News – May 20, 2019

(Beaver Dam) The Patriot Tour is moving into in Iowa today, two days after launching from downtown Beaver Dam Saturday morning. The Nation of Patriots coordinates the 110-day, 14,500-mile journey that sees multiple motorcycle riders carry one American flag, city-to-city, through all 48 continental states to raise money for veterans and their families. During the opening ceremony, founder Bill Sherer took a moment to thank those who have supported his mission over the past ten years. He says he is proud of the people involved and everything they accomplished over the years. To date, the Patriot Tour has collected around $900-thousand dollars and Sherer says the goal is to eclipse the $1-million-dollar mark during this year’s journey.

(Madison) Senate and Assembly Republican leaders say Governor Tony Evers is not communicating with them on his state budget plan. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called the document “wacky” and “crazy” at the Wisconsin Republican Party state convention over the weekend.  Fitzgerald says the GOP was able to negotiate with former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Vos says the governor pandered to his liberal base with a proposed budget Republicans would never approve. The two legislative leaders say they have only met with the governor twice since the beginning of the year.

(Beaver Dam) State Representative Mark Born says Republicans will unveil their plan to increase wages for those who work in the state’s prison tomorrow (Tuesday). Some Assembly Republicans are upset Governor Tony Evers gave temporary raises to workers in just six of the state’s prisons, including Waupun, Dodge and Columbia correctional. The goal is to improve long-standing staff shortages at the institutions. While the governor’s plan would see raises of up to five-dollars-an-hour, Born says that figure is not affordable. The Beaver Dam Republican told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that the goal should be creating a pay increase that is comprehensive and competitive in the labor market.

(Juneau) Officials in Juneau have a clearer timeline on their move to a new City Hall. Farmers and Merchants Bank accepted a $175-thousand dollar offer to sell their building at 405 Jewel Street to the city. The current City Hall at 150 Miller Street is in need of repairs that the mayor says is not cost-effective. The common council learned recently that the closing on the sale will be June 14. Mayor Dan Wegener says means occupancy should be sometime in September. Wegener estimates renovation costs at around $30-thousand dollars and says there will be no structural changes, only cosmetic and the addition of an ADA-compliant restroom. The F&M branch in Juneau is moving into a new 2,700-square-foot facility next to the Piggly Wiggly.

(Fond du Lac) Buckle up or pay the price as law enforcement agencies across the state launch the “Click It or Ticket” campaign today. The campaign runs through Sunday, June 2nd. Over the past 10 years, since the enactment of the primary seat belt law, the seat belt use rate in the state has gone from 74 to 89 percent. Yet failing to fasten a seat belt is among the most common traffic violations with nearly 51,000 convictions last year.

(Green Lake) More than 15,000 crimes have been cleared and nearly 14,000 arrests made since the inception of the National Crime Stoppers program in 1976. Also during that time over $1.9 million has been paid out for tips. Green Lake County joined the program in 1993. Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark Putzke says most people aren’t giving them tips to collect a reward. He says about 70 percent of rewards go uncollected. The program is funded by donations and fundraisers such as a brat fry that was held in Berlin over the weekend.