News – October 2, 2021

(Beaver Dam) A Dodge County board supervisor and chairman of the Town of Beaver Dam has passed away. Jeff Schmitt died Wednesday night. The 58-year-old had served on the county board from 2004 to 2014 and returned in 2018 until the time of his passing. He was on a number of committees including Executive, Finance, and Taxation. Schmitt was elected chairperson of the Town of Beaver Dam by write-in vote in the spring.

(Waupun) The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department has released body camera video of one of their deputies rescuing two people trapped in a house on fire in the Town of Waupun last Friday. Deputy Derek Rehfeldt, a school resource officer and patrol deputy, just happened to be passing by the house and saw smoke and flames coming from the rear of the two-story home. When he went up to the house, he saw the two men inside and noticed their exits were blocked by smoke and flames. He used a Halligen tool to break open a window to get the two men and a dog safely out of the home. As the video details they were somewhat reluctant to have the window broken and go out that way, but he convinced them of the necessity. A 66-year-old man and his 31-year-old son were rescued from the burning structure. A lawn mower had been parked in front of the garage and next to an entry door. It started on fire and quickly spread to the garage and home.

(Waupun) A Markesan man was cited after a tractor trailer hit a parked car in the City of Waupun. Deputy Chief Jeremy Rasch says authorities were called to the crash scene at the 400 block of South Watertown Street around 2:54pm. He says the semi was exiting the roadway, struck the vehicle, and damaging residential properties. No injuries were reported. Rasch says the Wisconsin State Patrol is issuing all citation to the 56-year-old driver of the semi.

(Columbus) Safety improvements to Highway 151 north of Columbus are expected to begin Monday. State transportation officials say the $449-thousand-dollar project will install high-tension cable barriers in the highway median between the Dodge/Columbia County line and County Road S. Single lane closures are anticipated in both directions. Motorists are urged to slow down and keep a look out for crews working in the area. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-November.

(Wisconsin) About half of the nearly 13-thousand Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy are children. What’s more, hundreds of women refugees are pregnant. Reporters Thursday got their first look inside Fort McCoy since the U-S started housing refugees. There are eight so-called “neighborhoods” at the fort, each with a mosque, barracks, a dining hall, and schools. The refugees say they’re doing well, even if they are a bit bored. Crime is low, even though two refugees are charged with sexual and domestic abuse. – WRN

(Beaver Dam) Alliant Energy is helping Midwest electric vehicle drivers travel even further. In 2020, Ameren announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration among Midwest energy companies that committed in good faith to building a large, collaborative network of electric vehicle charging stations. Recently, Alliant Energy signed the Memorandum of Cooperation to further extend the network. There are currently two million electric vehicles on U.S. roads. This number is expected to increase to 18.7 million by 2030. To meet the demand, an estimated 9.6 million public charging stations will be needed, but only about 100,000 stations are in service today. With an expanded charging network, drivers will be able to travel from Wisconsin to Texas, and many routes in between, with plenty of locations to recharge along the way. President of Alliant Energy Wisconsin David de Leon says they understand the critical need for more charging stations available at convenient locations. He says by signing on to this collaboration, they can help increase the infrastructure necessary to assure customers will be able to charge up no matter where they are driving. A link to the eleven-state charging network is available at

(Wisconsin) Homeowners who heat with natural gas should brace for higher winter heating bills. While the thermometer is about to take a dive, prices for natural gas have been going higher – much higher.  The market price is up by about 180 percent over the last year.  A spokesperson for Wisconsin Public Service Corporation says the increases have continued in recent weeks and price levels are “among the highest in the past 10 years.”

(Milwaukee) Yesterday was the deadline for Milwaukee County employees to comply with a vaccine mandate. County employees who do not belong to a union had until the end of Friday to prove they are vaccinated or turn-in a medical or religious exemption form. Those who did not — could be punished or get fired. About four-thousand people work for Milwaukee County. The vaccine mandate does not apply to unionized employees, including sheriff’s deputies. – WRN

(Beaver Dam) The final Fair Food Festival at the Dodge County Fairgrounds is today (Saturday). The monthly series of events features sweet treats, fried fair food, and an assortment of food carts. A variety of new vendors will be showcased during each month’s event. Vendors for today’s event includes CW Concessions, Mr. P’s Grilled Cheese, Jakarta Café, Patriot Popcorn, Ben’s Pretzels, and Cream Puffs. Lizzie’s Lemonade will also be available. Three new vendors this month include two stands from Race Rock with funnel cakes, cow pies, and fried Oreos in the first trailer. Trailer two features several flavors of macaroni and cheese plus walking tacos. DND Smoke Shack is the third new vendor for October with smoked pulled pork, smoked 1-inch pork chops, smoked pork ribs, cowboy beans, and mac ‘n cheese. A number of musical shows are also planned with performances by Batteries Not Included, Sharing Wednesday, and Trash Pandas. Food purchases during the festival will help support the non-profit Dodge County Fair Association as well as the participating vendors, who may have endured hardships in 2020. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a socially distanced meal at one of the picnic tables provided or bring their own lawn chairs. The event will begin at 11am tomorrow and run until 8pm.