7/28/15 - The "National Night Out" family celebration is one week away. The August 4th nationwide event has become a major event in Columbus promoting police and community partnerships. Columbus police and firefighters are holding the night full of public safety events in Fireman's Park. Police Chief Dan Meister says that one of the most popular events -- the "Flight for Life" helicopter landing – will be held again this year in the park. America's Night Out Against Crime began in 1984 across America to promote community involvement in crime prevention. Activities focused on health, wellness and public safety in Columbus will start at 6pm.
7/28/15 - Columbus Schools have a new Superintendent. Annette Deuman signed a district contract last night prior to observing her first board meeting at Columbus Middle School. Deuman said she is anxious to start meeting the school community when students register in two weeks. The new superintendent says she likes Columbus because it has the same kind of "small town" feel that she enjoyed when she was growing up in Waupaca. Deuman is planning to relocate from DePere to Columbus so that she can begin her new job on August 12th.
7/28/15 - Main Street Mayville, the group tasked with revitalizing the city’s downtown area, is one of eighteen accepted into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporations’ Connect Communities Program for the coming year. Erin Welty, who works for WEDC, says they select participants through a scoring system that includes looking at the group’s organizational capacity and ability to carry out what they learn in the program. She says Mayville’s application stood out due its recent revitalization activity, commitment to the arts, and promotion of growth and development. In addition to helping grow organizational capacity and working to increase the volunteer base, Welty says the program provides workshops, webinars, trainings, and an online resource directory. Main Street Mayville applied for a one-year program but can extend that as long as they continue to meet the requirements. Connect Communities is entering its third year, and Welty says it now has 51 members. She says there is no budget requirement for participants which is important since Mayville’s City Council cut the group’s funding for this year. That was part of the city’s effort to avoid raising taxes. Mayor Bob Redeker encouraged the group to reapply for funding for 2016.
7/28/15 - Adoption numbers are on the rise at the Dodge County Humane Society. That’s according to Interim Executive Director Kensie Drinkwine who outlines the year-to-date numbers. Last year by this time, the Humane Society adopted out 92 animals. Through June 30 of this year, 320 animals have left the shelter in Juneau. Conversely, the first six months of last year there were 174 animals taken in to the shelter while this year; for this year they are at 417. Drinkwine credits the increase in adoptions and intake numbers to an aggressive social media campaign and online presence, an easier adoption process and a greater variety of animals. She credits the greater variety to a recent partnership with high-kill shelters. Dodge County has a no-kill shelter and their collaboration with the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control and Louisville Metro Animal Services in Kentucky has brought a greater number of animals to the Juneau shelter. Drinkwine says financially, the shelter is not in the dire straits that it was in the past couple years, though donations are always needed. Their wish list also includes scoopable cat litter, wet dog and cat foot, pill-pockets and laundry detergent.
7/26/15 - The Columbus Council is three steps away from approving a new Tax Incremental Financing District. The proposed TIF # 4 site is located on the northwestern side of the city along Highway 16 near the intersection with Highway 151. The council will be holding a special meeting this week to discuss the necessary steps. City administrators have been in discussions with TIF # 4 planners for the past three months. A three-phase, $14 thousand dollar planning agreement with Ehlers and Associates is part of the deal. The proposed TIF land is owned by Carl Benk and Richard Sheard.
7/26/15 - The victim of the drowning in Columbia County Friday afternoon has been identified as Steven G. Michener of New Lenox, Illinois. Dive teams recovered the body of the 49-year-old from Lake Wisconsin in Lodi after witnesses had called saying they saw him in the water calling for help. The call from a pub and grill said the man was in distress. Paramedics and law enforcement officers also responded to the location just of Demynck Road. The body was recovered three hours after the call first came in. Officials say no foul play is suspected. The man had been on a pontoon boat before going into the water. It is not clear whether he fell in or went swimming.