The best photos of 2020

Top left, teachers and staff at Bridges Elementary put on a parade for their students. Top right, the Easter Bunny visited Black Earth and Mazomanie. Bottom left, a spring morning along the Wisconsin River in Sauk City. Bottom right, Dale Klevin, with the Mazomanie Fire Department, partakes in whitewater rescue training.

The year in review: 2020 brings school referenda, parades, resilience

As 2020 finally ends, the Star News counts down the top stories of the year.


The Pandemic


COVID-19 takes a heavy toll on Black Earth

The Village of Black Earth has seen seven deaths out of 75 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, data from the Wisconsin Department of Health reveals. That rate of ten percent of infections leading to death is ten times the State’s rate of one percent.

Wisconsin GOP lawmakers call for tighter voting rules; Dems call election hearing a ‘sham’

By Anya van Wagtendonk and Nora Eckert, December 11, 2020


About two hours into a joint legislative hearing Friday, state Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said he had enough of the “sham” gathering called by Republican lawmakers to investigate the Nov. 3 election. 

COVID-19 cases decline to levels seen early in the pandemic

New COVID-19 cases continue to dwindle, as Dane County communities saw a sum total of just 6 new cases, with Sauk Prairie adding 29. The expected post-Thanksgiving bump has not appeared.

Black Earth Library and Village Boards at odds

A power struggle has emerged between the Black Earth Village Board and Library Board.

Black Earth Library Director submits resignation

Carolyn Shaffer, the Black Earth Library Director who was supported by the public in the wake of a complaint filed against her in September, has submitted her resignation, effective January 31, 2021. She informed the Library Board on December 16. The board will now search her for her replacement.

COVID-19 killed a thousand Wisconsinites in three weeks, but some don’t see the danger

By Howard Hardee (Wisconsin Watch)


Dan trusts practically nothing the media and medical establishments say about the COVID-19 pandemic. He considers the threat overblown. And saying as much on Twitter has triggered some heated arguments. 

New COVID-19 cases remain at a low level

COVID-19 cases have taken a break of sorts in recent days, as the expected Thanksgiving fallout hasn’t materialized in local data. Cases per ten thousand rates have dropped precipitously in nearly all the area communities.

COVID-19 data now available by municipality

The Wisconsin Department of Health is now releasing data at the municipal level, providing a granular view of how COVID-19 is affecting area communities. It will take a week for the Star News to provide data on new cases and cases per thousand. 


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