News – November 7, 2019

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam McDonalds was evacuated for a little over a half hour yesterday (Wednesday) while crews extinguished a fryer unit that caught fire. The Beaver Dam Fire Department was dispatched to the Park Avenue business around 9:30am. Chief Alan Mannel says the blaze set off the hood extinguisher system which got most of the fire. He says the unit itself should be salvageable and operational again in the future. The fire did not spread and no injuries were reported.


(Beaver Dam) A plea hearing was scheduled yesterday (Wednesday) for the suspect in a police chase that ended with a fiery car crash that knocked a hole in the Beaver Dam Middle School. Roy Cortez is facing a felony charge of Fleeing. The 22-year-old Beaver Dam man was said to be traveling up to 90-miles-per-hour when he struck an electrical transformer before punching a seven-foot-by-30-foot hole in the brick building on August 21st. School officials estimate the damage at $2-million-dollars. If convicted, the felony charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence. Cortez is due back in court on December 2nd.


(Juneau) The per diem for county supervisors could increase by $10 next year. Currently, the rate is $50 for committee members and $55 for the committee chairperson. The Dodge County Board’s Executive Committee approved increasing that amount to $60 and $65 respectively. If approved by the county board next week, the per diem increase will go into effect in April.


(Beaver Dam) The city of Beaver Dam now has 15 wards. The city council added one more ward on Monday night as part of the annexation of a small parcel of land in the Town of Beaver Dam. Mike Butler requested the annexation to erect a billboard at the intersection of highways 151 and 33. Beaver Dam needed to create the extra ward because the property is in a different congressional ward than the rest of city. Representation of Ward 15 on the council will be handled by the alderperson in nearby Ward 10.


(Columbus) A group in Columbus is hoping to raise over a $1-million dollars to save the city’s historic auditorium. The Columbus Theater Association President Andrew Gile says the structure, which is located on the second floor of city hall, was first built in 1892 and was last used in the 1940’s. He says there are several areas that need to be updated including the HVAC, plumbing, structural and roof repair, fire escape replacement, balconies, seating and bathrooms. Gile says the association will be working closer with city council during restoration efforts and hope to get approval for a 99 year lease. More information is available at


(Madison) A group of state lawmakers want to raise the age to purchase all tobacco products in Wisconsin. That bill got a hearing in the Assembly’s substance abuse committee on Wednesday. The measure would increase the age to purchase cigarettes and vaping supplies to 21, just like alcohol. The bipartisan effort is aimed at slowing vaping habits in teens but would need to clear both houses of the Legislature to move forward.


(Madison) School choice advocates are suing the state Department of Public Instruction, over release of test results. Plaintiffs including School Choice Wisconsin and the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty are alleging DPI violated state law when it released results of the annual Forward Exam in September. The suit claims DPI intentionally delayed release of data for voucher schools in an effort to spin news stories to portray those schools negatively. A DPI statement acknowledged the usual practice of releasing data to journalists a day early but did not directly address the allegation that it withheld the voucher school data until the following day, after the news stories were published.