New September 21, 2011

Man Found Dead in His Vehicle

9/21/11 – An 86-year-old Illinois man was found dead in his car near the Horicon Marsh yesterday morning. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says their initial investigation suggests the driver, Alan Rickert, failed to negotiate a curve on West Point Road, left the road before striking a tree and coming to rest in a drainage ditch. The accident was reported around 8 a-m yesterday, but Nehls says its possible Rickert could have been in the ditch since late Monday afternoon. They are unsure as to why he was in the area. An autopsy is being completed to determine an exact cause of death but Nehls says its likely Rickert is the county’s ninth traffic fatality this year.

DC Board Approves Redistricting Plan

9/21/11 – The Dodge County Board of Supervisors approved their final redistricting plan last night. The plan calls for 33 districts, down from 37, with the average population of each district at nearly 2,700. Board Chairman Russ Kottke says he was pleased with the process, which started even before the 2010 census information was available due to the board’s decision to cut four board positions. The new district plan will create some interesting races next spring, because as it stands right now, eight current supervisors would face off against each other in four separate districts. The plan also creates a district where there is currently no supervisor.

Beaver Dam Man Sentenced For Town of Emmet Burglary

9/21/11 – A Beaver Dam man was sentenced to seven months in jail Tuesday for burglarizing a shuttered Dodge County business. 21-year-old Robert M. Hansen pleaded “no contest” last month to a count of felony burglary and had two other felonies and a misdemeanor dismissed but read into the record. Hansen and another man were arrested in July after Washington County Sheriffs deputies responded to a report of suspicious activity and found the subjects with spools of copper wire. Authorities there contacted the Dodge County Sheriffs Department because the two agencies had previously worked on a joint investigation involving Hansen. When detectives went to Hansen’s residence, they found more spools of copper wire in the back of his pick-up. That wire had printed on it the name of a Town of Emmet business that had been closed for four years. Investigators then found the business had been broken into recently and the family says the cooper wire with the name of the business on it had never been sold to anyone else. Hansen initially denied the charges and implicated Jonathon L. Schultz of Beaver Dam before confessing. In addition to the Dodge County charges they are both charged in Washington County with felony Possession of Burglary Tools and misdemeanor Obstruction of a Police Officer. Schultz will be arraigned on the Dodge County charges next month and has a hearing scheduled next week on the Washington County charges. Hansen entered into a plea agreement with Washington County prosecutors earlier this month and will be sentenced on those charges at a later date. In addition to seven months in jail, a Dodge County judge placed Hansen on probation for seven years and ordered to pay $3000 in restitution.

Local Fire Departments Receive Pet Oxygen Masks

9/21/11 – The Beaver Dam and Fox Lake Fire Departments are among several in the country that now have the equipment to help save a pet’s life in the unfortunate event of a fire. The “Project Breathe” donation from Wyllow Pet Hospital in Beaver Dam, Invisible Fence of the Badgerland and the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association will equip the departments with two pet oxygen masks. Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says humans remain the priority in fighting a fire but he says it’s not uncommon to rescue a pet. Mannel says the donation means they no longer have to retrofit a human mask to fit over a cat or dog. Beaver Dam and Fox Lake join the ranks of cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Memphis, who have all received donated pet oxygen masks from Project Breathe. Although the number of pets that die in fires in not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis.

Horicon Mill Rate Increasing Eight Cents

9/21/11 – Property owners in the Horicon School District could see their tax rate go up by 8-cents under the 2011-2012 budget presented this week. Superintendent Gary Berger says that the total tax levy of $4.1-million is lower than last year but, because of property values decreasing, the mill rate will go up to $10.27 per $1,000 of assessed value. He says the budget is a balanced despite the loss of about $680,000 in state and federal aid. Berger says they were able to balance the $9.9-million budget through staff retirements and reductions in fringe benefits for staff along with cutting some positions. The school board also discussed the possibility of asking voters to extend a referendum that will be ending this coming school year. The money would be shifted to pay for upgrades to their science and computer labs and shop equipment. A special school board meeting has been called for October 3.

Sheriff Seeks Spanish-Speaking Reading Materials

9/21/11 – Sheriff Todd Nehls is asking the publics help in expanding the library at the Dodge County Detention Facility with Spanish language reading materials. Nehls says the county has a large inmate population that can only read Spanish and their library’s book/magazine inventory is lacking. He is hoping that citizens, churches, and organizations in the community who may have Spanish books, bibles, and other materials might be willing to donate them. Those who can help are asked to call the Dodge County Detention Facility at 920-386-3743

Petri Hosting Medicare Forums

9/21/11 – Congressman Tom Petri is hosting a series of forums on Medicare at the end of the month. As part of the public meetings, the Wisconsin Board of Aging and Long Term Care will provide an overview of Medicare, including Parts A, B and D in addition to Advantage plans and military care. Petri says the presentation for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, will be particularly relevant to seniors as Part D has an open season starting October 15, during which beneficiaries can switch to different prescription providers. There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. The forum will be held at the Beaver Dam Senior and Recreation Center on East Third Street on Friday, September 30 from 8:30am to 9:30am. Other forums are scheduled in Sheboygan, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac.

Cancer Support Group Meeting Postponed One Day

9/21/11 – The Women’s Cancer Support Group in Beaver Dam originally scheduled to meet today (Wednesday, Sept 21) has instead been moved to tomorrow (Thursday, Sept 22). It will still be held from 6:30pm to 7:30pm in the Langmack Room at Beaver Dam Community Hospital. The Support Group is designed to allow cancer patients, family members and caregivers an opportunity to discuss their feelings, share information and talk about coping with the emotional, physical and psychological issues of cancer. Contact Connie Knight or Melissa Schuett at 887-4334for more information.

GOP Seeks To Modify Recall Requirements

9/21/11 – Wisconsin voters could only recall public officials for misconduct-in-office under a constitutional amendment introduced yesterday (Tu). The Assembly’s finance co-chairman, Racine County Republican Robin Vos, announced the change in response to the cost of holding this summer’s nine Senate recall contests. The Government Accountability Board said local governments spent an extra two-point-one million dollars on elections that clerks in 40 counties did not expect to hold at the start of the year. Vos said he agrees that recalls are an exercise in democracy – but he says people must balance it with the costs to both the state and local treasuries. Republican legislative leaders hinted a few months ago they would propose limits on recalls. G-O-P lawmakers say they’re opening the door to perpetual campaigns, and recalls

based solely on the votes that legislators make. As the party that’s not in power, Democrats have said the recalls give a voice to people – in this case, about the law which virtually ends collective bargaining by most public employee unions. The proposed constitutional amendment would have to be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions, and then by the voters in a statewide referendum.

Janesville Plant Unaffected By GM Contract Agreement

9/21/11 – The closed General Motors plant in Janesville will remain closed under the new four-year contract agreement between the United Auto Workers union and GM. Negotiators say the deal with add or keep 64 hundred jobs in the U.S., with a two and a half billion dollar investment. Most workers won’t get raises, but will receive at least 12 thousand dollars in bonuses. It’s up to the union membership to ratify it now. Part of the agreement involves the re-opening of a factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Supporters of the agreement say many jobs are being returned to the U.S. from Mexico.