News – August 4, 2021

(Portage) Health officials in Columbia County say they are now experiencing a substantial level of community transmission. Dodge County reached that level last Thursday, according to the CDC COVID data tracker. Fond du Lac and Jefferson Counties are also at the substantial level of community spread while Green Lake County is at moderate. Washington County is currently at the high level of transmission. The Columbia County Health Department says the COVID vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalizations or death.

(Wisconsin) As questions arise about the resurgence of mask recommendations, public officials do not seem to be considering turning that into a requirement anytime soon. But Governor Tony Evers is still asking people to consider masking up in some situations. He says the best solution we have is vaccination.  – WRN

(Wisconsin) The governor also announced another $10-million-dollars in federal COVID relief funds for tourism support during a stop in Ashwaubenon yesterday. Despite the pandemic, Wisconsin’s tourism industry supported more than 157,000 jobs across the state and had a $17.3 billion impact on the state economy in 2020. So far in 2021, the industry is seeing recovery above 2020 numbers as travelers make up for missed vacations. – WRN

(Madison) Amid the Delta variant driven surge in new cases of the virus, there is a new requirement for Dane County’s 24-hundred employees. Government staff will now be required to provide proof of vaccination or a weekly negative COVID test. They must also wear masks as well as visitors before entering buildings. – WRN

(Wisconsin) University of Wisconsin System leaders will have to run future COVID rules past state lawmakers. On a 6-4 party line vote, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules declares the UW System must issue an emergency order to enact pandemic protocols like mandatory testing and masks. Committee Republicans can also repeal all or part of any order from the UW System. – WRN

(Beaver Dam) There is a new face on the city of Beaver Dam’s Police and Fire Commission. The city council on Monday approved the mayor’s appointment of Thea O’Connor to the five-person body. O’Connor, who is the executive director of Church Health Services, replaces Shirley Pock. The term runs through May of 2025.

(Beaver Dam) With school quickly approaching, Beaver Dam is in need of substitute crossing guards. The Beaver Dam Police Department is now accepting applications for the part-time position. Substitute crossing guards are utilized by the city to supplement and back up the regular adult crossing guards. Substitute guards are paid $12.73 per hour with no additional benefits. Applications can be picked up at the Beaver Dam Police Department. Additional contact information to apply can be found with this news story at

(Rosendale) A Fond du Lac man was arrested for fleeing from law enforcement early Tuesday morning. Sheriff’s deputies attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a speed violation around 1:35am in the Village of Rosendale. The suspect vehicle increased its speed and failed to yield to emergency lights. The vehicle continued to flee for roughly three miles before it pulled over. The 21-year-old driver is facing criminal charges of Eluding and Possession of THC. Four passengers who were in the vehicle were released. There were no injuries during the incident.

(Portage) Two bridge construction projects will begin next week near Portage. Crews will reshape the existing median shoulders along I-39 and install guardrail along the interstate median between the Baraboo River and County Road O. A polymer overlay will also be applied on the I-39 structures over Hogan Road, north of Portage. Drivers are advised to slow down and be alert for crews and equipment near the travel lanes. The $2.2-million-dollar project will begin Monday, August 9th and be scheduled for completion in mid-October, weather permitting.