“News – August 16, 2009”

Doyle Not Seeking Reelection


8/16/09 – The Associated Press is reporting that Governor Jim Doyle will announce that he is not running for reelection.  Doyle’s office has said the two-term governor will make his plans known tomorrow.  The governor reportedly has a campaign fund topping two million dollars.  Poll takers report Doyle’s approval rating has slumped into the 30 percent range in recent months.


BD Sewer Rate Increase Considered Monday


8/16/09 – Beaver Dam residents could see an increase in sewer rates for the first since 1997 if a proposed ordinance is passed by the common council Monday night. But even with an increase the rates will still be lower than they were in 1985. That’s according to Utilities Director Don Quarford who says the rate will go up two dollars per quarter to around 39-dollars for the typical residential user. The increase will help the city comply with regulations set forth by the DNR. Beaver Dam recently received a grant to cover half the costs and a low-interest loan to cover the remaining costs. Quarford says without the grant the rate could have gone up to 50-dollars-per-quarter. The plan is to have the ordinance read twice and to hold the public hearing at tomorrow’s council meeting in an effort to meet all the guidelines of the 20-million-dollar grant. Also, the city of Beaver Dam could add the YMCA of Dodge County to its recently completed space needs study of city-owned properties.  The Common Council tomorrow will consider a resolution authorizing MSA Professional Services to add the property – acquired late last month — to the study.


Redmer Murder Suspects Will Go To Trial


8/16/09 – A man from Brookfield, his mother and another man will go to trial in the death of Renee Redmer.  Brandon Mueller was Redmer’s boyfriend and he is accused of strangling her to death in Fond du Lac last winter.  The 29 year old mother of two children from Waukesha was reported missing in mid-January.  Authorities think she was killed, her body burned and the ashes put in Lake Winnebago, which was frozen at the time.  Mueller has already been convicted of four counts of domestic violence in Waukesha County.


Trenton B&E’s Reported


8/16/09 – Dodge County authorities are investigating two breaking and entering reports from the Town of Trenton.  According to the Sheriffs Department, nothing was reported missing in either break-in.  In one incident doors were pried open to a residence on Laurel Hill Road.  In the other, a homeowner called authorities after discovering several household items had been moved around. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dodge County Sheriffs Department or the anonymous We-Tip hotline at 800-78-CRIME.


State Fair Numbers On Par


8/16/09 – A few days of bad weather hasn’t kept fair-goers at home.  Attendance for the 2009 Wisconsin State Fair is going to be very close to the 872 thousand people who hit the fairgrounds last year when all the numbers are totaled.  The annual event runs through today in West Allis.  Three days of rain interrupted the festivities, but the crowds reportedly keep coming. The Dodge County Fair begins Wednesday.


Thermometer Exchange At County Fair


8/16/09 – The Dodge County Health Department will be conducting a thermometer exchange at the fair this week.  Health Officer Jody Langfeldt says county residents can exchange their used mercury thermometers – either the fever or basal type – with battery-operated digital thermometers at no cost. The used mercury thermometers can be exchanged at the Dodge County Human Services and Health Department booth in the Family Living Tent.  The thermometers should be brought in their storage cases, but if the cases are not available, Langfeldt says it can be brought in a rigid plastic container such as a soda bottle or something similar that can be thrown away.


Property Values Drop


8/16/09 – For only the second time in 50 years Wisconsin property values have fallen.  The state Department of Revenue reports they dipped by one half of one percent last year.  The last time Wisconsin had an overall decline was 1986 — at a time when the agricultural economy was slumping.  Western Wisconsin counties like Pierce and St. Croix dropped the most.  Milwaukee was the city seeing the biggest decline.  It could get worse.  The state figures don’t include data from this year — when the national and state economies were even worse than 2008.


Legislative Aids Overpaid


8/16/09 – The switchover in legislative control, from Republican to Democrat, means several aides in the Wisconsin Assembly are making more money than their state positions are supposed to pay.  In many cases they served as aides to Republican leaders in the Assembly.  When the Democrats took over, they were shuffled to lower-ranking jobs, but were allowed to stay at their previous salaries.  In some cases the difference is at least 10 thousand dollars.  Since there are 43 aides on this list, it is costing the state hundreds of thousands of dollars — but it is okay under a legislative policy now in place for more than 20 years.  Since there are 220 Assembly aides, that means one in five is getting paid more than the job calls for under state guidelines.


Feral Pigs Targeted


8/16/09 – DNR officials want more control over feral pigs being kept on private property.  The state has been trying to control a growing population of the animals, which have started showing up in several counties. The animals are a concern because they multiply quickly, damage crops, and can spread diseases to other livestock.  Efforts so far have included declaring them harmful wild animals, which allows hunters and land owners to shoot them at any time.  Now, DNR conservation warden Tom Van Haren says the agency is developing rules to license individuals who try to keep feral pigs on private property.  He says that would allow the DNR to get a better idea of who is trying to keep the animals. It would also clear the way for strict requirements to make sure the animals do not escape.  The DNR is holding statewide hearings on the proposed licensing rules through the end of this month.


Delinquent Tax Website Producing Results


8/16/09 – Wisconsin’s Delinquent Tax Internet Posting website appears to be working.  Reluctant taxpayers have forked over more than 20 million dollars in the last fiscal year, ending in June.  In three years the state has collected 72 million dollars in might not have received otherwise.  It posts the names of people owing at least five thousand dollars in state taxes.  The most recent listing included more than 26 thousand names owing more than 950 million dollars.


Kennedy To Hold Open Door Meeting


8/16/09 – Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy will hold another one of his regular open door meetings on Tuesday.  Kennedy says city residents are invited to meet with him, one-on-one, without appointment on the first and third Tuesday of every month.  Kennedy says he feels it is important that constituents have the opportunity to speak with him the day after each regular meeting of the common council. The meetings will be held in Room 109 on the first floor of City Hall from 10am until noon.  Kennedy says he also make himself available for private meetings by appointment by contacting the mayor office.