November 30, 2014

Jackson Teen Killed In Town of Beaver Dam Crash


11/30/14 – A Washington County teenager was killed in a one-vehicle accident Saturday night in the Town of Beaver Dam. According to the Dodge County Sheriffs Department, a 2008 Honda Accord was eastbound on County E around 9pm when the vehicle failed to negotiate the curve at the intersection with County Highway A. The vehicle then entered the gravel shoulder on County E and went airborne, landing in the northbound lane of County A. The vehicle then went airborne again and rolled over.  A 17-year-old passenger from Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene by the Dodge County Medical Examiner’s office.   The driver sustained non-life threatening injuries.  The names of those involved are being withheld at this time pending notification of family.  The school the teens attend has been notified.  Agencies assisting at the scene include the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Beaver Dam Police Department, Beaver Dam Fire and EMS, Dodge County Medical Examiner’s Office, Dodge County Crash Investigation Team, and the Dodge County Emergency Response Team. The crash is currently under investigation by the Dodge County Crash Investigation Team.


Opiate Counseling Available for Non-Criminal Residents


11/30/14 – This third installment of a four part series on the issue of drug and alcohol abuse in Dodge County looks at the opiate counseling that is offered for non-criminal justice users.  Dodge County’s Human Services and Health Director Janet Wimmer says that the program’s approach is quite comprehensive and notes that a person can seek help for them self or a loved one.  She notes that the program is designed to move a person from addiction to recovery and also help them access employment opportunities.  Wimmer says that there are multiple different paths that can be used, depending on the specific person’s needs.  Out-patient and intensive out-patient plans are both offered and can be utilized based on the results of the initial assessment of the participant’s condition.  A combination of face-to-face sessions with a therapist, group interactions, and family support gatherings are held to aide in the recovery.  Random drug testing is also implemented as part of the program.  There are no income eligibility requirements to enroll although the county does look to bill insurance companies accordingly.  In tomorrow’s final part of the series, Dodge County’s role as a trailblazer in its combat of substance addiction will be examined.


Black Friday Spending Down


11/30/14 – U.S. shoppers spent $9.1 billion at stores on Black Friday. That’s according to data released Saturday from the research firm ShopperTrak. The tally is a drop of seven-percent compared with the same day last year. Thanksgiving Day sales jumped 24 percent to $3.2 billion. Overall sales for the two days are expected to slip one half of a percent to $12.3 billion. In a separate report released Saturday, IBM said online sales for Black Friday climbed 9.5-percent over the same day last year. More than one of every four transactions was made using a smartphone or tablet computer. Retail businesses are optimistic. The National Retail Federation predicts that sales for the last two months of the year will top $616.9 billion, an increase of 4.1-percent over the same period in 2013. That would count as the biggest increase for that sales period in three years, but it would still be slower than the six-percent pace typical prior to the recession in 2007.


Milwaukee Sewer District Buys Washington County Property


11/30/14 – The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is hoping a Wisconsin Stewardship grant will cover up to half of the cost of its purchase of 138 acres of floodplain forest and wetlands in the Town of Farmington.  The M-M-S-D’s Greenseams program brought the property on the northwest shore of spring-fed Lake Twelve last week.  The district is pursuing this program in an effort to protect open spaces with water-absorbing soils so rain and melting snow are held on the land and not just flushed down the big city’s sewers as runoff.  That land is compared to a big sponge which can head-off flooding in more densely populated communities.  Total price for the property in Washington County was a little over 455-thousand dollars.


BDFD Warns Against Illegal Outdoor Burning


11/30/14 – The Beaver Dam Fire Department notes that there are certain rules that residents must follow when burning materials outside.  Firefighter John Jatczak says that there is a list of commonly found items that are not legal to burn in the city, including leaves brush, grass, treated wood, plastic, paper, and garbage.  In addition to clean cut wood, charcoal fires for grilling food are also permissible.  Jatczak says that any fire that is started in one’s backyard must be at least twenty feet away from any buildings on the property.  He urges residents to follow these guidelines to ensure that the allowance to burn permissible items is not completely revoked as he says that many nearby cities permit no open burning.  For a complete list of ordinance stipulations, visit the fire department tab on the City of Beaver Dam website.


MPTC Selling Commemorative Bricks


11/30/14 – Moraine Park Technical College is selling commemorative bricks for its new entrance and student services center at its Fond du Lac campus. MPTC President Sheila Ruhland says the money raised from the pavers won’t be used to offset the $1.5 million construction costs. She says it will support student scholarships and the student emergency funds. The bricks will be at the front entry way. Ruhland says if you are interested you can find out more information at their Foundation page on their website. She says you can choose $100 and $200 dollar commemorative pavers. The 5,200 square foot addition will accommodate expanded areas for student affairs and student veterans’ services.


MATC Program Trains Cops on Drone Ethics


11/30/14 – The technical college in Madison has created a program to train law enforcement on the proper and ethical use of drones.  Madison College says there’s a public perception that officers could use the unmanned cameras to snoop on people unnecessarily.  Because of that, Brian Landers — the college’s criminal justice chairman — said there was a need to provide “safe and ethical training” on the drones — and where they cannot be used.  Earlier this year, the governor and Legislature approved a bill to let law enforcement use drones.  They must obtain search warrants to gather evidence, but there are exceptions for things like rescue-and-search operations.  Landers says drones can save lives, as well as tax dollars.  The American Civil Liberties Union says the state law is too weak — and lawmakers still need to create guidelines to protect people’s privacy.


State Patrol Tweeting Ariel Enforcement Times, Locations


11/30/14 – Despite the changes in seasons, the Wisconsin State Patrol continues to use its “eyes in the sky” to watch for drivers failing to follow the rules of the road. Major J.D. Lind explains the Air Support Unit’s enforcement role. “The pilots watch for things like speeders, aggressive drivers, following too close — those types of things. Last year, the Air Support Unit conducted 64 aerial enforcement missions that resulted in over 1,500 traffic citations being issued. The ultimate goal is not to just write tickets, but to enforce traffic laws to keep the highways safe for all of the motoring public.” In an effort to get drivers to voluntarily slow down and follow other traffic laws, Wisconsin DOT, this year, is tweeting the times and locations of aerial enforcements. You can get those notices by following WisDOT on Twitter, the department’s handle is @WisconsinDOT.


Waupun Memorial Still Selling Love Lights


11/30/14 – The Waupun Memorial Hospital continues to sell “Love-Lights.”  The lights are intended to offer a living memorial or a tribute to a loved one.  The tree will be lit in front of the hospital for the entire month of December and will be on display in the building’s lobby throughout the coming year.  Both the donor and the honored person’s name will be on display.  Donation coupons can be picked up at WMH’s gift shop or volunteer desk.  Proceeds support the hospital’s auxiliary service projects to “enhance the healing environment.”


Manufacturing Index Up In November


11/30/14 – Industries in Wisconsin and northern Illinois are spending money to close out their budgets.  That’s partially why a key manufacturing indicator improved in November.  Marquette University and the Milwaukee chapter of the Institute for Supply Management said the seasonally-adjusted manufacturing index was just under 69 for the month — up from 65-and-two-thirds for October.  Anything above 50 shows growing market conditions.  Anything below 50 shows declines, but we haven’t seen much of that in 2014.  The index has been above 50 in nine of the year’s eleven months.  The survey is taken by corporate purchasing managers.  They found that there have been recent shortages of components from suppliers.


UW Staffers Get $17-Million In Extra Pay


11/30/14 – Academic staffers at University of Wisconsin campuses were given over 17-million dollars in extra-duty pay in the last school year.  That’s after the governor and Legislature ended limits on academic overtime.  U-W officials call the extra pay “overload,” which is given for course responsibilities which go beyond a base workload.  The Green Bay Press-Gazette said the U-W’s total overage pay rose 18-percent from the previous year, when a 12-thousand dollar limit per person was on the books but not always enforced.  The new numbers show that 43 professors got more than 20-thousand dollars in overload — compared to just two professors who got that much the year before.  U-W Green Bay had the largest average overage pay, with 62-hundred dollars per professor.  That’s 17-hundred-dollars more than any of the other 25 public Wisconsin campuses.  Officials said the overage pay went to those who created and taught new courses for business, engineering, and environmental technology.  The school said the overages should drop when it hires permanent professors for the new courses.


Dane County Man Find Wedding Ring Eight Years Later


11/30/14 – A Madison area man who lost his wedding ring in 2006 finally has it back. Justin Blair was bowling at the time.  He had just thrown his first ball at Wildcat Lanes in Verona, when he felt the ring come off.  Dozens of bowlers helped Blair search for the ring, but they couldn’t find it.  They also searched the next day, to no avail — and Justin’s wife Becky was quite upset.  Eight years later, Becky Blair told W-I-S-C T-V that she heard a church would take over the building. She assumed the lanes would be torn up, so she asked the church to watch for the ring.  Sure enough, Becky got an e-mail a few months later, saying the wedding ring was found.  They re-sized it — and since then, it has never left Justin’s hand.