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Top Stories July 24, 2014

Unemployment Rates On The Rise


7/24/14 – Unemployment rates went up last month in all 12 of Wisconsin's metro areas.  State labor officials said today that Racine had the largest preliminary seasonally-adjusted jobless rate for June at seven-point-six percent, up six-tenths of a point from May.  Janesville was at six-point-nine, and Metro Milwaukee was six-point-seven.  Madison traditionally has the state's lowest unemployment -- the same was true in June with a figure of four-point-three percent.  Preliminary totals show that Madison lost 12-hundred jobs last month, while Milwaukee gained 83-hundred. Also, 61 of the state's 72 counties had higher unemployment rates in June than in May.  Dodge County was at six-point-three percent for June, up from five-point-eight percent in May. Jefferson County was also up from five-point-point-seven percent to six-point-two percent last month. Menominee County had the highest unadjusted rate at 17-point-eight percent.  Dane and Saint Croix counties were the lowest at four-point-two.


Local Technical College Receives Grant


7/24/14 - Officials announced Wednesday how much grant money local technical colleges will be receiving to train workers. The funding will provide training through 2016 and is expected to help out about 126 students at Moraine Park Technical College. MPTC received a $1,217,997 dollar grant under the Wisconsin Fast Forward: Blueprint for Prosperity Initiative to train students to fill what employers say is a growing job gap.  Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson made a stop at the Fond du Lac MPTC campus to announce the local portion of the grant. The grant will funnel money into high-demand areas such as mechatronics, medical coding, tool and die apprenticeships, and CNC training offered from a mobile unit to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. It will also provide short-term training for industrial maintenance, robotic welding, automation and general production assembly. Some representatives of grant partners like Aurora and Mercury Marine were on hand for the announcement. Technical colleges submitted initial lists of programs for grant consideration earlier this year. The legislation provided more than $35 million in additional funding for all 16 technical colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System to help train nearly 5,000 people.



First Responders Partake In Emergency Exercise


7/24/14 - Members of the first response community will test their ability to work together in case of an emergency. The Dodge and Columbia County Emergency Management Departments are coordinating with the City of Columbus, Columbus Chemical Industries, the Columbus Hospital and others to conduct a full-scale emergency exercise. The purpose of this exercise is to see how first responders can work together to manage the aftermath of a tornado striking a chemical manufacturing facility. Officials say the scene will be presented as a stormy, windy morning in July, with a 5-thousand gallon tanker truck that has been turned over in the loading area and is slowly leaking a chemical. The first responders, who arrive must assess the scene and establish an Incident Command and create an Incident Action Plan to respond to the damages and injuries. Columbia County Emergency Management Director Pay Beghin says these exercises have been very helpful with evaluating plans and will give them direction for continued training and planning for the future. The exercise will be held on Saturday, July 26th in Columbus. This exercise is the final activity in a year-long series of steps preparing for this event.


Man Found Guilty For Sexual Assault


7/24/14 - A Beaver Dam man was found guilty yesterday (Wed) for having inappropriate contact with children. Under agreement, Jason Neitzel pleaded to first degree child sexual assault - sexual contact with a person under the age of 13, child sexploitation – employ, use, induce and possession of child pornography. The 27-year-old pleaded no contest to the three counts and the nine additional charges of possession of child pornography were dismissed and read into the record. According to prosecutors, authorities investigated a complaint on the Fourth of July of last year, that the 27-year-old used his cell phone camera to take pictures of a young girl. During the course of the investigation, a search warrant was obtained for his cell phone. Prosecutors say they found links to numerous websites that traffic in illegal images and over 33-thousand images, many of them pictures of preteens. Neitzel is prohibited from having contact with minors or possessing a cell phone. He is scheduled to have court activity in August.


Officials Make Federal Appeals


7/24/14 - Wisconsin's attorney general says gay marriage is like abortion -- there's no fundamental right to it, and state laws are reasonable in requiring one-man/one-woman unions.  J-B Van Hollen made those arguments in a 188-page document filed Wednesday with the federal appeals court in Chicago.  That's where both Wisconsin and Indiana are appealing in a combined case, after federal district judges in both states struck down state gay marriage bans recently.  Madison Judge Barbara Crabb said Wisconsin's ban violated the equal protection and due process rights of same-sex couples.  Van Hollen said Crabb's decision amounts to the creation of a new right to gay marriage -- and it wrongly extends federal authority into an area normally handled by the states.  Van Hollen said the U-S Supreme Court's dismissal of the federal Defense-of-Marriage act last year showed that it's up to the states to set requirements for marriage.


Residents Escape From Fire In Lomira


7/24/14 - Two Lomira residents were able to escape from a fire that occurred in their home early yesterday (Wed) morning. Sheriff Pat Ninmann says a box fan started on fire, but there was no structural damage. However, Ninmann says the residence did experience a lot of smoke damage.  The Lomira Fire Department and First Responders were dispatched to the residence around 1:45 a.m. According to dispatch reports, a male and female said they climbed out of a second story window and went to the roof of their front porch. Mutual aid was requested from fire departments in Theresa, Knowles, Eden, Brownsville and Campellsport. Both residents were uninjured and more details of the fire are still under investigation.


Dodge County Airfield Base For EAA AirVenture Pilots


7/24/14 - The Dodge County airfield will be home base for a large group of pilots as they gather in preparation for a formation flight to EAA AirVenture at Wittman Field in Oshkosh. 61 Cessna pilots will gather for the ninth year in a row to fly formation to the world’s greatest aviation event.  The pilots will arrive with their planes to the Dodge County Airport a few days early to prepare for the mass arrival flight. Cessna Pilot and group organizer Rodney Swanson says they take this time to discuss and train flying in formations. He says it is quite a sight to see so many planes take off at one airport, develop formation and then all land in sequence at Wittman Field. The pilots will depart the Dodge County airport on Saturday, July 26th at 2pm and plan to arrive at AirVenture around 2:30pm. For more information about the mass arrival you can visit


Officials Urge Residents To Lock Doors


7/24/14 -  Fond du Lac Police are urging residents to lock their doors and windows at night because a naked man has been seen lurking in the area of Primrose Lane early in the morning. Wednesday morning a man awoke to find a naked man in the hallway of his home. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says the homeowner chased the man down the street and lost him between some cars. He says the same naked man is suspected of another incident on June 24th when a woman in her kitchen heard her front door open and close. When she checked outside she saw a naked man hiding behind her car. Klein says they believe the same man was involved in both incidents.The suspect was described as being white, between 20 and 30 years of age. He was from 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-3-inches tall, with a lean to medium build and short hair. Doors were left unlocked in both incidents. In what may be a related incident a man was seen running naked down Marr Street last Sunday morning. Anyone with information is asked to call (920) 322-3725 or the Crime Alert number at (920) 322-3740. To see the press release click here.


Officials Remain In Dead Heat


7/24/14 - Governor Scott Walker and his main Democratic challenger Mary Burke remain in a dead heat in the state's largest independent poll.  The Marquette Law School poll released yesterday (Wed) gives the Republican incumbent a one-point edge.  That's well within the poll's margins of error of three-and-a-half percent among the 804 total registered voters surveyed -- and four-point-three percent for 549 people who said they're likely to vote in November.  Walker leads 46-to-45 percent among registered voters, and 47-46 among likely voters.  Half of all voters are still not able to give an opinion about Burke, with less than three-and-a-half months before Election Day.  Even so, Burke is favored by women 48-to-41 percent, while men give Walker a ten-point advantage and married couples also endorse the governor.  Two-thirds of those polled agreed that Walker gets things done -- and only 22-percent said the state budget was in worse shape.  Fifty-six percent favored a higher minimum wage, but that's seven points less than the previous Marquette poll in May.  Forty-three percent agreed with federal numbers showed that Wisconsin lags behind other states in creating jobs.  Just 37-percent favor the state's ban on gay marriage, as the state appeals a federal judge's ruling which struck it down.  Voters were polled between last Thursday and Sunday, while Walker and Burke were debating the outsourcing of jobs overseas.


Yesterday's Headlines
    - Beaver Dam Man Charged With Drug Possession and Theft
    - Realtors See Higher Sale Percentages
    - Beaver Dam Boy Found Guilty

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.