10/22/14 - Attendees aboard this past weekend’s Badger Honor Flight were greeted by a legendary Washington DC legislator. Honor Flight is a nationwide program that flies vets to their memorials in Washington DC. The Madison-based hub held its fourth and final trip of the year on Saturday. The 85 Wisconsin veterans on the flight had the opportunity to visit Arlington Cemetery, the National Monument and Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Wall, the Korean War Memorial and the Air Force Memorial. Also included on the itinerary was the World War Two Memorial, where former Senator Bob Dole was stationed at the entrance. The 1996 presidential nominee was sitting in a chair, personally meeting every veteran that passed through gates. The 91-year-old was active in getting the memorial built and says he makes it a point to be there every Saturday to thank the veterans for their service. Dole told us (quote), “This is where I belong.” Meanwhile, our guests on WBEV’s Community Comment this afternoon were on this past weekend’s Badger Honor Flight. Board member Jim Bublitz will be joined by Korean War vets Richard Tomashek of Beaver Dam and Gerald Tolsma of Fox Lake. Community Comment begins at 12:35pm on AM1430 WBEV.
Dodge County Supervisors Presented With Budget
10/22/14 - The Dodge County Board of Supervisors was presented with the proposed 2015 budget at last night’s meeting. County Administrator Jim Mielke says that the proposed total for the coming year’s budget is increased from the current year so that the board has the funds to invest in one particular endeavor. He says that the total budget is up $5.3-million from 2014 to a total of $106-million. The main reason for this increase is to focus on infrastructure, primarily county highway maintenance. Mielke noted that the levy in the proposed budget is in excess of $32-million, which is an increase of around $650-thousand. This total is $141-thousand less than the maximum allowable total of $791-thousand. He also notes that there will be a two-and-a-half cent decrease in the mill rate, from $5.70 to $5.675. This is the first mill rate decrease since 2009. A special meeting of the finance committee will take place this coming Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will be open to the public. Formal action will be taken on Wednesday, November 12 at 9 a.m. at the budget hearing. Anyone who would like to review the proposed budget can do so on the county’s website.
Personnel Records, Morale Hot Topics In Sheriff’s Race
10/22/14 - Much has been made about the work history of the candidates leading up to Election Day. So far, the focus has primarily been on Sergeant Dale Schmidt as Sheriff Patricia Ninmann has requested he make his personnel file public as she has done. Now, Schmidt is saying that while Ninmann has made her file available online, certain information is being withheld. He says that he is referring to twelve letters of complaint against Ninmann that were written by dispatchers who worked under her when she was an administrator in that department. Schmidt says that these are some of the key complaints that were made in the collection of documents. These claims include: Ninmann not having the best interest of the department in mind, many division members suffering from migraines, and home lives of some of those under her being affected by her demeanor towards them. The sergeant says that he has written confirmation from the writers of five of those documents stating that they in fact were the person who wrote the corresponding letter. Ninmann reacts by saying that she does care about her employees and that Schmidt is continuously harping on the past. She says that while she expects workers to perform to the best of their ability on the job, she wants them to have happy, productive lives at home. The sheriff cites that these matters were well in the past and that Schmidt’s constantly rehashing them so those involved cannot forget them is what keeps morale low in the department. Ninmann says that she has taken it to heart when someone who works for her comes to her saying that they feel mistreated by her. She says that she was not a perfect supervisor when she first took the job but has improved vastly since then.
Sheriff’s Candidates To Appear Friday On WBEV
10/22/14 - The candidates for Dodge County Sheriff will be our guests this Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment program. Incumbent Sheriff Patricia Ninmann is running as a write-in candidate after an unsuccessful effort in the August partisan primary. Sgt. Dale Schmidt is the only candidate whose name is printed on the November 4th ballot. The two will join us in separate segments Friday on AM1430 WBEV. Schmidt will appear first at 12:35pm followed by a one-on-one interview with Ninmann around 1:30pm.
GOP Outlines Platform
10/22/14 - Wisconsin Assembly Republicans say they want to balance the next state budget without raising taxes, keep reforming state government, and find new ways to pay for highways. That's just some of the agenda announced Tuesday by Speaker Robin Vos of Racine County. The Republicans have a 22-vote majority in the 99-member Assembly, and they have little danger of losing it in the November 4th elections. So the leaders had little risk in giving voters a preview of the next two years, while giving G-O-P candidates some fresh talking points as they campaign in their districts. Vos said the party has an "aggressive agenda" that's ready to go. It includes a reduction in red tape for businesses, limiting the growth in government to the growth in people's incomes, more expansions of voucher schools, adopting state-based education standards in place of Common Core, and drug tests for those who apply for public benefits. Assembly Republicans also vow to improve people's privacy by requiring kill-switches on cell phones that get lost or stolen, and ban unauthorized G-P-S tracking. They also plan to look for new ways to pay for highway construction. Vos said it's possible that general tax dollars could be used for some of the things now covered by the gas tax revenue fund -- like mass transit. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca criticized the G-O-P for not including more funding for schools or affordable health care in its agenda.
Clinton To Stump For Burke on Friday
10/22/14 - Former President Bill Clinton will visit Wisconsin on Friday to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mary Burke. The Burke camp says that Clinton will speak at a rally in Milwaukee. First Lady Michelle Obama has been to Milwaukee and Madison in recent weeks to campaign with Burke. President Barack Obama plans to do the same during the final week before the November fourth election.
Chief Attorney Defends John Doe Records Release
10/22/14 - Milwaukee County's chief attorney said he alone was responsible for releasing 16-thousand e-mails from the John Doe probe into Scott Walker's former county executive aides. Corporation Counsel Paul Bargren made that clear Tuesday. That was after Governor Walker accused County Executive Chris Abele of timing yesterday’s document release to make him look bad in the final two weeks of his re-election campaign. Officials said personal information had to be deleted from the e-mails before they could be made public. Bargren said 4-to-6 reviewers were working under his supervision since June 30th -- and the documents were sent out as soon as they could, with no political motives whatsoever. A judge ordered the e-mails to be released in May. It was the third batch of documents released by the county, in connection with a probe that convicted six former Walker aides and associates of offenses ranging from illegal campaigning to embezzling thousands from a veterans' program. Walker himself was never charged. His election opponent, Democrat Mary Burke, said she never spoke with Executive Abele about the release. A couple hours before it happened, she started running an ad which mentioned what she called the "scandal" around Walker's administration.
Neosho Woman Enters Into Plea On Embezzlement Charges
10/22/14 - A Neosho woman has entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors to charges that she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Country Veterinary Clinic in Rubicon. Tracey Grebe pled to felony Theft in a Business Setting and Identity Theft and had nine other felonies and a misdemeanor dismissed but read into the record. The 48-year-old was a bookkeeper for the clinic and failed to make $264-thousand dollars in cash deposits over a nine-year period ending this past January. Grebe also used company resources to pay off $31-thousand dollars in personal credit card bills. In addition, prosecutors say she hid another $40-thousand dollars’ worth of transactions, pocketing the money after selling the product. The final tally was $335,741.78. Grebe faces up to nine-and-a-half years in prison when she is sentenced in January.
Town of Erin Woman Injured In Hartford-Area Wreck
10/22/14 - A 25-year-old Town of Erin woman is in critical, but stable condition after an accident in Washington County’s Town of Hartford Monday night. Sheriff’s officials say the woman was ejected from her vehicle after it went off of County Highway K, went into a ditch where it struck an embankment and became airborne. The vehicle came to rest on its roof after hitting a tree. Flight for Life flew her to Aurora Hospital in the Town of Summit. Speed and alcohol were factors in the accident. She was arrested for her second drunken driving offense.
Deer Council Population Recommendations Imminent
10/22/14 - Wisconsin's new county deer councils are about to announce their recommendations on how big their local herds should be. Each group will soon unveil its initial proposal for a three-year objective for each county's deer population. The public will then have a chance to comment on them until December fifth. The councils will then finalize their recommendations, and the state Natural Resources Board is expected to act on them next February. The councils are free to recommend increases or decreases in their county herds. The councils were suggested by Texas researcher James Kroll when he did a complete study of Wisconsin's deer hunting culture and policies. Governor Scott Walker brought in Kroll to help the state D-N-R improve its management of the state's deer herd.
Principal Saves Portage Student From Choking
10/22/14 - If you don't know the universal sign of choking, learn it. It saved the life of an 11-year-old boy from Columbia County. Trent Weier of Portage was eating a mini-corn dog in lunchroom at John Muir Elementary School, when he suddenly couldn't breathe. One of his friends thought Trent was just goofing off. Another didn't know what to think or do. Trent stood up and gave the universal choking sign -- placing his hands on his throat. That's when the school's principal, Jason Meyer, performed the Heimlich maneuver. On his first thrust, the corn dog came out. Meyer says the youngster is the hero. The principal said he would not have known that Trent was choking if he had not made the emergency gesture.
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