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Top Stories May 22, 2015

Two People Treated After Vehicle Accident In Calamus

 

5/22/15 - Two people were transported to the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries following a two-vehicle crash in the Town of Calamus yesterday afternoon.  The accident occurred around 4:15 on Highway 151 and Highway DE.  Investigation shows a vehicle operated by a 28-year-old De Pere woman struck a car operated by a 38-year-old Beaver Dam woman when the latter was entering onto 151.  Both were heading southbound.  The De Pere woman and her passenger, a 30-year-old Oshkosh man, were transported while the Beaver Dam woman declined medical care on site.  The southbound lane of 151 was closed temporarily.  Names have not been released, and the crash remains under investigation.

 

BDFD Reminding Residents Of Fire Pit Burning Regulations

 

5/22/15 - Due to several recent complaints, the Beaver Dam Fire Department is reminding residents of the regulations governing fire pits.  Fire Chief Alan Mannel says the fire pit must be on a non-combustible surface that is at least fifteen feet away from any structures.  He also notes that all fires must be watched by a legal adult and cannot take place if the wind is at a speed in excess of 10 miles per hour. The adult that is supervising the blaze must also have immediate access to either a connected garden hose or fire extinguisher.  Dry, non-treated wood is acceptable to be burned while treated or painted wood, garbage, brush, lawn clippings, and yard waste are all prohibited.  According to Mannel, the responding law enforcement member to a complaint will use his/her discretion to determine whether or not the fire should be allowed to continue burning.  All costs incurred by the Fire Department for any service call related to a recreational fire that isn’t in compliance with these rules will be passed along to the responsible party.  Contact either the Beaver Dam Fire or Police Department with any questions or concerns about this matter.

 

New President Named At MPTC

 

5/22/15 - Moraine Park Technical College has a new president. The District Board announced yesterday (Th) that Bonnie Baerwald – who had been serving in an interim capacity – has been named the permanent president, effective immediately. Board Chair Vernon Jung says in a short time as interim president, Baerwald has shown (quote) “extraordinary focus in setting a path for the long-term growth of the college.” Jung says the entire college community has been energized by her leadership. Baerwald has been with Moraine Park since 1993, joining the college as senior accountant. Over the years, she has also served as financial services manager and vice president of financial management before being named vice president of finance and administrative services in 2007. Baerwald has an associate degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from UW Whitewater, and a master’s degree in public administration from UW Oshkosh.  She was appointed interim president in January 2015 following the departure of President Sheila Ruhland, who accepted the presidency position at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington. Baerwald calls the opportunity an honor and a privilege. She says Moraine Park needs to maintain fiscal stability, innovate for growth and performance, engage and develop our staff, and address the skills gap throughout our district and the state through new and extended partnerships. Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and has campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend. More information is available at www.morainepark.edu.

 

Dodge County Population Trends Detailed In Census Estimates

 

5/22/15 - Dodge County picked up 175 residents last year compared to 2013, according to the U-S Census Bureau's annual population estimates.  According to the new report released Thursday, Dodge County has a total population of 88-thousand 574. The population, however, has dropped by 85 residents since 2010. Columbia County had a population of 56-thousand 615 last year, two people more than the previous year but 273 less than in 2010. Fond du Lac County gained over 111 more people last year compared to 2013 for a total of 101-thousand 759. Jefferson County lost 215 residents over the two year period, and 291 people since 2010, with a total population of 84-thousand 395. Milwaukee remains the nation's 31st largest city.  The city added 139 residents last year for a total of 599-thousand-642. Milwaukee added almost 46-hundred people since the 2010 Census, but its growth has slowed the past couple of years.  Mayor Tom Barrett blames that on a continued controversy over Milwaukee's residency requirement for city employees.  Still, Barrett says the city is heading in the right direction -- and he points to new development which will bring future population growth.  Madison had the largest population growth over the past year.  It added almost 25-hundred new residents, for a total of almost 246-thousand.  Two other fast-growing cities are also in Dane County, Sun Prairie and Fitchburg.  County Executive Joe Parisi cites a thriving private sector and what he calls an "incredible" quality of life.  Not all of the state's largest cities grew in 2014. Racine lost about one-percent of its residents over the past four years.  Eau Claire and Oshkosh also saw declines.  Wisconsin gained a net of 15-thousand residents over the past year, for a new statewide total of five-million-757-thousand-564.

 

Dale Maas Elected To WI Conservation Congress

 

5/22/15 - Dodge County’s Deer Advisory Council Chairman Dale Maas has been elected to serve as the Wisconsin Conservation Congress’ Secretary.  That role puts him third in rank behind the chairman and vice-chairman and tasks him with recording the proceedings of the Congress.  Maas will attend monthly conference meetings and quarterly executive council gatherings as well as represent the Congress at functions when the two above him in rank are unable to attend.  While the positions he holds require a large commitment, Maas says he takes his representing his constituents seriously.  In terms of what needs improving, Maas feels more citizen involvement is needed in some of the counties that don’t have the full complement of five delegates as is the case in Dodge County.  The new secretary hopes to work on generating that participation.  While Maas says his position won’t necessarily give Dodge County any advantages over the state’s other 71 counties, he says it doesn’t hurt to be more connected to what is happening at the state level.  

 

Wisconsin’s Unemployment Rate Continuing To Drop

 

5/22/15 - Wisconsin's unemployment rate is again the lowest since the Great Recession. The statewide seasonally-adjusted jobless rate dropped to four-point-four percent in April -- two-tenths of a point less than in March. The state workforce development agency announced the new figure yesterday.  Also, state officials said Wisconsin added 35,736 sector jobs throughout all of last year.  That's an increase of 1.5% from the start of 2014 through the end of the year.  We'll find out on June 17th how the state's job growth compares to other states, when the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.  In its last report, Wisconsin had the nation's 40th slowest job growth. 

 

Joint Finance Approves SeniorCare Program

 

5/22/15 - Wisconsin seniors will have no changes in their popular Senior-Care prescription drug program -- but Badger-Care recipients could pay more if they don't take care of themselves.  That's what the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee decided yesterday.  The committee endorsed Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal to increase Badger-Care Plus premiums for those engaging in risky behaviors.  The behaviors and increases were not specified, but everything would be spelled out before the state seeks a federal waiver to allow the change.  The panel left the state's Senior-Care program alone.  The governor wanted the 87-thousand recipients to try getting their medicines from Medicare Part-"D" first, and then use the state program as a back-up.  Opponents said it would have cost many seniors more money, and they would have had to deal with a more complicated federal program.  Walker proposed the move for the second time in five years, to save the state just over 15-million dollars. Lawmakers had talked about raising the annual fee for Senior Care, and perhaps capping the enrollments -- but they ended up doing neither.  Finance co-chair John Nygren said it was decided to leave the program alone because seniors have gotten accustomed to it.  The panel's four Democrats voted no, as a protest to Walker's refusal to accept federal Medicaid funds under Obama-care.

 

Legislature Approves Changes To WEDC

 

5/22/15 - The Wisconsin Legislature's finance committee has endorsed a revamping of the state's troubled job creation agency.  Majority Republicans voted last night to remove Governor Scott Walker as chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's board of directors.  They eliminated a 55-million-dollar revolving fund for regional loans.  They also ordered a major cut in the W-E-D-C's reserves to one-sixth of its annual administrative expenses, and the finance panel would control most of those reserves.  The committee did not take up the governor's recent request to end direct business loans from the W-E-D-C. That came after a 2011 loan to a governor's campaign donor created no jobs before the donor's company folded.  Earlier this month, Walker scrapped plans to merge the W-E-D-C with the state's major housing loan authority, following a second critical audit of the jobs' agency.  Walker's original budget would have removed the governor as the board chair, and prevented four lawmakers from holding seats on the board.  The lawmakers will stay, and Republicans on the finance panel took issue with Democratic claims that Walker was being "fired" as the W-E-D-C board chair.  The minority Democrats voted against the G-O-P's changes, saying they were not enough.  Republican finance co-chair John Nygren said he expects more changes to the state's economic development programs this fall.

 

Bicyclists May Have To Pay For New Riding Paths

 

5/22/15 - If Wisconsin bicyclists want better riding paths, they might have to pay for it themselves.  Assembly Republican Finance chairman John Nygren said yesterday his colleagues are considering a tax on the sale of new bicycles with wheels of 20-inches or larger.  Nygren says it's only an idea right now -- and there's less than a 50% chance the tax would actually be inserted into the new state budget.  If it is, Nygren said could generate up to $1,800,000 in the first year of the two-year budget -- and $3,800,000 the second year.  Recently, Wisconsin dropped from third-place to ninth on a list of the most bicycle-friendly states from the League of American Bicyclists.  One of the issues it cited was below-average funding for things like bike trails -- which Nygren says the new tax would pay for.  The league also said bicyclists would be hurt by the proposed hold-up in bonding for the state Stewardship Program, which buys recreational and nature land.

 

Salmonella Outbreak In Sushi, Tune Hits Wisconsin

 

5/22/15 - Health officials are investigating a salmonella outbreak that's possibly linked to raw tuna in sushi.  Fifty-three people in nine states have gotten sick from it -- including one in Wisconsin.  No details have been released about the Wisconsin case.  About two thirds of the cases are in California.  Ten people have been hospitalized as part of the national outbreak, and no deaths have been reported. Officials said the outbreak took place between March 5th and May first.  The U-S Centers for Disease Control said it appeared that most of the affected people ate sushi with raw tuna about a week before they became ill.  The source of outbreak was not immediately known.

 

Race Into Summer Is Sunday

 

5/22/15 - Race Into Summer is this Sunday in Beaver Dam. The annual summer kick-off event hosted by WBEV-WXRO and the Chamber of Commerce features a wide variety of activities at Swan City Park. Among the attractions for families: children’s inflatables, a petting zoo, face painting, and a K9 demonstration. There will also be race cars, vintage cars, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles on display. There is free bingo from 1pm to 3pm. Live music from Beaver Dam’s Most Wanted is on the stage from 1pm to 5pm, followed by the WBEV-WXRO Karaoke Finals with one thousand dollars on the line. In the evening, the Mad Pole Cats perform starting at 7pm. Race Into Summer begins on Sunday with a free t-shirt giveaway at noon to the first 500 people and wraps up at 11pm. Admission is free.

 

Yesterday's Headlines
- Watermark Bids More Favorable Than First Thought

- Changes Likely To Beaver Dam's Service Animal Ordinance
- Columbus Schools Suspending Agri-Business Courses Next Year

For those stories and more click here.


For older stories visit our news archive here.