News – January 29, 2021

(Beaver Dam) Fifteen families were displaced following an apartment fire on Lakecrest Drive last (Thursday) night. The blaze was first reported around 6:20 at 108 Lakecrest Drive. There was heavy fire conditions coming from the 16 unit two story structure upon arrival of firefighters. Three hoselines were deployed which knocked down the blaze. The cause is under routine investigation. No injuries were reported.

(Wisconsin) The GOP COVID-19 bill is headed back to the Assembly after a brief stop in the Senate on Thursday. A new measure added to the bill will allow Governor Evers to issue public health emergencies solely for the purpose of receiving federal relief funding. This is part of continuing efforts from the GOP to end the Governor’s mask mandate and emergency orders. Lawmakers learned on Wednesday night that ending the health emergency without a replacement would cost them nearly $50-million-dollars a month in federal funding.

(Wisconsin) State Assembly Republicans want the Evers Administration to pick up the pace on vaccinating the general public. A bill that passed the chamber on Thursday would require a new vaccination plan from the Evers administration by the end of February and general vaccinations by the middle of March. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,802 positive coronavirus cases in Thursday’s daily update. State health officials recorded 24 deaths bringing that total to 5,811. Dodge County has experienced 143 deaths and 11,121 cases, a one-day increase of 19 positive tests. Washington County and Fond du Lac County both recorded two deaths.

(Dodge County) Seven nursing homes are being monitored by state health officials, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health’s weekly update. The state says Bedrock HCS of Watertown, Clearview Nursing and Rehab, Crossroads Care Center of Mayville, Hillside Manor, the Marquardt Full Campus as well as Marquardt Memorial Manor in Watertown and Randolph Health Services have active COVID-19 health investigations. Active investigations are being reported at 21 workplaces in Dodge County as well as four group housing facilities. The state only identifies nursing homes by name.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Community Development Committee recently received an update on their downtown grant program. In the fall of 2019, the city council approved the program that is intended to spruce up the downtown or help new businesses take root. The funding for the grants is generated through TIF #6, which is a blighted district meaning revenue from within the TIF can only be used in the downtown for efforts including revitalization. The balance at the beginning of 2019 was $620-thousand dollars. Just over $290-thousand dollars has been committed to or spent on projects as of this month leaving another $330-thousand dollars in unspent funds.

(Wisconsin) The top Republican in the State Assembly is going to play a larger role in Wisconsin’s economic future. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has taken his position on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board of directors. Vos is taking over for former state Representative Rob Hutton, who lost his election in November. Vos says he’s concerned that Wisconsin’s economic plan is, in his words, “haphazard,” so he’s stepping in to play a larger role.

(Glenbeulah) Congressmen Glenn Grothman has announced his committee assignments. The Republican lawmaker from Glenbeulah will serve on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, House Committee on Education and Labor and House Committee on the Budget.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin’s unemployment rate ticked-up in December. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Wisconsin’s jobless rate was five-and-a-half percent last month. It was five-point-three percent back in November. Wisconsin is in the middle of the pack in the Midwest. Indiana has the best jobless rate in the region, at four-point-three percent. Illinois has the worst, at seven-point-six percent.

(Wisconsin) The Department of Workforce Development has put a price tag, on modernizing Wisconsin’s unemployment system. The D-W-D uses a 50-year-old mainframe computer, using coding language more than 60 years old. Hundreds-of-thousands of out-of-work Wisconsinites have run up against problems with the state’s aging system, leading to long waits for benefits. An overhaul would cost as much as 90-million dollars, and take three-to-five years to finish.