News – February 25, 2019

(Watertown) A main thoroughfare in Watertown is closed because of a large structure fire. The Watertown Police Department is reporting that State Highway 19/Main Street is closed from Welsh Road to the Highway 26 bypass. Motorists are advised to seek an alternate route. Our sources tell us that the fire is at Waupun Equipment Company in Watertown and started just before sunrise. We’ll have more information for you as it becomes available.

(Winnebago County) A massive pileup on Interstate 41 in Neenah killed one person and injured 71 during whiteout conditions Sunday. Winnebago County Sheriff’s officials say the chain reaction crash involved 131 vehicles. Sixty-six people were treated at area hospitals and released, five more were admitted for their injuries. The Red Cross supplied blankets, food and beverages to those impacted by the crash. It’s estimated more than 500 vehicles had to be rerouted during the incident.

(Fond du Lac County) Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 25 disabled vehicles during Sunday’s near whiteout conditions. Most were stuck in a ditch or on the roadway due to the conditions. There were 13 property damage crashes. Only minor injuries were reported. One crash involved a Sheriff’s squad car. A deputy was sitting in the car at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash when the squad was struck.

(Dodge County) The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to 15 run-offs and four accidents between 7am yesterday (Sunday) morning and 2pm yesterday (Sunday) afternoon; no injuries were reported. Around noon, the sheriff’s office posted on social media that it was too unsafe for wreckers and they were not removing vehicles from ditches unless it was an emergency situation.

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that the city would not break-even if the position of mayor were reduced to part time and a full-time city administrator was hired. However, Glewen says Beaver Dam is a growing city and if the municipality is going to continue to grow she says the city needs to restructure. She noted there would be savings from the reduction in the mayors $60-thousand-dollar salary to part-time but there would be a gap and city officials need to have the conversation on how to address the gap.  The process of altering the organizational structure would require changing the city charter, a potentially lengthy process. Glewen hopes to hold community meetings in coming months to get input from the public.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Fire Department is looking for a company to study of its facility needs and staffing levels. Fire Chief Alan Mannel is promoting the possibility of going to referendum for a second fire station and additional personnel and he says the outside experts are needed to give an objective interpretation of needs. An Ad Hoc Committee made the recommendation to request proposals for the study late last year and then the PFC gave their blessing to engage a consultant. The Common Council was given a sample draft at its most recent meeting and the Requests for Proposals will be going out this Friday.

(Juneau) Sheriff Dale Schmidt says good police work has led to the closure of two Dodge County strip clubs where suspected sex-trafficking was taking place. Following FBI raids and frequent law enforcement bar checks, the Wild Rose in Lebanon and the Hardware Store in Clyman have shut their doors. Both establishments were named in a federal complaint last year that alleges human trafficking had occurred inside those clubs. Schmidt says the developments are a positive for the county. While he is not for shutting down businesses, eh says anytime the FBI has to get involved suggests that the place is not operating within the law. Schmidt says a business that operates legally will have no issues with police.

(Madison) Governor Evers is expected to continue a tuition freeze for the U-W System schools when he presents his budget Thursday.  His proposal for higher education also includes adding $150-million dollars to the System, while also allowing students who were children when their parents brought them into the country illegally to pay the in-state tuition rates for U-W and tech schools.

(Wisconsin) The snowy February is causing a strain on farm buildings across the state as there have been multiple reports of pole sheds and high tunnel collapsing.  A retired agriculture engineer for the UW-Extension says these buildings are often compromised due to being older and housing a damp environment due to livestock.  Farm buildings are also exempt from state building codes.