News – February 25, 2021

(Waupun) Waupun is hammering out a plan to use trained volunteers to bolster emergency medical services. The volunteers would provide a preliminary response until an ambulance arrives. The common council has approved $50-thousand dollars to train up to ten volunteer responders and develop a plan to be fully operational by next year, or earlier. By contrast adding a third ambulance would cost around $350-thousand dollars. Fire Chief B.J. DeMaa says there has been talk about the approach in the past and he believes the interest is there to fill the positions.

(Emmet) A Reeseville man has made his initial appearance in court on charges he assaulted a child. Marcus Statz allegedly admitted to assaulting the 15-year-old victim between October and January at a farm in Emmet. If convicted, the 47-year-old faces up to 40 years in prison. A signature bond was set at $5,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 1st.

(Green Lake County) The governor’s office is seeking applicants for Green Lake County District Attorney. The appointment will fill a vacancy created by District Attorney Andrew Christenson’s resignation, which is effective March 5. The new district attorney will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term that ends January 6, 2025.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 747 positive coronavirus cases in Wednesday’s daily update. State health officials recorded 25 deaths bringing that total to 6,342. Dodge County has experienced 155 deaths and 11,374 cases, a one-day increase of eight positive tests. County health officials are actively monitoring 123 people, three fewer than on Tuesday. Deaths were reported in Washington, Fond du Lac and Jefferson Counties.

(Dodge County) Despite improving coronavirus numbers throughout Dodge County, the region remains in phase-one of its three-phase Safe Restart Plan. Health officials say the weekly rate of positive tests between February 15th and the 21st was 14.9-percent, just over a percent lower than the previous week. They say the goal is a percentage lower than five with a downward trajectory of cases. Achieving those figures would allow Dodge County to go to phase two of the Safe Restart Plan, which it did briefly in September. The number of cases, hospital care and contract tracing are in the yellow. The only metrics of the plan in the green are testing and personal protective equipment. The plan recommends guidelines for businesses, social gatherings and community events.

(Fond du Lac) Fond du Lac County health officials have upgraded their Safe Restart Plan to Phase Two. It is the first time the county has been in that phase since the first week of July. Phase Two of the Restart plan still carries many of the same restrictions including wearing face masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing and avoiding large gatherings.

(Wisconsin) Officials with ThedaCare say they have received over two-thousand doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. However, all available doses have been scheduled. ThedaCare has administered 22,217 vaccines from December 24th through last week. More eligible patients will be contacted through MyThedaCare if additional doses become available. Walk-in vaccinations are not available at this time. Officials with ThedaCare say their goal is to administer 10-thousand doses a week. -WRN

(Wisconsin) The state’s largest business lobby is suing the Department of Natural Resources over new PFAS regulations. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and an Oconomowoc dry cleaner want a court to stop the D-N-R from enforcing new rules regarding PFAS cleanup. W-M-C says that the D-N-R does not have any legal right to tell businesses to test for PFAS contamination as a part of cleanup efforts, and that the courts need to stop the state from expanding their list of contaminants without legislative approval. Those so called forever chemicals have now been found at over 50 sites statewide, mostly linked to firefighting foam spills. -WRN

(Wisconsin) A pair of Legislative Republicans are now joining the push for ranked choice voting in Wisconsin. Senator Dale Kooyenga and Assemblyman Tony Kurtz are joining a pair of Democrats in making an attempt to move Wisconsin’s federal elections to Ranked Choice voting. That would allow Wisconsin voters to cast their ballots for more than one person and still have them be counted. Advocates say it could allow for an end to extreme partisanship in the state and give third party candidates a chance. Critics say it’s too complicated for voters to figure out. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Older drivers in Wisconsin have some more time to get a new drivers’ license. The Division of Motor Vehicles is extending the deadline for drivers 60 and older to renew their driver’s licenses until May. The extension gives about 62-thousand drivers in the state more time to get to the D-M-V. Those offices were closed to walk-ins throughout the coronavirus outbreak. -WRN