News – January 8, 2009

Dodgeland to Hold Special Meeting 1/8/09 – The Dodgeland School Board has called a special meeting for tonight. School board officials are remaining tight-lipped about the reasons for the meeting, but the agenda states “to discuss, consider and take action, if appropriate, concerning an investigation into allegations of harassment against an administrative employee.” The agenda further states that the board may also confer with legal counsel regarding administrator employment and contracts and the “potential litigation related thereto.” The closed session meeting begins at 7pm. School Board Race Wrap-Up 1/8/09 – Current Waupun School Board President Cathy Loomans failed to submit her non-candidacy papers and her nomination papers by their respective deadlines, so those still interested in running now have until Friday to file. So far, one person has submitted paperwork: Scott Fairbanks. Also, Percy Harper of the Fox Lake area will be challenged by Ronald Paul. One of the three incumbents on the Mayville School Board is facing opposition, and one seat remains open. Jerry Tribbey is challenging incumbent David Westimayer. There are no candidates for the Town of Hubbard/ Oak Grove seat. There are challengers for two of the three incumbents on the Dodgeland School Board. Incumbent Neil Whiting faces opposition from Kimberly Rundberg-Montgomery and incumbent Scot Niemeyer will go up against Shawna Rennack. There are five people running for three open spots on the Watertown School Board. That includes incumbents, Kurt Larson, Dennis Rambo and Michael R. Kujwaski and challengers Jennifer Hepp and Steven Phillips. And, there are six candidates running for three seats in Beaver Dam. Fox Lake to Hold Meeting on Referendum 1/8/09 – Fox Lake appears ready to fight for its elementary school. The City Council will hold a special meeting next Wednesday to discuss the three referendum questions approved by the Waupun School Board last month. Those include a question asking residents for $4-million over three years to keep a number of district buildings operating as they currently do, including he elementary school in Fox Lake. If it does not pass district officials have indicated that Fox Lake and Alto Elementary’s might have to close. Ron Paul, who is running for the Waupun School Board, wants a number of questions answered during the meeting, including why officials aren’t looking at other ways to save money and keep the school open. Horicon Teen Enters Plea 1/8/09 – A Horicon teen entered a no contest plea this week to charges stemming from August 2007 accident that seriously injured one of his passengers. 20-year-old Cody Parpart was traveling south on Highway 33 when he lost control of his vehicle near McKinley Beach Road and overturned. His blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. One of the passengers was taken by MedFlight to UW Hospital Madison. Parpart was sentenced to six months of conditional jail time and placed on probation for five years. In addition his license was revoked for two years. Three-Time Drunk Driving a Felony?

1/8/09 – It would cost just over 100-million dollars a year to make three-time drunk driving a felony in Wisconsin. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says it reflects the costs of sending three-thousand more offenders to prison – plus the extra judges, prosecutors, and public defenders needed to handle those defendants. Right now, only five-time drunk drivers and beyond go to prison if

they’re convicted. Governor Jim Doyle supported making three-time O-W-I a felony with prison time last spring. That was after the father of Oconomowoc school official Jennifer Bukosky blasted the state for doing nothing in the wake of her daughter’s death. She was killed in a crash allegedly caused by a three-time drunk driver, although officials said he was high on medications and not booze at the time. Bukosky’s representative, Assembly Republican Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc, has drafted a bill to make three-and-four-time O-W-I a felony. And he says the state can afford the extra cost. State Superintendent Race Might Only have Three Candidates 1/8/09 – Two of the five candidates for state public school superintendent have problems with their nomination papers. And if Lowell Holtz and Todd Price don’t solve them by five p-m tomorrow, they may not be on the ballot for the February 17th primary. Both candidates said they had technical problems with some of their nominating signatures. Holtz – the Beloit school superintendent – had 70 fewer valid signatures than the two-thousand he needed. And Price – the National-Louis college professor from Kenosha – was 116 signatures short. Holtz said some people who circulated his petitions dated them for 2008 instead of ’09. And he omitted his city of residence on the paperwork he turned in. Holtz says he can easily resolve those issues by tomorrow’s deadline. Price said dates-and-addresses were left off from some of his petitions, and he’ll do his best to get everything corrected. The Government Accountability Board said the other three candidates – Tony Evers, Van Mobley, and Rose Fernandez – all had enough valid signatures. The board will certify the candidates when it meets next Tuesday. Support for a Smoking Ban Increasing 1/8/09 – There is more support for a statewide smoking ban. The co-chairman of the Legislature’s powerful budget committee, Madison Democrat Mark Pocan, says he backs the bill because it would be better for taverns than the patchwork of local ordinances now seen across Wisconsin. Pocan says it’s a problem for taverns when a variety of communities adopt smoking bans, but then bars in adjoining municipalities do allow customers to light up. He says a statewide law makes the most sense from a fairness standpoint for the businesses involved. Legislation enacting a statewide ban is expected to be introduced in the new Legislative session. Powerball Up to $120-Million 1/8/09 – Nobody won the Powerball jackpot last night, so the top prize will be 120-million dollars for the next drawing on Saturday. The jackpot is the biggest since September 27th. It became tougher to win at the start of the New Year, when more white regular numbers were added. But smaller prizes are now easier to win, because some of the numbers on the red Powerball were taken away.