“News-April 5, 2011”

Council Scrutinizes BDPD Technology Purchases


4/5/11 – Beaver Dam officials last night spent four hours in committee and on the council floor scrutinizing technology purchases for the city’s new $5.1 million police station. The council wound up approving over $125,000 in computers, phone systems, audio and video hardware and labor costs. Interquest of Beaver Dam provided free technology consulting services for the city. Interquest will also be performing most of the work and arranged the equipment purchases.


Alderwoman Donna Maly has extensive professional experience in Information Technology and serves on the county’s I-T Committee. She led most of the questioning on the council floor. Maly expressed concern about having Interquest be a consultant and also benefit financially from city contracts without getting other bids. However, she was comfortable enough to vote in favor of eight of the ten resolutions after getting more information from Interquest on the council floor.


Mayor Tom Kennedy sits on the Police Department Planning Committee, which oversees the day-to-day matters of the new police station. Kennedy says the city saved thousands of dollars by not hiring an outside I-T consultant and going with a company the city is already contracting with for the current police station. Kennedy says Interquest “shopped around” and reviewed the findings with the Planning Committee.


In a rarely used procedural move last night, the council reversed a vote that had originally resulted in rejecting one of the bids. After unanimous support for a so-called “Request To Reconsider,” the council approved spending $45,000 to have Interquest install the new phone system, while also incorporating much of their existing phone system. Maly was the only alderperson voting against the resolution both times; she cited a lack of competitive bidding.


Administrative Committee Advances 2011-12 CIP


4/5/11 – The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee last night advanced the city’s borrowing plan for the next two years. The CIP, or Capital Improvement Plan, went unfunded earlier this year, which resulted in the reconstruction of Lake Shore Drive being delayed indefinitely. At the time, the Administrative Committee determined that enough money was already spent this year on the new police station. Approval now would allow for some engineering work and playground upgrades to be paid for this year with money already on hand. Around $1.6 million in borrowing in planned for next year. Among those projects: a replacement ambulance and a new pumper truck for the Fire Department, reconstruction of Prospect Avenue and the remodeling of city hall after the police department vacates the premises. The CIP is expected to be revisited in committee before moving to the council floor for consideration.


Waterloo Man Charged In Ice Shanty Burglaries


4/5/11 – A Waterloo man has been charged with breaking into ice fishing shanty’s on Beaver Dam Lake.  Authorities say 22-year-old Casey McNicol burglarized the make-shift structures in early January and stole hundreds of dollars worth of fishing gear and related equipment. Authorities say they have video footage of McNicol with the stolen stuff. According to the criminal complaints, McNicol admitted to the thefts after being questioned. He faces over 26 years in prison, if convicted. A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.


Another Firm Targeted For Telemarketing


4/5/11 – For the second time in a week, the state Justice Department has announced legal action connected with the do-not-call law for telemarketers. The attorney general announced a settlement Monday in which the Madison distributor for Kirby vacuum cleaners will pay 21-thousand dollars in fines and court costs. Officials said Kirby made thousands of sales calls to Wisconsinites who are on the state’s popular no-call list. The state sued the Kirby distributor last June. The settlement also requires the firm to submit its phone records to the state for the next two years – and if it keeps breaking the no-call law, the fine goes up to 50-thousand-dollars. Last week, the Justice Department sued the First American Mortgage Company of Columbus for calling people on the no-call list. The automated calls reportedly paid told people there were questions about their mortgages – and if they called back, they were apparently given a sales pitch about changing their mortgage companies.


Hackers Get Millions of Email Addresses


4/5/11 – Hackers have stolen millions of e-mail addresses from an advertising company used by some of the nation’s largest businesses. And those firms have started warning customers to expect fraudulent e-mails from those trying to lure them into providing their log-in data. The security breach occurred at Epsilon, a firm in Dallas that manages e-mail communications. The company said the customer names and e-mail addresses were exposed, but no other personal data. That means hackers cannot get into your accounts unless you provide the passwords – and they’re expected to ask for them. Companies with large numbers of Wisconsin customers like U-S Bank, Capital One, Chase Bank, Best Buy, Marriott Hotels, Tivo, Kroger, and Walgreens have been warning customers to expect fraudulent e-mails which might not go their spam areas. The College Board also said a hacker might have received student e-mail addresses. David Jevans of the Anti-Phishing Working Group said criminals have moved away from random e-mails to more intelligent attacks against people who may be customers of the firms the criminals are pretending to be.

Latest Scam Uses Donald Trump

4/5/11 – Wisconsinites are constantly told not to send money to claim a prize in a contest they didn’t enter. But scammers still get people to do it – especially the elderly. The latest example is in Madison, where a 91-year-old man sent 30-thousand-dollars to a scammer claiming to be from the “Trump International Lottery-and-Sweepstakes Company.” Police said the man responded to a letter – and that led to repeated phone calls from a man who called himself “Tony Anderson.” With each call, the scammer got the victim to send money to addresses in Jamaica, Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana. The scammer kept promising that the fake Trump company would deliver on the million-dollar prize – but the victim eventually realized it wouldn’t. According to the Madison Capital Times, the man thought the scheme was legit because quote, “he didn’t believe Donald Trump would be part of something that was not above board.”