11/26/15 - The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce held their annual economic development luncheon Wednesday at the Mayville Engineering Company’s west plant. The keynote speaker was Governor Scott Walker who heard an update on the state of the city and state of the county before taking the podium. Mayor Tom Kennedy told those in attendance that the city is in good fiscal shape with a diversified industrial and manufacturing base. Kennedy says Beaver Dam’s good economic position should only improve as the economy improves. He says officials will continue to work with existing businesses and the Area Development Corporation to attract new industry and jobs, positioning the city for a “very bright future.” County Board Chairman Russ Kottke detailed the numbers noting that the county’s $110-million dollar budget with a tax levy of $32-million dollars. Kottke says on a $150-thousand dollar home that translates to $851 for the county-portion of the tax bill. Governor Walker acknowledged the “good things happening” in the city of Beaver Dam and Dodge County in touting the successes on the statewide level. Walker’s keynote address had a simple theme: everyone who wants a job should be able to find a job. He cited the latest statewide unemployment rate of 4.3-percent, which is well below the national average of 5-percent. The last time jobless numbers were at 4.3-percent he says was not before the recession but before 9-11. He credited the job creators in attendance and across the state for creating the opportunity. Walker says Wisconsin has the people, the ideas, the innovation and is on the right track going forward and he is excited about the future.
11/25/15 - The Mid Wisconsin Federated Library System Board voted at last night's meeting to accept a recommendation from the Merger Committee to look into merging with one of two other library systems. Dodge and Washington County will be the only remaining members of the Mid Wisconsin Federated System after Jefferson County leaves for a different system in January. While Dodge and Washington counties will operate as a two-county system in 2016, the decision was made last night to begin negotiations with both the Arrowhead System, which is headquartered in Milton and covers libraries in Rock County, or the Eastern Shores Library System, which encompasses libraries in Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties. Dodge County Administrator Jim Mielke is on the Merger Committee and says joining with either system could greatly expand the resources available to Dodge County’s library patrons. According to Mielke, the library board will send letters to both the Arrowhead and Eastern Shores systems with hopes of getting their initial feedback by January 22, which is four days prior to the Mid Wisconsin Federated System Board’s next meeting. If the Mid Wisconsin Federated Library System decides to merge with another system, it would require approval by the county boards in Dodge and Washington Counties. Mielke says this could be a lengthy process, but the goal is to have an agreement in place for the start of 2017.
11/25/15 - A second deer hunter has been shot to death during Wisconsin's gun season, and authorities are asking for people's help to figure out why. Fifty-six year old Gregory Welk was hit by a stray bullet late Monday afternoon while hunting on his property near Wild Rose in the Waushara County town of Morris. He died later at a hospital in Neenah. Sheriff Jeff Nett says the bullet appears to have come from another hunter on public land across a road from Welk's property. Officials say the area is heavily wooded, and visibilities are limited. Nett says his deputies want to know more about people who might have been in a dark pick-up truck left nearby on D-N-R land. Witnesses can call the Waushara County Crime-Stoppers program, or the D-N-R. Meanwhile, authorities have identified the state's other shooting victim. Thirty-nine year old Brian Jackson of Fairbanks, Alaska died last weekend while handing a loaded rifle to a woman in a tree stand. The shooting deaths are the first for the gun deer season since 2012. Through 5 pm yesterday, 136,441 deer had been killed in Wisconsin. 1,883 have been taken in Dodge County while Columbia County has seen 2,690 deer killed.
11/25/15 - A Beaver Dam man called police Monday afternoon to report his truck as missing. He told investigators that he went out drinking the night before and does not remember how he got home. The truck was found outside a North Spring Street tavern. It was then he learned that he was sent home in a cab because of his behavior and high level of intoxication. The 55-year-old was also advised that he is not welcome back at the bar. He was given two hours to remove his truck or else the property owner would have had it towed.
11/23/15 - A Beaver Dam woman will spend ten years on probation for embezzling from a Columbus-area gas station. A Dodge County judge Tuesday also ordered Lori Stricker to repay the Columbus West Travel Center $101,000. The 55-year-old pled to five felony counts of Theft in a Business and had one additional felony and a misdemeanor dismissed. Prosecutors said Stricker was an accountant for the Travel Center when she stole over $334,000. The offenses occurred between January of 2009 and March of 2014. The plot unraveled after a manager of the truck stop found a crumpled deposit slip on Stricker’s desk that was supposed to be taken to the bank; no deposit was ever made.
11/25/15 - The Waupun Common Council adopted their 2016 budget last night. The $10,200,000 document includes a $2,700,000 tax levy. The mill rate for Waupun residents in Dodge County will be the same as last year at $6.51 per thousand dollars of assessed value. Fond du Lac County residents in Waupun will be up $0.25 to $6.67.