News – January 14, 2016

Future Wisconsin Project Working To Bolster Workforce


1/14/16 – With hopes of making Wisconsin a more attractive place to work and live, the Future Wisconsin project launched in late 2014.  Seven business and education organizations came together to address concerns that the state will not have nearly enough workers to fill its job openings in roughly 20 years.  That projection is largely due to the amount of 18 to 35 year olds that are leaving the Badger State upon graduation. Jim Morgan of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce says they are working to inform K-12 students statewide of the manufacturing careers available locally through initiatives like the Manufacturing Business Alliance in Dodge County.  During the project’s initial summit meeting in December 2014, Wisconsin was evaluated against the other 49 states in six ‘critical’ business areas: talent development, business competitiveness, global engagement, government effectiveness, life quality, and entrepreneurial spirit.  Morgan says Wisconsin ranked between 18-30 in every category.  The group plans to take an in-depth look at the sub-categories to see how those overall rankings can be improved going forward. At last month’s summit gathering, Morgan says the group began working on a marketing theme for the state that combines the workforce and tourism.  They will discuss it further at their next meeting in February, and more information on the project can be found online at


Sonic Boom Thought To Be Frost Quake, Actually Sonic Boom


1/14/16 – The sonic boom that turned out to be a frost quake…turned out to be a sonic boom after all. Officials with the Air National Guard confirmed yesterday that the loud, structure rattling sound heard throughout the area were the result of an F-16 Fighting Falcon unintentionally exceeding the speed of sound during routine night training in the airspace above the region just after 8:30pm Tuesday evening. Sheriff Dale Schmidt initially told us that it could have been a sonic boom related to National Guard training. However, officials with the National Weather Service in Milwaukee tweeted later in the evening that there were (quote) “Reports of a ‘frost quake’ over parts of the area.” Schmidt told us yesterday (quote) “I was right.”


Fall River Village Caucus Yeilds Contested School Board Race


1/14/16 – There were no opposing candidates brought forward at last night’s annual Fall River village caucus but the Fall River school board has three candidates vying for two open seats. There are three village trustee positions up for election in April. Incumbents currently holding the three trustee seats are Judy Robbins, John Ninnman and Andy Schmiechen. The Fall River School Board ballot includes two incumbents — Ember Schultz-Roughen and Wendy Corlett – along with challenger Ashley Morton.


Juneau PD Thanks Crossing Guards


1/14/16 – This is “Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week” in Wisconsin. Juneau Police Chief Dave Beal took a moment to thank them for their hard work at this week’s common council meeting. Beal noted this week’s frigid temperatures in applauding their diligence in safely helping kids (quote) “with a smile on their face.” State law requires drivers to stop at least ten feet from a school crossing when directed by a guard. Crossing guards have the authority to report motorists who fail to stop as directed, and the owner of the vehicle—not necessarily the driver—can be held liable for the violation.


BDUSD Summer School To Change Locations


1/14/16 – A construction project will change one of Beaver Dam’s summer school locations this year.  With the Jefferson Elementary gymnasium undergoing a renovation this summer, the summer courses normally taught there will instead be offered at Washington Elementary.  There will be no change in location for those courses taught at Prairie View Elementary, the middle school, or the high school.  Superintendent Steve Vessey expects the classes to move back to Jefferson in summer 2017.  This year’s elementary summer school runs from June 20 through July 22.  The middle school and high school schedules have not been announced.


Racial Disparity Still Evident In Badger Exam Results


1/14/16 – Results from the new statewide standardized test, known as the Badger Exam, show persistent racial gaps in achievement by Wisconsin public school students.  Scores released Wednesday show about 44 percent of students in grades three through eight are proficient or advanced in math, and about 51 percent proficient or advanced in English language arts. As with previous tests, the Badger Exam results show racial divides between white students and students of color, with the widest gap between white and black students. In English language arts, 58-point-five percent of white students scored proficient or advanced compared with only 21 percent of black students. In math, about 51 percent of white students scored proficient or advanced, compared to 12 percent of black students.


Bill Would Allow Guns In Schools


1/14/16 – Those with concealed weapons permits could carry guns on school grounds under a bill being considered in the Wisconsin legislature. Senate President Mary Lazich, a Republican from New Berlin, says the measure is intended to make sure weapons permit holders aren’t inadvertently committing crimes when they drop their kids off at school. Lazich and Republican Robert Brooks from Saukville are looking for co-sponsors for the bill Thursday and hope to hold a Senate committee hearing later this month.


Mayville Man Pleads Not Guilty To Fracturing Girlfriend’s Jaw


1/14/16 – A Mayville man accused of assaulting his girlfriend pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday.  Richard Hron is charged with Felony Battery with a domestic abuse enhancer.  According to the criminal complaint, the 25-year-old punched his girlfriend in the face after an argument, fracturing her jaw in two places.  Hron denied hitting her when he was arrested.  If he is convicted, Hron faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison.


BDCH Grant Deadline Friday


1/14/16 – Friday is the deadline to apply for a grant through the Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Foundation.  Grant requests are intended to support community projects and programs that promote the health and wellness within the geographic area served by the hospital. More information is available at or contact the BDCH Marketing and Development Department at (920) 887-4152 or email [email protected] for an application or additional information.


BDACT Singing Star Starts Tonight


1/14/16 – The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s American Idol-type singing competition hits the stage tonight. The first place winner of Beaver Dam Singing Star will receive $500. The Singing Star shows will be similar to American Idol in that it features vocal soloists, however, there are no judges at the performances.  The winner is determined by audience votes accumulated over the next three days with the winner announced on Saturday night. Performers will be singing a different song each night so those who go to more than one show will get a different performance each time. The contestants are Kaylin Brandsma of Portage, Anna Marie Davidson of Portage, Zachary Dean of Beaver Dam, Kody DeVries of Waupun, Emily Jackson of Pickett, Brienna Landsness of Beaver Dam, Persephone McDougal of Beaver Dam, Larry Meredith of Horicon, Christina Miller of Beaver Dam, Brittany Neas of North Fond du Lac, Andrea Niederehe of Fond du Lac and Alexandra Steen of Beaver Dam.