News – January 19th, 2010

Five houses were evacuated in Beaver Dam after construction crews hit a gas line near the hospital yesterday morning. It happened around 9:40am on Warren Street. The hospital was not affected though access to the medical offices along Warren Street was hampered.

Alliant Energy responded right away but the utility was not immediately able to shut off the leak. The scene was cleared at 12:40pm and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

Two boys in their mid-teens have been arrested for making a series of weekend bomb threats at the hospital in Stoughton. Eighteen patients were temporarily moved to other facilities as a result of the threats Saturday night and Sunday. No bombs were found, but police said they had to take the threats seriously because the callers were specific in what they said. The boys are from the Dane County town of Dunn, south of Madison. Stoughton Police sergeant Brian Gowan called the bomb threats a prank that got way out of hand – and both boys face serious charges. The two were taken to a juvenile court reception facility at the City-County Building in Madison.

In the next few months the Waupun School District will begin long-range planning to determine the direction it will go in the future. Superintendent Randy Refsland says in that time they will be asking people to participate in small focus groups so they can obtain as much information as possible about the different communities that make up the district. He says the goal is to build a five year long-range plan that can be revised on a yearly basis. Refsland says the district will be looking for an open discussion about its direction and they are not looking to bring up past issues. The district hopes to have the plan in place by the middle of the summer.

You might call it a Facebook for veterans. Milwaukee Vietnam vet Bob Curry has launched DryHootch-Dot-Org, a place where veterans can share their experiences. Curry hopes they’ll chat openly about problems they’re facing – like alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder – which veterans often cover up when they get home. For the Red Arrow Brigade soldiers coming home from Iraq, Curry says he knows what it’s like to serve in an increasingly-unpopular war. He said many veterans suffered silently when they got the cold shoulder upon returning from Vietnam – and he vows that another generation of veterans will not feel abandoned. DryHootch-Dot-Org has on-line forms, chat rooms, listings of events, and more. Curry says the site also plans to open a coffee shop in Milwaukee this spring, where veterans who’ve met on-line can see each other in person.

Authorities say a Fond du Lac man was “rocking out” to John Denver when he was issued a $210 ticket for being too loud. Somebody complained to the police. And an officer said he pounded on the door last week while the music was blaring. The man didn’t answer, so the patrolman got his name from a neighbor, and yelled until he finally got his attention. No word as to whether he was “Rocky Mountain High” or just thanking God he’s a Country Boy.