Tamarack River Ghost: A Novel

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University of Wisconsin Pres, Nov 2, 2012 - Fiction - 276 pages
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When journalist Josh Wittmore moves from the Illinois bureau of Farm Country News to the newspaper’s national office in Wisconsin, he encounters the biggest story of his young career—just as the paper’s finances may lead to its closure.
    Josh’s big story is that a corporation that plans to establish an enormous hog farm has bought a lot of land along the Tamarack River in bucolic Ames County. Some of the local residents and officials are excited about the jobs and tax revenues that the big farm will bring, while others worry about truck traffic, porcine aromas, and manure runoff polluting the river. And how would the arrival of a large agribusiness affect life and traditions in this tightly knit rural community of family farmers? Josh strives to provide impartial agricultural reporting, even as his newspaper is replaced by a new Internet-only version owned by a former New York investment banker. And it seems that there may be another force in play: the vengeful ghost of a drowned logger who locals say haunts the valley of the Tamarack River.
 

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Contents

Prologue
3
1 Josh Wittmore
9
2 Lazy Z Feedlot
15
3 Fishingon the Millpond
21
4 Natalie Karlsen
24
5 Tamarack River Valley
29
6 Farm Country News
38
7 Tamarack River Ghost
46
25 Smear Tournament
145
26 Nathan West 435
152
27 Decision Time
161
28 Tamarack Museum
165
29 Zoning Committee Meeting
168
30 Newspaper Demise
177
31 New Journalism
182
32 Fred and Oscar
187

8 Nathan West Industries
50
9 Dr William Willard Evans
56
10 Dr Randy Oakfield
61
11 Research Proposal
67
12 Big Hog Farm Coming
72
13 Dinner Date
77
14 Ice Fishing
86
15 Valley History
94
16 Fred and Oscar
97
17 Skiing in the Park
100
18 Informational Meeting
105
19 Opposing Positions
116
20 Fred and Oscar
118
21 Yes or No to Factory Farms
122
22 Winter Festival
126
23 Fred and Oscar
137
24 Paper Problems
141
33 Different Results
190
34 Spring Snowstorm
201
35 Confession
204
36 Opening Day
211
37 Electronic News
216
38 Surprise Present
224
39 New Hog House
228
40 Outrage
234
41 Department Decisions
238
42 Fourth of SeventhMonth
241
43 Truce
249
44 Disaster
254
45 Blame
260
46 A New Beginning
268
Epilogue
273
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jerry Apps was born and raised on a Wisconsin farm. A former agricultural extension agent, he is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His other novels in the Ames County series are The Travels of Increase Joseph, In a Pickle, Blue Shadows Farm, and Cranberry Red. His many nonfiction books include Garden Wisdom, Barns of Wisconsin, Breweries of Wisconsin, Every Farm Tells a Story, Old Farm, and One-Room Country Schools. Apps received the 2007 Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

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