News – September 18, 2016

Hartford Man Killed In Washington County Accident


9/18/16 – A 35-year-old Hartford man was killed when his SUV rolled over on I-41 southbound just south of County Highway FD/Pioneer Road in Washington County late Friday morning. Sheriff’s officials say other vehicles were slowing for a construction-related lane closure. The SUV approached other traffic too rapidly, swerved and the driver lost control of his vehicle. It went into the grassy area between I-41 southbound and the on-ramp, rolling several times. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the SUV. The accident in the Village of Richfield was the county’s tenth traffic fatality of the year.


Officer Testifies Suspect Confessed To Killing Slinger Nun


9/18/16 – An officer with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation tells a judge that a 46-year-old man confessed to killing two nuns, one of whom was from Washington County.  A preliminary hearing for Rodney Earl Sanders was held in a Durant municipal courtroom Friday afternoon.  The judge ordered him held over for trial on capital murder charges after hearing the evidence.  Prosecutors say Sanders stabbed Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill to death last month.  Held was from Slinger.


GM Told To Clean Polluted Stretch Of Rock River


9/18/16 – General Motors has been informed it needs to clean a contaminated stretch of the Rock River.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources sent a letter to the automaker this week.  Chemicals had been found in river sediment near a storm water pipe at the former G-M plant in Janesville.  The company says it is conducting its own investigation, but it intends to cooperate.  Despite several deadlines mentioned in the state’s letter, Janesville city officials say it’s hard to say when the river will actually be cleaned.


Teen Who Died In Manure Spreading Accident Identified


9/18/16 – Clark County authorities have identified the 16-year-old boy who died while apparently spreading manure in a field.  Jonas Hoover entered an empty manure tank he had been pulling behind his tractor on Wednesday and was found unconscious inside that tank. It is not known how long he had been in it.  Hoover was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Deputies say the tank was apparently malfunctioning and he may have been trying to fix it. Officials with Dodge County UW Extension issued an advisory this week encouraging farmers to take every precaution possible when working with manure. If it’s absolutely necessary to enter a pit or tank, local officials warn to provide maximum ventilation, test for toxic gases and wear self-contained breathing equipment with oxygen supply tanks and a safety line with at least two other people outside of the pit.


Dodge County Extension Holding Farmer LLC Seminar


9/18/16 – An upcoming seminar will teach farmers how they can transition their farm into a Limited Liability Company.  Owners and successors will be taught the tax implications and farm succession options available through LLC’s. This is the second in a series of seven gatherings that cover various succession topics.  It will be held Thursday from 1-3pm in Juneau’s Dodge County UW-Extension Office.  Cost is $5 and mandatory preregistration can be completed by contacting the county extension office.


Walker Playing Democrat Pence In Mock VP Debate With Kaine


9/18/16 – Governor Scott Walker is reportedly playing the role of Democrat Tim Kaine in the upcoming vice presidential debate between the Virginia senator and Indiana Governor Mike Pence. According to, the first mock debate has already taken place. Politico says one reason Walker was selected was because of his experience in presidential debates. Walker suspended his own campaign for president last September.


Beaver Dam To Honor Bystanders Who Saved Man From Burning RV


9/18/16 – Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy has his regular listening sessions scheduled on Tuesday. Kennedy opens his door for city residents to meet with him, one-on-one, without appointment on the first and third Tuesday of every month. The listening sessions are held in Room 158 on the first floor of City Hall from 10am until noon and again from 5pm to 6pm.  Kennedy also makes himself available for private meetings by appointment by contacting the mayor office.  He says it is important that constituents have the opportunity to speak with him the day after each regular meeting of the common council and related committee meetings, which are typically held on the first and third Monday’s of the month. On the agenda tomorrow night: the city will recognize the bystanders who risked their lives in rescuing an Appleton man from a burning motor home last month. It happened in the parking lot by Piggly Wiggly. Before firefighters got on scene, the handicapped man had been removed by the bystanders. There were no injuries. The motor home sustained significant damage. The cause of the fire could not be determined but may have been mechanical. The owner of the motor home had prosthetic limbs that were left behind after he was removed but firefighters were able to save the prosthetics. The chief says the couple was very relieved to get out safe and very appreciative of the three gentlemen who risked their lives.


BDUSD’s Prairie View Named ‘School Of Distinction’


9/18/16 – One school in the Beaver Dam Unified School District recently received an award.  Prairie View Elementary was one of 162 Wisconsin schools to receive a ‘School of Distinction’ honor for the 2015-2016 school year from the state’s Department of Public Instruction.  The award is given to schools that find ways to increase student learning time through family engagement.


MPTC Encourages Student Vets To Be Recognized


9/18/16 – A student veteran specialist at Moraine Park Technical College says it isn’t always easy for veterans to make the transition to college student. Steve Pepper says for the first time in a while some of those veterans are making their own decisions. He says not all of them want to be recognized as a veteran although it may not be difficult to tell from appearances they have a military background. Moraine Park has designated the academic year as the “Year of the Student Veteran.”


Fond du Lac VSO Encourages Vets To Attend Symposium


9/18/16 – The Veterans Service Officer for Fond du Lac County says suicide of military veterans and personnel is a problem in the county and across the nation. Rick Patton says there have been three or four in the county this year and several more since he has been with the county. Patton says Marian University will host a symposium next month about suicide prevention, which he invites people to attend if they have an interest in learning more.


Beaver Dam’s Fourth Street Should Open Tuesday


9/18/16 – The road in front of Beaver Dam Middle School should be open to traffic again by Tuesday. Beaver Dam City Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says Tri-County Paving will start paving Fourth Street at 6am Monday morning. Tri-County will also be applying oil tack on East Burnett Street beginning tomorrow at 6:30am. Residents along those two streets are urged to park on a side street Sunday night.

It is anticipated that both streets will be opened to all traffic tomorrow evening.


Highway 16-60 Near Columbus Down To One Lane On Tuesday


9/18/16 – Work continues on the Columbus-area Highways 16 and 60 intersection reconstruction project. Weather permitting; there will be a one day, one-way closure of eastbound Highway 60 between Transit Road and the 16 / 60 intersection on Tuesday. West bound Highway 60 will remain open during the closure. The east bound traffic will have a detour — Transit Road to Maple Avenue to Dix Street and back on to 60. The Department of Transportation will be paving the final asphalt surface on the east bound section of 60 on Tuesday. During that time the businesses on Commerce Drive – including Sentry, Ace and Shopko – will remain open from Transit Road and Commerce Drive.


Highway 151 Closed Nightly In Fond du Lac County For Girder Repair


9/18/16 – The state DOT says southbound Highway 151 between State Highway 23 and Rienzi Road in Fond du lac County will be closed this week for girder repair. The southbound lanes of Highway 151 will be closed Wednesday and Thursday night from 8pm to 6am. Prairie Trail from Highway 23 to Rienzi Road will also be closed at that time. State Highway 23 off-ramps to southbound Highway 151 will be closed as well. The posted detour is Highway 23 to southbound 1-41 to rejoin southbound Highway 151. An oversized vehicle struck the girder during construction of the new County Highway T overpass in June.


Wisconsin Seatbelt Usage At All-Time High


9/18/16 – More than 88-percent of Wisconsin motorists use their seat belts. The D-O-T’s annual survey says it’s an all-time high, and it’s about two-and-one-half percent more than last year. The Badger State is now just a tad below the national average of 89-percent who buckle up when they’re on the road. The state has been checking compliance with the seat belt law ever since it took effect in 1987. The penalty for not buckling up is ten-dollars, and about 55-thousand people were ticketed last year for not having their seat belts on.


Wisconsin Households Earning More


9/18/16 – Wisconsin households are bringing in more money for the first time since 2007. The U-S Census Bureau says the state’s median household income was $55,638 last year, an increase of 5.6% from 2014. Wisconsin families are still not bringing home as much as they did before the Great Recession, when the state’s median income was almost $58,000 in 2007. The Census Bureau report also says Milwaukee has the nation’s third highest poverty rate among big cities. Almost 27% of Milwaukee residents live in poverty, with incomes below $24,000 for families of four. That’s down slightly from the previous year — but only Detroit and Fresno, California have higher poverty rates, and Detroit’s rate is the highest at almost 40%.


BDACT: Auditions Tonight For ‘Town Hall Tonight’


9/18/16 – The second round of auditions are being held tonight for people interested in acting in a play that highlights Beaver Dam as the city celebrates its 175th Anniversary. Town Hall Tonight originated as a book by Beaver Dam-native Harlow Randall Hoyt that detailed the city’s downtown concert hall in the 1890’s. The one-hour play includes songs, humorous stories, melodramatic skits and a rousing group of actors who brought some of the greatest vaudeville shows and performers to Beaver Dam’s own Town Hall. Hoyt’s grandfather, Dr. Babcock, owned and managed the Town Hall, which was located above what is now the Gergen Law Offices. Hoyt went on to have a prolific career as a critic, columnist, cartoonist, playwright and even a magician. The book is still used in university curriculum to study that time period. As many as 50 people, ages five-to-75, are needed in cameo roles and/or ensembles. Auditions will be held tonight from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre on North Spring Street.  Rehearsals will begin the last week of this month. There will be six performances between Thursday, November 10 and Sunday, November 20.