News – March 26, 2021

(Beaver Dam) Members of the Beaver Dam Community Development Committee say they are confused by the guidelines that are used to award downtown revitalization grants. The city has been using $600-thousand dollars in TIF funds for a matching grant program for business improvements; about half of that is left. At this week’s meeting, the CDC’s Rich Zieman asked that the topic of clarifying the guidelines for disbursing the funds be added to their next agenda. Mayor Becky Glewen said there are very few rules from the state on how to distribute the money. Glewen added that CDC may soon be dissolved anyway and its limited functions consolidated with the Landmark Commission.

(Oconomowoc) The Democratic candidate for State Senate District 13 says people are rethinking their party ideology following the murder of police officers in the US capital on January 6. Melissa Winker also accused Republicans of rigging the system using experts and technology to draw boundaries for state legislative and congressional races. Winker contends the state constitution does not prohibit a non-partisan panel from drawing the maps. Trump Conservative Party candidate Spencer Zimmerman is our guest this afternoon on WBEV’s Community Comment, then you will be able to hear our interviews with all four candidates on the ballot including Ben Schmitz of the Solidarity Party and Republican John Jagler.

(Wisconsin) Deputy Health Services Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says virus variants are being detected in Wisconsin, as case counts increase in neighboring states. She notes that case numbers have decreased from the “uber high” level of about 6,000 a day, down to about 450 daily cases. Willems Van Dijk says Wisconsinites needs to keep masking up and avoiding large gatherings for at least a couple more months while more people get vaccinated. -WRN

(Wisconsin) The number of people in Wisconsin hospitals with COVID-19 is quite low. You’d have to go back almost the start of the pandemic to find the last time Wisconsin’s coronavirus hospitalization numbers were this low. The Department of Health Services says 248 people were in the hospital with the virus on Wednesday. 62 of them are in intensive care. State health officials say Wisconsin’s seven-day positivity rate is just over two-and-a-half percent. That’s also as low as this time last year. -WRN

(Beaver Dam) Wisconsin health officials recorded two COVID deaths Thursday bringing that total to 6,599. Dodge County has 158 deaths.

(Beaver Dam) After a dip two weeks ago in the weekly rate of positive COVID tests, Dodge County saw a moderate jump last week. According to Dodge County Health’s weekly update, the rate of positive tests between March 15th and the 21st was just under 15-percent. The previous week it was at nine-percent, which was the first time that figure was below ten-percent since August.

(Beaver Dam) A Watertown teen is charged with using peppery spray while robbing a Beaver Dam businesses. Avery Bence allegedly used pepper spray on the store clerk and took several pack of cigarettes in November. The 17-year-old reportedly admitted to his actions. An initial appearance is scheduled in April.

(Madison) There’s a proposal to give every adult in Wisconsin a-thousand dollars. The Institute for Reforming Government is suggesting Governor Evers use Wisconsin’s five-billion dollars in federal stimulus money to cut checks directly to taxpayers. The Institute’s C-J Szafir [safe] says people know how to spend their money better than the government. Szafir says Wisconsin’s share of the stimulus could provide everyone in the state with one-thousand dollars. It would also be enough to send everyone making less than 75-thousand dollars a check for 26-hundred dollars. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin businesses say they are experiencing a workforce shortage. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce says there are, quote, “countless openings for good, family-supporting careers” right now.  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has fallen to three-point-eight percent. Only eight states have a lower jobless rate. Wisconsin bosses tell W-M-C that finding enough workers is at the top of their current list of concerns. -WRN

(Juneau) There is another Dodge County budget listening session for State Representative Mark Born tomorrow. The Beaver Dam Republican will be at the Juneau Public Library from 9am to 10am. Those interested in attending are asked to practice CDC guidelines.