New highway shop to be built in Jefferson County

Say “goodbye” to Countryside Home and “hello” to Jefferson County’s new highway shop. The Jefferson County Board met on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to vote on a number of items, including the projected 2014 budget and the highway shop, which will be built at the location of Countryside Home.

The Jefferson County Board has a number of responsibilities:

  • Run circuit courts, which are part of the state government
  • Maintain state highways
  • Issue state hunting and fishing licenses
  • Maintain recreational facilities, such as parks and forests, county highways and nursing homes

The highway shop is the county’s most recent project.

“Highway shop is sort of a done deal,” said John Molinaro, chairman of the Jefferson County Board. “We are presently already contracted and working on dismantling old Countryside.”

Jefferson County added $1.1 million to the bond issue to repay itself for the demolition costs of Countryside Home.

The county is responsible for removing any pollutants on the property, which has had industrial activity for more than 100 years.

Molinaro said the county already has mitigated the exposed ground of the property and has sampled the soil around the facility.

There is still much work to be done.

“We don’t know what’s under the existing buildings,” Molinaro said. “Eventually we’ll have to tear down those buildings and then test the soil beneath the buildings, and if there’s any kind of pollutants in the ground there, we’ll have to mitigate that before we can then put it on the market and sell it to somebody.”

The highway shop will be between 85,000 and 100,000 square feet. There will be a large heated storage unit where snow plows and heavy equipment will be stored overnight.

Molinaro said the heated unit is essential with winter approaching.

“That’s imperative for us because when you’re out plowing roads and it’s twenty below zero and you bring that equipment back into the facility, if you put it in cold storage, the next morning you get up and you can’t run the machinery,” Molinaro said.

Molinaro said about 60 percent of the vehicles will be placed in heated storage. The remaining 40 percent of the vehicles will be placed in cold storage, including equipment that is primarily used during the summer.

The facility also will include a welding shop, a mechanic bay for repairs, office space, salt sheds, storage for materials such as gravel and soil, and a power wash facility.

Molinaro said the power wash facility will save the county a great deal of time and money because it only takes about six minutes to clean vehicles, as opposed to 45 minutes it takes drivers to clean vehicles manually.

The power wash facility also will be available to all other county vehicles from different departments.

Molinaro said the contract to build the new highway shop will be completed by January.

Budget Items:

  • The reported 2014 tax levy will be $27 million, with more than $80 million in total spending on the budget.

“Human services and the health department, if you want to clump those together, are by far the largest expenses we have,” Molinaro said. Jefferson County makes most of its money from Human Services, the Sherriff’s Department and the Highway Department, which receive huge reimbursements from the state for mandated programs, Molinaro said.       

  • The County Board passed an amendment that would spend $10,000 on a new disc golf course. Several board members supported the addition of the course in order to make Jefferson County’s park system more appealing to visitors.
  • The board also passed an amendment that would spend $40,000 on a new piece of equipment that will keep trails clean for skiing and snowmobiling during the winter.
  • The board passed an amendment that would spend $13,000 on a water well in Garman Nature Preserve.

Bears defeat Packers, 27-20, Rodgers injured

Rodgers injured

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone in Monday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
Credit: www.packersnews.com

The stakes are always high on Monday Night Football. Now they might be higher for the Green Bay Packers, who lost their franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a fractured collarbone in a 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Rodgers left the game after being sacked by Shea McClellin on the Packers’ first possession. He was examined by team doctor Patrick McKenzie before heading to the locker room for additional tests.

Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace had a poor performance, completing 11 of 19 passes for 114 yards, an interception and a 53.4 passer rating.

The Packers are taking a “week-to-week” approach with Rodgers’ injury, which means Wallace is in line to be the starting quarterback going forward.

“I’m preparing Seneca to be the starter,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s the way our game-planning has gone.”

McCarthy received more information about Rodgers’ injury Tuesday. He said he is relieved that some of the uncertainty has been cleared up, and the news is better than it could have been.

“We don’t have our hands around the timeline yet,” McCarthy said. “I know Aaron is very optimistic, and he’ll do everything he can to get back in a timely fashion.”

The Running Game

The injury to Rodgers means the Packers will have to rely more on their running game, which improved to No. 2 in the league rushing rankings after a 199-yard performance against the Bears.

Rookie running back Eddie Lacy has proven he is capable of being the Packers’ workhorse in the backfield. He rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries Monday night, highlighted by a 56-yard scamper on the Packers’ first play from scrimmage in the second half.

“Eddie definitely carried the torch,” McCarthy said. “I liked the way he ran. I thought he took a step forward as a runner. I thought he was more physical than he’s been in the past, if you can believe that, and I think he has more to give.”

Defensive Woes

Members of the Packers’ defense have more to give during Rodgers’ absence as well, following a lackluster performance that allowed the Bears to rack up 442 yards of total offense.

“It’s up to us as a defense to step up,” defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. “We lost our best man. That was a great opportunity for us to shine, come out and show the world the kind of ball we can play, and we didn’t. Bottom line, we didn’t handle our business.”

The Bears’ backup quarterback Josh McCown threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over.

“Frustrating, man, real frustrating,” defensive lineman B.J. Raji said. “That’s not like us. But give the Bears credit. They played better than us tonight. They had a good game plan and stuck with it. They executed. They kind of did what they wanted tonight and got the job done.”

The Packers have fallen into a three-way tie for the lead in the NFC North with the Bears and Detroit Lions.

“This is not the end of the road,” safety Morgan Burnett said. “This is just the halfway point. This is one of those moments where your team faces adversity and you see how you respond to it.”

The Packers have a week to turn things around before hosting the Philadelphia Eagles, who scored 49 points in their last game, next Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Other Injury News

  • Outside linebacker Clay Matthews could return to the field this week after missing more than a month with a broken thumb. He had the pins removed from his surgically repaired thumb Monday and plans to practice with his hand wrapped in a club.
  • The Packers placed tight end Jermichael Finley on injured reserve Tuesday, officially ending his season. Finley was carried off the field on a stretcher after suffering a neck injury Oct. 20 against the Cleveland Browns.
  • ŸThe Packers also placed linebacker Sam Barrington on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Water in Whitewater

The Whitewater City Council met Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Whitewater Municipal Building. There were a number of items on the agenda, but the primary topic of conversation at the meeting was related to water issues around the city.

Smoke Testing

As a part of the sewer maintenance program in Whitewater, sewer smoke testing will take place on the west side of the city starting the week of Sept. 23.

City Manager Cameron Clapper explained the smoke testing process and its objective.

“What we’re trying to do is find clear water connections, or what I would consider clear water entry connections into the system,” Clapper said.

These connections include storm drains, rain gutter drains, sump pumps or any other drains that lead into a residence.

“This is an effort to try to test the sewer system and find out where we might have breaks in the line,” Clapper said. “If you have breaks in the line or faulty connections into the sewer lines, that can be a major contributor to large amounts of surging water or overflow of sewer water into the treatment facility.”

Clapper said a large amount of water can affect the facility’s ability to process wastewater, which can become a messy, difficult situation to deal with.

While Clapper acknowledged Whitewater has not had serious issues with its sewer system in the past, he said the goal of the test is to take care of any current faulty connections and ensure there are no problems in the future.

He also said problems with the sewer system can lead to an increase in electric costs for residents.

Clapper mentioned the possibility for smoke to enter houses through drains during the test. He encouraged residents to pour water down drains they do not use regularly, in order to fill the plumbing trap and prevent the entry of smoke.

If any residents see smoke in their homes, Clapper said they should call Wastewater Utility Superintendent Tim Reel at 262-473-5920. More details, accompanied by a public announcement and a map of the area to be tested, are available on the Whitewater website front page at www.whitewater-wi.gov.

H2Oscore Agreement

Whitewater has reached a one-year agreement with H2Oscore, a company that features software allowing utility customers to track their water usage and conserve water.

McGee Young, a political science professor at Marquette University, said if residents reduce the amount of water they use in their homes, they will receive rewards for instant credit at local businesses in Whitewater through the H2Oscore Conservation Rewards Program.

Young said Whitewater will be the “testing ground” for the new system.

“You will literally be the first to be able to experience it,” Young said.

By providing incentives through the rewards program, Young hopes residents will be more conscious about their water usage.

Young is enthusiastic about the opportunity Whitewater has given him to implement H2Oscore into its system. He is optimistic about the future, too.

“We’re going to be developing more and more functionality as we move forward now that we’re able to work with Whitewater,” Young said.

More news and notes from the meeting:

  • Stephanie Abbott announced information regarding the half-marathon, which will begin at 7:57 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22. The event has 63 sponsors, more than 400 volunteers and five charity partners. The half-marathon will take place next year as well.
  • The UW-Whitewater library has developed an application available on mobile devices.
  • The Street Index of Parking Restrictions has been modified, removing portions of 15-minute parking from South First Street.
  • Brown Cab proposed a change to its system which would increase the number of hours and cabs available to students during the school year.
  • In addition to the water items mentioned earlier, the Council discussed the storm water report, which addresses certain areas around the city that tend to flood after heavy rainfall.
  • The Council had an extensive conversation about Whitewater’s current budget. Whitewater is spending less money per capita than it was 20 years ago.

Packers ranked fifth in first power rankings of NFL season

The Green Bay Packers are ranked fifth in the first power rankings of the NFL season behind the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. After a disappointing exit from last year’s postseason, the Packers look to rebound this season, following the lead of their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/powerrankings

 

Mayor Petykiewicz arrested in connection with car crash (Midterm)

Kittatinny Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz may face criminal charges following his involvement in a drunk driving accident around 1 p.m. Saturday. The crash took place at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in the Town of Frontenac in Schuylkill County.

Responding Deputy Gordon J. Slivovitz said Petykiewicz’s blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit when his 2006 Ford Explorer collided with a 1997 Buick Le Sabre.

The Ford had damage to its front end, and the Buick had damage to its driver side. Both vehicles were inoperable and towed from the scene.

Witness Alice Q. Magarian was following the Buick northbound on State Highway 117 at about 55 miles per hour when Petykiewicz’s Ford approached from the west on Fonebone Road.

Magarian, 30, said the Ford hesitated at a stop sign and pulled into the intersection, striking the Buick on its driver side.

The driver of the Buick was Robert H. Doane, a 39-year-old Kittatinny resident. There wasn’t an airbag in the car. Despite wearing a seatbelt, Doane was bleeding from the head and had abdominal pain.

Slivovitz requested an ambulance, and it arrived at 1:23 p.m.

Paramedics feared that Doane might have injured his spine. A Flight for Life helicopter arrived around 2 p.m. The driver-side door of Doane’s Buick was inoperable so he was extracted from his vehicle through the passenger-side door, and the helicopter crew secured him to a back board with a head brace.

He was placed in the helicopter and flown to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre for further evaluation.

Personnel at the hospital said Doane is in satisfactory condition with several broken ribs, a broken jaw, and cuts and bruises to his head, chest and abdominal area. His spine was uninjured.

Petykiewicz, 53, was conscious but disoriented. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The front and side airbags deployed, preventing injury.

Petykiewicz’s Ford smelled like alcohol, and his speech was slurred. An open, half-empty bottle of Fleischmann’s vodka was retrieved from the passenger-side vehicle floor.

He consented to a breath test, and the results indicated a blood alcohol content of .14. The legal limit for intoxicated driving in Pennsylvania is .08.

Petykiewicz failed a field sobriety test, stumbling to the ground several times.

After he was examined by paramedics, he was arrested and taken to the Schuylkill County Jail in downtown Kittatinny. Petykiewicz was booked and fingerprinted, and mug shots were taken. He exercised his right to remain silent but did not contact his attorney.

His wife, Gloria Petykiewicz, arrived and posted cash bail of $500.

Schuylkill County District Attorney Robert J. Morgenthau said Petykiewicz will face a charge of causing bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. If Petykiewicz is convicted, he may serve up to 10 years in prison.

A preliminary hearing will be held in Schuylkill County District Court Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Petykiewicz doesn’t have a comment at this time.

Underage drinking in Clem/Bigelow complex

Heading into St. Patrick’s Day, underage drinking in the residence halls is among UW-Whitewater’s primary concerns.

“We acknowledge that partying is a part of college for many students,” said Patty Huth, complex director for Clem Hall and Bigelow Hall. “However, there are several locations where students can drink that don’t include the dorms.”

The university has a strict alcohol policy, allowing only residents of the legal drinking age to store and drink alcohol in their room. Underage residents are prohibited from drinking. They also can’t keep alcoholic beverage containers in their room, regardless of consumption.

Should a student violate the university’s alcohol policy, there is a series of punishments. The list of violations includes*:

First Alcohol Violation: includes a $35 Alcohol Response-Ability web-based course and probation in the residence halls for one year

Second Alcohol Violation: includes assignment to $100 CHOICES program, extended probation, and likely residence hall relocation and/or ban

Third Alcohol Violation: includes referral to the Student Assistance Program in the University Health and Counseling Center for an AODA (alcohol and other drug abuse) Assessment, likely residence hall contract cancellation, extended residence hall probation if student is not cancelled, university probation if student is cancelled, eight to 10 page paper on responsibility and possible suspension from the university for a period of one semester to two years

Fourth Alcohol Violation: includes suspension from the university for a period of one semester to two years

*Each violation includes a parental notification and a signed statement of understanding of conduct policy and consequences of future violations.

The drinking policy is a polar issue within the student body.

“I think the alcohol policy is too extreme,” said sophomore Danny Wyse. “Partying is a great way to meet new people, and it’s harder to do that when we have to worry about all those punishments.”

Wyse is a resident of Clem Hall and plans to live off campus next year. Sophomore Sarah Rinn, another Clem Hall resident, believes more should be done to prevent alcohol abuse in the dorms.

“People are going to drink no matter what the consequences are,” Rinn said. “I mean, it’s Whitewater, one of the biggest party schools in the state. It’s not going to stop.”

Huth said it will be difficult to keep an eye on all of her residents, but she hopes they will make good decisions.

“That would make my job a lot easier,” Huth said.

 

Jobs gives words of wisdom to Stanford graduates

Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs told Stanford University graduates to “stay hungry, stay foolish” during his commencement speech today.

Jobs, 50, urged the graduates to pursue their dreams by sharing a series of stories from his life, including some of his biggest challenges and how he overcame them.

Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Ore., after the first six months and attended as a drop-in for another 18 months.

He didn’t know what to do with his life but felt that everything would work itself out in the end.

Jobs said:

“You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.”

Jobs said dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made. He credited his curiosity and intuition and encouraged the graduates to do the same.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” Jobs said. “They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

He and his friend, Stephen “Woz” Wozniak, started Apple Computer when he was 20 years old. The project began in Jobs’ parents’ garage.

Ten years later, Apple had evolved into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. The success was short-lived.

Jobs got fired from Apple. He and John Sculley, who Jobs had hired to help run the company, had differing visions of Apple’s future. The company sided with Sculley.

He used this experience to show the graduates that even bad experiences can serve as learning opportunities.

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” Jobs said. “It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

During the five years following his departure from Apple, Jobs started a company named NeXT, another named Pixar and met his wife, Laurene.

Apple eventually bought NeXT, and Jobs returned. He said none of those things would have ever happened if he hadn’t been fired from Apple.

“It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it,” Jobs said.

Jobs believes his love for his career is what got him through the tough times. He told the graduates to find what they love.

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle,” Jobs said. “As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

The role of death played a part in Jobs’ speech as well. He referred to a quote he read when he was 17 years old.

“If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right,” Jobs said.

He explained how death is a “change agent,” getting rid of the old to make way for the new.

“The new is you,” Jobs said.

Tournament time for Whitewater wrestling team

The UW-Whitewater wrestling team dominated UW-Platteville, 42-6, on senior night Thursday at the Kachel Gym in the Williams Center.

Each senior won his individual match, and the only points Platteville received were from a forfeit by Whitewater’s 149-pound Cade Sarbacker, who missed the match due to illness.

*The Warhawks are riding the momentum of a 12-bout winning streak heading into the WIAC Tournament to be held in Whitewater.

Head coach Tom Fader is excited about the opportunity to represent the Warhawks on their home mat. He says he couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to coach.

“We’ve got a lot of leadership in this group,” Fader said.

The seniors agreed that the victory was the perfect way to conclude their dual meet careers.

“It’s pretty surreal,” said 165-pound Reid Dickerson, who won his match with a pin against Platteville’s Quinn Sedlak. “Three years ago, I was a freshman watching those
seniors on their night, and now it’s my turn.”

The ’Hawks are ranked ninth overall in the Division III standings heading into the
tournament and are second in the WIAC behind UW-La Crosse, who defeated
Whitewater earlier this season.

If the ’Hawks are going to make a run at the Division III National Championship, they
may have to go through La Crosse.

Senior transfer Corey Anderson said the outcome will be different if the two teams cross paths again because of the Warhawks’ growth as a team.

“At first when I got here, I wasn’t sure if our team would be any good because of
everyone’s attitudes at practice and lifting,” Anderson said. “We’ve come so far now, and our practices have been great lately.”

Anderson also said the team has made several improvements during the second half of the season, which is the reason he believes the ’Hawks are peaking at the perfect time.

For a team that has done very well during the regular season, finishing with a 21-7
record, the Warhawks haven’t had their full starting lineup available for a single dual meet because of illness, injury, and eligibility reasons.

“The conference tournament will be the first time all season that we have our full
lineup wrestling,” said 197-pound senior Adam Latella.

Anderson said the team has a great chance to win the tournament because every wrestler is capable of placing high in his respective weight class. The WIAC Tournament is a bracket based on each weight class. For each win a wrestler gets, he earns points for his team.