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Top Stories October 23, 2014

Beaver Dam Fire Chief Urges Winter Safety


10/23/14 - With winter soon approaching, it is once again time to consider principles of fire safety.  Many people use fireplaces and wood stoves to heat their houses, but that can be dangerous if safety measures are not practiced.  Heating fires make up 36-percent of resident home fires in the United States.  Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says that it is important that chimneys and other fire-starting devices are tended to on a regular basis.  He advises that chimneys should be swept out for creosote buildup when necessary. In addition to that suggestion, local fire departments recommend having fireplaces and wood stoves cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.  Burning fuels safely is also stressed as it is advised to never use flammable liquids to start a fire.  Mannel says that while it is important to focus on interior precautions, practicing fire safety outdoors is equally vital.  He suggests storing wood at least thirty feet from one’s house and checking the chimney on a regular basis to ensure that build-up has not occurred.  Mannel also reminds people that the end of Daylight Saving Time is a convenient time to also change the batteries in each of the smoke detectors in one’s house to further guard against home fires.


Badger Honor Flight Announces 2015 Dates


10/23/14 - Badger Honor Flight has announced their departure dates for next year. The program transports veterans from World War Two and now the Korean conflict to Washington DC to visit the memorials; Vietnam veterans with health issues are also given priority. As in previous years, four flights are planned. The dates for next year are: April 25, May 16, September 12 and October 10. Badger Honor Flight departs from the Dane County Airport and serves veterans in south central Wisconsin. Jim Bublitz, with the Dodge County wing of the Madison-based hub, notes that each trip costs around $100-thousand dollars to get off the ground. For those interested in donating or applying for a trip, go to


Petri Not Endorsing Grothman


10/23/14 - Retiring U-S House Republican Tom Petri is refusing to endorse the G-O-P nominee for his replacement.  Petri tells the Fond du Lac Reporter he felt slighted by what Republican candidate Glenn Grothman said after a recent fund-raiser in Washington.  Petri quoted Grothman as saying he'd be insulted if people thought he was "just like Petri" two years from now.  After hearing that, Petri told his home-town news outlet, "I don't want to smother him with love or anything like that."  Petri -- who's leaving the House after 36 years -- said he would cut off his support for Grothman, after giving five-thousand dollars to his campaign and co-hosting a fund-raiser for him.  Petri said voters can make up their own minds whether they want Grothman or Democrat Mark Harris of Oshkosh in Congress.  Grothman has been regarded as one of the state Senate's most conservative members for years, while Petri has not always voted with the party line.  Petri says both candidates are qualified to replace him, and they should watch two upcoming debates to help them choose. Grothman and Harris are scheduled to debate each other tonight in Oshkosh and next Thursday in Plymouth.


Drug Task Force Sergeant Sentenced For Embezzlement


10/23/14 - A former sergeant with the Jefferson County Drug Task Force was sentenced Wednesday to eight months in jail. Timothy Madson was convicted on a felony count of Misconduct in Public Office.  According to the criminal complaint, Madson served as the supervisor of the Task Force from 2003 until late 2011. During that time, he filed over $20,000 in case-related expenses.  Madson attributed the expenses to case-related work, even though he was not directly involved with any of the cases.  The 56-year-old was in charge of disbursing funds from various task force accounts to investigators and was also responsible for approving expense claims. Because of that, prosecutors say Madson was in a position to fraudulently claim expenses. Waukesha County Judge Lloyd Carter, who presided over the four-day jury trial in Jefferson County this past July, withheld sentence and placed the defendant on 18 months of probation.  As a condition of probation, he ordered Madson to serve 240 days in jail. The first 60 days must be served straight time with no release privileges, and he granted work release privileges on the remaining 180 days.  As further conditions of probation, the defendant was ordered to pay $10-thousand dollars restitution to the Jefferson County Drug Task Force.


Dodge County Resolution Urges Statewide Manure Management


10/23/14 - The Dodge County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to urge the state of Wisconsin to form a state-wide task force regarding on-farm liquid manure management systems at its meeting last night.  Prior to action being taken, the board received a presentation from land conservationist Marc Bethke regarding the matter.  He says that the storage and handling of manure has changed over time and that the volume of it has increased.  Bethke says that the problems begin when facilities become full and the matter starts running into unintended places.  He claims that this is an issue that affects counties throughout Wisconsin and can often lead to well contamination.  Bethke says that the manure can also run into roads and bodies of water, which can lead to aquifers being negatively affected.  He wants the state to form a task force that will investigate the problem and come up with a solution.  Bethke says that reaching that solution begins with aiding the farmers.  He wants to see systems installed on the farms that will help farmers minimize the volume of liquid manure that they must handle. Bethke says that the technologies to deal with the matter are available, and he hopes that the state government will soon intervene. 


Wisconsin Not Applying For Pre-School Grants


10/23/14 - With a deadline of tomorrow, Wisconsin has not applied for up to 60-million federal dollars to help pre-school programs help vulnerable kids in places with high needs.  The state's three U-S House Democrats wrote to Governor Scott Walker 15 days ago, urging him to apply. The Associated Press said the Republican Walker deferred to the state's education and children-and-families' agencies.  And leaders of those two agencies said in mid-September they had "capacity challenges" in preparing another large application for an early childhood grant in addition to its federal Race-to-the-Top grant.  The state received a 34-million dollar grant almost two years ago for a host of early childhood programs.  That money expires in just over two years.  In an October 8th e-mail, Walker policy analyst Jon Hoelter wrote that the administration would keep its focus on the current grant.  He said they'll forward to working with the other agencies to pursue "future opportunities when they arise."  House Democrat Mark Pocan of Madison said he couldn't believe Walker would turn down the four-year pre-school grant.


Unemployment Drops From August to September


10/23/14 - Unemployment rates decreased in all but two of Wisconsin’s counties last month in comparison to August.  The two counties that saw slight increases are Monroe and Vilas, according to the Department of Workforce Development.  Jobless rates in Dodge County dropped to 5-percent in September from 5.4-percent last month and 6.4-percent a year ago.  Columbia County saw a month-to-month decrease from 4.5-percent to 4.1-percent.  Washington County fell three-tenths to 4.3-percent.  Green Lake went from 5.6-percent to 5.2-percent.  Jefferson County fell half a point to 4.8-percent.  Fond du Lac County is at 4.4-percent after reporting 5-percent last month.  Pierce County went from 3.3-percent to 3.2-percent and is the second lowest in the state.  Menominee County made great strides despite holding a state high 10.5-percent, which is down from August’s 15.4-percent.


Randolph Christian Holding Apple Pie Fundraiser


10/23/14 - Randolph Christian School is holding an apple pie fundraiser.  Organizers are looking for volunteers to help assemble the pies today and tomorrow.  Meals will be provided throughout the two days for those who help out.  The pies, which cost $10, can be will be available for pickup this Saturday at the school from 8 a.m. until noon.  To place an order, you can call 326-3320 or contact a local RCS student.  


North Spring Detoured Today


10/23/14 - Traffic will be detoured on a portion of North Spring Street today. The Department of Public Works will be repairing broken water main on the 800 block beginning at 7am. The detour will be set up using DeClark and Main streets. Construction work should be completed sometime this afternoon.


Yesterday's Headlines
    -Formal Homicide Charges Months Away For McHenry
    -Neighboring Watermark Building Purchase Stalls
    -Loud Music Added To Demerit Point Ordinance

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.