11/25/14 - A groomed snowmobile trail through the city of Columbus has been approved for a second year. Columbus-Fall River Snow Blazers Club spokesperson Dave Weisman came before the council recently to speak in favor of allowing snowmobile riders to use an approved trail through parts of Columbus. Council members had reported resident complaints of speeding, noise and property damage. However, there were positive reports of citizens favoring the recreational and commercial value of allowing in-town trail use during useable snow conditions. Council non-action has permitted the current agreement to stand allowing the club to make snowmobiling through the city of Columbus for the 2014-15 season.
11/25/14 - About 70-thousand more pages of documents will be released today in the long-completed John Doe probe into Scott Walker's Milwaukee County aides. It's the fourth time this year that County Executive Chris Abele will release e-mails from the computers of former employees in the executive's office when Governor Walker ran it. Many of the items released so far described the illegal campaigning that aides conducted on taxpayer time for Walker when he ran for governor in 2010 -- and for Brett Davis, who ran and lost for lieutenant governor the same year. Six Walker associates were convicted for related misconduct, and for embezzling thousands of dollars from a Milwaukee County program that honored Wisconsin veterans. In May, a judge ordered that more than 500 giga-bytes of data be released to the public. The three previous document-dumps came once a month since August.
11/25/14 - The area got its first real taste of winter on Monday. Our region had 3-to-5 inches but Gile in northern Wisconsin got 15-inches of snow on top of the 80-inches it had the past two weeks. Madison broke a 127-year-old snowfall record for the date with five-point-three inches. Beaver Dam and Watertown reported four inches. Oshkosh and West Bend reported three inches. Harmony Grove in Columbia County had two-and-a-half. Drivers had to adjust to winter conditions for the first time in months -- and the result was predictable. Almost 75 vehicles drove into ditches in Waukesha County, and it had 57 crashes in which nine people were injured. Milwaukee County had around 40 crashes yesterday afternoon alone. In Dodge County, there were around 50 runoffs and rollovers resulting in four injuries reported since the snow started falling Monday though early Tuesday morning.
11/25/14 - Two people were killed in a two vehicle accident Monday in Columbia County. It happened at 2:41pm on Highway 22 at County Highway EE near Pardeeville in the Marcellon Township. Sheriff Dennis Richards says the preliminary investigation shows that a northbound car lost control and went into the southbound lanes where it was struck by a pick-up pulling a trailer. Both passengers inside the car were pronounced dead at the scene by the Columbia County Medical Examiner. The driver and lone occupant of the truck was not injured. Names are being withheld pending notification of family.
11/24/14 - Overnight parking restrictions are now in effect in Fox Lake. Mayor Tom Bednarek has declared a snow emergency in the city so that plows can clear streets. Under city ordinance, winter parking regulations do not begin until December 1, but Police Chief Jim Rohr requested the emergency parking declaration citing the importance of clear streets for public safety.
11/24/14 - Ten Wisconsin business groups came out Monday against the D-O-T's plan to raise taxes and fees by over 750-million dollars to help keep the state's road work on track. The state Manufacturers-and-Commerce group, the Federation of Independent Business, the state Motor Carriers and Restaurant associations are among those opposing plans which include a gas tax hike and a fee on new car purchases. In a statement, the ten groups said they wanted to work with Republican Governor Scott Walker on a transportation funding solution they believe is "fair and equitable." The tax-and-fee hikes are part of the D-O-T budget request for the next two years which also includes, more borrowing for road projects, adding millions which are now used for other state purposes, and a study of a possible fee according to how miles a vehicle owner drives. Last week, Walker promised "significant changes" the D-O-T's budget proposal -- but he wouldn't say what they'll be. The governor will submit his budget plan to the Legislature early next year.