News – July 24, 2021

(Beaver Dam) Organizers with the Patriot Tour are hoping to see people line the streets of downtown Beaver Dam as the flag comes home this afternoon. The Nation of Patriots raises money for veterans by taking that solitary American flag through all 50 states on the back of series of motorcycles. Organizer Wade Fletcher says an event like this would not be possible without the help of the community. The parade had originated in Beaver Dam for several years but started in Las Vegas this year because of all the money their chapter raised. Last year, the Nation of Patriots decided to begin and end the ride in the city that raised the most money the previous year. During milestone years, like the 15th anniversary, the plan is to return home to Beaver Dam and the region where the Patriot Tour got started. The group hopes to raise a quarter million dollars with this year’s ride and has raised $1.5-million dollars since it started 12 years ago. Every penny that is raised, 100-percent, goes directly to veterans. This afternoon’s ceremony at Ooga Brewing in Beaver Dam gets underway at 2:30pm.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Community COVID test site will be ceasing operations on Monday. The site, operated by the Dodge County Public Health with support from Marshfield Medical Center – Beaver Dam, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Wisconsin National Guard, has been open every Monday since late November. The decision by county health officials and Emergency Management was made as available support and resources provided by the state health department and the Wisconsin National Guard is being reduced. Dodge County Health Officer Abby Sauer noted that local availability of free COVID testing is now readily obtainable at area Walgreens and Hometown Pharmacies to support Dodge County’s current testing needs. She says it is still important for unvaccinated individuals to get tested if they were in close contact with someone with COVID or if they have any symptoms. Sauer says anyone that is fully vaccinated, they do not have to get tested after a close contact as long as they do not develop symptoms and do not live or work in a shared, communal, congregate setting. The Beaver Dam testing site, located at 1701 North Spring Street, will close its doors after testing on Monday.

(Wisconsin) The vast majority of new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin are people who are not fully vaccinated. Fewer than 50 percent of those eligible are fully vaccinated. More than 98 percent of new cases are among the unvaccinated. State health officials reported 342 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday in Wisconsin. The seven-day case average has climbed steadily the past two weeks and was at of 242 as of Thursday. As of Friday, 41.2-percent of Dodge County residents have had at least on dose of the vaccine while 39.4-percent of completed the vaccination series. – WRN

(Wisconsin) Life jackets can be a matter of life or death on Wisconsin waters. It is peak boating season, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters that wearing a life jacket or personal flotation device could save lives. Sixteen people have died in boating incidents so far this year in Wisconsin. The leading cause of death is drowning. Most who drown know how to swim, but are injured or unconscious, exhausted, or weighed down by wet clothing. – WRN

(Portage) Columbia County authorities are holding a community meeting to discuss the release of a sex offender. The county’s Core Team, which evaluates and makes decisions on the level of notification to the community for the release of sex offenders under state statutes, will be offering information on the release of Jonathan Phillips. The 39-year-old was found guilty of First Degree Sexual Assault of Child over 20 years ago. The meeting will be held on July 28th at 7pm in the John Roche Community Room at 711 East Cook Street in Portage. A photo of Phillips will be available at the meeting as well as more details about his offenses. Information about protective behaviors and personal safety in the community will also be discusses. Authorities say because the meeting is of adult subject matter, they request that only adults attend.

(Wisconsin) Workers’ compensation insurance rates in Wisconsin will decrease in October. The state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, rates will drop by 5-point-44 percent overall. Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable said in a statement that businesses could save more than 90 million dollars   According to OCI, this marks the sixth year in a row that rates have decreased. Rate decreases will differ slightly between the five major industry groups that pay different rates. – WRN

(Wisconsin) House Democrats including Congressman Ron Kind are now introducing a plan that would sidestep state legislatures on Medicaid expansion. Kind says that also helps Wisconsin get bonus funding from the new stimulus plans. The bill will allow Wisconsites who are currently eligible for Medicaid under federal guidelines to take that money directly, rather than have to get it through Badgercare. Kind says the package will be part of the upcoming federal budget. – WRN

(Milwaukee) Milwaukee Police are thanking well-behaved Bucks fans. The city’s police department took to commend hundreds of thousands of fans who attended Thursday’s parade and championship celebration. There were no reports of any serious trouble. There were, for the most part, no problems even after the Bucks won the NBA championship on Tuesday. Three people were wounded in two separate shootings, but that happened a few blocks away, and several hours after the game ended.