12/20/14 – Moraine Park Technical College President Dr. Sheila Ruhland will be leaving the school as she has verbally accepted to become the new president at Tacoma Community College in Washington. Ruhland joined MPTC in July 2011 and was able to obtain state and federal grants for the school. Under her guidance, the Forming Alliance to Cultivate Talent Initiative was established, student nursing scores on the NCLEX test were consistently above the national average, and ground was broken on a student services wing at the Fond du Lac campus. Ruhland will be leaving to begin the new role on March 9. Moraine Park Board President Vernon Jung expects an interim leader to be named early next year.
12/20/14 - Beaver Dam Firefighter Donald Smith spoke about the department’s various means of rescuing persons who have fallen through ice on the city’s lake during a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment. Smith says that the department possesses multiple devices, including a hovercraft and what is called a ‘banana boat’ that allow them to get onto the lake and out to the location where the person has fallen through the ice. Smith notes that the objective with the boat is for two of the rescue unit members to pull the patient up into the device with the help of a board. Another option is to throw a ladder out to the person, as long as they are not suffering from hypothermia and can still grab the object. Smith says that the rescuers do everything in their power to avoid going into the water themselves and only do so as a last resort. The firefighter encourages anyone who is planning to go out on the lake to be aware of the thickness of ice and any open holes that might be present.
12/20/14 - The Beaver Dam Elks Lodge is running an initiative to aide people in being able to utilize the Beaver Dam lake for ice skating. The organization recently requested and received a $2-thousand dollar grant from the National Elks Foundation. Lodge Chair of Fundraising Harvey Lewis says that the group was able to use that allocation to get a substantial start in implementing the program by purchasing a total of 45 pairs of skates, which are divided up between warming shelters at Crystal Lake and Tahoe. He says that if the endeavor goes well this winter, the Elks will request another grant next year to expand the program.
12/20/14 - The Wisconsin State Patrol swore in 47 new officers during a graduation ceremony yesterday in Madison. The 47 cadets that make up the 60th Recruiting Class went through 23 weeks of training, which began on July 13. They will either work as state patrol troopers or inspectors in one of the state’s five regions. Troopers are tasked with patrolling highways to enforce traffic safety and criminal laws while inspectors focus on the enforcement of safety laws and regulations pertaining to commercial vehicles. Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.
12/20/14 - Wisconsin's job growth continues to lag behind the rest of the country. The federal government said that the Badger State grew its private-sector workforce by one-and-a-half percent for the year ending in June. That's the 32nd-largest job growth among the 50 states -- and it lags behind the national increase of two-point-three percent. The numbers come from the Quarterly Census of Employment-and-Wages, the most accurate indicator of job growth since it surveys 96-percent of employers. The monthly unemployment updates only survey about three-and-a-half percent of employers -- which state officials have criticized when the numbers make Wisconsin look bad. That's not true today, however. The Labor Department said the Badger State added an estimated 16-thousand-500 private sector jobs in October. However, that data is often subject to heavy revisions later on. Wisconsin's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped another two-tenths of a point to five-point-two percent. That's six-tenths less than the national jobless rate for last month.
12/19/14 - The State Supreme Court has reprimanded a Beaver Dam attorney for giving his son access to a trust account that's supposed to be used to serve his clients. The justices rejected a proposed two-year suspension for attorney Richard Steffes. The state's Office of Lawyer Regulation suggested the license suspension, along with an order to pay 10-thousand dollars in restitution. The justices rejected the payback order as well, saying Steffes only has to cover the 78-hundred-dollar cost of the office's investigation. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a customer of his son's construction firm paid 27-thousand dollars for a job that was never finished. The money was placed into Steffes' trust account -- but state auditors found that only 16-thousand was actually used for the project, which was never completed. The Supreme Court's attorney for the case, Catherine Rottier (ro-teer'), said it was never proven that the customer lost any money -- and the proposed two-year suspension for Steffes seemed "entirely too harsh." The court said it was clear, though, that Steffes violated trust account rules, and that's why a reprimand was in order.