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Top Stories February 11, 2016

Four Beaver Dam Elementary Schools Recognized


2/11/16 - Four Beaver Dam schools are among 169 public schools statewide recognized this year for overcoming poverty to achieve higher-than-average performance. For the fifth year in a row, Lincoln Elementary was acknowledged as a ‘beating-the-odds’ school.  Jefferson Elementary and South Beaver Dam Elementary are also on that list while Wilson Elementary is listed as a ‘high-progress’ school. Criteria included poverty rates as defined by the results of standardized tests in reading and math. The schools have also made progress in their performance despite having the highest poverty rates in Wisconsin. They will be honored at a ceremony at the State Capitol on March 14.


MPTC Named Military-Friendly School


2/11/16 - An armed services magazine has designated Moraine Park Technical College as a military-friendly school for the sixth consecutive year. Victory Media places the tech school in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide. Schools on the list offer benefits to student veterans such as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service and military spouse programs. Moraine Park also demonstrates efforts and results in recruiting and retaining military and veteran students. A full list of schools can be viewed at, which features interactive tools and search functionality to assist military veterans in choosing schools that best meet their personal educational needs. Moraine Park has campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend.


Thrivent Donates $50K To Habitat For Humanity


2/11/16 - Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties has been awarded a $50-thousand dollar donation from Thrivent Financial. The money will be used to construct a home in Juneau. Dan Yagodinski, a Financial Representative with Thrivent Financial, says his colleagues will also volunteer alongside the homeowners to help build the home and help raise additional funds. Habitat Executive Director Russ Wanta says their partnership with Thrivent Builds helps increase the number of families served in the community in need of safe, decent, and affordable housing.  To learn more and get involved, visit and


Beaver Dam Mayor’s Book Enters Second Printing


2/11/16 - The new book that documents each of Beaver Dam’s mayors is entering its second printing. As part of Beaver Dam’s 175th anniversary celebration this year, the book documenting the history of all 44 of the city’s mayors was assembled by current Mayor Tom Kennedy with help from local historian Roger Noll. All 50 copies of the first printing have sold out and another batch of 50 will be available next week. “Mayors of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin 1856-2016” can be obtained for $15 starting next week from the chamber of commerce, community library or the city clerk’s office at City Hall. Incidentally, if you have already gotten a copy of the book, the original printing omitted pages 39-40; a copy of that page can be sent to you all you have to do is contact the city clerk’s office at 920-887-4600 x338.


BDPD Offering Citizen’s Police Academy


2/11/16 - Residents of one local city have a chance to get an inside look at law enforcement.  The Beaver Dam Police Department is holding its 13th annual Citizen’s Academy this spring.  The 10-week course runs from March 7 through May 16 and meets each Monday from 6-9 pm.  Each week, Beaver Dam officers cover a different topic.  During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Sergeant Erik Smedema says he teaches the OWI class that allows academy students to perform OWI tests on two people who have been drinking to determine if they would arrest them for operating while impaired.  This year’s ‘volunteer drinkers’ will have large shoes to fill after WXRO’s Rick Armon and Bill Johnson entertained the academy during last year’s OWI class.  Smedema says another class covers defense tactics by informing students of the various means of diffusing a threatening situation.  Other topics covered include firearms, criminal investigations, and accident investigations.  The program is free to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or owns property in Beaver Dam.  Applicants must also have a valid driver’s license and clean criminal record.  Applications can be picked up at the police station and must be returned by February 22.


Warrant Issued For Former DCJ Inmate For Sex Registry


2/11/16 - An arrest warrant has been issued for a former Kenosha man who failed to register as a sex offender.  Jose Ochoa’s last known address was at the Dodge County Jail when a registration letter sent to the 50-year-old in 2010 was returned to its sender.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he was taken to Mexico that year.  Ochoa was found guilty of sexually assaulting a child in Walworth County in 1993.  If he is found guilty on this new count, Ochoa faces up to six years in prison.


Neenah Fatal Hostage Suspect Bound Over For Trial


2/11/16 - A Stevens Point man has been ordered to stand trial for staging a hostage standoff at a Neenah motorcycle shop where police killed the store's co-founder. Forty-six year old Brian Flatoff waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, when he chose not to attend his court proceeding in Oshkosh. He's scheduled to enter pleas March 17th to 16 Winnebago County charges that include felony murder, attempted homicide, false imprisonment, taking hostages, reckless endangerment, illegal firearm possession, and bail jumping. Authorities say Flatoff got drunk at a female friend's house in December, where he shot a bullet into a wall -- and he then went to Eagle Nations Cycles to get back a motorcycle he previously sold. Officials say he took hostages, and police shot store co-founder Michael Funk after he ignored commands to drop his gun.


Fish Sticks Bill Passes Legislature


2/11/16 - Groups that put trees into Wisconsin lakes to improve fish habitat would no longer face civil liability under a bill passed by state lawmakers. The D-N-R allows the trees -- which are known as "fish sticks" -- as long as they're hooked to the bottom of a lake by cables, and part of the tree is exposed above the water. The Lake George Association of Rhinelander wanted to be part of the D-N-R fish sticks program. But Assembly Republican Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander says groups like that fear lawsuits in the event of boating accidents and other incidents involving the trees. The Senate gave final legislative approval this week to a bill removing such liability for lake property owners -- and it went to Governor Scott Walker, who's expected to sign it.


Clinton, Sanders Debate In Milwaukee Tonight


2/11/16 - Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will debate each other in Milwaukee tonight (Thursday). The two-hour forum gives Sanders a chance to build steam after his primary victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday -- while Clinton seeks to rebound for the party's next caucuses in Nevada on February 20th and the next primary in South Carolina on the 27th. P-B-S and Facebook are putting on tonight's (Thursday's) debate, it will originate at U-W Milwaukee, and it will be shown on P-B-S and C-N-N starting at eight o'clock. It's the Democrats' sixth debate, but only the second in which former Secretary-of-State Clinton goes head-to-head against Sanders, the independent U-S senator from Vermont. The chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, says Milwaukee was chosen to highlight the importance of Wisconsin and the Midwest in the national race.

UW Extension FacingPersonnel Cuts

2/11/16- The U-W Extension Service now says it will cut about 80 jobs from the countyoffices for agriculture agents, Four-H-and-youth specialists, and family livingadvisers. There's been talk about cuts in the Extension programs ever sinceRepublicans reduced their annual funding last year by three-point-six milliondollars. Extension chancellor Cathy Sandeen said Wednesday that each countywould still have Extension offices and programs for Four-H and Master Gardeners-- but in some cases, staffers would be shared among counties. Sandeen sayswork groups and a steering committee will come up with a more exactre-structuring over the next six months. Changes could begin in early July, butofficials say most layoffs would take place early next year.

Yesterday's Headlines
- Beaver Dam Lake Ice Unsafe
- Snow Totals Below Predictions
- Fleet Farm Shooting Suspect Update

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.