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'Kindness Changed My Life': Son of Sikh Temple Shooting Victim and Former White Supremacist Join Together to Promote Tolerance

Pardeep Singh Kaleka’s father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, came to the United States with $35 in his pocket. 

He clawed and scraped his way toward that pinnacle of goals, the American Dream. On his 65th birthday, he took joy in the fact that he was eligible for Social Security, seeing it as his adopted homeland’s recognition of his contributions and hard work over the years. He liked to spend time at the gurudwara (Sikh temple) he managed and had helped build.

Then, on August 5, 2012 a 40-year-old white supremacist and U.S. Army veteran named Wade Michael Page walked into the gurudwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and gunned him down along with five other worshipers, in cold blood. 

“It was kind of like my father was being told he didn’t qualify for the American Dream,” says the victim’s son.

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Hidden Voices

“It’s a very interesting thing, as a writer, to be invisible,” muses celebrated poet Fabu Carter. “It is strange, because writing propels you into the world.”

Led by Fabu and fellow authors Catrina Sparkman and Sherry Lucille, an upcoming event at the Middleton Public Library called “Hidden Voices” will bring three vital 20th century literary figures - Jean Toomer, Lorraine Hansberry, and Sarah Webster Fabio – into the spotlight. 

They hope to raise the voices of these writers from the past. They think in doing so, they can inspire readers to seek out the Midwest’s fresh new African American authors today, as well.

Sparkman believes a good author can transcend barriers such as race and gender. Or bring them tumbling down.

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'All for one, and one for all' at Maple Leaf Restaurant in Cross Plains

It’s -3 degrees Fahrenheit in paradise today.

Paradise, in this case, being Wisconsin in the month of January.

That’s the way the Ademi family sees it, at least. Babi and Viki Ademi came to the United States from their homeland in 1984, in pursuit of the fabled “American Dream.” Babi said that growing up in Macedonia, a country steeped in poverty, he fantasized about coming to the United States.

“To us, it seemed like paradise,” Viki agrees.

There’s something quintessentially American about the Ademi family’s story. Although their tale begins far, far away.

“We suffered there,” is all Viki likes to say of the country whose shores they left. In many ways, they found what they were looking for here. They ran restaurants for years elsewhere in Wisconsin, then took on factory work, all to support a growing family they hoped, in perfect keeping with this well-worn fable, would have more opportunities than they had.

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Police search for missing man

The Middleton Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating and checking the welfare of John Balistreri Jr, a 36 year old male who was reported missing on October 2nd, 2017.  John was last seen on September 15th, 2017. 

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An enchanting new novel from Jennifer Chiaverini

There is a passage in “Enchantress of Numbers,” in which Ada Lovelace reflects on her newborn son. While others marvel at the dark-eyed infant’s potential and dream of his future, she “so passionately adored the perfect little creature he already was” that she “gave no thought to what he might be five, ten, or twenty years in the future.”

There is an immediacy to her experience. It is not some far off, high-minded concept. It is here, now. There is immediacy to all of Jennifer Chiaverini’s upcoming novel, as well, which is an impressive feat in the realm of historical fiction.

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Guts and glory on display at the White Collar Boxing Tournament

Just before the fights began on Saturday night, a grandmother who was about to see her granddaughter get rocked by several hard right hands was at the breaking point. “I’m so damned nervous!” she cried out amid the din of the Red Mouse sports bar in Cross Plains.

As it turned out, she had nothing to worry about. Because boxing is a sport in which even the losers emerge with their honor glinting beneath the bright lights. Her granddaughter lost the fight, but she gained the crowd’s respect when she refused to go down, and refused to quit, even after a flurry of punches turned her knees to Jell-O.

This was the second annual White Collar Boxing Tournament, a fundraiser for the esteemed Bob Lynch Boxing Foundation. Twenty people entered the ring. Half of them won. Half of them lost. All of them learned what they were made of. They went home proud of their trophies and their various hematomas.

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Hurricane devastation hits close to home for local church

To the membership of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Middleton, the devastation in Puerto Rico from hurricanes Irma and Maria wasn’t just television news. It’s a personal story about people who they know and have developed a relationship with through a sister-church partnership since 2013.

Well before the hurricanes, some of St. Luke’s members traveled to Divino Salvador, the island church with more than 240 members.  They’ve shared worship, broken bread, sung together and become friends with the pastor and congregants there.

Between hurricanes, Pastor Gabriel Nanco wrote to St. Luke’s to let them know how they were faring. 


“Dear family in Wisconsin,


I am sending you this message to let you know how we are doing during the imminent passing of Hurricane Maria through Puerto Rico.

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Endangered Missing Person

Bruce J. Besadny left his residence in Middleton in the early morning hours on 10/5/17.  He is driving a blue, 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium Station wagon with Wisconsin license plate 784-VUW.  It is unknown where Mr. Besadny may be headed.   Mr. Besadny’s clothing is unknown but he is usually wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt.  Mr. Besadny is 6’01, 210lbs, with brown hair, a gray-trimmed beard and wears dark rimmed glasses.  Mr. Besadny suffers from chronic migraines, anxiety and depression.  Due to Mr. Besadny’s current health issues, we are concerned for his wellbeing.

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Violinist Paran Amirinazari on being inspired by selfless people, experiencing awe in music, and finding ‘enlightening moments’

The Middleton Community Orchestra will present its final concert of the current season on Wednesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Middleton Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol St.

Violinist Paran Amirinazari will be the soloist in the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 in g minor.  Also on the program is Borodin’s Prince Igor Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. 

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Lodger Allegedly Killed 82-Year-Old Middleton Woman

On Wednesday of last week, 82-year-old Agnes Bram was at the Middleton Senior Center, playing euchre with her friends, as she often did. It was the last time she was seen alive.

Also at the senior center that day was a man named John “Jack” Hamann, who investigators believe later murdered Bram, from whom he was renting a room.

While police say the motive was unclear, news of the alleged homicide sent shockwaves through a community that is, both in terms of perception and crime statistics, usually remarkably safe.

While the story pieced together by authorities seemed ripped from the opening pages of Crime and Punishment, those who knew the victim were quick to share fond memories about the friendly woman known to her friends simply as “Aggie.”

The woman, whose body was discovered in her garage by a family member, was remembered for being active in the community, for enjoying and telling jokes, and for caring for others.


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