News – November 4, 2019

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council is set to begin budget talks this (Monday) evening but one item that will not be on the agenda is a restructuring of city government.  Mayor Becky Glewen had been discussing a plan to hire a full-time city administrator and reduce the mayor’s position to part-time but with multiple turnovers in department heads this year Glewen says the restructuring conversation is too complex to make it to this budget cycle, though it is still a viable plan for 2021. Speculation that the city attorney may retire and the position converted to part-time with the savings directed to the new city administrator is also on hold as the city attorney tells us she does not plan on retiring next year.

(Madison) This week is Winter Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. This annual week didn’t come about just because of last week’s early arrival of snow.  Much like tornado and severe weather awareness week in the spring, its a chance to remind state residents about the dangers that can come with snowstorms, ice storms, and extreme cold.  The Wisconsin DOT says on average 46 people die and around 42-hundred others are injured each year in crashes due to ice and snow-covered roads.  Ready Wisconsin says the best defense against this is to plan ahead; have kits ready for emergency situations and know when it is best to just stay home.

(Madison) The early arrival of winter weather came just as the annual state heating moratorium started.  Utilities are not allowed to cut off a customer’s gas or electric heat from now until mid-April, even if they are behind in payments.  We Energies is encouraging people who need help paying their bill to sign up for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps over 200-thousand families every year.

(Madison) State Senators will be meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to start the process to curb the veto powers of the governor. Republicans are proposing using a Constitutional Amendment to prevent a governor from using the line item veto to increase spending in a budget. Governor Tony Evers angered Republicans by doing just that this budget cycle and increasing school spending by 65 million dollars. A constitutional amendment will require approval in two consecutive sessions of the legislature, and then pass a statewide referendum. That could take at least two years.

(West Bend) West Bend’s Common Council will be honoring veterans during a ceremony this evening at the West Bend High School Silver Lining Auditorium.  The event at 6pm will feature a special proclamation and speakers.  Those attending are asked to donate items that can be used to put together care packages to send to soldiers.

(Beaver Dam) There will be a special screening on Wednesday of a comedy western movie starring Fred MacMurray. Callaway Went Thataway will be shown at the Beaver Dam Community Library. MacMurray grew up in Beaver Dam and stars in the 1951 film alongside Dorothy McGuire and Howard Keel. Local historian Roger Noll says the movie centers around the craze of TV cowboy’s ala Gene Autry. There will be two screenings of Callaway Went Thataway this Wednesday at 2pm and 6pm, both will be held in the library’s basement.

(Mauston) An investigation continues into a fatal house fire in Juneau County.  The Mauston Fire Department responded around 5am Saturday, and firefighters found the body of a man inside once the fire was put out.  The state Department of Criminal Investigation is assisting in the investigation.

(Dodgeville) An Iowa County woman is facing two separate OWI charges in just 24 hours. Police say 35-year-old Amanda Varney of Mineral Point was caught drunk driving on US 18 near Dodgeville around 11:30pm Halloween night. She was cited and released, but before the ink had dried on the first charge, police say she was caught driving drunk again at 11:16pm on November first, along the same stretch of road. Varney is currently in the process of handling an OWI charge from last December.

(Milwaukee) Milwaukee is home to a new Guinness World Record holder when it comes to pinball.  Ryan Clancy, co-owner of Bounce Milwaukee, played pinball for 32 hours and two minutes last weekend, breaking the old record of 30 hours and 10 minutes.  The record attempt was also a fundraiser for Children’s Wisconsin, the new name for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.