8/28/15 - Highway 33 through downtown Beaver Dam is open to traffic for the first time since Memorial Day. Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy, speaking at today’s ribbon cutting for the Front Street reconstruction project, noted that it is part of a larger downtown revitalization effort that also includes a new police station and the Watermark Community and Senior Center. He says it will not happen overnight but the changes to date are historic. Ptaschinski Construction was the contractor on the $3,200,000 project that saw new concrete roadway, curb, gutters, sidewalks and street lighting on Front, Center and Spring streets. It was a state project with the city paying roughly $350,000 and property owner assessments totaling around $60,000. A portion of North Spring Street will be closed for three more weeks as part of a municipal project the city did in conjunction with the state Highway 33 project.
8/28/15 - Fire departments from Lomira and Campbellsport responded to a fire at the Clover Hill Dairy in the Town of Ashford early this morning. Fond du Lac County Sheriff's officials say their communications center got a call about a shop building on fire at the dairy on Cloverland Drive at 3:45am. When deputies arrived it was determined a tractor and piece equipment next to the shop building and a gas pump were on fire. Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from compromising the building and gas pump. Three tractors and a couple pieces of equipment were destroyed in the fire. The fire is being investigated by the Lomira Fire Department and Sheriff's Office, but does not appear to be suspicious. Campbellsport Ambulance also responded to the scene.
8/27/15 - Last month’s jobless rate in the region, and around most of the state, was down. According to the Department of Workforce Development, jobless filings in Dodge County were at 4.4-percent in July, down from 4.7-percent in June and 5.4-percent last year at this time. Jefferson County also dropped three-tenths from June to 4.2-percent, also down a full point from last year. Columbia and Fond du Lac counties were both at 4.1-percent, again down a full percentage point from last year. The same declines were reported in Washington County, which was at 3.8-percent last month, and Green Lake County which was at 4.8-percent. Dane County once again has the lowest rate at 3.2-percent while Menominee is the highest – and the only one in double digits – at 11.6-percent. In total, 69 of the state’s 72 counties decreased or stayed the same from June-to-July and every county was down compared to last year.
8/27/15 - The Village of Randolph is looking to make improvements to its wastewater treatment plant which could lead to increased residential costs. The plant should be able to treat all of the village’s waste for the next 20 years, but officials say a lot of the equipment needs to be replaced. Randolph is asking the Department of Natural Resources to approve roughly $3.25-million dollars in projects including upgrades to the aeration system, upgrades to the collection system, and replacing the influent pumping. Randolph hopes to finance the project through the Clean Water Fund loan program and wants additional funding from a Community Development Block Grant. The average residential cost could jump from $21.55 per month to $33 to $40. The public is invited to comment on the matter by contacting the DNR’s Bureau of Watershed Management in Madison by September 9.
8/27/15 - A Lomira woman enterer a “not guilty” plea at arraignment yesterday to drug charges related to her daughters overdose death. Danielle Kalmus is facing one count of Possession of Narcotics, which carries a maximum fine of three-and-a-half years in prison if she is convicted. The two-year-old girl was found dead in July of last year at a Brownsville apartment. The 26-year-old Kalmus told investigators that she found the girl with an open pill bottle in the days prior to her death. Toxicology tests determined the child to have morphine in her system. Court activity is on the calendar in Dodge County court again in October.
8/27/15 - Students taking the A-C-T test in the Beaver Dam School District last year scored higher than the statewide average. According to the state Department of Public Instruction, the state’s composite score was 22.2 out of a possible 36. Seniors in Beaver Dam had a 23.4. Steve Vessey called the score (quote) “pretty awesome” and says it is the highest composite score in the history of the school. He says congratulations go out to the kids and notes that higher scores mean more scholarship opportunities and more doors opened for college admissions. Columbus was at 22.9 while Watertown was in line with the statewide average at 22.2. Many other area schools were below the state average. Lomira had a 22.1; Hustisford was at 21.9; Randolph at 21.8; Horicon at 21.4; Mayville and Dodgeland were at 21.3; Waupun got a 20.7 while Cambria-Friesland was at 19.2. As we reported yesterday, Wisconsin again has the nation's second-highest scores on the college entrance exam, tied with Iowa. Minnesota is in the top spot.