News February 18, 2009

Waupun Referenda Fail

2/18/09 – Voters in the Waupun School District did not support any of the three school funding referenda on yesterday’s ballot. The first question, which carried the highest price tag at $4 million dollars over three years for ongoing operation expenses, failed by 698 votes out of the over 3700 cast. Question two was even closer. It asked for $150,000 each year for three years for capital improvement and maintenance expenses. The vote was 1807 in favor, 1926 against; a difference of 119 votes. Question three lost by only 25 votes. It asked voters to exceed the revenue cap by $150,000 for three years for textbooks and other classroom materials. The vote was 1854-1879.

Refsland: ‘Disappointing’

2/18/09 – Waupun Superintendent Randy Refsland called last nights vote “disappointing.” Refsland says the community has let school officials know which direction they want the district go, and that means cutting one million dollars in next years budget. He says that will include a recommendation he will make to the school board to reduce staff and close Fox Lake and Alto Elementary Schools. Administrators will be meeting this afternoon to compile a list of cuts to bring to the school board at their meeting next Monday.

Columbus Will Have New Mayor

2/18/09 – Columbus Mayor Nancy Osterhaus will only be serving one term. In the four-way race for Columbus mayor: former Mayor Peter Kaland will face former councilmen Bob Link. Kaland and Link secured the overwhelming number of votes at 354 and 448, respectively. Osterhaus received 108 votes while former mayor Art Westergaard Jr picked up 58.

Fleming/ Paul Advance in Fox Lake

2/18/09 – In the three-way race for Fox Lake Town Board, Julie Fleming will face Dale Paul in the April election. Fleming secured 119 votes to Paul’s 98 votes. Rick Morgan received 51 votes. In the Town of Ashippun, James Meyer and Syl Hoerth will advance after beating out Will Oschmann.

BD Seeks Stimulus for Streets

2/18/09 – Beaver Dam city officials Tuesday submitted a stimulus request to the state. Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says his department is seeking a total of $2.4 million dollars for nine street repair and reconstruction projects, many of which were pushed off the 2009 Capital Improvements Plan in favor of downtown demolition and redevelopment efforts. Piltz told city officials this week that he doesn’t anticipate all of the projects to get funding from the state DOT, but he is hoping that one or two will get accepted. The state and federal government would pick-up 100% of the costs of the project. The main requirement is that the work be done to primary roadways or connecting streets.

Lynch To Resign As Fox Lake PD Chief

2/18/09 – The Fox Lake Common Council is expected to act on a motion to accept the resignation of Police Chief Pat Lynch during a special meeting Wednesday night. That’s according to a meeting agenda which has the council convening in closed session to confer with their legal counsel before reconvening in open session to act on the resignation motion. No details have been released regarding the reason for the resignation.

BD Water Changes Billing Procedure

2/18/09 – The city of Beaver Dam will no longer shut off the water of delinquent utility customers. From now on the city will place any outstanding balance onto the tax bill. Director of Utilities Don Quarford says the change will benefit the utility and the billing department but the downside is that landlords will no longer be able ask the city to shut off the water of delinquent tenants. All late bills are still subject to a one-percent penalty for each month the bill remains unpaid.

Comprehensive Plan Adopted

2/18/09 – The city of Beaver Dam adopted their Comprehensive Plan on Monday night. The plan will be used by city officials to guide future development of everything from zoning matters to residential, commercial and municipal growth for the next decade. The state mandates that cities have the plan in place by January of 2010 with updates every 10 years.

Kaiser Sentenced for Death of Wife in OWI

2/18/09 – A Horicon man, who killed his wife in a drunken driving accident, has been sentenced to a year in jail with Huber Privileges. 51-year-old Kurt K. Kaiser was also placed on probation for 15 years during yesterday’s sentencing hearing. Kaiser pleaded “no contest” last November to a felony count of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle and had a second count dismissed. 47-year-old Karen Kaiser was partially ejected and was pronounced dead at the scene of the November 2007 car accident. Their SUV was traveling southbound on County Highway E when it slid through the intersection at County Highway S and struck a tree. Neither was wearing a seatbelt. Kurt Kaiser was cut from the vehicle and transported from the scene to the Beaver Dam Community Hospital with leg and hip injuries. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

My Space Chat Leads To Charges

2/18/09 – A 21-year-old Beaver Dam has been formally charged in connection with a series of sexually explicit online conversations with a 15-year-old girl. Onnie Gregory, Jr. is charged with one felony count of Exposing a Child to Harmful Materials. Officers with the Beaver Dam and Fall River police departments made the arrest last week as part of an ongoing investigation. Gregory had allegedly been talking to the Beaver Dam teen on the social networking website “My Space.” The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of three and a half years. Gregory has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 2.