Beaver Dam Mulling Senior Center Activity Fee Increase
10/9/15 - As part of the 2016 budget, city officials in Beaver Dam will be deciding how much to increase activity fees for non-residents at the senior center. Next year, the senior center will be in a newer and larger facility, the Watermark Community and Senior. The city currently charges a one-time $10 activity fee to active older adults from outside the Beaver Dam taxing jurisdiction to cover, at least part, of administrative costs. The Senior Center Steering Committee is recommending a $25 fee to cover all activities. Community Activities and Services Administrator Evonne Boettge told the city’s Administrative Committee this week that it is a fairly large increase for one year. She recommended a $15-fee for non-residents seniors. Council President Jon Litscher says he supports the Steering Committee’s recommendation of $25 because taxpayers in the city have a greater burden in carrying the debt and upkeep of the facility. Boettge admits that two-dollars and change per month is not too much for non-residents to pay for programming. She says the fee really should have been raised incrementally in recent years. The senior center is estimated to have around 2000 unique users annually and about one-third are non-residents. Based on those numbers the $25 fees would bring in around $17-thousand dollars. The Administrative Committee will begin budget deliberations on Monday with final budget adoption targeted in November.
Beaver Dam Chamber President Taking Statewide Post
10/9/15 - Beaver Dam’s Chamber of Commerce president was symbolically handed the reigns to a statewide office at a recent meeting. Phil Fritsche is going to be the next president of the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Association. His term will start on January 1, 2016. Fritsche will spend the rest of 2015 finishing off his term as ‘president elect’ for the Executive Association. Once he is president, Fritsche says he will also serve on the Board of Directors for both the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group. According to Fritsche, one of the ways Beaver Dam can benefit from having a local person serve in a statewide position is by being better connected to the Future Wisconsin Project, which is an effort to create a 20 year economic development plan for the state.
Rechek’s Finds New Pharmacy
10/9/15 - Rechek’s Food Pride has found a new pharmacy. Hometown Pharmacy will be open inside the Beaver Dam grocery store starting this Monday. People will be able to drop off prescriptions at an in-store kiosk and pick up the medication the next day. This announcement comes after Thrifty White Pharmacy closed its Rechek’s location overnight a week-and-a-half ago. The Spring Street grocer is planning a 5,000 foot expansion of its store that should be completed around May. Once that happens, Hometown will also have a drive thru.
Beaver Dam Elks Lodge Sells Longtime Home
10/9/15 - The Beaver Dam Elks Lodge 1540 is moving out of its longtime home. The group sold its building at 126 South Spring Street to Randy Stibb this week for an undisclosed amount. The elks have owned the building for most of the time since the group was founded in 1928. Exalted Ruler Harvey Lewis says the group plans to continue its various community projects, which include delivering food baskets to those in need throughout Dodge County on Christmas Eve and offering scholarships to local high school seniors.
Columbus Police Seeking New K9
10/9/15 - Columbus Police have started conversations with the city's common council seeking permission to begin fund raising for a new drug dog. The previous Columbus Police K9, "Maco", was retired in 2013 due to health problems. Chief Dan Meister said the new drug dog would be used as a tool in the fight against heroin and other illegal substances. Meister said heroin abuse has reached epidemic proportions in Columbia and Dodge counties. Meister and Officer Ben Zeigler, the proposed handler for the new dog, are working on plans to raise $30-thousand dollars. The funds would be used for the purchase, training and development a new canine for use in both detecting drugs and missing persons in the Columbus area.
Woman Pleads Not Guilty To Smuggle Tobacco Into WCI
10/9/15 - In Dodge County court yesterday, a Manitowoc woman entered a not guilty plea at arraignment for allegedly trying to smuggle chewing tobacco to her inmate son at the Waupun Correctional Institution. Michelle Olson is charged with one felony count of Deliver Illegal Articles to an inmate. According to the criminal complaint, the 48-year-old was caught at the prison in June with the contraband in a breath mint container. She reportedly tried to hand the container to her inmate son under a table in the visitor’s area of the state prison. The inmate told his mother that if she does not bring tobacco to him to not bother visiting. Olson now faces three-and-a-half years in prison, if she is convicted. She has further court activity on November 17.
Gas Prices On The Rise
10/9/15 - Wisconsinites are starting to pay more at the pump. Gas Buddy-Dot-Com says rising crude oil prices and unexpected refinery shutdowns will affect fuel prices in Wisconsin and a dozen other Midwest states. Gas Buddy says a dozen refineries in the nation's mid-section are conducting maintenance and unplanned repairs. Some shutdowns could last for a few weeks or longer. Gas Buddy analyst Patrick DeHaan says gasoline production in the Midwest has dropped from 100-percent to 80-percent in recent weeks. He says the price hikes will not be as bad as they were this summer, when some gas stations went back above three-dollars for a short time. Wisconsingasprices.com says the statewide average for regular unleaded is two-dollars and 51-cents a gallon this morning. Gas in Beaver Dam is between $2.39 and $2.49. Analysts expect fuel prices to drop again around Thanksgiving.
UW Board Of Regents Considering Enrollment Change
10/9/15 - The U-W Board of Regents will decide Friday whether to let the Madison campus end its enrollment limits on out-of-state students for four years. The Regents' education committee okayed the request. It's designed to attract younger adults to Wisconsin, assuming they'll stay and replace increasing numbers of retiring baby boomers in key industries. It would also boost the campus coffers, since out-of-staters pay thousands more in tuition each year than Wisconsinites. Critics call that a money grab in the wake of millions in budget cuts to the university. They also say it might crowd out Wisconsin residents, although U-W officials deny it. Chancellor Rebecca Blank and U-W President Ray Cross highlighted their concerns about Wisconsin employee shortages. They say the number of high school grads in the state has been dropping for six years -- and it's partially to blame for the state's reduction in skilled workers. Cross says the problem will get much worse in a decade if something's not done now.
Mequon Native Remembered As Military Hero
10/9/15 - Mequon high school graduate Quinn Johnson-Harris is remembered as a military hero. A memorial service was held Thursday in Abilene, Texas for the 21-year-old Johnson-Harris. He was one of six Air Force officers and five civilians killed in a C-130 transport plane that crashed last week while taking off from an air field in Afghanistan. Unknown numbers of people on the ground were also killed. Johnson-Harris graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon in 2012. He trained at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas before his deployment to Afghanistan last month. His father, Lamar Harris, told those at the service that his son was doing what he wanted to do -- and he was a "hero" for it. Army Second Lieutenant Lamar Johnson-Harris says his brother made the Air Force his life, and he was passionate in doing so.
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