Mayoral Plaque Sparks Heated Debate
5/3/11 – Tensions ran high at last night’s Operations Committee meeting over plans to posthumously honor a Beaver Dam mayor. Current Mayor Tom Kennedy announced plans for a memorial ceremony and plaque to honor Robert Kachelski shortly after the two-term mayor passed away last fall. The matter was discussed last night under an agenda item to accept a $10,000 donation from Wal-Mart to provide landscaping on the southeast corner of Front and Center Streets, where Doc’s Corner tavern stood before being demolished in the wake of the 2008 floods. Alderman Robert Ballweg butted heads with Kennedy for procedurally obtaining the plaque without any committee approval and for singling out only one mayor. Ballweg suggests a memorial for all past mayors with room for additional names to be added. Kennedy says the memorial is meant to honor a man who was a committed public servant and pointed out that there is only one president on the penny. The plaque itself would be mounted to a rock obtained from Kachelski’s farm. As the conversation turned heated last night both Kennedy and Ballweg had their own suggestions as to where the other could stick the rock. The resolution to accept the Wal-Mart donation passed without the memorial plaque issue being settled. It will be brought up again under a separate agenda item at next week’s Operations Committee meeting.
New Alderman Seated in Beaver Dam
5/3/11 – Residents in Beaver Dam’s Fourth Ward have a new alderman. Matt O’Brion was sworn in last night. He was one of two residents who submitted declaration of candidacy papers. Beaver Dam’s thirteen alderpersons favored O’Brion over the other candidate, 9 votes to four. The seat was open because of the death of Alderman Howard Abel who passed away in March. The term expires next April at which time O’Brion would have to run for election to retain the seat.
Dilapidated House Not Down Yet
5/3/11 – The Beaver Dam Common Council last night awarded a contact to Guelig Waste Removal and Demolition of Eden to raze a house ravaged by fire in November of 2009 at a cost of $12,000. The owner of the rental property at 400 North Center, however, is now challenging the raze order issued by a judge in March. After haggling with an insurance company for over a year, the owners apparently discovered the house was covered by a different insurance company, which promptly paid the claim. The home had since gone into foreclosure. Now, the property owners are seeking to get out of foreclosure and use the remaining money to refurbish the existing structure. The city attorney and property owner have a telephone conference scheduled for Thursday with Circuit Court Judge Steven Bauer. At that time, the court will decide if the city will be going forward with the demolition as ordered earlier this year, or if the raze order will be reversed.
Theresa Man Gets Probation for Farm Damage
5/3/11 – A Theresa man has been placed on probation for causing thousands of dollars in damage to a farm where he worked. Jerred Gerlach pleaded “no contest” to reduced misdemeanor charges of Criminal Damage To Property and Operating a Vehicle Without Consent of Owner. The 18-year-old Gerlach and another man were drunk last July when they went to the Town of Theresa farm after hours. The two stole a pick-up and did “donuts” on the site where a building was being constructed. They also used a piece of farm machinery, a New Holland Hi Hoe, and left tire marks and holes on a graded pad where concrete was about to be laid. Buttons and levers on the hoe were also damaged. A beer can found at the scene was tied to a 30-pack found in Gerlach’s vehicle. Co-conspirator Matthew Eilbes was placed on probation last fall. The two were ordered to pay $6000 in joint restitution. Gerlach could spend nine months in jail if he fails to pay the victim.
Beaver Dam Woman Charged With Child Abuse
5/3/11 – A Beaver Dam woman is charged with felony child abuse. 40-year-old Michelle Clark is accused of punching and kicking a young child. A teacher notified authorities last December after the kid came to school with a bloody lip and with a scratched and red face. The child told investigators that Clark hits her a lot after she drinks, has punched her in the head, stomach and privates and says she once blacked-out after being struck in the head with a dumbbell. Clark denied the allegations and said the child had been acting up lately. She could spend up to six years in prison if convicted. A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 18.