News 4/9/2010

Violent Crimes Down In BD

4/9/10 – There were less violent crimes reported in Beaver Dam last year, as compared to the previous year. That’s according to the Police Department’s 2009 Report of Activities, which says violent crimes decreased from 13 in 2008 to three last year. The crimes were aggravated assaults; there were no homicides, no robberies and no forcible rapes. There was a 14% increase in property crimes with 553 reported in 2009 compared to 486 in 2008. The department had an 18% clearance rate and was able to recover nearly $40,000 in stolen property. Total adult arrests were down 8% over the two-year period with 1151 reported in 2008 compared to 1054 last year. Juvenile arrests decreased by 6%. There were 570 youths taken into custody last year, compared to 610 the previous year.

Refsland Pleased With Survey Results

4/9/10 – Waupun School District officials were very pleased with the results of a survey sent home to parents recently. The survey asked about the parent satisfaction level with the school’s new start times, the busing situation, their lunch program and their overall satisfaction with all the changes the district recently made. Administrator Randy Refsland says nearly 60-percent of people were happy with the start times while 70-percent approved of the lunch system. More than 75-percent of the parents approved of the busing situation and 76-percent were satisfied with overall workings of the district.

Columbus CDA To Plan TIF

4/9/10 – The Columbus Community Development Authority (CDA) received approval this week to plan two new TIF Districts in the City. TIF District 4 would be the northwest “industrial” corridor near Highway 151 north of James Street and TIF 5 would be the Crawfish River waterfront between the Antique Mall and James Street. The Council will be taking a closer look at the TIF 4 and TIF 5 plans after the City Administration, CDA and engineers put some numbers and time frames to the plans. TIF # 4 could be approved by the end of the year. However, District # 5 plans are not expected to be completed before 2011.

Columbia County Immigration Indictment

4/9/10 – A Mexican national apprehended in Columbia County has been indicted on federal charges with illegal entry into the United States. 39-year-old Jose Rojas-Aguero was found on February 9. He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

No Charges In West Bend Apartment Fire

4/9/10 – The Washington County prosecutor says it was an accident — not a criminal act. District Attorney Todd Martens will not be bringing charges against the apartment resident who left lighted candles unattended, causing a fire that heavily-damaged the 24-unit building in West Bend. Police had asked for charges against that person, but Martens says there is no evidence that the resident acted intentionally and simply forgot to put the candles out before leaving for work.

Watertown Cocaine Ring Sentencing #17

4/9/10 – Another sentence was handed down this week in connection with a two-county cocaine ring. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb sentenced Martin Pineda-Pineda to 51 months in prison. The 26-year-old is one of 17 drug dealers sentenced since June of 2008 for selling cocaine in the Watertown area. The Department of Justice conducted wiretaps between July of 2006 and June of 2008, monitoring hundreds of calls detailing drug transactions in Dodge and Jefferson Counties. Authorities executed a series of search warrants and seized over $100,000 in cash,

multiple kilograms of cocaine and several automobiles. Three people who have been indicted in connection with the cocaine ring are still at large and remain fugitives.

Kohl’s, Boston Store Sales Numbers Up

4/9/10 – U-S retailers had an unexpected sales increase of nine-percent in March, compared to the same month a year ago. Kohl’s Department Stores of Menomonee Falls led its competitors with a sales jump of 22-and-a-half percent in stores open at least a year. Experts said an early Easter and a pent-up demand for clothing helped drive the increases. Kohl’s C-E-O Kevin Mansell said consumer traffic went up – and same-store sales hikes were in the double-digits at Kohl’s stores nationwide. Bon-Ton – the parent firm of Boston Store and Herberger’s – had a same-store sales increase of 11-point-four percent in March. Bon-Ton vice president Tony Buccina said sales exceeded the company’s expectations. The national sales jumps were three-percent higher than expected.

Oshkosh Corp Secures $19M Contract

4/9/10 – The Oshkosh Corporation will get another 19-million-dollars from the Army to repair about 200 more military vehicles. The work is part of four existing contracts that are being extended until next January. The company will fix heavy-duty transport trucks and trailers among other vehicles. Generally, the employees strip down the vehicles, upgrade them, and refurbish them so they’re like-new. Oshkosh builds a variety of heavy-duty vehicles, including a newer class of mine-resistant trucks designed for the rough terrain in Afghanistan.

Madison 7th Bike-Friendly City

4/9/10 – Wisconsin’s two largest cities are among the nation’s best for bicycles. Madison is rated seventh, and Milwaukee is 25th on this year’s list of the most “Bike-Friendly Cities in America,” as determined by Bicycling Magazine. Cities with over 100-thousand people were ranked according to their bike routes and lanes, the number of bicycle commuters, and their renowned bicycling clubs and shops. The Madison Visitors’ Bureau says bicycling events have an impact of almost five-million-dollars a year in the Capital City area. Minneapolis was rated the best city for cyclists, followed by Portland Oregon and Boulder Colorado.

Office of Health Care Reform Established

4/9/10 – The state of Wisconsin offers help to those trying to implement federal health care reforms. Governor Jim Doyle has announced the creation of an Office of Health Care Reform. It will be charged with tasks such as providing information about coverage options, developing plans to pursue federal funding for a high risk health insurance pool, and creating a health insurance purchasing exchange where cost comparisons can be made. The state is also launching a new website where the public can get answers about how health care reforms affect them