News – February 18, 2016

Sheriff Department Among Those Returning Dodge County Funds


2/18/16 – Some of the funds transferred to cover one county department’s 2015 budget shortfall are coming back.  During yesterday’s edition of WBEV’s Community Comment, Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt announced the sheriff’s office is returning roughly $190-thousand of the $510-thousand the county board transferred in December.  The budget shortfall was largely due to the county jail filling less contract beds with federal detainees than projected.  Although most of 2015 was rough, Schmidt says things started to look up in November and December.  He says the department often fell 20 to 25 beds below the 240 per night budgeted in 2015.  So far this year, Schmidt says they have filled 260 beds while only budgeting for 235.  The $190-thousand returned by the sheriff’s office is part of a near $600-thousand year-to-year carry over approved by the county board at its meeting last night.


County Committee Can Now Waive Penalty On Back Taxes


2/18/16 – Dodge County’s Taxation Committee can now waive a penalty for those owing back taxes.  At its meeting last night, the county board voted to allow the committee to determine whether to assess an annual 6-percent penalty for delinquent property taxes on a case-by-case basis.  Even if that fee is waived, property owners would still be charged a 12% penalty under state statute.


Dodge County Emergency Channel To Get Simulcast Capability


2/18/16 – Another Dodge County emergency channel will soon have simulcast capability.  The county board approved spending roughly $185,000 last night to upgrade its fire and EMS channel.  Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls says simulcast allows for better, more consistent radio communication county-wide since a page goes off all county towers, instead of just one.  Nehls says without simulcast, dispatchers need to know which tower is a department’s local tower in order to relay a message.  The county upgraded its emergency paging and two law enforcement channels in the last three years and could upgrade the two remaining channels, highway and alternate emergency, in 2017.  Simulcasting the fire and EMS channel should be complete by summer.


Dodge County Administrator To Get Pay Bump


2/18/16 – The Dodge County Board approved a resolution last night that changes how the county administrator is paid.  Starting in July, the position will be part of the county’s labor grade structure, which includes all full-time employees except the clerk, treasurer, register of deeds, and sworn officers.  Until now, the county board had set the administrator’s salary every other year.  County Administrator Jim Mielke will receive $107,000 in the year starting in July, a raise of roughly 1.5-percent.


National Exchange, American Bank Merger Announced


2/18/16 – National Exchange Bank and Trust and American Bank are merging under the National Exchange Bank and Trust name. The announcement was made in Fond du Lac yesterday (Wed). The transaction is scheduled to be completed in the second half of the year, pending regulatory approval. After the merger, the combined banks will have more than $1.85 billion in assets and 33 offices. A leadership team will coordinate a transition plan. National Exchange has branches in Beaver Dam, Randolph and Cambria. In addition to Fond du Lac, American Bank has branches in Brownsville, Princeton, Omro and Mayville.


Police Say Portage Murder Victim Shot Multiple Times


2/18/16 – Police records filed in in Columbia County court show the victim in Monday’s murder in Portage was shot multiple times. 41-year-old Tracy Krueger was shot at the Ridge Motor Inn in Portage.  A shotgun along with ammunition was found in the car of her estranged husband, Kevin Krueger, when they arrested him for the shooting a short time later. Detectives later searched Kevin Krueger’s Friesland apartment, and took a computer tower, documents and a purse. They were told by the landlord that the couple was getting a divorce and that Tracy Krueger had already moved out.


Burglary Reported In Beaver Dam


2/18/16 – Authorities in Beaver Dam are investigating a burglary on Scott Street. It was reported Tuesday afternoon on the 600 block. The victim reported that her back door had been broken to gain entry and jewelry was taken.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Beaver Dam Police.


Beaver Dam Parade Ordinance Being Reworked


2/18/16 – City officials in Beaver Dam are reworking a proposed ordinance that would increase the fees associated with obtaining a parade permit and require liability insurance. The ordinance as drafted would create a tiered fee structure starting at $100 for a gathering of 200 or less; it is currently $5. Police Chief John Kreuziger says the recent influx of parades, walk-runs and related events is resulting in mounting overtime costs for his department. He says there are not enough officers to cover all the intersections at some events and routine calls for service, resulting in a lot of overtime and a lot of money. The Administrative Committee on Monday tabled discussion. Chair Don Neuert says he understands that overtime costs are up but notes the changes could have unwanted consequences. He says organizers may be deterred from holding events in Beaver Dam and go to another city without such an ordinance in place, taking with it money spent in hotels, restaurants and gas stations. Neuert also says the city may be sending the wrong message by increasing fees for exercise-based events at a time when it is working with the hospital to implement a healthy community initiative. The ordinance is being re-written in advance of next month’s Administrative Committee meeting. As currently written, organizers would be required to furnish proof of insurance. Kreuziger says it is a liability to have people walking in the street though perhaps a simple waiver may be enough. The city is also looking to expand the list of exemptions to the ordinance which currently includes processions for funerals, dignitaries or the military and events limited to sidewalks; city functions and other events may be added to the list of exemptions.


BDCH Named ‘Fit-Friendly Worksite’


2/18/16 – The American Heart Association has recognized Beaver Dam Community Hospital as a “Platinum-Level, Fit-Friendly Worksite” for helping its employees eat better and move more. Platinum-level employers offer physical activity options in the workplace, increase healthy eating options at the worksite, implement at least nine criteria outlined by the Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture and demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness. Mel Bruins, who oversees the hospitals Wellness Program, says studies show that a healthier workforce creates a happier and more productive workplace. In addition to revamping its cafeteria offerings and removing its deep fryer in favor of healthier selections, Bruins says the hospital routinely offers employee fitness classes, including yoga, Zumba, kettlebell and meditation sessions, and also publishes a monthly wellness newsletter. The Heart Association says American employers lose an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, visit


DCELEA Offering Scholarships


2/18/16 – The Dodge County Executive Law Enforcement Association has announced a scholarship opportunity for local high school seniors or current college students. Association Secretary-Treasurer Dave Beal – the police chief in Juneau – says the scholarship program is designed to assist a Dodge County resident who is pursuing a degree in criminal justice or related field at an accredited university or technical college. The applicant must be a full-time student as determined by the college or university. The deadline is April 1. Scholarship applications may be obtained at your local police department, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department, Dodge County-area high schools or any of the correctional facilities in the county. The Association includes all of the senior administrators of all the local law enforcement entities in Dodge County. More information is on our website or

For more information about this great opportunity please contact the Association’s Secretary/Treasurer Dave Beal of the Juneau Police Department at 920-386-4810 or e-mail [email protected]