News – March 5, 2016

Sheriff Says Dodge County Water Rescue Similar To Neighbor


3/5/16 – Sheriff Dale Schmidt says other nearby counties handle water rescue in a similar way to Dodge County.  Schmidt, who addresses the matter in his monthly column for March, says Green Lake County calls on the Village of Princeton Fire Department’s dive team for water rescue missions and asks neighboring sheriff’s offices to aid in recovery searches.  Schmidt has been closely monitoring rescue and recovery conversations since they heated up in Dodge County last fall.  The Beaver Dam Fire Department asked the five townships that contract services with the city to pay $53,000, 20% of the total cost, for new water rescue equipment including a boat and hovercraft.  That request was met with resistance by the townships, who believe the county should pick up the tab or create its own water rescue team.  Schmidt argues that would be a waste of taxpayer dollars since a county team would duplicate services already offered in a more timely fashion by Beaver Dam.  He says thirteen fire departments in Dodge County have water rescue capabilities.  In addition to utilizing Beaver Dam’s rescue team, Schmidt says he has called on neighboring counties in the past.  Within the last couple years, Schmidt says the Fond du Lac County dive team helped pull a vehicle from a Dodge County river, free of cost.  The only rescue item that made it into Beaver Dam’s 2016 borrowing plan is a $75,000 hovercraft.  The city council is expected to vote on it this month.


Wisconsin Traffic Deaths Up From Last Year


3/5/16 – Wisconsin traffic deaths are up 32% so far this year, compared to this time in 2015. Preliminary state figures show that 79 people died in state crashes in January and February, 19 more than the same period the previous year — and 11 those deaths took place the weekend of February 19th, including three in a single crash in Columbia County. 47 traffic deaths were reported statewide last month, 22 more than the previous year. Zero people have died on Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, or Jefferson County roads in 2016.  There have been five deaths in Columbia County and two in Washington County.


Columbia County Honored For Data Production


3/5/16 – The City of Columbus received an award for its data production.  The Department of Natural Resources named Columbus the 2016 Registered Laboratory of the Year.  That annual honor recognizes laboratories for their outstanding commitment to producing high quality data.  Columbus Wastewater Treatment Plant won for monitoring the quality of treated water released into the environment to assure it met all standards to protect public health and local natural resources.  Statewide, there are 362 labs that provide the DNR with chemistry data to ensure environmental protection.


Cost Sharing Funds Available For Dodge County Farmers


3/5/16 – Dodge County farmers are encouraged to apply for cost-sharing funds that help conservation.  The county’s Land Conservation Department will award $28,000 for projects like grass waterways and water diversions that help control soil erosion and efforts like barnyard runoff control, rural well abandonment, and manure storage facility closure that control water pollution.  Another $10,000 in cost sharing will be available for nutrient management planning.  Applications submitted prior to May 1 get priority, but they can be turned in through November.  Contact the Land Conservation Department in Juneau for more information or to get an application.


Severe Weather Spotting Class Coming To Columbia County


3/5/16 – The public is invited to a presentation on how to detect severe weather conditions.  The Columbia County Emergency Management Office is teaming with the National Weather Service to offer a severe weather spotter class.  It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, March 15 at the Columbia County Law Enforcement Center at 711 East Cook Street in Portage.  The phone number to reserve seats to the free event is 608-742-4166, extension 1308 or 1309.


Beaver Dam Pancake Breakfast Back For 37th Year


3/5/16 – An annual pancake breakfast is back for its 37th year.  The Beaver Dam Kiwanis group is holding the event tomorrow at the Beaver Dam High School.  All-you-can-eat food items include pancakes, sausage, eggs, and a variety of beverages.  Event organizers say they typically go through a couple thousand pancakes and roughly sixty pounds of sausage.  On WBEV’s Community Comment this week, Event Organizer Lisa Karst says funds from the Kiwanis four annual charity events are allocated to a number of area non-profits.  Karst says the roughly $20,000 raised each year is divided up into 30-35 checks.  The pancake breakfast runs tomorrow from 8 am to 12:30 pm.  Tickets are seven dollars each at the door.


Annual Breakfast To Discuss Dodge County Tourism


3/5/16 – An event focused on promoting tourism in Dodge County returns this month.  Discover Dodge is holding its annual breakfast at the Horicon Hills Golf Course on Tuesday, March 22.  Attendees will learn about Discover Dodge’s tourism efforts for the coming year and will hear from guest speaker Lori Thiel of Open Road Harley-Davidson.  Networking starts at 7:30 am, a buffet breakfast begins at 7:45, and the annual meeting kicks off at 8.  Tickets are $15 each and can be ordered by March 15 by contacting the Dodge County Parks Department.


Justice Leaves Oral Arguments For Speech


3/5/16 – State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley walked out of case arguments being made by attorneys, so she could speak to the state’s largest business group. Reports say Bradley left a court hearing 15 minutes early on February 24th, so she could address the Wisconsin Manufacturers-and-Commerce — which has spent heavily on conservative court candidates in past years. Bradley’s campaign says she had reviewed the written briefs in the involved case — and she had no other questions of the attorneys present. Bradley is running against Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg in the April 5 general election.  Kloppenburg’s campaign manager disputes Bradley’s contention that it was routine for a justice to do what she did.


Shooting Victim Shows Up At Sun Prairie School


3/5/16 – Officials at the Sun Prairie School District says the victim of a shooting showed up at an elementary school this morning seeking help. Authorities say the 30-year-old man went to Bird Elementary at around 8:30 am after he was shot at a home nearby. Police say the man’s injuries are not life threatening. His name was not released. Paramedics went to the school to treat the victim. Police went to the home and arrested a 34-year-old woman. Officers found three children in the home unharmed.