News 5/26/2010

Jefferson School Basin Fix Needed

5/26/10 – The city of Beaver Dam is going to have to fix the water retention basin built on the grounds of the Jefferson Elementary School. The basin is one of several planned around the city and was built over a year ago to hold storm water and filter out debris during times of heavy rain. Jefferson Elementary Principal Barb Link told the Operations Committee this week that the basin is not working as promised. The school was under the impression that the field could still be used for school activities, like soccer, but even minimal amounts of rainfall have resulted in pooling water, while heavier rains have pushed water levels over the berm. City Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says the city plans a more complete fix of the situation before classes start in the fall. In the meantime a temporary orange construction fence will be placed around the pooling water as a safety measure. The Operations Committee on Monday agreed to pay $32,700 to the contractor that performed the work. Piltz says the problems with the water backing up in the basin are a design flaw and are not related to the construction.

Quad Losses Top $8.5M in Q1

5/26/10 – Wisconsin’s largest commercial printing company tells federal regulators that it lost eight-and-a-half million dollars in the first quarter of this year. Quad-Graphics of Sussex said the latest loss was almost double its previous loss of four-and-a-half million from January through March of 2009. Quad is privately held, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says it’s been disclosing financial data to the government in advance of a proposed merger with World Color Press of Canada. In a filing with the Securities-and-Exchange Commission, Quad said about 225-million-dollars in savings could result with two months of the merger. The combined company would have 30-thousand employees and yearly sales of over five-billion dollars – making it North America’s second-largest commercial printing firm behind R-R Donnelley. In its report, Quad said the commercial printing industry in general has still not recovered from a previous recession in 2002-and-’03 – much less the recent economic downturn. Quad cites consolidation within the industry, and decreasing volumes of commercial printing. The report said utilization capacities throughout the industry dropped from 80-and-a-half percent in 2007, to just over 67-percent in January of this year. The report said Quad’s sales dropped two-point-eight-percent in the last quarter, compared to the previous year. But the Journal Sentinel said that’s not as bad as it could be. It cites an industry blog which said Quad’s losses equaled two-percent of their total sales – while World Color’s quarterly loss was over eight-percent of its revenue.

N. University Reconstruction

5/26/10 – Reconstruction of North University Avenue in Beaver Dam is scheduled to begin in earnest on June 7. That’s what project engineers told residents at a public information hearing last night. University will see complete pavement replacement along with new storm sewers and street lighting. The detour will take northbound traffic to Prospect Avenue and then down Wayland Street before ending at North Spring Street. Preliminary work to move utilities and remove trees has already closed the stretch of North University for most of the month, but the street will be open for Memorial Day weekend. The project is expected to be completed by Labor Day.

BD Man Charged With Child Porn

5/26/10 – A Beaver Dam man is accused of possessing child pornography. Jack McBride is charged with four felony counts, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison upon conviction. According to the criminal complaints, the 24-year-old used a roommates computer to download and save 14 images of children, some as young as five-years-old. McBride admitted to investigators that he received the pictures but says he was shocked by them as they were not the images he was trying to get. Authorities say he obtained the photo’s from a file sharing website and told the person who sent them, they were “nice.”

CHS Supports “Parents Who Host”

5/26/10 – The Columbus School Board threw their support behind the national “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” program this week. The second year program is aimed at school community PARENTS who face the dangers surrounding underage drinking at end-of-the-school-year parties. The Columbus Police Department and several community agencies are supporting the educational effort to inform parents on the losses they could suffer by allowing underage drinking during the many graduation celebrations.

Driver Drives Home Seatbelt Message

5/26/10 – Wisconsin police officers are starting to reinforce Donald Driver’s message about wearing your seat-belt while in the car. The annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign begins this week, and the state D-O-T says a record number of law enforcement officers will hand out tickets to those who are not buckled up. If you’ve watched T-V at all the past couple weeks, you probably know that Driver – a receiver for the Green Bay Packers – says he always wears his seat belt because quote, “I’m not going to take a hit from you!” More than 375 law enforcement agencies are taking part in this year’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which runs through June sixth. Last year, seat belt convictions surpassed 100-thousand statewide. It was the first year that officers were allowed to ticket drivers just for not buckling up. In the past, they had to find another violation first.

DOT Apologizes For Disturbing Graves

5/26/10 – Wisconsin’s transportation secretary has apologized to the Bad River Indians, for disturbing the graves of their ancestors with a highway project a half-century ago. Frank Busalacchi said a remodeling of Highway Two inadvertently disturbed Indian burial sites at a roadside cemetery near a bridge in Ashland County. Tribal leaders said their members tried-and-failed to stop the project. Busalacchi gave his department’s apology at the Bad River Pow-Wow Grounds in Odanah. He also said the D-O-T has been working with historic preservation officials for almost five years to adopt a road-building policy which protects cultural heritage. Busalacchi hopes the new policy can take effect by the end of this year