Burlington’s governmental leaders made separate pleas this week for members of the community to come together in a spirit of growth while addressing racial issues that have arisen in the wake of protests and violence elsewhere.

“You should acknowledge this is a highly charged and emotional topic,” Burlington Area School District School Board President Roseanne Hahn told a crowd gathered at Monday’s meeting. “There is plenty of work to do – work that should be collaborative with the whole community.”

School Board members listened to about 50 residents who spoke for and against a lesson regarding racial unrest taught by Melissa Statz to her Cooper Elementary School fourth graders, before Hahn announced Statz was not subject to firing and the matter would be handled internally.

A day later Burlington Mayor Jeannie Hefty called for community leaders to work together to heal the rift.

“Our community and our community leaders must rise and continue to pursue justice and equality for all people,” she said at Tuesday evening’s Common Council meeting.

The controversy regarding racial unrest in Burlington and its leaders’ attempts to sow healing is among the top stories in this week’s edition of the Burlington Standard Press. Copies of the newspaper will be on sale at retail outlets in the area on Thursday. Subscribers will receive their copies with Thursday’s mail.

To arrange for weekly delivery, click here: SUBSCRIBE

Here’s a look at some of the other stories in this week’s edition:

  • GRAVEL PIT ADVANCES: Asphalt Contractors, Inc. won unanimous approval Thursday from the Burlington Town Board on two items related to proposed mineral extraction process on the Sun Ray Hills property along Highway P. The rezone request will need approval from the Racine County Economic Development and Land Use Planning Committee.
  • COURT NEWS: A Burlington man currently in prison for possession of child pornography has been charged with 10 additional counts of the crime after investigators allegedly found thousands of additional images following a search of his computers and storage drives.
  • CASES DECLINE IN COUNTY: Health officials saw fewer than 100 Racine County residents test positive for COVID-19 for the second consecutive week while holding steady in percentage of positive cases. Racine County, which previously reported 88 new cases from Sept. 1 through 7, added 78 more from Sept. 8 through 14 and brought the pandemic total to 4,205 as of Monday. ­
  • RUMBLE FOR CHARITY: Nearly 600 motorcycle riders participated in the 26th annual Tri-County Riders Toy run for the benefit of Love Inc. Sunday. The event is a major supporter of the Love Inc.’s annual Christmas giving program, which provides toys and other gifts for families in need. See photos from the event.
  • SCHOLARS HONORED: The Board of Education in the Burlington Area School District recently honored students for their achievement on Advanced Placement exams. A total of 68 Burlington High School students were recognized as AP Scholars with a school record 11 earning National AP Scholar recognition.
  • COVID ON CAMPUS: Area college students recount the confusion and chaos that ensued as the University of Wisconsin-Madison ordered students in two residence halls to quarantine due to a spike in COVID-19 cases there.
  • BACK FOR ANOTHER RUN: The Burlington High School girls volleyball team is looking to continue its long record of success in 2020 by making another run at the state tournament.