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Top Stories March 2, 2015.

Beaver Dam Teen Dead After Snowmobile Accident
 
3/2/15 - The Beaver Dam teen involved in a weekend snowmobile accident in Vilas County died in a Wasau hospital yesterday.  19-year-old Emily Lyons was flown to the hospital after the crash occurred in St. Germain.  The accident happened Saturday around 11am near State Highway 70.  The press release states that Lyons went off the trail and struck a tree.  Beaver Dam School District Superintendent Steve Vessey says that grief counselors are on hand at the schools today following the passing of the district graduate.  Vessey says crisis support teams will be meeting at the high school, middle school and impacted elementary schools throughout the week. Vessey says the response teams have been preparing for this morning since late Saturday night. The crash is under investigation by the state Department of Natural Resources and the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department.   
 
Kennedy: ‘Watermark Still On The Table’
 
3/2/15 - Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy says he is confident that the vision of the Watermark will one day become a reality. The city council last month voted against the use of taxpayer dollars to fund a half-million dollar shortfall for the proposed $2.2 million dollar community and senior center. Kennedy told us on WBEV’s Community Comment Friday that he had a staff meeting that morning with the city attorney, finance director and engineering coordinator along with the project architect. He says some elements can be removed from the project to bring the cost down closer to $1.8-million, which would require no taxpayer money. That could include the kitchen and the canopy. Architect contingencies totaling a half-million dollars could also be removed. Finally, Kennedy says having the city act as the general contractor could save another $100-thousand because the city would not have to pay sales taxes on purchases. While Kennedy says some elements may be implemented in phases, he wants to avoid taking a “piecemeal approach” to completing the Watermark so that it can be usable right away. As far as the council’s unwillingness to use taxpayer dollars, Kennedy says the vote was what it was. He says “every alderperson that takes action should be fully educated on every little piece of the puzzle…and no one should vote against something because they don’t like one little piece of it without looking at the entire scope. Kennedy went on to say that he thinks everyone would have walked away happy, even the taxpayers, with a positive vote.” The senior center project was initiated eight years ago following a private donation of around $300-thousand dollars. Because of the donation, no taxpayer dollars were used from the beginning. The common council often acted in an advisory capacity throughout the much of the initial planning. Decisions, like voting to accept the donation of the former Fullerton Lumber building or the state grant, were made by the council. Other decisions, including the hiring of a consultant and commissioning of feasibility studies, were made by the Friends fundraising group or an ad hoc committee. Several alderpersons cited repeated assurances from Watermark supporters that “no taxpayer dollars would be needed” in voting against taxpayer funding last month.
 
Sheboygan Falls Teen Injured In Farming Accident
 
3/2/15 - A 17-year-old boy was seriously injured when he got stuck in a piece of farm equipment near Sheboygan Falls.  Sheriff's officials said the teen was working on an auger in a silo, when he got caught in the equipment late yesterday afternoon.  Rescuers removed him from the auger and flew him to Milwaukee Children's Hospital.  There was no immediate word on the extent of his injuries, or his condition.
 
Teen Killed In Social Media-Related Attack Identified
 
3/2/15 - Wausau Police have released the name of a 13-year-old boy killed in an apparent gang-related stabbing attack on Friday night.  Officials said Isaiah Powell was stabbed twice in the back during a fight that broke out on a Wausau street.  According to investigators, members of two groups argued on social media and then took their dispute to the streets.  Police said one of the youngsters shot a B-B gun at others, and a fight broke out during which time the stabbing occurred.  A 15-year-old suspect is in custody, and police say that youngster could make a court appearance this week.  Powell was a student at Wausau's Horace Mann Middle School.  Officials said they've recovered the knife and the B-B gun from the incident -- and they're asking for more information from witnesses.
 
Cultural Diversity Panel Coming to Beaver Dam
 
3/2/15 - The Leadership Beaver Dam Alumni Association is hosting a Cultural Diversity in Dodge County event later this week.  The event will be held at Moraine Park Technical College’s Beaver Dam campus from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm on Thursday and will promote cultural diversity through the sharing of multiple perspectives from the local community.  Leadership Beaver Dam Founder Mark Molldrem says the three members of the panel will be Dr. Ayaz Samadani, Letty Montenegro, and Jayme Memmel.  Samadani is a family doctor at the Beaver Dam Medical and Cosmetic Clinic and is a Muslim.  Montenegro is with the QTI Group and is a bilingual, Hispanic Christian.  Memmel works as a Rehabilitation Counselor at the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and is physically disabled.  Molldrem says that the three panelists will be allowed to share stories that he hopes will allow people to see the community in a deeper, broader view.  He expects this event to promote seeing the good in other people by both exploring differences and noting commonalities.
 
Wisconsin Has Highest Disparity Of High School Suspensions
 
3/2/15 - Wisconsin has the nation's highest black-white disparity rate for high school suspensions.  The Civil Rights Project is out with a new report saying that 34-percent of Wisconsin's black high school students were suspended at some point in the 2011-and-'12 school year.  That's 30 points higher than the four-percent of white students suspended in that same school year.  Wisconsin's disparity rate was almost twice as much as the national gap of 16-percent.  For elementary schools, Wisconsin trailed only Missouri in its black-white disparity rate for suspensions.  The Civil Rights Project points the finger at the Milwaukee Public Schools.  Daniel Losen tells the Journal Sentinel that Milwaukee's black K-to-8 suspension rate is "way off the charts," and it indicates that the city's public schools may be engaging in what he called an "unjustifiable use of suspensions."  Milwaukee school officials downplay the report, saying things have improved since the time period that was evaluated.  Back in 2008, Milwaukee school data showed that 56-percent of black students had suspensions.  That was down to 43-percent in 2011-'12-, and 26-percent in the 2012-'13 school year.
 
Walker Changes View On Immigration Reform
 
3/2/15 - Governor Scott Walker says his views have changed on immigration reform -- and he confirms opposing a path to citizenship for the nation's 11-million undocumented immigrants.  The potential Republican presidential hopeful said in 2013 that it "makes sense" for illegal immigrants to get citizenship with the "right mix" of penalties and waiting periods.  However, Walker was quoted on February first as saying he's "not for amnesty."  On "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, he admitted changing his stance -- and it happened after he spoke with governors along the Mexican border and others.  Walker now says the U-S should secure its borders and put a legal immigration system in place "that works."  In part, the governor said it means giving tools to employers like the "E-Verify" system in which they can check the immigration status of workers they plan to hire.
 
DCSO Urging Drivers to Yield Right of Way
 
3/2/15 - The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department is reminding drivers to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.  The sheriff’s office says that this traffic violation is the cause of many of the motor vehicle accidents to which they respond.  Drivers often halt at a stop sign but do not follow that up by giving the right of way.  The first violation brings a fine of $175 and a loss of four demerit points.  A second offense within a year results in a $213 fine and the loss of four additional points.  These fines can be greater if injury is caused.  In addition to the incurred penalties, failing to yield can result in significant damage to a vehicle and injury or death to those involved. 
 
BDHS Performing ‘Tom Jones’ as Spring Production
 
3/2/15 - The Beaver Dam High School will be holding its spring theater production later this week.  The 1700’s English romantic comedy “Tom Jones” is the selection.  Play Director Jennifer Tunks says that this work was selected as she wanted a comedy that had a large number of parts to allow a large number of graduating students to participate.  A total of fifteen seniors are participating in what will be their final high school production.  Tunks says that the play was chosen last summer.  Auditions were held the week following Christmas break, and rehearsals have been ongoing ever since.  There will be a total of four performances in the Beaver Dam High School auditorium.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will each have an evening performance that begins at 7:30 pm while Sunday’s afternoon show will start at 2 pm.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids, students, and senior citizens and can be purchased ahead of time at Rechek’s Food Pride, Piggly Wiggly, or BDHS.
 
Wisconsin Bird Study Underway
 
3/2/15 - A new study on Wisconsin's bird population kicked off during the weekend. Volunteers attended a weekend symposium near Wausau for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas-Two.  One of the main sponsors -- the Wisconsin Society for Orinthology -- says many species face grave threats due to the loss of habitat, climate change, and other factors.  The first atlas was put together in 1995, when about 16-hundred volunteers made annual observations of almost 240 bird species during their breeding seasons.  Organizers say the bird atlas identifies the conservation needs of breeding birds, so the state D-N-R and others can meet the birds' needs and manage their habitats.  Erin Gordon of the D-N-R says a lot of has changed since the last atlas was put together.  The Orinthology Society the new atlas will identify those changes, and measure possible future changes.  The Western Great Lakes Bird-and-Bat Observatory is also helping to coordinate the project. Volunteers are still being sought.  You can sign up online, and here's the address – www.wsobirds.org/atlas.

   

Yesterday's Headlines
    Archaeological Workshop Being Held Today
    - Pregnancy Center Partnering with Local Restaurant
    - Planning for Relay for Life in Full Swing

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