News – May 14, 2016

Fire Destroys Beaver Dam Home


5/14/16 – Fire completely destroyed a two-story, two family home in Beaver Dam Saturday. Crews were called to 709 Beaver Street at 2:29am. Chief Alan Mannel says when units arrived on scene, there was a large volume of fire on the back of the structure. All occupants from both levels were able to make it out safely. No firefighters were injured. The cause of the fire is under routine investigation by the Beaver Dam Police Department and the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department. The structure and contents was a total loss. Two vehicles parked nearby sustained minor heat   However, firefighters were able to prevent the fire from extending to adjacent homes.  The structure is owned by Jay A. Vockroth. The apartment occupants upstairs are Joseph and Sasha Tucker. The first floor occupants are Veronica Rodriguez, Brittnay Alford, Brianna Alford, Kaidyn Alford, Malykie Kircher, and Jaelah Mae Riel. All escaped the building uninjured. Beaver Dam was assisted on the scene by the Fox Lake and Juneau Fire Departments. Watertown Fire EMS and Hustisford Fire Department changed quarters and covered the city for Beaver Dam.


Waupun Referendum Survey Due Back Monday


5/14/16 – Waupun school officials are reminding district residents that Monday is the deadline to complete a survey about facilities needs and a possible fall referendum. Mailers went out last month directing residents to a website where the survey can be found. Each mailing contains an individual code that needs to be entered to access the survey. The feedback will be used by the Facilities Advisory Committee in making a recommendation to the school board, who will make the final decision on wording for a potential referendum in November. Results of the survey will be presented to the committee, school board and the community on Monday, May 23 during a 6pm meeting at the Rock River Intermediate Auditorium. The district is considering a $35.8-million dollar referendum to cover maintenance needs, security upgrades, and classroom renovations.  Waupun Schools Superintendent Tonya Gubin says the classroom renovation would allow for a better student learning environment. Basic maintenance includes boiler and window updates, plumbing work, and partial roof replacements.  Safety upgrades would involve moving the office area to the outside of each building so staff can more closely monitor the entrances. An additional $7-million dollar question would fund a high school auditorium.  The district has $36-million dollars from a previous referendum coming off the books in 2018.  The website with the survey is All responses are kept confidential and returned directly to School Perceptions, an independent Wisconsin-based firm that specializes in conducting community education surveys.


Columbus Board Member Publishes Second Book


5/14/16 – Newly elected Columbus School Board member, Julia Hoffman, is nearing completion on publishing her second book. Hofmann was elected to the Columbus District School Board in the April election. Her first book — “Enemy Within” — was published in August of 2015. The e-book / paperback was written by Hoffman after she retired. The title is very similar to a movie and popular computer game. The story line in Hoffman’s book is about a woman detective in a tranquil Dane County rural community. Hoffman has been writing for most of her life. Hoffman is working toward having her second book published before the end of May.


Dodge County Fairest Of The Fair Application Window Opens


5/14/16 – Applications are now being accepted for the “2016 Dodge County Fairest of the Fair” contest. Program Coordinator Whitney Rathke says the Fair Association is looking for girls age 18 as of January 2017. Rathke says the winner will represent the Fair Association in media and promotional events at the 129th Dodge County Fair and other summer events.  The winner would also serve as the 2016 Fair Hostess and plan the 2017 competition. In addition, the Fairest will have the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs contest at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Annual Convention. Rathke says the benefits of being Fairest include scholarship money, gifts and interview experience while building self-confidence and having a great time.  For more information contact Whitney Rathke, Dodge County Fairest of the Fair Program Coordinator at [email protected]. The application can also be found online at (Click Youth Development, Dodge County Junior Fair and Fairest of the Fair Application under County Fair Contest Applications) or  All applications must be received at the Dodge County Fair Office or emailed to [email protected] by Friday, June 10 for consideration.


Community Garden Space Offered In Beaver Dam


5/14/16 – Space is being offered for anyone who does not have enough room on their property to garden this season.  The Beaver Dam Area Community Garden is located at the corner of Judson Drive and Jefferson Street.  On WBEV’s Community Comment this week, Gardener Tekla Wlodarczyk-Nunez says people can choose from ground level 10’ x 20’ gardens for $15 or 20’ x 20’ plots for $25 along with raised bed gardens for $25.  Wlodarczyk-Nunez says the land has already been tilled for the spring, and gardeners will be able to begin planting once they pay the leasing cost.  She says the garden began in 2010 as a project from that year’s Leadership Beaver Dam class.  To rent a plot, contact Dave Rogers at 920-877-2440.


Today Is Fall River’s Annual ‘Clean-Up Day’


5/14/16 – Today is “clean-up day” in Fall River. Village residents have a chance to dispose of many large home and garage items that are not normally accepted for regular curbside garbage pickup. Residents can bring their disposable furniture, computer gear, bulbs, TVs and appliances to the parking area behind the Fall River Municipal Building. The village clean-up site is open from 9am until noon. Only certain items will be accepted for an established cash disposal charge. Helpers will be on hand to unload cars. Some of the items that will not be accepted are explosives and demolition material, medical waste, hazardous waste, tires, solvents, pesticides, paints and thinners.


DCSO Receives AED Purchase Donation


5/14/16 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is closer to buying new defibrillators.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt announced this week that his office received a $5,000 donation for Countryside Auto Group of Beaver Dam.  That money is expected to cover four new automated external defibrillators.  To date, Schmidt says $10,000 has been raised.  Donations can be made by contacting the sheriff’s office.


MPTC Names Commencement Keynote Speaker


5/14/16 – Moraine Park Technical College has announced Gina Popp, President and CEO of, as the 2016 Commencement keynote speaker. The College’s Commencement Ceremony will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Fond du Lac High School field house. Nearly 800 graduate candidates will be receiving associate of applied science degrees and technical diplomas, with approximately 350 graduate candidates expected to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president, will preside over the ceremony.


GOP State Party Convention Wraps Up Today


5/14/16 – Wisconsin Republicans are in Green Bay for their annual state party convention that wraps-up tonight (Saturday). And while the party’s rank and file is split about accepting Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, delegates are expected to be reminded about the unity that exists at the state level. Marquette Law School pollster Charles Franklin says the G-O-P still has a lot for delegates to rally around — including U-S Senator Ron Johnson, who’s in a tough re-election bid against former Senate Democrat Russ Feingold, and efforts to keep majorities in both houses of the Legislature. Governor Scott Walker, state G-O-P officers, and state and federal lawmakers will speak today.


Head Of New Elections Commission Named


5/14/16 – An administrator has been named to head Wisconsin’s new Elections Commission. The Government Accountability Board (G-A-B) announced the hiring of Michael Haas of Marshall yesterday (Friday).  Haas now runs the elections’ division of the G-A-B. The non-partisan body will disband in late June and be replaced by separate elections and ethics panels with political appointees. The state Senate must confirm the Haas’ appointment before it becomes official. Haas is scheduled to begin June 30th, when the new agency goes into existence.