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Photo by Debra Jensen-De Hart 

Sharon Wisen is the creator of Frosty’s Sweet Creations, a cookie decorating class she teaches. She is shown with the finished designer cookies one of her recent classes would decorate for Valentine’s Day.


Local-news
featured
After 34 years, South Beloit teacher will be missed

SOUTH BELOIT—Retirement for Riverview and Clark Elementary Physical Education teacher Susan Hanfeld will be bittersweet.

She not only will be saying goodbye to her beloved students but will be seeing a little bit less of her daughter who teaches at Riverview, third grade teacher Brianna Hanfeld.

Susan Hanfeld is retiring this spring after 34 years in education. She’s always loved coming to work and her daughter agrees.

“It’s pretty special to be able to work with my mom,” said Brianna Hanfeld.

Principal Ryan Amendt said Susan Hanfeld does anything and everything for the district. If someone is out, she is first to volunteer to pitch in and help.

“She’ll drop whatever she’s working on. She is the most flexible person in the building or the district,” Amendt said.

Susan Hanfeld, who grew up in Loves Park, always wanted to be a teacher. One Christmas she got a chalkboard and other times she brought home extra worksheets from school.

“I had summer school in my garage,” she said.

She started substitute teaching in the Harlem and South Beloit School districts. She taught sixth grade for at least 15 years. She recalled retired teacher Dawn Hendricks for guiding her and putting her on the right path when she started her teaching career.

She eventually found her more permanent home in physical education. Over the years she coached softball, volleyball and basketball across various grade levels.

It’s a perfect fit for Susan Hanfeld, who said she “doesn’t like to sit still.” She works out every morning before work.

Amendt said she was a great role model in coaching.

“She’s done a lot of mentoring. Girls that were students or athletes of hers have come back into the field of coaching or in other places in the district. She’s had quite the impact of success with students coming back, giving back and participating in sports,” Amendt said.

One of Susan Hanfeld’s career highlights was having her daughter start work at Riverview five years ago. She recalled bringing her daughter to the school during “take your child to work day.”

Her daughter Brianna Hanfeld called her mother an extraordinary person and teacher.

“She’s worked so hard for all the kids and done so many different activities,” she said. “It’s really an inspiration. She’s one of the main reasons I decided to be a teacher.”

Amendt said Susan Hanfeld’s daughter is “cut from the same mold” as her mother. She’s eager to help.

“They are amazing educators and they give back to everybody. Everyone likes them and gets along with them,” Amendt said. “Brianna is a wonderful educator and her mom and dad have raised her with a work ethic and commitment to giving back to kids and the community.”

Following Susan Hanfeld’s retirement, she plans to camp, travel and ride motorcycles with her husband Jeff. The couple also has a son, Tyler Hanfeld, who works for Youth Services Network as a social worker helping with troubled youth.


AP
Barr swipes at Trump: Tweets make it 'impossible' to do job

WASHINGTON —House Democrats frustrated over the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump are pushing their oversight efforts toward the Justice Department and what they call Attorney General William Barr’s efforts to politicize federal law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Barr publicly swiped at President Donald Trump on Thursday, declaring the president’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and open cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Democrats have demanded more information about Barr’s intervention in the case of Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant who was convicted in November of lying to Congress and other charges. Barr this week overruled prosecutors who had recommended that Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Barr on Thursday, calling him one of Trump’s “henchmen.”

“The attorney general has stooped to such levels,” Pelosi said. “What a sad disappointment. The American people deserve better.”

The sharpened look at Barr’s activities comes at a time when many Democrats appear wary of prolonging the Ukraine inquiry that led to Trump’s impeachment. Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff have put off—but not ruled out—a subpoena for former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who refused to participate in the House impeachment inquiry but later said he would testify in the Senate trial. Bolton is writing a book.

Issuing a subpoena for Bolton could bring dramatic testimony about Trump’s conduct, but also risk a court fight that could take months to resolve. Many Democrats privately say they want to look forward, not backward, and conduct oversight of the Republican president’s actions in real time.

First up will be examining whether Barr inappropriately intervened in the Stone case. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

Trump congratulated the attorney general afterward on Twitter. Meanwhile, the four prosecutors on the case immediately withdrew.

Barr appeared to try and deflect some of the rising criticism Thursday, saying in an interview with ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.” But he also said the decision to undo the sentencing recommendation was made before Trump tweeted about it, and he said the president had not asked him to intervene in any cases.


Local-news
Snappers plans head to council

BELOIT—Construction on the downtown Beloit Snappers stadium could start on April 30, with the Beloit City Council to accept key documents related to the project at a meeting on Monday.

The council will refer three items to the Beloit Plan Commission including a planned urban development (PUD) application; a zoning map amendment; and a resolution starting the process to vacate a portion of Water Street near the stadium site. All three documents are vital to construction starting on time.

The Plan Commission will meet on March 4 to possibly take action on vacating a portion of Water Street and the PUD application before both items could head to the council for final vote on March 16 (PUD) and April 20 (Water Street). The rezoning of the site is expected to head before council on March 16, according to Beloit Planning and Building Services Director Drew Pennington.

As previously reported by the Beloit Daily News, The PUD was submitted on Jan. 24 by Jones Petrie Rafinski on behalf of Hendricks Commercial Properties, the developer on the project. It shows construction on the $32 million stadium at 217 Shirland Avenue (just over nine acres) is expected to start on April 30 and be completed by April 1, 2021.

The land is owned by the City of Beloit and would be leased to the Riverbend Stadium Authority, the group set to manage stadium operations. The stadium authority is poised to enter into a lease agreement with the city for the land, which the city would continue to own. The stadium is expected to be used not only for the home of the Snappers, but also for hosting non-baseball events like soccer matches, football games, concerts and community gatherings, according to the PUD application.

Construction at the site is expected to include two parking lots, one south of Shirland Avenue across from the stadium and one immediately north of the stadium, consisting of 226 available parking spaces.

A parking analysis provided in the planning documents shows stakeholders estimate a total parking need of 875 spaces based on the assumption that one parking space per four fans at full capacity (3,500) are used. The analysis states there are 777 available public parking spaces within a 10 minute walk of the stadium.

In the past three seasons, the Snappers reported average attendance figures for games of 959 in 2017, 1,025 in 2018 and 1,181 in 2019, according to Beloit Professional Baseball Association President Dennis Conerton.

The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday for agenda review followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 100 State St.


AP
Republicans introduce farm siting bill as session winds down

MADISON, Wis. —Wisconsin Republicans are trying to speed a bill through the Legislature in the final days of the session that would transfer the power to regulate factory farm siting and expansion from state officials to a new board controlled by agricultural groups.

The move comes after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration angered Republicans with moves to enact tougher restrictions on such farms earlier this year.

There’s little time for the Legislature to act, and even if the bill were to pass, it’s unlikely that Evers would sign it into law. The Assembly is expected to meet for the last time on Feb. 20 and the Senate is set to adjourn in March.

Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Travis Tranel, both Republicans, introduced the bill Tuesday. Both chambers’ agriculture committees held a hastily convened joint public hearing on the measure Thursday. Democrats on the committees balked at the pace.

“The first I saw this bill was Monday,” said Rep. Mark Spreitzer, of Beloit. “Is it your intention to ram this through in the last week or is it more of a conversation starter?”

“I don’t introduce a bill unless I believe it can become law,” Marklein replied.

The bill would fundamentally change who gets to regulate factory farms.

Currently, the state agriculture department writes regulations that are subject to approval by the Legislature and governor.

A department committee last year began drafting regulations that would increase the minimum distance between manure storage facilities and neighboring properties.

Agricultural groups were outraged that the committee didn’t include any farmers and complained that the proposal was so draconian it would drive farmers out of Wisconsin.

The department stopped short of implementing those restrictions amid the pushback. But Republican senators cited the unilateral approach as one of their justifications for firing Agriculture Secretary Brad Pfaff, an Evers appointee, in November.

The bill would create a new nine-member review board attached to the agriculture department. Five members would be selected from agricultural groups.

The board would advise the department on regulations and the department would be prohibited from drafting any siting or expansion rules without approval from two-thirds of the board.

“That (2019) process was not productive for either side,” Jordan Lamb, an attorney for the Wisconsin Pork Association, said in written remarks to the committees. “This legislation ... will ensure that farmers’ voices will be a part of any future administrative rule changes.”


News
No newspaper on Monday

In observance of the Presidents Day national holiday, the Beloit Daily News will not be published on Monday.

All newspaper offices will reopen for business at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Persons wishing to drop off news items may do so by using the mail slot at the entrance to the Daily News Building.