Ballweg Withdraws From Beaver Dam Mayoral Race
12/10/13 - Robert Ballweg has withdrawn from the race for Beaver Dam mayor. Ballweg says he is leaving because of an “opportunity that arose this week that may require a decision to withdraw after the nomination process is complete.” He would have faced incumbent Mayor Tom Kennedy who is seeking his fourth term in office and is currently running without opposition. Ballweg says he is leaving the race early to give any candidates interested in running plenty of time to plan a campaign. He says he spoke to potential candidates who considered running but did not want to spark a primary race.
BDUSD Adopts New Mission, Vision Statements
12/10/13 - The Beaver Dam School Board Monday night adopted new Mission and Vision statements for the district and its students. The old motto of “Learning for a Lifetime” will be replaced with “Guiding Students, Empowering Futures.” Their new vision statement is “Leading the way in student growth and achievement.” That will replace the current vision statement, “All Beaver Dam students will excel in the core academic areas, will develop social skills, demonstrate enthusiasm for lifelong learning, be of good character, and be a contributing member of society.”
The statements were developed by a new Strategic Planning Committee comprised of a wide-cross section of stakeholders from the learning community. Superintendent Steve Vessey says this first phase in the multi-year plan examined where the school district is currently and where it is headed. District materials like banners and stationary will be updated with the new statements as old supplies run out. Ten Belief Statements were also adopted last night to help realize the goals outlined in the newly adopted statements. Vessey says the Belief Statements outline how the district will realize its vision by leading the way in student growth and academic achievement through collaboration and open-mindedness; taking the needs of each individual student into consideration while planning their education.
Vessey says Phase Two of the Strategic Plan will bring together another set of 45 people to plot the future in accordance with the vision outlined in Phase One. He says the Strategic Plan will be more than just a pretty binder that sits on a shelf collecting dust. To prevent that from happening, action plans are being developed that will be presented to the board every 90-days until all the goals are accomplished. Vessey will discuss more details of the Strategic Plan during the school districts monthly program on AM1430 WBEV, which airs next week Thursday at 11:10am.
BDUSD 2013 Audit Gets High Marks
12/10/13 - The Beaver Dam School District received a clean bill of health from an audit of fiscal year 2013, which ended June 30. Nine areas of weakness, or deficiency, were identified in the audit. Director of Business Services Bob Avery says the district is expected to quickly be able to quickly implement seven of nine action plans. The two items the district will not be addressing involve hiring more people to prepare financial reports. Because there is no cost benefit to the additional hires, the finding is common among public entities.
The audit revealed that Beaver Dam’s general fund had a deficit of nearly $92,000 in 2013. That represents expenditures exceeding revenues by one quarter of one percent. Auditor Paul Frantz of Baker Tilly in Milwaukee says the shortfall was the result of a grant that was budgeted for but was never applied for. Beaver Dam began the year with $4.7 million dollars in the general fund and ended with $4.6 million. Frantz says the general fund to operating budget radio for Beaver Dam is around 12-percent. It is recommended to be between five and 15-percent, the lower the better. Beaver Dam received an “unmodified” opinion, formerly referred to as an “unqualified” opinion, from the auditor which is the best grade a school can get.
Details Emerge In Deadly Car Versus Semi Crash
12/10/13 - Authorities have released more information about the two-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon in the Town of Trenton. Sheriff Pat Ninmann says Ford Fusion was eastbound on Highway 68 when it crossed the centerline around a curve and collided with a westbound semi-tractor trailer owned by Green Earth Ag Service LLC of Beaver Dam. The driver of the car, 29-year-old Jesse T. Pickett of Menasha, was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 30-year-old Misty L. Pickett, was seriously injured and two children, ages three and four, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The semi was hauling hay. It entered a farm field and was destroyed fire. The driver, 56-year-old Dale Walker of Beaver Dam, was able to safely evacuate and was not injured. Ninmann says the winter weather had not yet started in the area at the time of the crash and is not considered to be a factor. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department received assistance from the Appleton and Menasha police departments in locating the relatives of the deceased and was also helped at the scene by Waupun Fire, Lifestar EMS, Beaver Dam Paramedics, Fox Lake EMS and Fire Department and the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department Chaplain. The crash is still under investigation.
PAVE Stats Similar To Last Year
12/10/13 - Dodge County’s domestic violence shelter is on pace to see fewer clients this year than last year. Outgoing Executive Director Jamie Kratz-Gullickson says projections through the end of the year show a slight decrease in “nights of shelter.” A night of shelter is one person spending one night at PAVE. The peak came in 2011 during the height of the recession when PAVE provided 4131 nights of shelter. Last year, there was a significant drop with 3163 nights of shelter; however there was a significant increase in the number of clients using services. She says this year they are anticipating about two dozen less nights of shelter that last year.
Kratz-Gullickson says this biggest challenge this year was a significant increase in the number of exits from shelter. That’s when someone is asked to leave due to drug use, extreme mental health or violence issues. She says there were 17 exits this year compared to one or two during a typical year. Kratz-Gullickson cited the volatile exits as one of the reasons she is stepping down after seven years as Executive Director; the average length of stay for someone in her position is two-and-a-half years.
PAVE is at the tail-end of a fundraiser called “The 12 Days of Giving.” There are collection barrels at Rechek’s Food Pride in Beaver Dam accepting everything from pastas and cereals to hand soaps and shampoo. Today’s items is toilet paper. Pre-packaged items can be obtained from Rechek’s. The final day of the “12 Days of Giving” is Thursday when the item is one night of shelter, which costs $75. More information is available on PAVE’s website:
Quad Graphics Co-Founder Passes Away
12/10/13 - Funeral services are pending for Betty Quadracci, a co-founder of one of the nation's largest printing firms. Quad-Graphics announced that the 75-year-old Quadracci died yesterday at her home in Chenequa in Waukesha County. She and her late husband Harry Quadracci founded Quad-Graphics in 1971. The company is based in Sussex, and it now has over 25-thousand employees at 65 printing plants and dozens of support facilities around the world. In 1983, Betty Quadracci became the publisher of Milwaukee Magazine and later became its president. In 1997, she and her husband provided a 10-million dollar matching donation from Quad-Graphics to start a fund-raising campaign for the famous Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Last year, Betty Quadracci was inducted into the Milwaukee Media Hall-of-Fame.
Car Sales Booming In South Central Wisconsin
12/10/13 - Car sales in the region are booming this year compared to last year. According to the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm of Reg-Trak, car and light truck sales in Dodge County were up 21-percent this year compared to last year. There were 3400 sales so far this year in Dodge County versus 2800 by this same time last year. Columbia County is up nearly 16-percent with 2500 vehicle sales to date, 300 more than last year. Jefferson County has had 2170 car sales in 2013, up by over 200 from 2012 for an increase of ten-and-a-half percent. The nine-county south central Wisconsin region has seen a 12-percent increase in vehicle sales with 40,800 sales so far this year compared to 36,400 by this time last year.
Fracking Reducing This Seasons Winter Home Costs
12/10/13 - Relatively low prices for natural gas to heat our homes this winter are primarily due to plentiful supplies, according to Kira Loehr of the Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board. Those supplies have been boosted in recent years through the development of “fracking”, a new and controversial drilling process. Loehr says additional studies and monitoring of the process is needed, but from a cost and supply and demand perspective this winter - it’s a beneficial thing. Much of the fine white sand used in the process is from Wisconsin.
Turkey, Bear Hunt Permit Deadline Is Today
12/10/13 - Today (Tue) is the deadline to apply for Wisconsin turkey and bear hunting permits for the upcoming season. The state’s Department of Natural Resources will hold a lottery in the coming month for the two seasons. The rest of the permits will be sold over-the-counter on a first come, first served basis. The regular spring turkey season begins on April 16, with bear season starting on September 3. Applications are available at any license sales location or the department’s website (dnr.wi.gov). There is a three-dollar fee to apply.
Bill Seeks To Mandate Student Gym Time
12/10/13 - A Green Bay lawmaker will introduce a bill that would require at least 30 minutes of gym class for Wisconsin elementary school student. Representative Chad Weininger, a Republican, was joined by health advocates during his announcement in Madison yesterday (Mon). Weininger says the bill is based on recommendations from several national groups, including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. A report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows one in four adolescents in the state are obese or overweight.
It’s Official: The Snuggle House Is Closed
12/10/13 - A controversial therapeutic snuggle business in Madison has closed its doors. An attorney for Matthew Hurtado, owner of the Snuggle House, has confirmed a Facebook post from over the weekend saying that the operation has closed. The Snuggle House faced scrutiny from city officials who contended that the business could potentially lead to sexual assaults, prostitution and negative publicity… a claim Hurtado says is not true. The Snuggle House offered hug and cuddles with a professional “snuggler” as a way to relieve stress, charging 60-dollars an hour.