News – February 6, 2019

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam police and fire departments do not have the resources to patrol Big Skunk Island, if the city ever takes ownership. That was the massage from both police chief’s at last night’s Police and Fire Commission meeting with both department heads saying they do not have the resources to service the island if it were to be open to the public and turned into a city park. Police Chief John Kreuziger says to patrol Big Skunk, the city would have to budget for a rescue boat and related training. Fire Chief Alan Mannel says suggestions that police could respond to the island with the fire department’s water rescue boat makes as much sense as the fire department responding to a paramedic call in a police squad car. The Beaver Dam Lake Development Corporation board of directors last month voted to offer Big Skunk Island to the city for one-dollar and began initial discussions with the city in committee on Monday.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Area Arts Association has a new permanent home. Last June, the organization left their longtime location at the Seippel Homestead on North Spring Street and temporarily moved to Rasske’s Appliances on South Spring Street. Board Secretary Kraig Kasten says the former Bank Mutual building at Maple Avenue and North Center Streets was donated to the non-profit by Dennis Giese and Karen Tomko. Kasten says the location will allow the Arts Association to collaborate with downtown assets and nearby schools. While there will be no rent to pay, the arts group will be responsible for property taxes and maintenance. The plan is to close on the building in by the end of this month and move-in next month.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff says his detectives went above and beyond in 2018. Sheriff Dale Schmidt thanked the hard work from his entire staff during a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment but highlighted the tremendous effort shown by his investigators. He says it is important to recognize their work so the public has an understanding of what they do and what they face on a day-to-day bases. From uncovering alleged sex-trafficking at local strip clubs, handling a tense swatting incident to the tough investigation of an officer involved shooting. Schmidt says he trusts his staff and believes in their professionalism no matter what circumstances they face.

(Madison) The Wisconsin State Patrol is looking for a few good men and women who might be interested in serving as a trooper or inspector. Applications are being accepted online for the State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy. During their six months in training recruits will receive $21 per hour plus meals and lodging. Training begins September 15th and the 65th recruit class will graduate on March 20th, 2020. The application deadline for candidates is March 31st.  Previous recruit classes have ranged in size from 25 to 50 cadets.  Candidates can apply at the website.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers told the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Counties Association something they’ve been waiting to hear. He says his budget is not just about transportation but is also going to make good on the promise he made last December, to close the dark store loophole in the state of Wisconsin. The dark store loophole allows big box retailers to base their tax assessments on the value of vacant stores, reducing their property tax assessments and shifting the tax burden to residential homeowners and local small businesses. Both Beaver Dam and Waupun passed resolutions backing the statewide initiative to eliminate the loophole.

(Madison) The U.S. Attorneys in Wisconsin have sent letters to over 180 physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners advising that a review of their prescribing practices showed that they were prescribing opioids at relatively high levels compared to other prescribers. Although the letters acknowledge that the prescriptions may be medically appropriate, they remind the practitioners that prescribing opioids without a legitimate medical purpose could subject them to enforcement action, including criminal prosecution. Names of the letter recipients are not being made public.