News – March 14, 2019

(Juneau) Wednesday was day eight of the two-week jury trial of Fox Lake murder suspect Laverne Ware Jr and the defense called its first witness: the victim’s father. Stanley Johnson was asked about comments supposedly made by the defendant’s mother shortly after the December 2016 shooting of Sesalie Dixon. Attorneys for Ware are saying Ware’s mother pulled the trigger and that Johnson told a detective that Ware’s mother made (quote) “over ten threats” to kill Dixon. Johnson however testified yesterday that that style of language is common in his family with their background in boxing. He noted that Ware’s mother was a boxer and even fought Muhammed Ali’s daughter almost 20 years ago. Johnson also testified that Ware’s mother is terrified of guns, because one of her brothers was killed in front of her, but Ware loved guns and owned (quote) “all types of guns.” Today marks day nine of the two-week trial.

(Beaver Dam) A domestic violence suspect shot by Beaver Dam police entered a not guilty plea at arraignment yesterday.  Richard Henke of Beaver Dam sustained non-life-threatening injuries after being wounded in the lower extremities in October. The first officer on scene allegedly observed a physical altercation with a screaming woman and described the suspect with a blank stare. The 35-year-old disappeared from site only to later be observed in a crouching position against a wall pointing a rifle at the officer. That officer unloaded his weapon as he dove into another room. Additional personnel then arrived in the home and arrested Henke. If convicted, the charges carry a maximum penalty of over 17 years in prison.

(Milwaukee) An Amber Alert remains in effect even though Milwaukee police say they have taken accused shooter Dariaz Higgins into custody. However, they are still looking for two-year-old Noelani Robinson. Authorities are following up on leads which suggest the two-year-old is in either Minnesota or Michigan.  Higgins is wanted for a double-shooting on Monday that left Sierra Robinson dead.  Witnesses say he fled with the girl after the shooting.

(Berlin) A Green Lake man was arrested yesterday (Wednesday) after assaulting another motorist with a gun during a road rage incident. Officers responded to the intersection of Mound and Franklin streets in the city of Berlin around 8:45am. The 64-year-old was involved in a physical altercation with the other driver when he pulled a nine-millimeter pistol from his pocket and made threats. As the motorist was retreating to his car, he was struck in the back of the head with the pistol. The suspect was taken into custody without incident and taken to the Green Lake County Jail where he is awaiting an initial appearance. Berlin Police Chief Dennis Plantz called the situation unfortunate saying it “should serve as a stern reminder that these types of incidents…can have unimaginable consequences.”

(Beaver Dam) The candidates for alderman in Beaver Dam’s Seventh Ward discussed the issues with us this week on WBEV’s Community Comment. Among the topics that were addressed was the possibility of Beaver Dam building a second fire station on the city’s northside. Incumbent Alderman Robert Ballweg says he is “not certain he supports a northside fire station” because it would not necessarily reduce response time. Ballweg is supportive of looking at increased staffing. Jack Yuds says with all the growth on the city’s northside, a second fire station is needed and while finding the money is another matter, a second facility is long overdue.  You can hear conversations with both candidates at DailyDodge.com.

(Juneau) Two Republicans from the Dodge County-area are pleased that their bill to remove sensitive wording from state administrative code has garnered support from the governor. Representative John Jagler of Watertown and Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau are seeking to replace the “r-word” with the phrase “intellectual disability.” Governor Tony Evers this week signed an executive order that directs each state agency to review and submit a timetable to change the wording in less than 90 days.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Fire Department is inviting the community to have coffee with them Friday morning. Firefighter-Paramedic John Jatczak says the public is encouraged to come out and ask questions about department operations, services provided or just what it is like to be an emergency responder. There will also be safety information including a push for people to check the batteries in their smoke detectors with the recent changing of clocks. Beaver Dam Fire personnel will be at Blackwater Coffee on South Center Street starting at 9am Friday (3/15…not Thursday as mistakenly reported).

(Madison) Republicans in the State Legislature will hire their own attorneys to represent themselves in a lawsuit filed against the state by Planned Parenthood.  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says it’s necessary given Attorney General Josh Kaul’s history with “forwarding Planned Parenthood’s agenda.”  The federal judge in the case will have to decide if this will be allowed.

(Madison) Governor Evers says he will sign a Republican bill that would remove the term “mental retardation” from five state agencies’ administration codes.  Evers made an executive order regarding this Tuesday as the bill makes it ways through the Legislature.  The term would be replaced with “intellectual disability”.

(Madison) Governor Evers is joining four other fellow Great Lakes governors in opposing President Trump’s budget proposal to cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90-percent.  The governors say the cut would cost jobs, hurt tourism and jeopardize public health.  The Trump administration says state and local governments should fund the program.

(Madison) State Attorney General Josh Kaul will no longer require Department of Justice employees to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure acknowledgement form.  The form was first used in 2017, and new employees stopped signing it earlier this year.  The intent is to make the department more open to the public, without breaking current rules for confidential items.

(Milwaukee) This week’s decision to place one of two new state youth juvenile facilities in Milwaukee isn’t sitting well with some on the city’s Common Council.  President Ashanti Hamilton will be using a meeting scheduled this evening at 6 at MacPyles Corp to gather concerns and questions about the state’s decision without consulting the city government. A county representative will be there, but no word is anyone from the state will be.

(Madison) Part of Governor Evers’s budget proposal would give the Department of Public Instruction 500-thousand dollars to help schools purchase water bottle filling stations.  The effort is part of the governor’s water quality initiative, with goals to reduce lead levels in Milwaukee and nitrate levels in northern Wisconsin.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin fares better than most states when it comes to robocall tax phone scams.  The website All Area Codes found the Badger State ranks 37th with 1,455 F-T-C complaints per 100-thousand people.  Milwaukee County was the 90th most targeted county in America.

(Sheboygan) Kohler Company is cutting 600 jobs in Wisconsin as its closes its engine division in Sheboygan County.  They will be offering alternative jobs in Wisconsin to some of the impacted workers.  Others will be transferred to their Hattiesburg, Mississippi plant, which will be hiring 250 people over the next two years.

(Madison) The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is advising farmers to be cautions with spreading manure over the next several days.  Rain and snow melting is making runoff a severe risk for contaminating waterways with manure.  Farmers can see their local risk by accessing the department’s Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast, updated three times daily.

(Madison) A state rule that was aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease was allowed to expire before it took effect.  The DNR wrote the emergency rule regarding deer farm fencing, but its citizen board amended it to give farmers one year to comply.  The rule expired last month, and the DNC decided not to re-enact it.  The hope of the rule was to stop the spread of the disease between captive and wild deer.

(Walworth County) Today begins the first of several aerial enforcement campaigns across Wisconsin by the State Patrol.  Parts of I-43 in Walworth County will use an aircraft to watch for speeders.  They will also be used March 21st on I-94 in Jefferson County, and March 25th on I-43 in Ozaukee County.