News May 29, 2009

Accident Claims Life of Dodge County Man

5/29/09 – Dodge County suffered its 5th fatal motor vehicle accident this morning. Sheriff Todd Nehls says a middle-aged Dodge County man was killed after he rolled his pickup truck on Highway 151 just north of Columbus and the truck was then hit by a semi-trailer. Nehls says they are unsure whether the rollover accident caused the death or the impact from being hit by the semi. The accident occurred about a mile south of Highway S which forced authorities to close both southbound lanes and one northbound lane around Columbus for about three hours though all lanes were back open as of 7 a.m.

First Façade Falls on Front

5/29/09 – An update on Beaver Dam’s downtown demolition: the first façade fell on Front Street yesterday. Contractor Brandenburg Industries gutted the top floor of 143 Front Street after spending a day and a half knocking down the back portion. Demolition efforts continue today on those four buildings located on the 100 block of Front. After that crews will move down the street to the 200 block of Front Street. The dam is all but closed and the river has been reduced to a trickle to allow for the demolition work to take place.

MVP’s on Community Comment

5/29/09 – The general manager of MVP’s was our guest on WBEV’s Community Comment yesterday. The establishment will find out Monday night if the Beaver Dam Common Council will revoke their liquor license. Chief Dale Boldt says there has been too many violent fights and to many calls for service at the downtown bar. James LeBeau admits there have been problems but he says he is not being treated fairly by the city and has not been given options for compromise like with other business. He says he wasn’t even given equal time to present his case during this months committee-level license revocation hearing. The city had approximately 80 minutes to state their case and LeBeau had just over 45 minutes because a city council meeting was scheduled.

LeBeau says he has made changes in his business to address safety concerns, including the installation of video cameras, the implementation of a dress code and cover charge and additional bouncers. He says he also wanted to hire local, off-duty police officers but the request was denied by both the police chief and sheriff. The vote on the liquor license revocation will be held during Monday night’s Common Council meeting, which begins at 8pm in City Hall.

There were 18 callers to yesterday’s program and of those callers 12 indicated that license revocation was extreme. There were six callers who were critical of MVP’s though not all those callers said their license should be revoked. Several callers said LeBeau was “not getting a fair shake” with one saying “just because he’s an out-of-towner it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be treated fairly in this community.” Several other callers said it’s not fair to the taxpayers to have the police force tied up at one establishment.

Neuert Says MVP’s Is A Public Safety Issue

5/29/09 – The liquor license revocation for MVP’s was approved in committee by a 5 to nothing vote earlier this month. Administrative Committee chair Don Neuert tells us that he believes the city should take a proactive approach with this issue because it is a public safety matter. Neuert says that having a liquor license is a privilege and it is the responsibility of municipal government to decide ‘what is appropriate behavior’ and who should have a license. He also says it is important for city leaders to measure the frequency of police calls and offenses at this establishment against other license holders in the city. As far as his vote on Monday is concerned, Neuert says to not do something would be inappropriate and unless MVP’s is held accountable in some way he would not be serving his constituents.

Gas Up 50 Cents in One Month

5/29/09 – Gas in Beaver Dam is now 50 cents higher than it was at the beginning of the month. The price of regular unleaded at most stations in the city jumped a nickel yesterday to $2.59. That’s two cents higher than the statewide average and 14 cents higher than the national average of $2.45. The low price in the state is $2.47 in Reedsburg; the high price is in Sisters Bay where gas costs $2.74. Last month at this time, the statewide average was $2.07; last year it was at $4 even.

Kennedy Looks Back on First Year in Office

5/29/09 – On Community Comment this afternoon we’ll talk to Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy about his first year in office. From floods to films and demolition to revitalization we’ll ask to the first term mayor his thoughts on where we’ve been, where we’re at and where we’re going. Community Comment airs weekdays on WBEV 1430AM beginning at 12:35pm.

Home Mortgage Foreclosures Up/ Actively Delinquent Mortgages Down

5/29/09 – Home mortgage foreclosures are still going up in Wisconsin – but there are fewer active mortgages which are delinquent. That’s according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. It said five-and-three-quarter percent of mortgage loans were delinquent in the Badger State as of March 31st, down from six-point-four percent in the final quarter of last year. Still, the percentage of mortgages in foreclosure rose from two-point-eight percent to three-point-one. The group says it’s not that unusual for the delinquency rate to drop in the first quarter of a year. The report also said Wisconsin has lower rates than both the Midwest and the nation for delinquencies and foreclosures. Nationally, the mortgage bankers reported a one-point-three-seven percent increase in the foreclosure rate in the last quarter – a record. The group’s chief economist, Jay Brinkmann, calls it sobering but not unexpected.