News – March 30, 2019

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council will be asked on Monday to approve the hiring of a company to clean hazardous materials from the former Lakeview Hospital. Low-bidder Dirty Ducts Cleaning and Environmental of Madison was recently tabbed in committee provide the service for $483-thousand dollars. The old La Crosse Street structure and two adjacent properties – the former Executive Apartments and a lake front house – are being developed into high-end, lakefront condominiums. The city purchased the shuttered building from the Beaver Dam Community Hospital in October for $225-thousand dollars and sold the property to a developer for one dollar. The city is also paying for the costs of demolition, estimated at $1.2-million dollars with the funding coming from the newly established Tax Increment Finance District #9; the city has also applied for a $300-thousand-dollar state grant. The new condo development from WDS Construction of Beaver Dam is expected to add $4-million dollars to the tax rolls.

(Horicon) There is a vacancy on the Horicon School Board. The seat is being vacated by Eric Krause-Emerick and will be filled during the spring elections in 2020. Any person interested in being considered for the appointment must submit a Declaration of Candidacy and a letter of interest to the Office of the District Administrator located at 611 Mill Street in Horicon. Eligible individuals must reside within the Horicon School District, Village of Iron Ridge or the Village of Kekoskee. All paperwork must be received the District Office prior to 4pm on May 13.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Airport has secured state and federal funds to help protect the airport’s airspace. Lucas Ward, airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Aeronautics, says the easement will allow for the trimming and clearing of trees which are currently an obstruction to the runways. Federal dollars account for $73,800 of the project with the state and Dodge County each contributing $4100. The project is currently scheduled to be completed by next month. Dodge County Airport is one of 97 facilities included in the Wisconsin State Airport System Plan, which makes it eligible for state and federal funding.

(Madison) We Energies is asking the state’s Public Service Commission to approve rate increases over the next two years.  They want to charge its electrical customers an additional two-point-nine percent in both 2020 and 2021 to pay for higher transmission charges, and the purchase power agreement with Point Beach Nuclear Plant.  Natural gas and steam customers would also see a rate increase in 2020, but no increase in 2021.

(Madison) Construction season is here, and the D O T is reminding drivers to pay attention. Spokesman Rob Miller says they want everyone to get home safely, and that requires awareness. “When you see orange signs, when you see those orange construction barrels and barricades, that’s a signal to slow down, be aware of what’s happening in front of you, and just expect the unexpected.” Remember to put down that cell phone and slow down, and make sure you’ve got time to get where you’re going.

 

(Beaver Dam) State officials say the number of workers being displaced by Shopko’s bankruptcy is higher than originally projected.  The Department of Workforce Development says over 17-hundred Shopko employees across the state will be losing their jobs as the retail chain closes all its locations. The company is in a protracted bankruptcy battle with its creditors, who claim that board members fraudulently took out loans to pay their own dividends before declaring bankruptcy.

(Dodge County) Jobless filings in Dodge County from January to February were unchanged. The state Department of Workforce Development reports that Dodge County had a 3.1-percent unemployment rate last month, the same as January but a half-point lower than last February’s number. Fond du Lac County notched a 2.9-percent while Jefferson County posted a 3.4-percent, both down one percent from the previous month and a half-point lower than last year. Washington County was down two-tenths over the two-month period at 2.7-percent. The unemployment rate only went up in four of the state’s 72 counties from January to February and two of those counties were here in south central Wisconsin. Columbia County went up two-tenths to 3.4-percent, still half-point lower than last year. Green Lake County went up one-tenth to 4.8-percent, which is in line with last year. Dane County had the lowest rate in the state at 2.2-percent while Iron County was the highest at 7.1-percent. The seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in Wisconsin last month dropped one-tenth to 2.9-percent, nearly a full percentage point below the national number of 3.8-percent.

(Madison) Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul is asking lawmakers for a nearly two-million-dollar bump in funding for the state crime lab in the next budget. Major Anthony Burrell of the Wisconsin State Patrol says more staff would speed up justice in Wisconsin. SB The money would increase wages to retain employees, and hire an additional 15 new workers. Two firearms analysts would re-open the shuttered Madison unit.

(Madison) Analysis by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows state aid to public schools will be reduced by nearly 193-million dollars due to voucher and charter schools.  The report released by State Representative Sondy Pope comes as Governor Evers’ budget would cap voucher enrollment in 2021 and eliminate an income tax deduction for private school tuition.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Community Hospital will be partaking in a statewide ceremony Monday to recognize and promote organ donation. The hospital will be one of 80 organizations that will be simultaneously hosting a Donate Life flag-raising service. Donate Life Wisconsin created the Pause to Give Life event in 2018 as a statewide observance to mark the start of National Donate Life Month. BDCH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith will speak prior to the flag-raising. Dawn Lyons-Wood, who lost her daughter in a snowmobile accident in 2015, will share a few words afterwards about her personal experience with organ and tissue donation. The Donate Life flag will be raised at exactly 10:08am Monday at the BDCH main entrance. A moment of silence will follow for one minute and 14 seconds to recognize the more than 114,000 patients waiting for a life-saving transplant. Nearly 2,000 of those patients live in Wisconsin.