News – March 24, 2021

(Wisconsin) State health officials say 15-percent of the state’s population has received both COVID vaccine doses, which is around 875-thousand people. Just over 25-and-half percent have received at least one dose. In total, more than two-million, 300-thousand doses have been administered.

(Dodge County) Over 12-and-a-half-percent of all Dodge County residents have completed the COVID vaccination series. State health officials say over 11-thousand people have had both shots; nearly two-thousand more than a week ago. Nearly 21-percent of Dodge County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is over 18-thousand people.

(Madison) Assembly Republicans have passed a bill that would prevent companies from mandating that their employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. GOP leaders say people ought to be able to control what happens with their bodies. Democratic officials argue that this bill and another that prevents the state from mandating vaccinations prevents public health from doing its job to stop the virus. Both bills passed the Assembly, but are likely to be met with Governor Tony Evers veto pen.

(Madison) Legislative Republicans have passed a bill that would require Governor Evers to submit any plans on how to spend federal American Recovery Act funding to a GOP controlled committee before he can spend anything. Beaver Dam Republican Mark Born, co-chair of joint finance, says state residents should have a say through their elected officials on how billions of federal funds are being spent. Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz told Republicans to run for governor if they want dole out the cash. The bill will almost certainly be vetoed, which could result in court action.

(Sun Prairie) State Senate District 13 candidate Ben Schmitz tells us that there is a place for third party candidates in the election process. The Sun Prairie, small business owner is with the American Solidarity Party and describes himself as “pro-life and pro-women, pro-poor and also pro-fiscal responsibility.” Schmitz was our guest yesterday on WBEV’s Community Comment. Today we welcome Republican John Jagler, tomorrow’s guest is Democrat Melissa Winker and on Friday we wrap things up with Independent candidate Spencer Zimmerman.

(Madison) Legislation allowing bars and restaurants to sell to-go cocktails is headed to the governor’s desk. Described as a way to help an industry struggling due to pandemic restrictions, the bill passed the state Senate Tuesday on a 28-2 bipartisan vote after passing the Assembly last week. The Senate also approved a second measure, allowing curbside pickup of alcohol purchased online or over the phone. That bill now heads to the Assembly.

Republicans in the State Assembly also passed a bill that would prevent places of worship from being closed due to COVID, it too is unlikely to be signed by Evers.

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Health Department did not update Tuesday’s COVID numbers. While in the course of regular scheduled updates to several of their data visualizations, the state’s website experienced technical difficulties. Health officials say they hope to update their numbers by 4pm today.

(Taycheedah) Fond du Lac County authorities have released more information about a suspect who died after apparently shooting himself Sunday. The 29-year-old was apparently armed and fired a round at his 36-year-old girlfriend at his Taycheedah residence just after midnight. A friend of the suspect arrived and let the man hide in the trunk of his vehicle which was later stopped by deputies. The suspect died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

(Clyman) A Clyman man was convicted yesterday (Tuesday) for threatening police during field sobriety tests. Kevin Ivans refused a preliminary breath test telling the deputy that when he sees him without his badge he is going to punch him in the nose and knock out his teeth. The 38-year-old will be sentenced on June 24th.

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Lake is officially free of ice. That’s according to Dick McMillan of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association who says the lake is open when there’s no more ice between the Highway G bridge at Bayside Supper Club and the bridge on the north end of the lake near the Dockside Bar and Grill. That happened on Sunday. The earliest the ice was opened was on February 28th in 1998. The latest was April 20th in both 1923 and 1972, Last year, the ice opened on March 27th.