2/8/16 - The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office has set a number of goals for the coming year. That’s according to Sheriff Dale Schmidt who outlined some of his department’s 19 ‘annual performance objectives’ for 2016 in his monthly column. Schmidt says one goal is to look into creating a rapid responder program to use in case of a mass casualty or disaster event. He says people trapped in a building could access the program on their phones and provide law enforcement with real time intelligence. Another goal is setting up a backup dispatch center in the Beaver Dam Fire Department in case the main center in Juneau cannot be used due to something like a building evacuation. Schmidt expects that backup center to be up and running within the next few months. Other goals include: creating a search plan for missing person cases, developing an ambassador program for the county’s new Amish community, and establishing a task force to crack down on drunk drivers. A full list of the performance objectives is available on the sheriff’s department’s website.
2/8/16 - The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of the Beaver Dam Area is looking for those impacted by the disease to participate in this summer’s event. During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Organizer Kristin Fabisch said Relay is looking for an honorary adult cancer survivor, a youth cancer survivor, and a caregiver for a cancer patient to speak at the opening ceremony. To nominate a survivor or caregiver, call 920-203-4552. Beaver Dam’s 21st annual Relay for Life event is June 17th and 18th at the Beaver Dam High School track. Participants are encouraged to sign up as teams and raise money for the American Cancer Society ahead of time. This year’s theme is ‘there’s no place like hope,’ and the fundraising goal is $115-thousand dollars. Last year, the 28 teams raised a combined $114-thousand dollars.
2/8/16 - An informational meeting will be held Tuesday in Beaver Dam for those who would like to learn more about the Honor Flight program. Honor Flight takes veterans for free on a daylong visit of the military memorials in Washington DC, including the World War Two monument, Vietnam Wall and even Arlington Cemetery among other stops. Jim Bublitz is with the Dodge County wing of the Madison-based hub known as Badger Honor Flight. Bublitz says tomorrow’s informational meeting will include a few short videos of recent trips by Badger Honor Flight and details on who qualifies. There will be applications at the event and an opportunity for questions and answers. While Honor Flight is meant for veterans who served stateside or overseas during World War Two, Korea and Vietnam, Bublitz says anyone and everyone is invited to the program. The informational meeting will be held at the Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home’s Community Room on North Crystal Lake Road tomorrow (Tue) afternoon at 2:30pm. Bublitz says the time of the program is meant to allow people adequate time to get to the meeting following Radio Bingo.
2/8/16 - The Dodge County chapter of a statewide organization focused on the heroin epidemic has set new goals. During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, local representatives from Stop Heroin Now discussed their plans for 2016. The group’s Vice President Jessica Geschke says the group is looking into possible locations for a sober coffee house in Beaver Dam where people can relax, order food and non-alcoholic beverages, and hold business or support group meetings. To help those struggling with addiction, Dodge County Team Leader Wendy Borner hopes more treatment specialists will move to the area. While she says Dodge County’s Human Services and Health Department has recently added six counselors, Borner feels more private providers are needed to deal with what she calls a growing problem. Borner also wants more of a focus on wraparound coverage which begins with getting an addict the necessary help. Once that person is out of their rehabilitation program, wraparound coverage provides them support, assistance in finding a job, and helping them schedule meetings and support group sessions. Borner says this time of coverage also equips the person’s family with the necessary tools to help their loved one. Donations to Stop Heroin Now’s programs can be made on the organization’s Go-Fund-Me page.
2/7/16 - Several law enforcement agencies have signed onto the new OWI Task Force coordinated through the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office. As we reported last month, police throughout the county are going to be working together to crack down on impaired driving. Sheriff Dale Schmidt this week released a list of the participating agencies, which includes police departments in Horicon, Iron Ridge, Lomira, Mayville, Neosho/Rubicon/Ashippun and Watertown. Schmidt describes the task force as a high visibility effort to get unsafe drivers off the roads. He says a large number of law enforcement officers will monitor a given area for roughly four hours with the hopes of discouraging impaired driving. While Schmidt hopes the task force can focus on prevention, he says arrests will be made as needed. He says OWI’s can result from alcohol, drug, or prescription medication usage and notes that marijuana-induced citations have increased significantly in recent years. Schmidt says program funding will come from an OWI Task Force Grant through the state Department of Transportation.
2/7/16 - The Dodge County Highway Safety Commission is warning Super Bowl revelers about the dangers of drinking and driving. Coordinator Joel Kiesow says game day socializing may include drinking and if that is the case he urges football fans to plan ahead for a safe ride home. The “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Kiesow says driving drunk could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. He suggests leaving your keys at home and not only taking a taxi home but also to your destination so you don’t think about driving drunk. Other suggestions include having your last drink in the third quarter just like at the stadium; pacing yourself, eating food and alternating with non-alcoholic drinks; and wearing a seatbelt when you ride home with a sober driver. Those hosting parties are asked to ask guests to designate sober drivers in advance; serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages and serve coffee and dessert during the third quarter. Kiesow notes that party hosts who serve someone who gets in a crash could be held liable. Social media is also being used to provide incentive for sober driving using “#designated driver.” If you tweet a designated drivers name to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today, they will make the designated driver Wall of Fame.