News – August 3, 2021


(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council was introduced to the city’s new fire chief last night. Michael Wesle, who was sworn in last week, told city officials that he is glad to be part of the community and the fire department. He noted that Beaver Dam has a strong, highly skilled team that he is excited to be part of. Wesle is a native of Spencer and previously served as a lieutenant with the Rhinelander Fire Department, where he spent 15 years.

(Beaver Dam) A chain restaurant in Beaver Dam has closed its doors for good. Ponderosa on North Spring Street posted on its windows over the weekend that it would be permanently shutting down. The sign thanked customers for their patronage since first opening their doors in 1989.

(Waupun) An insurance agent from Waupun had her license revoked. According to a press release from the Officer of the Commission of Insurance, Kristine Larson’s license was revoked due to allegations of owing delinquent state taxes. The Officer of the Commission of Insurance, or OCI, each month publishes the administrative actions it has taken against agents and corporations. The actions are issued by the OCI when licensing applicants, or licensed individuals or companies have violated Wisconsin insurance statutes or regulations.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Health Department is encouraging residents to wear masks in all indoor public settings. The recommendation comes after the CDC updated their masking guidance urging people in areas of substantial and high transmission to wear face coverings, even if they are vaccinated. Last Thursday, Dodge County moved to the substantial level of community spread. Over the last three weeks, the county has seen an increase of 22 COVID cases per 100-thousand population to 92 per 100-thousand.

(Dodge County) There are currently 94 active community cases in Dodge County with 201 total deaths. A COVID-related death has not been reported in the county since June. Forty-one-point-nine-percent (41.9percent) of Dodge County has received at least one dose of the vaccine while 39.8-percent have completed the vaccination series. The figure is 42.6-percent in Fond du Lac County, 44.5-percent in Washington County, 44.6-percent in Jefferson County, 53.1-percent in Columbia County, and 43.9-percent in Green Lake County.

(Wisconsin) A legislative committee is set to vote Tuesday, on a Republican proposal which would force UW campuses to clear their COVID protocols with the legislature before implementing them. Deputy Health Services Secretary Julie Willems van Dijk says that would hamstring the UW in the face of the evolving disease. Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson has called stripping the ability of campuses to respond to COVID the biggest threat to in-person classes this fall. The requirement is being demanded by state Senator Steve Nass of Whitewater. – WRN

(Jefferson County) The number of tornadoes that touched down in southern Wisconsin last week is now ten. The National Weather Service added more tornadoes from Wednesday’s storms in Jefferson, Dane, and Waukesha Counties. Meteorologists say all of the tornadoes were EF-1 strength, with wind speeds no greater than 105 miles-per-hour. There are no reports of any serious injuries from the storm, although there were plenty of reports of downed trees, snapped power poles, and some damage to homes. – WRN

(Madison) A long time Wisconsin broadcaster has died. Wisconsin Public Media has announced that Gene Purcell, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison division that provides statewide access to public media through Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin, died Saturday from injuries suffered last week in a traffic crash in Madison. Purcell had led WPM since 2018, steering its transition to UW-Madison from the UW-Extension, and leading public media through the pandemic. Gene Purcell was 61. – WRN