8/16/17 - It’s opening day for the Dodge County Fair. Over 50-thousand people are expected to turn out to the fairgrounds outside Beaver Dam over the next five days for the fairs 130th year. The WBEV-WXRO Total Tailgate Takeover Party at Radio Park runs 1pm to 6:30pm today with food, games and activities along with a chance to win VIP seats to the Oak Ridge Boys. The Tailgate Takeover includes a special WBEV Idea Exchange broadcast with Brenda Murphy from 1pm to 4pm offering demonstrations and samples. The first Green and Gold This Week show of the season begins at 4pm with Jesse Nelson and new host Kevin Haugen. The Fairest of the Fair will be crowned on the WTKM stage at 5pm. Music at Radio Park this evening starting at 9:15pm is provided by the Dodge County Musicians Association featuring Elwood and the Eccentrics and the Starkweather Bay Blues Band. This is the first time in recent history that the fair will have three main stage music acts instead of four. The Badger State Tractor Pullers are slated for opening night tonight. Classic country act The Oak Ridge Boys perform Thursday. Pop country duo LOCASH are on tap for Friday and southern rockers 38 Special are on the main stage Saturday night. Free family-friendly activities on tap starting today include pig, duck and goat Races; the Kandu Magic Show; a petting zoo; custom chainsaw carvings and the educational Wild World of Animals show. The admission prices are the same as last year: $7 to get in before 2pm and $10 after that. Season tickets are $35 dollars. Kids age nine and under are free. On the carnival midway today, wristbands are $25 or tickets are 50-cents each from 3pm to 9pm. More information is at www.dodgecountyfairgrounds.com. More information about what is going on at Radio Park is also on our website wbevradio.com.
8/16/17 - The Dodge County Board last night approved several position changes at the Sheriff’s Office. The Recreational Patrol Officer position – whose duties were to monitor boat, ATV, and snowmobile control – was abolished to create a deputy patrol positon. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says his office will continue to monitor recreational activities and there could potential be more supervision moving forward. He says the change was made to be better aligned with the rest of the positions in the Sheriff’s Office. Schmidt says this will allow him to put that officer back into patrol during off seasons and then put another deputy into more community programs. The board also approved the creation of two new deputy patrol positions that will focus on education, prevention, and intervention of drug use and abuse. He says filling those positons depends on whether his office receives a Community Oriented Policing grant which works to aid communities facing public safety issues. He says these two positions will allow his office to do more hands-on activities and educational services in the community than before. Schmidt says the positions will go unfulfilled if the grant is not awarded to his office and that there is no immediate time table for when the grant will be finalized.
8/16/17 - A two-week jury trial was added to the court calendar yesterday for a Fox Lake man accused of murdering his girlfriend. Laverne Ware Jr. also entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment hearing, which had been postponed six times because of council and judicial changes. The 37-year-old was joined in court by his new attorney’s Jonathan Carver and Steven Cohn who asked Judge Brian Pfitzinger for a 90-day review period to go over legal documents. Despite the extended timeframe, Pfitzinger wanted to set a trial date to avoid further delaying the proceedings. The trial is scheduled from April 9th through April 20 of next year. On December 4, Ware’s 27-year-old girlfriend, Sesalie Dixon, was found in the cab of Ware’s pick-up truck inside a Fox Lake garage with a gunshot wound to the head. Two others are charged with Aiding a Felon in connection with Dixon’s death; Ware’s mother Marjorie Jones, who has a weeklong jury trial scheduled for January, and Jones’ boyfriend Vernon Mickey.
8/16/17 - The Mayville Common Council this week approved a resolution intended to limit snowballing deficits in city-funded endeavors. The initiative stemmed from a multi-year shortfall to run the TAG Center. The athletic facility was donated to Mayville but operating costs over several years exceeded revenues to the tune of $2.4-million-dollar. A nine-year plan was put in place to address that shortfall. The plan – that ends this year – cut citywide spending by $365-thousand dollars annually to wipe away the deficit while also building up a contingency fund. Alderman Bob Smith – who chairs the finance committee – says, at the time, the city neglected to address the problem head-on and that caused the shortfalls to balloon. Smith says the resolution adopted this week requires the council to pay the shortfalls of projects using enterprise funds within 24 months, through either borrowing, the tax levy or by tapping the contingency fund. The resolution will serve as a directive for future city treasurers during budget time to come up with a plan to fix any deficits, should they arise, within two budget cycles. Concerns were raised that the resolution would affect the mill rate. Smith says that will not happen and that taxes should go down this year. He says the city is in good shape and that they have paid their debts. Smith credits past city governments for sticking to the nine-year plan which helped create an $800-thousand-dollar contingency fund.
8/16/17 - All the proceeds raised by a local non-profit in support of those affected by the Didion Milling explosion are being distributed. In a press release, officials from the Old Mill Foundation say the funds raised are going to cover various expenses such as funeral costs, hospital bills, grief counseling services, and day-to-day expenses. The money was also distributed to first responders, EMTs, and Didion employees who provided emergency assistance the night of the incident. The next fundraising event to benefit the fund will be the Didion Milling Annual Golf Outing on September 28 at the Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove. The Foundation says they are still accepting donations to the fund and will be distributing it to those in need.
Any contributions to the Old Mill Foundation Didion Benefit Fund can be mailed to or dropped off at:
%National Exchange Bank
118 West Edgewater Street
P.O. Box 338
Cambria, WI 53923
8/15/17 - The Beaver Dam School District accomplished most of this past year’s goals that were identified in a four-year strategic plan. The plan has four core areas of focus: student achievement, staff effectiveness, facility needs and community involvement. Superintendent Steve Vessey told the school board last night that the biggest key performance objective attained was the successful passage and implementation of the district’s $49-million-dollar school funding referendum. He says a significant amount of time was spend on the logistical pieces that needed to be put in place after the referendum passed. The referendum involves a complete overhaul of the high school campus and the addition of secure entrances at all other district buildings. The next most substantial achievement he says was improved middle school course offerings. A change in the schedules at the elementary level was one of the objectives that was not realized this past year. Vessey says passage of the referendum already required a districtwide change in school schedules to accommodate the construction schedule. A group has been exploring a plan to have all elementary schools start at the same time, creating a common elementary day districtwide. He says there are recommendations from the group but it does not make a lot of sense to implement the recommendations while the schedule is already effected by referendum construction. The change is being delayed one year. In the area of community engagement, the plan had been to launch an electronic communitywide newsletter. Vessey says the process revealed that more work needed to be done on the district website before the newsletter could be started. He says a lot of the information in the newsletter would push the public to the district website but before the district can move in that direction the website needs to be better organized. The school board next month will adopt a list of performance objectives for the coming school year, which is the fourth and final year of the strategic plan.