“News – April 20, 2011”

Beaver Dam Holds Organizational Meeting


4/20/11 – The Beaver Dam Common Council held their organizational meeting last night. Seven alderpersons were sworn in last night, all from odd numbered wards. Mick Fischer, who previously served on the council in the 1980’s, was seated as the new alderman in the city’s fifth ward. Fischer will serve on the city’s Administrative Committee and will also sit on the Community Development Committee.  There were no other changes on either of the city’s two standing committees with Alderman Don Neuert staying on as Chair of the Administrative Committee and Alderman Laine Meyer returning as Operations Committee Chairman. Alderman Jon Litscher was unanimously re-elected as Council President. Mayor Tom Kennedy read from a prepared statement:


“As alderpersons, and those here that are leaders of our workforce, please appreciate as I also do as mayor, that our positions are a “means”, and not an “end”. We must all realize we have the opportunity to be challenged in achieving the success needed in our positions. With that said, I feel it’s always important to keep our expectations clear and achievable.


“We will continue the effort to help each other make Beaver Dam and its surrounding area a place everyone wants to call home. With safe streets and neighborhoods, the ideal place to raise your children with hopes that some day they have the opportunity to return back to Beaver Dam like my children have for a great place to work, start a business, or just visit.


“I sincerely believe that our city government and municipal services here in Beaver Dam consists of the finest group of alderpersons, department heads and employees that any community should desire. With confidence we will all continue to go forward in this same spirit together all in the best interest of our community.”


Pictured: back row, left to right: Robert Ballweg, Laine Meyer, Glen Link, Jon Litscher, Mick Fischer. Front, left to right: Lisa Davidson, Donna Fuhrman.


More Recall Petitions Filed


4/20/11 – Wisconsin Democrats filed petitions Tuesday to force a recall election against a fourth state Senate Republican. Graeme Zielinski of the state Democratic Party said the number of signatures from Sheila Harsdorf’s district in the River Falls area is way more than the 16-thousand required. The party in Madison has been coordinating the statewide effort, to try and gain the three seats they need to take back control of the Senate now instead of in 2012. But Zielinski cited a quote, “grassroots effort by home-grown volunteers who were fed up with Sheila Harsdorf and her unholy alliance with the Governor Scott Walker.” The Harsdorf campaign said the effort is being driven by special interest groups from out-of-state – and they promise to check the petitions to see if there are enough valid signatures. Harsdorf has been in the Senate for just over a decade. She’s the fourth Republican target of recall petitions which have been filed. Luther Olsen, Dan Kapanke, and Randy Hopper are the others. Petitions against Olsen were filed Monday. Organizers plan to file petitions this week against the first Democratic target, Jim Holperin. Sixteen senators were singled out for their actions involving the bill to limit public employee union bargaining.


$4.5M Spent On Supreme Court Race


4/20/11 – Special interests spent four-and-a-half million dollars to try-and-get their brand of justice from the State Supreme Court in this month’s election. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said Tuesday that two-point-seven million dollars was spent on behalf of conservative incumbent Justice David Prosser – and one-point-eight million went for challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. According to the official canvasses, Prosser won by 73-hundred votes with a million-and-a-half cast – and a recount is possible. If Prosser loses, the court loses its conservative majority. About 40-percent of the special interest money for Prosser, or one-point-one million dollars, was spent by the Wisconsin Manufacturers-and-Commerce group. Almost all the outside money for Kloppenburg came from the liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee. Both candidates received 400-thousand-dollars in tax funding for the primary and general elections under a new state law designed to keep special interests away. The funding is in jeopardy under Republican Governor Scott Walker’s state budget. The Democracy Campaign said the total amount spent on the Supreme Court race was five-point-four million dollars – more than a half-million short of the record set in 2008, when Michael Gableman unseated incumbent Louis Butler.


No Injuries In Columbus School Bus Collision


4/20/11 – There were no injuries reported when a car and school bus collided Tuesday afternoon in Columbus.  Columbus Fire Captain Jerrod Fox says the accident occurred just after 3:30pm at the intersection of South Main Street and West Prairie.  There were about two dozen students on the bus at the time.  The intersection was closed down for about 45 minutes.


BD Bulk Pick-Up Begins Monday


4/20/11 – Bulk garbage pick-up for Beaver Dam residents begins next Monday.  Director of Facilities David Stoiser has announced that bulk pick-up will begin Monday, May 2 and continue through Friday, May 6 for residents who receive city-provided waste collection services from Veolia.  Stoiser says the collection regulations are the same as in the past.  Bulk waste can be placed on the curb no sooner than 24 hours prior to each collection and by 7am on the day of pick-up.  Bulk waste is defined as, but not limited to, furniture, wooden doors and windows and rolled carpet, not exceeding 4’ to 6’ in length.  No metal items like bed springs, doors, windows, appliances and pipes will be collected.  Also, they do not accept bundled or loose piles of lumber or building materials; those items must be broken down and placed in the weekly collection cart.  The next bulk pick-up will be the first waste collection day of November.


Haywards After 10pm Music Ban Unconstitutional


4/20/11 – A city ordinance in Hayward that banned outdoor music after 10-at-night has been ruled unconstitutional. Attorney Glenn Stoddard calls it a victory for live music. He represents Molly Scheer, whose wine bar was raided while a band was performing outside her establishment two nights after the late-night music ban was adopted in September of 2007. Stoddard says local governments can limit decibel levels in general – but it cannot ban one particular type of sound like music. He says music is protected as free speech under the First Amendment – but that doesn’t stop communities from limiting both outdoor and indoor music. Meanwhile, Hayward taxpayers might be left on the hook for compensation. Stoddard says a trial is set for late September on a claim for lost profits and damage to Scheer’s reputation. The city has not commented.


Storm Rolls Through, At Least 1 Killed


4/20/11 – It appears that areas north of us were hardest hit by what could be Wisconsin’s last gasp of winter. Green Bay had nine-point-nine inches of snow as of midnight. The National Weather Service said it was the biggest daily total ever for so late in the season. Much of the snow-and-sleet tapered off last evening.  Around here snow totals varied.  Beaver Dam and Fox Lake had about 3-inches as of 5:30 last night, while Green Lake and Fond du Lac each received nearly 5-inches.  Madison set records for both rain and snowfall for yesterday – one-point-one inches of rain and one-point-three inches of snow. That kind of weather created icy conditions and dozens of traffic accidents. A tow truck driver was killed while trying to remove a car from a ditch on the Highway 41 expressway near Allenton in Washington County. The State Patrol said the operator was hit twice – once by a passing vehicle and then by a semi-truck. The mishap closed the freeway for much of the afternoon.  Dodge County had several accidents that resulted in injuries though none were thought to be serious.  There were also dozens of runoffs throughout the day.  Some of yesterday’s snow should melt, with highs expected in the upper-30s and 40’s statewide.


CHS Locked Down


4/20/11 – The Columbus High School was locked down yesterday morning for about an hour after a person called in what officials are saying was a non-specific threat.  Principal Connie Valenza said they didn’t believe the threat but decided to act on the side of caution.  A search was held but officials say they did not find anything suspicious. Students were released from lockdown after about an hour and half.


Green Bay Soldier Killed in Afghanistan


4/20/11 – A Green Bay soldier was among three killed by insurgents in Afghanistan. The Pentagon said yesterday that 27-year-old Army Specialist Paul Atim and two soldiers from Texas died last Saturday. Their unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device in Nimroz Province. Atim was on his second deployment in Afghanistan. His first was a one-year stint that ended last April. Atim was a father of one child. He went to U-W Green Bay for a year before joining the Army in late 2006.  He was a member of the 32nd Infantry Regiment. Governor Scott Walker said Atim’s death was quote, “a stern reminder of the sacrifices that those in the Armed Forces make for us every day.” Atim was the second Green Bay area soldier killed this year.


DCB Gets First Look Inside Clearview, Highway Shop


4/20/11 – The Dodge County Board got their first inside view of the new portion of the Clearview Longterm Care and Rehabilitation facility yesterday.  Clearview Administrator Jane Hooper led a tour around the building, which is phase one of the project and several Supervisors commented that the difference between the current building and what they saw yesterday was a night and day difference.  The $44.5 million dollar structure is being built on the site of the current Clearview South building. The wings of the 236-bed facility are being built first and the residents in the south building will be transferred to the new portion beginning in mid-June.  The Supervisors also got a look inside the new Highway Department facility that is still under construction as well.


More Recall Petitions Filed


4/20/11 – The group that’s trying to recall state Senate Republican Dan Kapanke says he had no legal basis to claim that all of the recall petitions should be rejected. Kapanke, who’s from La Crosse, said group organizer Pat Scheller did not file the required campaign finance forms. But in a response yesterday, the recall committee said it registered itself properly – and Scheller is only serving as an agent on the group’s behalf. Kapanke is also challenging over 900 of the nearly 23-thousand signatures filed with the state to order a recall election. His attorneys say people from outside his district signed the petitions – some signed twice – and some did not list their addresses properly. But even if those signatures are thrown out, the recall organizers say they still have more than the 15-thousand-plus valid signatures required to hold an election. Kapanke is one of 16 senators both parties targeted for their actions involving the bill which limits public employee union bargaining. Petitions have been filed for five recall elections so far, including four Republicans. Those trying to remove Senate Republican Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls were the latest to file yesterday.