Safe Sports Zone offers online ticketing for prep sports events.
Safe Sports Zone offers online ticketing for prep sports events.

Safe Sport Zone revamps ticketing for prep events

RACINE -- In an effort to improve safety and security at high school events, Safe Sport Zone of Racine unveils a new online ticketing program.

"This is a free, web-based program schools can use to ensure a safer environment," said Jay Hammes, athletic director at Racine Horlick High School and Certified Athletic Administrator.

"All schools are concerned about security and this helps school districts provide a safer environment by monitoring and controlling the attendees at the event," said Hammes, who noted the popularity of online ticketing by the airlines and local movie theaters.

"Once I get through the security checkpoints at the airport, I feel pretty darn safe. With the changes in society, safety at schools is becoming the number one priority."

Milwaukee Public Schools have been searching for ways to curb student violence for years. In January 2007, a fight erupted after a basketball game at Bradley Tech High School; 20 people were arrested and the district passed a ban on cell phones to prevent violence.

Hammes said the online ticketing program would specifically identify the ticket holder by name.

"Some of the larger urban schools have tried selling advance tickets, but there was no name on the ticket as a way of preventing violence and that hasn't worked effectively," said Hammes whose school in Racine started a ticket pre-sale program last December.

"Matching the pre-sold ticket with an I.D. is just like what happens at airport security."

Each online ticket will be sold with a 75-cent surcharge, a minimal expense, according to Hammes when you consider other outlets are charging a service fee upwards of $3 per ticket.

While security will improve, Hammes admitted gate revenue may take a hit. "It will hurt sales because you wouldn't have a crowd anywhere near if you would have sold tickets at the gate," he said.

Hammes said ticket holders for games that are canceled or rescheduled for weather-related reaso…

Ryan Rohlinger got his first big-league hit Wednesday.
Ryan Rohlinger got his first big-league hit Wednesday.

West Bend's Rohlinger makes major-league debut

WEST BEND -- West Bend East High School graduate Ryan Rohlinger made it to the big show last night, starting at third base for the San Francisco Giants.

Rohlinger, 24, went 1 for 4 at the plate with an RBI double in the seventh inning. He also committed with a pair of errors, both overthrows to first base.

"Anything he does from here on out will be an improvement," joked Doug Gonring, who was coach at West Bend East when Rohlinger was a Suns standout from 1999 to 2002.

Gonring shrugged off Rohlinger's throwing errors, saying the young player does better under pressure.

"That was always Ryan; give him too much time to think about the throw and that'll hurt him."

There were about 30 people at Gonring's Kewaskum home, watching Rohlinger make his major league debut.

Family, friends and former coaches all groaned when the network television announcers mispronounced Rohlinger's name.

"He'll have to have a couple of hits and then they'll know his name," said Gonring.

In West Bend, the Rohlinger family gathered at Bender's Sports Bar. Brother Matt Rohlinger said they were with Ryan in Akron, Ohio, when he got the call.

"We traveled to Akron to see his Connecticut Defenders Double-A team play," said Matt. "After the game, we were sitting in the hotel watching the Olympics, Ryan said he was going to bed and a half hour later he walked back in and said ‘Pack your bags I'm leaving for Houston.'"

Rohlinger slept little, and within the next eight hours found his way from the Akron airport on a flight to Houston. His orange and black Giants number 57 uniform with his name on back was waiting for him when he arrived.

The Giants lost to Houston last night, 6-2, and dropped a 7-4 decision this afternoon. Rohlinger went 0 for 4 in the matinee. Gonring expects Rohlinger to remain with the Giants through the rest of the season.

I'm very low maintenance and proud of it.
I'm very low maintenance and proud of it.

How does a conservative become more thrifty?

Hi, my name is Judy Steffes and I'm conservative.

My friends will laugh. Thrifty, tight, deep pockets and short arms. I've heard them all, but relish the challenge.

With the economy headed south I'm finally starting to feel some of the effects. Gas is more, and so are my food and electric bills, even though I'm not buying or using more than normal -- my normal.

I'm a "flip off the switch when I leave the room," put on a sweater and leave the thermostat at 45 degrees, change my own car oil and rotate the tires, pay off my credit card bill each month, pick up pennies in the street, shop at Goodwill, recycle aluminum, and shop around to lower my insurance policies kind of person.

I have been wondering how it would be possible to be even more conservative.

My friends are stumped, although one has suggested going from three squares to two and running around in the rain to save on showers.

Funny? Not so much...but I'm taking inventory.

My Internet doesn't cost anything because I use NetZero. I don't have TV or cable. If I need video entertainment I go to the public library for magazines, newspapers, CDs and DVDs and I'm hooked on which has all the latest shows, minus commercials.

I bike just about everywhere. LED lights on power strips or the microwave drive me nuts so I unplug the tool and plug it back in when needed. I've downsized my family refrigerator to one used in a college dorm. (I donated my former fridge to a community group.)

I don't have a cell phone, only a local land line. I have a calling card for long distance that's a penny a minute.

My vices are coffee and letting my ceiling fan run at night. I know, I'm living the high life.

Some new things I'm thinking of trying include shopping at Aldi's, stop buying sparkling water and buy 35-cent gallon jugs to refill at the grocery, biking or motorcycling to work, stopping the morning coffee habit at McDonald's, cleaning the basement and closets …

Dick's Pizza has been in West Bend since 1958.
Dick's Pizza has been in West Bend since 1958.

West Bend's Dick's Pizza is closed

Dick's Pizza and Grill, an institution in West Bend's independent restaurant community, has closed.

"It's just gotten to the point where it's not worth it; I'm ready to get out," says owner Earl Richter, who told his 30 employees Thursday afternoon and closed his doors that night.

Richter has owned the Italian restaurant at the corner of 18th Avenue and Highway 33 for the last seven years, although Dick's Pizza has a long history in the community.

"When I was little, we used to go there very late and I would always order the spaghetti and fall asleep. I told my parents it was the spaghetti that would make me sleepy," says Jodi Janisse who also remembers the 25-cent sundaes.

"That was our promotion for our 25th anniversary," says former owner Dave Wolf. "We supported a lot of teams like the water ski team and little league teams."

Bill Laufer grew up on 7th Avenue and said it was always a big treat on Sunday nights to go down to Dick's and get a pizza.

"They were originally located downtown and then they moved to the far side of town," he says. "Back in the day people were like, why are they moving way out there?"

The original Dick's Pizza dates to back 1958 when Dick Turnquist opened at 315 N. Main St., where Tastings Food & Spirit's is currently located. "In 1977 Turnquist started building the new restaurant here on 18th Avenue but he was killed in a car crash three weeks before even opening," says Richter.

An employee at the restaurant, Paul Schloemer became the new owner and ran the business for three years before Dave Wolf bought the pizza place in March 1980. Twenty years later, in December 2003, Richter took over.

"We really grew the sales within the first three or four years," says Richter. "My sales were probably 50 percent higher than anything they'd ever done but all of a sudden one restaurant after another started opening in this town," he says, claiming there are just too many eating places for West …