August 30, 2016

Beaver Dam Man Charged With Last Week’s Church Break-Ins


8/30/16 – Cash bond was set at $100,000 yesterday for the Beaver Dam man accused of breaking into multiple churches last week.  Kodey Meredith is facing four felony Burglary counts, all as a party to a crime.  The 26-year-old allegedly broke into both Grace Presbyterian Church and First Evangelical Lutheran Church during the overnight hours of August 21-22.  Meredith reportedly stole over $16-thousand dollars’ worth of Scrip cards, which churches and organizations can buy at reduced rates and sell to supporters who pay the full value for use at restaurants, gas stations, and other participating businesses.  He is also accused of breaking into First Evangelical during the overnight hours of August 7-8 to steal cash, keys, and electronics.  Meredith also allegedly broke into the home of Beaver Dam Police Department Chaplain Mark Jensen on the morning of August 4 and stole his chaplain badge, along with keys to Wayland Academy, checkbooks, and electronics.  Officers tracked used scrip cards back to Meredith, and a search warrant executed at his house reportedly turned up the stolen items.  Meredith denied stealing the cards and claimed he was unsure how the items ended up in his home.  Though Meredith did tell officers he has a heroin problem.  A friend allegedly told police that Meredith confessed the burglaries to him.  If Meredith is convicted on all counts, he faces over 52 years in prison.  A preliminary hearing is set for September 8.  While there may be other suspects in the case, none have been identified at this time.


DOJ Released Name Of Deputy In Suicide-by-Cop Incident


8/30/16 – The state Department of Justice has released the name of the officer involved in a ‘suicide-by-cop’ incident earlier this month in Beaver Dam. Dodge County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Nicholas used lethal force on August 5th at the Spring Lake Apartments. A ‘suicide-by-cop’ incident is described as a scenario where a suspect creates a deadly force situation where law enforcement is forced to act to stop a potentially deadly threat to themselves and the community at large.  At a press conference following the incident, Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger explained that 59-year-old James Quealy of Beaver Dam was threatening suicide to friends and had access to a firearm.  Beaver Dam Police responded, set up a perimeter, and started negotiating with the subject.  Quealy reportedly told officers he wished to end his life through suicide-by-cop and began waiving a firearm on his balcony.  After roughly one hour of negotiations, Beaver Dam Police requested assistance from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says his deputies attempted to end the negotiations peacefully, but the suspect turned the gun and fired a shot at his deputies.  Nicholas returned fire, killing Quealy. Nicholas was uninjured in the exchange and remains on administrative leave until the investigation has concluded. The state Department of Criminal Investigations is continuing to collect evidence before turning over its findings to the Dodge County District Attorney.  Nicholas has been with the department since 2007 and had never been in an officer-involved shooting before. Sheriff Schmidt stated after the incident that his deputy used appropriate force.


Dells Interstate Shooting Suspect Pleads Insanity


8/30/16 – A 21-year-old man has pleaded insanity to reduced charges in the killing of a motorist on the Interstate near Wisconsin Dells. Sauk County prosecutors have agreed to reduce an intentional homicide charge to reckless homicide against Zachary Hays — and he entered pleas Monday to that, plus three counts of reckless endangerment. He’ll undergo a mental exam, and he still faces charges in Milwaukee and Columbia counties as part of a day long crime spree on May first. Investigators say Hays shot and killed 42-year-old Gabriel Sanchez in their West Allis apartment building — and he later drove to Wisconsin Dells where he reportedly shot at vehicles and killed passenger Tracy Czackowski while her family was heading home from the Dells to suburban Chicago. His lawyer first mentioned Hays’ mental health issues several weeks after the incidents.


No Criminal Charges Against Palmyra Man In West Bend Fatality


8/30/16 – Washington County Sheriff’s officials say no criminal charges will be brought against a 34-year-old Jefferson County man who struck and killed a West Bend teen on Highway 45 last February. Investigators say Jonathan Meade of Palmyra was not impaired, was not speeding, and was not on his cell phone when he hit and killed Ryan Yauck. The 18-year-old Yauck was putting gasoline in his disabled vehicle near Chestnut Road. He died at the scene. Meade told investigators he tried to merge into the left land, but another vehicle blocked him. He was cited for unsafe lane deviation.


Hustisford Referendum Aims To Upgrade Elementary School


8/30/16 – Voters in the Hustisford School District will see a $5.6-million dollar referendum question on the November 8 ballot.  The funds would largely cover facility upgrades to John Hustis Elementary School.  Although she says students are not currently at risk, Superintendent Heather Cramer notes the district wants to bolster security at the building’s entrance.  While visitors currently need to use a buzzer system to enter the elementary school, Cramer says they can freely roam the building once access is granted.  The district hopes to move the school office to the front of the building so visitors need to sign in at the office prior to accessing the rest of the school.  Cramer says changing the office location will prompt some other renovations.  The planned elementary office would intrude on the school cafeteria.  According to Cramer, the current cafeteria is not large enough to comfortably fit all students anyways.  If the referendum is successful, the cafeteria would move into the gymnasium and a new gym would be constructed as an add-on.  Cramer says the district would also use the funds to add three special education classrooms.  The district last went to referendum in 2014 for operational needs, and it was successful.  School officials say the last facility referendum was over 20 years ago.


National Financial Support For Wisconsin Senate Candidates


8/30/16 – Wisconsin’s two major U-S Senate candidates are getting some big time support. Actor Robert Redford, who played a Democratic Senate hopeful in the 1972 movie “The Candidate,” sent a fundraising email to Feingold supporters on Monday. And the national Super PAC “Let America Work” says it will start airing about 500-thousand dollars worth of ads for Republican incumbent Ron Johnson that focus on fighting terrorism. A new Marquette Law School poll is due out tomorrow (Wednesday), and it could tell us whether more voters are tuning into the race — something that normally happens around Labor Day. In the last Marquette poll August tenth, one of every five registered voters did not have an opinion of Feingold — and one of every three voters still had no opinion of Johnson.


Libertarian Presidential Candidate In Milwaukee Thursday


8/30/16 – The Libertarian candidate for president will make his first Wisconsin visit on Thursday night. Gary Johnson will hold a rally at Serb Hall in Milwaukee. The former two- term governor of New Mexico had 10-percent support among Wisconsin’s registered voters in the last Marquette Law School poll on August 10th.


Hartford Woman Accused Of Speeding Off After Accident


8/30/16 – Bond was set at $1,000 yesterday for a Hartford woman accused of fleeing the scene of an accident.  Alyssa Busateri is facing one felony count of Hit and Run Involving Injury.  In July, the 18-year-old allegedly drove off at speeds around 100 miles per hour after striking another vehicle from behind in the Town of Rubicon.  The driver of the other vehicle suffered multiple injuries, including a herniated disc.  If she is convicted, Busateri faces up to nine months behind bars.  Her preliminary hearing is October 20.


Horicon Woman Accused Of Lying To Police Officer


8/30/16 – Bond was set at $1,000 yesterday for a Horicon woman accused of lying to a police officer.  Faith Murphy is facing counts of felony Identity Theft and misdemeanor Obstructing an Agency, both as a repeat offender.  An officer saw the 27-year-old walking in the Town of Hubbard on Wednesday night.  When he stopped his squad car and began to turn around to check on her well-being, Murphy allegedly dashed into a nearby wooded area.  She reportedly provided officers with a false name, stating she was the mother of her ex-boyfriend’s child.  Officers believed Murphy lied about her identity since she had been drinking, which was a violation of her probation.  If she is convicted on both counts, Murphy faces up to ten years in prison.  Her preliminary hearing is October 20.


Bond Set For Cambria Man Accused Of Stealing Car From Juneau Business


8/30/16 – Cash bond was set at $500 yesterday for a Cambria man accused of stealing a vehicle from a Juneau business owner.  Cory Bahr is facing counts of felony Operating a Motor Vehicle without the Owner’s Consent and misdemeanor Bail Jumping.  The 40-year-old allegedly took the vehicle from Mike’s Towing’s parking lot on Friday and was arrested later that day.  If he is found guilty on both counts, Bahr faces over six years in prison.  His preliminary hearing is September 15.


UW Madison Named Top Party School


8/30/16 – University of Wisconsin officials aren’t happy that the flagship Madison campus is ranked first on a list of the nation’s top party schools. The ranking released Monday comes from the Princeton Review, a New York-based tutoring and test prep company that surveys thousands of students and rates colleges in a number of categories each year. A statement from the school made no mention of the ranking, instead calling alcohol use on campus a “pressing public health concern” that hurts academic achievement and makes schools less safe. They noted that incoming students go through mandatory programs educating them about the dangers of alcohol.


We Are The Music Makers, We Are the Dreamers of Dreams


8/30/16 – Wisconsin native Gene Wilder, who starred in an eclectic range of movie roles, has died. His nephew says the 83-year-old Wilder died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut from the Alzheimer’s disease he first suffered three years ago — which he kept secret until now. He was born in Milwaukee as Jerome Silberman in 1933 and graduated from the city’s Washington High School — and he later went to the University of Iowa, served in the Army, and performed on Broadway before his first movie role as a hostage in “Bonnie and Clyde” in 1967. Wilder also starred as a nervous accountant in “The Producers,” the candy man in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and an obsessed scientist in “Young Frankenstein.” The Journal Sentinel says Wilder did want to return to Milwaukee after his father died there in 1973 — but he came back in 1991 to be inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Arts Hall of Fame.