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Top Stories September 27, 2016

WBEV-WXRO Job Fair At Juneau Airport Today


9/27/16 - There is an event for local job seekers Tuesday afternoon.  Good Karma Brands’ WBEV and WXRO are holding the fourth annual South Central Wisconsin Career Fair at the Dodge County Airport.  Station Manager John Moser says there will be three dozen employers on hand offering full-time, part-time, seasonal, and career jobs.  There will be a variety of positions in fields including manufacturing, healthcare, education, law enforcement, state corrections, and sales.  Private office space will be available for employers to meet with individual candidates.  The event runs from 1-5 pm, and parking outside the airport is free. 


Levy, Mill Rate Drop In Waupun School Budget


9/27/16 - The Waupun School Board adopted their preliminary budget for the current school year at the annual meeting last night. The $20-million-dollar budget includes a tax levy of $9.5-million dollars, a decrease of over $1-million dollars from the budget adopted last year. That will result in a mill rate estimated at $9.90-per-thousand dollars of assessed value, down one-dollar and one-cent ($1.01) from last year. Superintendent Tonya Gubin says the lower tax impact is the result of $600-thousand dollars in increased state aid, which directly reduces property tax obligations, and also refinancing of old debt. The budget was adopted with a deficit of a half-million dollars. Gubin says that red ink will be in place each year for the next three years before being absorbed by the elimination of a million dollars in post-retirement benefit obligations starting in 2019. The budget will be formally adopted at the district’s board meeting on October 24 once final state aid and property valuations are known. Starting next year, the Waupun School Board will be able to eliminate the early budget adoption which officials say has been in place for cash flow purposes. Next year’s budget adoption is slated for October 30, 2017.


Waupun School Board Votes Down Stipend Increase


9/27/16 - On a four-to-two vote, the Waupun School Board last night decided against giving themselves an increase in their per-meeting salary. School board members make $60 for each committee and board meeting. Citing no adjustments in at least eight years, a motion by board member Gene Wilson would have increased the stipend to $70. School board member Ronald Paul was among those voting against the increase, citing the poor timing as the district will ask voters to approve a $36-million-dollar referendum in November.


Mayville Discusses Capital Improvement Projects


9/27/16 - Mayville’s 2017 capital improvements plan currently calls for purchases totaling $377,000.  Projects such as street resurfacings and purchasing a new dump truck are among $277,000 that would be borrowed while the other $100,000, which includes replacing the police department’s communication radios, would count against the tax levy.  Last night, the joint committee forwarded an employee health and dental insurance plan that would cost the city $517,000, roughly a two-percent increase from the current year.  Treasurer Lois Krueger says that is well below the seven-to-13-percent increase in employee health costs that is typically seen.  Krueger says the city also expects to receive an additional $11,000 in state aid compared to the number received during last year’s budgeting season.  Last month, Mayor Rob Boelk introduced a budget with a $2,840,000 tax levy, which is slightly below the current year.  The city’s mill rate is expected to be fairly similar to the $9.34 per thousand dollars of assessed value that homeowners saw last December.  City officials will continue reviewing the budget in the coming weeks ahead of a November approval. 


Person Killed In Theresa Crash Not Yet Identified


9/27/16 - Dodge County officials still have not been able to identify the person killed in Thursday’s two-vehicle head-on collision in the Town of Theresa.  The driver of a northbound vehicle on Highway AY died when he collided with a southbound vehicle driven by 43-year-old Jonathan Murray of rural Mayville, who sustained minor injuries in the crash.  The Dodge County Medical Examiner’s office is working toward confirming the person’s identity. 


Name Of Randolph Man Killed In Bike Crash Released


9/27/16 - The name of the Randolph man who died after he crashed his bicycle into a ditch in the Green Lake County Town of Manchester on Friday morning has been released. 65-year-old Kenneth Prol was heading north on Valley Road at County Highway X when he was thrown off the bike and landed near a cornfield. Rescuers efforts to try and resuscitate him were unsuccessful.


Fond du Lac County DA On Deputy’s Role In Campbellsport Suicide


9/27/16 - Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney says an investigation into a County Sheriff’s deputy’s action in the death of an 18-year-old Campbellsport man was simply a precaution. During a slow speed chase the man ran into the patrol car of Deputy James Pfeiffer. The man later committed suicide by shooting himself with a handgun. Toney says the Sheriff’s office asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to do an investigation. He reviewed reports and talked with the County Medical Examiner before deciding the deputy’s action were justified and he was not at fault in the man’s death.


Columbia County Man Charged With Poisoning Dog


9/27/16 - A Poynette man has been arrested for poisoning a dog last year. Trent Hebel is accused of killing Gander, a four-year-old Golden Retriever who died last May in the Village of Arlington. Columbia County investigators say they found suspicious container and food in the fenced in yard. The 28-year-old Hebel is facing felony charges of Mistreatment of Animals.


Watertown Man Accused Of Strangling 94-Year-Old Woman


9/27/16 - Cash bond was set at $50,000 yesterday for a Watertown man accused of harming a 94-year-old woman.  Thomas Ciganek is facing felony counts of Strangulation and Suffocation and Aggravated Battery.  The 67-year-old told officers he was holding a Bible study on Saturday with a relative and family friend.  After reading a passage from scripture, Ciganek reportedly took a heavy piece of phone cord out of his pocket, wrapped it around the woman’s neck, and pulled tightly.  The family friend told officers that the woman’s eyes went shut and she began shaking uncontrollably, like she was having a seizure.  If he is found guilty, Ciganek faces up to 22 years in prison.  His preliminary hearing is October 6. 


Man Charged Following Exchange With Sheriff Clarke


9/27/16 - A Milwaukee man is accused of berating Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on a plane. Thirty-six-year-old Preston Bluntson is charged with intoxication and disruptive behavior. Sheriff David Clarke said yesterday the male passenger was intoxicated, profane and harassing the flight attendants and passengers during the flight to Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday. Clarke says he told the man to "chill out" when the passenger began harassing a flight attendant. The sheriff says the man began taunting him as the plane taxied to the gate, so he shoved him face down and pinned him against the seat until they reached the gate. A police officer boarded the flight and Clarke says he used her handcuffs on the man. Bluntson is being held by Charlotte police.


Four Sun Prairie Schools Remains Closed Following Mold Discovery


9/27/16 - Four public schools in Sun Prairie remain closed for a second straight day, after mold was found in one building and later found in another. High humidities were blamed for mold discovered last week in the library at Eastside Elementary -- and at a public meeting Monday night, officials said similar mold was found at Patrick Marsh Middle School. Both remain closed along with Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School and Prairie Phoenix Academy -- but those facilities are expected to reopen Wednesday after inspections are completed. It will be a few weeks before Eastside and Patrick Marsh reopen. Those students will be moved to other buildings in the meantime.


Labor Unions To Appeal Federal Judge’s Right-To-Work Decision


9/27/16 - Two labor unions say they will appeal a federal judge's ruling that upholds Wisconsin's right to work law. Milwaukee District Judge J-P Stadtmueller threw out a challenge Monday to the 2015 law that prohibits companies from making workers pay union dues as conditions of employment. Stadtmueller notes that the federal appeals court in Chicago upheld Indiana's right to work law -- but two locals of the International Operating Engineers union said the Wisconsin law was unconstitutional, claiming it took revenue from the unions without being compensated. State Attorney General Brad Schimel says he rejects the notion that the state took away union property -- namely the dues paid by both union and non union workers. A similar lawsuit is pending in a state appeals court.


Pence Cancels Waukesha Appearance


9/27/16 - Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has postponed his appearance in Waukesha tonight (Tuesday). The Indiana governor was scheduled to hold a public rally at Weldall Manufacturing. A campaign spokesman for White House nominee Donald Trump cited a scheduling conflict and said Pence's visit would be reset. Trump still plans to visit Waukesha Wednesday night for a rally at the Waukesha County Expo Center, just two days his contentious debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton.


UW Madison Chancellor To Push For Tuition Hikes


9/27/16 - U-W Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank says she'll push for a second round of tuition hikes for out of state students and those at professional schools. In her annual "State of the University" speech Monday, Blank told the Madison Faculty Senate the U-W needs a "more stable" financial base as state funding drops -- but the amounts of the new tuition hikes are not yet known. Last year, the Board of Regents approved a two year tuition increase of six-thousand dollars per year for out of state and professional degree students. Blank wanted a ten-thousand dollar hike for four years, but the board reduced her request and invited her to "come back again when two years are up." Also, Blank says Madison will give an extra nine-million dollars in bonuses and pay raises to faculty and staff members, which she says would improve employee morale.


Wisconsin Ag Export Value On The Decline


9/27/16 - The value of Wisconsin's agricultural exports continues to drop, mainly because of a stronger U-S dollar and lower commodity prices. The Badger State exported one-and-two-thirds billion dollars of farm related products during the first half of this year. That's five-point-seven-percent less than the same time last year, and it follows a 12-percent drop in export value for all of 2015. Michael Slattery, a farmer in Manitowoc County who used to work in Japan's largest bank, says (quote) "the currency exchanges are going against us, and will continue to go against us." The drop in U-S commodity prices is due to a glut of grain caused by several years of bumper crops. The U-S-D-A projects that Wisconsin will have its second record corn crop in the past six years.


Farmers Need Dry Weather For Harvest


9/27/16 - Wisconsin farmers say they'll need several days of dry weather before they can get back to harvesting their crops. Last week's storms dumped more than ten inches of rain in western parts of the state. The Wisconsin Ag Statistics Service says a number of fields had flash floods, erosion damage, and large hail. Some of the corn had mold, but 87-percent of the state's crop is still rated good to excellent -- and two-percent of the corn for grain has been harvested, along with almost two thirds of the corn for animal feed. The Wisconsin soybean harvest is also underway, and 84-percent of that crop is rated good to excellent. Almost 60-percent of Wisconsin potatoes have been harvested, about six days behind last year.


Deadline Approaching To Register Dirt Bikes


9/27/16 - For the first time, dirt bikes and off road motorcycles must be registered with the state. The deadline is Saturday, October 1st. A new state law requires the bikes to register with the state D-N-R if they're used on public land, private land that's open to the public, and for private agricultural uses. The D-N-R's Linda Oliver says revenues from the new registrations will go to all-terrain vehicle and trail maintenance groups throughout Wisconsin, to help communities and volunteers improve their trails and make them safer. For more information, you can go online to GoWild-Dot-Wi-Dot-Gov, or visit your local D-N-R service center.


Yesterday's Headlines
- DC Clerk: 'Ballot Requests Require ID'
- DC Project Lifesaver First Year 'Successful'
- BDCH Partners Donate $45K From Fundraisers

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.