News – March 8, 2019

(Juneau) The trial for a Fox Lake murder suspect continued Thursday with forensic testimony. Laverne Ware Jr is charged in the 2016 murder of his girlfriend Sesalie Dixon. Several technicians from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab were called to the stand. Fingerprint Examiner Vanessa Styx testified that her lab found fingerprint ridge patterns on the gun that was used in the crime but it was not enough to make a good comparison. While two handguns of the exact same model were found at the crime scene, Firearms Examiner Xai Xiong was able to give testimony explaining how his lab was able to determine which gun was used. Xiong says during the manufacturing process the firearms are created by rapidly moving tools which create microscopic imperfections that analysts examine for individualizing characteristics. Today is Day Five of the two-week trial.

(Lake Mills) A Dodgeville man has been charged in connection with the New Year’s Eve death of Lake Mills Fire Captain Chris Truman on the Beltline in Madison. Samuel Cremers is charged with one felony count of Knowingly Operating A Vehicle on a Suspended License Causing Death. The 28-year-old avoided a drunk driving homicide charge after his blood alcohol level came back just under the state’s legal limit at point-zero-seven-nine (0.079). Truman had pulled over to the side of the Beltline to help a stranded motorist. Cremers will be back in court later this month.

(Columbus) Columbus may become the latest municipality to urge the state legislature to take action on the Dark Store controversy. City Administrator Patrick Vander Sanden told city officials in committee this week that the timing is right for the city council to take action. Columbus Mayor Michael Thom called it an urgent matter, noting that Dark Store legislation was a topic of conversation during a recent conference in Washington DC attended by over 60 municipal mayors. Under current practice, major department store chains can claim their stores should be assessed as if they are empty buildings, just like a residential property. Affected municipalities say that shifts a greater burden of the overall tax levy to homeowners.

(Beaver Dam) It is opening night at the brand-new Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s Fine Arts Center for their first-ever play that is not a musical. Rumors by Neil Simon is a farce set in a New York townhouse. Confusion and miscommunication mount at an anniversary party after the deputy mayor accidentally shoots himself. While merely a flesh wound, those involved struggle to get their stories straight as couples arrive for the party, the host lay bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere to be found. Rumors is on the stage (Friday) tonight for the first of six performances, which includes two Sunday matinees. Tickets are available at Rechek’s Food Pride or at the BDACT box office. More information is available at bdact.org, a link can be found with this news story at DailyDodge.com.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers is proposing two-point-five billion dollars in capital improvements to address deferred maintenance and safety issues at state-owned buildings.  900-million would be borrowed to pay for projects on U-W System campuses, with nearly another 100-million to fund a new state office building in Milwaukee.

(Racine County) The stage is set for a meeting between Foxconn and state leaders. Gov. Evers will send his top aid Joel Brennan to get a more clear picture of Foxconn’s immediate timeline and costs. Last summer Foxconn said it was backing off plans for a facility to make LCD screens in favor of more economical ideas, but specifics remain cloudy. Brennan speaking at an event hosted by the Milwaukee Business says he communicates with Foxconn representatives weekly about its Wisconsin plans. A meeting between Brennan and Foxconn executives will be held Monday.

(Madison) Governor Evers is proposing two-point-five billion dollars in capital improvements to address deferred maintenance and safety issues at state-owned buildings.  900-million would be borrowed to pay for projects on U-W System campuses, with nearly another 100-million to fund a new state office building in Milwaukee.  Governor Evers will be a guest on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News later today.

(Madison) Governor Evers’ budget wants to make a program that helps veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues through community service permanent.  The Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program became statewide last April, and has served over 550 veterans with over 12-hundred community connections.

(Wisconsin) Over 100 people representing organizations from the Great Lakes region are in Washington D-C this week trying to lobby Congress to pump more money into programs to protect water quality.  The coalition wants to see federal funding triple for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, along with funds for restoration and work to block the Asian Carp in Illinois.

(Lake Superior) Madeline Island in Lake Superior is now relying on fire services from neighboring communities in Wisconsin after an explosion and fire destroyed their only fire station Wednesday.  No one was injured, and a cause remains under investigation.  The town board has declared a state of emergency to help purchase new equipment.

(Burnett County) A former District Attorney for Burnett County has been reprimanded for pursuing female defendants.  The state Office of Lawyer Regulation accuses William Norine of violating professional conduct rules after he had lunch with a woman his office was prosecuting, and offering another defendant to help pay her phone bill if they would meet.  Norine did not contest the reprimand, which carries no fines or penalties.

(Green Bay) For the seventh straight year, the Packers are giving fans a chance to be on one of their home game tickets.  The Packers Everywhere Ticket Takeover Contest is accepting photos online through the 27th.  A panel will reveal five finalists on April 3, with the winner decided based on the number of online votes received through April 24.