News – October 12, 2016

Former Mayville Mayor Passes Away

10/12/16 – A Fond du Lac lawmaker, and former Mayville mayor, passed away unexpectedly this morning. State Senator Rick Gudex died of unknown causes. According to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, no foul play is suspected. The 48-year-old Republican held the 18th District seat since 2013. He was not seeking re-election next month. Investigations into Gudex’s death continue. He was married with two children.

Waupun Council Approves 2017 Capital Improvement Plan

10/12/16 – The City of Waupun plans to spend $1,100,000 in its 2017 capital improvement plan. Capital projects total $573,000 while equipment purchases account for $520,000. Funding is proposed to come from three sources: $300,000 from borrowing and $350,000 from both the tax levy and the city’s tax incremental financing district. Some of the major equipment purchases include a $300,000 engine truck for the fire department and two new police squad cars for a total of $55,000. At last night’s common council meeting, City Finance Director Jared Oosterhouse said the vehicle replacements are necessary since six of the police department’s 11 vehicles are beyond 80% of useful life, as are over half of the fire department’s vehicles. For the fire department alone, Oosterhouse says Waupun is looking at over $500,000 in vehicle replacement costs in the next five years. The city also plans to repair a drainage issue at its community center at a cost of $116,000, make $20,000 in security upgrades to city hall, and raze the former Washington Elementary School building for $250,000, a cost that is covered by the TIF district. Another project is replacing the city’s tornado siren system for $70,000. The current siren is 31 years old, and the typical useful lifespan is 25-30 years. While no total tax levy or mill rate were provided last night, Oosterhouse recommended the council approve small, incremental tax hikes each year to offset the number of large purchases that the city will need to make in the next decade. The public hearing and final budget adoption is set for November 15, which is when capital improvement funding is guaranteed.

Juneau Library Director Excited About Systems Merger

10/12/16 – The director of the Juneau Public Library says she is excited about all the new offerings that will be available for patrons after a merger of local library systems is complete. Dodge and Washington counties are part of the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System, which allows all public libraries to share resources. Mid-Wisconsin is in the process of merging with the Eastern Shores Library System, which is comprised of Ozaukee and Sheboygan county libraries. After two years of negotiations, all four county boards recently signed off the merger and in the past week an Implementation Committee came up with the official name: the “Monarch Library System.” Juneau Public Library Director Connie Schuett told the city’s common council last night that Monarch will officially launch in January but member libraries are working now on the new cataloguing system. A target “go live” date to have servers from all libraries in the four-county Monarch circulation system is December 15. Schuett says the merger will give patrons nearly double the amount of collection items available. She says Juneau Public Library patrons should not notice much of a difference. The online catalogue may look slightly different in terms of new icons but the materials and general operations structure will be the same. While other counties have merged with library systems before, Monarch is the first time in state history that two library systems have merged. The slogan of the new system is “transforming library service.”

Columbus Schools ‘Launching A New Legacy’

10/12/16 – The Columbus School District is in the initial steps of ‘Launching a New Legacy.’ Over 100 community volunteers attended a total of seven workshops last week to identify district needs over the next 15 years. Superintendent Annette Deuman says the school board will hold special meetings to create a plan for addressing the issues identified. Among those attending last week’s meetings were students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and business, civic and religious leaders.

Federal Judge Hearing Testimony Today On Voter ID

10/12/16 – Federal Judge James Peterson of Madison will hear testimony Wednesday morning on a request to throw out Wisconsin’s photo I-D law for voting. Foundations for One Wisconsin Now and Citizen Action made the request, after they won part of their federal lawsuit in July which told the state to make sure people can vote in November by getting quick approval for I-Ds, even if they don’t have birth certificates. Since then, there have been reports that motor vehicle personnel around the state have given the wrong information to some who recently applied for I-Ds. And they did not receive their cards within six days after applying, which the state had promised the court it was doing. Meanwhile, two Democrats on the state’s Election Commission want a private lawyer to argue that the state has not made its shortcomings clear — and Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel won’t file a report to court which states the Democrats’ views.

Smaller Schools Losing Teachers Following Act 10

10/12/16 – A survey of Wisconsin school superintendents shows that small rural districts are being hurt as they lose teachers to larger, higher paying districts. It’s dubbed “free agency,” similar to the way pro athletes move to other teams to cash in — and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says it’s one of the biggest effects of the Act Ten limits on public union bargaining adopted five years ago. The state’s largest news outlet says 85-percent of lower paying school districts are losing teachers more often, compared to 57-percent of districts that pay more — and schools with declining enrollments have either or reversed the growth of salaries for teachers. Governor Scott Walker says he’ll try to help small districts by possible giving them more funds for busing. But if residents don’t agree to approve referendums for tax hikes, Walker says smaller schools will have to get more creative, like offering more attractive course assignments for teachers than the bigger schools do.

Trump Campaigning In Wisconsin On Monday

10/12/16 – Republican Donald Trump will return to Wisconsin Monday, but his White House campaign is not saying where he’ll appear yet. Trump was planning to speak at a G-O-P event in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district last Saturday at Elkhorn — but Ryan told Trump to stay home after last Friday’s release of a 2005 video that showed Trump making lewd comments about women. On Monday, Ryan said he would no longer defend Trump, and he would spend his time trying to maintain G-O-P majorities in Congress. On Fox News Tuesday night, Trump said he doesn’t want Ryan’s support and doesn’t care about getting it. State Senate G-O-P Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald reaffirmed his support for Trump — and he said the lack of interest by college students in this year’s presidential race would result in fewer Democratic votes down the ballot, thus helping Republicans keep control of the state Legislature.

Waupun Woman Heading To Jail For Sexually Assaulting Deputy

10/12/16 – A Waupun woman will spend 30 days in jail for making sexual contact with a Dodge County sheriff’s deputy. Deysy FabianRueda pled guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor sexual assault count along with a Second OWI traffic offense. The 24-year-old was arrested for driving impaired in November. When being taken to the hospital for bloodwork, FabianRueda began making sexual comments toward the deputy. Once at the hospital, she tried to get the deputy to close the door to the waiting room they were assigned. FabianRueda tried rubbing the deputy’s hands when he removed her handcuffs and later grabbed and squeezed his private area. FabianRueda will avoid prison time if she stays out of trouble during 18 months on probation.

Reeseville Teen Accused Of Pouring Hot Coffee On Mother’s Boyfriend

10/12/16 – Bond was set at $1,500 yesterday for a Reeseville teen accused of pouring hot coffee on his mother’s boyfriend. Holden Lapp is facing felony Substantial Battery and misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct charges, both with a domestic abuse enhancer. On Monday, the 17-year-old allegedly broke a number of items in his mother’s house, and attacked his mother’s boyfriend out of anger that his mother invited the man to live with them. If he is convicted on both counts, Lapp faces over three years in prison. His preliminary hearing is December 8.

Madison Teacher Gets Surprise On Ellen DeGeneres

10/12/16 – A Madison preschool teacher got quite a surprise while appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Beth Battista is about to donate one of her kidneys to four-year-old Lyla Carreyn, a student at her learning center — after a national search for another donor could not turn up a match. Lyla’s mother was so appreciative, she wrote to Ellen’s show and made sure the host knew about Battista’s love for Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers. DeGeneres knows Rodgers through his girlfriend Olivia Munn — so she had Rodgers videotape a salute, and gave her four tickets and a sideline pass for an upcoming Packers’ home game and a Number 12 Rodgers’ jersey. The show was pre-taped for broadcast this week.