News – January 5, 2021

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council last (Monday) night approved changes to their voluntary debt cap policy, moving from a fixed dollar amount to 65-percent of the city’s debt capacity as allowed by the state. The city is borrowing $6-million dollars this year and, under the cap, will still have around $14.7-million dollars left in available borrowing. If the city were to continue borrowing $6-million and, as old debt is paid-off, by 2025 Beaver Dam would have around $11.5-million in available borrowing. Exceeding the cap requires three-fourths support of the council.

(Portage) Three employees at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage are recovering from injuries they suffered in a pair of attacks last week. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections says the first assault happened last Wednesday when an inmate attacked two employees. One of the victims suffered a “fairly large” cut on the forehead. The second assault happened later that same night, when an inmate attacked a staff member, causing a severe gash on the head that required stitches and caused fractures around their eye.

(Wisconsin) A federal judge has tossed another lawsuit trying to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from being seated as President. The lawsuit was filed by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance and backed by State Representatives David Steffen of Howard and Jeffrey Mursau of Crivitz. They sought to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from certifying the results of the Electoral College. However, plaintiffs in the case failed to follow many of the rules of actually filing lawsuits, like notifying the people they were suing or providing evidence to the judge that was relevant to the case. -WRN

(Madison) The new session of the Wisconsin Legislature got started with some strong words from the leader of the Assembly. Speaker Robin Vos says he would like to expand the powers of the legislature into the coming session. Vos also says that Governor Evers walked away from negotiations on COVID-19 relief, and pushed forward a package that was worked out with the State Senate. Evers has repeatedly attempted to get the Legislature to act on COVID relief, but lawmakers spent most of last year not meeting at all. -WRN

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam lawmaker began his fifth term in the state assembly. Republican Mark Born took the oath of office at the ceremony yesterday (Monday) as representative of the 39th Assembly District. Born has been appointed to serve his first term as the co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee and his third term on the committee overall.

(Madison) Democrats choose to skip yesterday (Monday’s) ceremonial swearing-in of Assembly members because Republican leaders did not require face masks be worn on the floor. Minority Leader Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh says that makes no sense, given the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,407 positive coronavirus cases in Monday’s daily update. There are 26,389 active cases in the state, a decrease of 281 from Sunday. State health officials recorded nine deaths bringing that total to 4,884. Dodge County has seen 125 deaths and 10,480 cases, a one-day increase of 15 positive tests. County health officials are actively monitoring 373 people.

(Wisconsin) A signature Wisconsin event has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The state Agriculture Department has cancelled the 74th annual Alice in Dairyland finals, which were to have been held in Walworth County in May. The 75th finals will be held May 19th-through-the-21st next year in Dane County as previously planned. Julia Nunes of Chippewa Falls will continue as Alice in Dairyland until July 15th of 2022. The Dodge County-area’s most recent connection to Alice in Dairyland was in 2010. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Governor Evers ordered yesterday that flags will be flown at half-staff Tuesday in honor of former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson who died last month at the age of 87.