News – October 20, 2020

(Beaver Dam) The budget process got underway in earnest last (Monday) night in Beaver Dam with the common council taking its initial review of the proposed 2021 document. The 16.9-million-dollar budget includes a tax levy of $10.82-million dollars, which is a decrease of $45-thousand dollars from the current budget. City The budget meets state revenue limits and qualifies for the state’s Expenditure Restraint Program, which financially rewards municipalities that keep their spending in check. There is a two-percent increase for all non-represented city employees proposed in the budget, complementing a 2.5-percent wage increase in the contracts for police and fire personnel. Health insurance costs are increasing 7.5-percent. No word yet on the mill rate, which last year was $9.83-per thousand. Budget deliberations continue next Monday.

(Wisconsin) A Barron County judge has rejected a request from the Tavern League to block Governor Evers’ order limiting the amount of people allowed inside of businesses. Attorney General Josh Kaul says he is happy to see that ruling while the state is dealing with one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the country. Judge James Babler rejected both that lawsuit and a temporary restraining order that had been put in place as well.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 3,777 positive coronavirus cases in Monday’s daily update. There are 35,345 active cases in the state, an increase of 1,000 from Friday. State health officials recorded 12 deaths, for a total of 1,600. Dodge County has 22 deaths on record and 3,050 cases, an increase of 159 from Friday. County health officials are actively monitoring 862 people.

(Cambria) The process of extraditing a Wisconsin man accused in the kidnapping plot against Michigan’s governor began yesterday (Monday). A Columbia County Circuit Court judge ordered a $10-thousand-dollar cash bail for Brian Higgins of Wisconsin Dells. Higgins is one of 14 men who have been arrested. The 31-year-old is accused of being part of a group planning to storm the Michigan Capitol and kidnap several officials, including Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. If found guilty, Higgins could be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Further court activity is on the calendar for November 18th.

(Columbia County) Columbia County authorities are asking the public’s help in locating a Huber inmate who failed to return to the jail from work. Amanda Montroy was due to return to the facility at 7am yesterday (Monday) morning but did not show. The 27-year-old’s last reported address is in Packwaukee. Montroy is currently serving a 270 day and a 180 day sentence until March 9th on charges of Escape, Resisting an Officer and Theft. If a person knows of Montroy’s current whereabouts they are asked to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s office. Contact information is available at DailyDodge.com.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police Department is recognizing one of their K-9 teams for finding a missing woman who was potentially in danger. At around 4pm last Friday, the police department was notified of a female who left their residence and was threatening harm upon herself. After roughly a half hour of searching, Officer Brad Konkel and his partner K-9 Charlie were called in. Ten minutes later the woman was found unharmed. Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger says their K-9 team saved the woman from potential danger as well as greatly limited the amount of manpower that would have been needed for a search of that area.

(Mount Pleasant) Foxconn has responded to a scathing expose by Vox Media. The report shows a culture of confusion inside Foxconn’s Wisconsin operations, and details how the company has used short term hiring to meet state quotas for employment while later firing those workers. This report follows the decision by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to withhold tax breaks over failure to negotiate a new contract. Foxconn founder Terry Gou says that Foxconn remains committed to completion and continued expansion of the Wisconsin project as long as policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels remain committed to Foxconn. Gou’s statement praises the Trump Administration for helping create the project – but does not mention former Governor Scott Walker.  -WRN

(Outagamie County) Officials in Outagamie County say a technical ballot misprint could delay the counting of some absentee ballots on Election Day. Clerk Lori O’Bright says the misprint is a scratch on a timing mark at the edge of the ballot, and they are being replaced before in-person early voting begins. The Wisconsin Election Commission will take up a request from the county today for additional time to count ballots.

(Madison) The Better Business Bureau is warning people trying to enroll in Medicare or Affordable Care Act plans to be on the lookout for scammers.  They will try to pose as health care benefits advocates, claiming they can help you sign up for programs, but in reality they try to get a victim’s personal information to use against them.  The BBB recommends never to use an unsolicited offer for help.

(Washington Island) The pilot of a helicopter that crashed Sunday on Washington Island was not injured. He was the only person on board and his name has not been released. Authorities say the crash happened when the chopper was taking off at about 2pm. The incident happened just off the helicopter pad and no runways at the island’s airport were impacted. The accident will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

(Milwaukee) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Saying he believes “leadership requires transparency about the challenges we face,” Mone announced his diagnosis in an email to faculty and staff Monday. He will begin treatment this week. Mone said his outlook was “quite positive” and the cancer was diagnosed early. Mone, appointed chancellor at UWM in 2014, will continue in his role while undergoing treatment.

(Madison) The state DNR will be gathering samples from 12 landfills to learn more about what Wisconsinites are throwing away.  Crews will be sorting out the samples into 85 material types, such as plastics, organics and hazardous materials.  The information will assist the DNR in future waste reduction programs.

(Wisconsin) This week may be the last week to get a good look at the fall colors.  Travel Wisconsin’s “Fall Colors reports show the majority of counties south of Highway 29 are at peak color, with locations north of the highway past peak.  The third week of October is the average time when colors are at their highest percentage.

(Madison) More people are flocking to Wisconsin state parks amid the coronavirus pandemic. The DNR reports a 12-percent increase in both visitation and camping.  Money collected from vehicle admission fees and trail passes are up 21-percent, totaling over 15-million dollars.