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Top Stories April 26, 2017

Structure Fire In Beaver Dam


4/26/17 – Fire damaged a house in Beaver Dam this morning. Crews responded at 4:18am to115 Chatham Street following reports of an occupant trapped on a second floor. Chief Alan Mannel says units arrived to find the first floor of the two-story, single family home fully involved. The lone occupant of the residence escaped the fire by jumping from a second floor balcony. Mannel says the flames were quickly extinguished. No firefighters were injured battling the blaze. The home was gutted but is repairable; the contents were a total loss. The cause is under routine investigation Beaver Dam Police Department. Mutual assistance at the scene was provided by the Horicon and Juneau fire departments and Beaver Dam Police while Watertown EMS and Hustisford Fire covered emergency operations in the city. The scene was cleared in around two hours.


Human Remains Found In Ixonia Fire


4/26/17 - Officials are trying to identify human remains found in a shed after a fire at a home near Ixonia. Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath says both a shed and a home on the same property were burning when firefighters arrived about 6:30am Monday. About two dozen units responded to W2355 Northside Road from fire departments throughout the area, along with the State Fire Marshall’s Office. There is no word on what caused the fire and the identity of the deceased has not yet been determined.


Jakubowski Arraigned On State and Federal Charges


4/26/17 - Joseph Jakubowski has pleaded not guilty to both state and federal charges that he stole 18 weapons in a gun shop burglary in Janesville, before leading officers on a manhunt for ten days. The 32-year-old Janesville man appeared Tuesday at a federal court arraignment in Madison, and a preliminary hearing in state court in Rock County. Officers feared that he might have tried pulling off a mass shooting in the wake of an anti-government manifesto he sent to President Donald Trump. But his lawyer, Michael Murphy, tells W-I-S-C T-V that Jakubowski never meant to hurt anyone -- and the guns were meant to protect himself and his family. Murphy said Jakubowski was heading to South Dakota as he traveled mostly on foot at night, avoiding homes and contact with people -- but he did get a ride from a stranger before his arrest in Vernon County.


Waupun May See Decrease In Storm Water Utility Tax


4/26/17 - If you own a house in Waupun, you may soon be paying slightly less to the city’s Storm Water Utility. The utility is a taxing mechanism to fund construction and maintenance costs for the city’s storm sewers and water filtration ponds along with leaf collection activities and street sweeping. Waupun residents are currently paying on average $96-per year, among the highest municipality in the Wisconsin; the statewide average is $62. A recent audit of the utility revealed that some commercial properties were being undercharged and when adjustments are made, revenues increase creating a surplus. City Finance Director Jared Oosterhouse says if rates remained unchanged, the utility would annually generate $113-thousand dollars more than needed for capital improvements and equipment purchases. A rate analysis determined that the city should charge a residential property $7-per month instead of $8. The utility rate decrease passed through committee last night and will come before the Waupun Common Council next month.


Waupun Advances Resolution Supporting Dairy Farmers


4/26/17 - The city of Waupun wants to let state and federal officials know the impact that the trade dispute with Canada is having on local dairy farmers. City Administrator Kathy Schlieve last night told the council, meeting as a committee of the whole, that the implications are significant for Waupun. Schlieve says there are around a dozen dairy’s in and around the city that are being affected, which causes a rippling effect throughout the community. It is not just the dairy’s, she notes, but also the services that work with the dairy’s including local veterinarians, feed mills, breeders, trucking companies and bankers. Some dairy’s in the state have been fortunate enough to find another processor to buy milk, but Schlieve says none are in the Waupun area. If the resolution is adopted by the council at their May meeting, a letter would go out to the governor and Wisconsin’s US senators and congressmen along local state representatives and senators.


Walker Announces Loan Guarantees In Response To Trade Dispute


4/26/17 - Dairy farmers and processors will have relaxed loan guarantees from the state, in response to the trade dispute with Canada. Governor Scott Walker announced the new loan guarantees early yesterday, not long after President Donald Trump announced stiff tariffs on imported Canadian lumber in response to Canada's pricing policies that cut off sales of farm milk that was destined for Canada for a specialized cheese product. The affected loan guarantees are from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, or WHEDA. Eligible farmers can access more favorable loan guarantees effective immediately, and WHEDA will offer several types of expanded guarantees through August 1st. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau says he is “hopeful that the more favorable loan guarantees will help Wisconsin’s processors expand their capacity to take on additional product and support the state’s many displaced farmers as they work to find a market for their milk.”


Trump Slaps Lumber Tariffs On Canada


4/26/17 - President Donald Trump has imposed stiff tariffs of up to 24-percent on lumber brought into the U-S from five Canadian companies. The move was announced yesterday, one week after Trump called Canada a "disgrace" for pricing policies that cut off sales of ultra-filtered milk by dozens of Wisconsin farmers to dairies that could no longer ship the product to Canada. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross calls this a "bad week for U-S/Canada trade relations." Trump told Canada's prime minister in February that he would only "tweak" trade relations with Canada as part of a renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. But yesterday, Trump tweeted, "Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!"


Home Sales At Their Highest In Nearly Ten Years


4/26/17 - Wisconsin Realtors report their biggest home sales since at least 2005 for the first quarter of this year. The Realtors Association says its members sold almost 13-thousand-400 existing houses from January through March, a three-point-two-percent increase from the same time last year. The figure is largest for the year's first quarter since the association recalibrated its method for keeping track of home sales in 2005. Realtors' board chairman Erik Sjowall says the increase comes despite tight inventories for existing homes -- and the median selling price was almost 160-thousand dollars, up six-point-four-percent from last year. In Dodge County, there have been 179 homes sales so far this year, ten more than the first quarter of 2016. The median selling price in Dodge County was up around one-percent to $121-thousand dollars. For March, about 59-hundred homes were sold statewide, about 400 more than the year before.


Waupun Student Among Finalists For Award


4/26/17 - A Waupun High School senior is among 15 state students named semifinalists for the Presidential Scholar awards. Dylon Pokorny was one of five Wisconsin semifinalists nominated for their accomplishments in the career and technical education fields. Students chosen as Presidential Scholars will travel to Washington, D.C. in June where they will receive medallions at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.


Yesterday's Headlines
- Mayville PFC Appoints Interim Police Chief
- Waupun Referendum Interest Lower Than Projected
- Columbus School Board Holds Organizational Meeting

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.