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State’s report card shows Stoughton School District meets expectations

State education officials say the majority of Wisconsin public schools and school districts meet or exceed expectations for student achievement.

The Stoughton School District was rated as meeting expectations.

The state report cards for about 2,100 public schools show approximately 88 percent met or exceeded expectations. About 98 percent of the state's 424 districts also achieved that mark.

It's the second year the state Department of Public Instruction has issued district report cards and the third year for schools.

Both are evaluated in four main areas; student achievement in reading and math on statewide assessments, student growth in those assessments, closing achievement and graduation gaps and readiness for college or careers.

If you would like to find out how your school district did, click here.

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Visitors check out ‘one-of-a-kind’ Walmart

Visitors check out ‘one-of-a-kind’ Walmart

Visitors had another chance last week to review the latest store design for Wal-Mart’s proposed superstore inside Kettle Park West.

The dozen or so attendees who stopped by to chat with Wal-Mart officials and the development team for Kettle Park West seemed mostly supportive of the project, though some still had questions and reservations.

The store – described as the only of its kind by architect Gabriel Massa – draws on cues from Stoughton’s downtown. The 153,000 square-foot store has facades that would face Hwys. 138 and 51. The facades have different materials, colors, heights and depths of features that differ from the typical “blue box” store sometimes associated with the company’s stores... Read More

State grape harvest starting slowly

Wisconsin vineyards are beginning to gather their grapes, and growers said they've seen better harvests.

Most said the picking is behind schedule by 10 days to two weeks, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. And they expect to get less fruit than last year because the hard winter, a cool summer and lots of rain hurt growing conditions.

But the news isn't all bad. Growers said the quality is good.

Dave Mitchell, who has been growing grapes between Oregon and Stoughton for more than 30 years, says the crop size is about average and he thought it would be worse.

Wisconsin has more than 130 commercial vineyards and more than 80 wineries.

Police: Driver stops traffic to chase pedestrian with wooden board

Police: Driver stops traffic to chase pedestrian with wooden board

A man driving on Stoughton Road Wednesday reportedly left his vehicle to attack a man with a wooden board, according to a Madison police report.

Madison police said a 30-year-old Waunakee man stopped his pickup truck on the Stoughton Road off-ramp to Milwaukee Street at about 12:19 p.m. The driver had spotted a 44-year-old Stoughton man with whom he's had a disagreement.

The Stoughton man was walking near the exit ramp when the Waunakee man got out of his cab, grabbed a piece of lumber from the back of the truck and began chasing the Stoughton man, according to the report.

Police said the Waunakee man struck the Stoughton man in the head and shoulders. The Stoughton man told police he lost consciousness during the assault. Traffic backed up during the incident.

The Waunakee man drove away and had not yet been located Thursday morning, police said.

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Immersing herself in the opera world

Jeni Houser is spending her summer immersed in opera.

A 2001 graduate of Stoughton High School, Houser auditioned and was chosen as one of 39 singers from more than 1,000 applicants to participate in the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young American Artists Program, an internationally-recognized apprenticeship program for young singers.

Glimmerglass Festival is an opera company that was founded in 1975 and presents an annual season of operas at the Alice Busch Opera Theater near Cooperstown, N.Y... Read More

Stoughton history professor publishes book illustrating life in Persia

As a young boy living in Los Angeles, Jay Hatheway never thought he would spend his formative years in a Middle Eastern desert.

But in 1959, Hatheway’s father, Joe, accepted a position with Richfield Atlantic Oil Companies as chief petroleum engineer in the southern oil fields of Iran. It allowed the family to live an affluent lifestyle, but it also meant moving from Southern California to the Middle East.

Everything was “radically different” in Iran, Jay Hatheway told the Hub this month. It wasn’t just that the culture and the climate differed from America, but the lifestyle did, too.

The countryside was oppressive, barren, dry and lifeless, much like the life of most natives. But the culture, lifestyle and social class discrepancies gave impetus to new life experiences... Read More

Court papers: Former Stoughton teacher, coach sent photos of genitals to teens

Court papers: Former Stoughton teacher, coach sent photos of genitals to teens

A former Stoughton teacher and coach was charged Wednesday with sex crimes involving a child earlier this summer.

Online court records show 24-year-old Brandon M. Amato was charged in Dane County court with two felony counts of exposing genitals to a child.

Amato was in court Wednesday afternoon for an initial appearance where he was released on a signature bond and ordered not to access the Internet. He is also not allowed to have contact with girls younger than 18.

According to the criminal complaint, Amato sent two Stoughton High School students images of his penis through a popular picture messaging app called Snapchat. Amato allegedly first sent inappropriate Facebook messages to the girls, which led to communication via Snapchat.

Stoughton School District spokesman Derek Spellman confirmed Amato worked as a temporary teacher and coach in the district from August 2013 through June 10, 2014.