Dena Willmore,  for whom the center is named, snips the ribbon.
Dena Willmore, for whom the center is named, snips the ribbon.

1) Teacher stands accused: Fitzpatrick allegedly assaulted one of her students
   Dec. 5 — It wasn’t good news. It wasn’t the kind situation one would wish upon any community.

   But it was, by far, the biggest Ripon news story of 2017, though it waited to break until the waning days of the year.

   Samantha Fitzpatrick, a former English teacher at Ripon High School, was accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a student — specifically, a student who was just 16 years old at the outset of the alleged crime.

   It was the kind of incident that proved that not even Ripon is immune to this kind of alleged crime, where a person in power (a teacher in this case) chooses to leverage their position to take advantage of another ...

2) Willmore Center shines: Ripon College’s new gym is done at long last
   October — For many years, it seemed that the concept of a renovated physical education center for Ripon College would remain nothing more than rumor. Finally, though, a couple years ago the college announced ambitious plans to build a gleaming addition to the old Storzer Center, complete with indoor track inside a fieldhouse.

   After more than a year of construction, the addition and renovation was unveiled in October during a Homecoming celebration.

   Now the pride of Ripon College, the Willmore Center promises to draw more students, be able to host new events and offer more wellness opportunities to the community.

   Also a nice perk? It’s quite pretty to look at, too. Sounds like a win for Ripon College.

For the next eight stories on the list, see the Dec. 28, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.