J-Hawk Aquatic Club Run Recap

by Coach Cheri Zimdars

The J-Hawk Aquatic Club sponsored a 5K and 10K Run/Walk Social Distancing Race on Sunday, July 12th. 45 athletes raced in person, while 25 raced virtually from home.

“This was our first in person event since COVID and we were so excited to see our racers and know we could hold this event safely, for our athletes”, said Cheri Zimdars, one of the event directors and head coach of the J-Hawk Aquatic Club. Racers started six feet apart, two at a time, every minute, to ensure they stayed socially distanced. “We had racers coming from other communities and from out of state to participate so they could see how a socially distanced event could work, as they want to put events on themselves. It really showed people that events can be held very safely with racers keeping their distance,” said Zimdars.

All volunteers wore masks and several wore gloves, as well. All awards were mailed.


5K In Person Overall Winners:
Men – Ben Stricker 17:51
Women – Heidi Mane 21:32

10K In Person Overall Winners:
Men – Jim Stumpner 43:55
Women – Dana Foucault 53:10

5K Virtual Overall Winners:
Men – Jerry Schuetz 23:50
Women – Katie Johnson 26:57

10K Virtual Overall Winners:
Alyssa Fons – 1:18:42

Here is what Don Meixelsperger, of Sauk City, emailed after the race, “Thank you both for putting on a great race! It was a great time and a fun event. Everything was well organized and explained so everyone knew what to do and where to go. This includes how prepared everyone was for social distancing. You should be extremely proud of yourselves and the volunteers who did an outstanding job! Your sponsors should be very proud as well of the great work and example you set!”

We want to thank our sponsors for supporting the J-Hawks: Fort Healthcare, PremierBank, Pope Transit, Culver’s, Frawley’s, Burtness Chevrolet, Tincher Realty, John’s Recycling, Leif Knudsen CPA, Soffa and Devitt Law, and Whitewater Chiropractic.

The J-Hawks is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that offers swim lessons and swim team. No child is ever turned away due to finances. “Our goal is to get kids swimming, both for safety and as a lifelong, fun activity and sport. Children on free school lunches do not pay for lessons or the monthly practice fees. Children on reduced school lunches only pay half. This is truly a lifelong sport. There are people in their 80’s and 90’s who still swim laps or compete. You don’t see that with many other sports.”

The J-Hawks have been hit by COVID just like other businesses. The Earlybird Triathlon, which brings in $10,000 to the club, had to be cancelled, so the J-Hawks are trying to get creative in offering different events that promote safety, but can be fun, too. Starting in May, the J-Hawks offered free virtual programming to their athletes, which included yoga, HIIT, and Crossfit. The goal was to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Also starting in May, they added lake swims which took place until July 1st, when local pools started opening. “It was critical, for the kids’ health, that they see their teammates and stay active. We do everything with social distancing in mind. Kids must be 6 feet apart and swim 1 per lane, or 2 per lane (opposite ends of the pool). Free public virtual events have also been offered, as the J-Hawks want to see everyone stay motivated to be active and healthy during this time. We’ve had 2 free events so far and have another free virtual event, in August, with running, walking, cycling, triathlon, and duathlon events being offered. A swag option is available for anyone wanting a shirt and finisher medal.”

If you would like to help the J-Hawks continue to help kids, please contact Cheri Zimdars at j_hawkswim@charter.net.

Local Residents Named to Dean’s List at UW-Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (July 23, 2020) – The following individuals from Whitewater have been named to the Dean’s List at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the Spring 2020 semester. UWM is the second largest university in the State of Wisconsin, with more than 24,000 associate, undergraduate and graduate students.

 Connor Dalzin, Peck School of the Arts
 Juan Garcia, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
 Anthony Gatzow, College of General Studies

School Board Virtual Meeting on Wednesday Hacked; Presentation Regarding Fall Instructional Plans Will be Recorded and Shared with Families/Community

July 22, 2020

Dear WUSD Families and Community:

This evening’s scheduled Whitewater School District Board Meeting was taken over by individuals making racist, sexist, and harassing comments.  The meeting ended in order to protect our staff members, who were being directly harassed.

The presentation originally planned for this evening will be recorded and shared with families and the community.

The School Board will meet Monday evening, as originally planned, to discuss and approve the fall instructional model.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through how to best share this information with the community.

Dr. Caroline Pate-Hefty
District Administrator

Local Resident Graduates Cum Laude from Upper Iowa University

FAYETTE, IA (07/20/2020)– Upper Iowa University is pleased to announce Scott Cashion of Whitewater, WI, graduated Cum Laude in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Admin.

About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,200 students-nationally and internationally-at its Fayette, Iowa, Campus, 21 U.S. locations, as well as a location in Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree programs. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.

Common Council Votes to Require the Wearing of Facial Coverings in Public Buildings Effective August 1 (Updated with WSJ article link)

By Lisa Dawsey Smith
Whitewater Banner staff

At a 4-hour long regular meeting held virtually on July 21 the Whitewater Common Council voted unanimously to require all persons age five and over to wear an intact facial covering (mask) beginning on August 1 in all buildings that are open to the public.

In introducing the proposed ordinance, Council President Lynn Binnie acknowledged that on July 10 City Manager had issued a request to city businesses to comply with recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission, including physical distancing in restaurants and the wearing of masks by all staff interacting with the public. He indicated that some citizens questioned why the city had not waited to see the results of that communication before considering the mask requirement. Binnie indicated that there had been a “sea change” in the brief time since that communication, including:

  • Cases in the state, Jefferson, Rock, and Walworth counties, and locally have risen at an increased pace. The state reported a record 1117 new confirmed cases on the day of the meeting. The three counties have consistently ranked high on COVID activity level in recent days. The exact number of cases in Whitewater cannot be determined, but in the Walworth county portion of the city there had been approximately 70 confirmed cases as of July 5. On July 21 that number had climbed to 109.
  • A large number of national retailers, including Walmart and Walgreens, have adopted mandatory mask policies for staff and customers.
  • A significant number of local businesses have reached out to the Council, directly or indirectly, to request a mask ordinance.
  • It had been hoped by many that the federal, state, or county government would institute a mask requirement, but that is looking increasingly unlikely.
  • Not all businesses have responded positively to the City Manager’s requests for voluntary compliance.

The ordinance included the following rationale in favor of mandatory masks:

  • The virus is primarily spread via respiratory droplets when people are in close proximity with each other.
  • People can be infected and have no symptoms and still be able to transmit the virus.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that there is emerging evidence that face masks reduce the spray of respiratory droplets, and the effectiveness of masks in reducing the spread of the virus is highest when masks are widely used by people in public settings.

UW-W Chancellor Dwight C. Watson spoke in favor of the ordinance, confirming that upon return to the campus, students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear facial coverings in all public places. The students will be encouraged to comply with a “social covenant” in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Watson expressed the hope that the city’s expectations would be consistent with those of the university, as he indicated that he appreciates the importance of having students on campus for the health of the community.

A letter from local physician Roberta Wedl, M.D. included the statements, “Passing an ordinance requiring the use of an intact mask in public spaces in the community of Whitewater will very likely save lives and prevent morbidity in this community. As a medical provider in this community, I can assure you that the rate of infection here currently is not low and appears to be increasing. Acting now, without delay, is imperative. While I appreciate issues related to individual choice in many matters, we are in unprecedented times – experiencing a once in a century deadly global pandemic and should not pretend otherwise. I urge you to consider your responsibility as a public official to protect the public during this very challenging time. Masking is exceedingly simple, takes very little effort, is inexpensive, and will protect our neighbors, friends, family, and our community.”

Masks will be required in these settings:

  • INDOORS IN CERTAIN AREAS – By persons age five and older in a building open to the public and in an area open to the public.
  • VERY LIMITED AREAS OUTDOORS – At the Whitewater City Market and the Whitewater Farmers Market. Also if outside a building to pick up food, drink or goods or in a line waiting to enter a building.

Exceptions will include the following:

  • Persons who fall into the Center for Disease Control’s guidance for those who should not wear face coverings due to a medical condition, mental health condition or developmental disability.
  • Persons who have a written note from a healthcare provider excusing mask use.
  • Persons who have upper-respiratory chronic conditions or other conditions or disabilities that make wearing a mask inappropriate.
  • Persons in settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear face coverings when obtaining or rendering goods or services to the extent necessary to obtain or render such goods or services including, but not limited to, the receipt of dental services or medical treatments or consuming food or beverages.
  • Private K-12 schools, childcare or youth facilities that have a comprehensive safety plan in place.
  • In private residences and residential apartment buildings.

Owners/operators of public buildings will be required to ensure that all persons present in the building area open to the public comply with the mask requirement. They would have the right to refuse entry or service to any person for failure to comply.

The Police Department will be responsible for enforcing the requirement by issuing a warning for first offenses and would only issue a citation for first offenses if an individual refuses to comply with the ordinance after receiving a warning or for second and subsequent offenses. The penalty to a building owner/operator or to a person violating the ordinance, upon conviction, would be between $10- $40 for a first offense and $50- $150 for second and subsequent offenses. Certain standard court fees are in addition to those amounts. It was stressed that alleged violations of the ordinance should not be called into 911 unless there is an urgent situation. Instead a report should be called to the police non-emergency number, 262-473-0555, option 4.

Council members received approximately 100 emails, and some indicated they also received a few phone calls. Binnie reported that he counted approximately 47 emails that expressed support for the ordinance and about 39 that expressed opposition, although it appeared to him that more of the negative messages came from outside the city. Additionally, two petitions were created on change.org where people expressed their opinion on whether Whitewater should adopt a mask ordinance. There were nearly 1100 signatures on the petition in favor of the ordinance versus about 200 in opposition. At one point there were over 100 people participating in or viewing/listening to the meeting online or by phone. About ten citizens offered verbal comments about the proposed ordinance, a slight majority expressing overall support but a few objecting strongly to the city infringing on the public’s right to make decisions for themselves. Jan Bilgen recounted that in the 1918 flu pandemic the wearing of masks contributed greatly to the control of the virus until the citizenry became complacent and rates of infection shot up.

Council members debated whether to include more outdoor settings such as spectating at sporting events, but deferred that consideration until the August 4 meeting.

City Manager Clapper indicated that plans are being made to offer a limited quantity of masks to citizens who are in need of them, though it is hoped that businesses may also provide a supply for their customers. The Whitewater City Market continues to offer free masks to market patrons in need weekly at the market in addition to a hand sanitizing station.

Council member Jim Allen lamented that it was necessary for the Council to take this action rather than the federal or state government, but indicated that wearing a mask is “a small sacrifice to make” as opposed to what was asked of citizens during World War II.

Update: The Wisconsin State Journal article, 4 More Wisconsin Cities Enact mask mandates; Tony Evers resists statewide order, mentions Whitewater’s decision.

Fred A. Beck, 77, beloved husband, father, brother and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home on July 20, 2020 (Updated)

Fred A Beck, 77, beloved husband, father, brother and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home on July 20, 2020.

Fred was born on June 11, 1943 to LeRoy Beck and Adaline (Schroeder) Boyce.

In his early years, Fred loved motorcycles, trap shooting, hunting, fishing and woodworking.

Fred is survived by his five children; Lisa (Tom) Meitzner, Julie (Peter) Urdahl, Doug (Amy) Root, Wade (Lisa) Root, and Tammy (Scott) Wiedenhoeft; sisters, Barb (Bob) Moore and Diane (Al) Thorman. He also has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Fred is preceded in death by his wife, Judy, brother, Wayne Beck, and his parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Jefferson County Humane Society.

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences can be made to www.nitardyfuneralhome.com

Our First “Expanded” Life Event – Sue Stanley Turns 75!

By Marcia James

Sue Stanley turns 75!

Sue and her husband Tom live in Prairie Village.  Sue is known for volunteering in the community.  As someone who has had both knees replaced, she gives back as a joint camp volunteer at Fort Memorial Hospital.  She works with people who have had their knees replaced.  Also, she volunteers at the Bassett House through her membership in the Minneiska​ women’s group.  Finally, she organizes Bridge at the Real McCoy’s on Tuesdays where as many as four tables play after lunch.

Sue’s friend, Marcia James, has a son Griffin James who is a 1999 graduate of Whitewater High School and the band director for Baraboo Schools.  Marcia learned that his students initiated a car parade so that students could say “we miss you” to their teachers.  Griffin and his wife Katie–the choir director for Wisconsin Dells School District–greeted them by playing their euphoniums as the students drove by and honked their horns.  

Therefore, Marcia contacted members of their Bridge group and other friends of Sue and the response was wonderful.  Seventeen cars drove by Sue’s house and honked their horns.  Many had decorated their vehicles with signs, flowers, and balloons.  Participants included Evie and Magee Schneider, Karla Heimerl, Dottie Koenitzer, Nancy and Jerry Wendt, Mary Kenne, Janet Craft, Nelda Bergsten, Karin Campbell, Olive Crawley, Sue Mealy, Linda and Don Meyer, Kathy Ponyicsanyi, Barb Runnoe and her daughter Becky, Vicki Devitt and two of her granddaughters, Kathy and Jim Schumacher, Dee Simon, Jerri Stevenson, Annie Stinson, and Mike and Nancy Lindermuth.

Whitewater High School 2008 graduate Logan James got Sue to come out of her home and played Happy Birthday on his euphonium many times as the cars slowly drove by.

Sue will continue to celebrate No. 75 with her family this week!


Reminder to readers: The Banner staff wishes to extend the services of our publication by welcoming announcements from readers of what might be called “life events,” such as births/adoptions, engagements, weddings, special birthdays/anniversaries including quinceaneras, bar/bat mitzvahs, retirements, achieving citizenship, and the like. Consequently we have merged obituaries into a new category on our homepage called “life events.” Please consider sharing your or your family’s special events with the community in this way. Photos will, of course, be welcome.

Senior Elizabeth Katzman is a Hometown Hero

Elizabeth Katzman is a WUL Hometown Hero, and has been nominated “For rallying support for the Wisconsin dairy industry through ‘Support Wisconsin Dairy’ yard signs, raising $10,000 by selling the signs, and using the funds to purchase dairy products for the Whitewater Community Food Pantry and The Community Space.”

Elizabeth Katzman (photo by Julie DuVal)

Elizabeth is a senior at Whitewater High School, and serves as president of the Stone School 4-H Club where she also made special deliveries of dairy products to members and leaders to celebrate June Dairy Month.

WUL (Whitewater Unites Lives) is a locally-focused civil and human rights group that works to connect the people in our community and to create opportunities for all people to learn and support each other in our common humanity.   

Anyone who would like to nominate a local hero of any age should send their nomination, with a short description, to whitewaterunites@gmail.com 

A New Opportunity for Whitewater Businesses: Limited One-time Ads at the Top of the Homepage (No, We Won’t Have Pop-Ups!)


Recognizing the very challenging climate that Whitewater businesses have endured over the past several months, the Banner has decided to offer a very limited number of ads that will appear at the top of our homepage. Each ad will only be published once and will then be pushed down the page as more content is published, until it lands in the “Recent Posts” area. Each post will be clearly labeled as “ADVERTISEMENT.” Most of our posts feed to our Facebook page, which also has a considerable following. The Banner’s editorial board will have the right to approve ads. Cost will be $75, which goes towards support of the Banner and the Whitewater Community Foundation’s mission. Businesses interested in this opportunity should email whitewaterbanner@gmail.com.