News – March 19, 2019

(Green Bay) A lawsuit against the owners of Shopko is moving forward as the retailer announces that all of its doors are closing. Creditors are trying to reclaim over a hundred million dollars in stock dividends paid out to the owners of the private equity firm that owned Shopko, claiming that the company borrowed money to make those payments. Creditors are worried that there might not be enough assets left to pay everyone that’s owed money. Shopko announced yesterday (Monday) that they are closing down all of their stores starting this week. That puts an end to the Beaver Dam store, which had survived a series of recent closure announcements.

(Beaver Dam) The longtime CEO of Beaver Dam Community Hospital is no longer with the with healthcare facility.  The hospital’s board of directors decided that Kim Miller’s last day at the hospital was yesterday. Board chairman Jim Kirsch says the hospital will no longer require a CEO following their decision to affiliate with the Marshfield Clinic Health System. Kirsch says the board greatly appreciates Miller’s leadership which has positioned the organization for ongoing success.

(Green Lake) One person is dead following a near head-on crash near the City of Green Lake yesterday (Monday) morning. Emergency responders arrived on Highway A around 7:45am following reports that a garbage truck and a pick-up truck collided. The pickup crossed the centerline into the path of a south-bound Mack refuse truck. A 27-year-old Ludington, Michigan man died from his injuries. A passenger in the pickup suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The 44-year-old Beaver Dam man driving the garbage truck was not injured.

(West Bend) A two-vehicle accident in Washington County Sunday evening causes the deaths of both drivers.  The sheriff’s office says speed may have been a factor when both vehicles struck head-on near Jackson on County Road NN.  A 51-year-old man from West Bend and a 52-year-old man from the Town of Barton died.  Three children passengers, ages 8, 10 and 16, were also injured and are expected to recover.

(Beaver Dam) An Ohio teen has been charged with 40 felony counts of Delinquency stemming from a Dodge County swatting incident last March. Sheriff’s Office detectives were called out to Highway 151 following what turned out to be false reports that a male subject had taken hostages. The investigation revealed similar phony calls were placed around the country originating from Youngstown, Ohio. A 17-year-old juvenile was identified as the culprit. The prosecutor’s office in Ohio is handling all charges. The juvenile, whose name is not being released to the public, is also facing 33 misdemeanors.

(Beaver Dam) A plan by Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen to hire a part-time Community Development Manager has been sent back to city’s Administrative Committee. Glewen says the momentum with recent investments in the downtown would be bolstered by the creation of the position, which would be focused on attracting new businesses and residents to the city. The position as proposed would be for 29 hours per-week with a salary of $20-per hour. Meeting as a committee of the whole, alderpersons last (Monday) night voiced concerns about the role of the Community Development Manager at a time when the city is looking at replacing a longtime Finance Director who is retiring and possibly hiring a city administrator while at the same time reducing the position of mayor from full-time to part-time.  There was general support for contracting for the position as opposed to hiring another city employee.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council last (Monday) night approved a three-year contract with the firefighter’s union. The document runs through 2021 and is retroactive to January first. It includes a two-and-a-half percent salary increase in each of the next three years. The contract also continues to give firefighter-paramedics 25-percent of the cost of the premium for their city-provided health insurance for the first ten years of retirement; a benefit that is not being extended to upper management. The three-year contract approved last night also includes a $1000 stipend for represented employees for schooling.

(Fond du Lac) The Fond du Lac County Board will consider the future of the county’s half percent sales tax tonight. Supervisors will take up two resolutions one resolution would use some of the revenue from the tax as property tax relief and the other would repeal a sunset date for the tax. The tax is currently set to sunset at the end of 2021. The tax was originally used as a way to help finance a loan for Mercury Marine to keep the company from moving to Oklahoma. It generates more than $8 million a year in sales tax revenue. The board meets at 6 pm at the City-County Government Center in Fond du Lac.

(Madison) A Dane County judge could rule in the near future if legislation passed during last December’s lame-duck session should be blocked.  After listening to arguments for two hours Monday, Judge Richard Ness promised his ruling would come soon.  Several liberal-leaning groups filed the lawsuit, which limited the powers of the governor and attorney general’s offices.

(Madison) Eight people died from the flu in Wisconsin in the last reported week.  The Department of Health Services says 338 people were hospitalized with flu-related symptoms, as positive tests for influenza surpassed two-thousand.  The H-3-N-2 strain remains prevalent in the tests along with the more common H-1-N-1 strain.  Both are covered by this season’s flu shot.

(Madison) Former governor Scott Walker will serve as the national honorary chair of the Center for State-led National Debt Solution.  This effort wants to have a convention called that would pass an amendment to the U-S Constitution that would require the federal government to pass a balanced budget every fiscal year.  34 states would be needed to convene the convention.

(Madison) Two state Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would allow some first-time OWI drivers to ask a judge to erase that from their criminal record. The proposal would only apply to those whose OWI didn’t result in injuries and they had a blood alcohol level lower than point-1-5.  They would need to have their alcohol consumption monitored, either by an ignition interlock or a wearable device.