News – February 10, 2016

Horicon Committee Forwards Trail Donation To Council


2/10/16 – Horicon’s Committee of the Whole recommended a resolution to its city council to pledge $5,000 for the design and construction of a portion of the Gold Star Memorial Trail.  The proposed 15 mile trail would run from Mayville to Horicon to Beaver Dam and would honor six Dodge County veterans who were killed in action.  The council voted on funding for the trail’s second phase, which would connect Horicon and the Wild Goose State Trail at a cost of $755,000.  Dodge County has applied for a federal grant that would cover roughly $525,000.  The city’s pledge would be contingent on that grant being awarded.  County Parks and Trails Manager Bill Ehlenbeck proposed last night that $115,000 come from the county while the other $115,000 come from the City of Horicon or private donations.  Council President Carl Fausett said the city should contribute funds for the trail since it could help attract young families to Horicon.  Alderman Nathan Anfinson believed it is more important for the city to take care of its own parks before funding a new recreational project. Mayor Steve Neitzel argued the county tries to put too much of a burden on its cities and should use revenues from its half-a-percent sales tax for projects like the trail.  While he believes the trail could be beneficial, Neitzel says it likely would not make much of a difference in attracting more residents.  Neitzel cast two tie-breaking votes on the matter last night.  He voted no in recommending a $10,000 donation to the council but later approved a $5,000 contribution when a second motion was made.  The council will vote on the funding at its February 23 meeting, and the county board will take the matter up in March.  If funding is in place, design work for this segment of the trail could begin next year with construction in 2019 or 2020.


Juneau Adds E-Cigarettes To Tobacco Ordinance


2/10/16 – Electronic smoking devices are now prohibited on city-owned property in Juneau. The common council last night adopted changes to existing ordinance banning the use of e-cigarettes, vapor pens and related items. City Attorney Sean Donohue says the devices outlawed include tobacco products along with any other simulated smoking of vapor or aerosol. Electronic smoking devices join cigarettes and other tobacco products in being prohibited at city hall, the public safety building, city garage, public library, utility offices and wastewater treatment plant along with any city-owned concession stands, meeting rooms and restrooms. Bars are not required to comply with the e-device prohibition but the bar at the city-owned Juneau Community Center is required. The council also adopted a separate tobacco ordinance that brings the city in-line with state statute and automatically updates with changes made by the legislature.


Senate Expands Online Registration, Ousts Registration Deputies


2/10/16 – Wisconsin senators have decided to let voters register online, while no longer letting clerks deputize people to run group registration drives. The upper house voted 19-to-13 Tuesday night to send the Republican package of election law changes to the Assembly. The U-S Public Interest Research Group joined several state watchdog groups in opposing the elimination of the registration deputies, saying it would severely limit voter access. But G-O-P Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau points out that groups can still hold drives where leaders can teach people to use electronic devices to register — but all Democrats on hand voted no, saying the deputies would make registration efforts easier. The bill also allows federal veterans’ I-Ds for voting, and requires absentee ballots to be returned by the time the polls close on election nights.


Born Sex Offender Bill Adopted By Assembly


2/10/16 – The Assembly Tuesday adopted a bill drafted by Republican State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam. So-called Chapter 980 sex offenders are considered the “worst-of-the-worst” and constitutionally, the state has to allow those successfully treated to be released. A problem was uncovered in May of last year when two violent sex offenders were placed in a Brownsville residence, right next door to two young children; they have since been removed. Under the bill, sexually violent persons cannot be placed on supervised release in a residence within 1500 feet of a school, daycare, park, or place of worship. They also cannot be placed in a property adjacent to children if they committed a sexually violent offence against a child, or next to a nursing home or assisted living facility if they committed a sexually violent offence against an elderly or disabled individual. The legislation also stipulates that local law enforcement must be consulted before a placement may be made. Born says when dealing with violent sex offenders, it is vital to have proper guidelines in place. He says the changes in the bill will ensure that such placements will not happen elsewhere in the state. The bill now heads to the Senate.


Court Agreement Keeps Beaver Dam Man Off Sex Registry


2/10/16 – A Beaver Dam man pled no contest Tuesday to charges of violently assaulting a teenage acquaintance.  Edward T. Linn will avoid having to register as a sex offender if he complies with his deferred prosecution agreement for felony Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.  The 21-year-old also was found guilty on felony counts of Exposing Himself to a Child and Bail Jumping.   Three other counts were dismissed and read into the record.  Linn tried to choke, punch, and bite the 15-year-old victim while forcing himself on her in November 2014.  She was able to fight him off and fled the residence.  Linn was sentenced to six months in jail with work release privileges.  He must also keep a full-time job or stay enrolled in school, stay sober, and avoid contact with all juvenile females.


Man Accused Of Going 110 MPH Through Ashippun


2/10/16 – An Oconomowoc man is accused of running from an officer in the Town of Ashippun.  Travis Enders is facing one felony count of Attempting to Flee a Traffic Officer.  The 24-year-old was allegedly clocked last month going 110 miles per hour down Highway O.  Enders was reportedly slurring his speech and refused a field sobriety test.  If he is found guilty, Enders faces over 3 years in prison.  His initial appearance is February 15.


Skier Identified In Cascade Mountain Death


2/10/16 – Columbia County authorities have released the name of the 24-year-old skier who died Saturday at Cascade Mountain near Portage. Bethany Reith of Oconto Falls was injured after striking a tree and died later at Divine Savoir Hospital. The woman was skiing with friends on one of the most difficult routes at Cascade. Those friends alerted the ski patrol, which moved her to the bottom of the hill where rescuers helped her. The incident remains under investigation but Sheriff Dennis Richards says it appears to be accidental.


Meeting Tonight Will Discuss Campbellsport Highway Project


2/10/16 – There is an informational meeting tonight for a proposed highway project in Campbellsport.  The reconstruction of 2.3 miles of Highway 67 from North Baumann Street to Triple S Road would include a two-lane road with new pavement and intersection improvements.  Part of the stretch would also get new sidewalks, sewers, and curb and gutter.  The meeting will run from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Campbellsport High School.  A brief presentation at 5:40 pm will be followed by an open house.


BDAAA Hosting Makers Monthly Today


2/10/16 – The Beaver Dam Area Arts Association is hosting its monthly “maker’s space” this afternoon. Facilitator Jason Gullickson explains that the “maker’s movement” is an extension of the “do-it-yourself” mentality, spit-balling idea’s about a project with a variety of people from different backgrounds. He calls it a “support group for people who make stuff.” Each month’s projects and discussion is determined by the group attending.  Gullickson says his favorite topics include 3D printing, virtual reality software, YouTube video production, open source software development and incorporating technology in traditional art forms. Gullickson says more points-of-view are needed to help spitball solutions to multiple subject areas. It was the maker’s space that helped him with an invention: a little free library that would also allow children to hear a story through an attached telephone. Short locally-written, copyright-free stories have been selected for the story phone. The blueprints for a low-cost story phone are now available online for free or “open-source.” The Makers Monthly is held on the second Wednesday of each month from 3:30pm to 5pm at the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association which is located at the Seippel Homestead and Center for the Arts at 1605 North Spring Street. All ages are welcome, the maker’s space is free and registration is not required.