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Top Stories March 27, 2017

Schmidt To Address BD Council on Spillman


3/27/17 - Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt is confident that the final pieces of the Spillman puzzle will fall into place. His department is in the process of implementing a countywide records management system that would link 17 local municipal law enforcement agencies together. The sheriff told us on WBEV’s Community Comment that the city of Beaver Dam and the village of Theresa are the only two agencies that have not signed-on. Health issues of some village officials have slowed talks in that community but Schmidt says in Beaver Dam it may be about the message. He has a presentation planned before the full common council next Monday. Schmidt says teams work better together when they work together. He says Spillman is what former Sheriff Todd Nehls wanted with New World but we never got there; Schmidt says Spillman will “get us there” and will not fail like the New World conversion. “It is my guarantee to the citizens that we are going to make this work and its going to be a benefit for everybody at the end of the day,” Schmidt says. 


Spillman would replace two computer systems that Beaver Dam is using right now, New World for squad cars and a Cisco system that manages department records at the police station. The software for Spillman will be free to each municipal department however those departments will each have to pay a yearly maintenance fee of $280-per computer beginning in 2019 and a one-time training fee of $720-per officer this year. For the Beaver Dam Police Department, that translates to $26-thousand dollars for its 37 officers plus $14-thousand annually for its 51-computers. City officials have indicated that is considerably higher than the $4300 total cost to be part of the failed New World computer system, which was put into place three years ago but has been plagued with issues. The city wants the extra money to come from the county’s half-percent sales tax but Schmidt says the payment structure is non-negotiable as the offer on the table for Beaver Dam has the same terms as the contracts signed by 15 other agencies. The sheriff says it comes down to public safety and the efficiency. Schmidt says additional crime will be solved because of the information sharing that will be going on that law enforcement simply does not have access to right now. Schmidt says Spillman is being build right now and the sooner police departments become part of the process the smoother the implementation will go.  Spillman is slated to go live, countywide on December 11.


Couple Busted For Squatting In Cambria Apartment


3/27/17 - A man and woman in Columbia County face several charges after allegedly squatting in a home in Cambria.  A tenant in one of the units at the Parkview Apartments was moving out of state last week, when her husband had to be hospitalized.  Her neighbors called her to say someone was still living in her apartment.  When deputies went to check it out, they say 38-year-old Michael Groehler and 36-year-old Jaime Ranum refused to come out.  When deputies forced their way in, the two barricaded themselves in the bedroom.  If convicted, Groehler and Ranum could spend 18 months in jail.


Referendum For Mayville School District Voters


3/27/17 - Voters in the Mayville School District will see a $24.5-million-dollar referendum on the April 4 ballot. If approved, classrooms and lab spaces throughout the district would be upgraded and reconfigured for hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math with an emphasis on tech ed, ag studies and manufacturing at the high school; classrooms for band, choir and show choir would be enlarged and auditorium accessibility would also be addressed. In addition, there would be safety and security enhancements including a secure entrance at the high school; capital maintenance and building system improvements of roofs, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical and HVAC along with ADA access changes; and updated high school locker rooms and work out areas. Director of Learning Lee Zarnott says classrooms would be changed dramatically to expand the type of learning and teaching needed in the 21st Century. Zarnott says the refurbishing and updating of current science labs to new technology is very important because none of the labs have been updated since the building was first constructed. Mayville voters previously rejected a $23-million-dollar referendum in the spring of 2015.  Superintendent Scott Sabol says one major differences between the referenda is the elimination of a new gymnasium and new performing arts space at the high school. The new referendum includes a renovated auditorium that adds twice the performing arts space currently available. A new gymnasium, meanwhile, is part of long range plans but is not in the current referendum.  District officials anticipate a successful referendum would add $2.21 to the current levy of $8.81, costing the owner of a $150-thousand dollar home an extra $331 per year. 


Born Supports CBD Bill


3/27/17 - State Representative Mark Born says he is hopeful that legislation awaiting the governor’s signature could help kids with some medical problems. Parents of children with numerous seizures could soon be allowed to possess a treatment made from a marijuana extract -- if they can get find it. The Wisconsin Assembly voted 98-to-nothing this month to give final legislative approval to a bill allowing possession of cannabidiol, also known as C-B-D oil -- but it does not allow for the production and sale of the product within the state. Representative Born told us on WBEV’s Community Comment that the bill is a step in the right direction. The Beaver Dam Republican says that the product is not heavily regulated and is already available in some pharmacies in different products throughout the state. Born says in order to get the bill approved and make the opportunity available for more families this version of the bill was the right way to go. He says hopefully it will work and down the road the can revisit the measure to see if any additional changes need to be made. The Senate okayed the CBD bill last month, and it now goes to Governor Scott Walker who has said he supports it.


Oshkosh Corp Sanctioned By Iran


3/27/17 - Wisconsin-based truck maker Oshkosh Corporation is one of 15 U-S companies being sanctioned by Iran.  The Tehran government accuses the companies of supporting terrorism, repression and Israel's occupation of land that Palestinians want.  The mostly symbolic move is being tied to U-S sanctions on Iran announced earlier.  None of the companies listed are currently thought to be doing any business with Iran and apparently none of them have assets in the Middle Eastern country which could be seized, as Sunday's announcement threatened.


HGTV Show Set In Milwaukee


3/27/17 - A new show on HGTV features a group in Milwaukee that rehabs houses and sell them for a profit.  The show is called "My Flippin' Friends" and lead designer Jenni Radosevich tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it's been described as "Friends" meets "Fixer Upper."  It will premiere next Sunday, April 2nd.  Only one episode has been taped and HGTV will monitor the reaction to decide if it orders a full season.


Prescribed Burns Planned On Horicon NWR


3/27/17 - There will be a series of prescribed burns on the federal portion of the Horicon Marsh again in coming months. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that there will be a burns this spring and fall at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is over 22-thousand acres in size, encompassing the northern two-thirds of marsh. Fire is essential to managing the majority of the Service's 105 million acres, which includes 556 national wildlife refuges, some 27,000 small tracts of land in special management areas, 69 national fish hatcheries and numerous other sites in the United States and its territories. Federal officials say the burns are performed for a variety of ecological benefits such as stimulating the growth of native prairie grasses and forbs and removing weeds and non-native/invasive trees and shrubs. The burns also help reduce the buildup of hazardous fuels which can feed dangerous wildfires.  Birds and other wildlife species, some endangered or threatened, benefit from the prescribed fires because they help ensure valuable nesting habitat and more reliable food sources which experts say are critical to species survival. Prescribed burns are conducted by over a dozen trained individuals who are certified in prescription fire and wildfire suppression and they are required to attend an annual refresher each year in addition to other training classes.

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Yesterday's Headlines
- Hustisford School Funding Referendum Detailed
- Eden Meats Expanding Into Waupun
- Born Announces Additional Listening Sessions

For those stories and more click here.

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