News – May 24, 2021

(Beaver Dam) The state legislatures budget writing committee is starting fresh with a new document after discarding the budget assembled by the Democratic governor, but some areas of agreement may be salvaged. Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Mark Born told us Friday on Community Comment that items like tourism, and election security have been added back in and there is also agreement on broadband access. The Beaver Dam Republican says there were just too many policy items to realistically work with.  Born notes that the state is on sound financial footing.

(Waupun) Like many communities throughout Wisconsin and much of the nation, Waupun is seeing a dramatic drop in housing availability.  At a recent City Council meeting, My Property Shop owner Jodi Mallas, expressed concerns over the housing shortage. Mallas told the council that although interest rates are low, there is just no home inventory available, showing that the city only had one single family detached home on the market alongside two semi-detached homes.  Mallas expressed concerns over having suitable places for incoming families to live as businesses within the city look to attract new members of the workforce to the area.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in April was three-point-nine-percent. That figure is a stark contrast to one year earlier when the COVID pandemic gripped the state and the unemployment rate hit levels not seen since the Great Depression. The rate for April of 2020 was 14-point-1-percent. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says the state unemployment rate remains below the national average of six-point-one percent.

(Wisconsin) The owners of tourist businesses across the state are worried that they will not have enough employees this summer because of issues with student visas. Many businesses like hotels and resorts have traditionally relied on international students who visit the US on what are called J-1 visas to fill their staff in the summer, but those applications were restricted though most of last year and into March because of COVID-19. Now, there’s reluctance on the part of many people to travel to the US for work, leaving employers in the lurch. – WRN

(Fond du Lac) Fond du Lac County authorities pursued a man running on foot for over three hours through heavily wooded terrain yesterday (Sunday). Deputies chased the male suspect after reports he was following a woman on Highway 23 near Highway 151 around 7:30am. A drone was used to located him near a church on Fourth Street Road around 10:30am. He is being held at the Fond du Lac County Jail on a domestic arrest warrant along with an additional charge of Resisting.

(DeForest) The Wisconsin State Patrol is recruiting those interested in a career in law enforcement. The Southwest Region DeForest Post which serves Dodge, Columbia, Green Lake, Dane, Iowa, Lafayette, Rock and Sauk Counties, is holding an outdoor open house on May 26th. The event will run from 1pm to 7pm at 911 West North Street in DeForest. More information is available at

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials reported no COVID deaths yesterday and that number remains unchanged at 6,989. Dodge County is reporting 165 deaths and 11,927 cases. Thirty-three-point-two-percent (33.2%) of Dodge County residents are fully vaccinated while 37.5-percent have had at least one dose.

(Dodge County) Vehicle sales in the region through April have seen a sharp increase after a drop last year due to the pandemic. According to the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm Reg Trak, there have been a total of 1,463 car and light truck sales in Dodge County in the first four months of 2021, 416 more than in 2020 or an increase of nearly 40-percent. Car sales were up 26-percent while truck sales jumped to over 41-percent.