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Wisconsin Big Boy in Sussex will close July 14, reopen in Wisconsin Dells this fall

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Wisconsin Big Boy in Sussex will close July 14, reopen in Wisconsin Dells this fall


Wisconsin Big Boy in Sussex will close on Sunday, July 14, owner Katie Johnson-Rizer has announced. It’s expected to reopen in Wisconsin Dells this fall under new ownership, she said.

Johnson-Rizer also owns The GOAT, which is next door to the Big Boy restaurant at N63 W23675 Main St.

In a letter posted on the Big Boy Wisconsin Facebook page, Johnson-Rizer said the reason for the closure is The GOAT needs more kitchen space.

“After opening the GOAT, we have quickly realized the current kitchen space that Big Boy occupies is needed to successfully handle the volume of The GOAT,” Johnson-Rizer said in the post. “While we are sorry to see Big Boy go, we will now be able to rewrite The Goat menu and add a few burger options, which have been requested by our patrons.”

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Big Boy returned to Wisconsin after 26 years in Germantown in July of 2021 under owners Chaz Hastings and Scott Carleton. It stayed open in Germantown until it closed in October of 2023 with plans to reopen in Sussex. That happened two months later.

Johnson-Rizer said she became the owner of The GOAT and also of Wisconsin Big Boy in Sussex in May.

“We realize this will upset some people, however, our ultimate goal is to make The GOAT top-notch for the people of Sussex and beyond,” Johnson-Rizer said in the post. “We feel that making this decision is necessary to accomplish our goals.”

Johnson-Rizer said Big Boy will reopen in Wisconsin Dells sometime in the fall, and they will sell the franchise to those owners.

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The GOAT is having its soft opening from 3 to 8 p.m. this week and will have its grand opening on Tuesday, July 16, according to its website.

It will then be open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed on Mondays. It will have an outside beer garden with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.

The GOAT is branded as having a “trendy vibe with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options with new dishes featured weekly, Johnson-Rizer told the Milwaukee Journal in May.

Johnson-Rizer said everything on the menu is homemade. Menu items include funnel fries, Basque cheesecake (bacon bourbon caramel with house whipped cream) avocado BLT, stuffed mushroom with goat cheese, artichoke dip, roasted red peppers zucchini, Calabrian chili oil and cilantro oil). A braised goat tostone is on the menu, too.

Cathy Kozlowicz can be reached at 262-361-9132 or cathy.kozlowicz@jrn.com. Follow her on X at @kozlowicz_cathy.

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More: This Germantown woman changed careers during the pandemic. Now she’s a top real estate agent.

More: These Milwaukee area communities are not allowing later bar times during the RNC



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Wisconsin

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers blank West Michigan on combined 3-hitter

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Wisconsin Timber Rattlers blank West Michigan on combined 3-hitter


GRAND CHUTE, WI – A quartet of Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitchers were in perfect harmony as they twirled a three-hit shutout over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field.  Will Rudy, Bayden Root, Yerlin Rodriguez, and Aaron Rund combined for ten strikeouts as they continued an incredible run of pitching for the Timber Rattlers.

Wisconsin (55-30 overall, 13-6 second half) broke out on top in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Luis Lara hit lead-off home run to right, his second home run of the season, to put the Rattlers up 1-0.  Jadher Areinamo followed with a single.  Then, Luke Adams hit his ninth home run of the season and the Rattlers were up 3-0.

Lara added to the lead with a sacrifice fly to score Jesús Chirinos in the bottom of the fifth.

West Michigan (41-44, 10-9) had two hits and three walks in the first five innings against Rudy, the Rattlers starting pitcher, who turned the game over to the bullpen for the sixth.  Rudy had five strikeouts in the scoreless outing.

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The Timber Rattlers scored twice more in the sixth inning.  Eduardo Garcia tripled, and Tayden Hall walked with two outs.  Jesús Chirinos drove in Garcia with a single to knock West Michigan starting pitcher Colin Fields out of the game.

Three Wisconsin relievers closed out the game with four scoreless innings.  Root allowed a hit and struck out two over two shutout innings.  Rodriguez tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a strikeout.  Rund struck out two in a perfect ninth inning to close out Wisconsin’s third shutout of the Whitecaps in the series.

Bennett Lee had all three of West Michigan’s hits on Friday night.  Felix Valerio had three hits for the Timber Rattlers.

In the first four games of this series, Wisconsin pitchers have allowed two runs – one earned – and struck out 41 over 37 innings.

The Timber Rattlers have won five games in a row.  This is the fourth time they have won five in a row.  The Timber Rattlers are also 25 games over .500 for the first time since 2001.  Plus, Friday’s shutout was their ninth of the season, which ties the Dayton Dragons for the Midwest League lead in that category.

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Game five of the series is Saturday night at Neuroscience Group Field.  Yujanyer Herrera (5-1, 3.40) is set to start with Devin Williams scheduled to pitch in relief for the Timber Rattlers.  West Michigan will counter with Joe Miller (4-1, 2.53) as their starting pitcher.  Game time is 6:40pm CDT.

Star Wars Night presented by Stacey Hennessey is happening on Saturday at the stadium.  Players and coaches will wear this year’s Star Wars jerseys for this game.  Those jerseys are available in an online auction at this link.  We will have characters from the movies at the stadium for fans of all ages to meet.  Fireworks are set to go off after the game courtesy of Menasha Corporation.   Kids aged twelve and under may run the bases courtesy of Menasha Corporation after the fireworks are done for the evening.



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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to campaign in Wisconsin during Republican convention

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to campaign in Wisconsin during Republican convention


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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. continues his run to be the third party nominee in this year’s presidential campaign, though his history and latest controversy may damage his chances of gaining those votes.



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Wisconsin appeals court largely affirms lower court ruling to count absentee ballots with address variations

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Wisconsin appeals court largely affirms lower court ruling to count absentee ballots with address variations


The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Thursday mostly upheld a lower court’s decision that prevents the rejection of absentee ballots with address variations for upcoming elections. This decision is expected to reduce the number of ballot rejections in the state.

The legal dispute deals with interpreting an absentee ballot witness’s address, which involved a January 2024 ruling that impacted absentee ballots in the state. Under Wisconsin law, absentee ballots require completion in the presence of a witness, who would then sign it and provide their address. The state law notes that it is a requirement that an absent ballot certificate include the address of a witness to be counted. Further, if the certificate is completed improperly or does not include a certificate, verification should be sent by a municipal clerk to the witness for correction. Various groups such as Rise Inc., a youth engagement organization, criticized the requirements for the witness address to be a requisite to ballot validity.

The unanimous three-judge appeals panel’s ruling requires that witnesses’ certificates include a sufficient address to identify where the witness resides and could be reached. The ruling is distinct from the trial court’s standard, which established that an address is only deemed sufficient if it could allow a “member of the community” to reasonably locate the witness rather than relying on the municipal clerk.

Rise argued against the legislative definition. In their argument, they requested a broader language that accommodates unique address situations, such as the mobility of college students. They also argued that the discretion should remain in the hands of municipal clerks rather than a “reasonable person in the community.” Further, the strict criteria imposed by the Wisconsin legislature included the street name, street number, and municipality name even though “address” had not been defined under state law.

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Absentee voting remains a contentious partisan issue for states during the election seasons. Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes could be used ahead of the November general election. This ruling reversed a 2022 decision, which did not regard dropping off an absent ballot as a return to a municipal clerk. A federal judge in Mississippi is currently grappling with the decision of whether to count mail-in ballots for up to five days after the election. Although mail-in voting had been temporarily permitted during the pandemic, states are now reevaluating their legislation on the matter.

Wisconsin has dealt with similar electoral hurdles aside from absentee ballots. Just last December, in a 4-3 decision, the state’s highest court ruled that the current electoral map violated the state’s constitution. In the court’s order, it required that the district boundary lines be redrawn prior to the 2024 election season.

Thursday’s decision will impact the upcoming state primary in August and the general election in November.



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