August 28, 2016

Man Charged In Death Of Nun From Slinger


8/28/16 – Authorities in Mississippi have charged a man with murder in the killings this week of two nuns, one of whom was from Slinger in Washington County. Officials say Rodney Earl Sanders was considered a suspect after what was described as “an exhaustive interview Friday evening.” The 46-year-old Sanders is charged in the deaths of Sister Margaret Held, a nurse practitioner with the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, and Sister Paula Merrill, a nurse practitioner with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky. They were found dead Thursday in their home in Durant, about 60 miles north of Jackson. Investigators say somebody entered their home, stabbed them to death, and stole one of their vehicles which was found abandoned about one mile away. The 68-year-old Held was raised in Slinger, and was a member of Saint Francis for 49 years. Both worked as nurse practitioners at a clinic for the poor. Investigators have said robbery could be a motive, but it is too soon to make a conclusion. Coroner Dexter Howard says an exact cause of death will not be determined until the autopsies are complete. Howard called the homicide scene one of the worst he has ever seen.


Kitten Survives Fond du Lac Fire


8/28/16 – No one was injured during a fire on Central Avenue in Fond du Lac Friday afternoon. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says they got the call just before 4:30. There were heavy fire conditions inside the home when fire crews arrived. The blaze was extinguished, but there was severe damage to the home and its contents. The Red Cross helped the occupant of the home with shelter assistance and provided firefighters with rehab supplies while the fire was being fought. A dog and cat died in the fire, but a kitten survived. Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue got help from a number of area fire departments. No one was in the home during the fire. The cause is being determined. Police provided traffic control at the scene.


Columbia County Township Rejects Rezoning For Business


8/28/16 – Despite a promise a new business would eventually provide up to 50 jobs, the Dekorra Town Board in Columbia County decided not to rezone some land along Highway 51.  Adam Gazapian wants to open a propane tank reconditioning factory.  The town board decided late last week not to rezone the location from agricultural to industrial.  Gazapian has not given up.  He still wants to build his plant at the location and that probably means he will have to file a lawsuit against the town.


Traffic Flow Changes Floated On Two Beaver Dam Side Streets


8/28/16 – There could be some changes in traffic flow soon in Beaver Dam. The city’s Operations Committee last night advanced a proposal to change Fourth Street, in front of the middle school, from a two-way street to one-way. Traffic between North Spring and North Center streets would become westbound only. A final vote is anticipated in October. Next month, the council will consider making Gilmore and Grove streets a four-way stop.  


Dodge County Farm Bureau Meeting Scheduled Next Month


8/28/16 – Dodge County’s Farm Bureau will hold its annual meeting next month.  At the gathering, bureau members will forward policy recommendations to the state board on emerging agricultural matters such as animal husbandry, rural broadband, and wetlands regulations.  The county will also select its delegates for December’s statewide bureau meeting in Wisconsin Dells.  The county meeting is September 19 at 7:30 pm at the Juneau Community Center.


Dodge County Extension Encouraging Attendance At Agronomy Day


8/28/16 – Dodge County’s UW-Extension is encouraging residents to attend a nearby farming event. An agronomy field day will be held Thursday in the Fond du Lac County Town of Lamartine. Presentation topics include: plant-root interactions, cover crop success, and seed treatments. Anyone wishing to have their corn silage tested for moisture can bring four fresh stalks, cut at silage height. The event is at the Montsma Farm off Highway 151 and County Road TC and begins at 10:30 am.


MPTC New Tagline: ‘Imagine What’s Next’


8/28/16 – “Imagine What’s Next.” That is the new tagline for Moraine Park Technical College. It is part of a new branding effort that also includes a new logo for the college. Patty Lehn (LANE) is Moraine Park’s Director of Marketing and Communications. She says you can see some of the changes at the Moraine Park website. She says you will see the new logo and can go to blogs by faculty and staff at the website. She says in November when they begin advertising for the spring semester people will notice the changes more.


National College Banned From Enrolling Students In Wisconsin


8/28/16 – A national profit making college cannot enroll new students at its two Wisconsin campuses until it can prove it’s financially stable. The state Educational Approval Board took the action this week against I-T-T Technical Institute, on the same day the U-S Education Department said it would keep a closer eye on the school’s accounting and recruiting. The state’s order also affects online enrollment at I-T-T, which has about 550 Wisconsin students online and at campuses in Greenfield and Madison. The federal government told I-T-T not to enroll students who need financial aid, and it has to pay $152-million dollars within 30 days to cover its obligations if the school shuts down. State board director David Dies says it was already considering an enrollment cutoff, but the school appealed — and a September hearing was called off once the federal action took place.


Wisconsin’s Small Communities Feeling Effects Of Recession


8/28/16 – A new report says many of Wisconsin’s small towns still feel the effects of the Great Recession. With an older population and more people moving to bigger cities, the state Taxpayers Alliance says half the places with fewer than one-thousand residents have yet to see any major job growth or new construction since the recession. The report says local governments have had a nearly 13-percent cut in state funds in the four years ending in 2014, while total revenues grew by just two-percent not accounting for inflation. The tax alliance says cities have maintained their police and fire response times despite the funding cuts — and while local debt has grown and things like snow plowing are slower, residents are still generally satisfied with their local services. The report was prepared for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, whose director Jerry Deschane also sounded an alarm for civic engagement as fewer people run for local offices.


Badger State Lagging In Start-Up Businesses


8/28/16 – Wisconsin continues to lag behind in the activity of its startup businesses. A report issued by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that Wisconsin was 24th among the 25 largest states last year for its rate of new entrepreneurs — 190 for every 100-thousand adult residents, second to last only ahead of Pennsylvania. Also, Wisconsin had 58 business startups per one-thousand employers, 25th and last — and the Badger State also had the second lowest percentage of new entrepreneurs who came from other jobs at 74-percent, with only Alabama lower. Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council says an older population hurts the state’s ability to do better, as well as the state’s focus on high labor industries like factories and farming. Even so, Still says policymakers need to consider whether Wisconsin is tied to a “bygone” economy.


Study: Women Should Have Less Mammograms


8/28/16 – A new study at U-W Madison says most women ages 50 to 74 could be better off having mammograms to test for breast cancer every three years instead of two. A study from the university’s Carbone Cancer Center says the longer gap could reduce the risk of harmful effects from the screening process. However, the study also shows that women with dense breasts should be screened each year, because the dense tissues could make it harder to detect breast cancer. U-W researcher Amy Trentham-Dietz led the study with coauthors from California-San Francisco, Harvard, Georgetown, and Dartmouth. Trentham-Dietz says the study’s goal is to help women and their doctors consider aligning their screening benefits with their “personal risk and preferences,” and future studies will examine screening intervals for younger women.


Number Of Animals Killed By Grey Wolves Rising


8/28/16 – It’s been almost two years since grey wolves were put back under federal protection, and the D-N-R says those wolves are killing more farm and hunting animals in Wisconsin. Officials say wolves have killed or injured 58 domesticated animals this year, up from an average of 37 for the past three years. That was when the state controlled its own wolf population, mainly with a popular annual hunting season — but that disappeared after a federal judge returned wolves to the endangered species list in December of 2014, preventing any actions to kill wolves even if they cause damage to crops and such. Senate Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst calls the situation “intolerable,” and he’s cosponsoring a wolf summit September 15th in Cumberland to urge Congress to return the animals to state control. But Melissa Smith of the Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf says geese, deer, and elk cause more damage to farm crops than wolves do.


Milwaukee Film Festival Board Lands Oscar Winner


8/28/16 – Oscar winner John Ridley has joined the board of the group that puts on the annual Milwaukee Film Festival. Ridley is a native of Mequon, and he won a 2014 Academy Award for the screenplay of “Twelve Years a Slave.” Milwaukee Film’s executive director Jonathan Jackson says Ridley’s new position will help the Milwaukee group get a “direct link to the major motion picture and television industry at the highest level.” The Milwaukee Film Festival goes from September 22 through October 6. Ridley will be involved in a number of events during that festival, and he’ll be the keynote speaker at the annual “State of Cinema” program on September 24.