Alleged robbers nabbed, Wolf's Grocery still strong: Our View

6:35 PM, Aug. 16, 2013  |  Comments
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One of the most remarkable recent stories we've covered came to an expected conclusion this week when police arrested two teenages they say attempted to hold up Wolf's Grocery in Marshfield, only to be thwarted by that store's stubborn, brave owner, 96-year-old Marge Wolf, who offered a would-be robber Tootsie Rolls but no money.

The person police say entered the store to rob Wolf is a 13-year-old Marshfield boy.

We again congratulate Wolf once again for standing up to the alleged would-be robber. And though we are shocked by his youth, the fact is we've seen in numerous cases around Wisconsin and the country that a 13-year-old can be perfectly capable of acts of violence.

We can all be glad it did not come to that in this case - and we hope the two boys, whatever the potential punishment if they are found guilty of the crime, will eventually count themselves lucky, too, that they did not do something they could not undo.

Meanwhile Wolf remains one of our heroes.

Keeping us safe

This weekend marks the beginning of the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, a nationwide initiative that increases police presence on the roads for the purpose of catching drunken drivers - and, just as importantly, a public awareness campaign about the issue.

Drunken driving is shockingly irresponsible. It's also, frankly, still far too common and even socially acceptable. We're proud of law enforcement professionals who work to keep us safe - and we all have a role to play in ending this plague.

Keep an eye out for the increased police patrols you see between now and the end of Labor Day weekend as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Let's make horribly irresponsible acts like driving drunk less routine.

Spiritual center survives

St. Anthony Spirituality Center will live on. It will just be in a slightly different form.

The Marathon retreat center has provided something rare in today's world: a place to reflect, to meditate and to pray. To many of those who have passed through its doors, the experience was spiritually nourishing and even life-changing.

The center faced closure at the end of this year as the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, a regional faith organization based in Detroit, looked to consolidate and trim its sails as its own population of friars aged out of the work. But now volunteers for the center have a plan to convert it from part of the Capuchin Province into a free-standing nonprofit, allowing it to stay open.

There are plenty of details yet to be worked out, but this is great news for the center and the many residents across central Wisconsin who have found its solitude and spiritual reflection to be things of value to them.

A needed civics renaissance

State Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley this week in a lecture in Stevens Point brought attention to a real shortcoming of the education system: the lack of civics education. Once a mainstay in the classroom, old-fashioned "Schoolhouse Rocks"-style lessons about government are increasingly a rarity. Walsh Bradley highlighted a new website by the Pew Research Center,, which will offer basic lessons and accessible information about how our government works.

We need good citizens. Certainly not every young person (nor every adult) will be fascinated by the workings of government - though some will be, and it's important to foster that. But in a democracy, all of them will have a stake in what their governments do.

Thanks to Walsh Bradley for bringing the topic back to the region. Let's hope it sparks some renewed interest in the fundamentals like how a bill becomes a law and how checks and balances work, or are supposed to work.

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports