News – March 21, 2019

(Beaver Dam) In a rare move, Republicans on the Wisconsin Building Commission have rejected Governor Evers’ two-point-five billion-dollar capital budget.  The move now allows the GOP-controlled Legislative Budget Committee to start over from scratch. State Representative Mark Born says the governor’s recommendation includes an unsustainable and unreliable amount of borrowing. The Beaver Dam Republican says the GOP plan would have moved the projects through the legislative process and given lawmakers more time to thoroughly vet the proposals to ensure they are prioritizing what’s best for taxpayers. Governor Evers says being disappointed is an understatement, adding Republicans on the Commission voted to support the budget one day earlier.

(Columbus) The latest report from the State Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday showed about $455,000 in damage to roads and bridges. About $250,000 has been spent so far on debris removal and another $233,000 on emergency protective work, including sandbagging and pumping. The recovery phase from the Crawfish River flooding last week continues in the city of Columbus. An inspection of the bridge at Highway 16 and 60 is expected by weeks end though the structure remains closed. Meanwhile, in Green Lake County, flooding is ongoing in the city of Berlin with a few homes and streets affected. Everyone impacted is still able to remain in their homes. In Fond du Lac County, 17 displaced residents are still staying overnight at a church.

(Dodge County) Dodge County fell 17 spots in the most recent annual health rankings for Wisconsin’s 72 counties. The annual report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks at more than 30 factors that influence health outcomes. Dodge County was ranked 20th in the 2018 health rankings but this year dropped to 37th. The county also fell from 20th in length of life to 42nd in 2019. The region did jump up six spots to 21 in quality of life. A link to more information about the rankings is available on DailyDodge.com.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police Department has a new member on the force. Seventeen-month-old German Shepherd Charlie joined the K-9 Unit one month ago alongside his handler, Brad Konkel. The new K-9 replaces Reagan, who hit the beat in September but was just not the right fit. Konkel and Charlie are on the second shift which is from 1:45pm to 9:45pm. The dog is trained in narcotics detection, article detection and tracking. In his first month, Charlie had six confirmed hits. Officer Kevin Hall and K-9 Yeti work road patrol during the overnight hours.

(Waupun) The Central Wisconsin Christian School Board of Directors has approved plans for a $3.5-million-dollar addition to their campus in Waupun. Construction will begin following an April 1st groundbreaking on the three new classrooms being added to the Middle School wing and two new classrooms being attached to the Elementary wing. A Learning Commons will also be created and existing grades six-through-eight classrooms will be enlarged. In addition, there will be a new bus garage on campus, and renovations of their parking, playground, practice field. Fundraising for the project reached their goal of 70-percent after a recent 21-Day Challenge matched a $250,000 gift with more than $400,000 in donations. Completion and occupancy in targeted for mid-August.

(Horicon) Staff with the Horicon Wildlife Refuge and Leopold Wetland Management will be conducting a series of prescribed buns throughout the winter, spring and fall. These burns hold a variety of ecological benefits for the refuge, that includes stimulating the growth of native prairie grasses as well as removing weeds and invasive trees and shrubs. Setting fires also helps reduce the buildup of hazardous fuels that can feed dangerous wildfires. At over 22,000 acres, the Horicon National Wildlife encompasses the northern two-thirds of the Horicon Marsh.