January 29, 2014

Propane Assistance Available Through Dodge County


1/29/14 – Dodge County Emergency Management is urging residents affected by rising propane costs to apply for funding help. Director Amy Nehls says the Home Energy Plus Program provides payment assistance to eligible households for home heating costs. A State of Emergency has been declared by the governor because of the propane shortage. As a result, there has been an increase in the income limit for households that use propane from 60-percent of the state median income to 80-percent. Assistance can be obtained through the Dodge County Energy Assistance Office in Beaver Dam. Additional information can be obtained by calling: (920) 887-7990 or (800) 506-5596


Fire Destroys Town of Elba Barn


1/29/14 – Fire completely destroyed a barn near Columbus this morning. Crews were called to W12014 Johnson Road, between Duffy Road and Tri-County River Road, in the Town of Elba at 3:15am. Columbus Fire Public Information Officer Jerrod Fox says a neighbor went to check on his cows, smelled smoke, got in his car and discovered the structure fully engulfed in flames. The barn collapsed in on itself shortly after firefighters arrived on scene. It contained 20 to 30 bales of hay and a couple tractors; the contents were a total loss. No other structures were affected. The cold weather hampered efforts as firefighters had to deal with frozen water lines. There were no injuries. Columbus received mutual assistance from the Fall River Fire Department, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Adams-Electric Coop and Lifestar Ambulance.


Hundreds Attend West Bend Service For Purdue Student


1/29/14 – Hundreds of people filled a church in West Bend last night to mourn the death of Andrew Boldt, the Purdue University student murdered in a classroom last Tuesday.  School president Mitch Daniels and Boldt’s fellow engineering students traveled from the West Lafayette Indiana campus to attend the service, held at Saint Francis Cabrini Catholic Church.  Daniels said that as he learned about the 21-year-old Boldt and his family, he realized that America does not have any finer people.  The president of Milwaukee Marquette High School, where Boldt graduated in 2010, attended the service along with numerous teachers and friends.  Purdue said yesterday it would bring in counselors and therapy dogs on Friday for a “Day of Healing” in the wake of Boldt’s murder, allegedly committed by fellow student Cody Cousins.  The therapy dogs will be from Indiana’s K-9 Assisted Crisis Response Team.  It was found that dogs helped comfort college students after the deadly campus shootings at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, and Alabama-Huntsville in recent years.


Horicon’s Lake Street Bridge To Open November 14


1/29/14 – The Lake Street Bridge in Horicon will be open to vehicle traffic on November 14. That’s according to Mayor Steve Neitzel who says for everyday thereafter the contractor would be penalized. The city approved an agreement with the state DOT Tuesday night. The state and federal government will pick-up 80-percent of the tab, roughly $1.4 million dollars. The city will pay the remaining 20-percent, just over one million dollars. However, that does not include the $100-thousand dollars already spent on design and engineering costs nor does it count incidentals like remediation. Bidding will be in May with construction starting this summer.


Horicon Approves 2-Percent Salary Increase


1/29/14 – The Horicon City Council approved a two-percent across-the-board salary increase for nearly all municipal employees last night. The item was included in the 2014 budget adopted in the fall. The raises will affect union and non-represented workers in public works, city hall, fire, EMS and election officers along with non-represented police officials. The increases are retroactive to January 1 for nearly every city employee.


Wisconsin Dem’s, GOP Split on State-of-the-Union


1/29/14 – Wisconsin Democrats hailed, while Republicans huffed at President Obama’s latest plans to reduce the gap between America’s rich and poor.  During his State-of-the-Union speech last night, the Democrat Obama said vowed to step around Congress and issue executive orders when necessary to narrow the nation’s economic disparities.  House Republican Tom Petri of Fond du Lac said expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit would do more to help the working poor than the president’s desire to raise the minimum wage — which Petri said would reduce jobs and hurt the very people Obama’s trying to help.  House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls said the president showed an “utter contempt” for Congress — and he was not elected to rule by quote, “executive fiat.”  But Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin labeled it a “strong call for action to build a fairer economy, expand opportunity for everyone, and grow the middle class.”  Madison House Democrat Mark Pocan said Obama is providing the opportunity we won’t see until quote, “our economy works for every American — not just those at the top.”  Obama announced his order for a 10.10-an-hour minimum wage for workers in future federal contracts.  Obama also said he would use his powers to help low-income workers save for retirement.  The president called for an extension of the Earned Income Tax credit for low-wage families.  Obama also renewed his pitch for immigration reform.  The president will reinforce his economic plans during a speech Thursday at a General Electric plant in Waukesha.


Walker Tax Cuts High Than Projected


1/29/14 – The proposed Walker tax cuts would be higher than the governor claims.  The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau agreed yesterday that the Republican Walker’s plan would reduce local property taxes by an average of 101-dollars this year.  The bureau also said the governor’s plan would wipe out an increase of 31-dollars that was planned for the typical December tax bill.  So the property tax cut would actually be 131-dollars for a home assessed at 151-thousand dollars.  Also, the Fiscal Bureau said Walker’s proposed income tax cut would amount to an average of 46-dollars — making the total tax cut 177-dollars.  The cuts represent just over half of a surplus in the current state budget that’s projected to be almost a billion dollars.  Lawmakers are expected to act in the next few weeks.  Democrats and some Republicans say they’re more concerned about eliminating an expected deficit at the start of the next budget in mid-2015.  The Fiscal Bureau says the structural deficit would be 807-million dollars — 99-million more than before the tax cuts were proposed.  Meanwhile, the state Revenue Department has unveiled new income tax withholding tables for employers to adopt by April first.  Walker does not need legislative approval to adjust the withholding tables — which he says would put more money in workers’ pockets now instead of next spring as part of people’s tax returns.


Discover Dodge Breakfast Details Announced


1/29/14 – A group that promotes tourism in Dodge County has announced the details of their annual breakfast. Discover Dodge will hold the breakfast on Tuesday, February 18 at the Schauer Center in Hartford. The keynote speaker this year is David Spiegelberg, economic development specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. He will be providing a 2014 initiatives update. Last year’s Outstanding Volunteers will also be recognized at the annual meeting. The new 2014 Discover Dodge Guide will be available for pick-up after the meeting. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. The deadline is February 11.


Columbus Coffee With A Cop Next Week


1/29/14 – Columbus will be joining 80 other communities around the country in scheduling an inaugural “Coffee with a Cop” event next week. The police department is inviting the public to the Apple Tree Restaurant on Friday morning, February 7. Community members are being asked to come and share their public safety concerns with local police. You do not have to drink the free coffee to participate. The idea behind the event is to have police officers, and the community, talk with each other in an informal setting. Apple Tree owners are going to donate the profit from the day’s sales to the Columbus Police Department. The Columbus Coffee with the Cops event will be held next week Friday at 8am at the Apple Tree at 675 Park Avenue.


Polar Vortex Reduces Germantown Shenanigans


1/29/14 – The “Polar Vortex” and bitterly cold temperatures brought out the Germantown Police Chief’s sense of humor. On their Facebook page under Chief’s Commentary Germantown Police Chief posted this: Attention, Attention, due to the “Polar Vortex,” “Artic Blast,” “Really Cold” temperatures, Germantown has decided to cancel all criminal activity for Tuesday January 28th 2014. We are also canceling outdoor shenanigans, crazy behavior and anything else that would subject an officer to the frigid cold temperatures tomorrow.” And it is signed “Chief Peter Hoell.”