News 5/20/10

Waterloo Soldier Killed

5/20/10 – An Army lieutenant colonel from Waterloo has been killed in Afghanistan. The Pentagon said 43-year-old Paul Bartz was one of five soldiers killed on Tuesday in Kabul, when their convoy was attacked by an improvised explosive device from another vehicle. Bartz was a member of the headquarters unit of the Army’s 10th Mountain light infantry division at Fort Drum New York. He was part of a team that was about to conduct training for top leaders, as the full unit gets ready to head to Afghanistan later this year. Bartz is survived by his wife and a son.

Cooper Street Culverts To Be Prepared

5/20/10 – Beaver Dam officials say the $350,000 grant the city has been awarded to fix the culverts on Cooper Street will eliminate a major bottleneck. In the past, water pumps have been brought in during times of heavy rain to pump water over the street. City officials have yet to determine how the money will be used. Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz estimates that if the city were to construct a bridge over Cooper Street, the $350,000 grant would cover about half the costs. If the city were to replace the undersized culverts with larger ones, the grant would cover approximately 80% to 90% of the costs. Governor Doyle announced Tuesday that over 61-million-dollars in Community Development Block Grants have been doled out in federal disaster areas statewide.

Prayers Answered in Fox Lake

5/20/10 – Something has finally gone the way of Fox Lake. After an 18-month stretch that saw the city damaged by flood waters, its elementary school close and its only grocery store go out of business the city finally got the good news it was hoping for yesterday. It came in the form of 1.75-million-dollars in grant money to build a court ordered equalization basin that otherwise would have been paid for with taxpayer money. Mayor Tom Bednarek called the money a savior at last night’s council meeting and later added he’s hopeful that with the grant the city can move forward and try and repair the divide in the community caused by the issue. City officials say they will still need to borrow 1.2-million-dollars for other sewer and water utility projects. The grant was part of 62-million-dollars allocated by the governor for communities still recovering from the floods in 2008.

Crash Closes Highway 67

5/20/10 – Injuries were thought to be minor from a late afternoon crash at the intersection of Highways 67 and 33 that involved two semi’s and a minivan. Authorities say the three vehicles collided, sending the minivan and one of the semi’s rolling into the ditch. The other semi suffered significant damage to front bumper area. Highway 67 was shutdown for more than 2-hours before finally reopening around 6 p.m. The crash is still under investigation.

Guilty Pleas In Bank Robbery

5/20/10 – Two of the three people charged in connection with a Madison bank robbery recently entered “guilty” pleas in federal court. At the hearing, 39-year-old Gregory Allen of Memphis, TN admitted that he was the lone robber who entered Anchor Bank on February 9, jumped over the teller counter and stuffed cash from two teller drawers into a bag while armed with a pellet gun that looked like a handgun to bank employees. Gregory Allen faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison for his conviction on the robbery charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 6. His brother, 28-year-old Raymond Allen of Poynette, faces a maximum penalty of ten years for his role in helping to conceal the money. Sentencing is set for July 29. Authorities say the money stolen from the Anchor Bank contained dye-packs which exploded and tainted the money red. The FBI and Columbia County SWAT team joined local police in arresting the trio in Poynette in the days after the robbery. The third person, 33-year-old Jennifer DeBoef of Poynette, is scheduled for a jury trial in July.

Raw Milk Bill Vetoed

5/20/10 – It will still be against the law for Wisconsin farmers to sell raw, unpasteurized milk. Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a controversial bill today that would have allowed farmers to sell raw milk on their own premises. In his veto message, Doyle said there were strong feelings on both sides. But he said quote, “I must side with the interests of public health and the safety of the dairy industry.” Both houses passed the raw milk measure by overwhelming majorities – 60-to-35 in the Assembly and 25-to-8 in the Senate. But the Assembly did not have enough votes for the two-thirds’ majority that would be required for an override of the governor’s veto. Earlier, Doyle said he assumed he would sign the bill in the interests of giving consumers a choice. But farm-and-

medical groups put up a strong lobbying effort in recent days. While supporters said unpasteurized milk improves the immune system, opponents said it also leaves consumers open to diseases like salmonella and e-coli. Farm groups worried that one outbreak from raw milk would ruin the Wisconsin dairy industry’s worldwide reputation for quality. And the head of one dairy group warned Doyle that signing the bill might ruin his legacy as he steps down after this year. The bill would have allowed raw milk to be sold and advertised only on the producer’s farm through 2011 – when lawmakers would have come up with permanent rules.

Milk Production Up

5/20/10 – Wisconsin had another big increase in its milk production last month, as the Badger State continued to chip away at the lead held by top-producing California. According to new government figures, Wisconsin made six-point-two percent more milk in April than the same month a year ago. That’s more than four times the national increase of one-and-a-half percent. The state produced two-point-two billion pounds of milk to three-point-four billion for California – whose output was steady compared to the previous year. The Golden State’s dairy herd dropped by 69-thousand cows, but each animal averaged 75 pounds more. Wisconsin’s dairy herd grew by five-thousand cows to just over one-and-a-quarter million head. The Badger State’s production per cow rose by 95 pounds, to an average of 17-hundred-45. New York is the nation’s third top milk producer, followed by Idaho and Pennsylvania. All three saw their production rise, but not by as much as Wisconsin.

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Edges Down

5/20/10 – Almost six-and-a-half percent of Wisconsinites are at least one payment behind on their mortgages, while managing to avoid foreclosure. The Mortgage Bankers Association said the state’s delinquency rate for the first quarter of this year was about one-and-a-half percent lower than the final quarter of 2009. But the group cautions that delinquency rates normally drop at the start of a new year. And the group’s chief economist, Jay Brinkmann, says it’s hard to tell if there’s been an improvement. Wisconsin’s delinquency rate remains higher than at the same time a year ago, when five-and-three-quarter percent of mortgage-holders were behind by a payment or so. But the group says Wisconsinites are still doing a lot better than their fellow homeowners around the country. Nevada’s delinquency rate is over twice as high as Wisconsin’s, at just over 14-percent. The Badger State had the 41st lowest delinquency rate.

Ag Hearing On Home Canning

5/20/10 – The state agriculture department will hold a public hearing next Tuesday in Madison on the new law that lets home canners sell their jams, jellies, salsa, and vegetables to the public. Agriculture officials said it could take up to a year-and-a-half to create permanent rules for canners. The department adopted an emergency rule so canners can sell their goods this year. Officials want to hear how canners are dealing with the current measure. And they want ideas and comments about a permanent set of rules. The new allows up to five-thousand-dollars in sales of naturally acidic home canning products. Previously, only goods made in commercial-grade kitchens could be sold legally. Canners can learn more about the new rules – and what can be sold – by going to the ag department’s Web site, accessible at Wisconsin-Dot-Gov. The rules are located at an icon called “Canned Food.”

Oshkosh Corp Builds New Ambulance

5/20/10 – The Oshkosh Corporation has introduced a new type of ambulance that can go over rugged terrains – just like the all-purpose military trucks the company makes for use in Afghanistan. An ambulance version of the Oshkosh all-terrain vehicle was unveiled today at a military trade show in San Antonio. It can carry three crew members and four patients at a time. So far, Oshkosh has received orders to deliver almost 81-hundred of its all-purpose vehicles to the military.

No Winner in Powerball

5/20/10 – Nobody won the Powerball jackpot last night, so it goes up to 170-million dollars for Saturday. Wisconsin players were not very lucky. The most anybody won was 300-dollars. Ten players did it by matching either four regular numbers or three-plus-the-Powerball, and having the Power Play multiplier of three. Just over 22-thousand Wisconsin players won something. Last night’s numbers were 2, 7, 29, 55, and 58. The Powerball was 27. The current jackpot is the third-highest of the year, and it’s been growing since April 21st. Saturday’s cash option is around 85-

million-dollars. The next drawing in Mega Millions is tomorrow night, with a jackpot of 54-million dollars.