It was a long time coming, but on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 25), Jon Pardi finally stood on the stage of the BMI building in Nashville and savored the joy of having his first No. 1 party. The celebration was for âHead Over Boots,â Pardiâs fifth single, which he co-wrote with Luke Laird. The tall, boots... Read more »...more
The 50th annual CMA Awards performance lineup has added new Country Music Hall of Famers, former entertainers of the year, previous winners, 2016 nominees plus artists from other genres. Appearing onstage will be Jason Aldean, Clint Black, Roy Clark, Charlie Daniels, Elle King, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Pentatonix, Thomas Rhett, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton, Randy... Read more »...more
Jason Aldean brought his 11th annual Concert for the Cure home to Nashville on Tuesday (Oct. 25) for the eighth annual Opry Goes Pink show in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Aldean kicked off the show by flipping the switch to turn the Opryâs iconic barn backdrop pink. During his five-song set, he presented... Read more »...more
10/26/16 - Cash bond was set at $100,000 yesterday for a Watertown man charged with his 7th OWI. Officers responded to the Camelot Golf Club in Lomira on Sunday after receiving a call of a truck that had been sitting in the parking lot for an hour with its lights on. When officers arrived, they reportedly found Jeromy Morgan sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running. The 43-year-old told police he had been playing disc golf and reportedly said he had been drinking throughout the day. Morgan allegedly smelled strongly of intoxicants, had slurred speech, and had a lethargic look on his face. When asked what he was doing, Morgan reportedly told officers (quote) “I’m not drinking and driving” but later allegedly said he was going to spend the night in the parking lot because he had too much to drink. Police say empty beer cans were scattered on the floor of the truck, and an open beer was in a cup holder. Morgan reportedly failed field sobriety tests and was in violation of a sobriety order from his probation. If he is convicted, Morgan faces up to ten years in prison. His preliminary hearing is set for November 3.
10/26/16 - Gas prices are back below two dollars per gallon in the Milwaukee area. Gas Buddy Dot Com listed 15 stations where regular unleaded is $1.99 Wednesday morning on the city's northwest side and in Wauwatosa. The Wisconsin Triple "A" reports a statewide average of $2.14 cents overnight -- four cents cheaper than one week ago, and 24 cents cheaper than last year at this time. Beaver Dam, Horicon and Mayville are averaging $2.15. Gas in Watertown is as low as $2.07; Portage is at $2.09; West Bend is $2.11. Oil industry analyst Jim Ritterbusch expects pump prices in southeast Wisconsin to be stable at least through next winter -- and if we see three-dollar gas again, it probably won't be until at least 2018. Ritterbusch, who runs a Chicago oil trading firm, says people in general are saving more these days. He believes consumers need to drive up the gross domestic product higher than we're seeing now.
10/26/16 - On a split vote, city officials in Waupun last night approved a budget for publication with an 11.6-percent levy increase. The council was presented with a budget outline earlier this month that had a 2.9-percent increase in the levy. City Administrator Kathy Schlieve told the committee of the whole last night that the school district portion of the tax bill will be going down and increasing the levy from this year’s $2.6-million to $2.9-million next year will allow the city to get caught up on badly needed street projects. If adopted next month, the 11.6-percent increase in the tax levy would translate to a roughly $90 increase for the average Dodge County homeowner on the city portion of the tax bill. For property owners in Dodge County, the mill rate would increase 89-cents to $7.39-per-thousand dollars of assessed value. Fond du Lac County residents would see an increase of 77-cents to $7.34-per thousand. The 2.9-percent levy increase would result in a 27-cent increase in the mill rate in Dodge County and 12-cents in Fond du Lac County. Alderman Pete Kaczmarski made the motion to go with the lower number, which failed on a 4-to-2 vote. A second motion to publish the higher tax levy was approved by the same margin. The budget in Waupun incudes a salary increase for non-union employees of 1.7-percent, expanded funding for economic development, new vehicles for the police and fire departments, drainage repair at the community center, and razing the old Washington Elementary School building. The public hearing and council action on the budget is slated for November 15.
10/25/16 - Dodge County taxes are still on track to stay fairly level in 2017. The finance committee tonight recommended a mill rate of $5.63 per thousand dollars of assessed value, which is down four cents from the current year. They also approved a tax levy just over $33,000,000, up $300,000 from this year’s figure. The total budget is worth $112,000,000, and county property values are up nearly one-percent to $5,900,000,000. A number of county board supervisors were on hand for the meeting and were given the opportunity to weigh in. Supervisor Jeff Berres proposed an amendment to the highway department’s budget. He suggested delaying the purchase of five of the seven proposed dump trucks by one year to instead use that $885,000 to fund additional road projects. Berres says multiple constituents have voiced concerns over the county’s highways. He notes the highway department proposed $3,000,000 in road repairs and $2,200,000 in truck replacements for 2017. While he says the county has spent $2,000,000-$2,500,000 on trucks each year, Berres says the county has funded less than five miles of road reconstructions each year. He says that is well below the 28 miles of annual pavement the county should do to maintain a 20-year rotation, which Berres believes is causing the quality of Dodge County’s highways to suffer. Supervisor Jeff Caine opposes the proposed amendment. While he says there is a need to maintain roads, Caine says the trucks are an immediate necessity to ensure the safety of the operators. He also cites the need for top notch equipment to ensure the streets are properly cleared in the winter. Caine believes other revenues will be available in coming years, starting in 2018, to address the road repairs. The finance committee will consider the amendment proposal at its November 8 meeting. The full county board will vote on the budget the following week.
10/25/16 - The Beaver Dam School Board adopted the 2016-2017 budget at last night’s meeting. The $42.7-million-dollar document includes a $12.5-million-dollar tax levy. That results in a mill rate of $8.15 per thousand dollars of assessed value, two cents lower than the rate adopted last October. Superintendent Steve Vessey says the mill rate in Beaver Dam continues to be below both the state average and local districts. Vessey notes that if the school funding referendum on the November ballot is approved, the school tax rate would still be projected to be below both local districts and the state average. The $48.9-million-dollar school funding referendum seeks to fund a variety of improvements at the high school but also security upgrades throughout the district. There was a small decrease in district students based on third Friday counts with 3488 students recorded this year, four less than last year. Seventy-five percent of the budget is directed to personnel with 53-percent as salary and 22-percent in benefits.
10/25/16 - Columbus School District residents will see a decrease in the mill rate on their December tax bills. The city, along with the ten neighboring townships that comprise the district, held their annual budget meeting last night. The $13.9 million dollar operations budget for 2017 will be a half-million dollars higher than the budget adopted last year. That includes a third payment of $7.5-million dollars borrowed to complete energy-efficiency and safety-security projects. The $6.8-million-dollar tax levy is nearly $74-thousand dollars less than last year, which is just over one-percent lower. The mil rate is decreasing from $10.52 per-thousand to $9.89 per thousand dollars of assessed value.