News – November 10, 2016

Dodge County Sergeant Cleared In Officer Involved Shooting

 

11/10/16 – The Dodge County officer who shot and killed a civilian this summer was justified in using deadly force.  That according to Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg who sent out a memorandum yesterday that says sheriff’s Sergeant Joseph Nicholas “protected his life and the lives of others threatened” when he returned fire on 59-year-old James Quealy during the August 5 incident at Beaver Dam’s Spring Lake Apartment complex.  The state Department of Justice spent a couple months investigating the matter, in which officers received reports that Quealy was making suicidal comments and had access to a gun.  During two hours of negotiations, Quealy expressed intent to die that night via suicide-by-cop, which is when a person puts officers in a position where they are forced to use lethal force to protect themselves or the public.  Quealy fired a shot in Nicholas’ direction, causing the sergeant to return fire in self-defense, striking Quealy in the right side of his face with the bullet.  Klomberg calls the evidence “unequivocal” as a bullet was recovered from a home behind where Nicholas was positioned.  He says the state crime lab tied the bullet to Quealy’s gun.  Klomberg did note a concern from that night with the Beaver Dam Police Department’s equipment.  Klomberg says the video cameras in the squad cars stopped working for an inexplicable reason.  He says the video would not have captured the incident but could have provided audio of the shots being fired and given a pinpoint time of when the shots occurred.  The district attorney calls it unacceptable to have heavily-relied upon equipment malfunction at such a crucial time.  No word on if anything is being done to address the in-car videos.  Klomberg calls it a “tragic situation” and commends the officers involved who tried to negotiate with Quealy.  Sergeant Nicholas is returning to full duty after being on administrative leave while the incident was investigated.

 

Beaver Dam Man Found Guilty Of Multiple Thefts

 

11/10/16 – A Beaver Dam man pled no contest yesterday to robbing a Town of Beaver Dam gas station. Joshua Benson was found guilty on felony counts of Armed Robbery, Battery, Fraud, and Retail Theft while five other counts were dismissed but read into the record.  The 33-year-old had a weapon when he stole cash from the BP station in December.  Benson also broke into a Beaver Dam house in February to steal prescription medications and a checkbook and took nearly $1,000 in alcohol from the same BP station in May.  Benson will be sentenced January 25.

 

GOP To Elect Leaders Today

 

11/10/16 – A more conservative Wisconsin Senate majority will choose its leaders Thursday for the next two-year session. There’s no word of any contests, which means that Juneau Republican Scott Fitzgerald will stay in charge of a larger majority of 20 to 21 members — depending on what happens to Democratic Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling. She’s expected to face a recount, as she led her La Crosse area election against former Senate Republican Dan Kapanke by only 58 votes from almost 90-thousand cast. The 12 or 13 Senate Democrats will wait until that contest is resolved before choosing its leaders. Assembly leaders are scheduled to be chosen Monday and Tuesday — and Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca planned to take a couple days to decide if he wants to keep presiding in a smaller caucus of 35 members, to the Republicans’ 64.

 

WASD Officials Moving Forward With Project Plans

 

11/10/16 – Officials in the Waupun School District are wasting little to start improving their schools after voters passed a $36-million-dollar referendum question Tuesday.  Funds will be used to create safe, secure entrances at three of the district’s four buildings, address aging infrastructure and ADA accessibility throughout the district, and build a track and tennis court on the high school grounds.  Gubin says district officials are already looking at bond interest rates to take advantage of the currently low rates and plan to start consulting project experts in the near future.  Gubin says these are just preliminary measures as most of the work will take place in the spring and summer months.

 

Wisconsin Election Turnout Down

 

11/10/16 – Turnout for the presidential election in Wisconsin appears to be a 20-year low. Based on unofficial result, turnout in Tuesday’s election was about 66 percent of the voting age populations. More than 2.9-million people voted in Wisconsin’s Senate race, about 3,000 more than did in the presidential. The Wisconsin Elections Commission predicted about 3.1-million would cast ballots, which would have been roughly a 69 percent turnout. If that number holds, it will be the lowest since the 58 percent turnout of 1996.

 

Scocos Announces Resignation As Veterans Secretary

 

11/10/16 – State Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos will resign January seventh. Governor Scott Walker appointed Scocos to the post in 2011, after lawmakers took away the Veterans Affairs Board’s authority to hire the secretary. Scocos held the post from the 2003 to ’09, when the board fired him for spending decisions made without the panel’s input — and he sued the board and won a 325-thousand-dollar settlement, claiming he was wrongly let go just two months after he returned from tour of duty in Iraq. Most recently, the Veterans Affairs agency became the subject of a legislative audit amid allegations of a lack of performance at the state veterans’ nursing home at King in Waupaca County — but Scocos defended the facility, saying it received high marks from the federal government. In announcing the resignation, the Republican Walker cited a list of accomplishments in helping state veterans, calling Scocos a “tireless advocate.”

 

Deadline Approaching For Economic Development Luncheon

 

11/10/16 – The deadline to register for this year’s Economic Update Luncheon is approaching.  People need to contact the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce, who holds the annual event each year on the day before Thanksgiving, by Tuesday.  This year’s speakers are Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb, Dodge County Board Chairman Russ Kottke, and Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy.  Gottlieb will discuss the future of Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure while Kottke and Kennedy provide updates on the state of the county and city, respectively.  The event will be held at the Beaver Dam Veteran’s Center on November 23 from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm.  Cost to attend is $30 per person.  Forms are available at beaverdamchamber.com.

 

BDACT Opening Night For Town Hall Tonight

 

11/10/16 – It’s opening night for Town Hall Tonight at the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre. The historical play is based on actual events and highlights Beaver Dam as the city celebrates its 175th Anniversary. Town Hall Tonight originated as a book by Beaver Dam-native Harlow Randall Hoyt that detailed the city’s downtown concert hall in the 1890’s. The book is still used in university curriculum to study that time period. Hoyt’s grandfather, Dr. Babcock, owned and managed the Town Hall, which was located above what is now the Gergen Law Offices. Local historian Roger Noll has been tabbed to play the role of Hoyt. He says the production is actually two-plays-in-one with the first act focused on recollecting Town Hall and Beaver Dam as Hoyt remembers it. The production includes songs, humorous stories, melodramatic skits and a group of actors who brought some of the greatest vaudeville shows and performers to Beaver Dam’s own Town Hall. There are four evening performances of Town Hall Tonight and two Sunday matinees starting tonight and wrapping up on November 20. Tickets start at $10 and are available at Rechek’s Food Pride or at the box office of the theatre at 219 North Spring Street. Director Annette Kamps did not schedule a show for this Saturday so as to encourage people to attend the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra concert at the high school.