News – March 16, 2016

Fire Damages Beaver Dam Residence


3/16/16 – Fire damaged an unoccupied house in Beaver Dam early this morning. Crews responded to 106 West Water Street at 1:32am. Deputy Fire Chief Matt Christian says upon arrival, the structure had smoke showing from the third floor attic. The blaze was called in by a neighbor who saw smoke coming from the roof area. Fire damage was contained to the third floor and roof of the house while the first and second floors experienced major smoke and water damage. The cause is under investigation by the Beaver Dam Fire and Police Departments. The property is owned by Charlie Agnew of Waunakee. Beaver Dam Fire was assisted by the Juneau, Watertown, Hustisford and Fox Lake fire departments. The scene was cleared at 5am.


Beaver Dam Lake Declared Ice-Free


3/16/16 – The Beaver Dam Lake is ice-free.  That is according to Lake Watcher Dick McMillan of Beaver Dam who made the call late last night.  The ice-free declaration comes when a boat can travel from the dam in Beaver Dam to the long bridge on the north end of the lake.  The earliest the lake was ice free was February 28 in 1998.  The latest was April 20 in both 1923 and 1972.  Last year it happened on March 26.


Board Approves New Highway Building In Neosho


3/16/16 – There’s going to be a new highway storage building in Neosho.  The current 61-year-old facility will be replaced with a new $2,900,000 shop.  $900,000 comes from the highway fund while the other $2,000,000 will be loaned from the county’s general fund.  Highway Commissioner Brian Field says the department has outgrown the current building.  He says a facility study determined adding on to the structure is not cost effective.  Since today’s plow trucks are much larger than the ones when the shed was constructed, Field says the drivers need to remove the plows before the trucks fit in the building.  He says the plows and other equipment is stored outdoors.  Field says the new shed will fit all necessary equipment and will include a truck wash area.  The current structure will be kept and used to store smaller items.  In addition to offering better storage, Supervisor Janice Bobholz voted in favor of the shed so workers do not have to deal with attaching or detaching plows to trucks in the middle of a snow storm.  She says the county is lucky no workman’s compensation cases have come from what she describes as poor working conditions.  Maas Brothers of Watertown is the project’s construction manager while other firms will help out.  The effort should begin later this year.


Dodge County Official Sponsor Of Gold Star Trail


3/16/16 – The second portion of a trail that would honor local fallen veterans has a sponsor.  On a 24-7 vote last night, the Dodge County Board supported a resolution that makes the county the official backer of phase two of the Gold Star Memorial Trail.  The five-phase, 15-mile walking and biking path would connect Mayville, Horicon, and Beaver Dam.  Organizers have applied for a grant that would cover $525,000 of the $755,000 needed for the second segment, which would connect Horicon and the Wild Goose State Trail.  While Dodge County is the sponsor, it would not be on the hook for any money.  Organizers are soliciting private donations to cover the remaining $230,000.  County Board Supervisor Dave Frohling believes the trail is an important part of the county’s economic development that is partially targeted at keeping and attracting young families to the area.  While those who spoke against the resolution supported honoring the veterans, they argued the trail is not the best use of taxpayer funds at any level of government.  Organizers hope the second segment can go out for bid next year and be completed by 2020.  Roughly 55% of the funds needed for phase one, which would connect Mayville to the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, have been raised.  The goal is for design work on that segment to begin this year and construction to wrap up by the end of 2017.


ATV Riders Could Soon Hit Dodge County Highways


3/16/16 – ATV riders could soon be allowed on certain Dodge County highways.  The county board adopted an ordinance at its meeting last night that lets groups petition the county to allow ATV and UTV riders on a specific county road.  County officials must deem the highway safe for riding.  The petitioning group would pay the cost of installing proper signage and maintaining those signs for ten years.  This is the first time ATV and UTV riding would be allowed on county highways.  Township ordinances already permit it in Portland and Elba.


Emily’s Closet Get 70 Dresses First Day Of Fundraiser


3/16/16 – A fundraiser is helping to bolster a scholarship that was set-up to honor the memory of a Beaver Dam High School graduate who lost her life last winter. Students and staff are working together on Emily’s Closet, which is seeking donations of formal dresses this week. The clean, gently-used dresses will be sold the week of April 4th for between $20 and $60. Student organizer Morgan Nickel says Lyons senior advisor Andy Loizzo encouraged the students to start the fundraiser in her name to show support for her and her family. The student council president and vice president answered the call and hope to make the fundraiser an annual event. On the first night the items were accepted, the students received over 70 dresses.  Emily Lyons died one year ago following a snowmobiling accident in Vilas County. Both Nickel and fellow senior and student volunteer Marlana Warmbold were friends with Lyons. While they were both two years younger than Lyons, both Nickel and Warmbold told us on WBEV’s Community Comment yesterday that they looked up to the Class of 2014 graduate and homecoming queen. Warmbold says Lyons always had a smile on her face and was nice to everybody she met so you “couldn’t not be friends with her.” Good condition formal dresses are being accepted this week between 3pm and 4pm in the commons area at the main entrance of the Beaver Dam High School off Gould Street. Monetary donations can also be made directly to the Emily Lyons Scholarship Foundation. You can get more information about that by contacting the school district at 885-7313.


Litscher Confirmed As DOC Secretary


3/16/16 – Jon Litscher was confirmed Tuesday as the new head of the Wisconsin prison system. Senators voted 29-to-three to ratify Governor Scott Walker’s choice to replace Ed Wall, who resigned amid investigations into alleged abuses of teen inmates at Lincoln Hills. Litscher, who served as the corrections chief 15 years ago, is from Beaver Dam where he serves as the president of the common council.


Walker Expected To Sign Election Changes


3/16/16 – Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign a bill as early as Wednesday to let voters register online — and stop creating municipal deputies to run large voter registration drives. The Senate okayed the measure Tuesday on a voice vote, after Assembly Republicans pushed it through last month. The online registration system is projected to start by this time next year. Republicans say groups can still run their registration drives by showing people how to sign up online, but Democrats call it another effort by the G-O-P to discourage voting. The bill also adds federal veterans’ I-Ds to the list of allowable cards that voters are now required to show at the polls.


Medicine To Prevent Child Seizures Blocked By Fitzgerald


3/16/16 – The state Senate’s majority leader puts an abrupt end to the two-year legislative session, by blocking a bill that would have made it easier to obtain a drug that treats child seizures. There was strong support in the chamber to increase parental access to an oil derived from marijuana’s main ingredient. But G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald says three of his party members feared it would result in legalized marijuana — so he scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the bill, knowing it would prevent a vote Tuesday night during the Senate’s final meeting of the year. When supporters tried over-riding the move, Fitzgerald ended the session. The bill’s sponsor, Racine Republican Van Wanggaard, says Fitzgerald’s tactics are why “people hate politics” and he’ll push again to pass the bill next session.


Watertown Man Pleads Not Guilty To Hitting Child On Bicycle


3/16/16 – A Watertown man accused of striking a child on a bicycle and leaving the scene pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday.  Michael Werner is facing one felony count of Hit and Run Involving Injury in Dodge County. The alleged incident occurred in October. Watertown Police say the child had large cuts and bleeding on both elbows and forearms, his nose and the rest of his face.  The child said he was trying to cross the street when he was hit.  His caretaker told investigators that Werner smelled like alcohol.  The 44-year-old told officers he gave the caretaker $30 to cover all damages and thought that was the end of things. Werner faces up to nine months in jail if he is found guilty.  Further court activity is set for April 14.


Hartford Man Pleads Not Guilty On Theft Charge


3/16/16 – A Hartford man accused of stealing thousands of dollars in jewelry while he was doing flooring work at a Randolph home pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday. Jacob Engel is charged with felony Theft of Movable Property in Dodge County. Prosecutors say the 30-year-old was working for Neosho-based B&B Flooring Refinishing last May when he stole $9,400 in jewelry, including a wedding ring. Engel was confronted by his boss about the theft and reportedly admitted the rings were pawned in Slinger. A receipt with his name shows that he allegedly received $480 for the stolen items. The charges carry a maximum of six years in prison.  Engel will be back in court April 18.


Beaver Dam Man Pleads Not Guilty To Break-In


3/16/16 – A Beaver Dam businessman accused of breaking into a neighboring business pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday. Cory Mahlum is facing one felony Burglary count.  According to the criminal complaint, the 33-year-old, who owns Autoworx Unlimited, broke into Professional Floor Coverings last October to connect a cable that allowed him to steal internet services.  Mahlum was allegedly behind on rent and close to eviction.  He reportedly told officers that he broke into the neighboring office due to a falling out with that business’s owner.  If he is found guilty, Mahlum faces over 12 years in prison.  Further court activity is scheduled for April 18.


Washington County Pipeline Repaired Near Recent Rupture


3/16/16 – New repairs are being made this week to a gas pipeline in Washington County close to where it ruptured in 2012. The West Shore Pipe Line Company says it found degraded metal about two-and-one-half miles from where the line had a major spill. The company calls the new work routine maintenance, and the state D-N-R says no new leaks have been reported. The 2012 incident spilled almost 55-thousand gallons of gas into a farm field near Jackson Marsh, which contaminated 44 private water wells within one mile in each direction.