Administration, Coaches, and the general contractor, Midwest Sport and Turf Systems will be present to celebrate this event. The public is invited to attend the event.

The project is scheduled to be completed in stages throughout the summer and early fall of 2021.
Superintendent, Dr. Caroline Pate-Hefty said, “Our future facilities will be used with pride by our students and our community. This project will benefit our community for years to come. Thank you for your advocacy and support for the Whitewater Unified School District.”

Final Installment of 2020 Property Taxes Due July 31

Walworth County Treasurer, Valerie Etzel, would like to remind all Walworth County property owners that the final installment of the 2020 real estate taxes is due to the Walworth County Treasurer by July 31, 2021. Include your payment stub(s) or indicate parcel number(s) that you are paying on your check or in a separate memo so we may apply your payment(s) correctly.

Please note: The building is open to the public but masks are required if not vaccinated. The following payment options are available to property owners:

  1. In Person: Check, cash, money order at the Walworth County Treasurer’s office, 100 W. Walworth St, Elkhorn. Office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  1. By Mail: Checks or money orders may be mailed to the Walworth County Treasurer, PO Box 1001, Elkhorn, WI 53121. Your mail must receive a U.S. Postmark on or before July 31, 2021. If you would like a receipt(s) mailed to you, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your payment.
  1. Online: https://www.co.walworth.wi.us/ (Banner note: In order to pay online, you must lookup your property on this page, click on the parcel number, select “taxes,” and click on the “pay taxes” button on the bottom of the page.) Payments accepted via electronic check, debit card, or credit card. Convenience fees for online payments are as follows:
    1. $.25 – electronic check (echeck)
    2. $3.50 – debit card (flat convenience fee)
    3. 2.2% – credit card (fee is charged for total amount due)
  1. Drop Box: Payments of checks or money orders may be placed in the drop box located at the center median of the parking lot on the north side of the building.

It is important that property owners meet the July 31st deadline. If you miss the deadline, the balance on your account will be considered delinquent and subject to interest and penalty of 1.5% per month retroactive to February 1st (10.5 %).

Specific questions may be directed to the Walworth County Treasurer’s Office. (262)741-4251; email treasurer@co.walworth.wi.us

Jefferson County residents may apparently pay their property tax at this link. Those taxes are also due on July 31.

Brantmeier Excels at Wimbledon Junior Championships

It was an exciting two and a half weeks for Whitewater’s Reese Brantmeier at the Wimbledon Junior Championships held at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. 

Before Wimbledon, Reese participated in an International Tennis Federation tournament held at the University of Roehampton in England. This event is at the level of the junior U.S., French, and Australian Open. Reese Brantmeier and her doubles partner, Ashlyn Kreuger from Highland Village, Texas, won the ITF doubles championship with a 6-4,6-2 win over Greece’s Michaela Laki and Serbia’s Lol Radivojec.

At Wimbledon, Reese participated in both singles and doubles competitions. Reese reached the round of 16 in singles before losing in a tough three-set match against the #1 junior player in the world. Reese had advanced farther than any U.S. singles player in the tournament.

Reese had another strong showing in doubles. Her doubles partner at Wimbledon was Elvina Kalieva from Staten Island, New York. They advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals before losing to the eventual doubles champion 3-6, 2-6 Kristina Dmitrok of Belarus, and Diana Shnaider of Russia.

Reese would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement!

Article and Photos Submitted by Greg Stewart

Our Readers Share Tom Ganser: Pink Clouds

Tom Ganser shared this photo, which was taken at Cravath Lakefront Park on June 30 at a practice for 2021 Miss Whitewater participants. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen pink clouds like this,” Tom stated.

Our thanks to Tom Ganser for sharing another of his beautiful pictures.

— Our Readers Share: We hope that you might have something that you’d be willing to share.  Anything that’s been created by someone else should, of course, be credited, and you should ask their permission if you’re able. We cannot post copyrighted material without permission. We can’t guarantee that we’ll have space for all submissions, and contributions will be subject to editorial board approval. The one definite exclusion is anything politically oriented. We will assume that you’re willing for us to include your name as the submitter unless you indicate that you prefer to remain anonymous. Send to whitewaterbanner@gmail.com or click on “submit a story” near the top right of our homepage.  Thanks for thinking about this!

Whitewater Man Facing Drug Charges / WW PD Reports Increased Eastside Incidents

By Al Stanek
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff
whitewaterbanner@gmail.com

Curt Patrick, 37, of 225 S. Maple Lane in Whitewater was arrested on June 25 and has been charged with three counts of delivery of cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Patrick’s name may be familiar to area residents. He has been employed as the manager of a popular downtown Whitewater tavern that will be facing a two-month suspension of its liquor license. The suspension is the result of a Whitewater Alcohol Licensing Review Committee’s recent hearing regarding what Whitewater (WW) Police Chief Aaron Raap described as a “pattern and practice” that generated an unusually high number of police involvements. One of those police contacts was a highly publicized reported physical assault of a female tavern employee by a student athlete who is no longer enrolled at the university.

The charges against Mr. Patrick were the result of a June 24 search warrant of his home by the Walworth County Sheriff’s Drug Unit. Mr. Patrick was under investigation after three alleged sales of cocaine to a Sheriff’s Drug Unit informant in May. The drug sales reportedly occurred at undisclosed locations in Whitewater. Mr. Patrick was released on a signature bond, with a preliminary hearing in his case set for August 2.

It is unclear if Mr. Patrick is still employed as the manager of the college-oriented establishment known as Pumpers & Mitchell’s. The ‘Banner’ contacted the establishment’s licensee, Gregory Condos, about Patrick’s employment status but he provided only a “No comment” response. Visits to Pumpers & Mitchell’s Facebook page on Tuesday produced a “No Longer Available” response.

In other WW Police related news Chief Raap reports a significant increase in police calls to the general area of the Super 8 Motel that has been honoring vouchers for homeless individuals in Rock and Walworth County.

“We are seeing a marked increase in police calls in the area,” said Raap. “They include panhandling, theft, attempted fraud, domestic abuse, drug overdose and Operating While Impaired (OWI) charges.”

WW Police reported a total of 48 incidents in the area of the motel between May 1 and July 11 this year. That compared with only one incident in the same time period last year and only one incident in the area the year before.

Raap stressed that the motel operator is doing nothing illegal by accepting publicly funded vouchers for housing homeless individuals. Motels can reportedly choose to honor vouchers and can limit the number of vouchers that they honor according to Raap. He says his department estimates an average of between 20 and 30 homeless rooms are purchased every day at the eastside motel under its arrangement with Community Action.

The ‘Banner’ reached out to City Manager Cameron Clapper for a comment regarding the concerns with this situation, to which he responded, “The City is very sympathetic to the needs of those participating in the voucher program. It can mean the difference between life and death for some participants. We don’t want to impede the potential good that can come from a program like this. However, the extent of placements in our community is putting stress on our resources.”

“In response to the increased calls for service and concerns voiced by neighboring businesses and residents, we reached out to Super 8. Representatives from Super 8 as well as Community Action were readily available to meet with city staff and discuss our concerns. We are hopeful that, as a result of our meeting, business practices will be put in place at Super 8 that will resolve our concerns. We will continue to closely track the demand on public safety services as well as concerns voiced by residents.”

“If newly discussed measures do not resolve the current drain on law enforcement resources and restore a sense of security for residents and businesses in the area, we may need to address these issues via municipal ordinance,” Clapper concluded.   

UW-W football is a powerhouse; can its players cash in on new NCAA rules?

By Henry Redman
Wisconsin Examiner
July 13, 2021

The NCAA’s new rules regarding college athletes’ ability to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL) has knocked down more than a century of tradition and understanding about how college sports work, with the whole enterprise stumbling through the dark to figure out what comes next. 

Days before the new rules were instituted on July 1, UW-Madison quarterback Graham Mertz tweeted a video out to his more than 25,000 followers teasing a new personal brand. Just more than a week later, his Twitter account has been mostly promoting his new online apparel store selling Graham Mertz-branded t-shirts and baby onesies

Mertz, the starting quarterback at one of the biggest football schools in the country, is in the top tier of earning ability in this new era. Estimates say that football and basketball players at powerhouse schools could bring in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars through endorsements and other deals. 

The money isn’t even likely to be limited to the biggest, most popular sports. Olivia Dunne, a gymnast at Louisiana State University, is projected to be one of the highest earning college athletes because of her 1.1 million followers on Instagram and 3.9 million more on TikTok. 

But the rules haven’t just changed for starting quarterbacks at schools in power five conferences or gymnasts-turned-influencers. The new NIL rules apply to all three divisions of NCAA sports, meaning athletes at small schools in small towns across the country will need to figure out how this works for them. 

The UW-Whitewater football team is a powerhouse. The Division III Warhawks have won six national championships and 36 conference championships. The team has sent a handful of players to the NFL and holds a huge amount of sway locally — tailgates outside Perkins Stadium are a big deal and nearly every bar in the tri-county area where the city of Whitewater is situated has a purple Warhawk flag hanging on the wall.

The players on the Warhawks roster, are still figuring out how a region’s love for its small-town college football power can be translated into newly allowed perks. 

One week after the new rules went into effect, Whitewater business owners were skeptical — either taking a wait-and-see approach, completely unaware of the change or dismissing the idea out of hand. 

“I’ve not heard any businesses express an interest — yet,” Whitewater Chamber of Commerce Director Kellie Carper says. 

Kevin Chung, a professor at the UW-Madison School of Business with an expertise in celebrity endorsements, says it might just take one Whitewater area business to take the leap for others to follow. 

“I think it’ll be more word of mouth,” Chung says. “But once one local business gets on board and people see there’s more foot traffic or more people talking about the business, it might catch on.”

The prospect is intriguing to some business owners. Sean Stemper, owner of Rosa’s Pizza on Main Street, says he would just need to figure out the specifics of a deal with an athlete. 

“Any business is going to look at it,” he says. 

Other, larger businesses that seem more likely to have marketing budgets hadn’t even considered the idea. Management at neither of the two car dealerships in town had thought about working with football players — though they said if it made financial sense they’d do it. 

“I’m not ruling it in, not ruling it out,” Kurt Ketterhagen, owner of Ketterhagen Motors, says. 

Some businesses that would seem like attractive options for endorsements from young athletes were completely against the idea. The tattoo parlor in town immediately dismissed the possibility of working with football players — even though college football players and tattoo shops have a long history. In 2010 five Ohio State football players were suspended for trading merchandise for free tattoos — a deal that would be allowed under today’s rules. 

Cesar Mendoza, owner of local barbershop Underground Cuts Local, says he already cuts the hair of a lot of the football players but isn’t sure if he’d want to do an endorsement deal with them. 

For one, he says it might be awkward. If he’s cutting the hair of half the football team and picks one or two to pay for a promotion, will the other guys get jealous? 

Plus, is paying a player — or even giving free haircuts in exchange for promotions — even going to boost his business? But, he says, he sees there are pros and cons to the new rules, especially for the biggest players. 

“As a small town, it’s harder,” Mendoza says. “There’s a lot of ways to look at it, you just have to figure it out.” 

But Mendoza does see a future where Whitewater football players are able to get some perks or make some cash from local businesses. Maybe they wear a local business’ shirt around campus or post on social media. 

Even in Whitewater, some of the players have moderately sized Instagram followings. Alex Peete, a running back and 2018 All-American, has nearly 2,100 followers. Nate Custer, the team’s punter, has more than 1,200. So does Derek Kumerow, a senior wide receiver and younger brother of NFL player (and former Warhawk) Jake Kumerow.

Former Warhawk offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of this year’s NFL draft. Now he has nearly 37,000 followers.  

Chung, who has researched the effect a Tiger Woods endorsement has on the sale of Nike golf balls, says there will be opportunities out there, but it will fall to the players to build their followings and then go out to pitch themselves to local businesses. 

“I think it’s going to be on the shoulders of the athletes,” Chung says. “They have to do some marketing of themselves — perhaps even using social media to showcase they have this reach to these local businesses and it may actually work. I think there will be opportunities to command some endorsement deals.” 

The UW-Whitewater Athletics department did not respond to a request for interviews with administrators or athletes.

Henry Redman Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin’s towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.

Our thanks to the Wisconsin Examiner for permission, granted under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, to reprint this story and the photo on the homepage.

Reading All Star of the Week: Jasmine Kilar

Congratulations to Jasmine Kilar for being Whitewater Unified School District’s Reading All Star this week!! Jasmine, we are honored to have you as our Reading All Star! Keep up your love of reading!  

UW System Presidential Search Committee Includes a UW-W Vice Chancellor and a UW-W Student

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner staff
whitewaterbanner@gmail.com

Edmund Manydeeds III, President of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, on July 9 appointed a 19-member Search and Screen Committee to help identify the next UW System President. Tommy Thompson has served as Interim President since July, 2020, succeeding Ray Cross, who had served as President since 2014. The committee will be chaired by Regent Vice President Karen Walsh.

Corey Saffold
Corey Saffold

A “non-traditional” UW-Whitewater (UW-W) student, Corey Saffold, who is a Regent, was named as a member of the committee. Saffold is a senior majoring in criminology. Per his LinkedIn page, he is the Director of Safety and Security for the Verona Area School District. Prior to his role with the district, Saffold served as a City of Madison Police Officer for a decade.

Dr. Artanya Wesley

Also named to the committee is Dr. Artanya Wesley, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UW-W since July 2019. Previously she served as Dean of Students beginning in 2016. Prior to arriving at UW-W, she served as Senior Academic Planner for Student Affairs at UW System Administration and Dean of Students at UW-Platteville. She has worked in higher education specifically in student affairs for the past 13 years.

Other members of the committee are:

  • Warren Anderson, Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, UW System
  • Robert Atwell, Regent
  • Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, UW-Madison
  • Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Regent
  • Johannes Britz, Provost, UW-Milwaukee
  • Michael Falbo, Regent President Emeritus
  • Deborah Ford, Chancellor, UW-Parkside
  • Rob Manzke, Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office, UW-Stevens Point
  • Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, Associate Professor of Biology, UW Oshkosh
  • Geoffrey Peterson, Professor of Political Science and American Indian Studies, UW-Eau Claire
  • Dr. Ashok Rai, Regent
  • Glendali Rodriguez, Interim Provost, UW-Stout
  • Paul Shain, Vice Chair, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and President/CEO, Singlewire Software, LLC
  • Jon Shelton, Associate Professor, and Chair, Democracy and Justice Studies, UW-Green Bay
  • Dennis Shields, Chancellor, UW-Platteville
  • Olivia Woodmansee, Regent Emeritus and Student, UW-La Crosse

“President Thompson has reminded us of the power of the Wisconsin Idea,” said Manydeeds. “We saw this during the height of the pandemic, when we opened campuses to community testing and vaccinations. Our next president should keep that focus while meeting the many challenges ahead.”

“We are grateful for the leadership of President Thompson, who provided exemplary guidance during the pandemic and has positioned us for future success,“ Walsh said. “I’ve often said that the next UW System president is watching us, and our progress during Covid-19 will no doubt be noticed by potential candidates.”

According to a press release, the Committee is expected to convene in August, when Manydeeds will charge the Committee with its mission, review search procedures, and begin the national search. The Committee will schedule listening sessions at UW System’s 13 universities in September, when additional faculty, staff, and students will be invited to participate.

A subcommittee will review and suggest needed changes to the prospectus that was developed for the presidential search that fell apart in June, 2021 when the only finalist, University of Alaska System president Jim Johnsen, withdrew his name from consideration on the same day the search committee planned to meet and seemed likely to recommend his hiring to the Board of Regents. The search had been controversial from the start when the previous Board of Regents President, Drew Petersen, named no faculty or staff members to the search committee, a break from tradition. That committee had only nine members, six of whom were active or emeritus Regents in addition to two chancellors and a provost.

The Search and Screen Committee will engage the assistance of a national search firm to identify and screen candidates. The Committee will determine and interview candidates; a Special Regent Committee to review finalists will be appointed later in the fall. The successful candidate will require the approval of the full Board of Regents.