November 22, 2014

Two-Vehicle Crash in Calamus Produces Fatality


11/22/14 – A 29-year-old Lake Mills man was killed in a fatal vehicle accident early this morning.  The crash occurred just after 4 a.m. on U.S. Highway 151 south of North Salem Road in the town of Calamus.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office determined that the man was driving southbound in the northbound lane of the highway.  His vehicle collided with a truck being operated by a 26-year-old Beaver Dam woman.  She was transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene by the county medical examiner’s office.  Initial investigation shows that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.  Names will not be released any sooner than Monday to ensure that the family of the deceased can be notified.

Dodge County 2015 Budget Error


11/22/14 – The Dodge County Finance Committee held a special meeting this morning to discuss how to deal with an administrative error pertaining to the county’s 2015 budget.  The document, which was approved last week, is said to be in violation of Wisconsin Act 20, limits the increase in levy capacity to the increase value of Net New Construction and/or value generated through the closure of a municipal TIF District.  As a result of this error, an overstatement of available levy capacity for 2015 was made pertaining to the use of allowed adjustments.  Department of Revenue regulations do provide for allowable adjustments to the levy capacity formula.  Examples of an allowable adjustment include the use of unused tax levy dollars from the prior year and debt service.  The county’s financial advisor, Ehlers Incorporated, reviewed four courses of action with Dodge County officials in a recent consultation.  Following that meeting, the finance committee is recommending to the board that Dodge County allocate nearly $234-thousand unused prior levy dollars and over $82-thousand dollars of debt service allowance for reporting purposes.  Dodge County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on the matter at a special meeting this Tuesday, November 25th.  If the finance committee’s recommendation is approved, the previously adopted 2015 budget, tax levy, and mill rate would not change.


Horicon Fire Department Called to House Blaze


11/22/14 – Fire damaged a house near Horicon Thursday. Crews responded to N6469 County Road E in the Town of Hubbard just after 1pm. Chief Jim Bandsma says the fire began in the basement of the house, came up through the living room floor, and damaged part of the floor.  A passerby had reported smoke coming from the residence.  Approximately ten units responded, including assistance from Hustisford, Mayville, and Juneau’s fire departments.  The responders had the blaze under control within about fifteen minutes of arrival.  Bandsma says that one dog but no people were in the building at the time of the incident.  The twelve-year-old black lab perished during the incident.  Bandsma says that the house is not currently habitable but likely will be once repairs are made.  An estimate cost of the damage is not yet available.


Three Persons Injured in Vehicle Crash Near Fox Lake


11/22/14 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle collision yesterday morning.  The incident occurred at the intersection of County Roads A & C at approximately 9:05 a.m.  An SUV was traveling east and making a left turn onto County Highway C when it struck a west-bound SUV in a head-on collision.  Two passengers from the SUV that caused the collision and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to the hospital with what were deemed non-life-threatening injuries.


Hunting Trespass Laws


11/22/14 – The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is reminding hunters to adhere to trespassing laws during the upcoming deer hunting season.  Under Wisconsin’s law, a person must have written or verbal permission to hunt on someone else’s land.  Prior to 1995, landowners had to post a sign on their property stating that they did not want anyone to hunt on those grounds.  Although hunters are normally required to make a reasonable effort to collect any game that they have injured or killed, they may not do so if it involves trespassing.  The one exception to the rule is that a person who owns private land that is surrounded by public land must place a sign on their grounds that states they do not want hunting to occur.  If landowners do have issues with trespassers this hunting season, they are advised to call their county sheriff’s office as DNR wardens do not have the authority to investigate these complaints.


Last Day for Saturday DPW Garage in Beaver Dam


11/22/14 – After this weekend, the Beaver Dam Public Works Garage will be closed on Saturdays. Yard waste can be dropped off at the garage at 640 South Center Street today from 10am to 2pm. No waste of any kind will be accepted from contractors or from people that are not Beaver Dam residents.  Saturday hours will pick back up in the spring. If you are unable to drop off your waste this morning, the public works garage will still be open weekdays 7am to 3:30pm.


Wisconsin Farmland Values Holding Steady


11/22/14 – Wisconsin farmland values are about the same as a year ago — but they did go down from July through September.  That’s according to a survey of agricultural bankers by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  It found that Wisconsin farmland values dropped four-percent in the most recent quarter — the second-largest drop among the five states in the survey.  Iowa’s farmland fell six-percent, and Illinois two-percent.  Michigan had a one-percent increase, while Indiana was up four-percent.  For the previous year, farmland values held steady throughout the Federal Reserve district, and Wisconsin did the same. The Chicago Federal Reserve also reported a surge in demand for non-real-estate loans compared to a year ago, pushing the loan-to-deposit ratio to its highest in more than three years. Repayment rates for non-real-estate farm loans were down from last year, while loan renewals and extensions were higher.  Interest rates for real estate and operating loans stayed close to record lows.


75 High School Students Suspended After Police Called


11/22/14 – Seventy-five West Bend high school students were suspended, after a meeting over a new policy on hall-passes turned ugly Thursday.  According to students who were interviewed by reporters, their fellow students were upset that administrators would not answer their questions about the policy.  Police said they were called to a campus that houses both West Bend East and West high schools, when a meeting between school officials and students about the hall-pass policy got out of control.  When they arrived, officers a number of youngsters were running down hallways, and ripping materials of school walls. The school went on a soft lock-down, and things settled down later in the morning.  Initial reports said one person was arrested.  Police said the investigation would take a few days to complete — and those responsible could get disorderly conduct citations, or be referred to juvenile authorities. Former Beaver Dam High School Associate Principal Bill Greymont assumed the principals position in the West Bend school system this semester.


Local Groups Helping with Annual Red Kettle Campaign


11/22/14 – Beaver Dam’s Kiwani’s chapter is volunteering to help the Salvation Army with its Red Kettle Campaign as part of a service project for an eighth consecutive year.  A major element of the campaign is gathering volunteers to ring bells at various locations in the area.  Co-chair of the effort Jack Hankes says that various groups, including families, school organizations, and local businesses, in the community are very willing to give their time to help the cause.  Hankes fellow co-chair Rhonda Steiner says that the cause is very worthwhile for those who volunteer their time and give funds as the majority of the money stays close to home.  She notes that 86% of all funds collected stay in Dodge County to provide life essentials for those in need.  The other 14% goes towards a group of general items that include: providing a summer camp for single mothers to learn about parenting skills, funding an alcohol and drug treatment center in Milwaukee, and aiding in disaster services.  The campaign will also seek to raise funds through the 6th annual Red Kettle Concert that will be held in the Beaver Dam High School auditorium on Sunday, December 7 beginning at 2 p.m.  The event is free to attend, but donations are collected.  Anyone who would like to volunteer to work one of the remaining bell ringing shifts can contact Hankes at 920-887-4282.