News – November 21, 2016

Hunters Harvest Ten-Percent Less Deer


11/21/16 – Wisconsin deer hunters shot almost ten-percent fewer animals than last year on the first day of the nine-day gun season. According to preliminary D-N-R totals, 68-thousand-756 deer were taken on Saturday — down from 76-thousand-223 on the opening day of 2015. Hunting conditions and local harvest totals improved Sunday because strong winds from Saturday died down. Still, there appeared to be fewer hunters in the woods, as the D-N-R sold almost 551-thousand gun licenses by late Friday — 17-thousand fewer than at the same time one year ago. The opening day buck harvest was down by about 22-hundred from 2015, and the antlerless harvest fell by 53-hundred — even though more areas of northern Wisconsin were open to doe hunting this year with only ten counties closed instead of 19 from last year.


Life Academy Program Growing


11/21/16 – A program that helps those with disabilities transition from high school to self-sufficient independence is growing. Life Academy is a joint venture between the Beaver Dam Unified School District and Green Valley Enterprises. A half-dozen or so students between the ages of 18 and 21 learn life skills – like cooking, laundry and finances – while also learning how to find a job. Life Academy has been run out of an actual house on Prospect Avenue for the past several years but soon will be moving to a newer, larger home.  Rebecca Glewen, with Green Valley Enterprises, says the new house will be at Burnett Street and University Avenue. Julie Roberts with the AT&T Foundation presented Life Academy with a $2500 donation on Friday. Glewen says the donation from AT&T will also be used to fund a curriculum as the growing program continues to match students with jobs. For over 40 years, Green Valley Enterprises has been helping area individuals with special needs, and their families, achieve their potential and independence through an array of services, including employment programs.


Waupun Historical Society Mulling Future Of Museum


11/21/16 – The Waupun Historical Society is mulling the future of its McKinley Street museum. The non-profits Jay Graf addressed the matter with city officials at this month’s common council meeting.  Graf says the future of the museum is one of the board of director’s highest priorities. He says it is not cash-flowing, is costing quite a bit to run and it does not look like it will be feasible to stay there for a very long time. A target date of August of 2017 has been set to have a resolution on the direction of the building. In the meantime, Graf says the Historical Society will continue to open its doors to the community and again has its special historical Christmas display program on December 17 featuring holiday decorations from the 1800’s through the 1970s-and-80s.


BD Noon Kiwanis Against Organizing Red Kettle Campaign


11/21/16 – Volunteers are needed for a local effort that is part of a national fundraiser.  For an eighth straight year, Beaver Dam’s Noon Kiwanis Club is leading Dodge County’s participation in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.  On select days from November 23 through December 24, volunteers will ring bells outside various Beaver Dam businesses to solicit cash donations from the public.  Organizer Jack Hankes says 85-90-percent of the money collected is used locally to provide vouchers for people in need of one-time assistance such as help paying for food or bills.  Hankes says the remaining money covers the Salvation Army’s statewide efforts such as funding a drug treatment center and providing disaster relief.  Last year’s campaign brought in brought in a record $41,514, partially due to the annual Red Kettle Concert which Steiner says will include performances from various vocal and bell choirs.  This year’s concert is scheduled for 4 pm on December 4 at the Beaver Dam High School.  There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted.  Anyone interested in signing up for a two-hour bell-ringing shift can contact Hankes at 920-344-2462 or his co-chair Rhonda Steiner at 920-885-5813 or 920-344-2837.


Vessey Added To Beaver Dam Chamber Luncheon


11/21/16 – Another speaker has been added to this week’s Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Luncheon. Beaver Dam Schools Superintendent Steve Vessey has been added to the forum and will present a state-of-the-school report. His addition comes as voters approve a $48.9-million dollar facilities referendum that will result in security enhancements districtwide and an overhaul of the high school. Vessey joins Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy, Dodge County Board Chairman Russ Kottke, and Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb.  The event begins Wednesday at 11:45am at the Beaver Dam Veteran’s Center.  Tickets cost $30 each and can be obtained through the Chamber of Commerce.


Priebus Says No Registry Based On Religion


11/21/16 – Kenosha native Reince Priebus says Donald Trump wants to suspend immigration from more parts of the world, but he would not force Muslim residents to register with the government. Priebus, the former state and national G-O-P leader who’s now the president elect’s chief of staff, was asked about Trump’s plans on N-B-C’s “Meet the Press.” The Republican Trump said during his campaign that he would consider forcing Muslims to register. Now, Priebus says there will not be a registry “based on religion” — but those from places that harbor and train terrorists would be temporarily suspended “until a better vetting system is put in place.” Priebus says Trump’s stand is similar to bills pending in Congress that would temporarily halt resettlements of refugees from Syria and other countries.


GOP Governors Want Fewer Strings Attached To Funding


11/21/16 – Republican governors plan to ask Washington to give block grants to states for things like Medicaid and highway projects with fewer strings attached. Wisconsin health care advocates warn that block grants would bring less money to the states, but G-O-P Governor Scott Walker says he would not use the grants to reduce coverage for health programs like Badger Care. Instead, the Republican Walker says he would seek Medicaid savings that result from more people working, as block grants could also be adopted for federal worker training programs. Walker — the new head of the G-O-P Governors Association — says he also wants to end Medicaid’s ban on making applicants pass drug tests to get benefits. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville has long been an advocate of giving states fixed amounts of funding and give them more leeway in deciding how to spend it — but Jon Peacock of Wisconsin Council on Children and Families says block grants would remove the federal commitment to “vulnerable families, seniors, and people with disabilities.”


CWD Growing Concern Among Hunters


11/21/16 – The spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) among Wisconsin’s deer herd has long been a concern, but apparently hunters are not all that uneasy about eating tainted venison. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the disease is related to incurable illnesses that cause dementia and death in humans. Most hunters don’t take advantage of free testing offered by the state because chronic wasting disease itself hasn’t crossed the species line. Only a few thousand of the 300-thousand or more deer harvested each year are tested. In the months leading up to deer hunting season, which started Saturday, more hunters have expressed concerns about how the disease will affect the herd.


Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Down Slightly


11/21/16 – Wisconsin food shoppers are paying their lowest Thanksgiving dinner prices in six years. The state’s Farm Bureau Federation says it costs 47-dollars and 91-cents to serve a traditional holiday turkey dinner for ten people. That’s almost two dollars cheaper than the national average, and two dollars and 17-cents lower than last year in the Badger State. Turkey accounts for three fourths of the price drop — but everything else also went down a little except for pie shells and cube stuffing. The Farm Bureau says a 16-pound bird is almost one dollar and 50-cents cheaper than in 2015, because turkey supplies grew by around eight percent as the industry recovered from last year’s avian flu outbreak in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.


Miss America Comes To Rescue Of Miss Kenosha Contest


11/21/16 – A former Miss Kenosha who went on to become Miss America has saved her hometown pageant from the chopping block. Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss has stepped forward to become the executive director of the Miss Kenosha pageant, after Sarah Roberts left the post in June and organizers said the pageant would end if nobody stepped forward. Fleiss, who won the Miss America title for 2012, says she spoke with a former director — Joya Santarelli — and she promises to do what’s necessary to continue what she calls a “wonderful” program. Fleiss says she has a lot of work to do, and Job One is to find a location and date for the 2017 Miss Kenosha pageant. She says it’s one of the last remaining “community pageants,” in which the contestants must either live, work, or go to school full time in Kenosha County.