February 18, 2013

Fitzgerald Anticipates Expansion of School Choice


2/18/13 – State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says there will probably be a plan for expansion of school choice in the budget the governor rolls out on Wednesday. The Republican from Juneau told us on WBEV’s Community Comment on Friday says it’s not known exactly what the expansion will look like but he expects the legislature to weigh-in on by (quote) “putting their own mark on it.” Public choice is a voucher program that would allow student tax dollars intended for public schools to be redirected to private and religious schools. Fitzgerald speculates that the report cards assembled by School Superintendent Tony Evers and the Department of Public Instruction are probably going to be part of the equation, specifically the 2100 school throughout the state that have a grade of “D” or “F.” When asked if school vouchers could be expanded with his 13th Senate District, Fitzgerald said, “We have some ‘D’ and ‘F’ [elementary] schools within the district.”


Name Of Planned Skateboard Park To Be Discussed


2/18/13 – Organizers with the planned Beaver Dam Community Skateboard and BMX Park will be discussing the name of the park with city officials tonight. The group is seeking to honor the late Patrick Conley, a local skateboarder whose family provided an easement for the park off Fletcher Road between Beichl Avenue, County Road E and Highway 151. A $75,000 fundraising goal is in place for phase one, which is targeted for completion this summer. The initial phase would include the entire dirt bike track, a 3400-square-foot concrete pad for skateboarding, and a gravel walking path. Future phases would see two additional concrete pads with more skateboard obstacles, playground equipment, a park shelter and lighting. The skate group plans to discuss the name of the park with the city’s Operations Committee tonight.


BDPD Gets Seatbelt, OWI Enforcement Grant


2/18/13 – A grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will help the Beaver Dam Police Department crack down on seatbelt and alcohol violations. Twenty-thousand dollars ($20,000) of the grant from the Wisconsin Safety and Enforcement Grant is for overtime costs associated with seatbelt enforcement while the remaining $15,000 is specifically targeted at alcohol offenders. Police Detective Ryan Klavekoske says the goal is not to simply issue citations but to save lives, prevent injuries and educate the public on alcohol and seatbelt laws.


Markesan Legislator Seeks To Establish 9-1-1 Council


2/18/13 – The chairperson of a Special Committee on 911 Communication says she’s pleased a number of bills addressing the future of 911 have been drafted. State Representative Joan Ballweg of Markesan says one bill would create a state 911 council. She says they’d also like to see 911contracts with providers handled on a statewide basis.  Ballweg says with smart phones people can now text from the scene of an emergency, send photos and video to 911 dispatch centers. With the amount of landlines decreasing, Ballweg says new ways of paying for 911 services also have to be figured out as simply charging 911 fees to land line customers is no longer an option. She says they have to work that out and plan for what’s being termed “Next Generation 911.” Between 2005 and 2011 the number of land lines decreased by 800,000 phones while during that same time the number of cell phones increased by 1.7 million.


Charges Expected in Weekend Shooting


Charges are expected to be filed today against a man that allegedly shot at a woman with a high-powered rifle this weekend. 30-year-old Jason Twaite was arrested Saturday morning following a short standoff in the 100 block of Warbler Way in the town of Lebanon. Authorities found 30 empty casings in the roadway and in a snowbank that the girlfriend was apparently hiding behind. During a search of the man’s residence they found what Sheriff Todd Nehls described as an AK-47-style rifle with a full magazine and three more magazines right next to it. Twaite is facing at least one felony charge. The woman was also taken into custody for obstruction of justice.


Man Falls from the Ceiling at Drinking Party


A subject that Dodge County deputies were looking for fell right at their feet early Saturday morning. After receiving several calls, with the person on the other end hanging up, dispatchers plotted the calls to a residence on Highway I. There was no answer initially so deputies left. But soon after that the calls started again with the person on the other end saying there was drinking going on before hanging up. At that point, deputies felt they had probable cause and entered the residence. When they got inside they started looking for the person that lived there but were unsuccessful. That was, until the man crashed through the ceiling and landed right at their feet. Officials say the man had apparently gone into the attic to hide because he had been drinking and wasn’t 21. There were at least five people inside the residence and deputies issued several underage drinking tickets. One person was also arrested for violating his probation by using marijuana.


Schraa: Rumors About Prison System Privatizing “Unfounded and Harmful”


The Vice-Chair of the State Assembly’s Corrections Committee says rumors about the state semi privatizing its prison system are unfounded and harmful. Michael Schraa says those rumors are causing concern for the state’s hard working corrections officers. He says those types of rumors spread fast within the Corrections community. He says the Corrections Department is well run and with a $2.4 billion budget has one of the largest budgets in the state. (KFIZ, Fond du Lac)


New Ownership at Slinger Speedway


When the Slinger Speedway starts its new season in late April, it will be under new ownership. The Slinger Planning Commission last week unanimously approved the transfer of a conditional use permit to Todd Thelen and Rodney Erickson the new owners. Rodney is the son of longtime owner Wayne Erickson and Thelen is a former racer and more recently public relations and marketing director for the track. The season kicks off with a practice day on April 27th and Miller Lite Opener the following day. (KFIZ, Fond du Lac)


Kennedy Holding Listening Sessions


2/18/13 – Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy has listening sessions scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday). City residents are invited to meet with the mayor without appointment, in a one-on-one setting, on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Kennedy says he wants constituents to have the opportunity to speak with him the day after each regular meeting of the common council. The listening sessions are held in Room 158 on the first floor of City Hall from 10am until noon and again from 5pm to 6pm. If the regular listening sessions do not fit into your schedule, residents are encouraged to arrange a private meeting through the mayor’s office.