News – March 30, 2020

(Dodge County) Dodge County has seven positive cases of COVID-19 as of 2pm Sunday, according to Dodge County Public Health officials, after reporting five cases on Friday. Statewide there have been 1112 positive cases with 13 deaths as of Sunday afternoon according to the Wisconsin Department of Health’s daily update. To date, 16,550 statewide have tested negative. Columbia County has increased from seven cases on Saturday to nine cases on Sunday. Jefferson County increased by two over the weekend to eight cases. Washington County is at 31 and Fond du Lac County is at 20.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff says his office remains here to serve and protect during the coronavirus pandemic. In his most recent monthly column, Dale Schmidt says while they have made some changes in how they do business to ensure their staff can be safe and healthy, they will not neglect their responsibilities to the community. Schmidt says he has also been keeping an eye on conversations, social media posts and reactions to media reports and various governmental orders and has seen increased frustration with the drastic changes we have all been forced to make because of this virus. He says as this continues, everyone must be mindful of how important it is to remain calm, positive and manage it all one day at a time. The sheriff department is encouraging citizens to take proper precautions in keeping people healthy and safe. Outside of washing hands and social distancing, they recommend locking homes, businesses, cars and garages. Immediately reporting suspicious activity as well as look out for neighbors and assist them as needed. Schmidt also recommends going for a walk, calling a friend or family member to chat or just getting some fresh air to help cope with any added stress this situation causes. He adds that by working together, we will all get through this and be a stronger community as a result and Dodge County will continue to be an excellent place to live, work and visit.

(Green Lake County) Law enforcement in Green Lake County are telling the public to be wary of criminals taking advantage of people during the coronavirus outbreak. Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Sheriff Matthew Vande Kolk says there have been numerous reports of a variety of scams related to the pandemic. There have also been reports of thefts from vehicles and reports of suspicious activity believed to be potential burglaries, thwarted by alert citizens. Vande Kolk encourages the public to keep these thieves at bay by locking up homes and vehicles and hanging up on every scam call. He says you should take any valuables out of vehicles and secure anything you normally keep outside because thieves are not abiding by the governor’s Safer At Home order.  Also recommended: reporting any suspicious activity, being a good witness by using your phone to take pictures or video, calling 911 for emergencies, and using the non-emergency number [920-294-4000] for any non-emergencies. The chief deputy emphasizes that if solicited, you should also not buy gift cards, or wire money, or give out any personal information or buy coronavirus test kits.

Wisconsin congressman Mike Gallagher says the two trillion dollar emergency spending bill President Trump signed on Friday, is “an imperfect solution.” The Eighth District Republican tells WHBY that the 12-hundred dollar payments based on 2018 tax filing will go to millions — even those of us still lucky enough to have jobs. The aid packages does create programs to disburse close to a trillion dollars in loans and guarantees to large and small companies.

(Madison) Families are stuck indoors because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but there’s still some good chances to eat well. Professor Beth Olsen from UW-Madison says even if you are looking to eat healthy, now is not the time to radically change your diet. The outbreak is stressful enough. She says one of the best things you can do is to Google what ingredients you do have on hand and learn how to make a new meal.

(Columbus) Columbus District Superintendent Annette Deuman says their school funding referendum is a community-led solution that stemmed from a community-led process. If approved next month, the $30-million dollar referendum would address elementary capacity, high school upgrades, aging infrastructure and the acquisition of land for future development. The mill rate would increase by $1.62 meaning a homeowner with a property value of $100-thousand-dollars would pay $162 more per year.

(Dodge County) Vehicle sales in the region have seen a sharp decline in January and February, compared to the first two months of last year. According to the Waterloo-based industry-tracking firm Reg-Trak, Dodge County saw 524 vehicle sales in the first two months of the year, which is a 19-percent decrease from the 648 sold last year. Truck sales dropped 17-percent with 473 sold, which is 97 less than last year. Car sales saw a steeper decline at 34-percent with 51 sold. In the nine-county south-central Wisconsin region as a whole, vehicle sales were 12-percent lower with roughly 6500 sales in the first two months of the year compared to 7400 last year.

(Marshfield) Wisconsin businesses are stepping up and innovating, to supply protective gear for their local providers. In Marshfield, Dental Crafters co-owner Robert Slominski says they’re making 3-D printed protective face shields for Marshfield Clinic Health Systems and local emergency workers. The shields keep fluids from coming at the face, and also cover up N95 masks, to help preserve those valuable supplies. All Metal Stamping of Abbotsford is developing a plastic injection mold, and will be able to mass produce the masks a lot faster than 3-D printers can. That production line should be up-and-running within a week or so.

(Wyocena) Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brandner says two weekend incidents serve as a reminder that everyone should voluntarily comply with the “Safer at Home” public health order. A Wyocena man was injured in a motorcycle accident Friday afternoon. A witness observed the 24-year-old passing in a no passing zone and driving at an unreasonable speed east bound on County G. A short time later, Trever James Shafer, who was now driving westbound – lost control and crashed, striking a tree and utility pole. Shafer was transported by helicopter and cited for Operating While Intoxicated. On Saturday, a 16-year-old was arrested after leading authorities on a high speed chase that started in Columbia County and ended in Dane County. It started when a deputy attempted to stop a vehicle for traveling at 120-miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-our zone on State Highway 60 in the Town of Leeds. The suspect ignored emergency lights and siren and fled at speeds in excess of 100-miles-per-hour through the villages of Wyocena and Pardeeville. A Dane County Sheriff’s deputy successfully deployed a tire deflation device on Highway 51, and the car stopping just over the Dane county line. The 16-year-old was the sole occupant and was taken into custody and transported to a secure juvenile detention facility. The driver was cited for Fleeing, Recklessly Endangering Safety, Operating While Impaired and Possession of Hallucinogenic Drugs, among other charges. In both incidents, the suspects were also charged with Violation of a Public Health Order.