News June 22, 2015

Relay For Life Event Raises Over $100,000


6/22/15 – Beaver Dam’s Relay for Life event has collected over $101,000 this year.  Since donations can be made through the end of August, Event Organizer Kristin Fabisch expects their $110,000 goal to be met.  Fabisch says the cooperative weather and large turnout helped to make this year’s event a success.  This year marked the 30th anniversary of relay as well as its 20th year in Beaver Dam. Roughly 25 teams participated in the overnight walk.  Team C-Card was the top fundraising team with over $9,600 and Brian Rechek was the top individual with $4,000.  This year’s theme was ‘Beat It: Flashback to the 80’s.’  According to Fabisch, the best part of the event involved taking a photo of all the cancer survivor’s that are at the event and watching them go around the track.  The event ran fourteen hours straight from 6 pm Friday to 8 am Saturday.  Information on how to donate to Relay for Life can be found on our website at


Watermark Groundbreaking on Tuesday


6/22/15 – Groundbreaking is Tuesday morning for Beaver Dams’ Watermark Community and Senior Center and city officials will soon have to decide what to do with the existing facility. The new site will be located in the former Fullerton Lumber building on South Center Street. The senior center and recreation department building is currently located on East Third Street, behind the community library. The question of what will happen to that building after the move next spring has come up informally in municipal committee meetings but there has been no formal discussion on the matter yet. We asked Mayor Tom Kennedy on WBEV’s Community Comment to outline the possibilities for the East Third Street building once it’s vacated. Options include selling or leasing the building, demolition or additional parking for the library. Kennedy says it could also be utilized temporarily by the city but he did not elaborate on possible uses.  The current Senior Center has a woodworking shop and while a similar shop was initially part of the Watermark blueprints, it was cut in a cost-saving move. Kennedy says everything should be considered but running two facilities was not part of the plan. He says there should be at least eight months before a decision has to be made. The current building has maintenance needs. In fact the costs associated with the pending need to replace the roof helped sway elected officials to support limited taxpayer funds to complete the Watermark. The future use of the current building will be a decision for the common council. The Watermark groundbreaking is scheduled for 10am tomorrow at 209 South Center.


State Budget Delays Allow For New Additions


6/22/15 – As legislative Republicans continue their impasse over the new state budget, lobbyists are quietly working to have their own proposals put in.  The Joint Finance Committee has waited for over three weeks for G-O-P leaders of both houses to agree to a final package.  In the meantime, opponents of last-minute items have caught wind of measures they said would hurt their constituencies — and they’ve asked their legislators to oppose them.  They include another effort by the rent-to-own industry to stop disclosing interest rates to their customers — require more frequent reporting of what insurers pay to pharmacists, which could affect drug prices — and make health insurers pay chiropractors the same rates as doctors for similar services.  Last-minute budget surprises have been a hallmark in Wisconsin for years, no matter which party is in charge.  In just the past few weeks, the Joint Finance Committee voted to relax training requirements for public school teachers — and told cities to use more of their hotel room tax revenues for tourism.  Senate finance chair Alberta Darling tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the pharmacy and rent-to-own changes are being discussed as part of the budget negotiations.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he does not expect approval of some other last-minute budget proposals to scale back the state’s Family Medical Leave Act for employees — and to let liquor wholesalers keep all their clients when their businesses are sold or passed down in their families.


Beaver Dam Youths In Running For National PHR Competition


6/22/15 – Two Beaver Dam youths will find out this Sunday if they have advanced to the national Pitch, Hit and Run finals at next month’s All-Star Game. Pitch Hit and Run is a nationwide competition that had a regional competition in Beaver Dam last month. Participants are measured on their speed, how far they can hit the ball and their ability to throw a ball at a target.  Three kids from Beaver Dam advanced from regionals to compete at the statewide competition on June 14 at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Eleven-year-old Logan Thomas and eight-year-old Maggie Dogs won first place in the state while seven-year-old Jeffrey Freund came in second at Miller Park. Thomas and Dogs are now finalists in the national competition and their aggregate score will be measured with their peers across the country to find out who gets to go to Cincinnati for the July 14th All-Star game.


New Squad Unveiled At Car Show


6/22/15 – Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt unveiled the department’s new squad car design yesterday at Beaver Dam’s Swan City Car Show.  In February, the sheriff’s office asked the public for help in coming up with that new look.  The design from the Fenner family of Lowell was selected out of roughly 100 submissions.  The first squad was changed over last week and is being put in service today.


Born, Fitz Seek To Strengthen Sex Offender Placement Laws


6/22/15 – Representative Mark Born told us on Friday’s Community Comment that he and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald are planning to work on a bill this fall that addresses how violent sex offenders are released back into society.  This stems from the recent placement of two sex offenders next to a house with two 11-year-old children in Brownsville.  The two lawmakers are still disputing the matter and feel it is the right time for them to change the policy.


Legislators Seek To Close Drunk Driving Loophole


6/22/15 – Two Republicans say they want to close a loophole in Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws.  It affects those who’ve been ordered to breathe into sobriety tubes before they can start their cars.  Racine Senator Van Wanggaard and Wausau Representative Dave Heaton say those drivers only get traffic citations when they’re caught using other vehicles without the interlock devices.  The lawmakers say they want to close that loophole by creating special drivers’ licenses with “Ignition Interlock Restrictions.”  Wanggaard and Heaton say the current law allows drunk drivers to re-offend by using somebody else’s vehicle — and the new license status would require them to use interlocks all the time, no matter which vehicles they drive.  If they don’t, they would face criminal penalties for violating court orders.  Heaton says a variety of police, medical, and anti-drunk driving groups have come out in favor of the measure.  He expects it to go through the committee process this summer, with action possible this fall.


Miss Wisconsin Vows To Help Those With Addictions


6/22/15 – The new Miss Wisconsin vows to help those who struggle with drug-and-alcohol addictions.  Nineteen-year-old Rosalie Smith of Waukesha was crowned over the weekend, beating out 25 other contestants at the state pageant in Oshkosh. Smith entered the state contest as Miss New Berlin.  She’ll now represent the Badger State at the Miss America Pageant on September 13th in Atlantic City. Smith’s platform was called “Centered on Loving In Need,” or “C-O-L-I-N.” That’s an acronym based on her late brother Colin.  She hopes to start a fund to support addicts who cannot afford their own rehab facilities.  Smith will be a sophomore this fall at U-W Milwaukee, majoring in nursing.