December 12, 2014

Petri Ethics Case Closed


12/12/14 – After 36 years in Congress, Fond du Lac Republican Tom Petri will not retire with an ethics case over his head.  Yesterday, the House Ethics Committee closed an ongoing case against Petri, saying it would take no further action.  The panel cleared the lawmaker of wrong-doing, after reports that he owned stock in two companies for which he helped obtain federal grants and breaks from federal rules.   Those firms were the Oshkosh Corporation and the Manitowoc Company. Petri said he repeatedly sought advice from Ethics Committee staff members on the matter.  The panel now says it’s apparent that he substantially complied with the advice.  The committee said it would not be fair to subject Petri to an additional review, just as he’s about to retire at the end of the year.  Petri said the new report confirms what he’s said all along — that he made sure everything was done according to the House rules.


BDHS Student Facing Misdemeanors for Threats


12/12/14 – A 17-year-old Beaver Dam student is facing two Class B Misdemeanor counts, one for disorderly conduct and one for sending a computerized message meant to threaten, injure, or harm.  Those stem from threats made to a peer and to the Beaver Dam High School.  Niyaz A. Brandenburg had an initial appearance in Dodge County court Thursday after he was taken into custody on Wednesday night.  Superintendent of the Beaver Dam School District Steve Vessey says that Brandenburg had issued a pair of threatening remarks, one specific and one non-specific.  Brandenburg allegedly threatened violence toward the fellow student in a Facebook post and allegedly discussed the bombing of the school if he was expelled at a hearing that was set for next week over a previous school policy violation.   Administrators in the school stated that Brandenburg has a history of threatening behavior from his time in the Appleton School District, prior to coming to Beaver Dam.  He has also been involved in repeated incidents since arriving at BDHS.  Vessey says that like law enforcement, the school is not finished addressing the matter.  He also says that administrators will review its policies for handling situations such as threats being made against the school, as it does after every matter similar to this instance. If convicted, Brandenburg would face up to ninety days imprisonment for each of the two counts.


Brownsville Teen Arraigned For Gas Station Robbery


12/12/14 – A Brownsville teen will proceed to trial in connection with a gas station hold-up. Alec James Ryan waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday then entered a “not guilty” plea at arraignment to charges of Armed Robbery with the Threat of Force. The 17-year-old allegedly told the clerk at the BP Gas Station in the Village of Brownsville on November 17 that he had a pistol in his waistband.  The clerk never saw the weapon. Ryan reportedly fled on foot with a carton of cigarettes.  Ryan has court activity scheduled in January.


Columbia County Teens Arraigned In Gas Station Robbery


12/12/14 – The two suspects in the robbery of Casey’s General Store in Beaver Dam last month were in Dodge County court Thursday. 17-year-old Ross Goodinson of Columbus and 18-year-old Kent Eisner of Fall River each waived their rights to a preliminary hearing and then entered a “not guilty” plea during a subsequent arraignment hearing. The teens are each charged with felony Theft of Movable Property. Authorities responded to the gas station on the 900 block of North University Avenue on November 18. One suspect entered the store and passed a note to the clerk demanding cash and cigarettes. No weapons were used or implied. The subject fled on foot to a vehicle which responding officers located one block away from the gas station. Cash and cigarettes were confiscated as evidence. Both Goodinson and Eisner have court activity on the calendar again next month.


Beaver Dam Man Sentenced For Robbing Man Near Gas Station


12/12/14 – A Beaver Dam man who robbed a man outside a gas station was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail. Nathan Crisafulli was originally charged with Robbery with the Use of Force but had previously pled to felony Theft of Movable Property. The 31-year-old was arrested in November of 2013 following the incident with an acquaintance. Crisafulli approached the victim as the victim walked out of the bathroom of a Beaver Dam gas station counting his money. He pushed the victim into a car and accused him of stealing a gun. The victim’s story was filled with inconsistencies and investigators believe he was under the influence of drugs. Prosecutors nonetheless say Crisafulli stole $180 and a cell phone with force. In addition to six months in jail, Crisafulli will spend three years on probation.


Lomira Man Reaches Plea Deal In Heroin OD


12/12/14 – Prosecutors in Fond du Lac County reached a deal with a 50-year-old Lomira man who was charged in connection with the heroin overdose death of 28-year-old Fond du Lac man. Jeffrey Abitz yesterday pled guilty to reduced charges of heroin trafficking and narcotics possession. He originally faced a First Degree Reckless Homicide charge in the July 2012 death of Adam Ellman. Fifty-eight-year-old Reginald Dorsey of Milwaukee faced a similar charge for Ellman’s death, but it was dismissed when he died of cancer.


Beaver Dam Man Bound Over For Violent Rape


12/12/14 – A Dodge County judge found probable cause during a preliminary hearing Thursday for a Beaver Dam man to proceed to trial on charges that he violently assaulted a young teenage acquaintance. 20-year-old Edward T. Linn then entered a “not guilty” plea at a subsequent arraignment hearing to a pair of felony counts of Second Degree Child Sexual Assault. Linn allegedly tried to choke, punch and bite the 15-year-old victim while forcing himself on her last month. She was able to fight him off and fled the residence. Linn denied having contact with the girl saying he had only met her once for less than a minute. The charges carry a combined maximum of 80 years in prison, if he is convicted.


Horicon Man Gets Year In Jail For Assault


12/12/14 – A Horicon man will spend one year in jail and five years on probation for assaulting his girlfriend. David T. Baxter forced himself on the woman after an argument in July. The 45-year-old told police he thought it was a game.


UW Oshkosh Student Faces Life In Prison For Possessing Toxin


12/12/14 – A U-W Oshkosh student has pleaded innocent to two federal counts of making the deadly toxin ricin — including a new charge that carries a life prison sentence.  A federal grand jury issued an indictment this week against 21-year-old Kyle Smith, claiming that he intended to use the chemical as a weapon. Smith was previously charged with simple possession of ricin.  A tentative trial date is set for February 17th.  Smith was arrested on Halloween, after Oshkosh Police received a tip and closed off the neighborhood around the defendant’s house off the university campus.  His attorney has insisted that Smith never meant to hurt anybody.


Beaver Dam Area Orchestra Christmas Concert


12/12/14 – The Beaver Dam Area Orchestra will hold its annual Christmas concert Saturday night.  Music Director Richard Zeman is entering his twenty-first holiday performance of serving in his current role.  He says that the group this year is a 60 member full symphonic orchestra.  The orchestra draws members from six different Wisconsin counties and from approximately twenty-five different communities.  There will be two performances.  The first one is at 5:30pm and is referred to as a ‘family concert’ as it is an abbreviated version of the main show which begins at 7:30pm.  There is no cost to get in the doors, but contributions are appreciated to help fund future performances.  This show is part of the three concert season that occurs each year.  The next performance after tomorrows is the spring concert on April 11th.