11/23/14 - If you want a Happy Thanksgiving, you might have to put up with more than you'd like. Estately, a blog for home buyers, lists Wisconsin as the fifth-worst state in its "Thanksgiving Misery Index." It looked at six factors that might prevent you from enjoying the holiday with family and friends. First is the likelihood of relatives getting drunk and making a scene -- and the survey ranks Wisconsin Number-One in that department, due to its heavy binge drinking. Political arguments can ruin anyone's inner peace, and Wisconsin is ranked 10th for contentious politics. If you have diet restrictions, the normal Thanksgiving dinner might not be for you. The state ranks 11th in dietary concerns, due to conditions like diabetes. There's always a chance for food poisoning, since the turkey is so fickle to cook. Wisconsin's pretty good in that category, only the 33rd worst. Then there's the chance that somebody might run out on the family dinner to cash in on a Black Friday sale. The survey ranked the Badger State 27th, based on what shoppers are saying on Facebook. Finally, there's a chance that your favorite N-F-L team will lose on Thanksgiving. The survey ranks Wisconsin 12th-worst, with the Packers going up against Tom Brady and the surging New England Patriots the following Sunday. The Estately Blog lists Hawaii as the happiest state for Thanksgiving. Ohio is the worst.
11/23/14 - Dodge and Columbia are among ten counties eligible to apply for the Community Development Block Grant for Housing Rehabilitation. The funds are available through the Southern Housing Region and are loaned at zero-percent interest to eligible households. The funds are made available to homeowners for a variety of home repair purposes. The list of permissible endeavors includes making a property handicap accessible, making electrical updates, replacing windows and doors, and repairing or replacing heating and plumbing systems. Tenants can use the funds from the loan towards purchasing a home, making a down payment, or paying closing costs. Landlords can receive installment loans for renting to tenants that are low or moderate income. Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis and can be filled out free of cost.
11/23/14 - If you're buying the Thanksgiving dinner, expect to pay five-percent more than last year. That's according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, which surveyed grocery stores in almost two dozen cities. It found that the typical Thanksgiving dinner for ten people will cost 50-dollars and 86-cents -- three-percent higher than a similar Farm Bureau survey nationally. In Wisconsin, a 16-pound turkey will cost just over four-percent more than last year, at just over 23-dollars. Almost everything else is also higher -- including milk, cranberries, sweet potatoes, peas, and pumpkin pie mix. The only item that went down was a dozen rolls, which cost 25-cents less on average at 1.85. Amy Eckelberg of the state's Farm Bureau says Wisconsin farmers are proud to make much of the food served at Thanksgiving celebrations -- like turkey, cranberries, and potatoes. However, the farmers don't share much of the bounty. Once the middlemen and others get their cut, the farmers' share of the Thanksgiving meal is only about 16-percent of what the shopper pays.
11/22/14 - The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle collision yesterday morning. The incident occurred at the intersection of County Roads A & C at approximately 9:05 a.m. An SUV was traveling east and making a left turn onto County Highway C when it struck a west-bound SUV in a head-on collision. Two passengers from the SUV that caused the collision and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to the hospital with what were deemed non-life-threatening injuries.
11/22/14- A 29-year-old Lake Mills man was killed in a fatal vehicle accident early this morning. The crash occurred just after 4 a.m. on U.S. Highway 151 south of North Salem Road in the town of Calamus. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office determined that the man was driving southbound in the northbound lane of the highway. His vehicle collided with a truck being operated by a 26-year-old Beaver Dam woman. She was transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by the county medical examiner’s office. Initial investigation shows that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash. Names will not be released any sooner than Monday to ensure that the family of the deceased can be notified.
11/22/14 - The Dodge County Finance Committee held a special meeting this morning to discuss how to deal with an administrative error pertaining to the county’s 2015 budget. The document, which was approved last week, is said to be in violation of Wisconsin Act 20, limits the increase in levy capacity to the increase value of Net New Construction and/or value generated through the closure of a municipal TIF District. As a result of this error, an overstatement of available levy capacity for 2015 was made pertaining to the use of allowed adjustments. Department of Revenue regulations do provide for allowable adjustments to the levy capacity formula. Examples of an allowable adjustment include the use of unused tax levy dollars from the prior year and debt service. The county’s financial advisor, Ehlers Incorporated, reviewed four courses of action with Dodge County officials in a recent consultation. Following that meeting, the finance committee is recommending to the board that Dodge County allocate nearly $234-thousand unused prior levy dollars and over $82-thousand dollars of debt service allowance for reporting purposes. Dodge County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on the matter at a special meeting this Tuesday, November 25th. If the finance committee’s recommendation is approved, the previously adopted 2015 budget, tax levy, and mill rate would not change.