December 8, 2014

Five Fishermen Rescued From Lake Winnebago


12/8/14 – Five fishermen were rescued Sunday, after they got trapped on a patch of ice that cracked from the shores of Lake Winnebago northeast of Fond du Lac. Sheriff’s deputies said two adults and three juveniles — all 16-to-20 — were about a half-mile off the village of Pipe when the wind switched directions, and a 50-foot crack developed between them and the shore.  An amphibious rescue vehicle was used to save the young people and their fishing gear.  Sheriff’s deputies warned ice fishers that Lake Winnebago is not frozen — and what might appear to be solid ice can open up at any time.


Leadership Beaver Dam Class Adopts Watermark Project


12/8/14 – A group of students with Leadership Beaver Dam has taken up the promotion of the Watermark as their class project.  Leadership Beaver Dam is a nine-month course offered through the Chamber of Commerce that combines leadership training with an education on the history and story of Beaver Dam, from its schools and churches to its businesses, non-profits and elected officials. The proposed community and senior center is a couple hundred thousand dollars shy of its price-tag goal of $2.2 million dollars. Jessica Jacobson and Bobbie Pearson recently moved to Beaver Dam from Sun Prairie and say the optimism for a new senior center was a factor in their decision as they look at retirement. Groups within the leadership class take on a community project; Jacobson and Pearson have taken up the cause of championing the Watermark. Jacobson and Pearson started a campaign to raise awareness and support, using a wide cross-section of the community from children to seniors. The group is handing out blue ribbons for supporters to wear, along with mailings and flyers with information on the project, including a list of the names and contact information for the city council. The ribbons are available at the Beaver Dam Senior Center or Chamber of Commerce offices.


Fritsche Sees Positive 2015 for Beaver Dam


12/8/14 – Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce President Phil Fritsche spoke about the prospects for the city in the coming year during a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment.  He says that a lot depends on the national economy as everything has been done at the local and state levels to position Beaver Dam in the best possible spot.  Fritsche says that infrastructure is a key going forward.  He says that Beaver Dam’s current positioning and regulations make it appealing to prospective new businesses.  He says that all vacant land has already been pre-approved for the necessary permits required for building.  He notes that the programs inclusion in the ‘Fast Forward Project’ has also been very beneficial in creating a climate that makes the area attractive for businesses.  Fritsche says that the location of Beaver Dam also helps to add to the city’s appeal.  He says that prospective businesses benefit from being in a smaller city due to the reasonable costs and also from still being close to larger, metropolitan areas.  Fritsche also commends the work of the Beaver Dam Area Development Corporation for its success thus far in filling the city’s business parks.


Kelm Wins Beaver Dam Holiday Parade


12/8/14 – Pleasant weather contributed to a hearty turnout for the Beaver Dam Holiday Parade as the city officially ushered in the season this weekend. Parade organizer Kay Appenfeldt says there was a tremendous display of creativity in the entries and hours and hours’ worth of work on display. First place went to Ken Kelm Painting followed by the Dodgeland Dance Team. The Beaver Dam Senior Center, Beaver Dam Hog Chapter and Green Valley Enterprises rounded out the top five. Honorable mention went to Beaver Dam Hospital Kids Care and Harmony Baptist Church.


Whooping Cranes Flown By Private Jet


12/8/14 – Four Wisconsin whooping cranes were flown by a private jet to Louisiana to help re-build a permanent population in that state.  Windway Capital of Sheboygan funded the trip.  The cranes were among 14 heading last week to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in southwest Louisiana.  They were raised at the International Crane Foundation of Baraboo, and at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland.  Cranes have been living in Louisiana since 2011, for the first time since the 1950’s.  The state’s crane population is now said to be around 40.  Meanwhile, the Whopping Crane Eastern Partnership continues its own effort to re-establish the birds’ population in the Florida region.  Six baby cranes accompanied by a pilot were about to enter Georgia at last word, after leaving Green Lake almost two months ago.  The crane partnership said in October that just over 100 birds were in the process of migrating to Florida, including those who’ve made the trip in past years.  The nation’s whooping crane population is estimated at 450.


Stewardship Program Cuts Uncertain


12/8/14 – Assembly Republicans say Wisconsin’s program to preserve nature land has been cut enough — and they hope to maintain funding for it in the next state budget.  However, the Senate’s G-O-P majority says it’s too early to make any commitments involving the D-N-R’s Stewardship Program.  And Governor Scott Walker’s office is not saying what he might do when he proposes his next two-year state budget in the next few weeks.  For years, the Stewardship Program has borrowed millions of dollars to keep about one-and-a half million acres of pristine land from being developed.  When the G-O-P took control of state government in 2011, it reduced the program’s bonding authority, capped stewardship lands at one-point-nine million acres, and ordered the D-N-R to sell 10-thousand acres of land by the middle of 2017.  The D-N-R did not propose any Stewardship cuts this time around — and the Assembly’s Republican platform says visitors flock to the state’s pristine waters and forests, and they need to be preserved.  Assembly G-O-P finance chairman John Nygren tells the A-P he wants to see how the previous cuts play out, and not slash borrowing any further in the next budget.  Senate finance Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst says his party will face a choice of whether to spend more on education, transportation, or nature land — and lawmakers will have to determine if Stewardship is a “want” or a “need.”


Housing Market Bolsters Wisconsin Forest Products


12/8/14 – More housing starts equals more business for northern Wisconsin’s forest products industry.  That’s what the state Revenue Department’s chief economist said at a recent economic summit in Minocqua.   Dennis Koskinen said the national housing construction market is growing at about the same pace as the northern Wisconsin firms which supply materials for those homes.  He said annual housing starts grew from a half-million during the Great Recession to a million — and they’re expected to grow to one-and-a-half million by 2017. Koskinen said the upper-third of Wisconsin north of Highway 29 has shown good strength in manufacturing and agriculture.  He said populations are growing, and second homes which are common in the Northwoods are showing signs of recovery after taking a tumble in the recession.  Koskinen said Wisconsin tourism trails the rest of the nation on average, but the north kept seeing growth.


Associated Milk Producers CEO Steps Down


12/8/14 – The head of the Associated Milk Producers has stepped down after 31 years with the dairy marketing cooperative.  Ed Welch, the group’s top official since 2008, resigned last week for personal reasons.  Officials said a new president and C-E-O is being sought — and for now, executive senior vice presidents Sheryl Meshke and Donn DeVelder will share those duties.  A-M-P-I is owned by 26-hundred dairy farm families in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.  It markets about five-point-eight billion pounds each year, with sales of two-billion dollars.  A-M-P-I is based in New Ulm Minnesota.  It owns ten manufacturing plants.


Harley Davidson Created New ‘Quiet’ Motorcycle


12/8/14 – Tommy Thompson once called Wisconsin the place “where Harleys roar.”  But only a relative peep could be heard when Harley-Davidson’s new electric motorcycle recently rode into a conference in Milwaukee.  About 400 people attended the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council at Milwaukee’s Harley museum.  Company president Matt Levatich rode the quiet “Project Live-wire” bike into a meeting room — surprising those in attendance. The electric Harley was first unveiled in June.  And while it’s getting good reviews from riders, Levatich says it’s too limited in its range — and too high in cost — to put it on the market yet.  Still, Sustainable Business Council president Tom Eggert liked what he saw.  He said businesses need to get more engaged in climate change, and the types of corporate opportunities that can embrace sustainability.  In Eggert’s words, “The cost of in-action is now greater than the cost of action” when it comes to addressing carbon pollution.


BD Woman Facing Felony Theft Charges


12/8/14 – A Beaver Dam woman faces 18 felony theft charges for apparently sending embezzled money to men who may have been scamming her.  Prosecutors say Bridget L. Mincheski faked checks from the office of Dr. Mary Grote totaling at least 53-thousand dollars.  Grote says he bank contacted her about some suspicious transactions.  Mincheski had cashed 18 checks in less than two months.  Mincheski told investigators she had been sending a lot of the money to two men who told her they were in the Army.  One might have been from Nigeria.  She had an online relationship with the other man and was sending him money so he could travel to the U-S and meet her.  Mincheski is scheduled to make an initial court appearance December 15th.


Waupun Memorial Hospital to Sponsor Blood Drive


12/8/14 – The Waupun Memorial Hospital will be sponsoring a blood drive early next month.  All blood that is donated will remain local as it will be taken to the Blood Center of Wisconsin, which is the sole supplier of blood to WMH, St. Agnes Hospital in Fond Du Lac, and 55 other Wisconsin hospitals that are in a total of 27 counties.  The hospital says that the entire process of giving blood takes about an hour.  That time includes registration, providing a brief medical history, and having temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin checked.  The collection will take place on Tuesday, January 6 from 12:30 to 4:30 pm in the hospital’s Lower Level Meeting Room, located at 620 West Brown Street.  More information on the drive or how to schedule an appointment can be found on the Blood Center of Wisconsin’s website.