September 30, 2016

DCSO Expects To Return 2016 Allocations To General Fund


9/30/16 – As it currently stands, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office total budget for 2017 is $160,000 less than the current year.  Despite having to account for two-percent wage increases for all 190 departmental employees, Sheriff Dale Schmidt said on WBEV’s Community Comment this week that no drastic cuts were made from 2016 as the difference was covered by excess revenues that have been realized this year along with minor changes like fuel savings.  Schmidt said the department plans to use additional, unexpected revenues to purchase seven new squad cars that were originally planned for 2017 by the end of this year.  If the county board approves the idea at its October meeting, Schmidt says it will save Dodge County $5,600.  In June, the sheriff’s office returned a $510,000 transfer the county board approved late last year to cover a projected departmental shortfall, along with an additional $57,000 in surplus funds.  While he would not speculate on a total, Schmidt expects to do the same at the end of 2016.  He says the county is filling between 270-275 beds per night in its jail with federal detainees.  Schmidt says those numbers have accounted for a large part of the excess funds since 235 was the nightly number budgeted for 2016.  He says last year’s projection has been conservatively repeated in the 2017 budget.  Dodge County’s preliminary budget totals $112,000,000 and includes a $33,000,000 tax levy.  The mill rate of $5.63 per thousand dollars of assessed value would be four cents less than the number homeowners saw on last December’s tax bill.  The budget will officially be presented to the county board on October 18 with final adoption slated for November 15.


Damage Estimates Top $21-Million In Wisconsin Flooding


9/30/16 – Damage estimates have risen to 21-million dollars from last week’s rains and floods in the southwest third of the state. Wisconsin Emergency Management says almost half the damage is in Vernon County, where two people were killed and 44 homes and business were destroyed. Columbia County is among twelve counties now reporting almost 14-million dollars of damage to roads and other public infrastructure, with another seven-million to more than 560 homes and businesses. County officials are still receiving damage figures, which the state will use to try and obtain federal disaster relief.


Former Governor Schreiber To Speak In Beaver Dam On Dementia


9/30/16 – A former Wisconsin governor will be speaking in Beaver Dam next month. The Dementia Concerns Coalition is hosting a program featuring guest speaker Martin Schreiber, who served as governor in the Badger State from 1977-trhough-1979. The 77-year-old Schreiber will be speaking as part of “The Dementia and Aging Crisis: The Cost to Communities, A Summit to Understand the Challenges Before the Crisis.” Karen Gibbs and Jennifer Fellin (fuh-lean) are with the Dementia Concerns Coalition explained to us on WBEV’s Community Comment this week that Schreiber has been a caregiver for his wife who has Alzheimer’s. The Dementia and Aging Crisis program will be held at the Old Hickory Golf Club in Beaver Dam on Thursday, October 20 from 1pm to 4pm. The interested are encouraged to pre-register through the Dodge County Aging and Disability Resource Center, contact information is on our website. Registration is also being offered at the Dementia Concerns Coalition Steppin’ Out For Dementia Awareness Walk next week, Saturday October 8 at the Beaver Dam Community Hospital.


Group Concerned With Inconsistent Voter ID Availability


9/30/16 – A national group that opposes voter I-D laws says Wisconsinites get conflicting information and surprise delays in obtaining I-Ds from the Division of Motor Vehicles. A federal judge has ordered the state to make sure those people can vote in November — and Attorney General Brad Schimel filed a court document eight days ago saying that D-M-V staffers were “trained to ensure” that applicants would have photo I-Ds mailed to them within six days after they apply. But Molly McGrath of the Vote Riders group has released a recording in which one man was turned away because he didn’t have a birth certificate — even though Schimel told a court that applicants don’t need one — and another D-M-V employee said the way I-Ds are handled is “up in the air.” McGrath tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel her group visited ten D-M-V locations and found different things happening to applicants. D-M-V chief Kristina Boardman says her agency “remains committed” to getting free I-Ds to “all eligible voters.”


Milwaukee Woman Bound Over On Smuggling Charge


9/30/16 – A Milwaukee woman will proceed to trial on charges that she tried smuggling drugs into Fox Lake Correctional Institution.  Kenjala Johnson has waived her right to a preliminary hearing on one felony count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate.  In July, prison officials monitored phone calls the 25-year-old was having with two inmates, including the father of one of her children. Johnson reportedly discussed bringing contraband when she visited.  Upon arrival, Johnson was confronted by prison staff and provided transcripts of the phone conversations.  Staff went outside to Johnson’s car and found it was being driven by another woman with Johnson’s children in the back seat.  The driver allowed officers to search the car, and they allegedly found bags and balloons that smelled of marijuana.  The driver reportedly told staffers that she saw Johnson put drugs in the balloons.  Other officers saw Johnson drop something on the floor during their conversation, which allegedly contained marijuana and pills.  If she is convicted, Johnson faces over three years in prison.  She will be arraigned on October 19.


Inmate Waives Hearing On Attacking Corrections Officer


9/30/16 – A Waupun Correctional Institution inmate accused of attacking a corrections officer will proceed to trial.  Jermaine Lockhart waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday on one felony count of Battery by Prisoner as a Repeat Offender.  The 35-year-old allegedly beat the officer with a milk crate last October during a cell search.  The officer was treated for an abrasion on the top of his head and a contusion to his left arm.  Lockhart claims the officer had been mistreating him prior to the alleged incident.  If he is convicted, Lockhart faces up to ten additional years in prison.  He will be arraigned October 26.


Musician Who Provided John Denver Vocals In Biopic In Waupun


9/30/16 – The Marsh Haven’s Nature Center’s Annual John Denver Celebration Weekend kicks-off tonight with a tribute artist who has a special connection to the Colorado musician. Jim Curry provided the vocals for the songs that were used in the made-for-television biopic “Take Me Home: The John Denver Story,” which aired 16 years ago. Curry says he thought the movie itself was pretty good but he could not say the same for Chad Lowe, the actor of portrayed Denver whose performance he called a “caricature.” Because of his experience in the movie, Curry was able to launch a full-time music career, often performing with members of Denver’s backing band. Curry will be performing tonight at Waupun’s Historic City Hall Auditorium at 7pm. Other weekend events celebrating John Denver will be held at the Marsh Haven Nature Center near Waupun tomorrow and Sunday, including additional tribute artist performances, the airing of a documentary starring John Denver, educational programs and hikes. Tomorrow at 3pm, there will be a special tribute to local raptor-rehabilitator Barb Harvey, who passed away last month.


Packers Detail Titletown Public Park


9/30/16 – The Green Bay Packers say their new business and residential district west of Lambeau Field will include a unique public park. An upscale Kohler hotel and the Hinterland Restaurant and Brewery are now being built in the 34-acre “Titletown District.” Between them, Packers’ president Mark Murphy says there will be a park with a regulation football field, and places where people can run the 40-yard dash just like prospective rookies do at the N-F-L Combine. There will also be a plaza for smaller concerts and festivals, a skating rink around an island, and a 300-foot sledding hill with lanes for inner tubing. The park will cover ten acres of the district, with its first facilities opening next year.