U.S. Website Offers Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

On January 18, the Biden administration launched a new website that allows people to order four free at-home COVID-19 test kits, which will usually be shipped in 7 to 12 days, according to the site, covidtests.gov, which is being administered by the US Postal Service. As was reported on the Banner last week, this news comes as Walworth County’s COVID transmission rate more than doubled in a week, with all 72 Wisconsin counties categorized as having “critically high” transmission rates per CDC guidance.

Although the site was not scheduled to launch until January 19, it opened quietly on the 18th, and it was reported that at one time on that evening over a million people were using the site at the same time.

Some glitches were already reported. According to The New York Times, “Some people living in apartment buildings said they were blocked from ordering tests if other tenants had already put in requests for the same building. Some who receive their mail at post office boxes also reported confusion in ordering, because the site includes a disclaimer that says orders would ship only to valid residential addresses. In a statement, the Postal Service said the problems were confined to “a small percentage of orders” and recommended that customers file a service request or contact the Postal Service help desk at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).”

The New York Times further reported, “Experts say there are three situations in which people should use at-home tests: if they begin to have symptoms of Covid-19; if they were exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus five or more days earlier; or if they are planning to gather indoors with someone at elevated risk from Covid-19, and want to assure themselves they are negative.”

Obituary: Ann M. “Annie” Colson, 69

Ann M. “Annie” Colson, 69, of Whitewater passed away on Saturday, January 15, 2022 surrounded by her loving family at home.

Annie was born on June 8, 1952 in Cicero, Illinois to Carl and Lorraine (Holada) Schaber. She was the oldest of seven. Annie graduated from Morton East High School in Cicero, Illinois. In 2001, Annie met Darrel Colson and later married in 2009 in Las Vegas.

Her enjoyments include fishing, quilting, knitting, crafting, woodworking, and especially spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Annie is survived by her husband, Darrel Colson; children, Becky (Matt) Coulson, Lori Dotson, Judie (Johnny) Osgood, James (Irene) Osgood, Kasandra (Jason) Kast; grandchildren, Jessica, Kris, Alicia, Nicholas, Brittany, Kristy, Elizabeth, Cynthia, Jennifer; great-grandchildren, Kryston, Jace, Duncan, Connor, Eloise, Braxto, Izaaik; siblings, Richard (Camille) Schaber, John (Jenny) Schaber, Paul (Leslie) Schaber, Ron Schaber; and many loving cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Lorraine Schaber; sister, Cindy Schaber; and brother, Carl Schaber.

At Annie’s request, there will be no formal services.

The family would like to give special thanks to the Rainbow Hospice staff in Jefferson for their exceptional care for Annie. Donations may be made to Rainbow Hospice in honor of Annie.

Online condolences can be made at www.nitardyfuneralhome.com

The Community Space is Closed Till Tues., Jan. 25

Editor’s note: The following information was provided by The Community Space.

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff

For those who may not be acquainted with The Community Space, it is located at 834 E. Milwaukee Street in Whitewater. It is a welcoming, free community service offering food, clothing, furniture, and many other types of items with no strings attached. Donations are appreciated. Click here for their website.

The photo on the homepage is from The Community Space website.

Whitewater Residents on Southern New Hampshire University’s President’s List

Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by Southern New Hampshire University.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) congratulates the following students on being named to the Fall 2021 President’s List:

Jack Foust of Whitewater

Maria Kulick of Whitewater

Michelle Czlapinski of Whitewater

Full-time undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.700 and above are named to the President’s List. Full-time status is achieved by earning 12 credits; undergraduate day students must earn 12 credits in the fall or spring semester, and online students must earn 12 credits in either EW1 & EW2, EW3 & EW4, or EW5 & EW6.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit institution with an 89-year history of educating traditional-aged students and working adults. Now serving more than 160,000 learners worldwide, SNHU offers approximately 200 accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, available online and on its 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH. Recognized as the “Most Innovative” regional university by U.S. News & World Report and one of the fastest-growing universities in the country, SNHU is committed to expanding access to high quality, affordable pathways that meet the needs of each learner. Learn more at www.snhu.edu.

Jerry Awards nominations Total 16 for “Footloose” by Whitewater High School Players

Editor’s Note: The information below was provided by Tom Ganser.

For the cast, tech crew, pit band, and adult directors of the Whitewater High School Players production of “Footloose” in November, 2021, the joyful cheers and applause of their audiences continued into January, 2022 with 16 nominations for the 2021-22 Jerry Awards.

The play was nominated for Outstanding Orchestra and Outstanding Overall Design.

Nominees for lead actor included Olive Coburn in her role as Vi Moore, Josh Kirley (Willard Hewitt), Haley Street (Rusty), Anderson Waelchli (Rev. Shaw Moore), and Marco Wence (Ren).

Brooke Mason (Wendy Jo), Madison Strickler (Ethel McCormack), and Alex Sullivan (Urleen) were nominated in the supporting actor category.

In the category of Production Team, Jim McCulloch was nominated for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Lighting Design, McCulloch and Kat Dunham for Outstanding Scenic Design, and Tony Hanson and Shane Kinson for Outstanding Sound Design. 

Also selected for recognition were Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Stage Crew.

Kayla Mikos was voted by the cast and crew as the “Footloose” Spirit Award winner who will represent the production and perform with the other Spirit winners at the Jerry Awards in June. 

Photo by Tom Ganser

The Jerry Awards program encourages, recognizes, and honors excellence in high school musical theater.   Educators, industry professionals, and theater experts review productions, provide valuable feedback and advice, and honor schools and individuals’ achievements with category-based awards.

The WHS Players have participated in the program since 2014’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” and their 2018 staging of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” was honored as an Outstanding Musical.

“Footloose” was critiqued by three reviewers who attended either the Nov. 18 or the Nov. 19 performance. 

Jim McCulloch has served as director of WHS Players productions since “Anything Goes” in 2010.

After taking a look at the 22 pages of critique of  “Footloose” provided by the three reviewers, McCulloch said, “I always enjoy reading the comments that the reviewers provide, both good and bad.  Taking into account that it is one person’s perspective, I usually find them to be fair and accurate responses to what they saw on stage.  The constructive criticism is often useful to the production team and for performers to hear.  It helps all of us to learn from the experience and work on improving our skills for future productions.”

Margaret Wheeler, Choreographer for “Footloose,” said “The feedback was good for me and for the kids.”

As an example, Wheeler commented, “It would have benefitted the kids to see themselves dancing, with a dance mirror – which all dance studios have (which we didn’t have because it was a stage) – or perhaps a video of the dance to watch during rehearsal time.”

School and student achievements will be honored and featured in an awards show held at Madison Overture Center in June and two outstanding performers will be selected to represent the program at The National High School Musical Theater Awards (The Jimmys) competition in New York City.

Selected and brief excerpts from the reviewers’ extensive comments provide insights into what made “Footloose” a success.

Ensemble – “This ensemble kicked the dust off this ‘80s-themed jukebox classic, passing around the opening verses of the title song with big energy and bigger dance moves. They articulated well, with good projection and clarity, and the harmonies grew stronger in the transition to ‘On Any Sunday.’” (Reviewer 1)

Choreography & Dancing – “Overall, the style of choreography was appropriate for the musical. Using the whole stage and the different levels that it offered was impressive. The energy level of most of the actors was fun to watch.” (Reviewer 3)

Direction – “The crew and set changes were in and out at a nice pace, and I liked seeing the actors helping as well. Actors were incredibly prepared with their blocking and entrances and exits were strong. Incredible use of the set, using the levels to see the performers, but also to take us to different places in the storyline.”  (Reviewer 2)

Musical Direction & Orchestra – “The pit orchestra itself was a pleasure to hear, blended well, and tight on transitions. I particularly loved all the different percussion elements.  Overall the pit had a nice full sound. I can only imagine the charts for this musical are over the top fun and interesting to play.” (Reviewer 2)

Scenic Design – “Ren’s bright turquoise pants and roller skates stood out for all the right reasons, and Cole Schlicher (as Chuck Cranston) looked every inch the town bad boy in his fringe.  The lighting in this production was straightforward, with bold washes in blue, purple, and turquoise.  In ‘Holding Out for a Hero,’ a bleed to deep red coincided with the lyric ‘I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood’ – a nice touch.” (Reviewer 1)

Scene Change & Crew – “The scene changes during this production were fast and clean, with no substantial issues for the run of the show.  The show was called smoothly, and the pacing of scenes worked well.”  (Reviewer 3)

The reviewers also provided comments for the lead and supporting actors, including the following.

“Willard Hewitt was played by Josh Kirley, and after the first scene I couldn’t wait to see more of his performance. Such commitment to both comedic timing and awkward mannerisms that made the audience just adore Willard. Great physicality and Josh dove 100% into being that simple country bumpkin with a warm heart and a big smile. ‘Mama Says’ was icing on the cake.” (Reviewer 2)

“With Haley Street’s Rusty, the trio that included Alex Sullivan (Urleen) and Brooke Mason (Wendy Jo) was an absolute highlight of this production, from their snappy comic timing to their coordinated dance moves in ‘Hero’ and fine harmonies in ‘Somebody’s Eyes.’ Colorful and funny, they lifted every scene they were in.” (Reviewer 1)

The spring WHS Players production will be “Cinderella” in the WHS auditorium on Feb. 18 (7 p.m.), 19 (1 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and 20 (7 p.m.).

This new staged version of the classic story has comedy, poignancy, charm, and enchantment in just the right amounts.

Whitewater Community Development Authority Seeking Candidates for Vacant Seat

Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by the City of Whitewater.

The Whitewater Community Development Authority currently has a vacant seat for interested community members to apply.

The Community Development Authority of the City of Whitewater exists to promote housing and community development programs, sustainable development, economic opportunity, and increased tax-base, and empowerment of its residents to benefit the entire City of Whitewater.

Meetings are held the fourth Thursday, January through October and the third Thursday of November and December at 5:30 p.m.

The committee reviews: • Grants for qualifying startup businesses • Industrial Development Loans for manufacturing businesses • Commercial Enterprise Loans for retail and service businesses • Micro-Loan Program has a maximum loan amount of $15,000 • Façade Loan Program for exterior improvements to commercial buildings • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for development in designated districts in the city • A no interest housing repair and rehabilitation loan program

To learn more about the committee or Economic Development department, contact Cathy Anderson, Economic Development Director at (262) 473-0148 or CAnderson@whitewater-wi.gov.

Interested in this committee or learning about the vacancy of other committees, visit https://www.whitewater-wi.gov/275/Apply-for-Boards-Commissions.

Whitewater Students on Dean’s List at UW-Oshkosh

Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh officials have released the names of Whitewater students who qualified for the Dean’s List and Honor Roll in fall 2021 across its three campuses (Fond du Lac, Fox Cities and Oshkosh):

Hannah Allen, Dean’s List
James DuVal, Dean’s List
Michael Fernandez, Honor Roll
Jazmine Peterson, Dean’s List


Whitewater Arts Alliance Seeks Manager

Editor’s Note: This information was provided by the Whitewater Arts Alliance.

The Whitewater Arts Alliance’s position of Manager will be opening soon! This fulfilling and stimulating role connects our community with the arts and culture. From coordinating gallery shows and performing arts events to designing our website and marketing to our audience, this position offers a variety of work and a flexible part-time schedule in a partially remote format. If you believe in the power and importance of art and would like to nurture that in your community, we encourage you to apply. For more information, visit https://www.whitewaterarts.org/manager and apply by emailing Megan Matthews at waa.careers@gmail.com.

Following is the more information about the Whitewater Arts Alliance followed by the job description:

Mission Statement
The mission of the Whitewater Arts Alliance, Inc. is to promote the visual and performing arts
through an alliance of artists, individuals, educational resources, and organizations to promote
creativity and diversity that will serve to educate and enrich the lives of the residents of the
Whitewater community and surrounding areas.

WAA Purpose Statements
To make the visual and performing arts an essential part of the lives of all Whitewater citizens.
To foster an appreciation for these arts by initiating partnerships, developing new audiences, and
sponsoring diverse artistic activities by emerging and established artists and art organizations
while preserving Whitewater’s rich, diverse, and historic culture.
To nurture an appreciation for the arts by working cooperatively with a consortium of artists, art
organizations, and art advocates in our community to foster lifelong involvement with the arts for
our children, our community, and our individual lives, and make Whitewater a better place to

To support, promote, and develop the arts as an essential and integral part of revitalization and
growth for our community.

The Cultural Arts Center
The Whitewater Cultural Arts Center is the home of the Whitewater Arts Alliance, Inc and is
located on the second floor of the historical building, the White Memorial Library.
An excerpt from the Whitewater Landmarks brochure: “The White Memorial Library is an
example of simple classicism with its hip roof, entrance decorated with colossal ionic columns
and full pediment over a wide frieze. This design is one of the standard library designs by the
noted architectural firm of Claude and Starch of Madison. These architects were well known for
their prairie style houses and the interior of this building is in this style. Mary Flavia White
donated this building to the city for use by the Whitewater Free Library (1904 to 1992). It now is
home to the Whitewater Cultural Arts Center and the Whitewater Public television station.”

Manager Job Description for the Whitewater Arts Alliance
The Whitewater Arts Alliance (WAA) is seeking an individual to fill part-time manager position
starting spring 2022. The position will report directly to the WAA Board President or
President-designee. There will be a probationary period of 3 months after starting this position
and an annual review by the board for reappointment.
● 20 hours per week – flexible hours, with the ability to work remotely. Some weekend
hours required.
Examples of Work & Projects:
● Assist with the scheduling of exhibits, preparation of artist loan agreements, and
preparation of exhibit labels and educational information including didactic labels and/or
● Provide clear information about exhibits or planned events to docents and visitors, and be
prepared to answer questions about the current exhibit or future events.
● Maintain a guest book and a visitor count.
● Schedule, support and supervise volunteers including students and community members
when they are working in the Gallery.
● Managing the WAA communications, including emails, phone contacts and working with
members, community partners and artists in a timely manner.
● Keep records such as online payments, memberships, sponsorships, etc. current.
● Support the organization’s mission by building and maintaining professional networks.
● Support the Membership and Recording Secretaries as required.
Exhibit Management:
● Manage and recruit volunteers and exhibit chairs in exhibition responsibilities such as
receiving and returning of artworks, unwrapping and rewrapping exhibit materials and
assisting with gallery installations. Ensure adequate supplies for artists for installing
shows. Exhibits may be in-person, virtual or hybrid.
● Assist volunteers and exhibit chairs with the preparations for exhibit openings and other
gallery receptions including shopping for refreshments and helping to set up food and
beverages for openings or special events, as well as support post-event clean up.
Other event management:
● Assist with planning and coordination of performing arts events.
● Assist with planning and coordination of workshop events.
● Update the WAA website to keep it current and relevant. This includes creating virtual
and hybrid shows when appropriate.
● Assist with the mailing list for the Whitewater Arts Alliance; manage the list, adding new
names or updating mailing information as required.
● Distribute press releases and publicity material such as flyers or posters. As necessary,
access organization e-mail and social media accounts and update information.
● Photograph installations and document exhibits by recording and cataloging photographic
images, paperwork, publicity and any public commentary in either paper or electronic
● Photograph receptions and events for marketing and communication purposes.
Facility Management:
● Ensure a clean gallery space.
● Coordinate facility maintenance with board, city and volunteers as needed.
Other duties may be assigned by the Board of Directors
Requirements/Desired Skills:
● Strong written & verbal communication skills
● Organized; self-motivated; able to work independently on projects and abide by timelines
● Ability to effectively work with a board of directors and other community leaders
● Experience with gallery management
● Experience in event management
● Experience in volunteer management
● Experience in website management
● Experience in bookkeeping and handling payment transactions
● Public Relations experience (creating social media posts, press releases, newsletters, etc.)
● Experience with public speaking and coordinating group meetings/presentations is
● Familiarity with grant writing and fundraising is helpful
● Interest in community involvement/community partnership building
● $18.00/hour

To Apply:
Please send a cover letter, resume, and availability to Megan Matthews at

Five WHS Students Perform in WCDA Honors Choir

Five WHS Students performed in the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Honors Choirs on Saturday evening, January 15.

Marco Wence sang in the Bass Clef Choir under the direction of Dr. Christopher Peterson. Anders Clarksen, Lauren Rollette, Skylar Staebler, and Haley Street sang under the direction of Dr. Frank Watkins.

Students in each choir were nominated by their school choir director and selected by the WCDA Honors Choir committee. The students who were selected prepared several songs in advance and then rehearsed the pieces with the conductor and the choir for two days before the performance on Saturday at Bader Hall on the UW-Milwaukee campus.

The students gave a beautiful and inspiring performance. Congratulations to them all! 

Article and Photos Submitted by Karen Tordera
Whitewater High School Choral Director

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (No mail today)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.,[1] and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. Born in 1929, King’s actual birthday is January 15 (which in 1929 fell on a Tuesday). The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21.

King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Text and homepage image from Wikipedia.