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Top Stories July 22, 2014.

City Fighting To Keep Dumping Phosphorous Into River


7/22/14 - The city of Beaver Dam is going to fight a permitting process that would restrict how much phosphorus comes out of its wastewater treatment plant and goes into the Beaver Dam River. However, if the city is required to reduce the phosphorous, new regulations would be imposed that would force the city to pay nearly $13-million dollars for upgrades to their new treatment plant along with $5-million in annual operating costs.  That’s according to Utility Director Don Quarford who says it’s part of a state permitting process that will unfairly affect the city because of the size of the treatment plant and its location to the lake, river and dam. If the city applies for the permit in question, Quarford says the permit could not be revised. The city council last night voted unanimously to fight the new limits and agreed to hire a law firm at a cost of up to $100-thousand dollars. State Representative Mark Born was on hand last night and said there are other communities who are taking a stance against the requirements. The EPA is ultimately driving the reduced phosphorous levels and even if the matter is resolved with the state, municipalities across Wisconsin like Beaver Dam could wind up taking on the feds.


Law Enforcement Memorial Underway


7/22/14 - The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office broke ground yesterday on a future Dodge County Law Enforcement Memorial at the County Administration Building in Juneau. After a brief ceremonial groundbreaking, the heavy equipment came out and the digging began.  The idea of honoring Law Enforcement personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice with a brick-and-mortar memorial has been around for quite a few years.  The committee is looking to have as many surviving family members as possible attend the dedication.  Officials say the memorial pavers have been a great source of sponsorship and paver orders for engraving need to be in by August 1st so they’re done in time for professionals to install them. The Memorial is set to be formally dedicated on September 11, 2014. If you are interested in purchasing a paver please contact Chief Beal at 920-386-4810 or your local law enforcement.


Tavern Owners Under Wrong Impression


7/22/14 - A lot of tavern owners in Beaver Dam are under the impression that there is a loud music ordinance on the books that prohibits the playing of live music, outdoors after 11pm. Not the case, says city Finance Director John Somers who told the Administrative Committee last night that says it’s currently nothing more than an unwritten policy. Discussion of an updated ordinance was sparked by repeated complaints by residents along Madison Street. The Administrative Committee voted last night five-to-two to restrict loud music between 11pm and noon. The Common Council will hold a first reading on the ordinance on August 4 with a public hearing and final vote at their August 18 meeting.


Sidewalks Recommended To Full Council


7/22/14 - The Beaver Dam Operations Committee last night voted to recommend to the full council next month that sidewalks be installed along a stretch of South Lincoln Avenue. Property owners will have to pick-up the tab on the sidewalks and all but one are against that aspect of the $660-thousand dollar reconstruction. For the past two years, the council has been operating under a policy requiring sidewalks with all new construction and reconstruction. The vote was six-to-one with Alderman Robert Ballweg voting against the sidewalk assessments. The council will vote on the sidewalk assessments at their August 4 meeting.


John Doe Investigation


7/22/14 - Governor Scott Walker's campaign donors paid over 320-thousand-dollars to defense lawyers in the first half of the year, as Walker fought off a second John Doe probe.  A state report filed yesterday (Monday) showed that the Republican Walker gave 213-thousand dollars from his campaign account to the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin, 83-thousand to the Biskupic-and-Jacobs law firm of Mequon, and 25-thousand to Milwaukee attorney Michael Steinle.  The governor has spent a total of almost million dollars in the past three years on a pair of John Doe investigations -- one dealing with embezzlement and illegal campaigning by former aides during his time as Milwaukee County executive -- and the other dealing with alleged illegal coordination of his and other Republican recall, including Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, campaigns with outside conservative groups.  Prosecutors said the governor himself was not a target in either investigation.  Earlier, it was reported that Walker raised more than twice as much campaign money as his major Democratic challenger Mary Burke in the first six months of the year.  Walker also had three times as much cash on hand as Burke as of July first.


Crew Members From Train Wreck Released From Hospital


7/22/14 - Two Canadian National crew members injured when two freight trains collided in Slinger have been released from a hospital.  Railroad officials say that the train's engineer and conductor were treated for injuries.  Three engines and ten rail cars jumped the tracks last night, when a Wisconsin-and-Southern train hit the Canadian National train near the intersection of two tracks in the central part of Slinger.  Wisconsin-and-Southern officials said an on-board computer signified an emergency just before the collision -- and investigators plan to find out why.  The derailment caused lumber and about five-thousand gallons of diesel fuel to spill. 


Sergeant Explorer Made Initial Appearance For Felony Count


7/22/14 - A former volunteer in a leadership position with a local law enforcement program for area youth made his Initial Appearance in a Dodge County courtroom Monday on charges that he sent lewd photographs to an underage subordinate. Seth J. Lane is charged in Dodge County Court with a felony count of Exposing a Child to Harmful Materials. The 19-year-old was a sergeant with the Dodge County Law Enforcement Explorer Post, an internship-type program through the sheriff’s department that introduces young adults to police work, giving them a better understanding of law enforcement as a possible career. Lane allegedly sent a lewd photo of himself in March to the 16-year-old’s cell phone using Snap Chat, an application that automatically deletes the picture seconds after it is viewed. No evidence was ever retrieved from their mobile devices. The victim says she had always been uncomfortable around Lane and would run to her vehicle immediately after Explorer Post meetings. Lane contends their exchange of text messages was mutual. The charges carry a maximum three-and-a-half year prison sentence. A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and a judge will decide in September if there is enough evidence to order a trial. 


Minimum Wage Opinions Differ Between Candidates


7/22/14 - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke says an increase in the state's minimum wage would not affect her family's Waterloo-based bicycle business.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asked the former Trek Bicycle executive yesterday (Mon) about conservative claims that a minimum wage hike would affect her family's company.  She said workers at the Trek Bicycle plant in Waterloo make more than the state's minimum of 7.25-an-hour.  Burke said it's "ridiculous" to expect employees to support themselves for that much.  In her words, "It ensures they are dependent on the government."  Burke favors a proposed hike in the state minimum wage to 10.10-an-hour.  Governor Scott Walker and other Republicans say jobs would be lost if the minimum wage goes up.


Court Ordered Delay On Same-Sex Marriage Ban


7/22/14 -The A-C-L-U said Monday there's no need for all ten judges on the federal appeals court in Chicago to rule on the fate of Wisconsin's gay marriage ban.  Normally, three-judge panels decide cases -- but the state Justice Department has asked that the entire appeals court hear the arguments.  Plaintiffs from the A-C-L-U and several same-sex couples say it would delay the appeal, and put an unnecessary burden on the appellate court.  A federal judge in Madison ruled in favor of the A-C-L-U when it struck down Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban last month.  The appellate court decided to consolidate the Wisconsin case with a similar one from Indiana, which a federal judge also struck down.  Arguments in the states' appeals were set for August 13th -- but the court ordered a delay, and a new date has not been scheduled.


Yesterday's Headlines
    - Freight Trains Collide In Slinger
    - Skydivers Killed, Injured In Separate Accidents
    - Clyman Man Arrested Following Road Rage Accident

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.