We've been bombarded with fast-breaking news stories and dramatic headlines lately. Some news—the Packers Super Bowl win— was good, but other stories have polarized us.
Oddly enough each Voyageur story has a connection with recent news events. Last December Bishop David L. Ricken announced that the Catholic Church had officially recognized the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in little Champion, Wisconsin, as the only Marian shrine in the United States. This puts it in the same company as Lourdes in France and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. This was national news, so Voyageur contacted the man who broke the news—Erik Eckholm, The New York Times national religion correspondent. His article starts on page 28.
Another newsworthy church, only a few miles from the shrine, celebrated its 150th anniversary in February 2011. In her article, Judith Carlsen not only tells readers about the church's founding, but she also dispels myths about early Belgian settlement.
Another sesquicentennial is being celebrated this year—the beginning of the Civil War. In recognition of the anniversary, we are running two Civil War pieces. Scott Cross, Oshkosh Public Museum archivist, wrote an article about correspondence between Oshkosh attorney John Hancock and his fiancée and later wife, Jennie Reardon. The letters he wrote when he was an officer in the Civil War are part of the museum's extensive Civil War holdings. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison also is an excellent place to learn more about the Civil War. Michael Telzrow, director of the WVM, wrote an article for us about the museum's holdings and research facilities.
Shortly after the Civil War organized baseball became the rage in Northeast Wisconsin. Tim Brumm of Heritage Hill State Park contributed a story about the Stars Base Ball team of Green Bay. His story also mentions the Oshkosh Everetts, another early team. Frequent contributor Jeff Ash put two sidebars together for the baseball story. One was a sports timeline that includes the 1973 founding of the UW-Green Bay's women's basketball team. The Lady Phoenixmade news thisMarch,when the teamplayed in the Sweet Sixteen at the NCAA tournament.
Two more stories have connections to recent developments in the news—dramatic changes in the price of gas and possible funding cuts for public radio.The first article is an excerpt fromJimDraeger and Mark Speltz's excellent book, Fill'er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations. Their article highlights several vintage gas stations in our readership area. The stations were built between the 1920s and the 1960s and include styles as diverse as Tudor and Art Deco. Mark Fay's contemporary color photos of this amazing roadside architecture are an added bonus.
At this writing, there has been no decision made about possible funding cuts for Wisconsin Public Radio. Long before this became an issue in the news, we had asked former WPR broadcaster Randall Davidson to write a piece about non-commercial radio in Northeast Wisconsin. This includes many types of noncommercial radio. Hope you enjoy this article and all the others.