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Deerfield

Deerfield 2020 in Review

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DHS Graduation

Deerfield High School senior Carson Galla graduates in a solo in-person ceremony on July 26 in the DHS gym. The high school offered a delayed and modified ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut schools in March. Commencement was orginally to be June 7.

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic defined much of life in Deerfield. Schools and churches went virtual. Fundraising dinners and trick-or-treat pivoted to drive-up events. The Deerfield Farmers Market kept going, with masks and one-way rope lines. Other community events, from summer children's theater to fairs to the Deerfield Fireman's Festival and Deerfield Lions Club ChiliFest, were canceled. The Deerfield Community Center was hit by rising food pantry usage and shifted senior meals to delivery. Deerfield High School graduation became a distanced mid-summer event. Restaurants tried to keep up with shifting public health rules.

But some things continued almost as normal. Local farmers weighed the impact to them of the reactivation of a long-dormant drainage district with taxing authority. The Deerfield Village Board kept moving forward on the reconstruction of West Nelson Street and tax incremental finance-funded downtown improvements. Deerfield School District voters approved a new operational referendum. Truckstar Collision Center finished a nearly $3 million expansion. And talk progressed toward the 2023 reconstruction of Highway 73.

Here's what made news in Deerfield in 2020: 

Jan. 2

Kris Breunig and Kathleen “Kate” McGinnity are running for the Dane County Board’s District 37 seat to replace retiring County Board member Bob Salov.

Jan. 9

Celery Stick City is a local robotics club organized this year Deerfield Elementary School fifth-graders.

Jan. 16

A Deerfield Village Board letter-writing effort, that pushed for a reinstated original reconstruction timeline for State Highway 73 through the village, catches attention of the state Department of Transportation… Deerfield Elementary School students gather for a Winter Wonderland Dance.

Jan. 23

The new Deerfield Community Center is becoming a hub of activity for families, children gathering after school, seniors and others…the Deerfield School Board votes to not cap the number of students that can open-enroll into the district for the 2020-21 school year… Deerfield Elementary School students take part in a Global Day of Play… the Deerfield School Board seeks members for an advisory committee leading up to a possible November operating referendum…

Jan. 30

The Deerfield Community Center adds a ninth member to its board and adopts a 2020 budget at its annual meeting… The Deerfield Rod and Gun Club hosts a community sledding party.

Parisi visit

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi (second from right) visits with (clockwise from left) Deerfield Village Board member Arnold Evenson, Deerfield Community Center President Todd Tatlock, and Deerfield Town Board member Bill Roelofs at the community center on Feb. 7.

Feb. 6

Hinchley’s Dairy Farm will host the Dane County Breakfast on the Farm on June 13, the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee announces. Tina and Duane Hinchley say a new U.S. trade deal may not do much to stem the loss of dairy farms in Wisconsin… Gov. Tony Evers visits Deerfield Middle-High  School… The Deerfield School District hires a consultant to identify needed building upgrades as it considers setting a November operating referendum… Cal Hansen and Renee Ballweg open CBD Farmacy at 44 N. Main St.

Deerfield Solo and Ensemble

Deerfield High School Treble Choir members Kyli Morgan and Kaylee Galla perform songs from the musical “Waitress” during the Solo and Ensemble Festival at DHS on Feb. 15.

Feb. 13

The Deerfield Village Board considers four additional sites for a Village Hall… First Wing Family Theater holds its annual Love and Chocolate variety show… The Deerfield Town Board renews an annual mining license for the Oak Park Quarry… Dane County Executive visits Deerfield, stopping at the Deerfield Community Center, the village’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, and several businesses including Truckstar Collision Center, Speed Solar, Nelson’s Barbershop and Midwest Dental… The Cambridge News and Deerfield Independent announces it will host a local election forum at Deerfield Coffeehouse on March 12… Deerfield High School’s Club Unify participates in the annual Polar Plunge in Whitewater… a Citizens Advisory Committee is in place and beginning to work toward a November Deerfield schools referendum… Deerfield Elementary School students Run the Halls in an event to promote winter exercise.

Feb. 20

Deerfield High School hosts the annual Solo and Ensemble Festival… Deerfield-area landowners located in a recently reactivated drainage district meet to discuss how the change might affect them…  The Deerfield High School Forensics Team advances to sub-district competition.

Feb. 27

Community members make clay bowls in the DHS art room in anticipation of the school’s April 8 Empty Bowls Dinner…the Deerfield Village Board continues to lay plans to reconstruction West Nelson Street… Deerfield High School’s Academic Decathlon team qualifies for state competition, set for March 12 and 13 in the Wisconsin Dells.

Tony Evers visit

Governor Tony Evers visits Deerfield Middle-High School on Feb. 4. Pictured are Evers and eighth-grader Jackson Drobac in a technology education classroom.

March 5

Deerfield Middle-High School Principal Brad Johnsrud announces he will retire on June 30… the annual Chili Cookoff for Autism benefitting Navigating Autism is held at The Railhouse bar… Deerfield Elementary School holds a Nachos & Numbers family night.

March 12

The Deerfield Village Board deadlocks on doing an architectural study of four potential sites for a Village Hall… Truckstar Collision Center breaks ground on its nearly $3 million expansion on West Nelson Street… Deerfield Elementary School celebrates Read Across America Week with guest readers.

March 19

Deerfield School District administrators say at an emergency meeting that they’re taking a statewide Covid-19 school closure one day at a time. Deerfield schools will be closed through April 6… Public Health Madison & Dane County issues an order to stop all mass gatherings of 250 or more people including at places of worship… Deerfield Coffeehouse begins accepting online orders only for pickup out of concern for Covid-19 and following a Dane County Public Health order requiring restaurants and bars to reduce their seating capacity to 50 percent… Deerfield High School music students return home from a trip to Canada… the Deerfield Community Center says it will offer drive-up food pantry service due to Covid-19 concerns… Pork from a canceled Deerfield Wrestling Club pig roast dinner is packaged for pick-up…  Deerfield Scouts collect food for the Deerfield Food Pantry…The Deerfield Public Library closes its doors to the public saying it will be closed "at least through April 5."

March 26

The Deerfield Community Center begins delivering meals to the homes of area seniors… Deerfield schools distribute laptops to students to be used during at-home learning… Deerfield’s village administrator puts out an urgent call for poll workers for the April 7 election… the Deerfield Village Board applies for a state loan and a private grant in hopes of stretching funding for downtown revitalization… Holland’s Preschool and Deerfield Coffeehouse storytimes move online.

Deerfield lunch pickup

Lori Hughes greets a family during the first day of lunch pickup Monday, March 30 at Deerfield Elementary School. Deerfield schools, closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, offered free weekday grab-and-go lunches to all district students.

April 2

First Wing Family Theater postpones auditions for its summer children’s production… The Deerfield School District begins offering lunch pickup and delivery for area school children… Deerfield High School holds a drive-up materials pick up and drop off day… Deerfield photographer Tessa Dunnington offers Front Porch Photos to capture pandemic distancing with proceeds benefitting the Deerfield Community Center…  Area business owners say they’re working to move forward in the face of public health orders that have shuttered some of their storefronts, amid virus worries and related economic uncertainty.

Election Day

Protected by a face mask and a face shield, Tina Erickson processes absentee ballots at a polling place at St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church’s Education Center in the Town of Deerfield on April 7.

April 9

Longtime Dane County Board District 37 Supervisor Bob Salov says goodbye in an online County Board meeting… Deerfield High School moves to a pass/fail grading system for fourth quarter as at-home learning continues…. the Glacial Drumlin State Trail through Deerfield sees heavy use as local parks are trails remain open, while playgrounds are ordered closed due to Covid-19.

April 16

Kathleen “Kate” McGinnity wins the Dane County Board District 37 race to replace retiring Bob Salov… Deerfield residents participate in the Happy Heart Hunt, decorating their windows with heart art to bring joy to passersby… Quilted Oak and Ice Cream on Main Street temporarily closes due to Covid-19 concerns… SSM Health Medical Group temporarily closes its clinic in Deerfield… The Deerfield Community Center launches a GoFundMe campaign to support its senior meals and food pantry as need rises… Deerfield Coffeehouse adds to its website a way to buy meals for local seniors and for healthcare workers in the greater Madison area… Professional musicians like singer/songwriter Mark Croft, of Monona, who has played at local events in past years like Deerfield’s ChiliFest, say they are live-streaming performances, creating online content and accepting online tips. 

DES lunches

Masked due to COVID-19, Kate and Waylen Brattlie dress as a milk carton and a farmer as they help hand out free lunches to Deerfield families outside Deerfield Elementary School Friday May 8.

April 23

Deerfield Superintendent Michelle Jensen’s priority shifts to helping students bring closure to the school year as Gov. Tony Evers extends a statewide Safer-at-Home order to May 26 and orders schools closed through June 30. Jensen says it’s not yet clear how that will affect graduation… DHS’ winter sports awards night is held virtually… Cambridge-Deerfield Players Theater announces its summer musicals are canceled… The Deerfield Chamber of Commerce cancels its annual Bikes to Big Rigs event…The Deerfield Public Library Worm Race, Deerfield Community Center annual fish fry and Deerfield High School prom are canceled… It remains unclear whether the Deerfield Summer Concert Series and Deerfield Fireman’s Festival will happen… Deerfield-Cambridge VFW Post 9424 says it will hold Memorial Day cemetery observances, as Cambridge’s Memorial Day Parade and other holiday activities are canceled… Deerfield Photographer Marcus Novak surprises DHS seniors with lawn posters of their senior portraits… Deerfield High School holds a parade down Main Street to celebrate seniors… Deerfield resident and health and wellness consultant Linda Carney begins offering a “take-what-you-need and leave-what-you can” table on the driveway of her home and home-based business.

Front Porch Portraits

Photographer Tessa Dunnington, of Deerfield, takes a Front Porch Portrait of Cameron, Shelby and Kayla Westover, of Deerfield, Friday March 27. Proceeds from the portraits, taken of families isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, benefitted the Deerfield Community Center.

April 30

Mason Bohn, Denisse Duarte, Carson Galla, Scott Huddleston, Kade Kammann, Ayden Moynihan, Amber Ott, Cole Nehring, Taylor Wild and Adam Staszak are Deerfield High School’s Top 10 academic seniors for 2020… the 2020 Deerfield Fireman’s Festival and Tame the Flame run are canceled… Kathleen “Kate” McGinnity is sworn in during a virtual meeting as the new Dane County Board District 37 supervisor… West Nelson Street reconstruction begins… The Deerfield Village Board gives a downtown tax incremental finance (TIF) grant to Karizma Hair Salon and extends TIF-funded project completion deadlines for Deerfield Rentals and China-Peruvian-fusion restaurant Chifa. The Village Board also continues to work toward a downtown streetscape remake and approves an emergency declaration for the Covid-19 pandemic… Watertown native Brett Jacobson will be the new principal at Deerfield Middle-High School… the Deerfield Public Library begins offering materials pickup as its doors remain closed to the public… Free little pantries pop up outside the homes of local residents and one at Deerfield Lutheran Church… The Deerfield School District says it may not hold an operating referendum in the fall due to Covid-19 economic uncertainty and puts  its Citizens Advisory Committee meetings on hold… The Deerfield Community Center says food panty demand remains steady and expresses concern about coming rising need…. Quilted Oak & Ice Cream reopens after a month-long voluntary closure.

Birthday train 4.jpg

A birthday train passes the home of Blake Carerros, of Deerfield on April 29. Carerros’ birthday train included Deerfield fire trucks and police cars and several dozen private vehicles. Birthday trains have become a regular occurrence locally, to help children celebrate as they remain isolated at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 7

Local garden centers and CSAs say they’re responding to a COVID-19 surge in interest in their plants, seeds and produce. Deerfield Greenhouse owner Tom Krall says other than staff wearing masks, and more plants outside, “it’s still the same as it’s been over the decades... almost normal”… Birthday trains become a regular occurrence to help children celebrate as they remain isolated at home… Incoming Middle-High School principal, Brett Jacobson says he was drawn to the Deerfield School District for its size and environment… The 2020 Dane County Breakfast on the Farm at Hinchley’s Dairy Farm is postponed to Aug. 1…. Deerfield Coffeehouse reopens for pickup and local delivery after being closed since March 27…  Drivers and other employees at Deerfield trucking companies BCP Transportation and Tom Gullickson, Inc., push on through the pandemic.

May 14

The Deerfield School District surveys families of seniors about their graduation preferences as it weighs how to celebrate commencement while a state-mandated school closure continues through June 30. Superintendent Michelle Jensen says options include holding a virtual ceremony only, holding a virtual celebration and a summer ceremony, or holding a virtual ceremony with a late summer cook-out or other in-person gathering… the Deerfield School Districts moves ahead with surveying residents about a possible November referendum… The Deerfield Village Board gives the green light to the start of engineering work for a significant streetscape remake of the downtown Main Street and Park Drive area… Schuster’s Playtime Farm owner Don Schuster says he’ll plant pumpkins as always, and put in the corn for his corn maze, two key pieces of what draws thousands of visitors every fall. “As of right now, we are going full steam ahead,” with plans to open in late September, including having a haunted forest, in hopes that COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings will have been lifted by then, he says… Masked Deerfield Lions Club members hand out free gallons of milk at Deerfield Elementary School… The Deerfield Farmers Market says it is working with Public Health Madison & Dane County on a plan to open the season safely, on schedule, on June 20… Bittersweet Blessings Farm owners Elizabeth and Jeff Moerke announced that, “sadly,” they are canceling June and August Deerfield Market Expos but going “full speed ahead” with an Oct. 4 Deerfield Apple Festival.

May 21

Masonry restoration experts from R.D. Woods Company in West Allis begin work at St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church. The church, completed in 1859, is undergoing extensive renovations, including rebuilding its more than 100-year-old stained glass windows… Deerfield High School will hold in-person graduation on July 26, after parents of seniors overwhelmingly choose that over a virtual ceremony… The Dane County Fair and Stoughton Fair, which many Deerfield families participate in through 4-H and other organizations, are canceled… Deer-Grove EMS marks a pandemic EMS Week. Chief Eric Lang says it has managed so far to meet one critical goal: none of its 40 members have gotten sick or otherwise been exposed to COVID-19 that has resulted in a missed shift… Deerfield churches say they don’t plan to reopen their buildings immediately following a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling striking down the state’s Safer-At-Home order. Deerfield churches are in Dane County which enacted its own public health order almost immediately that replaced the invalidated statewide order… Deerfield residents Daniel and Kelly Darrow organize a Driveway Decorating Contest, partnering with the Deerfield schools to hand out boxes of sidewalk chalk with school meals… Salons and barbershops remain one of the last types of business shuttered by the Covid-19 pandemic… Utica Christian School graduates are Tiffany Bellrichard, Curtis Fink, Katherine Martin and Theodore Bellrichard… Seventeen youth are awarded presidential service awards through the Deerfield Community Center: Chance John, Jacob Dunsirn, Lucas Elliott and Wesley Christianson, Robert Cole, Mason Betthauser, Rylee Betthauser, Eric Staszak, Isaac John, Grace Brattlie, Moli Haak, Tommy Lees, Grace Dunsirn, Ethan Dunsirn, Lily Dunsirn, Hayden Frazer and Addison Klein.

May 28

Dane County loosens its COVID-19 restrictions as summer begins while Jefferson County remains open for all activities with public health guidance but no restrictions. Phase 1 of Dane County’s Forward Dane plan allows most businesses — including churches, gyms, indoor shopping malls, salons and barbershops, that had been some of the last places to remain completely shuttered — to reopen. All must limit activity to 25 percent of their building’s capacity, with social distancing and other restrictions. Public swimming pools, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, splashpads, funplexes, trampoline parks, indoor miniature golf courses, and skating rinks must remain closed… The Deerfield Community Center cancels its 2020 summer day camp… The Flannel Frontier bar and grill says it will reopen for in-person dining but urges customers to consider sticking with carryout… A free Dane County drive-thru Covid-19 testing site opens at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison… The Cambridge News and Deerfield Independent takes home six awards in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest… Deerfield High School seniors pick up graduation caps and gowns in a drive-thru event.

June 4

The Deerfield School District finalizes a survey to gauge community interest in a November 2020 operating referendum.

DHS Parade

Deerfield High School seniors are paraded through the community on June 7, the day that was to be their in-person commencement. Commencement was ultimately held in-person, and socially distanced, in July.

Deerfield High School seniors are paraded through the community on June 7, the day that was to be their in-person commencement. Commencement was ultimately held in-person, and socially distanced, in July.

June 11

The Deerfield Village Board won’t decide on a new village hall site until at least fall, voting 5-2 to wait until October to resume discussions about choosing one of four possible sites… The Deerfield School Board begins to talk about what fall instruction might look like… Deerfield seniors are paraded through the community, the date that would have been their in-person graduation… Deerfield teachers close out the school year nearly three months after students went home in March, never to return to buildings.

June 18

As Dane County moves to Phase 2 of its Covid-19 reopening, children return to playgrounds and splashpads that had been closed since March, including the playground and splashpad at Savannah Park in Deerfield… Local organizations that help people with food and other needs, including the Deerfield Community Center, say they’re steeling themselves for long-term demand from the COVID-19 economic downturn and foreseeing an uptick later this summer and fall in requests for assistance… As it awaits critical upcoming guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Deerfield School Board continues to consider what the rest of the summer and the fall might look like. Administrators and the school board weigh how to move forward with athletics, including a possible mini track and field season in July… Food Service Director Adam Dunnington says the Deerfield School District it has given out about 15,400 meals to students since March 30… Michelle Jensen joins other Dane County school superintendents in committing to racial equity and to taking action against institutionalized racism in schools and broader society.

Savannah Park

Area children returned to playgrounds and splash pads on June 15, as they reopened as part of Phase 2 of Dane County’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Among the first children at the Savannah Park playground and splash pad in Deerfield was Parker Edmiston, drinking out of a spigot.

June 25 

Brad Johnsrud wraps up his last week as Deerfield-Middle High School principal as he prepares to retire on June 30…. Deerfield Superintendent Michelle Jensen tells the school board that administrators are shopping for new virtual learning curriculum and have purchased new learning management software for elementary school students, as they look toward possible virtual instruction in the fall… Tina Hinchley, of Hinchley’s Dairy Farm and Teresa Schuster, of Schuster’s Playtime Farm will share thoughts on farm diversification and niche marketing during an online women’s farming networking event in July.

July 2

A group of Deerfield High School alumni say they hope to start a conversation about racial equity in the community and in the school district… after being postponed from June to August, the 2020 Dane County Breakfast on The Farm at Hinchley’s Dairy Farm in canceled… Restaurant and bar patrons will have to stay seated at all times as part of an update to Dane County’s COVID-19 reopening plan. And the number of people allowed at indoor private gatherings is scaled back to 10.

July 9

The Deerfield School Board starts to talk about racial equity and justice after alumni submit a petition calling for discussion and action on racism… The Deerfield School District says it will hold some form of in-person graduation on July 27, with plans based on new COVID-19 restrictions… Dane County begins requiring face masks to be worn in most indoor spaces by anyone over the age of 5… The Deerfield Public Library kicks off a virtual summer library program…The Deerfield School District continues to weigh its options for fall instruction with no decisions made yet. Superintendent Michelle Jensen says she’s against a blended model that would have students learning in school a couple of days a week, and at home the rest of the time… SSM Health Dean Medical Group reopens its clinic in Deerfield.

July 16

The Deerfield Village Board is considering paying an additional $4,300 in design costs toward a streetscaping project on Main Street and Park Drive… Renovations are underway on a downtown building expected to house a new Chinese-Peruvian restaurant… Tom Gullickson, Inc. marks 75 years in Deerfield…Utica Fest and Deerfield Music in the Park are canceled for 2020… The Deerfield Community Center starts a supervised playground program at Savannah Park… Oak Park 4-H Club holds a socially distanced mini fair at a local farm as club members miss the canceled Dane County Fair… The Deerfield Community Center begins distributing free masks provided by Public Health Madison & Dane County.

July 23

Deerfield families concerned about coronavirus exposure will be able to put their children in a separate, supported online program if school buildings reopen in September, Superintendent Michelle Jensen says… Local teen jobs are hard to find during the pandemic as summer camps and other typical employers aren’t hiring… In a survey, Deerfield School District residents say they would support a $500,000 November operating referendum.

July 30

The Deerfield School Board votes to begin the 2020-21 school year virtually… A Marshall developer wants to build a new $4.5 million senior housing complex on Deerfield’s south side, with about 60 independent living units.

Aug. 6

The Deerfield Lions Club cancels its 2020 ChiliFest… Efforts to improve racial equity in the Deerfield schools continue, as school board members spend time learning more about white privilege… Deerfield school district residents will see a $500,000 schools referendum on the ballot in November… World War I soldier Arthur Kopang, of Deerfield, is one of six Deerfield and Cambridge-area soldiers whose military stories will be included in “We Shall Not Forget,” an annual salute to local soldiers that will be published in November.

Flowers 2.jpg

Sandy Summers makes a bouquet at Blooms and Bu tterflies at Schusters’Playtime Farm in Deerfield in August.

Aug. 13

A tax incremental finance district that’s being tapped to fund improvements in downtown Deerfield lost more than $2 million in value in 2019 but is expected to rebound in 2020, new financial analysis shows… A Dane County grant is going to allow the Deerfield Community Center to add mental health programming for children… The 2020 Christmas in the Country Craft Show at Deerfield Elementary School is canceled… Deerfield High School student Miles Petersen is 3D-printing face shield pieces and face mask ear savers and donating them to essential workers… The fitness center at Deerfield High School reopens after being closed since March.

Aug. 20

A local business group’s request to stretch out the life of a tax incremental finance district that is funding downtown improvements, so it can continue to be tapped for downtown business projects, is rejected by Deerfield’s Planning Commission… The Deerfield School District announces a daily schedule for students who will begin learning virtually in September. All students will begin their day between 8:15 and 9 a.m., depending on their grade, and finish up with live or scheduled classes at 1:30 p.m…. World War I soldier Milo Rodby, of Deerfield, is one of six Deerfield and Cambridge-area soldiers whose military stories will be included in “We Shall Not Forget,” an annual salute to local soldiers that will be published in November… After many years in Cambridge, Rover Makeovers pet grooming moves to Deerfield. Owner Elyse Edwards is a Deerfield native and DHS graduate. The new shop is at 44 N. Main St…. Schuster’s Playtime Farm continues its Blooms and Butterflies event.

Aug. 27

A divided Deerfield Village Board overrules a Planning Commission recommendation to only partially fund tax incremental finance grants for two downtown businesses, to improve their properties… …. World War I soldier Walter Bakken, of Deerfield, is one of six Deerfield and Cambridge-area soldiers whose military stories will be included in “We Shall Not Forget,” an annual salute to local soldiers that will be published in November… Public Health Madison & Dane County issues an emergency order requiring students in grades 3-12 to begin the school year virtually… Deerfield Lutheran Church and St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church team up to offer a weekly program for youth in grades six and up to share a meal and play games in the backyard of Deerfield Lutheran on South Main Street.

DES

Deerfield Elementary School kindergarten teachers Lisa Zickert (left) and Sara Alexander meet virtually with a student during a Ready, Set, Go conference on Tuesday, Sept. 1. All Deerfield students will begin the school year virtually on Sept. 8, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Families could choose a virtual or in-person Ready, Set, Go conference the week of Sept. 1-4.

Sept. 3

Deerfield Elementary School teachers meet virtually with students during Ready, Set, Go conferences as they prepare to begin the school year virtually. Families could also choose an in-person Ready, Set, Go conference.

Sept. 10

“Specials” teachers of subjects like art, music and physical education upend their curriculums for virtual learning… Special education students can now learn in-person at school buildings in Dane County, under a revised public health order… Deerfield children will get free meals from the school district again this fall.

Sept. 17

Deer-Grove EMS seeks to double its number of full-time paramedics by 2023, at an additional total staffing cost of about $600,000 over the next four years… Deerfield students will continue to learn virtually through the end of the first quarter in November, Superintendent Michelle Jensen announces…. Jeremy “Jerry” McMullen, a longtime Deerfield resident with professional fire and EMS ties to the Madison Fire Department, Dane County EMS and Deer-Grove EMS will be Monona’s new fire chief… Schuster’s Playtime Farm kicks off its fall season with COVID-19 precautions… Of the eight grade levels at Deerfield Elementary School, six saw 100 percent participation by families in Ready-Set-Go conferences Sept. 1-4, DES Principal Melinda Kamrath tells the school board. Families could choose virtual or in-person conferences.

Sept. 24

A Deerfield-area family thanks the community for its support after fire destroys a large garage built by their late father and damages their home. The garage built four decades ago by Harley “Buz” Bystol, who passed away in 2019, and its contents, are a total loss… The Deer-Grove EMS Commission rejects a request from chief Eric Lang to hire four more full-time paramedics in 2021, recommending instead adding more limited-term employee hours… Deerfield Elementary School art teacher Tammi Henke starts a project where students will create rainbow art to hang in their windows at home, to spread some good cheer.

Oct. 1

The Deerfield School Board continues to look at racial equity district-wide by evaluating literature curriculum and the diversity and representation students are seeing… The Deerfield Village Board approves a $1.37 million 2021 Deer-Grove EMS budget, a 20 percent increase over the department’s $1.14 million 2020 budget… The Deerfield Village Board votes unanimously to not set Halloween trick-or-treat hours. Board members say with coronavirus cases spiking in Dane County, they neither want people to get sick nor want to be liable.

Oct. 8

Deerfield students likely will keep learning virtually into the school’s second quarter, Superintendent Michelle Jensen says… A former Deerfield High School farm shop building on the west end of Fireman’s Park is deteriorating, with its days likely numbered…The Deerfield schools food service budget is operating at a loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic, District Business Manager Doreen Treuden says… Deerfield students celebrate a distanced version of Homecoming Week with activities that include a Spirit Walk and reverse parade to honor seniors.

Oct. 15

The Deerfield School District’s enrollment has dropped, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, administrators say… Human trafficking is widespread and happening locally, a representative of a Madison awareness group tells listeners in an Oct. 8 virtual community meeting. The event is hosted by the Deerfield Cares Coalition and six other local organizations… Kevin Philpot is the newest member of the Deerfield Village Board, filling a seat vacated by longtime member Jeremy McMullen… The Deerfield Lions Club holds its annual Chicken BBQ at Fireman’s Park with online ordering and drive-thru pick-up… The fate of Cambridge and Deerfield holiday celebrations are being considered by area chambers of commerce and organizers. Some groups say it’s too soon to say whether festivities will happen… 1848 Real Estate sponsors its annual Deerfield Halloween house-decorating contest in.

Oct. 22

The Deerfield School Board votes to continue virtual learning until Jan. 25 for all students… Deerfield residents will see a 2020- 21 tax rate of less than $11 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Tom Miles

Tom Miles, a longtime volunteer with Deer-Grove EMS, retires in a small in-person ceremony in Deerfield on Oct. 25.

Oct. 29

Longtime Deer-Grove EMS member Tom Miles’ retirement is celebrated by a small, in-person group at the Deerfield Fire Station… Local municipal clerks prepare for the presidential election, and handle an unprecedented number of mail-in and early ballots… the Deerfield School Board approves two versions of the district’s final 2020-21 budget, based on whether an upcoming operational referendum passes… Winners of the annual Cambridge News & Independent Halloween coloring contest are Autumn Scudder, Emma Eklof, Cooper Cramer, Sterling Anderson, Jackson Rue, Addison Haas, Lavinia Dalsing, Jack Wethal and Riley Kussman.

DCOC trick or treat

The Deerfield Chamber of Commerce held a drive-through trick-or-treat event on Oct. 31 at Truckstar Collision Center Inc. Chamber members gave away goodie bags and local business information to trick-or-treaters. Pictured is Deerfield High School student Beth Stevens hands treats through a car window.

DFD trick or treat

The Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department held a drive-through trick-or-treat event Oct. 31. Volunteer firefighters dressed up and gave out goodie bags to trick-or-treaters who visited in their cars.

Nov. 5

Deerfield High School’s National Honor Society chapter organizes a volunteer day in lieu of its annual Community Day… A spider entered by BCP Transportation wins first place in the Deerfield Chamber of Commerce’s pumpkin decorating contest. BB8, from Star Wars, entered by Deerfield Coffeehouse, wins second place. Olaf, from Frozen, entered by Truckstar Collision Center, wins third place… The Deerfield Chamber of Commerce holds a drive-through trick-or-treat event at Truckstar Collision Center Inc, with Chamber volunteers and local high school students giving away goodie bags… Deerfield Middle-High School holds a costumed food drive, collecting about 600 pounds of food for the Deerfield Community Center food pantry.

Nov. 12

Voters in the Cambridge and Deerfield areas leaned slightly more toward Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 presidential election than voters statewide. Locally, in an area that includes the Villages of Deerfield, Cambridge and Rockdale and Towns of Christiana, Deerfield, Oakland, Lake Mills, Cottage Grove and Medina, Biden takes 56.2 percent, compared to Trump’s 42.3 percent… Deerfield School District residents vote by a 2-to-1 margin to fund a $500,000 operating referendum every year for the next five years...World War I soldier Richard Zechzer, of Deerfield, is one of six soldiers from the Deerfield and Cambridge areas who will be featured in the 2021 edition of “We Shall Not Forget,” an annual salute to local veterans published each November… Deerfield special education teachers share how they have approached and adapted to the pandemic year… Deerfield Lutheran Church plans a curbside pick-up chili fundraiser to help restore its steeple.

Virtual Plus

Students in grades 4K-2 begin returning to Deerfield Elementary School on Nov. 9 for the Virtual Plus program, a two-hour session of supplemental learning in the afternoon twice a week. About 100 students signed up for the optional program for second quarter. Pictured is DES Principal Melinda Kamrath helping Ray Woldt fix his mask on Nov. 11.

Nov. 19

In response to “substantial, sustained growth,” in local Covid-19 cases, Public Health Madison & Dane County bans all indoor public gatherings and limits outdoor gatherings to 10 people… About 100 students in grades 4K-2 begin returning to Deerfield Elementary School for the Virtual Plus program, a two-hour session of supplemental learning in the afternoon twice a week… A 1.7 mile stretch of State Highway 73 through Deerfield will be getting a facelift in 2023. The Deerfield Village Board approves an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to resurface State Highway 73 from Shaul Lane to North Street… Deerfield High School students and staff hold a donut drive-through in honor of Veterans Day… St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church cancels its annual cookie walk… Local clergy announce a multi-denominational worship service to be held virtually on Thanksgiving Eve, organized by Grace Lutheran Church in Cambridge.

Nov. 26

The Village of Deerfield’s proposed portion of the tax levy would rise just 0.2 percent, up $1,385 from about $1.246 million in 2020 to about $1.247 million in 2021… The Town of Deerfield, in conjunction with the Village of Deerfield and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, is proposing to resurface Liberty Road from Oak Park Road to Robert Nelson Road… The Deerfield Prairie Piecers Quilt Guild creates a Quilt of Valor for Vietnam veteran Roy Messling of Deerfield… The Deerfield Chamber of Commerce announces it will not host any Deerfield Family Christmas events this year.

Dec. 3

Local families that celebrate St. Nicholas Day say it’s about small gifts, being together and spreading goodwill… The Deerfield Village Board gives the preliminary green light to a proposed new 70-unit market rate apartment complex on Autumn Wood Parkway.

Dec. 10

Deerfield school administrators say they don’t know how long virtual learning might go on. Administrators say they are waiting on more information from Public Health Madison & Dane County before making a decision about returning to school buildings for second semester… Deerfield High School students Jadyn Collar, Ella Perry and Wesley Christianson charter a new DHS chapter of the non-profit organization We Are Many-United Against Hate… The Deerfield School District eyes a $75,000 purchase of new computers for its staff… St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church holds a drive-through collection for the Deerfield Community Center Food Pantry in honor of St. Nicholas Day… Tessa Dunnington of Tessa Claire Photography takes Front Porch portraits of families with Santa Claus with a portion of the proceeds going to charity… Three seats are up on the Deerfield Village Board in April 2021, currently held by Scott Tebon, Don Kositzke and Kevin Philpot. Village President Greg Frutiger is also up for reelection. Three seats are open on the Deerfield School Board. Incumbents Nathan Brown, Sandy Fischer and School Board President Jim Haak are up for reelection. And in the Town of Deerfield, incumbent Town Chair Michael Schlobohm and incumbent Town Board members William Roelofs and Daniel Kelly and incumbent Treasurer Korby Holzhueter are up for reelection.

Dec. 17

Public Health Madison & Dane County issues new guidance for schools, saying it believes they can reopen safely if precautions are in place. It also issues a new emergency order that allows indoor gatherings of up to 10 people, with physical distancing and face coverings, and allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, with physical distancing… The Deerfield Village Board discusses how to stop illegal dumping of trash at Savannah Park… … Local garden supplier and florist say classic holiday flowers like poinsettia and amaryllis remain popular … Forward Pharmacy, a local chain of pharmacies with locations in Cambridge and Deerfield, is offering free Covid-19 testing at some of its branches.

235 N Main St

The annual Deerfield Holiday Lights Contest wrapped up on Dec. 21, with over 40 entries in the Deerfield area. Winners were selected on social media, and the top three winners win cash prizes. Pictured is the first place winner of the contest at 235 N. Main Street.

Dec. 24

The Deerfield School Board approves a reopening plan to phase students back to in-person school, starting on Jan. 25 at the elementary school and progressing to the high school by early February… Deerfield Superintendent Michelle Jensen says snow days will be honored while students are learning virtually… The ongoing weight of pandemic-related economic hardship is sending many people’s mental stability teetering, say representatives of the Cambridge Area Resource Team (CART), the Cambridge Counseling Clinic, Deerfield Community Center and Dane County Joining Forces for Families… Local churches offer virtual and distanced Christmas worship and other activities that they hope their members will find meaningingful… The annual Deerfield Holiday Lights Contest wraps up with over 40 entries . The first-place winner is at 235 N. Main St., the second-place winner at 309 S. Main St., and the third-place winner at 16 N. Prairie Ave…. Tom Gullickson, Inc. hands out 500 free hams to community members… The Deerfield Lions Club donates $1,000 to Deerfield Elementary School to purchase books for each DES student. Families pick up books in a drive-thru event… As in past years, Deerfield Elementary School 4K and 5K students collect cereal and snacks for the Ronald McDonald House of Madison.

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Grace Gullickson hands out hams to community members on Saturday, Dec. 19. Grace Gullickson is a Deerfield Middle-High School student, and daughter of Mike Gullickson, the current president of Tom Gullickson, Inc. The company purchased 500 hams to give out for free to community members this holiday season. Volunteers gave out 450 of 500 hams in one day, and found homes for the last 50.

Dec. 31

At its annual meeting, the Deerfield Community Center elects a new board and adopts a 2021 budget, saying it ended the year financially in the black... the Deerfield Village Board prepares to restart talk of relocating its village office, setting a January meeting of its Municipal Needs Committee that last met in February 2020.

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