Walker Indicates Support For Right To Hunt At Beaver Dam Stop
11/28/15 - Governor Scott Walker has indicated his support for a “right to hunt” bill. The state Assembly's Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage committee approved the “right to hunt” measure this month clearing the way for a full vote on the Assembly floor in January. Wisconsin law already prohibits someone from interfering with hunting, fishing or trapping activities. The bill would expand the definition of interference to include engaging in an activity more than twice that's intended to impede a hunter, including remaining in a hunter's sight, photographing a hunter, using a drone to photograph a hunter and confronting a hunter. During an appearance this week in Beaver Dam, Walker was asked by reporters to comment on the legislation prohibiting people from harassing hunters in the woods. The governor says that he has not seen the bill yet but as a hunter it seems ridiculous someone would harass hunters because without a healthy harvest a lot of deer would starve. He calls hunting a more humane way to control the population. Harassment is said to be problem in the Northwoods where so-called eco-terrorists are targeting bear hunters by following them, photographing, and making harassing remarks on social media. District attorney’s in the area do not think there is enough teeth in current harassment laws to prosecute. In order to be charged under the statute, intent would have to be proven. The bill would also add scouting, dog training, and baiting and feeding as hunting activities.
Sheriff Encouraging Drivers To Be Cautious For Deer
11/28/15 - With the number of car versus deer crashes usually at its highest in the fall, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging drivers to be cautious on the roads. Sheriff Dale Schmidt addressed the issue in his monthly column. He says there were 211 car-deer accidents in the first ten months of 2015. Sixteen caused injuries, and one proved to be fatal. According to Schmidt, his officers respond to roughly ten deer crashes per day in the fall months. He says certain areas have shown to have a larger number of deer crashes, including Highway 151 near Highway S and Highway 33 near Sunset Drive. In an effort to avoid these crashes, Schmidt encourages drivers to slow down at night, remember the adage “where there is one, there are more,” and never take one’s eyes off the road. If a driver does hit a deer, Schmidt advises safely pulling over to the side of the road and calling 9-1-1 if there are any injuries or upwards of $1,000 in damage. He says one of his officers will typically respond and help the person through all the necessary steps. Any driver who wishes to keep the deer they hit must call the DNR vehicle-killed deer hotline.
DNR Five Day Gun-Deer Totals
11/28/15 - According to the latest number from the Department of Natural Resources, there have been 2337 deer harvested in Dodge County during the first five days of the gun-deer season. That number includes 998 bucks and 1339 antlerless. In Columbia County, there were 3096 deer taken from opening day through Wednesday. Jefferson County had 1188 while Fond du Lac County reported a harvest of 2077. The statewide, five-day total is 158,034.
Vehicle Sales In Dodge County Down, Region Up
11/28/15 - Vehicle sales in Dodge County are down slightly from this time last year but the rest of the region is faring better. According to the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm Reg Trak Inc., so far this year in Dodge County there have been 3061 vehicles sold during the first ten months of the year, 58 fewer than last year by this time for a decline of 1.9-percent. Truck sales in Dodge County are up around 4.5-percent but car sales are down by nearly 16-percent. Car sales have also plummeted in Columbia County where truck sales are driving a year-to-date increase of 5-percent. There have been 2290 vehicle sales in Columbia County this year, 111 more than last year. Jefferson County vehicle sales were up nearly 3-percent over last year with 2345 sales through October of this year compared to 2281 by the same time last year. Overall, the nine-county south central Wisconsin region is experiencing a 2.5-percent increase in vehicle sales in 2015. Car sales are down nearly 10-percent but truck sales are up 11-percent.
Columbus Approves Marked Snowmobile Trail Through City
11/28/15 - A groomed snowmobile trail through Columbus has the go-ahead for this winter. The Columbus Snowmobile Club received council approval at their meeting this week to have a marked trail through the city. The council also approved the map making snowmobiling through selected residential and municipal areas of the city possible. The annual issue of "in-city" snowmobile trail use will be under discussion at council sessions again in spring and fall of 2016.
Fall River Pirate Foundation Hard At Work
11/28/15 - Fall River High School Principal Brian Zacho is working with the Pirate Foundation to improve the district's athletic facilities. Outdoor facilities for Fall River school's students are often "make shift" and often not up to conference competition standards. Track facilities are non-existent and many baseball, football and softball fields can only be used on a limited basis. So far, the Pirate Foundation has been able to have a practice field graded and seeded on 29 acres of school-owned land designated for a new athletic complex. That complex could eventually include fields for football and track competition as well as baseball and softball facilities.
City Of Horicon To Launch New Website
11/28/15 - The City of Horicon will soon have a new website. At its meeting this week, the city council approved a $95-hundred dollar contract with CivicPlus who will design and host the site. Horicon will pay an additional $15-hundred dollars each year in maintenance and support fees. At the end of four years, Clerk Kristen Jacobson says the city can have CivicPlus re-do the site for a reduced cost. Jacobson says the city is unhappy with the lack of support on its current site, which was designed by Milwaukee-based web developer Geoffrey Rickaby. The city received two offers. GovOffice’s came in slightly higher than CivicPlus. The new site should be up and running sometime next year.
New Secretary Of Public Lands Named
11/28/15 - Former state representative and Dane County Executive Jonathan Barry has been named the new secretary of the state Public Lands board. He replaces Tia Nelson, who left after the board raised concerns about her long-time involvement with fighting climate change. The vote to hire Barry was two-to-nothing this week. State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk abstained, saying he didn't know enough about the new leader. The board previously banned agency staffers from talking about climate change, after Adamczyk raised concerns over Nelson's previous involvement with the issue. The ban was later reduced to prohibiting her involvement while on the job. The Public Lands agency was relatively obscure until Adamczyk's concerns -- and until it became the only major remaining duty for Adamczyk and Secretary-of-State Doug La Follette. Lawmakers transferred most of their duties to other state agencies. Public Lands handles trust funds, and gives loans-and-grants to local governments and schools.
GOP Bill Would Limit Federal Wage, Environmental Road Requirements
11/28/15 - Two state Republicans want to reduce the number of road-building projects that are subject to federal minimum wage and environmental requirements. Senator Duey Strobel and Representative Robert Brooks, both of Saukville, are proposing a bill that lets officials allocate federal highway funds to some projects and not others. The state's total amount of federal funds would stay the same. But by assigning them to fewer projects, state-and-local governments could save money by not having to do as much environmental work. Also, they would not pay the prevailing federal wage to as many road-builders. Strobel tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he wants to cut costs as much as possible before considering a proposed gas tax hike. Pat Goss of the Transportation Builders Association opposes the new bill, saying the federal prevailing wage increases the quality of the work. Dan Fedderly of the Wisconsin County Highway Association favors the change, saying it would let local governments put more of their funds into the actual concrete. The state's prevailing wage law for local projects was dropped this summer in the new state budget.
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