News 6/1/15

White Nose Syndrome Could Soon Hit Dodge County


6/1/15 – Since first being detected in upstate New York in 2006, white nose syndrome has swept across part of the northern United States and just reached Wisconsin last year when the state’s first case was reported in Grant County.  Cases have now been confirmed in five Wisconsin counties, and Dodge County is one of three where the fungus that causes it has been found.  That fungus is quite dangerous as white nose syndrome typically develops in places it is found within two to three years.  DNR Species Management Section Chief Owen Boyle says hibernating bats that contract white nose syndrome frequently wake and have no ability to replenish the energy that is lost since no insect prey is available at that time.  That often leads to starvation, dehydration, or death.  According to Boyle, losing a large portion of the bat population would likely increase the number of pests in the area as bats help keep those numbers in check.  Boyle says there is a way that people can help prevent the spread.  He advises anyone who goes into a cave or mine to only use the gear they wear at that one site as spores from the fungus can easily be transferred through clothing.  Boyle also notes that humans and all other animal species cannot contract white nose syndrome.


Both Wisconsin Senators OK Limited Domestic Phone Collections


6/1/15 – Both of Wisconsin’s U-S senators endorsed a procedural vote on the U-S-A Freedom Act passed by the House in mid-May that will allow authorities to collect limited bulk records of Americans’ phone calls. The measure allows phone companies to keep Americans’ calling data — while the government could seize phone records on specific individuals by obtaining warrants.  Menomonee Falls House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner took the lead in scaling back the bulk phone-data collections, calling them an invasion of privacy.  In a rare Sunday session, senators were blocked by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul from renewing the program.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then ended his previous opposition to the House package.  It passed on a procedural vote 77-to-17, with Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin both voting yes.  Senators are expected to take a final vote on the Freedom Act later this week.  President Obama favors the House package, which also keeps two other provisions intact from the Patriot Act passed after September 11th.  One allows the government to keep tracking terrorist suspects who continually change cell-phones.  The other helps track “lone wolf” suspects who are not connected to foreign agencies.


Weekend National Guard Send-Off In West Bend


6/1/15 – About 30 members of the Wisconsin National Guard headed to Kuwait this weekend to provide medivac and maintenance support.  The Guard members got a big send off Saturday from the Army Aviation Support Facility in West Bend.  All are members of the Second Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment.  Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was a part of the ceremony supporting Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield.


Horicon Fills New Economic Development Position


6/1/15 – The city of Horicon has a new position to address economic development. James Schaefer of Stoughton was selected out of the approximate twenty candidates that applied.  He is currently self-employed but has worked for large corporations in the past doing similar work to what the economic developer position entails.  The expectation is that he will work with existing businesses to obtain funding through grants.  Neitzel says this position was created to “do something different” by acting proactively instead of reactively in attracting and keeping business.  The position was budgeted for in 2015.  Any funds in excess of the $58-thousand dollars in compensation will go towards start-up costs and equipment.  Schaefer’s first day is June 15.


Markesan Sex Offender Referee Found Guilty In Bomb Threats


6/1/15 – A Markesan man who violated sex offender restrictions and made a series of bomb threats entered a “no contest” plea Friday in Dodge County court.  Aaron Schreiber was found guilty of 13 felonies.  Another 28 felony counts plus charges in Fond du Lac, Green Lake, and Walworth Counties were all dismissed. Schreiber officiated at a number of softball and basketball games in Beaver Dam, Waupun and Mayville, despite being a registered sex offender, then made a series of bomb threats in retaliation after word of his sex offender status led to his losing ref jobs.  The 33-year-old will be sentenced in August.


Walker Approves Highway 151 Improvements


6/1/15 – Governor Scott Walker last Friday approved Highway 151 improvements in Fond du Lac County. Specifically the $625,000 in funding is to improve two-tenths of a mile the Highway 151/Ducharme Parkway intersection. Construction begins Thursday and will finish in August. Michels Corporation of Brownsville is the prime contractor. There will be no detour during the project, but there will be lane closures on Highway 151.


Summer Reading Logs Available At Beaver Dam Library


6/1/15 – Summer reading logs are available at the Beaver Dam Community Library starting today.  The seven-week program is broken down into three different age groups: children, teenagers, and adults.  Youth Services Librarian Elissa Ewert says children must read 15 minutes each day for seven weeks to receive the $10 credit that can be used towards books at the library’s End of Summer Scholastic Book Fair, which runs from August 3-15.  Teenagers must complete and briefly critique five books by the August 3 deadline to earn the same prize.  Information and Community Services Librarian Anita Streich says that $10 is also open for adults through a tic-tac-toe game that incorporates learning about the various services the library offers along with reading books.  BDCL is celebrating the start of the program with the Summer Kick-Off event on Wednesday, June 11 from 10 to 11 am in the library parking lot.


BDCH Holding Annual Safety Event This Weekend


6/1/15 – The Beaver Dam Community Hospital is holding its Fifth Annual Safety First Open House this weekend.  A number of local groups including the Beaver Dam Fire Department, Beaver Dam Police Department, and Dodge County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand to teach various safety practices.  BDCH’s Karen Gibbs says the purpose of the event is to educate the public of these groups work together to promote safety in the community.  Fire prevention, child identification and fingerprinting, bike safety, and pet safety are among the topics covered.  There will also be stations that teach athletes how to build sports safety kits, highlight the basics of CPR, and allow people to drop-off unwanted medications.  According to Gibbs, the station that allows folks to tour the MedFlight Helicopter typically draws the largest crowd.  The event will be held on Saturday from 9 am until Noon in the hospital’s parking lot, lobby, and conference rooms.