News – February 5, 2021

(Madison) Assembly Republicans have passed a resolution that ends Governor Tony Evers’ COVID-19 health emergency and mask mandate. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says this is not about masks, rather it’s about executive overreach. Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz says Vos and Republicans have not done a thing to make the state safer from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The mask order will end today when the Senate and the Assembly sign off on their joint resolution. -WRN

(Madison) The governor’s response was to simply order another executive order requiring masks statewide in public places. Evers issued a new mask order and health emergency just an hour after the State Assembly issued a resolution to end his last mask order. He says that he does not want to compromise on people’s safety, nor does he want to jeopardize federal funding. The governor did not indicate if he would sign a proposed Republican package of COVID-19 relief measures, but that still has not made it out of the Legislature. The Legislature has not sent the Governor a bill to sign in nearly 300 days. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Governor Tony Evers says he does not care who gets credit, for fixing the state’s unemployment insurance system. Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature have insisted that the Democratic governor has all the necessary authority and revenue needed to modernize the unemployment insurance system. However, Politifact Wisconsin has found that funds available to the governor are not close to covering the estimated $90-million-dollars needed to complete the project, which would require funding over a series years. That means the Legislature must appropriate money in biennial budgets. Evers has now sent Republican leaders a letter urging immediate, bipartisan action on his proposal to modernize the system. -WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,518 positive coronavirus cases in Thursday’s daily update. State health officials recorded 41 deaths bringing that total to 5,992. Dodge County has experienced 147 deaths and 11,202 cases, a one-day increase of 17 positive tests. County health officials are actively monitoring 225 people.

(Juneau) Dodge County health officials say the weekly rate of positive tests between January 24th and the 31st was 22-percent; no change from the previous week. Health officials say the goal is a percentage lower than five with a downward trajectory of a cases. Achieving those figures would allow Dodge County to move out of phase-one of its three-phase Safe Restart Plan. The number of cases remains in the red while hospital space and contact tracing are in the yellow. The only metrics of the plan in the green are testing and personal protective equipment.

(Grand Chute) A teenager was taken into custody yesterday (Thursday) by U.S. Marshals in connection to Sunday’s Fox Valley mall shooting that killed one person. The Grand Chute Police Department says Dezman Ellis was taken into custody without incident in Des Moines, Iowa. The 17-year-old was wanted for First Degree Intentional Homicide and First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. Nineteen-year-old Jovanni Frausto was killed in the shooting. -WRN

(Kewaskum) The investigation continues into a home invasion near Kewaskum that left three people dead. The Washington County sheriff’s office says a man forced his way into a home Wednesday afternoon and demanded car keys from the people living there, before a neighbor reported hearing gunshots. Officers arrived and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. He fled on foot. The suspect was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound a short time later. Another man was discovered dead outside the home.

(Juneau) The Juneau Fire Department responded to a fire Wednesday evening in the Town of Oak Grove. Crews from multiple agencies were dispatched to a business at W5970 State Highway 33 at 5:04pm. Chief Curt Ninmann says there were flames in the walls and ceiling upon arrival. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and performed an overhaul of the affected area. The scene was cleared around 8:30pm.

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel is retiring. The city’s Police and Fire Commission discussed their next steps in hiring his replacement during a special meeting in closed session meeting yesterday (Thursday) after the chief announced his retirement at Tuesday’s regular PFC meeting.  Mannel’s last day on the job will be in April, marking 12 years with the department.

Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commissioner John Oathout tells DailyDodge that Mannel’s successor will have (quote) “tough boots” to fill.  Oathout was our guest yesterday on WBEV’s Community Comment, in to talk about an Emergency Fund set up through American Bank in collaboration with St Vincent de Paul of Dodge County for the residents displaced by last Thursday’s Lakecrest Apartment fire that displaced 15 families. The Heffron Family Foundation is matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $3000. A link to americanbankbd.com can be found at DailyDodge.com.