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Top Stories July 27, 2015

BREAKING: The gas leak reported around 2:30pm in downtown Beaver Dam was capped within the hour. Alliant Energy will continue to monitor gas levels and allow evacuated people back to their homes.

Columbus Council Working On New TIF District


7/26/15 - The Columbus Council is three steps away from approving a new Tax Incremental Financing District. The proposed TIF # 4 site is located on the northwestern side of the city along Highway 16 near the intersection with Highway 151. The council will be holding a special meeting this week to discuss the necessary steps. City administrators have been in discussions with TIF # 4 planners for the past three months. A three-phase, $14 thousand dollar planning agreement with Ehlers and Associates is part of the deal. The proposed TIF land is owned by Carl Benk and Richard Sheard. 


Columbia County Drowning Victim IDed


7/26/15 - The victim of the drowning in Columbia County Friday afternoon has been identified as Steven G. Michener of New Lenox, Illinois. Dive teams recovered the body of the 49-year-old from Lake Wisconsin in Lodi after witnesses had called saying they saw him in the water calling for help.  The call from a pub and grill said the man was in distress.  Paramedics and law enforcement officers also responded to the location just of Demynck Road.  The body was recovered three hours after the call first came in.  Officials say no foul play is suspected.  The man had been on a pontoon boat before going into the water.  It is not clear whether he fell in or went swimming.


Two Dead En Route To EAA AirVenture


7/26/15 - Two people are dead in a plane that crashed in Kenosha County, 20 hours after it was supposed to arrive in Oshkosh at the E-A-A Air-Venture. Authorities say a Zenith C-H 6-0-1 failed to make a scheduled landing Saturday afternoon in Oshkosh -- and Kenosha County officers got the word yesterday morning. Deputies and the Civil Air Patrol discovered the craft around mid-day yesterday in a grassy field with no damage to buildings nearby. No injuries were reported on the ground, and the actual crash time is not known. The discovery came on the final day of the E-A-A's week-long Air-Venture.


Send-Off For Columbus Schools Superintendent


7/26/15 - Hundreds of well-wishers gathered Friday afternoon to bid farewell to Columbus schools Superintendent Bryan Davis. For the past five years, Davis has served as top administrator in the district. He is starting his new job as Shorewood schools' Superintendent on Monday. Davis said that he was happy to play a role in the district's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM program, along with the "Project Lead the Way" initiative. The outgoing superintendent said he was most proud of the "staff teams" that he was able to put together. Announcement of the school board's choice for the next Columbus Superintendent is expected at tonight's meeting.


MPTC Awarded $1.1-Million Dollar Grant


7/26/15 - Moraine Park Technical College has been awarded a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its Student Support Services program. The program provides assistance for students who are low-income, first in their family to attend college or have a learning disability. Each year, 140 students are enrolled in the program, and their progress is closely monitored. The new grant takes effect September 1st.


St. Vincent de Paul Celebrating 60 Years In Beaver Dam


7/26/15 - A local non-profit group is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this month.  St. Vincent de Paul Society first came to Beaver Dam in 1955 after starting in France 110 years earlier.  In addition to the well-known thrift store and food pantry on Dodge Drive, St. Vincent also uses funds to help folks out with a variety of needs.  Council President Jim Hafenstein says that includes buying clothes or furniture, paying for things like medical costs, rent, and utility bills, and providing short term housing.  He says that outreach is conducted by the local conferences, which come from area churches.  According to Hafenstein, the most recent numbers they have say the group gave out $120,000 to Dodge County folks in 2013. 


FOG Gearing Up For 12th Year Of Performances


7/26/15 - A group of young performers will once again be putting on a weekend worth of shows in Beaver Dam next month.  ‘For Our Generations’ will be holding its annual musical benefit at the Wayland Academy.  The group has been performing musical reviews in Beaver Dam for twelve summers now.  The group of 35 cast members and 20 instrumentalists is made up of eighth graders through recent high school graduates.  Many of them perform in multiple songs.  2015 Beaver Dam High School graduate Jacob Gardner is in his fourth year with For Our Generations and is in his second year of producing.  He says the event gives participants a chance to learn stage skills and boost their confidence for future shows at the high school or community theatre level.  Gardner says the roughly 200 songs that were up for discussion got narrowed down to about 20 by him and his executive team.  Those songs in the show include selections from ‘Annie’ and ‘Cats.’  Performances of this year show will be held in the Beaver Dam High School auditorium on August 7 and 8 at 7 pm and August 9 at 2 pm.  Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at Rechek’s Food Pride for $6 or for $7 at the door.  All proceeds left after covering the costs of putting on the shows goes towards BDHS’ music and theatre departments. 


State Park, Trail Fees Increasing Tomorrow


7/26/15 - Get ready to dig a little deeper in your pocket if you want to camp in a Wisconsin state park.  Fees for parks, state forests, state trails and state recreation areas go up starting on Tuesday.  The fee increases were included in Wisconsin’s two-year budget which was signed into law by the governor this month.  Camping fees will go up three-to-six dollars-a-night for residents and six-to-nine dollars-a-night for non-residents of the state.  The charge for electricity will jump from five-to-10 dollars-a-night.  Reservations already made will be honored at the fee level which was in effect at the time. 


Beaver Dam Medical Clinic Open House In Horicon On Friday


7/26/15 - The Beaver Dam Medical Clinic is holding an open house in Horicon later this week.  The public is welcome to take advantage of free blood pressure checks and chair massages, tour the clinic, and meet clinic staff.  Free lunch and refreshments will be provided.  The event will be held from 11am to 1pm on Friday.


Yesterday's Headlines
- AirVenture Increasing Traffic At Juneau Airport
- Columbus Superintendent Candidates Vetted
- Jobless Filings Up From May, Down From 2014

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.