News – February 26, 2016

Powerball Winner Announcement Today


2/26/16 – A local officeholder was announced as the million dollar lottery winner this morning.  Fox Lake Mayor Tom Bednarek was back at the store the winning ticket was sold, Rechek’s Food Pride, for a press conference following his Saturday night Powerball win.  Bednarek matched all five numbers without the Powerball.  He says the ticket was a quick-pick but did contain both one of his daughter’s and one of his granddaughter’s birthdays.  Bednarek says he plans to use the money to help his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  He also wants to get a new truck to upgrade his current one that is 16 years old.  After finding out, Bednarek says he sat his wife, Kay, down to tell her the news.  Although she was skeptical at first, she came to the realization that their lives had in fact changed forever.  Bednarek says he also plans to donate funds in the local community.


Dodge County Fairground Improvements Planned


2/26/16 – The Dodge County Fair Association will be making $20-thosuand dollars in improvements to the fairgrounds this year. Association President Doug Ninmann says most of the money will be spent fixing the south end of the grandstand. He says there will be a new, weather-proof coating added to the grandstand, along with some new paint and upgrades to safety railings. There will also be several smaller improvements on tap on the fairgrounds in 2016, addressing electrical and water line issues. Ninmann says the need to have water hoses running across the roadway between vendor stands will be eliminated with the upgrades, making it safer for people to walk. The privately-owned Fair Association reinvests the profits from the previous year’s fair into improvements. Ninmann says last year was a profitable year but it was not a record-breaking year. He says the $20-thousand being spend on upgrades this year is about the yearly average.  In 2015, the grounds saw $20-thousand dollars in new asphalt and a new roof on the fair office.


Friday Night Rock Act Announced


2/26/16 – The Dodge County Fair Association has officially announced its third musical act for this year.  Rock artist Bret Michaels will perform Friday, August 19.  The former Poison front man joins country artists Montgomery Gentry and Granger Smith as confirmed acts.  Concerts are free with gate admission, which has been unchanged from last year at $7 before 2pm or $10 after 2pm.


Madison Man Charged In Fatal Dodge County Accident


2/26/16 – A Madison man involved in a fatal accident in Dodge County is accused of driving without a license.  Toussaint Minett is facing one felony count of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Revoked Causing Death.  The 46-year-old was allegedly driving without a valid license when he was involved in a three-vehicle accident in the Town of Westford last October.  Toussaint’s SUV struck a tractor on Highway 73, resulting in the death of his mother who was a passenger.  If he is found guilty, Toussaint faces up to six years in prison.  An initial appearance is set for March 21.


Driver Injured In Car Versus School Bus Accident In Waupun


2/26/16 – No students were injured when a car collided with a Waupun school bus on its way to school yesterday Thursday morning. The wreck occurred just after 7:30am on Shaler Drive at East Lincoln Street. The car struck a Lamer’s school bus; no one on the bus was hurt. Waupun Police Chief Dale Heeringa says the driver of the car may have been distracted when she crossed over the centerline and hit the school bus nearly head-on. The driver of the car complained of a head injury and was taken to Waupun Memorial Hospital for treatment.


Beaver Dam Apartment Burglarized


2/26/16 – Beaver Dam Police are investigating a burglary at an apartment on Lake Crest Drive. The victim told authorities Wednesday afternoon that his apartment was broken into while he was at work. Two large, flat screen televisions were taken along with other electronic equipment and jewelry. Anyone with information should contact Beaver Dam Police.


New Group Formed To Combat Heroin In Dodge County


2/26/16 – A leader in Dodge County’s fight against heroin is forming a new group to deal with the issue.  Wendy Borner is the Team Leader for ‘Care for Dodge County.’  During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Borner said it is necessary to unite local leaders in combating the problem.  She says this group can bring together support group leaders, law enforcement, and court officials to discuss what resources are needed to combat the local heroin epidemic.  Borner also hopes the group can create pamphlets that explain heroin addiction and available treatments to local hospitals and families who want to help their loved one.  The group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm in the Warren Street clinic behind the Beaver Dam Community Hospital.


Waupun Schools Upgrading Wireless


2/26/16 – The Waupun School Board this week approved a wireless infrastructure upgrade for the school district. Superintendent Tonya Gubin says its an expensive project, but the district gets a 60 percent discount through the federal E-rate program. She says it was a $202-thosuand dollar upgrade, but the district will only spend about $65-thosuand due to the E-rate reimbursement. The E-rate program helps schools and libraries to obtain affordable broadband. Gubin says this upgrade involved replacing some costly Cisco switches.


Kohl’s To Close 18 Underperforming Stores


2/26/16 – The Wisconsin-based Kohl’s Corporation plans to close 18 of its most under-performing department stores by the end of June. Company officials in Menomonee Falls say the affected locations will be announced by the end of next month. The closings are a rare move for Kohl’s, which has added average of 75 stores each year for the past decade. C-E-O Kevin Mansell says the firm needs to put more of its resources into what works, and less in what doesn’t work as well. The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of Kohl’s quarterly financial report, which says the firm’s net income was down 20-percent from a year ago for the period of November-through-January.


Statewide Home Prices Increase, Dodge County Sees Decrease


2/26/16 – Wisconsin home prices have taken their largest jump since the middle of 2013. The state Realtors Association says the median sales price for the homes its members sold in January rose by 10.1-percent, to almost $149-thousand dollars.  Realtors’ C-E-O Mike Theo says an improved economy is part of the reason for the rapid rise in home prices, along with a declining supply of houses on the market. The 3,676 homes sold last month was also up over 10-percent from January 2015.  Dodge County had 45 homes sold in January, seven more than the same month last year.  The median sales price dropped from $135-thousand dollars to $120-thousand.  Columbia County had 33 homes sold last month, the same amount as January 2015.  The median sales price jumped from $145-thousand dollars to $155-thousand.  Jefferson County had 47 home sales in January, two less than the same month in 2015.  The median sales price increased from $140-thousand dollars to $171-thousand.


Walker Polls Numbers Stagnant


2/26/16 – A new Marquette Law School poll shows that Governor Scott Walker has not reaped the benefits of his renewed efforts to connect with Wisconsinites. The poll released Thursday shows that 39-percent approve of the Republican governor’s job performance, and 55-percent of the 802 voters surveyed disapprove. Walker gained a little more support than in January, but it’s still a long way from the more than 50-percent approval he received before his ill-fated presidential bid last year. He’s been trying to regain support in Wisconsin with listening sessions and a package to help college graduates handle their student loan debt. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says Walker still feels the impact of his absences from Wisconsin during his White House bid — and discontent from some of his own legislative Republicans over his state budget proposals from 2015.


Many Voters Still Undecided On State Supreme Court Race


2/26/16 – Three of every ten Wisconsin voters still don’t know who they’ll choose in April for the State Supreme Court. A new Marquette Law School poll gives the undecided group a slight lead over each of the two finalists — 31-percent for the undecideds to 30 each for Rebecca Bradley and JoAnne Kloppenburg. Both advanced in a primary nine days ago, but about nine of every ten registered voters stayed home. Sixty-percent of the 802 voters in the new Marquette poll could not say if they had a favorable opinion of Bradley, who was appointed last fall by Governor Scott Walker following the death of Justice Patrick Crooks. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says it’s common for voters not to be tuned in to the Supreme Court race at this point — and a lot could depend on voter interest in the presidential primaries on April fifth.