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Top Stories July 28, 2015

Deuman Tabbed As New Columbus Superintendent


7/28/15 - Columbus Schools have a new Superintendent. Annette Deuman - current principal of De Pere High School -- signed a district contract last night prior to observing her first board meeting at Columbus Middle School. Deuman said she is anxious to start meeting the school community when students register in two weeks. The new superintendent says she likes Columbus because it has the same kind of "small town" feel that she enjoyed when she was growing up in Waupaca. Deuman is planning to relocate from DePere to Columbus so that she can begin her new job on August 12th.


Gas Leak Forces Downtown Evacuation


7/28/15 - A one block area of downtown Beaver Dam was evacuated yesterday (Mon) afternoon following a gas line break. Fire Chief Alan Mannel says his department responded around 2:30pm to the intersection of North Spring Street and Maple Avenue. The pipe was hit by a construction crew working in the area. The leak was contained within one hour. Mannel says a good stiff breeze inhibited gas accumulation in any buildings, though Spring Street was evacuated one block north to Third Street.


Mayville Accepted Into WEDC Program


7/28/15 - Main Street Mayville, the group tasked with revitalizing the city’s downtown area, is one of eighteen accepted into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporations’ Connect Communities Program for the coming year.  Erin Welty, who works for WEDC, says they select participants through a scoring system that includes looking at the group’s organizational capacity and ability to carry out what they learn in the program.  She says Mayville’s application stood out due its recent revitalization activity, commitment to the arts, and promotion of growth and development.  In addition to helping grow organizational capacity and working to increase the volunteer base, Welty says the program provides workshops, webinars, trainings, and an online resource directory.  Main Street Mayville applied for a one-year program but can extend that as long as they continue to meet the requirements.  Connect Communities is entering its third year, and Welty says it now has 51 members.  She says there is no budget requirement for participants which is important since Mayville’s City Council cut the group’s funding for this year.  That was part of the city’s effort to avoid raising taxes.  Mayor Bob Redeker encouraged the group to reapply for funding for 2016.


Dodge County Humane Society Adoptions Increase


7/28/15 - Adoption numbers are on the rise at the Dodge County Humane Society. That’s according to Interim Executive Director Kensie Drinkwine who outlines the year-to-date numbers. Last year by this time, the Humane Society adopted out 92 animals. Through June 30 of this year, 320 animals have left the shelter in Juneau. Conversely, the first six months of last year there were 174 animals taken in to the shelter while this year; for this year they are at 417. Drinkwine credits the increase in adoptions and intake numbers to an aggressive social media campaign and online presence, an easier adoption process and a greater variety of animals.  She credits the greater variety to a recent partnership with high-kill shelters. Dodge County has a no-kill shelter and their collaboration with the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control and Louisville Metro Animal Services in Kentucky has brought a greater number of animals to the Juneau shelter. Drinkwine says financially, the shelter is not in the dire straits that it was in the past couple years, though donations are always needed.  Their wish list also includes scoopable cat litter, wet dog and cat foot, pill-pockets and laundry detergent.


Columbus Observing National Night Out Next Week


7/28/15 - The "National Night Out" family celebration is one week away. The August 4th nationwide event has become a major event in Columbus promoting police and community partnerships. Columbus police and firefighters are holding the night full of public safety events in Fireman's Park. Police Chief Dan Meister says that one of the most popular events -- the "Flight for Life" helicopter landing – will be held again this year in the park. America's Night Out Against Crime began in 1984 across America to promote community involvement in crime prevention. Activities focused on health, wellness and public safety in Columbus will start at 6pm.


Assembly Speaker Confident Bucks Package Will Pass


7/28/15 - The Wisconsin Assembly speaker says he's confident that the state's funding package for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena will pass when his chamber takes it up today. Robin Vos believes most of his G-O-P members are on board with the 250-million-dollar proposal -- the same one the Senate okayed 13 days ago. With a number of lawmakers on vacation, Vos says the Bucks' package may only need 45 votes to pass instead of the normal 50. He may only need ten Democrats to get behind it, but he's still trying for 15 just to be sure. The bill includes bonding, tax incremental financing, extensions of Milwaukee travel-related taxes, and a two-dollar surcharge on all tickets at the new arena. Supporters -- including Governor Scott Walker -- say the taxes paid by N-B-A players for games in Milwaukee will more than pay for the state's 50-percent share. Opponents say the money could be better used for new roads, and to make up for cuts in the University of Wisconsin System.


Property Tax Savings Dwindles To One Dollar


7/28/15 - If you're an average Wisconsin homeowner, your property tax bill will go down by one-dollar this December -- and two-dollars the year after that. Governor Scott Walker's original state budget had included a 10-dollar decrease over the two-year period. But the Legislative Fiscal Bureau says new tax figures and changes in the budget have reduced the total property tax savings to three-dollars on a home valued at 154-thousand. That's for the state as a whole. Individual communities may end up charging more, depending on their total assessed property values and local government spending levels.


Walker On Defensive From Trump


7/28/15 - Governor Scott Walker says his fellow White House candidate Donald Trump is flat-out wrong in his assessment of Wisconsin. Trump responded to recent criticism by saying that Wisconsin is "doing terribly" under the Republican Walker, and its education system is a "disaster." At a campaign stop in Chicago yesterday, Walker accuses Trump of using the "talking points of the Democrats" from the governor's re-election campaign last year. Walker says Wisconsinites elected him three times in four years because in his words, "They realize those talking points were not the facts." Walker also says he's not worried that Trump will detract from his campaign. Both Walker and Trump continue to be among the top tier of G-O-P candidates in most recent polls.


Yesterday's Headlines
- AirVenture Increasing Traffic At Juneau Airport
- Columbus Superintendent Candidates Vetted
- Jobless Filings Up From May, Down From 2014

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.