News – February 7, 2016

Fire Damages Waupun Residence


2/7/16 – Fire caused moderate damage to a house in Waupun on Saturday. Crews were called to the Christopher and Christine Mayo residence at 704 East Franklin Street around 4pm. Chief BJ DeMaa says upon arrival, smoke and flames were visible on the back side of the two-story, single family home. Firefighters made entry and were able to quickly knock down the flames. The home sustained fire, smoke and water damage.  There were no injuries. The homeowners were home at the time and were alerted by a neighbor. DeMaa says that it appears a wood burner and chimney may have contributed to the blaze. Damage is estimated at $25-thousand-to-$35-thousand dollars. The scene was cleared in two hours. The Waupun Fire Department was assisted by the Brandon/Fairwater Fire Department, Life Star Ambulance, the Waupun Police Department and Waupun Utilities.


Skier Killed In Columbia County Accident


2/7/16 – A 24-year-old woman has died following an accident at a Columbia County ski hill. The incident happened around 10:30am Saturday at Cascade Mountain in the Town of Caledonia. Sheriff Dennis Richards says the initial report indicated that a skier was injured after striking a tree. The victim was transported to Divine Savoir Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The name of the victim is being withheld until family can be notified.  The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigation will continue, however Richards says the incident appears to be accidental.


Dodge County Highway Safety Urges Responsible Revelry


2/7/16 – The Dodge County Highway Safety Commission is warning Super Bowl revelers about the dangers of drinking and driving. Coordinator Joel Kiesow says game day socializing may include drinking and if that is the case he urges football fans to plan ahead for a safe ride home. The “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Kiesow says driving drunk could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. He suggests leaving your keys at home and not only taking a taxi home but also to your destination so you don’t think about driving drunk. Other suggestions include having your last drink in the third quarter just like at the stadium; pacing yourself, eating food and alternating with non-alcoholic drinks; and wearing a seatbelt when you ride home with a sober driver. Those hosting parties are asked to ask guests to designate sober drivers in advance; serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages and serve coffee and dessert during the third quarter. Kiesow notes that party hosts who serve someone who gets in a crash could be held liable. Social media is also being used to provide incentive for sober driving using “#designated driver.” If you tweet a designated drivers name to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today, they will make the designated driver Wall of Fame.


Dodge County OWI Task Force Agencies Announced


2/7/16 – Several law enforcement agencies have signed onto the new OWI Task Force coordinated through the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.  As we reported last month, police throughout the county are going to be working together to crack down on impaired driving.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt this week released a list of the participating agencies, which includes police departments in Horicon, Iron Ridge, Lomira, Mayville, Neosho/Rubicon/Ashippun and Watertown. Schmidt describes the task force as a high visibility effort to get unsafe drivers off the roads.  He says a large number of law enforcement officers will monitor a given area for roughly four hours with the hopes of discouraging impaired driving.  While Schmidt hopes the task force can focus on prevention, he says arrests will be made as needed.  He says OWI’s can result from alcohol, drug, or prescription medication usage and notes that marijuana-induced citations have increased significantly in recent years.  Schmidt says program funding will come from an OWI Task Force Grant through the state Department of Transportation.


DOT Hosting Highway 67 Meeting In Campbellsport


2/7/16 – The state’s Department of Transportation will host a meeting Wednesday night in Campbellsport about reconstruction of State Highway 67 in Campbellsport. The meeting is from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Campbellsport High School. A brief presentation will be given at 5:40pm. During the project 2.3 miles of State Highway 67 from North Baumann Street to Triple S Road will be reconstructed in the village.


Bill Would Ease Military Fly-Over Restrictions


2/7/16 – Wausau House Republican Sean Duffy wants to make it easier to have military fly-overs at special events. Duffy has introduced a bill to let state national guard leaders decide how-and-when those flyovers should take place. Right now, the Pentagon makes those calls — and Duffy says it’s getting a lot harder to obtain permission, because of all the paperwork required by the Defense Department. Duffy points out that it would not cost taxpayers any more money — because pilots could do fly-overs as part of their required training. The military was criticized last year for paying the Green Bay Packers and other N-F-L teams to have flyovers which are popular among fans — but were exposed as advertising aimed at boosting recruitment.


IRS: $250K Lost To Tax-Related Scams


2/7/16 – The I-R-S says 65 Wisconsinites have lost 250-thousand dollars to tax scammers over the past 27 months. Now that it’s tax-filing season, the government says Americans are facing a “deluge” of calls from fake I-R-S agents who threaten arrest, deportation, and a loss of driving privileges unless they pay up. Wisconsin ranks 27th among the 50 states in which scammers have the most success tricking people into paying taxes they don’t owe. I-R-S spokesman Christopher Miller of Milwaukee says it’s a serious threat, and taxpayers “need to remain vigilent.” I-R-S Commissioner John Koskinen says the scams range from threats of court action, to promises of big refunds that never get delivered — and once again, officials say the I-R-S will always write you and never call you about tax payments that may be due.


BDACT Short Play Directors Deadline Approaching


2/7/16 – The deadline is looming for those looking to direct a ten-minute play for the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre. The theatre is looking for directors for a show featuring a series of locally-written, one-act plays. Casting and rehearsal will take place between mid-March and early April. The 12 performances will be on the stage in mid-April.  All benefits from the festival will go toward the theatre’s Building Campaign Fund. Those interested in directing one or two of the original plays need to submit an application this week. The deadline to submit by mail is a postmark no later than Monday or if sent by email the deadline is Wednesday. Additional information is at


Director application forms are at the Beaver Dam Community Library, the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association’s Seippel Center, the Watermark, MPTC, and the BDACT office at 219 N. Spring St. (entry on Third St.). For further information, call the BDACT office, 920-885-6891, or 920-887-2093, or email [email protected] Candidates can apply to direct one or two of the original plays and must submit a completed application form postmarked by February 8, or sent by email by February 10.


Fond du Lac’s Forest Mall Sold


2/7/16 – A retail real estate trust firm based in Columbus, Ohio has sold two malls including the Forest Mall in Fond du Lac. According to a press release from WP Glimcher the Forest Mall in Fond du Lac and Northlake Mall in Atlanta, Georgia were sold for a purchase price of $30 million to private real estate investors. Plans were not announced for the two malls, but WP Glimcher specializes in owning, managing and developing shopping centers. They manage 119 shopping centers. The Forest Mall was opened in Fond du Lac in 1973 by the Simon Property Group. It’s anchored by Younkers, Kohl’s and Staples. Forest Mall officials have not released any comments yet on the sale. The Northlake Mall was built in 1971 and for many years was also owned by Simon.


Milwaukee Metro Housing Market Off To Strong Start


2/7/16 – The Milwaukee metro area housing market appears to be off to a fast start in 2016. January permits to build single-family homes and duplexes in the four-county metro area were up about 43 percent in January–to 90, from 63 the previous January. The numbers come from a report by M-T-D Marketing Services of Wisconsin. The most permits were in Menomonee Falls, Hartland and Oconomowoc. David Belman, president of Belman Homes, told a group of local real estate professionals that he expects new home construction in 2016 to roughly mirror last year. Belman is the current president of the Metropolitan Builders Association.


Now Is The Best Time To Prune Oak Trees


2/7/16 – It may sound strange, but a state expert says now is the best time to prune your oak trees so they don’t get oak-wilt disease. State D-N-R urban forester Don Kissinger says winter is a good time to get oak trees down to a healthy size, as the trees are dormant right now — and the possible insect-and-disease attackers are not around. Without leaves in the way, he says it’s easier to see limbs which are hanging, cracked, or broken. Kissinger says oak-wilt has been found at lake-home properties in the Northwoods, and other infestations may have been caused by infected firewood brought in from elsewhere. The D-N-R’s website has pruning tips — and you’ll need to write “pruning trees” in the search box on the agency’s home page.


Dodge County Land Conservation Extends Tree Deadline


2/7/16 – The deadline has been extended for those interested in obtaining trees and shrubs through the Dodge County Land Conservation Departments Small Packet Tree program. The only tree species still available for sale include White Cedar, Colorado Blue Spruce, White Spruce, and Norway Spruce; however officials say numbers are extremely limited for some of the species. Trees and shrubs are sold in bundles of 25 for $25 per bundle. Officials say there are limited amounts of some species, so early orders are encouraged. Orders will be accepted through February 25. For more information contact the Dodge County Land Conservation Department at 386-3660 or go to