December 2, 2014

Classes Cancelled Today At DSLA


12/2/14 – The Beaver Dam School District’s Don Smith Learning Academy is closed today because of a heating issue. In addition, there is no student day care today at the Don Smith Learning Academy.


MedFlight Called Following Columbus Car Versus Semi


12/2/14 – MedFlight landed in the parking lot of the Hometown Shopko Store in the city of Columbus Monday night. Columbus Fire Public Information Officer Jerrod Fox tells us that emergency responders were called around 10pm after a car rear-ended a semi. It happened on Highway 16 between the BP station and Highway 151. The jaws-of-life were needed to remove the driver from the car; he was flown to UW Hospital in Madison. The driver of the semi was not injured. The accident remains under investigation.


Name Released of 17-Year-Old Killed in Beaver Dam


12/2/14 – The name of the 17-year-old Washington County teenager who was killed in a one-vehicle accident that occurred in the Town of Beaver Dam this weekend has been released by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.  Lucas Gromowski of Jackson was riding as a passenger in a 2008 Honda Accord that was being driven by fellow 17-year-old Aaron Mindel of West Bend.  The vehicle was eastbound on County Highway E around 9pm Saturday when the driver failed to negotiate the curve at the intersection with County A. After going air born, the vehicle landed in the northbound lane of County A, went airborne again and rolled over.  Gromowski was pronounced dead at the scene by the Dodge County Medical Examiner’s Office.  Mindel sustained non-life threatening injuries.


Taxi Phone Number Posters Going Up In Beaver Dam Bars


12/2/14 – A Beaver Dam council member has led a successful effort as part of an attempt to reduce drunk driving in the city. Alderwoman Mary Flaherty told the Administrative Committee in October that it came to her attention that some taverns in the city are under prepared to provide over-served patrons with the phone number for the local taxi service. Director of Administration John Somers drafted a letter to all liquor license holders in the city encouraging them to either call or provide patrons with the phone number for the city’s Shared Ride Transit service. The service is operated by Running Inc and officials with the taxi service told Somers that they would be happy to prepare and distribute posters advertising their phone number for distribution to local drinking establishments. The letter from the city to the tavern owners also explained new extended hours for the Shared Ride program resulting from recent council action. Starting on New Year’s Day, the taxi provider will be open until 2:30pm on select holidays along with Friday and Saturday nights, a half hour later than the current contract. Flaherty says she is very pleased with the outcome. Police Chief John Kreuzinger notes that a cab ride is a lot cheaper than an OWI.


Council Clarifies Recently-Adopted Weapons Ordinance


12/2/14 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night clarified vague wording in an ordinance adopted in October that prohibits dangerous weapons on school grounds. State statute already criminalizes guns on campuses. The ordinance adopted for a second time last night now clearly states that other weapons like knives, pellet and bb guns and starter pistols are not allowed. Police Chief John Kreuziger (cry-zig-er) says in the past, such offenses resulted in a disorderly conduct citation which he says is not the appropriate charge. The first offense would be a criminal misdemneaor and the second offense a felony. The ordinance exempts the use of a weapon for school-sanctioned purposes.


Waupun City Council Adopts 2015 Budget


12/2/14 – The Waupun Common Council adopted the city’s 2015 budget at last night’s special meeting.  The total tax levy is $2,550,001 million.  At the council’s last meeting, the idea of making $48,000 in cuts was proposed as that cut would allow there to be no increased burden on taxpayers from what they saw in the current year.  Mayor Kyle Clark says that the cuts were made without any substantial items being eliminated.  He says that the tax rate ended up coming in at $6.51 after those reductions were made.  That tax rate will allow Waupun residents living in Dodge County to see no increase from the current year’s rate.  Those from the city who are part of Fond du Lac County will see a decrease of eight cents in their tax rate.  Clark says that due to things staying fairly constant from the current year, the process of creating the budget for the coming year was not too difficult.  He commended the department heads for their ability to keep their budgets consistent from 2014 as hardly any big ticket items were requested for the coming year.  All five of the council members who were present at the meeting voted in favor of the budget.  Only Julie Nickel of the city’s first district was absent.


25th Annual Tree of Lights Celebration Held at BDCH


12/2/14 – The Partners of Beaver Dam Community Hospital held its annual Tree of Lights Celebration last night in the hospital’s cafeteria.  The event is marking its 25th Anniversary this year and has collected over $400,000 to date for BDCH’s Hillside Lifeline and Hospice Care programs.  Director of Home Care and Hospice Lisa White says that money is used to help maximize a person’s final time with their family.  White says that not all of the aspects that are offered by the program are covered under Medicare and that the funds raised for hospice care help in providing those extra elements.  She says that the Tree of Lights campaign in particular serves two unique purposes.  It both supports the previously mentioned hospital programs and also helps families remember those whom they have lost.  White says that giving back in honor of a loved one helps many families to get through what can be a difficult holiday season.  Although the celebration kicked off last night, it runs throughout the entire month of December.  People have until December 31 to purchase a five dollar light in honor or in memory of a loved one.  So far to date, $17,000 has been raised.  The Partners’ goal for this year is $25,000 to mark the program’s 25th Anniversary.


Holiday Music on Display at Tree of Lights Celebration


12/2/14 – Thanksgiving has passed, the calendar has turned to December, and the holidays are just a few weeks away.  That means the Christmas season is upon us, and those in attendance at last night’s Tree of Lights festival were using the season’s music to get in the festive mood.  The choral ensemble got things started with a variety of Christmas selections including the holiday classic, Silver Bells.  Once the song came upon the final verse, the audience was able to join in the festivities.  Following the medley of music, it was time to light the tree that is honoring and remembering many loved ones throughout Dodge County.  The main tree on the BDCH grounds as well as a number of smaller ones along the pathways leading up to the door illuminated for the first time this season.  In addition to the lights, the countdown also brought about something else, a choral performance of ‘O Christmas Tree.’  At the conclusion of the celebration, there wasn’t a face without a smile or a person in attendance who hadn’t been filled with the holiday spirit.


Governor’s Office Reaffirms Right-to-Work Law


12/2/14 – Governor Scott Walker’s office re-affirmed its stance on a right-to-work law yesterday — saying it’s not a priority, but not saying if he would sign the bill if the Legislature passes it.  A conservative group led by the state operations director of the Americans for Prosperity said it would work to pass right-to-work — in which private-sector employees could no longer be required to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.  Lorri Pickens, who heads the new “Wisconsin Right-to-Work” group, said its goal was to advance what she called “freedom in the workforce.”  She said the effort seeks to ensure that all workers have the same rights and protections regardless of whether they choose to be part of a union.  Phil Neuenfeldt of the state A-F-L C-I-O called it another way for C-E-O’s and multi-national corporations to “stack the deck” in their favor, at the expense of the middle class.  A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he would be open to making right-to-work a priority, but he’d have to gauge support from Walker and the Assembly first. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a long-time supporter of right-to-work, vowed not to pursue it in his house at least for next year.