August 31, 2016

Waupun Focusing On Tourism, Marketing


8/31/16 – Officials in Waupun are working to rebrand their image to make the city more inviting to new residents and business. The common council last night approved the first steps in a plan to market the City of Sculpture more aggressively. City Administrator Kathy Schlieve explained to the council the benefits of creating a city-run Tourism Commission versus hiring a local tourism company. She says the benefits of a local commission would be that it would control more local dollars with the potential to strengthen community engagement and support local events. The downside would be the lack of marketing expertise on the local commission and a lack of dedicated staff focused on marketing. Conversely, she says the benefits of hiring a company should translate to an increased impact of limited dollars from a professional staff invested in a comprehensive web and social media presence that understands how people make purchasing decisions. The cons of using an outside company includes losing representation from Waupun itself along with the challenge of differentiating the city  from others in a regional approach to advertising the city. The state legislature wants room tax dollars to continue to be used to promote tourism for a municipality but recent changes will mean that city has to a hire tourism company. While a city-operated commission is optional, if such a local commission is established officials would have to decide how much of its tourism dollars should be handled locally and how much should be allocated to the private company. The council last night unanimously agreed to establish a Tourism Fund for future tourism promotions and development using $30-thousand dollars in the existing room tax fund. A second motion gave Schlieve the green light to seek Requests for Proposals from companies interested in managing Waupun’s tourism dollars and help make a final recommendation of the use of room tax dollars. The goal is to have city officials approve all the necessary steps and have a final in place by January 1.


Cambria-Friesland School Taxes Likely On The Rise


8/31/16 – The school portion of taxes for residents in the Cambria-Friesland School District will likely be higher this year than last.  The district’s $5,800,000 preliminary budget calls for a tax levy of $2,200,000, up roughly $300,000 from last year.  The projected mill rate is $11.78, a $1.47 increase from what homeowners paid last December.  That would mean the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $1,178 for the school portion of their tax bill.  When the district provided residents with information ahead of the successful spring 2015 referendum, this year’s mill rate was projected at $11.14.  Superintendent Tim Raymond says the $0.64 bump was largely due to the district losing $134,000 in state aid.  Since property values are not expected until October, Raymond says the district estimated it at $205,000,000, which is in between the $209,000,000 valuation from last year and the $199,000,000 total from 2014-15.  The board is expected to vote on the final budget in October.


Waupun PD K9 Fundraising Opportunities Announced


8/31/16 – The Waupun Police Department is continuing its efforts to establish a new K-9 program in the city. Police Chief Dale Heeringa says their current dog Yako is close to retirement. Heeringa says at 8-years-old, Yako is showing his age and the best plan of action will be have continuity with the program and keep a K9 on the street. Heeringa says a cornerstone of the fundraiser is the sale of plush K9 dogs for $15 each. He says they have been so popular their just ordered their third batch of one hundred after the first two batches went quicker than ever anticipated. There are also brat fry’s planned Friday and Saturday at Waupun Piggly Wiggly. More information is available at


Three Columbia County Men Arrested For Amish Burglaries


8/31/16 – Three Columbia County men have been arrested in connection with a string of burglaries targeting Amish homes in multiple counties.  Sheriff Dennis Richards says the investigation started on Sunday, August 14 following multiple reports of home burglaries in northcentral Columbia County. A week later, more residential break-ins were reported in Columbia and Marquette counties, leading to a joint investigation by the two counties. Another week later, more Amish home burglaries were reported in Vernon and Monroe counties. The sheriff says numerous detectives worked the case and tracked down various leads.  That included two different vehicles: a red 4-door car and a silver Hyundai car. Both were reported as possible suspect vehicles after they were seen in the areas of the burglaries. On Monday, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office worked with investigators from Monroe County and a suspect vehicle was identified.  Detectives searched two homes and two vehicles for stolen items.  Richards says guns, cash, coins, jars, bows, documents, and safes were all recovered. Three people arrested on charges of felony Burglary are: 21-year-old Grant Pulver of Portage, 20-year-old Alex Moulton of Portage and 20-year-old Dylan Bartaczewicz. Authorities are currently working with the victims to get the stolen items returned to the rightful owners.


Watertown Woman Heading To Jail For Burglary


8/31/16 – A Watertown woman will spend 15 months in jail after her probation was revoked for a 2014 burglary.  Desiree Livermore was found guilty of three misdemeanors in April 2015.  The 19-year-old was part of a group that broke into a Watertown home to steal alcohol and cigarettes while the owner was out of town.


GOP Opens Dodge County Campaign Headquarters


8/31/16 – The GOP has opened its Dodge County campaign headquarters.  The county’s Republican Party says it is located at 709 North Spring Street in Beaver Dam.  Office hours until the November 8 election are Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays from 10 am- 2 pm.


Wisconsin Presidential Ballot Finalized


8/31/16 – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will have some company on Wisconsin’s presidential ballot for November. On a unanimous vote Tuesday, the state Elections Commission approved seven White House candidates who met the qualifications for appearing on the state’s ballots. Besides Democrat Clinton and Republican Trump, the ballot will include Libertarian Gary Johnson, Jill Stein of the Green Party, Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party, Rocky Rocque De La Fuente of the American Delta Party, and Monica Moorehead of the Workers World Party.


Walker Speaks At Mexico’s New Consulate In Milwaukee


8/31/16 – Governor Scott Walker says he’ll focus on growing Wisconsin’s strong trade ties with Mexico, while his fellow Republican Donald Trump pursues a wall between the two countries. Walker was among the speakers Tuesday at an opening ceremony for Mexico’s new consulate in Milwaukee. It’s been open since mid June, providing documentation and other services for Mexican residents in 53 Wisconsin counties and 12 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Walker says that as long as Wisconsin keeps going to Mexico to seek business and trade, “it doesn’t matter what the president is doing” and as the governor put it, “We’re still going to have a strong relationship.” In 2013, Walker wrote Mexico’s president to explain the need for a consulate in Wisconsin — and U-S Senator Ron Johnson and Wausau House member Sean Duffy led the federal effort to get it.


DMV Urges Voters To Get New IDs ASAP


8/31/16 – Members of the state Elections Commission are concerned that people who apply for voter I-Ds close to the November election won’t get them in time. But at a meeting Tuesday, an official of the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles promised to get them out. They’ll use overnight mail for requests made the week before the November balloting — and the D-M-V issued a statement late Tuesday asking that voters who need I-Ds get them now. People can get free I-Ds either through the mail or at D-M-V, but they must use the mail to obtain temporary certificates for voting if they have trouble getting I-Ds. Last Friday, a federal appeals court said rulings which upheld the photo I-D law for voting will stay in place for November — and credentials must be issued quickly to voters to seek them.


Mother Teresa Honored At Marquette In Advance Of Canonization


8/31/16 – Wisconsinites will honor the late Mother Teresa during a special Mass at Marquette University. It will celebrate her canonization as a saint, to be conducted Sunday outside the Vatican by Pope Francis. The Milwaukee service begins at noon Wednesday outside of Marquette’s Schroeder Complex.  Reverend Thomas Krettek, Marquette’s vice president of mission and ministry, will preside along with the Reverend John Burns of the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese. Mother Teresa visited Milwaukee in 1981 when Marquette gave her its highest honor, the Pere Marquette Discovery Award. She died in 1997.


Waukesha Native Returns To ‘Bachleor’


8/31/16 – Waukesha native Nick Viall will again look for love as a national T-V audience looks on. He was named Tuesday night as “The Bachelor” for the 21st season of the A-B-C reality series. The 35-year-old Viall won a state high school track championship at Waukesha North — and he helped set a school relay record at U-W Milwaukee where his sister Maria is in the school’s Hall of Fame as a basketball standout. But Nick Viall has been put through the ringer on the matchmaking shows, placing second in two seasons of “The Bachlorette” as he tried to win Andi Dorfman’s and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s hearts. A kinder, gentler Viall appeared this summer on “Bachelor In Paradise” — and it helped the producers choose him over fan favorite Luke Pell.


Waste, Brush Collection To Be Delayed In Beaver Dam


8/31/16 – A reminder that garbage pick-up in Beaver Dam will be delayed by one day all next week because of the Labor Day holiday. Advanced Disposal Services will collect Monday’s route Tuesday; Tuesday’s route will be collected on Wednesday and that will continue all week with Friday’s route collected on Saturday. September brush collection will also be affected.  While tomorrow and Friday’s routes will be collected as usual, Monday through Wednesday’s routes will each be delayed by one day next week.  In addition, the Department of Public Works Garage is closed Monday.