News – January 2, 2021

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(Town of Ashford) Fireworks are believed to be the cause of a Fond du Lac County structure fire that started just minutes before the New Year. Crews responded to W4612 Sterling Court in the Town of Ashford Thursday evening at 11:42pm. Upon arrival, the attached garage was fully engulfed. All occupants were able to safely evacuate and were checked on scene by EMS for smoke inhalation. There were concerns about animals trapped inside but they were later found safe. The homeowners are Brian and Theresa Thoma. The garage and its contents, including vehicles, were a total loss. There was damage to the interior of the residence that was limited to the shared wall with the garage. The initial investigation indicates that fireworks may have contributed though the cause remains under investigation by the Lomira Fire Department. Mutual assistance was provided by fire departments from Eden, Oakfield and the city and town of Fond du Lac along with Campbellsport Fire and Ambulance.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,905 positive coronavirus cases in Friday’s daily update. There are 28,607 active cases in the state, a decrease of 963 from Thursday. Active cases make up 5.7-percent of the 483-thousand people who have tested positive to date. So far, there have been 450-thousand recoveries. State health officials recorded ten deaths bringing that total to 4,869. Dodge County reported three of the state’s deaths bringing the total to 125 people with a running total of 10,437 cases, a one-day increase of 50 positive tests. The county had 113 negative tests returned. Washington County has seen 97 deaths along with 11,748 cases to date. Fond du Lac County has 67 deaths with 10,494 positive tests on record. The state says Jefferson County has seen 57 deaths and 6,602 cases to date. Columbia County has 32 deaths and 4,224 positive tests. Green Lake County has reported 10 deaths with 1,391 cases on record.

(Grafton) A fired pharmacist is accused of deliberately tampering with over 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton. Police did not release a name, but the Journal Sentinel reports 46 year-old Steven Brandenburg of Grafton was booked into the Ozaukee County Jail Thursday on similar preliminary felony charges — criminal damage to property and second-degree recklessly endangering safety. A search of state records showed Brandenburg is a licensed pharmacist. Grafton police said the pharmacist removed 57 vials from a refrigerator and left them out overnight last week, knowing this would render them “useless,” and make recipients believe they were vaccinated when they were not. -WRN

(Madison) After more than two months of treatment for coronavirus, a Wisconsin woman is out of the hospital. Sandra Ebben received a standing ovation from the staff at UnityPoint Health Meriter in Madison as she was finally discharged from the hospital after a 65-day stay for COVID-19, which included a month in the ICU.  Ebben will continue her recovery at a rehabilitation facility. UnityPoint Health – Meriter says more than 650 patients have been discharged after treatment for COVID-19. -WRN

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation recently announced that $18-thousand dollars in grants will be disbursed to 13 Dodge County non-profit organizations as part of their second grant cycle. Organizations receiving grants include Bridges of Dodge County, Living Hope Food Pantry, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bo Hartwig Foundation, Dodge County Center for the Arts, Badgerland Youth for Christ, Gathering Source, Moraine Park Technical College, Green Valley Enterprises, PAVE, Dodge County Master Gardner’s Association, Marsh Haven Nature Center and Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre.

(Beaver Dam) It appears that all incumbent alderpersons in the city of Beaver Dam are seeking re-election and at this point there are no challengers. Candidates in the city’s odd-numbered wards will be on the April ballot. The deadline for spring election candidates to run for office is close of business on Tuesday. Five of Beaver Dam’s seven incumbents have all their nomination papers on file. That includes: Jon Abfall, Mick Fischer, Jack Yuds, Kay Appenfeldt and Kevin Burnett. Two incumbents, David Hanson and Jaclyn Shelton, have only filed declaration of candidacy papers as of close of business Wednesday. The election will be on April 6th. The spring primary is slated for February 16th, as needed. Voters in our area should expect a spring primary as there are two Republican candidates vying for the State Senate District 13 seat being vacated by Scott Fitzgerald after the Juneau Republican was elected to Congress in November. Republican’s John Jagler and Don Pridemore have both announced their candidacy for the seat.

(Watertown) Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) was once again nationally recognized for their efforts in providing safer health care. The facility was awarded an ‘A’ in the fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. The Leapfrog Grade is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety which assigns a letter grade to all general hospitals across the country. The hospital was also awarded an ‘A’ grade in the spring of 2020.

(Deerbrook) Langlade County deputies are trying to find out who shot and injured a red-tailed hawk. That hawk was found shot and injured on Christmas Eve near the town of Deerbrook and was taken to the Raptor Education Group for treatment. The Red-Tailed hawk is a protected endangered species, and intentionally injuring one is a two thousand dollar fine. The bird is expected to make a full recovery. -WRN