News – July 7, 2020

(Reeseville) A weekend fire destroyed a barn in Reeseville. Crews responded to W10409 Highway I around 7:40pm Friday to find the structure fully engulfed in flames and an adjacent shed also on fire. The barn was full of hay and animals were removed before officials arrived on scene. Neighboring farmers and 4-H kids worked together to get the cattle safely to another barn. There were no injuries. The scene was cleared after around five hours. Crews were called back out Saturday afternoon for a flare-up.

(Wisconsin) A legal firm has filed a request in federal court to block COVID-19 emergency orders in Dane County and Milwaukee. Veterans Liberty Law filed the immediate injunction Friday seeking to stop orders that took effect last week that limit private gatherings. Dane County’s emergency limits gatherings inside to a maximum of 10 people and limiting outdoor gatherings to 25 people. In the filing, Veterans Liberty Law claims the order goes far beyond what the law allows.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 522 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) daily update. For the second consecutive day positive tests reached double digits at ten-point-four-percent (10.4-percent) of the over 44-hundred tests reported Sunday. The statewide death rate is unchanged at 796. Dodge County has five deaths on record and 483 cases, an increase of five from Saturday.

(Wisconsin) U-S Senator Ron Johnson has withdrawn a proposal to eliminate Columbus Day as a federal holiday.  Johnson said the proposal was meant to “start a discussion” about paid federal holidays, not place judgement on Columbus’ achievements.  The proposal was an amendment to a bill that would designate Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

(Madison) A survey of UW-Madison instructors shows nearly half of them are concerned about reopening the campus safely this fall during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The State Journal reports the university chapter of the Association of American University Professors also found almost 60-percent want instruction to be held online only.  The campus is set to resume in-person classes, but any with over 100 students will be held online.

(Wisconsin) A new online database allows Wisconsin residents to see how much is being budgeted for law enforcement in their communities. Wisconsin Budget Project Analyst Tamarine Cornelius says counties, cities, villages and towns in the state spend between two and three billion dollars per year on law enforcement and associated costs on things like jails, than on any other purpose. In some cities, she says it’s the single biggest budget item. Cornelius says the database can help citizens engage with elected officials to assess law enforcement spending.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff is calling for people to unify and consider other perspectives in his monthly column. Dale Schmidt recounted a recent conversation he had with a young woman named Kaci, a representative of the group “All Of Us, For Us.” Schmidt says he learned a bit about the Black Lives Matter organization and their purpose. The conversation yielded the agreement that there are overwhelmingly good people in this world and there are also bad apples in any ethnicity or profession. Schmidt says that includes white people, black people and law enforcement. The sheriff asks everyone to consider the perspectives of others as he and Kaci did recently.

(Taycheedah) Fond du Lac County authorities have identified the motorcyclist killed in a two vehicle crash last Friday in the Township of Taycheedah. At 6:47pm, sheriff’s deputies responded to the accident near the intersection of Winnebago Drive and Taycheedah Way. The investigation showed that an eastbound pickup, driven by 27-year-old Daniel Navarro of Fond du Lac, crossed over the centerline and struck a westbound motorcycle. Fifty-five-year-old Phillip Thiessen of Fond du Lac, who was the lone occupant of the bike and was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene. Navarro was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.

(Wisconsin) People who want a taste of what this year’s State Fair would have been will have their chance later this summer.  The Wisconsin State Fair Park will run a Fair Food Drive-Thur for four weekends starting July 23. People can get their food from a variety of vendors, which will change every weekend, while not leaving their vehicle.

(Columbus) Farmers and Merchants Union Bank recently distributed $20-thousand-dollars in grants to several area organizations. The Columbus-based bank partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago to secure the money that assists organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations receiving grant funds include Prairie Ridge Health in Beaver Dam, Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus, the N.I.C.C. Foundation as well as public and private schools within Farmers and Merchants’ service zip codes.