November 25, 2014

First Snowfall Leads To Slippery Roads


11/25/14 – The area got its first real taste of winter on Monday. Our region had 3-to-5 inches but Gile in northern Wisconsin got 15-inches of snow on top of the 80-inches it had the past two weeks. Madison broke a 127-year-old snowfall record for the date with five-point-three inches. Beaver Dam and Watertown reported four inches. Oshkosh and West Bend reported three inches. Harmony Grove in Columbia County had two-and-a-half. Drivers had to adjust to winter conditions for the first time in months — and the result was predictable. Almost 75 vehicles drove into ditches in Waukesha County, and it had 57 crashes in which nine people were injured. Milwaukee County had around 40 crashes yesterday afternoon alone. In Dodge County, there were around 50 runoffs and rollovers resulting in four injuries reported since the snow started falling Monday though early Tuesday morning.


Two Killed In Columbia County Accident


11/25/14 – Two people were killed in a two vehicle accident Monday in Columbia County. It happened at 2:41pm on Highway 22 at County Highway EE near Pardeeville in the Marcellon Township. Sheriff Dennis Richards says the preliminary investigation shows that a northbound car lost control and went into the southbound lanes where it was struck by a pick-up pulling a trailer. Both passengers inside the car were pronounced dead at the scene by the Columbia County Medical Examiner. The driver and lone occupant of the truck was not injured. Names are being withheld pending notification of family.


Name Released Of Motorist Killed Near Beaver Dam


11/25/14 – The identity of the motorist killed while driving his vehicle southbound in the northbound lane of Highway 151 in the Town of Calamus early Saturday morning has been released by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.  29-year-old Jesse Lee Becker of Lake Mills was pronounced dead at the scene by the county medical examiner’s office following the 4am crash.  Alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the accident, according to the initial investigation.  Non-life threatening injuries were sustained by the 26-year-old Beaver Dam women with whom Becker collided.


Deer Harvest Numbers Down Locally, Statewide


11/25/14 – Wisconsin’s deer harvest was the lowest in years for the opening weekend of the nine-day gun season.  According to the D-N-R’s preliminary figures, almost 90-thousand-300 deer were shot Saturday and Sunday — down 18-percent from last year’s tally of almost 111-thousand.  Preliminary deer harvest numbers from the Wisconsin DNR show a decrease in most counties in the region. In Dodge County, there were 511 bucks taken this weekend and 607 antlerless for a total of 1118, a decrease of 12-percent from last year’s opening weekend when 1266 animals were taken. Columbia County was down two-percent with 1739 deer harvested this weekend which is 28 animals fewer than 2013. Jefferson County experienced a decrease of 18-percent with 630 deer this year compared to 768 last year. Fond du Lac County saw eight-percent less deer taken this year with 989, a drop from last year’s 1071. Washington County was the only county in the region with an increase of three-percent; 713 this year and 691 last year.


As expected, the far northern counties had the biggest declines.  The D-N-R is working to increase the deer herd in that region, after last year’s rough winter caused major reductions.  To try and re-build the herd, all-or-parts of 19 northern counties limited their hunting to bucks-only this season.  Permits for antlerless deer are at their lowest since the 1990’s in northern Wisconsin.  As a result, the statewide antlerless take on the opening weekend was just 41-thousand-plus — down 27-percent from a year ago.  The buck harvest was down nine-percent, to almost 49-thousand.  The D-N-R reported no shooting incidents in the first two days, despite heavy fog and rain in a number of areas on Sunday.  2010 was the only other year in which no shootings occurred in the opening weekend. Wisconsin sold almost 590-thousand deer hunting licenses by the time the season opened.  That’s down by over four-percent from a year ago.


More John Doe Records To Be Released Today


11/25/14 – About 70-thousand more pages of documents will be released today in the long-completed John Doe probe into Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County aides. It’s the fourth time this year that County Executive Chris Abele will release e-mails from the computers of former employees in the executive’s office when Governor Walker ran it. Many of the items released so far described the illegal campaigning that aides conducted on taxpayer time for Walker when he ran for governor in 2010 — and for Brett Davis, who ran and lost for lieutenant governor the same year. Six Walker associates were convicted for related misconduct, and for embezzling thousands of dollars from a Milwaukee County program that honored Wisconsin veterans. In May, a judge ordered that more than 500 giga-bytes of data be released to the public. The three previous document-dumps came once a month since August.


Business Groups Against DOT Tax Increase


11/25/14 – Ten Wisconsin business groups came out Monday against the D-O-T’s plan to raise taxes and fees by over 750-million dollars to help keep the state’s road work on track.  The state Manufacturers-and-Commerce group, the Federation of Independent Business, the state Motor Carriers and Restaurant associations are among those opposing plans which include a gas tax hike and a fee on new car purchases.  In a statement, the ten groups said they wanted to work with Republican Governor Scott Walker on a transportation funding solution they believe is “fair and equitable.”  The tax-and-fee hikes are part of the D-O-T budget request for the next two years which also includes, more borrowing for road projects, adding millions which are now used for other state purposes, and a study of a possible fee according to how miles a vehicle owner drives.  Last week, Walker promised “significant changes” the D-O-T’s budget proposal — but he wouldn’t say what they’ll be.  The governor will submit his budget plan to the Legislature early next year.


Milwaukee Archdiocese Bishop Leaving For Indiana


11/25/14 – The auxiliary bishop of the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese is leaving to become the new church leader in Gary Indiana.  The U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the appointment of 51-year-old Donald Hying, to lead about 185-thousand Catholic at the Gary Diocese in northwest Indiana.  Hying was ordained as a priest in 1989 in Milwaukee archdiocese, which serves ten southeastern Wisconsin counties including Dodge County. He was later the rector at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary.  Hying became the auxiliary bishop in 2011, and he’ll be installed in his new post on January sixth.


Beaver Dam Woman Named Chair Of Farmers Alliance


11/25/14 – A Beaver Dam woman will become the new chair of the U-S Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.  Nancy Kavazanjian has been elected to lead a coalition of more than 80 farming-and-ranching groups, with a goal of boosting consumers’ trust in the way agriculture produces food.  In just three years of existence, the alliance has developed some important tools to communicate with consumers. They include Food Dialogue programs, in which farmers discuss their experiences.  Five farmers will travel the country to tell their stories.  The Alliance has also produced a video called “Farmland” which can be downloaded. Kavazanjian tells the Brownfield Ag News Service that the goal is to get that video into all U-S high schools.  They also plan to offer shorter features on its Web site, which you’ll find at FoodDialogues-Dot-Com.  Kavazanjian represents the U-S Soybean Board on the coalition.  She’s also involved with the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association and Wisconsin Women-in-Agriculture.


Columbus City Snowmobile Trail Green-Lighted


11/25/14 – A groomed snowmobile trail through the city of Columbus has been approved for a second year. Columbus-Fall River Snow Blazers Club spokesperson Dave Weisman came before the council recently to speak in favor of allowing snowmobile riders to use an approved trail through parts of Columbus. Council members had reported resident complaints of speeding, noise and property damage. However, there were positive reports of citizens favoring the recreational and commercial value of allowing in-town trail use during useable snow conditions.  Council non-action has permitted the current agreement to stand allowing the club to make snowmobiling through the city of Columbus for the 2014-15 season.


Overnight Parking Restrictions In Place In Beaver Dam


11/25/14 – Winter parking restrictions in Beaver Dam went into effect last night. Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy announced that no parking is allowed on city streets between 2am and 6am, so that the Department of Public Works can clear snow. Citations will be issued for violations and begin at $20 if the ticket is paid within five days. The parking ban will remain in effect until April 1 unless it is announced that the ban has been temporarily or permanently lifted. A $40 on-street parking permit is required for those who have no alternative but to park on the street.


Emergency Snow Declaration In Fox Lake


11/25/14 – Overnight parking restrictions are now in effect in Fox Lake. Mayor Tom Bednarek has declared a snow emergency in the city so that plows can clear streets. Under city ordinance, winter parking regulations do not begin until December 1, but Police Chief Jim Rohr requested the emergency parking declaration citing the importance of clear streets for public safety.