News – September 29, 2021

(Portage) An Illinois man was killed after hitting an unoccupied dump truck near Portage Tuesday afternoon. The Wisconsin State Patrol, along with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Portage Fire Department, were dispatched to the scene near I-39 at mile marker 86 around 3:30pm. A Dodge Charger was heading southbound on I-39 in an active construction zone. The vehicle then traveled into the closed lane of construction and struck the dump truck. The 25-year-old driver from Burr Ridge, and lone occupant of the vehicle, sustained fatal injuries. No other injuries were reported.

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam woman convicted on a drug charge in 2018 was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison and four years of extended supervision after violating her probation. Gidget Wheeler was originally placed on probation for three years after entering a no contest plea to a felony count of Manufacturing and Delivering Cocaine. In March, she was similarly charged with two additional counts.

(Fond du Lac) Governor Tony Evers has ordered that flags throughout the state be flown at half-staff Wednesday, in honor of Fond du Lac Police Officer Joseph Kurer. The 28-year-old lost his life in the line of duty due to complications from COVID on September 22nd, just a day after his second child was born. Kurer is the youngest person to die from COVID complications in Fond du Lac County, where 139 people have died since March of last year. Funeral services for Kurer are scheduled for today.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin is slowly closing-in on a key coronavirus vaccination milestone. The Wisconsin Department of Health Service reports that nearly 67-percent of eligible people in the state had had one vaccine dose as of Monday. A little more than 64-percent of eligible people have had both doses. A population can reach herd immunity when 70-percent are vaccinated. Dodge County is a long way off from that figure, with just 43.8-percent completely vaccinated.

(Wisconsin) Some people in Wisconsin can now get their third dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The Department of Health Services says it’s offering the Pfizer vaccine booster shot to anyone 65-and-older, anyone over 50 with certain health conditions, and anyone living in long-term care. Public health officials say other people with health conditions could be eligible for the booster under certain circumstances. The Pfizer booster is only for people who got the Pfizer shot originally.

(Wisconsin) Republicans on the state legislature have passed a resolution that affirms their plans to retain as much as possible current legislative maps ahead of redistricting in Wisconsin. The resolution does not need to pass the Governor’s desk since it makes no changes to state law. A probable fight over legislative maps is already set for both federal and state courts. – WRN

(Madison) The State Assembly has passed a bill that would prevent schools from teaching some anti-racism topics to students. Republicans call it a response to Critical Race Theory, and that the messages are harmful to white students. The bill passed the Assembly and is likely to be vetoed by the Governor if it passes the Senate. – WRN

(Beaver Dam) State Representative Mark Born is backing an increase for youth mental health funding. The Beaver Dam Republican Tuesday voted in favor of the assembly bill that requires at least $100-million-dollars be designated for grants to schools for mental health programs. Born says it is no secret that the pandemic and government-mandated shutdowns have been detrimental to the health and well-being of kids. Democrats call it a disingenuous measure by Republicans, citing that the bill authorizes federal money that does not exist. The measure passed the Assembly on party lines.