News – October 31, 2016

Kennedy Wants County Sales Tax To Cover Spillman Costs


10/31/16 – Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy says he wants to see the county’s half-percent sales tax cover all the costs of the city police department signing onto the county sheriff’s new records management system. The county board last fall agreed to purchase Spillman for $1.1-million-dollar to replace New World, which has been plagued with issues since going live in 2013. The goal with Spillman is to connect law enforcement countywide in 2018. The county is offering the software to police departments free of cost.  However, each municipality will have to pay $700 per officer in training costs in 2017 and $280 per departmental computer in maintenance costs each year starting in 2019.


Last Monday, the Beaver Dam Administrative Committee advanced the 2017 budget without funding for the police department to join Spillman. Last Wednesday, Sheriff Dale Schmidt said that he is in talks with Beaver Dam city officials and is confident they will sign on prior to 2017 system training.  Mayor Tom Kennedy told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that the agreement with Spillman should be the same as the agreement with New World which had zero costs for municipalities to implement. Kennedy says there are “many mayors in the community that feel the half-percent sales tax should take care of all costs.” He says the city of Beaver Dam did not have to pay anything for the “debacle” that was New World and should not have to for Spillman. “Why can’t that be taken out of the half-percent sales tax?” he asked. At this point, the mayor says his is still working with the sheriff to hopefully get resolution.


Kennedy says that the county was less than receptive to municipalities receiving sales tax dollars following the presentation by the mayor’s consortium last year.  He says all the mayors wanted to do was talk about it and were ignored and said (quote) “that whole issue about the half-percent sales tax is out there and personally I won’t forget it.” The sheriff hopes to get commitment for all county municipalities by the end of this year.  Schmidt says failing to sign on right away will likely mean increased training costs for a municipality if they decide to join at a later date.


Waupun Schools Hope To Enhance Classrooms


10/31/16 – Officials with the Waupun Area School District hope to bolster learning environments a wide range of their students.  Voters will see a $36,000,000 referendum question on the November 8 ballot that seeks funds to create safe, secure entrances at three of the district’s four schools, address aging infrastructure and ADA accessibility throughout the district, and build a track and tennis court on the high school grounds.  During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment program, Superintendent Tanya Gubin said district officials also want to renovate some elementary classrooms to make them more age appropriate.  Gubin cited a second grade classroom that used to be a chemistry lab where stools are needed around all of the lab tables just so students can access the counter space as a work area.   For the older students, Gubin hopes to enhance the high school’s career-readiness area.  She says the district would like to see a new technical education shop for its student-led Warrior Foundation that is aimed at preparing students for real-world jobs.  District officials call the referendum ‘budget neutral’ since a $36,000,000 debt from a previous referendum comes off the books in 2018.  However, if the referendum does not pass, the district’s Business Services Director Carrie Hintze says the average taxpayer would see a savings of $20 per month.  Election Day is November 8.


Campbellsport School Referendum Seeks Building Improvements


10/31/16 – Campbellsport School District voters will see a $23.4 million referendum on the November ballot. District Superintendent Paul Amundson says their biggest need is the replacement of the portions of middle-high school that were construction in 1938 and 1950.  He says they also need to replace the roof, which would cost $500,000 alone for a nearly 80-year-old building. In April of last year, Campbellsport voters rejected a $25 million building referendum by less than 300 votes.


Ripp, Ferriter on Community Comment This Afternoon


10/31/16 – One WBEV’s Community Comment this afternoon we sit down with the candidates for the 42nd state assembly district. Republican incumbent Keith Ripp of Lodi will join us at 12:35pm followed by Democrat George Ferriter of Doylestown. The 42nd Assembly District includes northwestern Dodge County but not Beaver Dam, along with most of Columbia County and portions of Green Lake, Marquette, Fond du Lac and Dane counties. Community Comment aired weekdays on AM1430 beginning at 12:35pm.


Rusk County Deputy Killed, Suspect Arrested


10/31/16 – A 43-year-old man is under arrest for allegedly killing a sheriff’s officer in northwest Wisconsin. Rusk County officials say deputy Dan Glaze was checking out a suspicious vehicle late Saturday night when dispatchers lost contact with the officer — and backup deputies soon found Glaze’s body in a field near the suspect’s home south of Ladysmith. The suspect, 43-year-old Douglas Nitek, was arrested after he reportedly shot at officers who were deploying a robot from the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department to search his home. He was taken into custody without further incident. The 33-year-old Glaze was a Rusk County officer for 18 months and was a police officer in Hayward from 2007 until early last year — and State Attorney General Brad Schimel was among the officials praising Glaze, saying he “gave his life protecting his community.”


Jury Convicts Ewell Of Helping Sister Conceal Murder


10/31/16 – It took a Fond du Lac County jury about three-and-a-half hours to find a 36-year-old Fond du Lac woman guilty of helping her sister hide the body of a murder victim. Tina Ewell shed tears when the verdicts were read early Friday evening. She was found guilty of three charges in aiding her sister Eve Nance after Nance killed her husband Tim at their home in December of 2013. Fond du Lac County Deputy District Attorney Dennis Krueger said Nance called her sister for help because she was in a panic. Defense attorney Dawn Sabel suggested Eve Nance called Ewell because she just shot her husband and needed something normal in her life that only someone close to her could give her. Judge Peter Grimm revoked Ewell’s bond of $1,500 cash, but granted her work release privileges until she is sentenced.


BDUSD Wall of Fame Banquet Reservations Due Thursday


10/31/16 – Reservations are due Thursday for the Beaver Dam Unified School District’s Wall of Fame banquet next month.  There are two inductees this year. The late Harlowe Hoyt will be recognized as an ‘outstanding alumnus’ while Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation is being named a ‘friend of education.’  The outstanding alumni award honors graduates who have attained exceptional accomplishments in their field of work.  After graduating from BDHS in 1899, Hoyt had a long career as a writer.  He is best known for his book “Town Hall Tonight,” which has since been turned into a play. Local historian Roger Noll nominated Hoyt for the honor, which Noll says is fitting with this year being the 175th anniversary of the founding of Beaver Dam. No word yet on who will be receiving Hoyt’s Wall of Fame plaque as his family is no longer in the area. Noll did track down a distant relative in Canada or may talk to the educator who wrote a noted dissertation on Hoyt. Also being recognized at the banquet is a Friends of Education, individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the district and its students.  Apache is being recognized for its efforts to provide students with insight into manufacturing careers that are available upon graduation.  This is the 19th year the awards are being given.  The banquet to honor the recipients will be at the Beaver Dam High School on Sunday, November 13. More information is available at


Group Working To Revitalize Beaver Dam’s Downtown


10/31/16 – A local group is looking to spruce up Beaver Dam’s downtown area.  Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. is asking residents to fill out a survey to help shape the future of the downtown district.  The survey is estimated to take five-to-seven minutes to complete and asks what people would like to see enhanced as well as information about the survey-taker’s past experiences with the downtown. The survey can be accessed online at  Paper copies are also available at city hall, the chamber of commerce, the library, and the Watermark.  Surveys should be returned to the Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. office by November 7.  The public is also invited to discuss the results of the survey.  A meeting will be held from 9 am until noon at the Watermark.


DOT Repairs To I-41 Diverting Traffic In Fond du Lac County


10/31/16 – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has maintenance crews repairing concrete on southbound Interstate-41 at Highway 151 in Fond du Lac County beginning this morning (Mon). A continuous right lane closure will occur during repairs. In addition, the southbound I-41 off-ramp to Highway 151 will be closed. The detour exits at County Highway D before joining Highway 151. The work should be completed by 3pm Wednesday afternoon, weather permitting.


Donald Trump, Tim Kaine and Chelsea Clinton In Wisconsin


10/31/16 – Wisconsin is getting a lot of political attention from both campaigns this week.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will appear Tuesday at a rally in Eau Claire. Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine will make stops Tuesday in Appleton and Madison.  Chelsea Clinton will be campaigning for her mother, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in Eau Claire and Oshkosh on Wednesday then Milwaukee on Thursday.