Newscast – October 6th, 2020

(Juneau) The development of a local health ordinance was discussed yesterday (Monday) by the Dodge County Board’s Executive Committee. The matter was first discussed at the county board level in June and was tabled as officials chose to wait for the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) to hand down their own guidelines for creating a state-wide county-level health ordinance. Those recommendations were recently released, providing counties with a baseline when writing their own ordinance as well as constitutional provisions for what is in current state statutes for local public health officers. A new draft ordinance will be presented to the executive committee at their next meeting.

(Wisconsin) As coronavirus cases continue to surge in Wisconsin, Department of Health Services Secretary designee Andrea Palm says hospitals are dealing with the consequences. She says they are in constant communication with them about their needs and how they can help. Palm noted bed capacity is not the only issue — hospitals could also face staffing shortages if workers become infected and have to quarantine as a result of that. – WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,696 positive coronavirus cases in Monday’s daily update. There are 24,589 active cases in the state, an increase of 325 from Sunday. State health officials recorded four deaths Monday, for a total of 1,381. Dodge County has 19 deaths on record and 2,207 cases, an increase of 29 from Sunday.

(Waupun) A Dodge County prison has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases among its staff members, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Over the last two weeks, Dodge Correctional went from 23 confirmed cases to 42. The facility has had 177 inmates test positive with 36 active cases; 141 have recovered. The Wisconsin National Guard was on site yesterday (Monday) conducting site based testing and will be at Fox Lake Correctional Thursday. No inmates at the Fox Lake prison have tested positive while 10 employees have had COVID-19.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council last (Monday) night voted unanimously to exceed its self-imposed $1.7-million dollar borrowing cap for streets, infrastructure and equipment. The cap can be exceeded with three-fourths approval of the council, which is eleven of 14 alderpersons. The resolution adopted last night does not indicate a specific amount that will be borrowed, only that the city will exceed the borrowing cap. City officials will be looking more in depth at the borrowing plan next Monday, at which time there will also be a public hearing. The proposed borrowing for next year totals $5.9-million dollars, which includes $4.25-million dollars for roads and $1.5-million dollars for parks.

(Beaver Dam) A multi-million-dollar plan to relocate the Beaver Dam Department of Public Works facility will not be going to the voters in the form of a referendum. The city council voted down that motion last (Monday) night eight-to-six. A second motion was approved to delay a decision until after the 2021 budget was adopted, so that city officials can get more feedback from the public. Options for the relocation from the southside of the city to the northside range between $10-million-and-$13-million dollars. The relocation was identified in a facilities study a decade ago to help preserve expensive equipment and address safety issues. A proposed site is in the business park off Industrial Drive, behind Conagra Foods.

(Calamus) An arrest warrant has been issued for a Waupun man charged with running from Dodge County deputies. Timothy Savannah was reportedly pulled over for speeding through a construction zone in August on Highway 151. The deputy allegedly smelt a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. When asked to step out, the 28-year-old reportedly sped away. The pursuit was called off after two miles. Savannah was scheduled to make his initial appearance in court yesterday but failed to show.

(Fond du Lac) Fond du Lac County Judge Gary Sharpe will be leaving the bench at the end of the year. Sharpe is resigning December 31st. Sharpe’s current term of office runs through July of 2022 so Governor Tony Evers is seeking applicants to fill the remainder of that term. Applications can be found on the Governor’s website under the “Apply to Serve” page. Completed application forms and supporting materials should be submitted by October 19th. Judge Sharpe currently presides over Branch 4 of the Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.