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Yesterday's News

Top Stories July 25, 2017

Ground Broken On MPTC Beaver Dam Addition


7/25/17 - Ground was broken yesterday on a $1.8-million-dollar addition to Moraine Park Technical College for its new Energy Education Center. Once complete, students will be trained to serve industrial, commercial and residential customers in the natural gas, propane, and gas utilities industries. College President Bonnie Baerwald says the demand for qualified gas utility technicians is outpacing the supply of skilled workers. She says the new facility and program will be an essential resource in closing that gap. Outside the Energy Center, the plans call for building what college officials call a “tiny town” of eight shed-style structures arranged as a neighborhood. Baerwald says gas and electrical connections will be built into the neighborhood allowing students to troubleshoot problems and connect and disconnect utilities. Wayne Reschke is the Vice President of Human Resources for Alliant Energy, which donated $100-thousand dollars to the new facility. Reschke says the industry is seeing a great importance in partnering with educators to ensure a pipeline of talent. Brian Johnson is the Senior Executive Advisor with the Michels Corporation of Brownsville, which donated $125-thousand dollars to the project. Johnson says the state-of-the-art facility will become a critical source of well-trained and knowledgeable skilled gas utility technicians who will be provided living wages and benefits. The new gas utility program will begin in June of next year with graduation in March of 2019 which Baerwald says is just in time for utilities to recruit for their busy summer.  The college intends to enroll 15-to-18 students for the inaugural year with an anticipated 20-to-25 graduating annually thereafter. While the formal groundbreaking was yesterday, construction crews will get to work with actual earth-moving in the next couple weeks.


Foxconn Announcement Expected This Week


7/25/17 - Several reports say Foxconn will announce this week that it chooses Wisconsin for a plant that would make display panels for big screen T-Vs. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and W-I-S-N Radio say Foxconn will probably not announce a location for the plant, which would employ thousands of people. Racine and Kenosha counties are reported to be the leading candidates. W-I-S-N talk show host Mark Belling says an announcement is set for Thursday at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Taiwanese tech giant has been meeting with officials in several states, and state lawmakers have said the Walker administration is working on a memorandum of understanding that could give Foxconn millions of dollars in incentives for locating in Wisconsin.


Mayville Officials Continue To Discuss Winter Parking


7/25/17 - The Mayville Common Council continues to discuss changes to the winter parking rules within the city. Mayor Rob Boelk says residents do not have enough options during the winter months. Currently, no overnight parking is allowed on the street from December 1st through April 1st without authorization from the police department. One of the changes that was discussed last night includes a permitting process which Boelk says would help those in the downtown area. The sticker would cost $30 dollars for the season and would allow citizens to park on the street during the unauthorized months.  The council also discussed a one inch-rule that would be determined by the Department of Public Works, forcing residents to move their vehicle if there is snowfall equaling an inch or more of snow. Boelk says the plan is to have a vote on the final ordinance in September.


Curriculum Grant Benefits Life Academy’s New Location


7/25/17 - A local non-profit that helps individuals with special needs has a new place to call home. In May, Green Valley Enterprises moved its Life Academy into the former Haas Photography Building at 110 East Burnett Street in Beaver Dam. Instructor Joann Lehman says their old location was smaller and not wheelchair accessible. She says new building is an open concept which makes it easier to look across the open space to see what everybody is doing and where everyone is. Lehman says they also have wheelchair accessible bathrooms and showers. The Life Academy, which serves as a post-graduate course that grows employment and life-long independent living skills, received a grant yesterday from the AT&T Wisconsin Innovation and Investment Award program. Lehman says the money help the organization purchase new curriculum kits that teaches lessons on different vocational skills such as carpentry, banking, or any entry-level field. The grant amount is $2,650 which Lehman says will all be going to the new curriculum.


FAA Investigating Green Lake County Plane Crash


7/25/17 - No injuries were reported after a plane heading to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh crash landed in a Green Lake County corn field. In a press release issued yesterday, Sheriff Mark Podoll said the accident occurred around 3:30pm Saturday on Phelps Road in the Town of Green Lake. A 61-year-old Ohio man was piloting the aircraft and both he and a nine-year-old male passenger were unharmed. The pilot told authorities that he was in a holding pattern waiting to fly into Wittman Regional Airport when his plane suddenly lost power and was forced to make an emergency landing. The Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with the Grand River/ Markesan Fire Department. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. 


Day Two Of EAA AirVenture 


7/25/17 - The E-A-A's AirVenture Show enters its second day in Oshkosh. On Monday, visitors lined up to get a tour of the Blue Origin, a spacecraft designed to show what it's like to be an astronaut -- including the weightlessness in which astronauts float as they perform their duties in "zero gravity." A company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos brought the civilian astronaut capsule and its New Shepard boosting rocket, named in honor of Alan Shepard, the first American in space. The company is planning future flights of about eleven minutes each, that will give people an even better experience.


Warrant Issued For Mayville Woman Who Struck Squad Car


7/25/17 - A warrant has been issued for a Mayville woman who is accused of crashing into a police vehicle under the influence of illegal substances. Cierra Metz failed to show up for her initial appearance yesterday for Operating Under a Controlled Substance Causing Injury First Offense. Last July, a Mayville squad car was travelling southbound on Walnut Street when a vehicle operated by Metz allegedly pulled out from an intersection. The officer attempted to swerve to avoid the crash but ended up colliding with Metz. He was treated at Beaver Dam Hospital with injuries to his neck, back, and head. According to the criminal complaint, when questioned by investigators Metz eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Later she reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana before the crash and taking cocaine the day prior. The 19-year-old and her passenger were not injured. Metz submitted to a voluntary blood draw which tested positive for cocaine and THC. If convicted, Metz faces up to one year in jail.


West Nile Found In Clark County Horse


7/25/17 - Standardbred cross gelding from Clark County is the first horse in the state to be infected with the West Nile Virus this summer. State equine veterinarian Julie McGwin says the wet summer has contributed to growing problems with the mosquitoes that carry West Nile. She says 90-percent of horses die from the virus, but horses cannot carry it to other horses or humans. McGwin says the Clark County horse was not vaccinated. But even with horses that have been vaccinated, McGwin says they should check with their vets to see if a booster should be given. As of last week, the state health agency says 36 birds have been found infected with West Nile, including one in Dodge County. There have been no human cases yet, but they don't normally begin until August or September.


Heavy Rains Damage State Farm Crops


7/25/17 - Heavy rains and floods have caused a lot of damage to Wisconsin's farm crops. The U-S-D-A says crops, barns, and trees blew down during multiple rounds of thunderstorms last week -- and many of the agriculture reporters cited damage from floods and oversaturated soils. The southwest part of the state got the most crop damage, and other parts of the state had varied precipitation as conditions for the state's two largest cash crops also varied. Seventy-percent of the Wisconsin corn was rated good to excellent, four points above last week -- and 72-percent of the soybeans were good to excellent. Officials say it was the sixth straight week that Wisconsin farm fields had excessive rains somewhere in the state.