News April 23, 2009

Dodge County Unemployment Jumps into Double Digits

4/23/09 – The unemployment rate in Dodge County has hit double digits. The Department of Workforce Development released the March numbers yesterday and Dodge County saw its rate jump nine-tenths of a percent to 10.5. That figure is nearly double from the rate at this time a year ago. Jefferson County was seven-tenths of a percent higher than the previous month at 10.2 and 4.9% higher than last year. Columbia County saw a smaller increase jumping just two-tenths of a percent to 9.3%. Statewide 64 of the 72 counties had increases, five had decreases, and three remained the same from the previous month. The highest unemployment rate in the state was in Rusk County at 16.6%, while Dane County had the lowest rate at 6%. Statewide, the unadjusted jobless rate was up sixth-tenths of a percent to 9.4%, which is an increase of 4.4% from last year.

Earn-a-Buck Program Suspended

4/23/09 – Most Wisconsin deer hunters will no longer have to shoot does before they can take those trophy-bucks home. The Natural Resources Board voted yesterday to suspend the controversial Earn-a-Buck program indefinitely, outside the chronic wasting disease zones. The D-N-R had recommended a one-year suspension of the program that’s designed to reduce the state’s deer population. But hunters were outraged last fall at the relative scarcity of deer – and officials later said they over-estimated the size of the herd. Board member Jane Wiley suggested that the panel go beyond the one-year suspension, and halt the Earn-a-Buck indefinitely. She said hunters are so upset about the program, it was only a matter of time before legislators stepped in to manage deer through lawmaking. Wiley said the D-N-R Board needed to send a strong message that it’s serious about halting the program. It covered about a-third of the state in last fall’s hunting seasons.

CARE Begins Push for Detachment

4/23/09 – The Concerned Area Residents for Education has officially started a petition to allow the Town and City of Fox Lake to detach from the Waupun School District. CARE Chairperson Kim Derleth says the group must secure signatures from a majority of the people eligible to vote in the city and town by July 1st. They will then present the petition to the Waupun School Board and to the Randolph School Board, which is the district the group would like to join. She says the group has been in contact with the Randolph School Board, which has taken a wait and see approach. Even if the group is successful in obtaining enough signatures, Waupun Administrator Randy Refsland is on record as saying he would recommend the school board deny any detachment request.

More Counterfeit Bills Found in Beaver Dam

4/23/09 – Another counterfeit $20 bill has been reported in Beaver Dam. Workers with Shell Travel contacted authorities early yesterday morning to report the phony bill. There has been a half dozen such reports since April 7. Deputy Police Chief Dan Schubert says the are high quality counterfeit bills and even had the visible security thread – that’s the plastic strip that is visible when held up to the light – but the thread is said to be off center. He says the bills also feel slightly different to the touch, and have a grayish-green tint. Schubert says local businesses should invest in a pen – similar to a highlighter – that can detect phony bills. The Secret Service has been notified. Schubert says anyone with any information, or those who suspect they may have counterfeit bills, should contact the Beaver Dam Police Department.

Budget Measure Getting Some Resistance

4/23/09 – A state budget measure approved earlier this week that would give more young criminals a chance to erase their records is meeting some strong resistance. The Legislature’s

Joint Finance Committee voted to let judges expunge non-violent felony convictions for criminals under 25. Those under 21 can already have misdemeanors taken off the books. Governor Jim Doyle sees it as a second chance, so those convicted of more youthful crimes don’t have it held against them for the rest of their lives. But critics say it can unfairly let people off the hook – and it deprives people of knowing that someone has gotten in serious trouble before. Assembly Republican Phil Montgomery wanted only one crime expunged, but the law allows more than that. He and Bill Lueders of the state’s Freedom of Information Council say it’s naïve to think employers won’t find about a person’s criminal past just because it’s no longer on record – and there are better ways to stop job discrimination.

Quad Graphics Donates Land

4/23/09 – About 325 acres of nature land in Waukesha County will stay that way, thanks to a donation by the nation’s third-largest printing company. Quad-Graphics said yesterday (Wed) it was giving a conservation easement to the Tall Pines Conservatory at Camp-Quad in the town of Erin. The conservancy will create a management plan to restore the camp to its pre-settlement condition. Quad will continue owning the site, and Tall Pines will be in charge of land management practices. The company bought the site from the Boy Scouts 12 years ago, as a recreation and educational nature center for Quad’s employees, friends, and relatives. The conservancy plans an educational event June 14th for its members and others who are interested.

Firewood Quarantined in Two More Counties

4/23/09 – A quarantine has been placed on firewood and other ash products in Vernon and Crawford counties, to try and contain the tree-killing emerald ash borer. The state agriculture department ordered the quarantine, after the damaging beetle was found in Victory along the Mississippi River in southwest Wisconsin. Firewood cannot leave the two counties – and neither can ash timber, ash nursery stock, mulch, and manufactured ash products. Violators can be fined 200-dollars and jailed for up to six months. Those who move the ash products across state lines can face federal penalties. The infestation was confirmed this month close to the Minnesota and Iowa borders. Officials in those states are trying to find out if the ash borer has spread there. Meanwhile, a similar quarantine remains in place in Ozaukee, Washington, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac counties after the ash borer was confirmed last summer in the Newburg area.

Bulk Garbage Pick-Up to Begin Again

4/23/09 – Bulk garbage pick-up for Beaver Dam residents begins one week from tomorrow (Fri). Director of Facilities David Stoiser has announced that bulk pick-up will begin Friday, May 1st and continue through Thursday, May 7. 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 no 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 and pipes will be collected. No bundled or loose piles of building materials will be collected. Building materials like lumber 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.