12/10/16 - The director of the state Elections Commission says a federal judge's refusal to halt the Wisconsin presidential recount means that the tally will be completed on time. James Peterson of Madison ruled yesterday that there's no legal reason to halt the tally, as requested by two groups of Donald Trump supporters. Only about 13% of the statewide ballots need to be recounted. Democrat Hillary Clinton has gained only about 60 votes on Republican Donald Trump, whose 22,000 vote Election Night victory appears to be left intact. Counties have until 8 pm Monday to finish the recount. That would leave enough time to certify the results and assure that the state's ten electoral votes will be cast at the Electoral College gathering on December 19.
12/10/16 - The Fall River Village Board passed a $1.1 million dollar budget this week. The 2017 budget is similar to the current year’s document. Village Treasure Marie Abegglen says this year’s mill rate is $5.49 per thousand dollars of assessed value, less than one cent higher than this year’s figure. The Village budget includes a $703,000 tax levy, a $68,000 increase from 2016. Equalized property values in the village increased $4,000,000 to $125,000,000. When the tax bills arrive, Fall River residents will see higher mil rates. However, most of the increase will come from the Columbia County, Fall River School District and MATC budgets.
12/10/16 - Former West Bend City Administrator Thomas Justice has struck a plea deal that convicts him of soliciting a child for prostitution. A Waukesha County judge accepted his guilty plea to the felony charge, and a separate felony of child enticement was dropped. Investigators say Justice met a 16-year-old girl online and had contact with her for three years -- and when he tried seeing her in person, police were there to arrest him. Justice reportedly offered the girl $200 for their first visit and promised he would not get her pregnant. The 50-year-old now lives in Cincinnati and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2.
12/10/16 - Wisconsintransportation officials have gotten the go-ahead to produce the state's first anti-abortion license plates. Choose Life Wisconsin Incorporated’s plate was approved on November 30. The idea for the plate was referred to the Legislature's transportation committees after a 30-day public review ended November 13. The Division of Motor Vehicles received 26 objections to the plate, but the committees did not notify the D-M-V about any need for further review, signaling the plate's approval. Motorists will be able to start buying the plate within the next year. The additional $25 annual cost will go to pregnancy resource centers.
12/10/16 - A holiday tradition in Beaver Dam continues this weekend as Santa Claus will be making his 32nd appearance at the Heffron White House. Tom Heffron says his family has been hosting Santa for the past three decades, just as his parents did for over 40 years before him. Heffron says not only will Jolly Ole’ St. Nick be making a personal appearance, but he’ll be bringing along Mrs. Claus, in addition to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and a sleigh full of elves. Santa will be at the Heffron White House, 112 Washington Street in Beaver Dam, from 11am until 1pm tomorrow. The event is free and parents are encouraged to bring their camera. Parking is available in the adjacent police department parking lot. Between 200 and 300 children visit Santa Claus at the Heffron House each year. Heffron says the age range for kids on Santa’s lap is usually 2-week’s old to 90 years-young.
12/10/16 - A local hospital has received one of the industry’s top honors. The Beaver Dam Community Hospital was recently named to the Leapfrog Group’s annual ‘top hospital’ list. The award was given to 115 hospitals across the nation, which is less than three-percent of those eligible, based on the results of a survey that considers factors such as infection rates and maternity care. BDCH has received the honor in three straight years and is the only rural Wisconsin community hospital to ever earn the distinction.