News May 14, 2009

Buildings and Trees Down After Wednesday Night Storms

5/14/09 – Severe weather last night caused damage in northeastern Dodge County. Strong winds were reported to have knocked down buildings, sheds, and trees near Highway V and Farmersville Road in the Town of Leroy. Damage consisted of two pole barns being destroyed which contained approx. 100 head of cattle. Other damage consisted of several sheds and fences destroyed. Many trees were uprooted. It appears that houses in the area received minimal damage. No one was injured in the storm though several head of cattle were killed when the pole barns collapsed. The damage appears to be isolated to the Farmersville area though wind wasn’t the only problem and torrential rains pounded us as well. According to the National Weather Service, Beaver Dam got 1.7-inches and there was minor flooding on many streets, with some places seeing standing water between 4 and 6 inches. Some of the flooding caused manholes to be removed in places.

Man Injured in Late April Accident Dies

5/14/09 – A 51-year-old Madison man injured in a two vehicle accident April 30th has died. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department says Kevin Wilder passed away May 6th from injuries sustained in the accident. The wreck occurred just after 2pm on Highway 16/60 at its intersection with Highway J. Authorities says a westbound SUV driven by 57-year-old Carol Kath of Pardeeville was making a left turn onto Highway J when an eastbound pick-up truck, driven by Wilder, collided with their vehicle. Kath, her 11-year-old passenger Nicole Manske of Pardeeville and Wilder were taken to the Beaver Dam hospital before the two adults were flown to UW-Hospital in Madison. A second passenger in Kath’s vehicle, 9-year-old Holly Schultis of Pardeeville, was flown from the scene to the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. The crash remains under investigation.

Clean Up Could Start Soon in Columbus

5/14/09 – The on-scene investigation has been completed at Columbus Chemical Industries and now the cleanup process can begin. Authorities still don’t have a cause of the fire, which accompanied three large explosions Monday night. Officials say they’ll be meeting with the owners of the property and signing the scene back over to them so that the private contractors they’ve hired can begin the cleanup process. As of 6pm last night, the fire at the building continued to smolder, and because of strong winds, Emergency Management officials asked three businesses and six homes be voluntarily evacuated. Despite that, air monitoring tests still don’t show any hazardous materials.

GB “Tailgate Tour” Tonight

5/14/09 – The Green Bay Packers “Tailgate Tour” rolls into Beaver Dam tonight. Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins, linebacker Brady Poppinga and wide receiver Jordy Nelson will join President and CEO Mark Murphy at the Beaver Dam High School tonight. The event will include a questions and answer portion with the players, an autograph session, and authentic Lambeau Field tailgating food. Gates at the football field will open at 5pm with the actual tailgate running 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Rechecks Food Pride or the Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly. All proceeds will go to the Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation.

Smoking Ban Passes Legislature

5/14/09 – Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature approved a public indoor smoking ban yesterday, and Governor Jim Doyle promises to sign it. He wanted it to start sooner than the agreed-upon date of July fifth of 2010. But Doyle said he’s proud that Wisconsin is quote, “embracing the healthy direction the world is going.” He said the ban would save lives and health costs, and improve public health throughout the state. The Senate okayed the ban 25-to-8. The only Democrat to vote no, Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, said it would unfairly interfere with small

business decisions. The Assembly vote was 61-to-38, with all but six no votes coming from Republicans. Abbotsford Republican Scott Suder said bars in northern Wisconsin would go out of business. But Madison Democrat Spencer Black said closings have not happened in his city, or in the 36 others which have passed local smoking bans. Those bans would be snuffed out once the statewide ban takes effect.

Lawmakers tried-but-failed to pass dozens of exceptions to the smoking ban. One to let hotels designate rooms for smokers had passed in the Senate, until one of the yes voters changed his mind. The ban’s supporters said any changes might have derailed the entire bill. It failed to pass for years until a compromise was finally struck last week between health groups, the Tavern League, and others. The delay in starting the ban will give bars time to adjust their businesses, and create outdoor smoking areas. Cigar bars and Indian casinos will be exempt. Fines for violators will be 100-to-250-dollars after first-time warnings are issued.

Gokey Knocked Out of American Idol

5/14/09 – Wisconsin’s first “American Idol” finalist will finish third. Danny Gokey of Milwaukee received the lowest number of viewer votes this week, and was sent home at the end of last night’s one-hour results show on Fox. That leaves Adam Lambert of San Diego and Kris Allen of Conway Arkansas to compete for the Idol crown in next week’s two-part finale. All three sang a pair of songs this week. Gokey closed with the Joe Cocker ballad “You Are So Beautiful,” which judge Simon Cowell called “brilliant.” By making the final three, Gokey was treated to a day of praise and celebrity-style appearances in his hometown. Over 25-thousand people saw him sing at a free concert last Friday at Milwaukee’s Summerfest grounds. The 29-year-old Gokey touched viewers right from get-go this season with his talent – his religious background with Milwaukee’s Faith Builders International – and the fact that his wife Sophia died just weeks before he auditioned. She encouraged him to try out. Gokey told reporters in Milwaukee last week he’d be fine if he got voted off. He said the show has opened up great doors for him, and he’s thankful he got so far.

More People Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

5/14/09 – An estimated three-thousand Wisconsinites a year will become eligible for unemployment benefits under changes approved by the Legislature yesterday. The Senate voted 25-to-8, and the Assembly voted 87-to-11, to expand the eligibility for benefits – so the state can receive 89-million dollars in federal stimulus funds. Those who quit their jobs to relocate with a spouse would become eligible for unemployment pay – along with those caring for sick relatives and those who fear domestic abuse. Also, workers in certain training programs could get an extra seven weeks of jobless pay, for a total of 79. Some Republicans said the measure would force businesses to pay higher unemployment taxes once the stimulus money goes away. But Democratic finance chairman Mark Pocan says it’s more important to get the aid to those who need it – and lawmakers can deal with any long-term impact later. Governor Jim Doyle promises to sign the measure. He says it will quote, “provide a little extra help for the unemployed in these tough times.”

Class Project Leads to Arrest

5/14/09 – A classroom exercise in Green Bay turned into a real-life arrest. A female student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College created an on-line profile of a 14-year-old girl for a criminal justice lesson on computer crimes. And police said a 66-year-old Mukwonago man contacted her almost right away. Investigators said their Internet chat turned to sex. And when he said he wanted to meet her, police were on hand to arrest him when he knocked on her door. Prosecutors are still waiting for all the evidence. They’re considering charges of using a computer for a sex crime, and attempted child sexual assault. A bond hearing was held for the suspect yesterday. He was freed on a five-thousand-dollar bond.

Powerball Up to $150M

5/14/09 – Nobody won the Powerball jackpot last night, so it goes up to 150-million dollars for the next drawing on Saturday. Wisconsin players did not have much luck, as the most anybody won was 300-dollars. Four players got that by matching four regular numbers with the Power Play option. And seven others had three plus the Powerball with the Power Play. Just over 28-thousand others in Wisconsin won 100-dollars or less last night. The numbers were 19, 30, 32, 37, and 40. The Powerball was 37, and the Power Play multiplier was three. The current jackpot has been building since April eighth. It’s the third time this year it has hit 150-million. Saturday’s cash option will be just over 76-million dollars for a single winner who takes the whole prize now instead of in 30 annual installments.