7/30/14 - One of the targets of the John Doe probe into the state's recall elections has been turned down in its request to add more defendants. The Wisconsin Club for Growth asked Federal Judge Rudolph Randa to add the Government Accountability Board and its director Kevin Kennedy to the lawsuit. But Randa says he can't do it while prosecutors appeal the judge's earlier order which halted the investigation at least for now. Randa said it's the "better course of action" to keep matters at a standstill while the cases goes through the appeals process. The judge said the Government Accountability Board could file its own friend-of-the-court brief if it chooses. The two-year-old John Doe has looked into allegations that Republican recall candidates, including Governor Scott Walker and Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, illegally coordinated their campaigns with outside groups. The Club for Growth said the probe violated its free speech rights, by keeping the group quiet during this year's active election cycle.
7/30/14 - Roughly 250 people packed into the Juneau Community Center Tuesday night to listen the sheriff’s debate sponsored by the American Federal of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union. Incumbent Patricia Ninmann and challenger Dale Schmidt covered a variety of topics and issues in Dodge County. The hot button issue involved the morale and motivation that is conducted in the work place. Sheriff Pat Ninmann says in a department everyone needs to work together to create a positive atmosphere. She says you can’t look at one person to change the atmosphere of a workplace. Ninmann says she believes the department can do it, but it must start with the attitude that is brought to work every day. Challenger Dale Schmidt believes morale is very important but it starts with leadership to create a positive attitude. He says it is not a personal thing in this type of situation it comes from a lack of leadership and it is a very difficult environment to work in. Candidates were also given the opportunity to express changes they’d like to see in the work place. Sheriff Ninmann says she’d like to see everyone come together as a department and work under the department’s mission statement. She says change all comes down to teamwork. Ninmann says everyone needs to talk about the issues and realize they are on the same side. She says they need to get rid of management versus employee mindset and talk about the issues to get rid of the problems. Schmidt says he couldn’t agree more with Ninmann that they need to come together, but he says right now, there is no mission statement. He says the goals might be on the website, but it is not resonated down the line in the department. The election is coming up on August 12. You can listen to the whole debate on Saturday at 10am on AM1430 WBEV.
7/30/14 - During a debate in Fond du Lac Tuesday night involving three Republican candidates for Congress impeachment of President Barack Obama came up. House speaker John Boehner yesterday denied Republicans were moving to impeach the president. Candidates for the 6th Congressional District seat were asked about impeachment. State Senator Joe Leibham says it has to be proven first through hearings he violated constitutional responsibilities or lied to Congress or the people. But Leibham says he’s getting close to that especially when it comes to immigration. State Senator Glenn Grothman says Republicans won’t be able to impeach the President unless they have the public behind them and they will have to do a good job of educating the public first. State Representative Duey Stroebel says it’s a ploy by Democrats to try and win elections in the fall. The candidates also answered questions about Common Core, reauthorization of the import-export bank, legalizing marijuana and others.
7/30/14 - A final reminder: taxpayers who postponed the second installment of their property taxes, the payment is due tomorrow (Th). Dodge County Treasurer Patti Hilker says letters should be postmarked no later than July 31. She also says to make sure you check the balance of your first installment receipt to ensure proper payment because your second payment is not the same as your first payment. Payments can be made with a credit or debit card online or by calling an 800-number (www.officialpayments.com or 800-272-9829) or at the Treasurer’s Office, (127 East Oak Street) in Juneau. There are additional fees to pay online or by phone. Taxpayers mailing after the deadline are subject to interest and a penalty of ten point five percent (10.5%)… and for the second installment that is retroactive to February 1.
A Wisconsin faith-based coalition has asked Governor Scott Walker to seek a federal investigation into the alleged abuse of prisoners at Waupun. WISDOM has been pushing for a host of reforms at the state's lock-ups. Yesterday, the group wrote Walker to ask for a probe into suspected abuses by staffers in Waupun's segregation unit. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism cited 40 abuse allegations this month. Twenty-eight involved one guard who's suspected of slamming inmates into walls, choke holds, hitting prisoners' knees, touching genitals in strip searches, and making racial slurs. WISDOM has asked Walker to transfer the guard in question until an investigation is finished. The group also asked that the state Corrections Department rotate guards in segregation units, improve training, and create an independent system for inmates to lodge complaints. The Reverend Jerry Hancock, who heads a prison ministry project in Madison, says it's clear that the corrections agency is "out of control." Walker's office did not comment on the request for a federal probe. A corrections spokeswoman said the Dodge County Sheriff's Department normally investigates prison allegations, and there's been no substantiated allegations of prisoner abuse by Waupun staffers.
7/29/14 - The YMCA of Dodge County recently launched a new campaign to retire existing debt. The debt retirement campaign is geared towards the community to help unlock the full potential of the local YMCA. Executive Director Jen Kruel says they need to retire nearly $6.65 million dollars. Kruel says local donors have contributed lead gifts to start the campaign. She says the Schwertfeger family donated one million dollars, the YMCA Board of Directors donated $355-thousand dollars and Chuck and Randy Neuman donated $700-thousand dollars. And to get the ball rolling, Kruel says Horicon Bank has set a $2-million dollar matching grant put-out to the community. Kruel says the YMCA will accept cash donations and pledges to the organization. She says every dollar is matched by Horicon Bank. The YMCA has nearly $1.2 million dollars in matching donors to date and they are working to raise the remaining $800-thousand to take full advantage of the match Horicon Bank has offered. If all goes according to plan that leaves an additional $500-thousand dollars that would be needed to completely retire the debt. That means the gap to goal is just over $1.3 million dollars. Kruel says it is really important that they reach this goal, so they can give back to the community. The deadline to retire the debt is December 31.