News – October 11, 2016

Dodge County Is Officially A Blue Zone Community

10/11/16 – Dodge County has officially been designated the first Blue Zone community in the state of Wisconsin. The announcement was made yesterday at the Beaver Dam Community Hospital where CEO Kim Miller has been working for the past two years to bring the initiative to the area. Miller says the hospital believes that “investing in this unique, evidence-based, environmental approach to community well-being will transform our county for the better, improving quality of life for generations to come.” The regional health initiative brings together local volunteers with health experts from around the country to implement a series of strategies modeled after parts of the world where people live to age 100 at rates ten times greater than the national average. That could mean anything from a healthy check-out lane at the grocery store to a walking or biking trail to cooking classes. Blue Zones Project draws upon more than 200 evidence-based practices to help restaurants, schools, churches, grocery stores, and worksites make sustainable changes that encourage healthier choices. Anyone in Dodge County can be part of the benefits of being in a Blue Zone though the initiative is initially focused on the communities of Horicon, Juneau, Mayville and Beaver Dam. No word yet on the price-tag as the community gets to work now on identifying the needs and goals of the Dodge County Blue Zone. It is anticipated to be a three-year project. Donations are being accepted and grants are being written. To volunteer, or inquire about one of the six paid positions, go to or Email: [email protected]

Fox Lake Town Board Zoning Vote Reverses Electorate Vote

10/11/16 – The Fox Lake Town Board last night defied the will of the people in casting a 3-to-2 vote that ensures that the townships zoning authority remains with Dodge County. Voters in the township called the special meeting in an attempt to reverse a July town board vote that transferred zoning authority from the township to the county. The electorate was initially successful last night voting 69-59 to rescind the July vote and keep zoning authority within the township. However, after most of the 130 people in attendance left Town Hall, the board convened their regular monthly meeting. An agenda item to certify the advisory vote of the electorate from the special meeting that had just taken place was then called, and it failed on a 3-to-2 vote, which was the same as the July vote. Supervisor Mark Brieman initially abstained from the vote, which is essentially the same as voting “no,” but switched his vote to an official “no” after being called out by Supervisor Julie Flemming. Brieman joined Steve Eisenga and Wayne Kok in voting to keep the townships zoning authority with the county. The county board’s Planning Development and Parks committee last week signed-off on the petition by the township to turn zoning authority over to the county and the full county board is expected to make it official next Tuesday. Opponents of township zoning said a zoning administrator would have been too costly while supporters said the zoning process would work better with local control.

Mayville Officials Approve 2017 Capital Improvements Plan

10/11/16 – The City of Mayville is planning $380,000 in capital improvement projects in 2017. They plan to borrow $277,000 and include the other $103,000 in the tax levy. The city’s personnel and finance committees discussed the CIP at a joint meeting last night. One of the projects is refurnishing the city’s police station at a cost of $17,000. Mayor Rob Boelk says the goal is to have an open concept with shorter cubicle walls and a conference area in the middle of their office space. Boelk had some reservations with funding that project in 2017, stating he felt it was more of a ‘want’ than a ‘need.’ Other projects include fixing cracks in the city’s tennis courts, upgrading the police department’s communication system, and designing a proposed walking path on Highway 28/67. Last month, Boelk introduced a budget with a $2,840,000 tax levy, which is down slightly from the current year. City officials expect the mill rate will be similar to the $9.34 per thousand dollars of assessed value that taxpayers saw last December. The council is in the process of discussing budget proposals with department heads ahead of final approval, which is slated for November.

Man Accused Of Fleet Farm Shooting Enters Not Guilty By Mental Defect Plea

10/11/16 – The Fitchburg man accused of shooting an employee outside Beaver Dam’s Fleet Farm entered a not guilty due to mental defect plea at his arraignment hearing yesterday. In July, Jared Spencer was found competent to stand trial. The 18-year-old is facing six felonies and two misdemeanors stemming from the July 2015 incident. Spencer allegedly shot Fleet Farm’s assistant manager with a handgun after he was confronted about a suspected ammunition theft. The manager was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Spencer was taken into custody shortly after the incident following a traffic stop on Highway 151 near Columbus. If he is found guilty on all charges, Spencer faces a combined maximum of over 150 years in prison. He is due back in court December 9.

Warrant Issued For Man Accused Of Fleeing Dodge County Officer

10/11/16 – An arrest warrant was issued in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday for a Montello man who failed to make his initial appearance on a fleeing charge. Andrew Starr reportedly drove off when a traffic officer tried to pull him over in the Village of Brownsville for a suspended registration. The 36-year-old allegedly abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot before being taken into custody on Highway 49. If he is convicted for the May incident, Starr faces over three years in prison.

Bond Set For Woman Accused Of Beating Children

10/11/16 – Bond was set at $1,000 yesterday for a Waupun woman accused of beating her three nephews with a belt for being disobedient and lying. Leah Schlatter is facing one felony count of Child Abuse Causing Bodily Harm for allegedly leaving marks on their backs last November. If she is convicted, the 31-year-old faces up to six years in prison. Schlatter’s preliminary hearing is October 27.

Vikings Fan Stabbed During Yard Display Vandalism Incident

10/11/16 – A 21-year-old man is under arrest after he allegedly vandalized a Minnesota Vikings’ yard display, and stabbed the homeowner who confronted him. It happened Sunday night in Stoughton. Dave Moschel says he was watching football when he heard the man outside his house, damaging his Vikings’ inflatable mascot Viktor with a box cutter. Moschel said he got into a scuffle with the man as his five kids looked on — and he was treated at a hospital for seven stab wounds from the box cutter while the suspect was booked on possible charges of reckless endangerment and criminal damage. Moschel says he’s a lifelong Vikings’ fan, and the Viktor inflatable will keep showing his pride.

Wisconsinites To Pay More For ACA Insurance

10/11/16 – The 224,000 Wisconsinites who get health insurance from the Affordable Care Act will pay an average of almost 16% more for their premiums next year. Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel says some consumers could be paying an extra 31%. He says people should take a fresh look at their coverage options due to the increases, and recent refusals by a number of insurers to continue taking part in the federal purchasing exchange. Nickel did say the average hike of almost 16% is lower than in a number of other states.

Ryan Makes Partial Pullback From Trump, Keeps Endorsement

10/11/16 – Paul Ryan makes a partial pullback from Donald Trump. The House Speaker from Janesville told his G-O-P colleagues yesterday he will not defend the party’s nominee for president — and he will not campaign with him before the November 8 election. But Ryan stopped short of pulling back his endorsement of Trump, telling his fellow House Republicans to choose their own approach for dealing with Trump. Ryan said, “you all need to do what’s best for you in your district,” after a number of Republicans pulled back their support for Trump following the release of a 2005 video in which Trump made lewd remarks about how he treats women. Trump tweeted the following response: “Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs, and illegal immigration — and not waste his time on fighting (the) Republican nominee.”

Replacing Presidential Candidate No Easy Task

10/11/16 – There’s been talk about replacing Donald Trump as the G-O-P presidential nominee for next month — but in Wisconsin, that scenario is all but impossible to pull off. State Elections Commission administrator Mike Haas says a replacement nominee can only go on the ballot if the original one dies — and a write in replacement cannot be somebody already on the ballot, which means that Wisconsin cannot write in Mike Pence if he takes Trump’s spot on the G-O-P ticket. Voters can elect a write in president and vice president who are not on the ballot, if they get more than ten percent of votes cast in a ward — or if those candidates file a list of ten presidential electors by October 25.