News – February 14, 2016

Dodge County Sheriff’s Office Gets Ballistic Helmets


2/14/16 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office recently received a donation for new safety equipment.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt announced this week that Walmart gave $2,500 for the department to purchase ballistic helmets.  Schmidt says an officer’s life was saved last year in Neenah when a bullet bounced off his helmet.  According to Schmidt, another 30 helmets are needed to supply his entire staff.  They cost roughly $400 each, and donations can be made by contacting the sheriff’s office.  The helmet purchases come one year after the department bought ballistic vests for all its officers.


Group Files Lawsuit Against Campbellsport Area Sand Mine


2/14/16 – The group STOMP – which stands for Stop The Ongoing Mine Permit – has filed a lawsuit in Fond du Lac County court against The Ashford Town’s Board of Appeals and Batzler Trucking. The board approved a special exceptions permit for Batzler last August to conduct a sand mining operation on more than 60 acres of property on Ashford-Auburn Drive. The area surrounding and adjacent to the mine is primarily residential subdivision development. About 80 people attend the board’s meeting last August most in opposition to the permit.


Council Vote Monday On Wood Shop, Mayor Opens Door Tuesday


2/14/16 – Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy has his regular listening sessions scheduled on Tuesday. Kennedy opens his door for city residents to meet with him, one-on-one, without appointment on the first and third Tuesday of every month. The listening sessions are held in Room 158 on the first floor of City Hall from 10am until noon and again from 5pm to 6pm.  Kennedy also makes himself available for private meetings by appointment by contacting the mayor office.  He says it is important that constituents have the opportunity to speak with him the day after each regular meeting of the common council, which is typically held on the first and third Monday’s of the month. On the council agenda tomorrow night: consideration of an offer by the Beaver Dam School District for the city to use its wood shop. The city’s wood working program was halted when the old senior center closed last month and the new Watermark Community and Senior Center opened its doors. Superintendent Steve Vessey told the school board last Monday that the five-year contract for the Don Smith Learning Academy would cost the city nothing. Vessey says wood shop users would be required to have background checks and be given an electronic key that would work during school hours. If approved tomorrow, officials say the wood working program could resume in the next month.


State Commends Fond du Lac Job Center For Filling Mercury Jobs


2/14/16 – Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen recently commended their Fond du Lac Area Job and Career Center for helping Mercury Marine fill 100 positions. He says the jobs were for an expansion Mercury has been going through. He says the office pre-screened 124 people over 5 days and did an extraordinary job of getting the screenings done and referring the people over to Mercury for further interviews and some hire.


DMV Offers Advice On Obtaining Photo IDs


2/14/16 – When Wisconsin voters go to the polls this year, they’ll be required to show identification in accordance with the state Voter ID law. The state Division of Motor Vehicles can issue people a driver license or state ID card—two products that can be used to meet the law’s requirements. Jim Miller with the Wisconsin DMV: “For most voters, if you already have a current Wisconsin driver’s license or ID card, you’re all set, you don’t need to come in and get anything else from us. For voters who don’t have a driver’s license, they can go into a DMV service center and get a state ID card. If they need the ID card for voting, they simply check the box on the form and all fees are waived for that identification card.” The official DMV website has more information about getting a driver license or ID card. People with questions about the Voter ID law or other election-related issues are encouraged to check with the state Government Accountability Board.


Revenue Department Warns Of Tax Refund Scams


2/14/16 – If you plan to work on your income tax returns this weekend, the state Revenue Department has both good and bad news. The good news is that Wisconsin does not have a widespread problem with identity thieves beating people to their refunds by filing false returns. The bad news is that state officials blocked 58-million dollars last year in fraudulent refunds and claims — so those who’ve unknowingly given out their personal data are at risk. Once again this year, the state plans to block returns that look suspicious, and ask certain people to answer questions which confirm their identities. Even for those who file on the Revenue Department’s website, it could take up to three weeks to issue refunds as part of the agency’s safeguards.


DNR Credits Conservation Effort For Sturgeon Rebound


2/14/16 – The DNR Sturgeon Biologist for the Winnebago System says the rebounding of the sturgeon population over the years is due to a group conservation effort. Ryan Koenigs says Sturgeon for Tomorrow has had a big role in that conservation effort. He says they have raised close to $1 million for sturgeon restoration, management, and research efforts. Koenigs says the majority of conservation groups and fishing clubs in the area has an interest in sturgeon and are willing to provide support as needed. He says the sturgeon guard program during the spawning season has also been instrumental.


Army Corps Begins Ice Measurements On Wednesday


2/14/16 – The U-S Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will begin taking this year’s annual Lake Pepin ice measurements on February 17th. The Corps takes the measurements on Lake Pepin each year to predict the navigational outlook for the Upper Mississippi River. The lake is actually an arm of the river between Red Wing and Wabasha Minnesota, closer to the Wisconsin side of the river, and is a good choice to measure the ice, since it is the last point of ice breakup on the navigation channel. A survey team will use an airboat and a global positioning system to collect the data. Last year, the first tow vessel came through Lake Pepin and reached St. Paul on March 25th.