News – April 16, 2022

(Columbia County) The Midwest bird flu outbreak is spreading in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin division of Agriculture says it’s confirmed bird flu cases in backyard chickens in Columbia and Sheboygan Counties. The flu was found on a farm in Polk County. Overall, the ag division says more than 20-thousand chickens will have to be euthanized. The new discoveries mean the highly pathogenic avian flu has turned up in nearly three million wild and domestic birds in seven counties. – WRN (Columbia County) State Veterinarian Darlene Konkle says this devastating disease continues to affect poultry in the state and throughout the nation. She says flock owners should have strong bio-security as it is the best defense against the bird flu. Signs of avian influenza include sudden death without clinical signs, lack of energy, decreased egg production, difficulty breathing, runny nose or coughing, as well as stumbling or falling down. State ag officials encourage the public to report any signs or symptoms to the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection [at 608-224-4872 during business hours or 800-943-0003 after hours or weekends. The bird flu was first detected at a hen laying facility in Jefferson County. (Lomira) A Milwaukee man accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend while passing through Dodge County entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment hearing this week. Daniea Lanier allegedly struck the victim with a closed fist multiple times and even fired a gun while the two of them were inside the vehicle. According to the criminal complaint, the bullet passed through the glove-box. The vehicle was stopped near Lomira and Lanier was arrested. He denied anything had occurred. If convicted, the 45-year-old faces over 30 years behind bars. (Beaver Dam) A Waupun man accused of making threats towards law enforcement was found not competent to stand trial this week. Reyes Gomez was arrested in December for first offense OWI. As he was being transported to the jail, Gomez reportedly made violent threats towards a sheriff’s deputy. The case is now suspended and the 24-year-old was referred to an outpatient program. (Fond du Lac) A Fond du Lac man has made his initial appearance in Fond du Lac County court on arson charges for allegedly setting his home on fire. Arin Hansen was released on a $10,000 signature bond but part of his court conditions includes allowing police and firefighters to do home checks to make sure he does not possess matches, lighters, candles, gasoline, aerosol cans, and accelerants. When firefighters arrived at Hansen’s home in October of 2020, the 40-year-old was on the front porch yelling that his house was on fire. The blaze did cause significant heat and smoke damage inside the home. It also melted the vinyl siding on the front porch making the home uninhabitable. A pet dog perished in the blaze. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 26th. (Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources urges people to avoid burning through the weekend due to anticipated high winds. The forecast indicates strong, windy conditions through Saturday. Easter Weekend is traditionally a popular time for people to be cleaning up their yards. The DNR asks the public not to burn debris since embers from any fire can easily escape control and cause a wildfire. This risk increases on windy days. There were nearly 60 wildfires, burning 175 acres in the last week. The DNR has responded to 126 wildfires burning more than 309 acres so far this year, most were related to debris burning. – WRN (Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce was recently awarded with a state tourism grant. The Wisconsin Tourism Department has announced that 12 Joint Effort Marketing Grants totaling $280-thousand-dollars were handed out to state tourism efforts. The Beaver Dam Chamber was awarded $7,381 to help stage the Wisconsin Arts and Peony Festival in early June. Green Lake Renewal Incorporated which operates Town Square Community Center in Green Lake is getting $1,000 for the Dino Daze event on June 11th. With five rounds of grants throughout the year, the Joint Effort Marketing grants are part of an ongoing program to ignite projects and grow economic impact. (Waupun) The Agnesian HealthCare Foundation says tickets are now on sale for their annual Samaritan Cash Raffle. SSM Health Samaritan Clinic provides health care to around 500 under-insured patients annually. The clinic works to provide a full spectrum of care, helping individuals to navigate insurance options, finding a primary care provider, and working with local community resources if other needs arise. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Samaritan Clinic. Tickets are available for $50 each, four for $150 or nine for $300. Due to updated Wisconsin raffle regulations, tickets must be purchased in person by cash or check. Every four tickets sold helps one person in the community receive care through the Samaritan Clinic. For more information and ticket locations visit (Waupun) Waupun Utilities has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. The designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. Waupun Utilities joins 275 public power utilities nationwide that hold the designation. Waupun Utilities General Manager Steve Brooks says they could not be prouder to be honored with the designation. Waupun Utilities serves more than 4,000 customers. (Fond du Lac) The Fond du Lac County Highway Department is holding an information meeting this week about the planned County Highway M Bridge replacement project. The meeting will be from 6 to 7pm on Wednesday, April 20th at the Town of Rosendale Hall on County Highway M. That highway will be closed during construction and a detour will be posted. Construction is currently scheduled for 2024. The meeting will be conducted in an open house format with a variety of exhibits and maps available for review. A representative for the project engineers will be on hand to answer questions throughout the meeting. (Wisconsin) Wisconsin is changing how it reports coronavirus information. The biggest change is that the Department of Health Services will track vaccinations on a monthly basis now, instead of every week. The DHS says it’s making the changes to stay in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC breaks down COVID levels into high, medium, and low tiers, taking into account both local disease spread, and hospital capacity. The new levels replace the COVID activity levels that the state used to feature on its website by region and county. – WRN