News 6/17/2010

Legislator Contributions Analyzed

6/17/10 – Wisconsin legislators only get about one-third of their campaign money from the people who could vote for them back home. That’s according to number released by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Some of area legislators raised an even smaller amount from local contributors. Just less than 5-percent of the $28,000 raised by Assemblyman Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon came from within his district. That was the second lowest percentage among legislators who raised more than $13,000, trailing only Democrat Pedro Colon. Meanwhile, State Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau collected more than 76-percent of his $52,500 from outside of the area he represents. Assemblyman Joel Kleefisch got 55-percent of his $11,000 outside of his district. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Senator Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac managed to raise more than 67-percent of his $32,000 from the people who can vote for him. The ratio of one-third is about the same as in previous years.

Kennedy: MSOE Projects Saved $20K

6/17/10 – Beaver Dam officials say the efforts of architecture students in designing a new police station saved the city over $20,000. Students with the Milwaukee School of Engineering designed blueprints and renderings of three different police stations for a class project last year and presented their findings to city officials in March, just as city officials began their own process of designing the new facility. Mayor Tom Kennedy says the different layouts gave the city team a solid foundation to build on. The students used the actual “space needs study” conducted two years ago to determine if a 27 to 30,000 square foot structure could fit on the proposed site. While all three student groups chose to add a second story, city officials went with a single floor design to save money. For the estimated $20,000 in savings, the city paid MSOE students $1500 for supply and material costs in putting together their three-dimensional renderings.

Quad Consolidates Poland Plants

6/17/10 – Wisconsin’s largest printing company says it will consolidate its commercial printing operations in Poland. Quad-Graphics of Sussex – one of Dodge County’s largest employers – announced Wednesday that it will close its plant in Pila, Poland. And starting next month, it will move the equipment and some of the jobs to a larger facility in Wyszkow, which Quad says is better suited for a more efficient printing of large volumes. The move comes as Quad-Graphics is about to acquire a Canadian rival, World Color Press. That deal is expected to close early next month.

Film Incentive Requests Plummet

6/17/10 – You won’t see Wisconsin in the movies this summer, after the state scaled back its incentives for Hollywood producers. Media reports say hardly anyone has taken advantage of what Governor Jim Doyle approved in last year’s state budget – up to a half-million dollars of incentives for movies, T-V productions, and video games. Doyle was steamed after the makers of “Public Enemies” walked away with four-point-six million dollars in tax breaks in 2008, while generating only five-million for the state’s economy. The Johnny Depp film created a lot of excitement at numerous places where it was shot throughout Wisconsin. But Tony Hozeny of the state Commerce Department said the bang-for-the-buck just wasn’t there. Hozeny says his department has approved 182-thousand dollars under the new program for a film called “No God, No Master,” starring Oscar-nominee David Strathairn. Three video game projects were also approved, for a total of 153-thousand dollars. Despite Doyle’s coolness to the incentives, his lieutenant Barbara Lawton complained loudly when they were cut. She says the movie industry is waiting-and-hoping that Wisconsin will again be quote, “open for business under a new governor.”

Turkey Numbers Down

6/17/10 – More of Wisconsin’s turkey hunters left the woods empty-handed this spring. The state D-N-R said about 47-thousand birds were shot in the spring turkey season. That’s down almost 10-percent from a year ago. About 700 fewer people tried their luck, as 217-thousand hunting permits were issued. Those hunters had a success rate of 22-percent – two points lower than last spring. Experts said the brood production was lower as the result of last year’s cool summer, and a wet spring in 2008.

Raw Milk Ruling Delayed

6/17/10 – A Dane County judge has delayed ruling on a lawsuit concerning the sale of raw milk directly to customers. The court was supposed to take up a request to dismiss the suit yesterday. Grassway Organic Farm maintains it is in accordance with guidelines from a 1993 state law and a 2002 court ruling. The procedure has members drawing the unpasteurized product directly from the bulk tank. The company says state ag officials have had full knowledge of their operation since day one – even allowing their retail license to be renewed 2007.

Evidence Recovered In Vehicle Break-In

6/17/10 – The Beaver Dam Police Department is investigating evidence left at the scene of a vehicle break-in. According to department records, the incident on the 200 block of Beaver Street was reported Tuesday afternoon. The cell phone of a 17-year-old male was found in the vehicle. At last word, authorities had made contact with the suspect’s family but not the suspect. The phone was entered into evidence.

Warrant Issued For Sex Offender

6/17/10 – A bench warrant has been issued for a sex offender who failed to appear for a sentencing hearing. 19-year-old Cory D. Swatkowski was placed on deferred prosecution last November after pleading “no contest” to a felony charge of Third Degree Sexual Assault. The former Hustisford teen passed himself off as a 15-year-old to date a 13-year-old girl, who was assaulted following a school dance. The agreement was revoked in April after Swatkowski was charged with a burglary in Oshkosh.

Drug Czar In Milwaukee

6/17/10 – Milwaukee is among pilot cities hosting an open discussion with community leaders and teenagers about the The Influence Project. The campaign involves an interactive website with user submitted videos of teens talking about the influences around them, and what they do to resist drug use. Gil Kerlikowske, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, says the agency has “great partners” in Milwaukee with community groups and Police Chief Ed Flynn. The drug czar says Flynn is as much committed to preventing drug use, as enforcing laws against it.