News – January 5, 2019

(Beaver Dam) A domestic violence suspect who was shot by Beaver Dam police has been formally charged. Richard Henke of Beaver Dam sustained non-life-threatening injuries after being wounded in the lower extremities in October. Authorities responded to the Henke residence after reports to 9-1-1 from a child. The first officer on scene heard screaming, drew his gun and entered the home. In the kitchen, Henke was allegedly observed in a physical altercation with a screaming woman, described as a “pushing and pulling fight.” In the criminal complaint, the officer described the suspect with a blank stare and eyes that were (quote) “black and evil.” Henke reportedly gripped the woman’s head and hair, manhandling her as she flailed her arms trying to get away while he backed-up into a bedroom. The officer initially lost sight of the couple then advanced into the bedroom only to be attacked by two dogs. After fighting-off the dogs, the officer saw an empty rifle case and heard the victim screaming “no, no, no!” Henke was then allegedly observed in a crouching position against a wall pointing an “AR 15-type rifle” directly at the officer. That police officer told investigators that he thought Henke was going to kill both him and the woman, so he fired all his bullets before diving into another bedroom to reload, unaware of the condition of the suspect. Additional personnel then arrived in the home and could be heard yelling at Henke “don’t touch the gun.” The officer who initially responded sustained bruises and scratches but was otherwise not physically injured. It was later learned that the rifle that Henke was holding was inoperable. The 35-year-old is charged with felony Threat To Law Enforcement with Use of a Dangerous Weapon and Intentionally Pointing a Firearm At Law Enforcement along with misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct/ Domestic Abuse. If convicted, the charges carry a maximum penalty of over 17 years in prison. An initial appearance is scheduled for next Friday.

(Columbus) A Columbus man accused of causing a drunk-driving crash that killed a Lake Mills firefighter in Monona is free on a signature bond. Investigators say Samuel Cremers was drunk when he struck Chris Truman on the Beltline on New Year’s Eve. Truman was trying to help two other people whose vehicle was stranded in a snow-storm. At Cremers’ bail hearing Thursday, Dane County Court Commissioner Jason Hanson noted that Cremers’ blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit. Hanson says there are a lot of cases like this with a high cash bond set but he recognizes that this “is a case that might be different.” Cremers blood alcohol level was reportedly point-zero-eight. Drunk-driving charges are possible with blood-alcohol levels below the legal limit, but they are generally tougher to prosecute. Cremers is due back in court on March 7th for his initial appearance. Truman’s funeral is on Sunday, with public visitations this weekend.

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam tavern that is already facing a suspension of its liquor license for a closing time fight, is in trouble again. This time, Beaver Dam Police say there was a fight involving an underage patron at the Madison Street bar in the early morning hours after Christmas. An employee of the business apparently called police to report the fight. A woman sustained a laceration from a beer bottle during an argument that required stitches. The 20-year-old suspect told police that no one at the bar checked her identification; she was cited for underage drinking. Johnny’s Lounge was assessed 300 points for the incident under the city’s Demerit Point Ordinance that regulates liquor license holders. That is in addition to 230 points assessed this summer following that closing time fight. Taverns that accumulate 200 points in a rolling 18-month period could have their license suspended or revoked. Last month, the Beaver Dam Administrative Committee recommended a 15-day suspension of the liquor license for the offense from June. A final decision on that incident will be determined during the council’s meeting on Monday, at which time the business could raise objections. Any objections would be handled at the circuit court level. The penalty would not be enacted until after the appeals process has been completed.

(Lowell) No injuries were reported yesterday (Friday) morning when a train collided with a tractor in the Town of Lowell. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says the incident occurred at 10:05am when a rural Juneau man was traveling south in a farm field near W7782 County Highway KW. The 31-year-old attempted to stop for the train near Hogsback Road but slid due to slippery conditions, striking the front of the train. The only damages were to the front of the plow and a railing on the train engine. Because the incident occurred on private land and not on a public roadway, it is considered a civil matter and is not reportable crash.

(Madison) Governor-elect Tony Evers has rolled back comments that indicated he would disobey provisions of legislation passed by a lame duck session last month. Evers said that he, as sitting governor, would likely be sued by opponents of the measures Republicans passed to restrict the powers of his office. Evers says he has “no intent” of breaking the law.

(Madison) Scott Walker is not ruling out a future run for office. The Republican governor lost his bid for a third term to Democrat Tony Evers. In an interview Friday with the Associated Press, Walker said he would not rule out a future campaign, either for governor again, or for U-S Senate in four years. That’s when Republican U-S Senator Ron Johnson’s term ends, and Johnson has said he’ll only serve two terms in the Senate.

(Madison) A state agency issues a health advisory, regarding e-cigarette use by young people. Citing what it calls “alarming statistics,” the Wisconsin Department of Health Services says current e-cigarette use among Wisconsin high school students increased 154 percent between 2014 and 2018, from just under 8 percent to 20 percent, or one out of every five students. The DHS advisory notes that the U-S Surgeon General has stated that nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain, and can impact learning, memory, and attention.

(Beaver Dam) The community is mourning the loss of a local racing legend. Ernest “Fuzzy” Fassbender died on Thursday at the age of 90. Fuzzy’s racing career spanned from 1951 to 1982, picking up numerous track championships along the way. He was an inaugural inductee into the Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Fame in Hartford. In 1987, he joined the Dodge County Fair Board where he formed a racing program that ran at the fairgrounds track for two decades. A post on the Beaver Dam Raceway Facebook page reads “sympathy to the Fassbender family” with the passing of “the great Fuzzy the hound.” Fassbender was recently enshrined in a mural in Beaver Dam. Motorists who enter the city from the southern gateway are greeted with a three-panel mural on the Cigelski building featuring the city’s racing history. Fuzzy “The Hound” Fassbender is enshrined alongside local racing legends Miles “The Mouse” Melius and Willie “The Rabbit” Goeden along with Beaver Dam-native Fred MacMurray in his famous, flying Flubber car. Funeral services for Fuzzy are being handled by Cornerstone Funeral and Cremation Services.