January 11, 2013

Koch Named WI’s Fairest of the Fair


1/11/13 – Dodge County is home to Wisconsin’s 47th Fairest of the Fair. Mayville’s Steffani Koch was crowned Wednesday night in Wisconsin Dells after competing against 41 other contestants for this year’s title. As Fairest of the Fair, Koch becomes the spokesperson for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, where she will travel to many of the state’s county, district and state fairs this summer. She will also serve as the official hostess of the Wisconsin State Fair. Koch is a senior at UW-Madison and is completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. She earned the Dodge County Fairest of the Fair title in August.


BDFD Gets Grant


1/11/13 – The Beaver Dam Fire Department has secured a $110-thousand grant to install water sprinklers in the Municipal Building. Chief Alan Mannel says his department submitted a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant application last June. Mannel says he was originally seeking a grant to install sprinklers in the fire station but because that would be considered a partial project under the grant guidelines, he expanded the scope of the request to include the entire building. Mannel says the system will not only protect the lives of the employees and customers in the municipal building, it will protect valuable city infrastructure including 100% of city hall and the life safety equipment housed in the fire station. The grant requires a ten-percent match and the funds will come from leftover monies in the city’s Capital Improvement Projects fund. Since Mannel has joined the city, his department has secured around $292-thousand dollars in grants. That includes $71,000 for radio equipment to satisfy federal narrow-banding requirements and $111,000 for a vehicle exhaust removal system for our fire station.


Alford Gets Jail Time


1/11/13 – A Milwaukee man will spend six months in jail for a July 2010 crime spree in Dodge County. 30-year-old Alec Alford entered a “no contest” plea Thursday to a felony count of Burglary and had four other felony charges and three misdemeanor counts of Criminal Damage to Property dismissed but read into the record. Authorities say Alford and another man broke into Stobb Plumbing along with multiple units at Verhage Storage and Badger Mini Storage. A Waupun police officer spotted the two near the storage units around 2am and they fled at a high rate of speed down Highway 49. The suspects’ car crashed near Amity Road and County Road M and they were taken into custody by a Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputy. 33-year-old Michael Yarbrough of Sturtevant was injured in the crash by a stolen air conditioner. Yarbrough had all charges dismissed on a prosecutor’s motion last July.


National Guard Troops Return


1/11/13 – Over 100 Wisconsin National Guard troops are back on U-S soil, after spending almost a year in Afghanistan. Members of the 11-hundred-57th Transportation Company of Oshkosh returned to Camp Shelby in Mississippi on Monday night. They were expected to have 8-to-10 days of debriefing before returning to Wisconsin. A ceremony is planned at the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds in Oshkosh. The soldiers escorted various convoys during their time in Afghanistan.


Walker Wants Income Tax Reduction


1/11/13 – Governor Scott Walker says an income tax cut is the best way to boost Wisconsin’s economy – and the state budget he’ll propose next month would phase in a reduction in rates over a number of years. Walker spoke Thursday to a luncheon of the Wisconsin Bankers Association in Madison. He said cutting the individual income tax rates would put more money in people’s wallets – and they could more easily make investments and loans. The Republican governor said the income tax cut would be significant – and some of the reductions would not take effect until 2016 and later. Walker said he would not cut local property taxes, but he would again place controls in the state budget to limit any increases. Walker told reporters that the income tax commitments after the next budget in 2015 would not add much to the state’s structural deficit. He said lawmakers would quote, “pay as we go” in handling future income tax decisions. Walker said he would provide some more details in his State-of-the-State address next Tuesday – and the fine print will come out when he introduces his budget package to the Legislature.


Barca: Walker Needs to Say How He’d Pay for Tax Cut


1/11/13 – A Democratic leader says that if Governor Scott Walker wants to cut state income taxes, he should also say how he’d pay for it with other new revenues or spending cuts. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca also says the poor and the elderly should get a larger share of any income tax break. He said it would make up for what Republicans did two years ago, when they scaled back the earned income tax credit for the working poor and blocked a scheduled expansion of a tax break for seniors. Barca said the middle class should then be the next to benefit.


Leaders Meet About Gun Control


1/11/13 – Law enforcement leaders from Wisconsin and the Midwest say other things are needed beside gun control to reduce the street violence they see each day. Those attending a summit in Minneapolis yesterday wanted stronger community partnerships – along with more cooperation between various government agencies. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Minneapolis Mayor R-T Rybak planned the day-long meeting a year ago – months before mass slayings took place in their areas, plus the Connecticut school tragedy. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said those mass shootings need federal action – but he said daily killings cannot be ignored, either. Flynn called those a “slow-motion mass murder.” Barrett said he and other mayors feel pressure from those opposed to changing gun laws. But he added quote, “We are fighting for the freedom of the people of this country to be safe.” The summit took place on the same day that Vice President Joe Biden announced a consensus on some federal gun control measures, including a ban on assault weapons, which he’ll give to the president next week. Rybak said the federal measures are helpful, but they won’t limit what the Upper Midwest needs to do. For one thing, Rybak says federal laws must be changed so law enforcement can share information about firearms with each other. Rybak said he was appalled when he went to a crime scene, and saw that a federal firearms agent could not legally information to the local police about the guns or suspects in that crime. The local authorities also said they need more information about the mental health of those seeking gun licenses.


Quad-Graphics Closing Plant in Iowa


1/11/13 – One of the Dodge County area’s largest employers says it will close a commercial printing plant in Dubuque Iowa. Quad-Graphics blames changes in the industry, including a new popularity of E-books. Dubuque’s production will be moved to Quad’s other U-S plants. The Dubuque plant has been on the down-side for months. Twenty-four jobs were cut last May, and the firm said in August it would eliminate up to 60 jobs by the start of 2013. The closing affects 215 workers – but it’s not clear whether those jobs will be offered at other Quad plants. Quad-Graphics is based in Sussex and has plants in Hartford and Lomira.


FDL Gets First Payment from Mercury Marine


1/11/13 – Fond du Lac County has received the first of several payments from Mercury Marine as the company starts paying back a 50 million dollar loan.  The loan from the county came as a part of efforts to keep the boat engine manufacturer from moving out-of-state a few years ago.  The payment of $3.2 million dollars went to the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation, which is administering the loan.  Mercury Marine will make ten payment based on the company’s employment levels.  One county official says Mercury is getting close to the 29-hundred new jobs both the company and county were hoping for.  Last year, the company started a $20 million dollar expansion project.


Counterfeit Bills Found in Beaver Dam


1/11/13 – Two counterfeit $100-dollar bills were passed in Beaver Dam this week. One fake bill was passed Wednesday morning at the Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly. On Monday, employees at Horicon Bank discovered a phony Benjamin in a deposit from Charlie Brown’s Tavern. The evidence is being turned over to the Secret Service for investigation.


Free Day at the Museum If Packers Win


1/11/13 – If the Packers win on Saturday, pack the kids. They’ll get free admission to the Green Bay Children’s Museum on Super Bowl Sunday, sponsored by the city of San Francisco. That’s part of a bet between the mayors of both cities for Saturday night’s N-F-C divisional playoff game between the Packers and the San Francisco 49’ers. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee is putting up his city’s famous sour-dough bread, along with Anchor Steam Beer and T-C-H-O Chocolate. If the 49’ers win, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt would send Renard’s cheese curds out West – along with Seroogy’s chocolates and Titletown sparkling wine. Also, a 49’ers victory would give San Francisco residents a free day at their Exploratorium, sponsored by the city of Green Bay.