News – February 10, 2021

(Columbus) A Columbus woman who allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill a Sun Prairie man will remain in the Dane County jail. Federal magistrate judge Stephen Crocker says that the criminal complaint against 37-year-old Kelly Harper does not list the victim’s name, nor the names of the journalists who tipped off police to the alleged crime. -WRN

(Kewaskum) Authorities have identified the suspect in last week’s Kewaskum shooting. Nicholas Pingel reportedly crashed two stolen vehicles, broke into several homes along Forest View Road, physically assaulted several people and fatally shot two at their homes. The situation ended when a sheriff’s deputy confronted the 30-year-old West Band man and exchanged gunfire, striking Pingel. The Wisconsin Department of Justice says an autopsy confirmed that Pingel died as a result of the law enforcement round. The investigation is ongoing. -WRN

(Waupun) Wisconsin’s Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of the Kenosha man serving ten years for killing an 18-year-old Sturtevant woman in Fond du Lac County 30 years ago. The state’s highest court declined without commenting on the reckless homicide conviction of Dennis Brantner, who claimed there was insufficient evidence and the case should have been dismissed. The 67-year-old was convicted three years ago of murdering Berit Beck and leaving her body in a ditch near Waupun.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Fire Department quickly knocked down a kitchen fire on 128 East South Street yesterday (Tuesday) evening. Firefighter’s extinquished the blaze within ten minutes after arriving on scene around 5pm. Smoke and fire damage was reported throughout the kitchen. The home’s occupant, Andrew Stommel, was treated at the scene and was able to return to the residence. The fire was caused by inattentive cooking.

(Hartford) A garage fire in Hartford caused roughly $300-thousand-dollars in damages yesterday (Tuesday). A passerby reported the blaze to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in the 3000 block of Kettle Moraine Road just before 11am. First responders found the structure to be unoccupied upon arrival with heavy smoke coming out of the roof. The building and its contents were a total loss. No injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation.

(Beaver Dam) St. Vincent de Paul of Dodge County is asking for help placing those affected in last month’s Lakecrest apartment fire in new homes. The Beaver Dam-based non-profit is looking for move-in ready apartments and is working to collect area listings. Anyone with information about current listings are asked to call St. Vincent de Paul at 920-885-6971. More information about donating to help those in need can be found at

(Wisconsin) A second case of a new coronavirus variant has been detected in Wisconsin. The new case of the variant first discovered circulating widely in the U.K. was in Waukesha County. Health officials say the best way to prevent spread of “all” COVID-19 variants is to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, as well as getting more people vaccinated. -WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 681 positive coronavirus cases in Tuesday’s daily update. State health officials recorded 39 deaths bringing that total to 6,094. Dodge County has experienced 154 deaths with 130 active cases. Deaths were also reported in Washington, Fond du Lac and Jefferson Counties.

(Portage) Columbia County health officials say with extreme temperatures predicted this week, the National Guard will not be holding the free testing clinics today at the Portage Water Utility and Friday at the Cambria Fire Department. Currently, the Cambria testing site is scheduled to be open from noon to 6pm on February 26th.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers is previewing parts of his proposed state budget, including a new series of grants for those who are caring for their children and loved ones during the pandemic. The programs will offer up $140-million-dollars in total for early childhood programs, and $600-million-dollars for long term care programs and those who are stay at home caregivers. -WRN

(Wisconsin) President Joe Biden will visit Wisconsin next week, his first stop in the state since winning the presidency. Biden’s Tuesday visit will come the same day Governor Evers delivers his budget address, and Wisconsin’s spring primary election. -WRN