January 22, 2014

Body Found In Beaver Dam Retention Pond


1/22/14 – Authorities in Beaver Dam are working to identify a body found Tuesday afternoon on a retention pond. Detective Ryan Klavekoske says officers were contacted around 1pm by a utility worker who found the body of the middle-aged male in a pond between Dodge Drive and the 1600-block of North Spring Street. Klavekoske says they do not suspect foul play at this time.  Investigators are speculating that he may have a rented space in the nearby storage units. A vehicle believed to belong to the deceased was found nearby, still running. The Dodge County Medical Examiner pronounced him dead around 4pm. An autopsy is planned for Wednesday morning. Klavekoske asks anyone who may have observed an individual in that area Monday night or Tuesday morning to call Beaver Dam Police.


Board Approves Emergency Management Title Change


1/22/14 – The Dodge County Board last night approved a shifting of titles in the Emergency Management department. Deputy Director Amy Nehls will assume the top post at the request of current-Director Joe Meagher who, come Saturday, is the Deputy Director. Meagher approached Nehls about the change. It comes following the recent birth of his son, who was born pre-mature but otherwise perfectly healthy. Nehls tells us the change in titles will not be noticeable to local residents or agency partners…and will essentially boil down to her attending a few more evening meetings.


2013 A ‘Robust’ Year for Housing Market


1/22/14 – Wisconsin Realtors sold almost 11-percent more houses last year than in 2012.  That’s according to new figures released today by the state’s Realtors Association.  Members sold just under 70-thousand existing houses statewide in the year just ended.  That’s almost seven-thousand more than in the previous year.  Median resale prices jumped by seven-and-a-quarter percent last year to 143-thousand-500 dollars.  There were 827 home sales in Dodge County last year, nine more than in 2012, and the median sales price was up nearly 13-percent to $120-thousand. Columbia County had 694 sales last year, a dozen more than the previous year with a sales price up five-percent to $132-thousand. There were around 150 more homes sold in Jefferson County over the two year period with a median price up 11-percent to $155-thousand. Fond du Lac County home sales totaled 1032, an increase of over one hundred from 2012 and a median sales price up six-percent to $117-thousand. Washington County was up by over 300 sales to 1766 with a median price of $180-thosuand, up four-percent. December also saw increases, after a couple months of declines.  Realtors sold almost 46-hundred homes statewide last month, up from 43-hundred-plus the December prior. Resale prices last month went up six-percent to just under 140-thousand dollars.  Realtors’ Association board chairman Steve Lane said 2013 was a robust year for the housing market.  He said home sales rose in each region of Wisconsin during the past year — and they rose 34-percent compared to 2011, when the state’s housing market hit bottom was the recession was ending.


Hartford Software Firm To Be Sold


1/22/14 – A health care software firm that’s based in Hartford is about to be sold.  G-E Health-care announced Tuesday that it would buy A-P-I Health-care, which makes software for hospitals and health-related staffing agencies.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  G-E says it expects to finalize the purchase by the end of March.  Over 16-hundred hospitals and other clients use A-P-I software for things like analytics, payroll, staff schedules, and patient classifications.


Assembly Approves Nationwide Rifle Sales


1/22/14 – The Wisconsin Assembly voted Tuesday to allow residents to buy shotguns and rifles from dealers throughout the nation.  The measure would put the Badger State in line with a current federal law.  Interstate firearm sales were banned in 1968, but dealers were allowed to sell long guns to buyers in adjacent states.  In the late ’80’s, the federal law changed so people could buy long-guns from anywhere in the country.  Wisconsin never made that change in its law, and the Assembly voted 94-to-3 to proceed with it.  Democrats Chris Taylor, Terese Berceau, and Sandy Pasch voted no.  The measure now goes to the Senate.  Also today, the Assembly approved new pay requirements for companies with traveling sales crews.  The Republican measure would make employers pay the crews at least semi-monthly on agreed-upon dates.  Workers and operators would also have to be given I-D cards to show while working in the Badger State.  That bill passed on a voice vote, and it now goes to the Senate.


Public Hearings Planned For Special Needs Vouchers


1/22/14 – Public hearings will be held next month on a bill to let students with special needs go to private schools at taxpayer expense.  Four Republican lawmakers from both houses re-introduced the measure yesterday (Tue), after it was rejected as a part of last year’s state budget.  Under the new plan, disabled youngsters could only attend voucher schools if they’re not able to find a public school which meets their needs in the annual open enrollment program.  The vouchers would be worth up to 14-thousand dollars a year.  Supporters say it would give parents more options to find schools that meet with youngsters’ needs.  Opponents say special needs’ youngsters lose their federal protections if they leave the public school system for private schools.  Critics also say private schools are generally not as accountable as the public institutions.


Dem’s Seek To Raise Minimum Wage


1/22/14 – Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday to raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage from the current 7.25-an-hour to 10.10 over the next two years.  However, the bill has no chance of passing unless some majority Republicans support it — and so far, none have.  Assembly Democrat Cory Mason of Racine says he’s disappointed that nobody in the G-O-P has co-sponsored the measure.  He says recent polls have shown that most Americans — including Republicans — support a higher minimum wage.  Democrats brought Darrell Summers of Milwaukee to their State Capitol news conference.  He said he gets 640-dollars a month making minimum wage at Popeye’s — and all but 90 of that goes toward rent.  The 57-year-old Summers said he and his co-workers were all cut back to 28-hours-a-week last year.  The Democrats want to raise the state’s minimum to 8.20-an-hour now, 9.15 a year later, and 10.10 the year after that.  Mason said around 600-thousand Wisconsin workers would benefit once the wage hits 10.10.  Earlier this month, Republican Governor Scott Walker told C-N-N he’s against raising the minimum wage.  He said it’s an artificial increase that does nothing to create jobs.  Walker said lawmakers should focus on job training instead.


Entire Dodge County Snowmobile Trail Is Open


1/22/14 – The entire Dodge County Snowmobile Trail System is now open. Trails in the Beaver Dam, Fox Lake and Waupun area are the latest to open. Trail Manager Bill Ehlenbeck says Trail conditions are generally fair to poor throughout, however the cold temperatures reduce concerns for potential damage to underlying grounds. He says many trail sections may have minimal snow cover, but riders are reminded to stay within the trail corridor or it will be considered trespassing. The ATV Trail on the Wild Goose Trail from Hwy 60 to Hwy 49 in Dodge County remains open.

The Dodge County Parks Website at www.dodgeparks.com has additional trail information and maps. The 24-Hour Trail Status Hotline is 920-386-3705. To report trail violations, get registration numbers and sled description of violators and report to 1-800-TIP-WDNR or the Dodge County Sheriffs Department at 920-386-3726.