News – September 1, 2016

Back To School Time Motorist Safety Tips

9/1/16 – The Dodge County Highway Safety Commission is reminding motorists that school is back in session. Coordinator Joel Kiesow says drivers need to do their part to keep kids safe as they walk and bike to school. Kiesow says distracted driving is a particular concern and it’s important for drivers not to be talking and texting on their phones. He says turning off your cell phone is one of the smartest things you can do. Motorists are also reminded that their vehicles should stop no closer than 20-feet when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing or stop arm extended. New this year are yellow flashing lights that warn drivers that the bus is about to stop. Kiesow also asks motorists to take extra time to look for kids at intersections and sidewalks; enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly; and carefully and watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours. School zone speed limits will be enforced as kids will be crossing at intersections. Kids meanwhile, are reminded that they should cross the street with an adult or crossing guard until they are at least 10-years-old; cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks; never run into the streets or cross in between parked cars; and finally make sure to walk in front of the school bus where the driver can see them.

Fine Reduced In Fox Lake Manure Spreading Incident

9/1/16 – The penalty levied against the former Town of Fox Lake supervisor who was cited for discharging manure into Fox Lake was reduced yesterday. Dale Paul was initially fined $464 for the February incident, but that was reduced to $238 in a Dodge County courtroom. Fine reductions typically happen when the defendant contests the penalty, which Paul did in this case. Dodge County Land Conservationist Marc Bethke says manure was spread on the lake’s frozen surface and was released into the lake when the ice melted. Bethke says it was a ‘medium-sized event’ that could spur weed and algae growth in Fox Lake. The DNR investigated the matter and determined Paul’s field was the lone source. No public notification has been released on water safety concerns. Paul has sixty days to pay the fine.

Hartford Man Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Assaults

9/1/16 – A Hartford man accused of having inappropriate contact with a minor pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday. Steven Baran is facing five felony counts of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. The 51-year-old allegedly went into the Hartford Police Department last summer to turn himself in for sexually assaulting a girl whose parents he was living with in Hustisford at the time. Baran said it happened five or six times over the course of three months and reportedly asked to be arrested since he was getting urges to rape again. The victim, who says she was ten years old when the assaults began, claims the incidents happened between 2005 and 2007. If he is convicted on all counts, Baran faces up to 300 years in prison. He is due back in court on October 4.

Agnesian Healthcare Acquiring Waupun Christian Home

9/1/16 – The Christian Home and Rehabilitation Center in Waupun may soon become part of Agnesian Healthcare. After four years of discussions, the two organizations have signed a non-binding letter of intent to evaluate a formal affiliation that will enable them to jointly work toward transferring the facilities over to Agnesian. That would include the Christian Home and Rehabilitation Center, Christian Living Center, and Christian Homestead. In 2012, the Christian Home and Agnesian started a management agreement where Agnesian – utilizing expertise from its St. Francis Home skilled nursing and rehabilitation services – assumed day-to-day management of the small freestanding care facility. Agnesian officials say moving forward, the affiliation will ensure that Waupun and surrounding communities have access to quality nursing home and rehabilitation services while enhancing their collaboration with Waupun Memorial Hospital. Waupun City Administrator and Economic Development Director Kathy Schlieve echoed those sediments when she updated this city council this week on the acquisition. As part of the affiliation, the Christian Home’s existing facilities will be evaluated. Officials say challenges continue with managing an outdated facility that requires continuous repairs, rising health insurance costs, labor costs associated with staff recruitment and retention, technology needs, as well as the growing complexities of running a business. In 1940, representatives from the Reformed and Christian Reformed churches in Waupun gathered to examine how to provide care for the elderly in the Waupun community. Their vision became a reality in 1954, and since that time, its staff has worked to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of residents.

Cambria-Friesland Considering Facility Upgrades

9/1/16 – Discussions have begun in the Cambria-Friesland School District about potential building projects during the upcoming school year. While talks are in the preliminary stages, Superintendent Tim Raymond says some needs have been identified. He says the school’s two auditoriums are in need of modernization along with the ventilation system, locker rooms, and bleachers. District officials plan to walk the school and prioritize the building’s needs prior to any decision being made. Raymond says the total project cost would likely be capped at $281,000, which is the amount of excess funds the district brought in last year through insurance gains, grants, dropping its long-term care, and utility savings. Raymond says no levy funds would be used for the projects. He says work could begin within three months and would wrap up by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Trump Closes Gap With Clinton In Latest Marquette Poll

9/1/16 – Democrat Hillary Clinton has lost her double digit lead in Wisconsin’s presidential race, according to the state’s best known independent poll. Clinton now leads Republican Donald Trump 42 to 37 percent among the 803 registered voters surveyed last weekend by the Marquette Law School. Among likely voters, Clinton’s lead has dropped to just three points, 45-42, making the race a statistical dead heat because it’s within the poll’s five percent error margin — and that’s after Clinton had a 15 point edge among likely voters earlier in August. Poll director Charles Franklin says it appears that voter sentiments have returned to what they were before the parties’ national conventions in July.

20K Purged From Food Stamps For Not Finding Work

9/1/16 – The number of Wisconsin adults losing food stamp benefits for not pursuing work totaled 20-thousand from January through June. State officials say about three-thousand lost their Food Share benefits in June alone, after using up three months of assistance without getting jobs or job training, which are required under a Republican law which took effect in April of last year. Governor Scott Walker cited the numbers of Food Share recipients who found jobs which totaled more than 14-thousand in the first 15 months the requirement has been in effect. Those people had average wages of 12-dollars per hour while working 32 hours per week. The law requires able bodied adults ages 18-to-49 to work or train for at least 80 hours per month, in order to keep food stamp benefits after their three month grace period.

Flags Ordered Flown Half Staff Saturday For Thompson

9/1/16 – Flags in Wisconsin are being ordered flown at half-staff on Saturday to honor Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Thompson, who was killed in Afghanistan. Governor Scott Walker issued the order Tuesday. Thompson was a Brookfield native and graduated in 2006 from Brookfield Central High School. He was killed by an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province on August 23rd. A memorial will be held for him in his hometown on Saturday.

Stretch Of Highway 26 Closed For Roadwork

9/1/16 – A stretch of Highway 26 will be closed today as crews repave the road. The closure runs from Highway 33 to Highway 151 and will be in effect both today and Tuesday. While the highway may be open at times during the construction, people must obey all posted signs. Drivers are also reminded that ‘local traffic only’ signs only grant enough access needed to get to one’s home or business. Failure to comply brings a $213 fine and loss of three demerit points.