News April 27, 2009

Flooding Possible in Dodge County

4/27/09 – Two-point-six-inches of rain over the weekend resulted in levels on the Beaver Dam River increasing by more than two-feet since Friday. The National Weather Service says the river is not threatening to spill over its banks currently but it is considered to be in the “action” stage, meaning the water level is beginning to be of concern. Other rivers in the action stage include the Rock River at Waupun and Watertown. With more rain on the way forecasters say river levels are expected to continue to rise.

No Cases of Swine Flu Virus in Wisconsin, yet

4/27/09 – State health officials say there have been no reported Wisconsin cases from a swine flu outbreak in Mexico, California and Texas. But they’re working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the outbreak. Mexican authorities say more than 100 people may have died from the swine flu virus. According to Wisconsin officials, people who recently visited Mexico, California or Texas and are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or have been in contact with sick persons, from those areas should contact their health care provider. State officials are asking that local health agencies, clinics and hospitals ramp up the level of flu monitoring, just in case.

Stimulus Funds for Schools Roll In

4/27/09 – District Administrators throughout the state are still trying to determine how and what to spend more than 366-million dollars in federal stimulus funds over the next two years. Waupun Superintendent Randy Refsland says the $140,000 intended to help students below the poverty line will be used to hire another teacher for their K-2 building. Refsland says the other $400,000 to be used for special education is a little trickier as there is a penalty if you don’t make an effort to fund the program similarly each year. Refsland says there is no chance the district could maintain the level of funding after the stimulus money runs out after two years so they are still in discussions on whether to take the funds. When announcing the funds, Governor Doyle warned education officials that schools spending the money on new programs will find themselves in what he calls “deep trouble”.

School District Total Stimulus Money Title 1 Funds Special Ed

BEAVER DAM $1,092,172 $256,058 $836,114

CAMBRIA-FRIESLAND $136,557 $40,721 $95,836

COLUMBUS $367,311 $69,019 $298,292

DODGELAND $255,117 $64,187 $190,930

FALL RIVER $142,707 $40,713 $102,534

HARTFORD J1 $476,653 $81,441 $395,212

HARTFORD UHS $373,232 $59,356 $313,876

HORICON $270,748 $62,806 $207,942

HUSTISFORD $123,307 $29,677 $93,630

LOMIRA $295,504 $53,834 $241,670

MARKESAN $316,194 $132,888 $183,306

MAYVILLE $358,881 $78,681 $280,200

NEOSHO J3 $51,179 $13,113 $38,066

OAKFIELD $141,635 $26,917 $114,718

RANDOLPH $181,326 $43,482 $137,844

RUBICON J6 $30,708 $0 $30,708

UNION GROVE J1 $199,186 $41,411 $157,775

UNION GROVE UHS $195,182 $30,189 $164,993

WATERTOWN $1,440,694 $322,314 $1,118,380

WAUPUN $605,619 $140,107 $465,512

WEST BEND $2,079,622 $338,886 $1,740,736

Board to Decide on New Administrator in Dodgeland

4/27/09 – The Dodgeland School Board is expected to vote on the hiring of a new Superintendent during their meeting tonight. Interim District Administrator Al Rosenthal says the board offered a contract to Annette VanHook Thompson following a closed session meeting last week. Thompson has been with the district for 22 years, most recently serving as the school psychologist and the gifted and the talented Coordinator. VanHook Thompson would replace Ron Vaughn, who resigned in January after 18-months on the job.

Lawyer was a Fake

4/27/09 – About 50 lawyers in southeast Wisconsin heard an expert on criminal sentencing who turned out to be a fake. Howard Kieffer was convicted in federal court in South Dakota this month of impersonating a lawyer and mail fraud. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Kieffer spoke at a lawyers’ conference in Milwaukee in late 2007, and the attorneys got credits for their continuing education. The conference showed defense attorneys how to avoid excessive prison sentences for clients convicted in both state-and-federal cases. Kieffer had represented at least 16 clients in 10 federal cases before he was exposed as a fake. A Minnesota man asked a judge to investigate Kieffer’s background, after the man was upset with the service he received in a child pornography case. Kieffer later admitted he never went to law school. He’ll be sentenced June 30th.

Simpson’s Look and Sound-a-Like Contest in Walworth Co

4/27/09 – Has anyone said you look or sound like one of the Simpsons? If so, you might want to be in the Walworth County hamlet of Springfield on May seventh. That’s where the U-S Postal Service will have a contest, as part of the release of new stamps in honor of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson. The winners of the look-alike and sound-alike contests will get framed artworks of a Simpsons’ character. “The Simpsons” is the only T-V show to have its own postage stamp while it’s still being shown in prime time. The Fox cartoon is in its 20th year, set in the fictional city of Springfield. It’s the longest-running comedy ever.

National Guard Troops to Work Prison Camps

4/27/09 – Many of the Wisconsin National Guard soldiers who are soon heading to Iraq will help run the country’s two largest prison camps. Officials say about two-thirds of the 32-hundred troops will be at Camp Cropper near the airport in Baghdad, and Camp Bucca near Iraq’s border with Kuwait. The mobilization is the largest for the Wisconsin Army Guard since World War Two. They’ve been training at Camp McGregor in New Mexico – and much of their work involves the controlling of detainees who get out of control. The camps are designed to rehabilitate prisoners who are considered low-risk. Most of them are Sunnis.

Megabucks Jackpot Ticket Sold in Dane County

4/27/09 – A Wisconsin Megabucks ticket sold in Dane County won five-point-six million dollars in Saturday night’s drawing. The ticket was sold in Windsor, but the exact location was not immediately disclosed. The winner can either take the entire prize in 25 annual installments, or a lump-sum payment of just under three-and-a-half million dollars before taxes. The winning numbers were 4, 6, 10, 35, 41, and 48. The Megabucks jackpot goes back to one-million dollars for the next drawing on Wednesday night.

Grant Funding Still Available for Residents

4/27/09 – Residents in Dodge County who sustained damage from the June floods are still eligible for grant funding for home repairs. The county was awarded a half million dollars in Community Development Block Grant funding last fall and most of the money is still available. Kari Justmann with MSA Professional Services, the agency selected by the county to administer the Emergency Assistance Program funds, says the money can be used to repair or replace many items that were not eligible for FEMA reimbursement, like repair or replacement of plumbing, heating or electrical systems and even drywall. Justmann says it is basically free money for those who are eligible but there are income guidelines. The income limit for a one person household is just over $36,000 while a four-person is just under $52,000. Contact: Stacy Griswold, MSA Professional Services, Housing Program Office, 201 Corporate Drive, Beaver Dam. Phone: (800) 552-6330. Email: [email protected]