News – June 11, 2009

Domestic Abuse Shelter Number Jump

6/11/09 – The local domestic abuse shelter has seen a spike in cliental with the recent downturn in the economy. Chris Kamrath with PAVE, People Against a Violent Environment, says their numbers for this year are 195% higher than last year. There were 1221 nights of shelter provided to victims of domestic abuse in the Dodge County area last year. As of last month, Kamrath says there have 1160 nights of shelter provided so far this year.

PAVE Receives Donations

6/11/09 – PAVE recently received a donation from Nancy’s Notions. In May, during their annual sewing weekend, Nancy’s Notions held a fundraising auction called “Hippo’s for Hope.” As part of the expo, crafters sewed decorative hippo stuffed animals and auctioned them off. Over $3800 was raised for PAVE. The organization is also one of seven that will receive some of the money raised during the 12th annual WBEV-WXRO Chidlren’s Radiothon, which begins one week from today. Pictured: Laura Lambeseder of Nancy’s Notions and Jamie Kratz-Gullickson, Executive Director of PAVE with a check for $3,876.50.

Columbus School Fare Well in Testing

6/11/09 – The Columbus School Board received good news from the District Administrator this week. Superintendent Mark Jansen told the Board Columbus students did very well when compared with score averages from the most recent State Standardized tests.

Jansen said he was very pleased with the results. The data included results on standardized tests at various grade levels in reading, math, language arts, science and social studies. Jansen said that many of the District’s academic goals set for Columbus students exceed the state standards.

Assembly to Vote on Proposed Budget

6/11/09 – The Wisconsin Assembly is expected to vote today on the proposed new state budget, after majority Democrats made some big changes yesterday. They modified the new oil profits’ tax, so it comes out to an increase for drivers of four-cents a gallon. They dropped the controversial legal liability reform, which could have made businesses and others pay all damages in a civil suit even if they were just one-percent at fault. The Democrats also restored five-point-four million dollars in funding for the state Justice Department, which was cut last month by the Joint Finance Committee. The budget still includes over two-billion-dollars in tax-and-fee hikes and other measures aimed at fixing a six-point-six billion dollar deficit. Minority Republicans say they’ll try to strike down many of those proposals today, by offering amendments to the budget once the debate begins. Once the Assembly passes the budget, it goes to the Senate – which can make its own changes that a conference committee would have to resolve later.

Six of Ten Buildings Razed

6/11/09 – Demolition crews tore down 209 Front Street yesterday and continued to chip away at the Celestial Building. Four buildings remain, three of which share a common wall with a structure that won’t be coming down. Rubble continues to be cleared from the 100 block of Front Street as a clearer picture of the downtown without the floodplain buildings begins to emerge. The buildings were targeted for demolition following the June 2008 floods, after property owners learned that state statute restricted the amount of money that could be spent to repair their buildings, which were constructed over a waterway a century ago.

Obama in GB Today

6/11/09 – The national health care debate shines on Wisconsin today. The White House chose Green Bay for President Obama’s first public exchange on health reform since he was elected last November. About 15-hundred people are expected to attend Obama’s town hall meeting,

which starts at 12:10 at Green Bay Southwest High School. Obama proposes a government health plan to compete with existing private plans. He wants all Americans to be covered, including the estimated 50-million who are now un-insured. And Obama wants to make sure those with pre-existing conditions are not locked out. Conservatives plan to protest Obama’s appearance and his health care plan because they believe the government’s involvement in health care and the auto industry promote socialism, and are against the country’s best interests.

Feds Dole Out $3.7B in Aid for Flood Victims

6/11/09 – Wisconsin is one of 11 states sharing a total of three-point-seven billion dollars in federal aid to help recover from last year’s natural disasters. Housing-and-Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan says the money will help re-build infra-structure, restore housing, and revitalize communities. Donovan announced the grants yesterday in Cedar Rapids Iowa, which suffered the heaviest floods in the Midwest last year. Donovan told local leaders that “no community or state should ever have to go through such a tragedy alone again.” Iowa expects a half-billion dollars in federal aid, but they won’t receive it until next week. In Wisconsin, the governor’s office announced 39-million dollars in flood relief on Tuesday through Community Development Block Grants. It was announced Tuesday night that Beaver Dam would get 3.7-million dollars which will cover almost all of the costs of the downtown demolition.

Disabled Veterans Ride Starts in Waterloo Today

6/11/09 – Injured and disabled veterans are kicking off a four-day bicycle trip today at Waterloo in Jefferson County. The Wounded Warriors’ Cycle Ride will make stops in Milwaukee and Kenosha before wrapping up in Chicago on Sunday. The event has taken place since 2004. Organizers say it promotes public awareness of disabled veterans. The ride is designed to challenge them, and help them heal their physical and mental wounds of war. The riders use specially-designed bikes from the Trek Bicycle Corporation of Waterloo. Retired Army soldier Joe Gross lost his lower right leg in a car bomb attack in Iraq four years ago – and he says the Wounded Warrior program changed his life at a time when he really needed the support.

Beautiful Weather Draws Larges Numbers to Swan Park

6/11/09 – Summer started early in Beaver Dam last night as a couple hundred people strolled through Swan City Park for a night of music, snacks and fun. The evening was a kick-off for the Community Library’s Summer Reading Program, and they brought in face-painters and balloons. The library teamed up with the Community Activities and Services Department, who brought along Sponge Bob Square Pants and Scooby Doo. The Beaver Dam Community Band kicked-off the summer concert series with conductor Erin Ebersole, a product of the Beaver Dam School District music program, making her debut with the group. While in school, Ebersole studied under Jerry Anderson, Rich Zeman, Tom Irwin, and David Hoffmaster, many of whom were in the band she conducted last night. She says it was welcoming group, a supportive environment and the best starting opportunity she could ask for. The Beaver Dam Community Band will also be closing out the Summer Concert season.

DPW: No Signs in Street Terrace

6/11/09 – Authorities in Beaver Dam are reminding the public that it is a violation of city ordinance to place signs in the public street terrace. The street terrace, also known as the tree border, is the strip of grass or concrete between the sidewalk and the street. Police Lt. John Kreuziger says city officials are noticing an increasing number of rummage sale and garage sale signs in the street terrace. While the fine is relatively small, Kreuziger says it’s a public safety matter. All signs should be placed 15 feet back from the edge of the street. Signs are also prohibited on street lights or utility poles.