“News – April 24, 2011”

Polls Show People Not Optimistic About the Economy


4/24/11- Wisconsinites are not upbeat about the economy. A poll of 400 people by Wisconsin Public Radio-and-Saint Norbert College shows that only 18-percent believe the state’s economy is better than a year ago. Forty-five percent say it’s worse, while 38-percent say the national economy has gotten worse. Only a quarter of those answering the poll said their personal finances have improved over the last year – and only 41-percent think they’ll be better off financially in a year from now. That’s down from 55-percent last fall. Seven-of-every-10 people say the nation’s heading in the wrong direction, but most don’t blame President Obama. The poll gives him a 52-percent approval rating in Wisconsin, up 10-points from last fall. Forty-six percent said they approve of G-O-P Governor Scott Walker. The poll has a five-percent margin of error either way. It was taken between April fifth and Monday of this week.


Tax Credits Awarded to Build Affordable Housing


4/24/11- State officials have awarded 17-million-dollars in tax credits to build affordable housing throughout Wisconsin. Twenty-nine projects were funded by the state’s Housing-and-Economic Development Authority. Governor Scott Walker announced the grants last week during visits to two of the larger projects in Oshkosh and Milwaukee. He said the tax credits would help build 14-hundred units of affordable housing statewide – and about 12-hundred construction jobs would be created in the process. Walker said the projects would help meet local housing needs, and stimulate economic growth. He said the tax credits allow the construction of projects that developers might not able to finance on their own.


Waupun Woman Accused of Dealing Heroin


4/24/11- A 26-year-old woman has been charged with dealing heroin in Waupun.  Jessica Moede made her initial appearance late last week on two counts of manufacture and delivery of heroin.  Authorities say the Waupun woman is accused of selling nearly two grams of heroin to an undercover informant twice last summer.  Moede is due back in court next month.  District Attorney Kurt Klomberg told the Beaver Dam Common Council last week that there was virtually no heroin in Dodge County three years ago but it has now become his office’s top priority.


Local Law Enforcement to Participate in Drug Take-Back Day


4/24/11- More and more Dodge County communities are announcing that they will be participating in the nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day next Saturday.  The effort on April 30 is aimed at removing drugs from the streets and promoting the proper disposal of prescription medications. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number using cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined. The Beaver Dam Police Department will be collecting pharmaceuticals from 10am to 2pm in the department’s parking lot located just off Washington Street. The Watertown, Waterloo, Waupun, Horicon and Juneau Police departments are also hosting drug drops. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.  Medications should be brought in their original containers with personal identification removed. Drug take-back programs are intended to reduce the amount of drugs available for theft, or accidental poisoning but are also helpful in keeping those meds out of the water supply. Last year, during the first “Take Back,” the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 121 tons of drugs at 4100 sites operated by the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners.


Clearview to Hold an Open House


4/24/11- The public is invited to attend an open house at the new Clearview facility on June 5.Clearview serves the county’s aging population as well as those with behavioral and mental health issues and also has one of only three brain injury rehabilitation centers in the state. 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.  When the new portion is complete, the remaining residents at Clearview North will be transferred. County Board Chairman Russ Kottke and Clearview Administrator Jane Hooper told us on WBEV’s Community Comment this week that the project is on-time and on-budget.


Group to Honor Tow Truck Driver


4/24/11- A group is planning to honor a tow truck driver that was killed near West Bend last week.  Authorities said Dan Bobholz was pulling a vehicle out of a ditch on Highway 41 when he was hit.  The State Patrol said a Washington County sheriff’s deputy was directing traffic when an S-U-V hit the officer’s squad car, and then Bobholz. The victim was then pushed against his tow truck – and he fell onto the road where he was then hit by a passing semi-truck.  This Tuesday at 4pm a large group of tow trucks will be gathering on the frontage road of Friendly Drive, near the intersection of Highway 45 and Highway D in West Bend to pay respect to a fellow tower in a small procession to the funeral home.


25% of Homes in WI Don’t Have a Land-line


4/24/11- Have you ditched your land-line? One-of-every-four Wisconsinites have, according to a new federal report. The National Center for Health Statistics says 25-percent of Wisconsin adults lived in homes with only cellular phones. That’s as of June of last year. And it’s up from 15-percent the year before. Wisconsin is in the middle-of-the-pack in this trend. Arkansas has the country’s biggest percentage of wireless-only homes at 35. But in Rhode Island, only 13-percent of residents have ditched their landlines. Within the Badger State, folks in the Milwaukee region are more likely to use cell phones only. That’s true for 31-percent of Milwaukee County residents, compared to 24-percent elsewhere in Wisconsin.


MN and WI Officials Concerned About Carp


4/24/11- A 27-pound bighead carp was caught this past week on the Saint Croix River on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. And officials are concerned that the invasive fish will spread, and cause serious damage to native fish. It’s the seventh time a bighead carp was found in the rivers that border Minnesota – but it’s only the second caught in the Saint Croix, which runs north of where the Mississippi breaks off at Prescott. The first bighead carp was caught in 1996 on the Saint Croix. Luke Skinner of the Minnesota D-N-R said the latest fish was caught upstream from the first one. He says physical barriers are an effective way to slow them down. And the best spots for that include Taylors Falls on the Saint Croix, and the Coon Rapids Dam on the Mississippi River. The bighead carp does not pose as much of a danger as the leaping Asian silver carp. But experts say it destroys habitats by eating vast amounts of the plankton that native fish rely upon.


Waupun to Gauge Interest in Community Center


4/24/11- Leaders in Waupun say there will be a tour of the vacant Jefferson Elementary building next weekend for groups and organization interested in having a role in its future development.  Officials say they are hoping to gauge the public’s interest in turning the building into a multi-purpose community center.  The school was closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year as a cost saving measure. The walk-though will begin at 9 a-m on April 30th.


Bulk Pickup Begins Tomorrow in BD


4/24/11- Bulk garbage pick-up for Beaver Dam residents begins tomorrow (Monday).  Director of Facilities David Stoiser says bulk pick-up will 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.