A long road ahead

Photo by Mark Ignatowski. Nancy Lopez and Angel Anguiano live near Verona Road. Added traffic from the construction makes it hard to get around the neighborhood and to places beyond the construction zone.

When Nancy Lopez needs to get to the west side of Madison, she has to take a twisting maze of partially closed roads through a series of temporary traffic signals onto a congested Verona Road.

“Ohhh, it’s a mess,” Lopez said. “It’s complicated – it’s a lot of roads closed. It’s not too loud, but there’s more traffic in this area.”


A Wishing ‘Star’

Photo by Samantha Christian. Kendall Oberg, 9, of Fitchburg, will be back at McKee Farms Park on Sunday as this year’s Walk for Wishes front runner. Oberg is living with a rare type of vasculitis.

Friday is a day most people look forward to because it signals the end of the school or work week. But for Fitchburg’s Kendall Oberg, 9, all that day brings is anxiety over a weekly routine of shots.

Kendall, who is this year’s Walk for Wishes front runner, is battling a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease. Takayasu’s arteritis is a type of vasculitis that causes inflammation, narrowing and weakening of the large blood vessels.


Pack 'N the Park photos

Families filled McKee Farms Park Friday night for Pack 'N in the Park. The event featured a bouncy house, obstacle course and plenty of games. At the end of the evening, families watched a movie on a large projector screen.


Filling up on hope: Former True Coffee employee sees outpouring of support

Photos by Samantha Christian. Kyle Morgan’s former True Coffee coworkers set up a huge party last month to raise money for his ongoing treatments after he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer in May. Here, his wife, Anna, and daughter, Alivia, 2, join him in front of a Fitchburg fire truck at the party.

Kyle Morgan was training to become a firefighter at Madison College when he began to experience strange symptoms this spring. His focus quickly shifted from battling blazes to fighting a disease with no known cure.

The 25-year-old husband and father from Madison was diagnosed with a rare type of kidney cancer called renal medullary carcinoma (RMC). Since his diagnosis on May 6, the Stage IV cancer has spread to his lungs, brain, spine, bones and lymph nodes.


Out on a Limb

Photos submitted. Fitchburg arborist Shelly Wollerman works in a honey locust tree for her employer, Verona-based Steven Bassett, Inc. She will participate in an international climbing competition next month

Shelly Wollerman admits she was “freaking out” the first time she worked on the “tree crew.”

“I was 15 feet off the ground and was like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’” she recalled of working for her employer, Steven R. Bassett, Inc., a landscaping company in the Town of Verona.

Four years later, the Fitchburg resident has clearly conquered her fear.


Eclectic mix found at flea market

Photo by Samantha Christian. Traci and Josh Mandell sort through old records at the Fitchburg Flea Market on Sunday while talking to vendor Victor Rasmussen, not pictured.

When Ed Oakey turns into McGaw Park in his red pickup truck Sunday mornings, he’s never really sure what he’ll find among the eclectic mix of treasures displayed in the upper parking lot.

As the organizer of the Fitchburg Flea Market, Oakey said there is “a good assortment” of vintage collectibles, repurposed items, furniture, crafts, jewelry and yard art.


Library ‘pulled this town together'

Photo by Samantha Christian. David Yi, 12, of Fitchburg, reads a comic book in a bean bag chair while Danielle Scott, left, and Nina Kajian, 13, of Verona, right, search through the stacks in the teen section Tuesday at Fitchburg Public Library.

Kathleen Martens has lived in Fitchburg for 28 years, but until three years ago, she had to go to Oregon to get her fix of nonfiction books.

“I read a lot,” said Marten, one of 12,000 Fitchburg residents who had a library card in another community before the library was built, based on statistics given by library supporters in 2009.


Concerts at McKee kicks off

Photos submitted. A large crowd came out for the first installment of Concerts at McKee June 16.

June 16 kicked off the first of three “Concerts at McKee”, Fitchburg’s free summer concert series at McKee Farms Park.


Splash opens for first full season

Photo by Jim Ferolie. The weather was perfect for the McKee Farms Park splash pad on Memorial Day weekend.

The new splash pad is continuing to make waves in Fitchburg.

After opening last summer, high attendance has led the park to be packed with families most days, with around 500 people on hotter ones. The splash pad opened for the season on May 24 and has seen the same turnout numbers that it did in the last few weeks of last summer.


Concerts at McKee kicks off June 16

Music lovers looking for monthly outdoor music can head to McKee Farms Park starting June 16.

Concerts take place on the third Monday of June, July, and August at McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Road, Fitchburg. Food and drink carts open at 6 p.m.; concerts begin at 7 p.m.

Concerts at McKee has been running for 12 seasons with concerts planned each month. The musical lineup for the free concert series this year includes:

• The Big Payback, June 16