News – July 1, 2009

Downtown Demolitions Efforts Reach Ground Level

7/1/09 – The buildings may have been removed from downtown Beaver Dam, but a lot of work remains. Mayor Tom Kennedy says at this point everything is moving right along as expected. The focus right now is on the Celestial site where the concrete, basement floor is being removed, along with the pylons, or “piers,” that held the structure over the river. The Celestial building shared some of its piers with the neighboring Fountain Inn Tavern, the one building constructed over the Beaver Dam River that is not being razed at this time. Kennedy says after inspecting the footings of the piers they had deteriorated as expected. Concrete was used to fill some voids under the footings to stabilize the remaining piers. As a final safety precaution, Kennedy says the city is having an engineer review the structural system remaining in the water to verify that it is sound. Fountain Inn owner Jay Hoeft tells us his century-old building is holding up just fine through process and says it’s as sturdy as the day it was built. He says he tells his customers that if they can find a crack anywhere inside the bar, he’ll give them a free drink.

Suspected Pipe-Bomber Gets Probation Revoked Again

7/1/09 – Suspected pipe-bomber Stephen Peterson has been sentenced to another seven months in jail for once again violating the terms of his probation. The 19-year-old had his second revocation hearing in one week yesterday in Dodge County court. He was sentenced to probation in December on charges of Criminal Damage To Property for driving over $700 worth of potted flowers at a garden center in Beaver Dam last June. In the weeks before that Peterson was also ticketed for running down mailboxes, garbage cans and even a white picket fence. Last week, he had his probation revoked for the picket fence damage and was sentenced to nine months in prison. His most recent sentence will run consecutive to that sentence. Peterson also faces a variety of felony charges of firing a rifle into two Dodge County residences and blowing-up an outhouse and a mailbox with pipe-bombs. He’s looking at the possibility of a maximum combined total of 127 years in prison if convicted on the felony charges.

Columbus 4th of July Celebration Begins Today

7/1/09 – The Columbus Fourth of July Celebration kicks off today. The carnival opens this evening at 5pm with a pay-one-price special, which continues tomorrow, Friday and again Sunday. The parade begins at noon on Saturday. The Parade Marshall is John Caldwell of Caldwell Lumber and theme is “Building a Better Community.” As far as live music, Phase 2 is on the main stage tomorrow, Lube headlines Friday. Band X will perform before the fireworks on Saturday and Boogie Men will play afterward. Jesse Walker closes the festival on Sunday afternoon with his old time country music show. The event also features baseball, food, a craft fair and a variety of children’s activities.

Columbus Man Wins Car

7/1/09 – A Columbus man won a brand-new hybrid vehicle as part of the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce Summer Raffle. Chamber Executive Director Phil Fritsche says John Benisch took away the grand prize: a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. Fritsche says Benisch has also indicated that he will be driving the fuel-efficient vehicle home, making him the first grand prize winner not to take the cash option and sell the vehicle back to the dealership. Second and third place winners took home $100 gift certificates from the Organic Food Center and Shell Gas.

Pictured, L-R Summer Raffle Committee Chair Brenda Kuhl, Lydia Fritsche, Conley Publishing & Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce Director Philip Fritsche, drawing the winners in the Chamber’s 2009 Summer Raffle at the Beaver Dam Country Club.

DOT To Hold Meeting on 151 Conversion to Freeway

7/1/09 – Officials with the state Department of Transportation are holding a second public information meeting later this month to discuss plans to convert Highway 151 between Columbus and Waupun from an expressway to a freeway. During this second meeting, the DOT will display preliminary roadway concepts for the conversion to a freeway. The project is in the first of three phases and there is no immediate construction planned. The public meeting will be held July 15 at the Beaver Dam American Legion from 5pm to 7pm with a presentation at 5:30pm.