February 4, 2013

Snow this Morning, Warmer Temps Mid-Week


2/4/13 – Roads are snow covered and slippery this morning. A band of light snow moved through the state overnight and left us with nearly two-inches of new snow in the Beaver Dam-area. Dodge County Sheriff’s Department records show deputies dealt with at least six runoffs and a couple accidents as of 1pm yesterday. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 9 a.m. this morning but we shouldn’t see too much more snow. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-teens today before a mid-week warm-up gives us highs in the 30’s.


Gas Prices Up


2/4/13 – Gas prices are 33-cents higher on average this morning than a month ago. That’s according to the fuel tracking website, WisconsinGasPrices.com. They say the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular is going for $3.52. That’s 13-cents higher than last week. In Beaver Dam, gas is going for $3.49, which is up 40-cents in the last three weeks. An increase in crude oil prices and production problems at about a dozen refineries nationwide are being blamed.  No relief is in sight since the approaching switch to summer blends of fuels could put a strain on supplies by the time the issues are resolved.  The current prices are about eight cents higher than they were at the same time last year – and those prices were at historically high levels at the time.


Man Arrested for 6th OWI


2/4/13 – A Beaver Dam man is facing charges for allegedly driving drunk for a sixth time. 48-year-old Salvator Vitale was arrested on Saturday night after authorities found him walking on the side of Highway 151 around 11pm. A Wisconsin State Trooper found Vitale stumbling, and when he spoke with him, he was slurring his speech. Vitale told the trooper that he was walking to his home in Beaver Dam because he had crashed his vehicle. Authorities later found it in a ditch just south of Forest Road on Highway 151. Vitale’s most recent conviction for drunk driving came in 2009.


Tax Refunds Expected to Be Similar to Last Year


2/4/13 – Many Wisconsinites have started filing their federal-and-state income tax returns – especially those getting refunds. Madison tax accountant Mike Scholz says your refund should be about the same as last year, if your income didn’t change much. That’s because the withholding tables did not change, and the tax rates stayed the same. The state Revenue Department said the average refund totaled 685-dollars a year ago. And about 80-percent of individual returns were filed online – one of the highest percentages in the nation. Besides the Internet services, officials say they’re offering a free mobile app for the first time. Smart-phone users can check the status of their refunds, and find a volunteer tax assistance site if they need one. About three-million state tax returns are expected to be filed between now and April 15th. Scholz tells the Wisconsin State Journal that there were not many tax changes for 2012, but there are a few. Workers who don’t pay health insurance with pre-tax dollars can deduct 45-percent of their payments, up from the old 25-percent. Deductions have also risen for child-and-dependent care expenses. More tuition can be deducted this year, and a number of new business tax credits take effect. Also, casino gamblers who win big won’t have to pay taxes on the winnings if they go on to lose a similar amount in the same session. But Scholz says they’ll need to have proof of the activity.


“When Tragedy Strikes” Community Forum Tonight


2/4/13 – A community forum in Beaver Dam tonight called “When Tragedy Strikes” seeks to address the issue of violence in our communities. Organizer and panelist Rev. Mark Molldrem says the evening will try to answer questions like “how can I plan for the future” and “are appropriate safety measures in place to protect our children. Other panelists include State Representative Mark Born, Dodge County Human Services Supervisor Ed Ormont, Sheriff Todd Nehls and District Attorney Kurt Klomberg. “When Tragedy Strikes” is at the First Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam beginning at 6:30pm this evening.


DC Fair Musical Acts Announced


2/4/13 – The musical acts for the 2013 Dodge County Fair were announced over the weekend. Country act Justin Moore will kick things off on Wednesday night, with Craig Morgan on Thursday, REO Speedwagon on Friday, and Thompson Square rounding things out on Saturday night.  Dodge County Fair Association Vice President Doug Ninmann says that admission prices will stay the same as 2012. That means it’ll cost you $7 to get in before 2pm and $10 after that. Season tickets are going for $27 before August 14th and $35 if purchased after that. And exhibitor tickets are $24. The 2013 Dodge County Fair runs August 14-18 and you can get more information at their website www.dodgecountyfairgrounds.com


Community Theater Using Old Footage to Help with Expansion


2/4/13 – Newly-surfaced video shows a young John Kraft from back in his community theater days pitching the need for a new and permanent building for the local acting troupe. Unearthed and repackaged by local historian Roger Noll, the 80’s footage is now being used to promote an expansion campaign for that same building.  The video features around forty performers who presented an musical fundraising appeal thirty years ago when the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre first moved into its current home at 219 North Spring Street.  That includes John Kraft singing alongside Jim McMillan and Lee Schmidt. Other stars in the play directed by and featuring Kay Stellpflug include:  David Proctor, John Auten, Patrick Lutz, Kay Gietzel, Judy Hein, Roni Harper, Tina Swain, Sarah and Tom Cornell, Kim and Dan Doyle, Charlie McDonald, Tom Sandblom, Bob Hanson, Arlene and Ralph Wiedenhoeft and Roger VanHaren.  The retro video is part of the theatre’s “Show Spirit Spotlight Challenge” which calls on performers, audiences and the general community vote with dollars. The theatre’s dedicated Facebook page spotlights a weekly “Top Ten” of shows and the play with the most donations is featured at the top. The final winners at years end will be showcased in a special display in the theatre’s new handicapped-accessible lobby. The theatre’s Annette Kamps says you do not even have to join Facebook to view the page http://a.pgtb.me/4rrDFq but she says subscribers can challenge those from past productions by sharing the link. Links and additional information can be found at www.bdact.org.


Aftermath of Large Fire Being Felt Throughout Burlington


2/4/13 – People are out of work, in some cases their cars are encased in ice and now fire investigators are having a hard time investigating the cause of last week’s fire at Echo Lake Foods in Burlington.  Almost everything is covered with ice up to an inch thick from the spray of millions of gallons of water used to control the flames.  Fire crews were on the scene for nearly two days.  Now, the ice covering left behind is hindering the effort to find out what started what was one of the largest fires in Racine County history.  The participation of the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation doesn’t necessarily mean the fire is considered suspicious.  Officials on the scene say it could be weeks or even months before the source of the fire is determined.


Teacher Resigns After Sending Children’s Pictures to Inmate


2/4/13 – A second-grade teacher in Neenah has resigned after being accused of sending pictures of elementary school students to an inmate at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution.  Thirty-three year old Eddie Sanders has been in prison for 14 years, but he apparently didn’t break any laws this time.  However, teacher Christina Peerenboom has lost her job.  The package sent to Sanders was intercepted by prison officials.  They say they found it contained class pictures and the names of students.  Parents of students at Tullar Elementary School were sent a letter last week.  District officials say swift action was taken to make sure all students are safe.


Powerball at $208M


2/4/13 – The Powerball jackpot is the highest in just over two months. It’s at 208-million dollars for Wednesday night, after nobody won the top prize on Saturday. Nobody from Wisconsin won any of the three top prizes. Twelve tickets sold in the Badger State each won 200-dollars by having the Power Play option and matching either four regular numbers or three-plus-the-Powerball. Just over 15-thousand Wisconsin players won something. About half won four-dollars each by matching only the Powerball. Saturday’s numbers were 11, 16, 33, 40, and 41. The Powerball was 34. The jackpot is the biggest since November 28th, when players in Arizona and Missouri split a Powerball-record 587-and-a-half-million dollar prize. Wednesday’s cash option is just under 131-million dollars. In Mega Millions, the jackpot is at 19-million for tomorrow night.