News 4/21/2010

Beaver Dam Holds Reorganizational Meeting

4/21/10 – Second-term mayor Tom Kennedy told city officials during their reorganizational meeting last night that Beaver Dam has the finest group of alderpersons, department heads and employees that a city could want. Kennedy reappointed Don Neuert as chair of the Administrative Committee and moved Robert Ballweg to the Operations Committee. Ballweg will continue to Chair the Community Development Committee. Aaron Onsrud will be the new face on the Administrative Committee. Laine Meyer will continue to chair the Operations Committee. John Litscher was unanimously elected by his fellow alders to again serve as president of the council.

New Alderperson Seated In Ward Six

4/22/10 – The city of Beaver Dam has a new alderperson in Ward Six. Terese Hiles-Olson was sworn-in last night after a successful write-in campaign. Olson is a 2007 UW graduate who is furthering her education at Madison Area Technical College. She moved to Beaver Dam with her family in 1999 from the Lacrosse-area and her children graduated from Beaver Dam High School. She says her decision to run was spawned from conversations with her neighbors and she’s already talked with constituents about parking issues and the need for a skate park and another dog park. Olson replaces Andrew Westenmeyer who chose not to seek what would have been his first full-term. She received 66 of the 81 write-in votes cast in her ward in the spring election. Olson was appointed last night to sit on the Operations Committee.

Kottke Retains Chair

4/21/10 – Russ Kottke will remain as Dodge County Board Chairman for at least the next two years after he was unanimously reelected by the full board Tuesday. Meanwhile, Dave Frohling beat out Robert Ballweg to become the boards First Vice chairman while Ernie Borchardt was voted in as the Second Vice Chairman. Those three will be joined on the board’s Executive Committee by holdovers Ken Neumann, Larry Bischoff, and Harold Johnson as well as newcomer MaryAnn Miller of Beaver Dam. The board also voted to keep the same highway committee of Johnson, Ed Qualmann, Jeff Schmidt, Chet Caine, and Randy Grebel.

Juneau FD Extinguishes Car Fire

4/21/10 – A 1994 Audi was completely destroyed by fire Tuesday in Juneau. Assistant Fire Chief Dan Wegener says they were called to the Dollar General parking lot off East Center Street just before 9am. When firefighters arrived on scene car was fully engulfed. Attempts by a Dodge County Sheriffs Deputy to extinguish the flames were not successful. No word yet on the cause of the fire but it started in the engine compartment. The owner was not inside the vehicle at the time but was transported from the scene by EMS. The Juneau Fire Department was on the scene for less than one hour.

Lauth Arraigned

4/21/10 – A Beaver Dam man, accused of embezzling over $16,000 from a non-profit conservation organization, entered a “not guilty” plea at arraignment Tuesday. Leonard V. Lauth is charged with a felony count of Theft In A Business Setting for allegedly taking the money from the Wings of Wisconsin, Beaver Dam Chapter over a period of several years. The 56-year-old acted as treasurer for the chapter since 1994, but the organization conducted an audit last fall after hearing that Lauth may have been taking money from two other Beaver Dam non-profits where he also served as treasurer. According to the criminal complaint, Lauth admitted to investigators that he (quote) “may have robbed Peter to pay Paul” over the years and said that he has been living month to month and needed the money for medications and other living expenses. He faces up to ten years in prison if convicted. Lauth has court activity on the calendar in June.

Last Surviving Munchkin Laid To Rest

4/21/10 – The last surviving Munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz” was buried Tuesday morning in Jefferson County. Meinhard Raabe’s funeral was held at Immanuel Lutheran Church east of Johnson Creek, where he grew up. At 4-feet-7, Raabe was perfect for his role as the Munchkin coroner in the 1939 classic film, in which he announced the death of the Wicked Witch as Munchkin-land celebrated. He appeared frequently at “Wizard of Oz” festivals throughout the country. And a few years ago, he joined other surviving Munchkins as they were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Meinhard Raabe was also a spokesman for Oscar Mayer of Madison for nearly 30 years.