News – May 9, 2016

New Alice In Dairyland Crowned In Watertown


5/9/16 – Wisconsin’s newest Alice In Dairyland was inspired to focus on a career in agriculture as a child in 4-H. Ann O’Leary was named the state agriculture ambassador during an event in Watertown Saturday evening. After three days of product demonstrations, tours and interviews throughout Dodge County, O’Leary was selected over five other finalists to be the state’s 69th Alice In Dairyland. The 24-year-old Evansville woman told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that she grew-up showing Jersey and Holstein cattle at the county, district and state level. She says her inspiration for getting into 4-H was her father, a third-generation dairy farmer near Janesville. O’Leary says the process leading up to her being crowned has been exciting and education adding “oh my gosh have I learned a lot about Wisconsin’s Agricultural industry.” O’Leary’s job over the next year will be to educate the public about the importance of agriculture in Wisconsin. She is a 2014 biology and neuroscience graduate of Carthage College, and will officially start her new duties on June 6. As an employee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the state will pay her a salary of $40,000.


WBEV Wins Six Awards At Statewide Broadcasting Gala


5/9/16 – WBEV was recognized with six first place awards by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association during their annual gala Saturday night in Madison. The John and Bill Morning show took home the top trophy in the small market category for the first time.  Our annual Tribute to Veterans, which is done in conjunction with the Beaver Dam American Legion – garnered first place for our interview with Dodge County Veterans Service Officer Andy Miller. An interview with the gospel singers who were part of a Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre fundraiser was recognized for “Best Use of Audio in a News Story.” The singing doctors of Vita Park Eye Associates – Dr. Jay Wilkins and Dr. Thomas Castillo – won for writing and performing in their own commercial that told the story of their move to a new facility, in Christmas carol form.  WBEV was also recognized with trophies for best sports play-by-play, and best news writing.


Dodge County Sheriff Wants To Address Negative Perception Of Officers


5/9/16 – Dodge County’s top law enforcement officer wants to change the perception of police in today’s society.  In his monthly column, Sheriff Dale Schmidt says through a lack of respect and poor portrayals, officers do not get the respect they deserve.  He says the “loud minority is often heard over the silent majority.”  While there are many critics, Schmidt says he’s also encountered many people in Dodge County who thank him and his office for their service.  Schmidt says his officers base all their decisions on the law.  Holding more community outreach programs, visiting local schools, and having more positive interactions with children are ways Schmidt believes law enforcement can go back to being seen in the ‘Officer Friendly’ light.  Schmidt discusses this topic just ahead of National Police Week, which runs from May 15 through 21.  To celebrate the occasion, Dodge County will hold a ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial in front of Juneau’s County Administration Building.  That starts Wednesday at 11 am and is free and open to the public.

Former Horicon Bank Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Fraudulent Loan Charges


5/9/16 – Federal prosecutors say a former Horicon Bank loan officer made more than one million dollars in loans to a De Pere businessman and his wife fraudulently.  Loan Officer Paul Piikkila of the bank’s Appleton branch, and Ron and Kelly Van Den Heuvel, have all pled not guilty to federal bank fraud charges.  The indictment accuses them of using other people to apply for loans, with the money going to the Van Den Heuvels.  The loans were never repaid and the bank lost almost one million dollars.  The trial is scheduled to start in July, but defense attorneys say they may need more time.

Canal To Be Dredged Ahead Of Columbia County Building Project


5/9/16 – Construction of a new Columbia County administration building means dredge work on the Portage Canal has to get underway soon.  May 23rd is the tentative start date for work to remove more than a century’s worth of contaminated sediment in the canal.  It would be much harder to do that work after the new building is built.  The dredging work could take up to three weeks.  The canal water is about two feet deep now, but it will be an estimated six feet deep when the sediment is removed.  The Department of Natural Resources is covering most of the cost.

Ryan, Trump War Of Words Continues


5/9/16 – House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville took a beating on the national Sunday T-V news shows over his hesitation to support Donald Trump. The Republican presidential finalist tells N-B-C’s “Meet the Press” he was “blindsided” by Ryan’s comment from last week that he was not ready to support Trump as the G-O-P nominee. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin told C-N-N’s “State of the Union” show she’ll work to defeat Ryan in his House re-election bid this fall, saying his comments were disrespectful — and she talked up Ryan’s primary opponent in August, businessman Paul Nehlen. Trump said he got a “very encouraging” call from Ryan a few weeks ago, so he was surprised at what the speaker said last week — and Palin, the 2008 G-O-P vice presidential nominee, says Ryan is apparently trying to get Trump out of the way he can have a better shot at the presidency in 2020. Ryan is scheduled to meet with Trump this week, and the speaker and he did not address the new criticisms on his Twitter page.

Survey: Wisconsin Among Nation’s Top Medical Costs


5/9/16 – Wisconsin has the nation’s second highest medical costs, cheaper than only Alaska. That’s according to a new study based on insurance claims paid for common services in 41 states and Washington D-C. The nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute performed the study — and it found that prices for 235 services that are bundled for insurance purposes cost 81% more than in the Badger State than the national average. Those services range from routine tests to back operations. Insurers caution that the data does not include much of the western part of state, and almost nothing in the Madison area — and the Wisconsin Hospital Association says it does not include claims from plans owned by health care systems.

Local Historian Talking Beaver Dam History As Part Of 175th Anniversary


5/9/16 – Beaver Dam residents have a chance to learn about various aspects of their city’s history.  As part of Beaver Dam’s 175th Anniversary celebration, Local Historian Roger Noll is giving a series of presentations.  Tomorrow, Noll will be at the Watermark to discuss the history of Swan City Park.  One week later, he will present at the library on the history of Beaver Dam’s business and commerce.  During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Noll said his June 14 presentation at the Watermark will look at the history of the city’s downtown area.  It will primarily focus on the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Noll says the topic of his June 21 library discussion is the All-City Circus, which ran from the 1940’s-1970’s.  He says the circus included one ring of performers and a downtown parade.  The presentations start at 6 pm and are free to the public.

Detour At Busy Beaver Dam Intersection


5/9/16 – There is a traffic detour at one of Beaver Dam’s busiest intersections this week.  Public Works crews are replacing sections of concrete near the intersection of Park and University avenues.  It begins this morning and is expected to run through Friday, weather permitting.  Westbound traffic should take Park to Franklin to Prospect to North University back to Park.  Eastbound traffic is not affected.