News – August 17, 2020

(Milwaukee) The largely virtual Democratic National Convention opens in Milwaukee today. Speakers today — all delivered remotely — include Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore, U-S Senator Bernie Sanders, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. President Donald Trump hopes to upstage his opponents with a campaign stop in Oshkosh today.

(Dodge County) Dodge County has been in phase two of their Safe Restart Plan for two months. The three-phase pandemic plan uses benchmark criteria to determine recommendations for business, government and the public as it relates to social gatherings, face mask usage, physical distancing and seating in restaurants, among other things. The criteria for phase two indicates that Dodge County is in excellent shape when it comes to PPE, testing and hospital capacity. However, the number of cases and the ability of local health officials to conduct contact tracing has a lesser status of “proceed with caution.” In mid-June, local public health officials were actively monitoring 31 people; as of last Friday, that number was at 183.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 685 positive coronavirus cases in Sunday’s daily update, which is 11.2-percent of the 5400 tests. There are 8702 active cases in the state, a decrease of 126 from Saturday. State health officials reported one more death, bringing that total to 1,039. Dodge County has five deaths on record and 930 cases, an increase of ten from Saturday. Washington County has experienced 23 deaths along with 1259 cases, an increase of 52 cases from Saturday. Washington County has had 454 new cases announced this month.

(Waupun) Dodge County Public Health is coordinating a two-day COVID-19 community testing event this weekend at Waupun High School. Wisconsin resident’s five-years-of-age or order are eligible. A person does not need to be exhibiting symptoms to receive a test. Appointments are not necessary and online registration will be available 24 hours in advance or day-of at the high school. A photo ID is not required, but citizens must provide their name, address, phone number and date of birth. The Waupun High School is located at 801 East Lincoln Drive. Testing both Friday and Saturday runs from 10am to 6pm.

(Waupun) The Second District Court of Appeals this past week upheld the conviction of a 66-year-old Kenosha man for killing an 18-year-old Sturtevant woman in Fond du Lac County in the summer of 1990. Dennis Brantner lost his appeal of the Second Degree Reckless Homicide charge he was convicted of in February of 2018. He was found guilty of murdering Berit Beck and leaving her body in a ditch near Waupun.  He was sentenced to ten years for Beck’s death. Brantner in his appeal claimed there was insufficient evidence against him and the case should have been dismissed.

(Portage) The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is starting a Police Chaplain Program. Former Police Chief Ken Manthey will lead the program for the Sheriff’s Department and many church leaders from across the county will be volunteering their time to help. Sheriff Roger Brandner says there are many situations in law enforcement where a compassionate and empathetic listener is needed. The chaplains will be used for a number of critical incidents which include death notifications, victim assistance, grief counseling, swearing-in ceremonies for new staff and will also be available to do ride-alongs with deputies.

(Fond du Lac) Two thousand different households in Fond du Lac County will be receiving a postcard over the next two months inviting them to take a health survey. Results of the survey will supplement a prior community health assessment conducted in 2017 with updated data.  Those receiving the postcard can choose to use the bar code on the card to take an electronic survey. County Public Health Officer Kim Muellers says if they opt not to take the online survey they will receive a hard copy of the survey in the mail about a week later. A household resident over the age of 18 will be asked to complete the survey. The results will be released next year and are one source of data for the 2020-2021 Community Health Assessment.

(Beaver Dam) A comprehensive credit transfer agreement will allow Moraine Park Technical College students to easily transfer credits to one of the state’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities. The agreement was recently signed by the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges Universities. Both organizations negotiated “course equivalencies” that provide value to transfer students by reducing or eliminating the need to spend extra time and money retaking courses.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Highway Department is seeking input from county residents on future project planning. An online survey is available for citizens to provide feedback on funding options for increased paving of county highways for the 2021 and 2022 construction seasons. The survey results will be presented to the Dodge County Board for consideration in the 2021 budget. The short survey is located on the Dodge County website and will be available until August 31st. A link can be found with this story on