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Top Stories August 28, 2015

Vessey, DiStefano Tout High School’s National Ranking


8/28/15 - Beaver Dam Superintendent of Schools Steve Vessey says the national ranking of the high school by U.S. News and World Report is a testament to the hard work of the school board, staff, parents and students. Vessey discussed the recent ranking with us yesterday on WBEV in advance of the upcoming school year which begins Tuesday. He says he could not be more proud of the way faculty are stepping up and the way students are achieving. Vessey cites, as an example that contributed to the high ranking, a request by the science department to require all students to take physics or chemistry. It was known going in that a group of kids would struggle with that but Vessey says the determination was there to make all students successful. He says the taxpayers should also be happy because the district was able to achieve this level of success while reducing the mill rate four years in a row. Beaver Dam ranked 35th of 466 in the state and number-1910 out of 29-thousand public high schools in the nation, according to the list released this spring. There were two gold medal schools – in New Berlin and Middleton – and 57 silver medal schools which includes Beaver Dam. A number of factors comprise the rating including student performance in reading and math, student-to-teacher ratios, and college readiness.


Dodge County Musicians Association Looking To Promote Local Music


8/28/15 - The recently formed Dodge County Musician’s Association will be providing the live music at this Sunday’s American Hero Music Festival at Beaver Dam’s Swan Park.  The group formed this January and hopes to bring attention to local live music while giving artists the opportunity to network with one another.  DCMA is considering putting on free seminars for young musicians and loaning instruments to veterans and low-income students. 


Groups Encouraged To Apply For Conservation Aid Grant Funding


8/28/15 - Dodge County’s UW-Extension is accepting applications for programs that can benefit the local environment.  Community Natural Resource and Economic Development Agent Jeff Hoffman is with the UW-Extension and says the Department of Natural Resources typically offers $2,500 for projects that aid fish, shoreline, or wildlife habit, and the county matches those funds.  Each year, Dodge County applies for that DNR grant funding, and the county’s half of the money comes from the UW-Extension’s grant program fund.  Hoffman says one or two applicants are selected each year.  He says recent projects have included shoreline restoration and a wildlife scrape.  Last year’s selection was the Beaver Dam Lake fish stocking effort.  Hoffman says municipalities and lake improvement associations are who typically apply for funding.  Applications can be found on the Wisconsin DNR website and are due back to the Dodge County UW-Extension Office in Juneau by September 15. 


Stretch Of Highway That Runs Through Waupun Opening Today


8/28/15 - After being closed for four months, a highway that runs through the Town of Waupun is opening today.  Improvements were made to a 16 mile stretch of Highway 26 in Fond du Lac County from Cattaraugus Drive to County Road FF.  The project involved: relaying pavement, making culvert repairs, and making sidewalk and curb improvements. The Department of Transportation says the project wrapped up on budget and ahead of schedule.


Ribbon Cut Today On Highway 33 Front Street


8/28/15 - The ribbon is being cut this morning on the Highway 33 / Front Street reconstruction in downtown Beaver Dam. The barricades will be removed following the 10am event at mid-block. Crews will still be in the area for another week or two tying up loose ends.  Also, the city has a municipal project that will close portions of North Spring Street downtown. 


Watertown Teen Waived Preliminary Hearing On Break-In Charge


8/28/15 - A Watertown teen accused of breaking into a house waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday.  Donovan Cagney is facing felony counts of Burglary and Possession of Narcotic Drugs along with two misdemeanor counts, all as a party to a crime.  The 17-year-old was allegedly part of a group of six high school students that left school early one day to break into one of the involved teens’ houses to steal pills, alcohol, and money from the kid’s parents.  17-year-old Bradley Chavez of Watertown is facing the same four counts, and  17-year-old Joseph Janasik of Watertown was found guilty on four misdemeanor counts and will serve 60 days in jail and be on probation for two years.  The other three students involved are all under the age of 17.  If they are found guilty on all counts, Cagney and Chavez each face over 17 years in prison and could have their licenses suspended for up to five years.  Cagney will be arraigned on September 23.


Gas Prices Starting To Drop


8/28/15 - Gas prices in Wisconsin are expected to drop in the next few weeks as a major Indiana oil refinery goes back online. According to, stations around Wisconsin are already starting to see lower wholesale prices. British Petroleum announced that a crude distillation unit at its Whiting, Indiana refinery is back online after a two-week outage. It’s the seventh-largest refinery in the country. Analysts expect that more supply will now push prices lower, possibly under two dollars a gallon by Christmas. Gas in Beaver Dam was as high as $2.70 cents yesterday but is dropping as low as $2.49. Gas in Lomira is among the lowest in the state at $2.39, though gas in Wittenberg is down to $2.29.


Wisconsin Spending In Line With US Growth


8/28/15 - Wisconsin appears to be in line with new spending growth by U-S consumers and businesses. The Commerce Department says the national gross domestic product grew by three-point-seven percent in the second quarter of the year. That's almost a point-and-a-half higher than what the government estimated a month ago. Dan Ariens, board chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, says many companies report new growth. He says all the "fundamental" signs look good. Wages are rising, unemployment is down, and more Wisconsinites are buying homes and cars. Ariens says next year is looking good as well. In Metro Milwaukee, the Association of Commerce says 16-of-23 indicators of business activity improved in June.


Walker Says He’d Be Aggressive With Radical Islam


8/28/15 - Republican White House candidate Scott Walker says he would be aggressive in confronting what he calls "evil" and "radical Islamic terrorism." The Wisconsin governor plans to say more on that today, when he delivers his foreign policy agenda at The Citadel military college in South Carolina. His campaign has released excepts of the speech, in which he accuses President Obama of being weak in foreign affairs -- including his nuclear arms deal with Iran. Walker says he would send the message that "the retreat is over," "American leadership is back -- and together with our allies, we will not surrender another inch of ground to terrorists or any other power that threatens our safety." Walker says the biggest challenge is the Islamic State militants who've taken over parts of Syria and Iraq. His speech preview did not indicate if Walker would commit more U-S troops to the Middle East.


Bucks Co-Owners Helping Low Income With Housing


8/28/15 - A mortgage firm tied to Milwaukee Bucks' co-owner Wes Edens will put up 30-million dollars to help financially-strapped city residents keep their homes. That's part of an offer from Nation-Star Mortgage to be announced today by Milwaukee officials. It comes as the city starts considering its part of a financing package next week for a new Bucks' arena. Mayor Tom Barrett says the deal will stand regardless of what happens with the arena. The city negotiated for months with Nation-Star on a three-year commitment to distressed homeowners. The 30-million is 57-percent more than what the company first proposed. Edens co-founded an investment group that bought Nation-Star in 2006. The investment comes after the group Common Ground demanded community support from the Bucks' owners in exchange for tax money for the new arena.


Yesterday's Headlines
- Trial Underway In Murder Of Clyman Woman
- School Boards Agree To Consolidation Study
- Cambria Adopts Budget With Expected Mill Rate Increase

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.