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Friday, January 05, 2007

Top ten news stories from 2006


From controversial personalities to debate over development issues, the biggest news stories in Walworth County last year had plenty of drama.


The following is our list of the top 10 news stories in Walworth County during 2006. Comment on these or add your own by clicking on the comments link below.

10) The fuel of the future comes to Sharon? Officials with Global Renewable announce plans to build an ethanol production plant outside the village of Sharon.

9) After the Walworth County Board voted to go ahead with plans to build a new Lakeland School, a lawsuit threatened to halt the project. Disability Rights Wisconsin filed the suit in July, alleging the county is violating Americans with Disabilities Act standards by proposing to build a new school.

8) Intersport, a Chicago TV production and sports marketing company, announced plans late last year to build a multi-sport complex on county-owned land outside of Elkhorn.

7) Divisiveness overwhelmed the Walworth County board after a proposed budget hike of nearly 10 percent appeared to be the motivation behind a proposal to reduce the number of board members. Warring supervisors called for each other's resignations, while a vote on board downsizing was scheduled for this spring.

6) Ray Hubbard, injured on July 4th while on patrol in Iraq, returned to his home in Allens Grove following months of rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

5) Delavan Township began to grapple with the complex issues surrounding plans by Sho-Deen, a Geneva, Ill., company, to build a 6,000-unit development in the township over the next 30 years.

4) Mirbeau Resort & Spa of New York, owned by developer Gary Dower, was the apparent winner for the right to purchase the Yerkes property in Williams Bay. However, plans stalled this summer after a series of public meetings and a formal proposal has yet to be made to the village.

3) The head of Walworth County's Health and Human services department, Dani Maculan, resigned in August following months of controversy. She was credited with reigning in her department's budget, but her people skills were questioned in a report from an outside investigator.

2) Whitewater police and U.S. Customs agents raided Star Packaging in Whitewater in August, looking for evidence of identity theft among suspected illegal immigrants working there. The company owner, Allen Petrie was arrested in the raid, and the aftermath raised suspicions among the Latino community. Officials continue to work on addressing community concerns.

1) Ted Junker, a self-described former Nazi Waffen SS soldier, built a shrine to Adolf Hitler on his property in Millard. Plans to hold a grand opening caused outrage throughout the county and drew headlines around the nation. Eventually, Junker cancelled the event after county officials threatened a lawsuit over proper zoning approval to open his property to the public.


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