News June 21, 2015

Schmidt Addresses Recent Speed Change In Sheriff’s Column


6/21/15 – Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt addressed the recent speed limit increase in his latest sheriff’s column.  The Wisconsin Legislature recently passed a law to increase the speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour on certain freeways in the state, and signs started going up this week.  Schmidt has had a number of people ask him about the local effects this will have.  While the speed on Highway 41, soon to be Interstate 41, increases with the signs being posted, Schmidt says it’s not the same story for Highway 151.  Due to the heavy amount of cross traffic, 151 is not eligible for the increase.  Schmidt supports that policy due to the number of crashes on that highway in recent months.  According to Schmidt, he is going to advise his deputies to revisit their tolerances for motorists going over the speed limit in an effort to keep the roads are as safe as possible.  The sheriff encourages everyone to use good judgement when traveling on all roads, especially those where the speed limit will increase.


DCSO Unveiling New Squad Car Design In Beaver Dam Today


6/21/15 – Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt will be at Beaver Dam’s Swan City Car Show today from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm to give folks their first chance to see the department’s new squad car design.  In February, the sheriff’s office asked the public for help in coming up with that new look.  The Fenner Family from Lowell’s design was selected out of roughly 100 submissions.  The first squad was changed over last week and will be put in service tomorrow.

Relay For Life Announces Total Fundraising From Annual Event


6/21/15 – The totals have been added up from this year’s Relay for Life event.  The event has raised $101,232.99 so far this year.  Since money can still be donated through the end of August, Event Organizer Kristin Fabisch expects their $110,000 goal to be met. The top fundraising team was C-Card with over $9,600.  This year marked the 30th year of Relay for Life as well as the event’s 20th year in Beaver Dam.  The event was held at the Beaver Dam High School track with a theme of ‘Beat It: Flashback to the 80’s.’  Roughly 25 teams participated in the overnight walk.  Anyone who would still like to donate can do so online at


Two Dead After Falling Into Wisconsin River In Columbia County


6/21/15 – When five people fell into the Wisconsin River in Columbia County Friday, two of them didn’t survive.  Emergency crews report they were able to rescue a woman, a man and a boy.  The four-year-old boy died later and a man was found dead on the scene.  A 9-1-1 call brought emergency responders to the river in the town of Dekorra a little after 1:00 pm.  The dead man was 29 years old.  His body was found several hours after the others were rescued.

Columbus School District Offering Summer Lunches


6/21/15 – The Columbus School District is taking part in the Summer Food Service Program this year.  The program is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provides children with nutritious meals during the summer when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable.  The Columbus Middle School will be serving breakfast and lunch through August 14 while the elementary school will be serving those meals for students attending summer school from July 6 through July 24.  Children 18 and under are eligible along with people over 18 who have been determined to be physically or mentally disabled by the state.  Columbus is not alone as Beaver Dam is also offering lunch to summer school students.


Dodge County FSA Nomination Period Now Open


6/21/15 – The Dodge County Farm Service Agency is hosting its annual open house next month.  County office staff will be on hand to share information about the FSA’s upcoming County Committee Election process.  The committee helps farm programs at the local level and those who serve on the committee help fellow farmers by working to help FSA agricultural programs meet their needs.  The open house will let producers and landowners visit the FSA’s county office to learn about how they can impact the election process.  This year’s nomination period runs through August 3.


Wisconsin Among Lowest Rates To Insure Teen Drivers


6/21/15 – There’s good news and bad news for parents who are about to start giving car keys to their teenagers.  A new report by Insurance Quotes-Dot-Com shows that Wisconsin has the nation’s seventh-lowest increase in car premiums, when a teen is added to a family’s policy.  The bad news is that insurance bill goes up by an average of 69% in the Badger State.  Still, it could be worse for mom-and-dad.  Neighboring Illinois has an average premium increase of 104% when a policy gets a teenager added on.  New Hampshire is the highest at 115%.  Hawaii has the lowest increase at 17% — but the Aloha State is the only one where a person’s age-or-driving experience cannot be used to determine insurance rates.  Laura Adams of Insurance Quotes-Dot-Com says “good student discounts” can remove some of the sting from the increases.  She says those discounts run as high as 25% for students who average at least a “B” in high school or college.  In Wisconsin, the average male who’s added to a family’s car policy causes a 78% jump in premiums.  The average girl raises it by 60%.


State Health Services Claims To Have Tightened Up Practices


6/21/15 – State Health Services officials say they’ve tightened up hiring practices and fiscal monitoring, after a former employee was charged with embezzling over 50-thousand dollars.  Thirty-seven year old LaSherri Hunt of Madison was fired last year, after she allegedly misappropriated funds from a program that helps those with H-I-V and AiDS pay for medicines and health insurance.  An investigation of internal agency audit reports and court records showed that Hunt did not have a background check performed on her — even though she was responsible for millions-of-dollars in allocations and deposits.  Also, when she was hired in 2012, Hunt was still fulfilling terms of a deferred prosecution agreement for criminal damage and disorderly conduct — both of which were later dropped.  The failure to perform background checks was reportedly not an isolated incident.  State officials later found that Hunt altered some checks so they could be cashed by her fiancé and daughter– both of whom are now charged with three felony counts each of forgery.  LaSherri Hunt is charged with 27 felony counts of forgery and false writings.  A status conference in her case is set for tomorrow, while her daughter has a preliminary hearing set for June 30th.  State officials say background checks are now required for all new health services employees who handle money — and will soon be required for all agency hires.


Milwaukee County Zoo Announces New Addition


6/21/15 – Wisconsin’s most famous zoo has a new member in its family — a harbor seal pup.  The Milwaukee County Zoo announced that the pup is doing fine, and is on public display.  The baby was born last Sunday.  Zoo officials have not disclosed the pup’s name or gender.  It was born to Sandy and Ringo, both of whom were born in the wild.  It’s Sandy’s second off-spring.  The first, King Julian, just turned one-year-old and is said to be “quite curious” about his new relative.  Ringo is around 37 years old.  Sandy is almost 19.  She arrived at the Milwaukee Zoo in 2005, with the help of a donation from the Alaska Sea-Life Center.


Educational Opportunity To Paddle Through The Horicon Marsh


6/21/15 – An event that allows folks to paddle the Horicon Marsh will be held next weekend.  Wildlife staff from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will lead a 6 ½ mile travel through the marsh and into the Rock River.  Along the way, they’ll educate participants on the wildlife and history of the marsh.  A wildlife biologist will be on hand to talk about the tools used to manage the Horicon Marsh.  The event runs from 7:30-11:30 am on Saturday.


Clearview Holding Dedication Ceremony Tomorrow Night


6/21/15 – Folks are invited to the dedication ceremony of Clearview’s Walkway of Remembrance.  The trail was created in an effort to remember the people who made an impact at the Juneau rehab facility.  Candles will be available for people to light in memory of a loved one.  The dedication is set for 6 pm tomorrow.