News – April 20, 2021

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council last night tabled an ordinance that would have merged two committees that handle downtown matters, including the distribution of revitalization grants.  The Community Development Committee, which reviews matters relating to development of private projects that may receive city incentives, with the Landmark Commission, which enforces guidelines for downtown facade improvements.  During open council discussion, Alderwoman Jaci Shelton expressed concern that the functions of the committees were not adequately thought out in the ordinance description, while Alderman Ken Anderson expressed a desire to see more than one council member appointed to the committee.  The ordinance is expected to be rewritten and brought back before the common council at a future meeting.

(Beaver Dam) A Watertown teen charged with using pepper spray while robbing a Beaver Dam business made his initial appearance in court yesterday (Monday). Avery Bence allegedly used pepper spray on the store clerk and took several packs of cigarettes in November. The 17-year-old reportedly admitted to his actions. A signature bond was set at $1,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 3rd.

(Watertown) Two men charged with burglarizing an apartment in Watertown made their initial appearances in court. Twenty-three-year-old Julio Castro and 28-year-old Alexander Mendoza allegedly entered the residence in September of 2019 to take money and drugs they believed were there. If convicted, both face up to 12-and-a-half years in prison. A signature bond was set at $5,000 for Castrol yesterday while Mendoza had his signature bond set at $1,000 earlier this month. Both have preliminary hearings scheduled next month.

(Kenosha) Twenty-four-year-old Rakayo (ra-ki-o) Vinson of Racine is being held at the Kenosha County Jail on a $4-million-dollar cash bond, in the fatal shootings of three men, following a fight at a crowded bar in the Town of Somers (summers) early Sunday. District Attorney Michael Graveley expects to charge Vinson with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted homicide. He said Vinson’s wallet was found at the scene, and that Vinson admitted to investigators that he was the shooter at the Somers House Tavern.

(Wisconsin) Everyone age 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID vaccine. Pfizer is currently testing its vaccine in clinical trials with children 12 to 15 years old and will be gradually moving to trials with younger children. Moderna is also conducting pediatric clinical trials in adolescents, eventually to children as young as six months

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials reported one COVID death yesterday bringing that total to 6,710. Dodge County has 162 deaths and 87 active cases. Twenty-two-point-eight-percent (22.8%) of Dodge County residents are fully vaccinated while 32.1-percent have had at least one dose.

(Beaver Dam) The Dodge County Center for the Arts is evolving. In addition to a new logo, the center is planning on being open more often. In years past, the nonprofit – now at Maple and Center in Beaver Dam – had a gallery approach, which meant the center closed between shows. As programming resumes post-pandemic, the plan is to have the center open all the time with artists refreshing their work every month. The art center board is hoping to find more volunteers at their annual meeting on May 12.