News – April 15, 2016

Shoe Donations Helping To Fund Relay For Life


4/15/16 – A current fundraiser is raising money for this year’s Relay for Life.  On WBEV’s Community Comment this week, Beaver Dam Relay Organizer Kristin Fabisch said there are a number of places where people can give new or gently worn shoes for the ‘Donate Your Soles’ campaign: Associated Bank, National Exchange Bank, BMO Harris Bank, American National Bank (main branch and Walmart), Summit Credit Union, Horicon Bank, Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly, Rechek’s Food Pride, First Lutheran Church, and Jensen’s Piggly Wiggly (Juneau).  Fabisch says Relay gets roughly $3,000 if they fill 100 bags with 25 shoes each by April 30.  She also provided an update on the honorary survivors who will speak at Relay for Life’s opening ceremony June 17.  Jamie Kratz-Gullickson and her husband Jason are the honorary survivor and caregiver while Lewis Westergaard is the honorary child survivor.  Kratz-Gullickson is already in fundraising mode.  She has several pieces of art for sale as part of the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association’s current Poetry of Nature exhibit.  Proceeds benefit her Relay for Life team.  As of Tuesday, Fabisch says Relay had already raised nearly $25,000 of its $115,000 goal.  22 teams and 175 participants had signed up.  Sign-up information is on the Beaver Dam relay website.


BDUSD Working On ‘Beaver Manufacturing’


4/15/16 – The Beaver Dam School District is looking to get into the manufacturing business. Beaver Manufacturing grew out of part of a partnership with the Manufacturing Business Alliance of Dodge County, whose mission is to promote the field by educating students and teachers about the skills employers are seeking and the jobs available. While still in the planning stages, the goal of Beaver Manufacturing would be to teach students vital skills through hands-on experience while generating a small profit to support the school-based curriculum. The shop area of the high school is being cleaned and redesigned for the program targeted to begin in the fall.


School-to-Work Coordinator Rebecca Droessler told the school board this week that collaborations with small, local businesses would begin next year. She says the goal is to start small and grow over time eventually becoming self-sustaining business with profits reinvested back into the district’s technology, education and engineering programs. High School Tech-Ed Teacher Joe Kutzler says that Beaver Manufacturing would not compete with existing businesses. He says the project would be things that are below the skill-set of high-paid full-time employees – like building shelving – giving kids experience while also generating revenue.


Kevin Paul from Kirsh Foundry says the goal would be to learn employability skills as much as it would be to learn technical skills, something he says is missing from the young workforce today. Paul says many of the skills can be easily taught to youth who are willing to learn but the problem is that the age group does not have basic employability skills. This model, he says, will help develop those skills. While much of the money would be re-invested in the program, once Beaver Manufacturing gets up and running, there is a chance the students receive a small paycheck for their work. District partners include Apache Stainless, Breuer Metal, John Deer and Kirsh Foundry.


March Unemployment Numbers Released


4/15/16 – New preliminary data shows Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in March. The state Department of Workforce Development released a report Thursday that put the unemployment rate last month at four-point-five percent, down from four-point-six percent in February. The national unemployment rate was five percent in March. The report shows that the state added 11-and-a-half thousand nonfarm jobs in March. The private sector gained 13-thousand jobs but the government sector lost 16-hundrred jobs.


Loosing-Structured Event Looking For Presenters


4/15/16 – An upcoming event is looking for people who are passionate about any topic.  The Beaver Dam Area Arts Association is holding an ‘un-conference’ called Dam Camp.  Organizer Jason Gullickson says it is a loosely structured gathering where participants are encouraged to present on any matter.  He says people should present on something that interests them.  There will be multiple presentations at the same time so Gullickson says people have options how to spend their time.  Fellow Organizer Jamie Kratz-Gullickson says she has seen a variety of topics in the fields of art, music, health, and technology presented at similar events.  Doors open for Dam Camp at 9 am tomorrow.  A group session runs from 9:30-10am, and the presentations on various topics go from 10am-1pm.  The event is free to all ages.


Beaver Dam Chamber Warning Of Another Scam


4/15/16 – The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce is warning of a phone scam targeting local businesses. Chamber President Phil Fritsche says yet another company that claims to be “working” with the chamber is trying to con businesses out of advertising dollars.  The calls appear to originate out of Omaha with the area code “4-0-2.” Fritsche says they are not working with the chamber. If the chamber does partner with an outside marketing firm for the publication of maps, guides or online promotional products, he says the Beaver Dam Chamber will always contact the businesses directly. If local businesses have questions about legitimate chamber partnerships, they are advised to contact the chamber directly (at 920-887-8879).


Beaver Dam Woman To Jail For Police Chase


4/15/16 – A Beaver Dam woman will spend one month in jail for running from police.  Samantha Crawford pled no contest yesterday to reduced misdemeanor counts of Resisting an Officer and Second Offense OWI.  An officer tried pulling the 22-year-old over in October for an expired registration and suspended driver’s license.  Crawford fled at speeds up to 50 miles per hour while blowing multiple red lights and stop signs.  When she finally stopped, Crawford moved from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat, claiming the driver had jumped out of the vehicle.  She also admitted to consuming alcohol that night.  Crawford will avoid prison time if she stays out of trouble during two years on probation.  She must also perform 40 hours of community service and stay sober at all times.


Man Accused Of Stealing Boat In Ashippun


4/15/16 – An Oconomowoc man is accused of stealing a boat and trailer from an Ashippun homeowner.  Jeffrey Rafel is facing one felony Theft count.  In October, the 34-year-old’s truck was allegedly found in the Oconomowoc Police Department parking lot with the trailer and boat attached.  Rafel was found nearby and when questioned by officers, said someone must have stolen his truck.  Rafel was reportedly drunk, and there was significant damage to the stolen items.  If he is found guilty, Rafel faces up to ten years in prison.  An initial appearance is set for April 25.


Man Pleads Not Guilty To Spitting On Dodge Co. Officer


4/15/16 – A Milwaukee man accused of spitting in an officer’s face pled not guilty at his arraignment hearing yesterday.  Claudio Garcia is facing one felony count of Discharging Bodily Fluids at a Public Safety Worker.  The 28-year-old allegedly spat in an officer’s face when he was being arrested after causing a scene at a Horicon bar.  Garcia faces three-and-a-half years in prison if he is convicted.  He will be back in court June 1.


Walker Defends State’s Efforts On CWD


4/15/16 – Governor Scott Walker defends the state’s efforts to control chronic wasting disease in the deer herd. Assembly Democrats Nick Milroy of South Range and Chris Danou of Trempealeau want the D-N-R to do more to control the spread of the fatal brain disease — which turned up in nine-percent of deer tested last year. Interviewed in Appleton Thursday, Walker said he brought in “Deer Czar” James Kroll to address C-W-D and other issues. But Kroll suggested a more passive approach to fighting the disease, saying previous aggressive efforts to eradicate infected deer populations have not worked. Testing continues, and Walker says he’d be “more than happy” to work with people or groups with specific ideas — but he notes that science will determine what action the state takes, and not politics.