August 29, 2016

Kennedy Discusses Early Budget Numbers On WBEV


8/29/16 – While still in the very preliminary stages, Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy discussed the city’s 2017 budget with us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment. Kennedy says his approach to the budget is to work with Finance Director John Somers and department heads to refine the numbers before they get to elected officials for further scrutiny. The current years 2016 budget totals $15.2-million dollars and includes a tax levy of $9.7-million dollars, up around $200-thousand dollars, or two-percent from the previous budget.  The mill rate taxpayers got last December was $10.05 per thousand dollars of assessed value, down five cents. While it is too early to project what taxpayers may see this December, Kennedy says the city will be able to increase its budget by 1.33-percent this year which translates to $168-thousand more than last year’s budget. Beaver Dam will see revenues of roughly $350-thosuand dollars for being meeting the requirements of the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which rewards municipalities that keep their budget in check. The city has in recent years and will continue to limit borrowing to no more than $1.6-million per year for Capital Improvement Projects. Taxpayers will have more help in meeting the levy this year as the city’s equalized value has increased by $22-million dollars, to an estimated $1-billion-63-million-dollars.


Hustisford Schools Early Budget Numbers


8/29/16 – Hustisford residents will likely pay more this year for the school portion of their tax bill than they did last year.  The district’s preliminary budget shows a projected mill rate of $10.91, up from last year’s $10.03.  That means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $109.10 in school taxes.  The $5.5-million dollar budget would bring a $3.3-million dollar tax levy, $300-thousand dollars more than the 2015-16 levy.  School officials say district property values will not be available until October.  Last year’s $304-million dollar property valuation was used in the preliminary document.  Finance Director Michael Gerlach says the projected levy and mill rate increases are largely due to a decrease in state aid.  Hustisford is also entering the third of four years in a $240,000 technology upgrade plan.  Superintendent Heather Cramer says the district has seen positive results in the first two years as parents have noted their kids are more engaged in learning through the new, interactive lessons that incorporate laptops, IPads, and smart boards.  Gerlach says the preliminary budget comes with a $62-thousand dollar deficit.  He says the district was in a similar spot going into the past two school years but both times eliminated the deficit by year’s end.  This year’s budget hearing is scheduled for October 10 with final adoption the following week.


Mayville Students Will See A New Superintendent


8/29/16 – Students in the Mayville School District will see a new superintendent when they start school this week.  Scott Sabol was hired in June to replace the retiring Dr. Pat Antony.  Most recently, Sabol spent six years as the superintendent in the Neosho Joint Three School District.  Prior to that, he served as a high school principal in both Lake Mills and Sheboygan Falls.  Sabol says he chose to come to Mayville due to the district’s focus on personalized learning.  After playing a key role in Herman, Neosho, and Rubicon’s consolidation, Sabol believes he could bring valuable insight and guidance if Mayville considers consolidation in the future, as it did with Horicon until talks broke down earlier this year.  Sabol grew up in Johnson Creek and currently lives north of Oconomowoc with his wife and two kids.


One-In-Seven State Workers Get Merit Pay Increase


8/29/16 – About one of every seven state government employees received a merit pay increase or catch up payment during the fiscal year ending in July. The Wisconsin State Journal says the payments went to 46-hundred agency workers, or about 15-percent of that workforce. The payments totaled nine-point-seven million dollars. That’s about two point five times what was paid out the previous year, when a number of payments were held up due to budget issues. Most of this year’s payments went to workers in the departments of Natural Resources, Corrections, and Transportation.


Sheriff Encourages The Public To Be Mindful Of Surroundings


8/29/16 – Dodge County residents are being advised to always take notice of their surroundings.  In his monthly column, Sheriff Dale Schmidt says law enforcement officers are trained observers who practice and improve upon that skill on a daily basis.  He says it is important for civilians to do the same by always seeing who is around them and creating an emergency response plan in case something goes wrong.  Schmidt encourages people to mentally practice that plan ahead of time to minimize the chance of making a mistake.  He says this can be especially useful for people who work in places often targeted in robberies, such as banks and convenient stores.  When an unexpected situation unfolds, Schmidt says bystanders are most valuable to law enforcement by being good witnesses.  Schmidt says officers need accurate, detailed information about the incident.  He says it is not always easy to get those facts since people often get caught up in the moment when an unexpected situation arises.  The sheriff prefers that a citizen sits back and takes good mental notes of the situation rather than taking action, unless it is a life or death matter.  Schmidt says his office is willing to help any resident develop a personal safety plan.


Beaver Dam Man Charged In Bank Mutual Robbery


8/29/16 – A Beaver Dam man has been charged with robbing Bank Mutual last month. Adam Raney was already facing one count of Armed Robbery with the Threat of Force as a Repeat Offender for a bank robbery in Watertown when he allegedly confessed to the Beaver Dam robbery during questioning and had a second charge added. The 37-year-old had also previously been charged with Bomb Scare and Terrorist Threats because he said he had a bomb in a backpack during the Watertown incident. Raney had a slew of new felony charges filed against him Friday including Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Misappropriating Identification to Obtain Money, Identity Theft and Burglary with a Dangerous Weapon. That includes a mid-June home invasion in the Town of Beaver Dam where he stole over $12-thosuand dollars in firearms, electronics and jewelry and nearly $9000 in checks he forged from his employer. Raney told police that the crimes were fueled by heroin. He remains jailed on a $100-thousand dollar cash bond and has a court hearing this week.


Mass Today In Mississippi For Slain Nun, Slinger Native


8/29/16 – A Catholic Mass is planned Monday in Jackson, Mississippi to honor the two nuns stabbed to death last week. More than 300 people attended a church vigil in Lexington Sunday for Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill. Held was from Slinger in Washington County — and both she and Merrill led Bible studies at the Lexington church. The Reverend Gregory Plata said the work of both nuns was far reaching, and both would be missed. Held and Merrill were both 68, and were found dead at their home in Durant, Mississippi about ten miles from where they worked at a Lexington clinic. On Friday night, 46-year-old Rodney Sanders was arrested for the killings — but it’s not known when he’ll appear in court as the case remains under investigation.


Photo IDs Still Needed At Polls In November


8/29/16 – The refusal by the 7th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider two rulings on Wisconsin’s voter I-D law means it’s likely no changes will be made before the election in November.  The federal appeals court decided unanimously Friday not to have the full panel of judges hear the appeals.  The only way any changes will be made to the Wisconsin law is if the U-S Supreme Court agrees to intervene.  The way it stands now, Wisconsin voters will have to show an acceptable I-D to cast a ballot, but they will be able to get a temporary I-D at a D-M-V office before the election.


New Jersey Woman Sues Brewers For Foul Ball Injury


8/29/16 – A New Jersey woman has sued the Milwaukee Brewers, claiming she might suffer permanent eye injuries after being hit by a foul ball at batting practice. Dana Morelli says it happened while sitting down at her seat near third base before a game in 2014. The 47-year-old Morelli and her lawyer Michael Sperling accuse the Brewers of violating Wisconsin’s “safe place law” that requires property owners to do what’s reasonably necessary to protect visitors and employees. Major League teams extended their protective netting this year after a number of fan injuries at Milwaukee and other parks — and throughout the Majors, judges have sided with teams that include fine print warnings on tickets about the risk of injuries. But Sperling says the warnings are not enough to meet Wisconsin law, and baseball should do more to protect fans at batting practice when players hit from cages and fans think they’re safer. The suit seeks unspecified damages and the Brewers did not comment since the case is in litigation.