News – January 25, 2022

(Juneau) An informational meeting Monday shed some light on Dodge County’s efforts to expand broadband coverage. Design Nine, a firm that specializes in broadband planning, was hired by the county to develop recommendations and a strategic road map for better service in the region. They released a survey that found that nearly half of all respondents, a total of 2,660 people, are dissatisfied with their current internet speeds. It also found that 87-percent are interested in faster, more reliable service and that 93-percent believe county government should help facilitate better broadband. A link to Design Nine’s draft report is available at

(Dodge County) Dodge County residents struggling to pay for internet service are encouraged to enroll in the Affordable Connective Program. The program, offered through the Federal Communications Commission, provides discounts of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households. Information about eligibility guidelines and how to enroll is available at

(Beaver Dam) A Burnett teen charged with having inappropriate contact with a minor entered into a plea agreement Monday. Ethan Bentti made a plea of no contest to a felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and was placed into a deferred prosecution agreement. Meaning he will avoid a felony record if he stays out of trouble while on probation for 18 months. The 19-year-old was convicted on three misdemeanor charges of Sexual Intercourse with a Child. Bentti and the juvenile victim meet at a City of Beaver Dam hotel where the illegal contact occurred. He admitted his actions to investigators.

(Dodge County) Dodge County health officials recorded 89 new COVID cases over the weekend. Active community cases stand at 990, a two-day decrease of 394. The seven-day daily average of new cases per 100-thousand people also saw a drop from last Friday. It currently is at 218.9, on Friday it was 283.7. However, 25-cases and above is what health officials classify as the “tipping point.” So far, 51.7-percent of county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine while 48.7-percent have completed the vaccination series.

(Fond du Lac) Alliant Energy has announced the one-megawatt Fond du Lac community solar project is now operational. This is the utility’s first community solar garden to generate energy for the power grid. Customers can purchase solar blocks in the garden, to cover up to 100-percent of their energy use. The clean, renewable energy helps power the community, and participating customers receive a bill credit each month for supporting the project. The solar garden is fully subscribed but people can join a waitlist in the event existing subscribers leave the program or a new community solar garden is built.

(Wisconsin) A recently released report has found that deaths due to alcohol are way up in Wisconsin. The study found that alcohol-related deaths in the state jumped from 865 in 2019, to 1077 in 2020, a more than 24-percent increase following a gradual, decades long upward trend. Most of the deaths were among middle-aged and older Wisconsinites. – WRN