News – March 19, 2016

Waupun Wins State Championship


3/19/16 – It came down to the buzzer but the Waupun High School boys basketball team won the WIAA Division 3 State Championship game Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center in Madison, defeating Appleton Xavier 59-58. The Warriors led most of the way and were up 50-39 with less than five minutes on the clock when the Hawks came roaring back. Xavier came within one point of tying but a missed free throw with two seconds left clinched the win for Warrior Nation. Waupun had four players score in double-digits with Marcus Domask scoring 15 points, 13 points for Owen Theune and a dozen each for Jordan McGinnis and six-foot-eight Colton Homan. It was the programs first trip to state since 1927 and the first state championship win for Waupun.


Columbus Middle Schoolers Learn About Emergency Responders


3/20/16 – Fifth graders at Columbus Middle School had special guest teachers this week. The school received STEP grant money and set up a program with the AT&T Pioneers to benefit the kids. There were appearances from three emergency management professionals on Thursday. The kids were excited to hear about how to handle tornado, flood, fire and disasters from the pros. There were many raised hands and several interesting questions. The fifth graders say they came away from the STEP program with a better knowledge of how to handle themselves in the case of a disaster and a backpack full of emergency supplies from nine local sponsors.


Columbus Approves Sale Of Former Hydro Street Equipment


3/20/16 – The city of Columbus has approved sale of their portion of the brewing equipment from the Hydro Street Pub that went out of business last July. Hydro Street property ownership was shifted to the city and county after owners Aaron and Sandye Adams defaulted on a revolving loan. The brewing equipment was sold to a partnership headed by Tyler Walker of Columbus. The partners plan to open a sports bar and brew pub in the city. The new brew pub owners hail from six local communities in Dane and Columbia counties. The agreement between the city and the partnership of pub owners includes a $5 thousand dollar penalty if substantial progress toward opening of the new pub has not been made by next March. The name of the partners bar is “Dubs Local Legends.” The owners hope to have the pub open by spring of 2017.


Dodge County Board Chairman’s Salary Unchanged


3/20/16 – The Dodge County Board chairman’s salary will stay the same for the next two years. In a deal adopted by the county board this past week, the position will receive $12-thousand dollars per year plus stipends for meetings attended and mileage traveled. The cap allows the chairman to be paid for up to 125 meetings per year in addition to the 12 county board gatherings.  The salary is set every two years and now runs through March 2018. The current County Board Chairman is Russell Kottke and he is running unopposed in the April election.  He was paid over $19-thousand in 2015.  As a whole, the 33-member Dodge County Board received $126-thousand. A proposed amendment to only pay the chairman for committee meetings where that person is a member was denied.  District Five Supervisor Janice Bobholz is the only member who denied all stipend compensation for her committee meetings.


Local January Unemployment Numbers Spike


3/20/16 – Unemployment in the region for January was up sharply from December but lower than the same month one year prior. According to the Department of Workforce Development rates released this week, the jobless rate in Dodge and Jefferson counties was 5.1-percent in January, each up over a full percentage point from December but a couple tenths-of-a-percent lower than January of 2015.  Similar numbers were posted in Columbia County which reported a 4.9-percent in January, Fond du Lac County which posted a 4.6-percent and Washington County which recorded a 4.1-percent. Green Lake County had a 6.9-percent with a month-to-month increase of one-point-five-percent but still three-tenths below last year. Dane County again has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.5-percent while Bayfield has the highest at 10.5-percent. In total, January rates increased in 22 counties while decreasing or remaining the same in the other 50 counties. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for January was 5.2-percent, one-tenth lower than the national rate.


AAA: ’90-Percent Of Drivers Admit Risky Behavior’


3/20/16 – According to the national AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 90 percent of U.S. drivers admit to at least one risky driving behavior within the past month. Examples include speeding, driving while impaired, unbuckled or distracted. David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety says distracted driving is an increasingly prevalent and dangerous problem. “Distracted driving comes in many forms. We see drivers eating, talking on the phone, looking at maps, fiddling with the radio, even brushing their teeth. What they all have in common though is that they’re dangerous and potentially deadly. So we’re just reminding people that driving requires your full attention and taking your eyes off the road—even for a few seconds—can have tragic results.” It’s estimated that for a driver travelling 55 miles an hour, a five-second distraction is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.


WEDC Inviting Exporters To South Korean Trade Mission


3/20/16 – Wisconsin’s job-creation agency is inviting exporters from around the state on a May trade mission to South Korea. Officials with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) plan to visit the cities of Seoul, Daejeon and Daegu between May 21st and May 28th. Agency officials say trip participants will meet with potential trade partners selected specifically for them and their markets as well as receive a South Korean market assessment specific to his or her company.


Gudex Disappointed High Capacity Well Bill Failed


3/20/16 – State Senator Rick Gudex says he went against his own party in voting against a bill that would lift a ban on the prohibition of natural Christmas trees in public places. Gudex says he trusts the input he got from Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary about the bill. He says the chief is a straight shooter and always has been. The State Senate this past week passed the bill lifting the ban on a 25-to-7 vote and its now on its way to the governor for his signature. Gudex, meanwhile, says he is disappointed the Assembly is not in session to approve a bill he authored that would give high capacity well owners more rights. Gudex says local farmers wanted to be able to transfer ownership of their wells when they sell their property. He says if they lived up to their permits it should not have to trigger a DNR review. On a 19-to-13 vote, with all Democrats voting no, senators last Tuesday approved a different version than what the Assembly passed. Supporters asked the lower house to return to ratify the Senate package, but Speaker Robin Vos’ office re-affirms that the Assembly will not meet again until the next session in January. Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau says the approval by his house was designed to send a message to the agricultural community that it intends to address the issue in the future. The bill is designed to preserve high-capacity wells by letting owners re-construct them and move them small distances without state permits. Critics call the bill a license to sap groundwater supplies in their areas.


Grothman Offering Seminar On Scam Training


3/20/16 – Area residents are invited to attend a seminar on ways to protect themselves from identity theft.  Congressman Glenn Grothman of Glenbeulah’s district office is holding a scam training seminar tomorrow (Monday).  The event will run from 12:30-1:30 pm at the Columbus Senior Center, which is located at 125 North Dickason Boulevard.  Constituents of Grothman’s Sixth Congressional District are encouraged to attend.  Grothman’s office will hold another seminar Tuesday in Manitowoc and will have office hours in Elkhart Lake on March 31.