News – February 9, 2016

Beaver Dam School District Offering Wood Shop To City


2/9/16 – The Beaver Dam School District is offering the city use of its wood shop. The city’s wood working program was halted when the Watermark opened last month and the old senior center on East Third Street closed its doors. While the Watermark has room to expand as monies become available, the wood shop was cut out of the blueprints in a cost-saving move. The city has been looking at several sites but so far the school district has had the best offer: a pre-existing woodshop with state-mandated infrastructure like an exhaust system for the low price of zero dollars. Superintendent Steve Vessey told the school board last night that the district is offering a five-year lease with eight months’ notice to vacate. The wood shop is located in the Don Smith Learning Academy and has been unused since their technical education program was moved to updated facilities in the high school. The old equipment would all be moved out and replaced with the city’s modern equipment. Vessey says wood shop users would be required to have background checks and be given an electronic key that would work during school hours, which is when the senior center program had traditionally met. Also, wood shop users would be prevented from having cigarettes on campus as all district properties are drug-free zones. The Beaver Dam Common Council will vote on the agreement at their meeting on Monday. Vessey says if approved, the partnership would be a great example of how public entities are supposed to work together. The program could be up and running by the end of this month or early next month.


Mayor Casts Tie-Breaking Vote For Mayville Sewer Lateral Mandate


2/9/16 – Mayville Mayor Bob Redeker was called upon to break another controversial tie regarding the city’s sewer lateral ordinance at Monday night’s meeting.  In July, Redeker gave the green light to the ordinance, which requires roughly 70-percent of city homeowners to replace their iron or clay sewer lateral with a new plastic pipe for a cost of roughly $3,000.  Last night, he voted against a motion that would have limited the replacements to homes on streets undergoing a reconstruction.  Redeker says it is necessary to replace the laterals in at least 100 homes each year to make sure the project is completed in a timely manner.  He says failure to do so might lead to more infiltration in the city’s sewer system, which could require building a new treatment plant.  Both council members running for the mayoral seat Redeker is vacating this spring wanted the lateral replacements to strictly be tied to reconstruction projects.  Council President Rob Boelk says the number of replacements would balance out over time since some street projects would affect over 100 homes.  Alderman Joe Hohmann believes that the city should replace all its sewer mains if it really cared about the project.  He says the option selected last night is not the most cost-friendly for homeowners.  The council did change wording in the ordinance to make doing 100 homes per year a goal instead of a mandate along with a few other tweaks.  The council is expected to vote on whether to repeal the current ordinance and replace it with the new one drafted last night at a meeting later this month.


Mayville Paving Way For New Biking, Walking Path


2/9/16 – Mayville’s Common Council Monday night approved the creation of a new biking and walking path on Highway 28/67 that will be completed in conjunction with a 2018 reconstruction of that highway.  Mayor Bob Redeker says the path will run from Clark Street to Main Street on 28/67 and from Ruedebusch Avenue to Horicon Street on Main Street.  Redeker hopes the path will eventually extend north along the Rock River.


State Legislators To Visit Columbus Schools


2/9/16 – State Senator Scott Fitzgerald, Senator Luther Olsen and Representative John Jagler will be visiting Columbus High School on Monday, February 22nd. The legislators will only be at the school for one hour. Superintendent Annette Deuman told the school board last night that the first 30 minutes will be a presentation by Columbus middle and high school students. Board Member Mary Arnold says that this is the first time in six years that state legislators have visited Columbus schools. With over thirty new bills dealing with education before the legislature this year, the school board and administration have been active in trying to invite political figures to express their opinions on educational policy. The public is invited to hear the politicians and board discuss the issues.


Busy Day For State Legislature


2/9/16 – It could be a long day at the State Capitol, as the Assembly is scheduled to act on almost 70 bills while the Senate considers more than 60 others. Lawmakers want to end their two-year session within the next month, so most can focus on their re-election bids. Some of the Assembly’s major bills would drastically increase state compensation for wrongly-convicted prisoners, make seventh-and-eighth graders learn C-P-R in their health classes, set uniform rules on where sex offenders can live, and make it a felony to spit on prosecutors after a defendant did it in Dodge County. The Senate is scheduled to consider letting people register to vote online, while putting a crimp into voter registration drives by eliminating special sign-up deputies. Senators are also due to vote on tax-break changes for the state’s managed forest program, making it easier for libraries to collect overdue fines, and a new process for groups to get specialized license plates.


Slow Start To Vehicle Sales


2/9/16 – Area vehicle sales were down last month from January 2015.  According to the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm Reg Trak, Dodge County sales dropped 8.5-percent to 227 from January 2015 to the same month this year.  Columbia County sales fell 12-percent to 160 while Jefferson County sales went down 23-percent to 174.  Vehicle sales in the entire nine county south-central Wisconsin region dropped four-percent to 3,148.


Fox Lake Woman Gets Probation For Stealing From Church


2/9/16 – A Fox Lake woman will spend one year on probation for forging a signature to steal money from a church.  In Dodge County court Monday, Tricia Maleck pled to three reduced misdemeanor counts of Theft of Movable Property.  According to the criminal complaint, the 42-year-old was given the checkbook for the First Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam to manage a youth group’s funds.  She stopped attending church and being active with the youth group last summer.  Last August, she was asked to return the checkbook and financial statements.  That did not happen until months later.  It was realized that several checks written to the church were never deposited.  Deposit receipts and financial statements were not included.  Two cash withdrawals totaling $3-thousand dollars, which involved the forging of another church administrator’s signature, happened last summer.  Maleck reportedly admitted to stealing a total of $4-thousand dollars from the church and forging the signature.  She told police she needed the money to help pay for her divorce.  Maleck was also ordered to perform 20 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the church.


Beaver Dam Woman Charged With Retail Theft


2/9/16 – Bond was set at $1000 Monday for a Beaver Dam woman accused of stealing from multiple stores.  Kimberly Gaziano is facing two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of Retail Theft.  The 34-year-old allegedly admitted to taking items from three different stores since December.  If she is found guilty on all counts, Gaziano faces over 7 years in prison.  She will be back in court April 7.


Friendship Man Sentenced For Beer-Battered OWI


2/9/16 – A central Wisconsin man who blames beer-battered fish for his tenth drunk driving arrest has been found guilty. A jury in Adams County convicted 76-year-old John Przybyla of Friendship Monday on felony counts of ten-time O-W-I and driving with a prohibited blood alcohol level — plus a misdemeanor for driving with a revoked license. A sentencing date was not set. A sheriff’s deputy stopped Przybyla in October of 2014 for driving across a center line with a broken tail light — and he told the officer he wasn’t drinking, and his beer-battered fish dinner put him over the limit. Because of his previous convictions, Przybyla was limited to a point-zero-two blood alcohol level, instead of the normal point-zero-eight threshold for driving drunk.