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Top Stories October 4, 2015

Fall Colors Starting To Peak In Region, State


10/4/15 - A warm September has given us more time to enjoy the state's fall colors. The bright orange, yellow, and red leaves are normally at their peak by now in far northern Wisconsin. But the state's Tourism Department says the colors are only at 65-percent of their peak at best in the north -- and some places are not even at 35-percent. That's due to change soon, now that colder temperatures finally arrived this week. State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says about 40-percent of Wisconsin's land area is made up of forests -- and there isn't a bad spot to enjoy the show. According to the latest Fall Color Report, every county in the state has at least some fall color right now -- even if it's just five-percent, as in Lafayette and Green counties. The far south normally peaks in late October. Beaver Dam and the Horicon Marsh are said to be at 30-percent peak color. Washington County is also at 30-percent while Jefferson County is at 10-percent, Columbia County is at 20-percent and Fond du Lac County is reporting 50-percent peak colors. The state's Fall Color Report is constantly updated at Travel Wisconsin-Dot-Com.


Beaver Dam Council To Hear Blue Zones Presentation


10/4/15 - Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy is hosting another round of listening sessions Tuesday.  Kennedy offers city residents a chance to sit down with him in a one-on-one setting, without an appointment, on the first and third Tuesday of every month, which is typically the day after each regular common council meeting. On the agenda for Monday night’s council meeting: a recognition of the 40th Anniversary for Apache Stainless; a presentation on the Beaver Dam Community Hospital’s efforts to establish a countywide health initiative called a “Blue Zone” in Dodge County; and also a couple resolutions approving contracts for planned street work in the city.  The Operations Committee meanwhile will be hearing a proposal from the Beaver Dam Rotary about a possible park in the downtown Tower Parking Lot area. Kennedy’s listening sessions are on the first floor of City Hall, in Room 158, from 10am until noon and again from 5pm to 6pm on Tuesday. Kennedy says private meetings can also be arranged by appointment through the mayor’s office. 


Elks Grand Lodge Takes Possession of Fond du Lac Lodge


10/4/15 - The Elks Grand Lodge has taken over possession of Fond du Lac Elks Lodge 57 through an executive order. Exalted Ruler Joe Levanthal says he received word this past week that the Club has been suspended for six months. He says he’s waiting to hear more from the Elks national leadership about what is expected and whether there will be a reorganizational effort. He says some events scheduled at the local lodge will still take place including a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and a wedding that was scheduled some time ago. The Fond du Lac Elks Lodge is the oldest in Wisconsin becoming an official lodge in December of 1886. They moved into their current location at the corner of Sheboygan and Portland in 1904.


Waupun FD Hosting Open House Monday Night


10/4/15 - The City of Waupun is hosting a Community Services Open House Monday night at the fire station. Fire Chief B. J. DeMaa says it’s in honor of Fire Prevention and Public Power Week. He says it will involve the police and fire departments, Life Star Ambulance, public works, and Waupun utilities. Hours for the event are from 5pm to 8pm. DeMaa says as part of the activities the fire department will conduct a side-by-side burn with eight-foot rooms, one without a residential sprinkler and one with. There will also be prize drawings and demonstrations.


Public Hearing Scheduled For Hunters Blaze Pink Proposal


10/4/15 - Wisconsin lawmakers will soon find out what people think about letting hunters wear "blaze pink" in the woods, as well as blaze orange. The Assembly Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the subject for October 14th at the State Capitol. Dozens of lawmakers from both parties support the measure. They say blaze-pink would encourage more women to hunt -- and apparel-makers could work together with non-profit groups to get more women-and-men interested in hunting. Under current law, hunters must be at least half covered with blaze orange above the waist during the gun deer season. Assembly Republicans Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc and David Steffen of Howard proposed the pink in May, along with Democrat Nick Milroy of South Range. Since then, 37 other representatives and five senators from both parties have signed as co-sponsors.


DOT Officials Encouraging Online Renewals


10/4/15 - Other than renewing your driver license every eight years, just about all other business with the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles can now be done online. The DMV’s Chris Truitt talks about the most popular online DMV service—the annual renewal of a vehicle’s registration. "Each year the Wisconsin DMV does about 4.7 million vehicle registration license plate renewals. Online, we do about 1.2 million each year—that’s about one-quarter of all vehicle registration renewals in Wisconsin. Online is quick, it’s easy and it is secure as well." Truitt says to further simplify the process, sign up for the DMV’s eNotify service. "A lot of people like to go paperless. The easiest way to do that with the DMV is with our eNotify program. Give us your email address, you can even give us your cell phone number if you’d like a text. But we’ll email you your renewal notice and then you can use the link in that notice to go online to renew your vehicle registration without ever having to mail anything in or go to a DMV customer service center." When you go online, just be sure you’re using the official Wisconsin DMV website that has "dot-gov" as part of the web address.


State Capitol Rotunda Closed For Repairs Starting Monday


10/4/15 - The State Capitol rotunda will be closed starting Monday, so repairs can be made on the interior dome high atop the building's circular center. The ground floor and first floor will remain closed until November tenth, along with the dome area itself. Officials say the project will most likely continue through January, although the rotunda will re-open in time for its busy holiday season. That's when the Capitol Christmas Tree are other items are displayed. The rotunda is among the Capitol's most heavily-used areas. Protests, ceremonies, concerts, blood drives, and news conferences are held in the rotunda -- and thousands of school students go there each year.


Clergy Express Outrage For Homeless Mandate In Madison


10/4/15 - It is now illegal for the homeless to live outside of Madison’s City County Building and most have complied peacefully. Since the law went into effect Thursday, clergy members gave street sermons about their outrage over the rule change, comparing it to criminalizing homelessness. County Supervisor Carousel Bayrd compared the loitering law to Governor Walker kicking the homeless population out of the capitol. While Madison Police have spent the last month letting the homeless population know they are no longer able to live in front of the City-County building, Central District Captain Carl Gloede says he knows many individuals may not chose not to go to the legal places police direct them.


Plymouth Dairy Plant To Close In 2016


10/4/15 - A dairy plant in Plymouth will close in early 2016. The Dairy Farmers of America report that it will close its Sheboygan County manufacturing plant, laying off 300 workers. The plant has been in operation since 1954. It currently produces cheese under the Borden label, as well as private-label products.


Wisconsin Again Outpaces Country In Cheese Production


10/4/15 - Wisconsin continues to out-pace the rest of the country in cheese production. New figures from the U-S-D-A show that Wisconsin factories made 251-million pounds of cheese in August. That's five-point-three percent more than the same month a year ago, while the national output had a smaller increase of three-and-a-half percent. Wisconsin extended its margin as the national cheese leader, as second-place California had a three-point-four percent drop in production at 190-million pounds. Wisconsin's production of American, Cheddar, Italian, and mozzarella cheeses all grew by six-to-eight-percent from the year before.


Yesterday's Headlines
- Disagreement Over Mayville Budget
- Manufacturing Day Observed In Dodge Co.
- Former Juneau Man To Be Arraigned

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.