News February 4, 2009

Dodgeland Hires Search Firm for Administrator Position

2/4/09 – The Dodgeland School District has hired Fox River Consultants to handle their search for a new Superintendent after the school board accepted the resignation of Administrator Ron Vaughn last week. It will be the fourth time the district has used the firm. Fox River Consultants Al Rosenthal has been working as interim administrator and will continue to do so until a new one is found. The district has authorized Fox River to spend no more than 15-hundred dollars plus expenses in attempting to find a new administrator.

Sides Differ on Possible Stimulus Results

2/4/09 – The White House says the proposed economic stimulus package would create 74-thousand jobs in Wisconsin. But House Republican Paul Ryan of Janesville questions that figure. He says most of the spending in the nearly 900-billion-dollar package won’t stimulate the economy – and anything that does would be quote, “very slow and very small.” President Obama disputes that. And he took to the major television networks yesterday to rally support for the package. Senate Republicans killed an effort to add 25-billion for more highway, transit, and water projects. Wisconsin Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold both voted in favor of that money. Feingold said any amendments must stimulate the economy – otherwise, they should be paid for with cuts elsewhere. A final Senate vote on the package is expected tomorrow.

Kuenzi Denied Reduced Bond

2/4/09 – One of three snowmobilers accused in the so-called “thrill killings” of five deer near Waupaca failed to get his bond reduced yesterday. Circuit Judge Philip Kirk said 24-year-old Rori Kuenzi of Weyauwega was probably safer in jail, because he was named in several threats in letters the court received. Kuenzi is being held on a 25-thousand-dollar cash bond. He pleaded innocent yesterday to six charges of mistreating animals in death, theft, and vehicle theft. Authorities said Kuenzi was riding a stolen snowmobile when he and two other riders herded and killed deer with their machines on a trail January ninth. Landowners, animal rights activists, and friends of traffic victim Kevin McCoy attended yesterday’s hearing. Kuenzi is a suspect in a hit-and-run traffic death that killed McCoy in 2004. Attorneys in his deer case will meet with the judge on March 11th to determine where things go from here.

Six Hurt in Oak Creek Explosion

2/4/09 – A 22-year-old man was in critical condition at last word, after more than half his body was burned in a power plant explosion near Milwaukee. Six people were hurt in yesterday’s blast in a silo of coal-dust at the We Energies’ power plant in Oak Creek. They were working for a Waukesha company that set up scaffolding for a repair project at the silo, when something inside the structure caused the dust to explode. Federal safety officials were helping local authorities investigate. The workers’ names were not released. The most seriously injured was taken to the burn unit of Columbia-Saint Mary’s Hospital. The others were taken to another hospital with burns and minor smoke inhalation. Three were admitted in fair condition, and one was expected to stay overnight. The other two were released after their treatments. The power plant itself was not affected, and it kept operating. The U-S Chemical Safety Board said there have been at least two dozen coal dust explosions in the last 29 years. And the agency said the Occupational Safety-and-Health Administration has ignored several requests for tougher standards. OSHA (oh-shuh) said it has inspected We Energies’ facilities four times since 2002, with no violations. Its probe could take up to six months.

No Udey Dam Referendum in Columbus

2/4/09 – The Columbus Council voted 4 to 1 last night NOT to bring the question on whether to “repair or remove” the Udey Dam to a voters’ referendum in April. The Council voted last year to REPAIR the Dam. However, the plans to begin the process stalled when the Crawfish River

flooded in June. City Administrator Boyd Kraemer said the estimated $600 thousand dollars for the Dam’s repair would have to come from bonding since requests for funding from FEMA, the Wisconsin Dept. of Emergency Management and State Representative Tammy Baldwin’s office are not likely.