News – April 13, 2016

Waupun Bonds To Save City Money, Cover Projects


4/13/16 – Nearly $5,000,000 in bonds was authorized at last night’s Waupun Common Council meeting.  The council voted to issue and sell $1,000,000 in revenue bonds to pay for the water main and hydrant replacements on the current Highway 49 reconstruction project.  First Merit Bank is buying those bonds.  The authorization of $3,900,000 worth of general obligation bonds was also approved.  However, public notification needs to be given on general obligation bonds so the sale cannot be finalized until next month.  $3,100,000 is to refinance current debt. City Finance Director Jared Oosterhouse says low interest rates are allowing the city to save roughly $171,000 by refinancing eight-year-old bonds.  The other $770,000 worth of general obligation bonds would cover two fire department projects: building a fire training facility and purchasing a new fire engine.  Fire Chief B.J. DeMaa says his department is looking at land by the city garage on North Madison Street for the training complex.  As for the fire trucks, DeMaa says two were purchased in 1996.  Buying one now will allow the city to separate those replacement costs going forward.  DeMaa says the department will likely sell the 20-year-old truck it is replacing for $30,000-$50,000.  Ehlers and Associates of Brookfield will sell the general obligation bonds in the national market ahead of the council’s final vote on the sale.


Juneau Council Approves Beaver Dam Fire As Back-Up


4/13/16 – The Juneau Common Council last night approved a contract that allows the city to use the Beaver Dam Fire Department as a back-up on service calls. Beaver Dam will receive $645 each time it would be the primary agency responding to fire or EMS calls. The response would only be needed in the event Juneau EMS is understaffed or out of the necessary service equipment. Beaver Dam would still provide mutual assistance at no cost when Juneau is busy with multiple calls, in the event of a mass causality incident, large fire or when Beaver Dam is able to provide paramedic-level service in a life-threatening situation.  In December, the Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission approved a policy change allowing the fire department to bill any neighboring municipalities that use city paramedics as their primary emergency response agency. Chief Alan Mannel says a municipality that does not contract with the city but utilizes the same service should be billed accordingly. Mannel says that the situation arises less than a dozen times a year.


Juneau PD Contract Ratified


4/13/16 – The Juneau Common Council last night approved a new a collective bargaining contract with its police union. The new contract calls for a one-percent increase this year and another one-percent increase next year with a one-and-a-half percent increase in the final quarter of 2017.


Sensient Flavors To Adds Small Addition, Jobs


4/13/16 – A company is Juneau has been given the go-ahead for a small expansion.  Sensient Flavors Plant Engineer Russ Read updated the Juneau Common Council last night following the approval of a building permit at the most recent meeting of the Plan Commission. Read says a 900-square foot addition on the northwest corner of the facility will allow the company to bring in additional raw materials, expanding production opportunities. A half-dozen new positions have already been filled in anticipation of the increased production. The Juneau plant currently employs around 100 people. Read says the addition of a small air handling unit on the roof of the addition is expected to generate minimal noise. The Milwaukee-based Sensient Flavors is a global supplier of colors, flavors and fragrances used in food and beverages.


Columbus Schools Archery Team Heading To Nationals


4/13/16 – Columbus Schools’ student archery team — Cardinals Unlimited — will be sending two teams and three individuals to the National Archery Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Archery was introduced into the Columbus physical education curriculum four years ago with two dozen students and the number of participants involved has now reached 125. Coach Jenn Parchem says that both the high school and middle school teams qualified at the state tournament. A total of 50 Cardinals Unlimited students will be competing at the Kentucky Expo Center one-day National Archery in the Schools Program tournament. Student archers are almost half way to raising the $6000 to pay for the trip. You can visit the tournament website at or call Coach Jenn Parchem at (608) 495-0907.


Counterfeit ‘Motion Picture’ Bills Circulating In Beaver Dam


4/13/16 – Several Beaver Dam businesses have been given counterfeit $20-dollar bills. Lt. Terrance Gebhardt says the fake bills circulating all have the words “Motion Picture Use Only” printed in the upper right hand corner on the face of the money and all across the top of the back of the note.  The origin of the bills is unknown. Lt. Gebhardt advises local businesses and individuals to be vigilant in examining any money they receive. He says these particular bills can be easily mistaken for legitimate currency but a closer examination will reveal them to be fraudulent. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Beaver Dam Police Department (at 920-887-4613 Lt. Terrance Gebhardt’s extension is #503).


Horicon Man Going To Jail For Drunk Driving Accident


4/13/16 – A Horicon man will spend 15 days in jail for injuring another person in a car accident.  Dymon Stern pled no contest yesterday to one misdemeanor count of OWI Causing Injury.  The 23-year-old failed a number of sobriety tests after an early morning accident in the Town of Hubbard last August.  Stern will avoid prison time if he stays out of trouble during his 18 months on probation.


Beaver Dam Man Sentenced For Break-In After DPA Revoked


4/13/16 – A 20-year-old Beaver Dam man who broke into a Lakeshore Drive home was sentenced yesterday after his deferred prosecution agreement was revoked.  Cody Anderson also tried breaking into a number of other homes in that area in 2013.  The four years of probation he was given yesterday will be served at the same time as four years he was given Monday for an unrelated burglary.


Federal Appeals Court Keeps Voter ID Law In Place


4/13/16 – Wisconsin’s photo I-D law for voting will stay in place, but a federal judge has been told to consider exceptions for those who find it hard to obtain I-Ds. On Tuesday, a three-judge panel on the federal appeals court in Chicago told Milwaukee District Judge Lynn Adelman to consider exemptions for those who cannot get birth certificates — cannot correct errors on their those certificates — or cannot obtain Social Security cards. The A-C-L-U tried throwing out the I-D law based on those exceptions, but the Chicago appeals court previously found it to be constitutional. Still, Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote that exceptions are possible because the right to vote is “personal, and is not defeated by the fact that 99-percent of other people can secure the necessary credentials easily.”


Governors Ask Feds To Require Food Stamp Drug Tests


4/13/16 – Eleven Republican governors, including Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, have asked federal officials to let states require drug tests to get food stamps. In a letter to congressional leaders, the governors say they believe they can mandate the drug tests under Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform Act of 1996 — but they want to confirm the authority in the face of new federal opposition. Wisconsin filed suit over the issue last year, and a bill in Congress would clarify the state’s ability to require the screenings. Walker says public assistance programs often include some type of job training — and passing drug tests would make it easier for those people to find employment and leave welfare. Sherri Tussler of Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force says blanket drug testing for food stamps violates the constitution — and other opponents question how effective the mandates are.


Ryan Repeats Position On Presidential Aspirations


4/13/16 – Just because Paul Ryan got talked into becoming the U-S House speaker does not mean he can be convinced to run for president. That’s what the Janesville Republican insisted yesterday (Tuesday), as he tried again to snuff out speculation that he would accept his party’s final White House bid this summer. Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012 — but he told Washington reporters he will not let his name be placed in nomination in the event of a brokered G-O-P convention. Reporters challenged Ryan on a couple of fronts, after he reluctantly accepted the speaker’s job and sought to have a national voice for the Republican party. Ryan said he was already in Congress when he took the speaker’s post — and he always planned to use his national profile to “communicate a conservative vision” for the country.