December 26, 2014

Criminal Complaint Filed Against Kriscilla McHenry


12/26/14 – The Dodge County District Attorney’s Office has filed a criminal complaint against Kriscilla McHenry of Milwaukee and upon conviction of charges; she would be sentenced to life in prison.  McHenry had a preliminary hearing in Dodge County Court last week, and a judge found probable cause for her to proceed to trial on charges that she stole the car of a homicide victim.  The 30-year-old Milwaukee woman was reportedly the last person seen with 43-year-old Michael Soeller of Randolph. McHenry allegedly took his car after leaving his apartment. His landlord discovered his body in the apartment on August 24th. McHenry is scheduled to make an initial appearance this Monday.


Dodge County Plans for 2015 Road Projects


12/26/14 – With the end of the year approaching, local municipalities are reflecting on the construction projects of 2014 and looking ahead to the anticipated endeavors for the coming year.  Dodge County undertook a handful of projects this year including work on Highway C near Fox Lake, Highway E from Horicon to Beaver Dam, Highway 26 from Watertown to Juneau, and the re-opening of the Lake Street Bridge in Horicon.  Dodge County Highway Commissioner Brian Field says that the county reached a good stopping point for the winter on the Highway 26 project and will be ready to resume work on the endeavor in the coming year.  Field says that there are a number of other projects that the county already has planned for 2015 including work on another portion of Highways C and E as well as Highway V near Mayville. On a city level, Beaver Dam’s projects this past year included micro-surfacing work in the Apple Valley that was completed in the summer and an overlay of a section of North Spring Street.  In the coming year, Director of Facilities Jeremy Klug says that the city will look to construction projects on parts of Front, McKinley, North Center, and North Spring Streets.  In addition to those locations, Klug says that some restoration work will be completed on a portion of South Lincoln Street due to weather issues that occurred this past year and brought some difficulties as that project was supposed to be concluding.


County Traffic Fatalities up in 2014


12/26/14 – Dodge County saw a notable increase in the number of traffic fatalities in 2014 when compared to recent years.  Fifteen fatalities have occurred within the county to date this year, six of which have happened since the middle of October.  That is up from the nine that were seen last year and is the highest reported total since 18 occurred back in 2009.  Dodge County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Scott Smith says that operating under the influence is by far one leading causes of these accidents.  Smith says that while alcohol remains a problem in fatal crashes, higher safety belt use and enhanced quality in vehicle safety have aided in protecting against these incidents.  Though he says the negative of drinking and driving can outweigh those positives, especially on many roads in this area due to high speeds and the winding nature of some highways.  In addition to being under the influence, operating with a lack of sleep and wrecking with a larger vehicle are other reasons Smith cited for the fatal crashes.


Retail Stores Anticipating Return Fraud


12/26/14 – Retailers could lose up to $3.6-billion dollars on fraudulent returns during the post-Christmas season.  That’s according to the National Retail Federation who reports that retail stores lost $3.4-billion dollars due to that type of fraud after last Christmas.  They say that the tactics used by these deceivers include presenting counterfeit receipts and returning purchases that were made with a stolen credit card.  The scam that is seen most often, however, is returning stolen merchandise.  Clothes and electronics are among the items most commonly returned by these means.  Many stores have changed their return policies in recent years in an attempt to defend against this occurring.  Those who do need to make returns are encouraged to: have a form of identification to present, return the item within the given store’s policy deadline, and bring back the item in good condition.


GVE Executive Director Retiring


12/26/14 – Green Valley Enterprise’s Board of Directors announced the retirement of Executive Director Jack Hankes effective mid-2015.  The former Beaver Dam mayor announced his intentions to the board this fall.  The board has been in a transition planning mode for several weeks and plan to start searching for Hankes replacement early in the new year.  Hankes, who for six years has been with the agency that serves intellectually and developmentally disabled persons in Dodge County, says that he expects his replacement to have been selected by March or April.


National Gas Prices Dropping


12/26/14 – Gasoline is not the only fuel for which the price is plunging.  Natural gas prices fell 29-percent over the past month.  Officials said the national price was three-dollars and 17-cents per thousand-cubic-feet as of yesterday — much lower than the 4.50 price around Thanksgiving.  Most Wisconsinites use natural gas to heat their homes and businesses.  We Energies is the state’s largest provider by far, with more than a million natural gas customers statewide.  We’re also seeing more power plants use natural gas — although coal-fired plants are still more common in the Badger State than elsewhere.  Nationally, just over a quarter of our electricity is produced with the help of natural gas.  Those gas prices fluctuate with the weather — and we had a relatively warm December after a cold November.  Last February, during one of the coldest spells in Wisconsin in recent memory, nationwide natural gas prices hit 6.15-per-thousand-cubic feet.  Analysts expected to be average around three-dollars-plus all the way into next spring.


State Senator Expects Wolf Hunt Ruling Change


12/26/14 – Wisconsin Senate Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst says it’s a given that last Friday’s federal court ruling that returned the gray wolf to the endangered species list will be overturned.  He thinks it will happen in 2017.  Tiffany asked the state’s congressional delegation to examine the Endangered Species Act now so judges, as he puts it, stop overstepping their authority.  As a result of last week’s ruling by Washington D.C. district judge Beryl Howell, the state’s three-year-old wolf hunt is history — and farmers can no longer shoot problem wolves which damage their crops and livestock, thus overturning a 2012 ruling to return state wolf management to three midwest states. Because of that, Tiffany says it will cost more to compensate farmers for their damage.  Tiffany questions whether a judge without knowledge of wolf science or the Upper Midwest can make such a decision and doesn’t buy the Humane Society’s contention that the state’s oversight of wolves has failed.


Vaccine has Some Success in Curing Deer Disease


12/26/14 – A study at New York University has shown that an experimental vaccine was partly successful at preventing chronic wasting disease in deer.  It’s the first time that a medicine was found to prevent the deadly prion infection — and it could have major implications for Wisconsin, which has struggled to control C-W-D since it first arrived in the state in 2002.  Lead researcher Thomas Wisniewski says there’s a long way to go in establishing a true cure.  But he called his four-year-old study an “encouraging framework” to battle prion-related diseases not only in deer, but in humans who’ve suffered from mad cow disease and Cruetzfeldt-Jacob disorder.  Former Wisconsin Natural Resources Board chairman Dave Clausen said the study results are a step in the right direction — but a cure is a long way from reality, especially in wild deer. Clausen, a retired veterinarian, says more work needs to be done to know how long a vaccine could last in a subject, and whether immunity could be passed on to off-spring.


Two Sustain Injuries in Single Vehicle Accident


12/26/14 – A 41-year-old man and his 14-year-old male passenger both had minor injuries following a one-vehicle crash yesterday.  The incident occurred on the 100-block of Prospect Street in Beaver Dam shortly before 4 p.m. when the vehicle struck a tree.  The driver was warned for failure to maintain control of his vehicle.


Quilting Course to be Held at BD Senior Center


12/26/14 – A quilting course will be offered at the Beaver Dam Senior Center in the new year.  Instructor Maria DeGroot will lead the workshop that teaches participants the skill of quilting.  All students are required to bring a sewing machine and all necessary supplies.  The course will run for thirteen Tuesdays from January 6 to March 31 from 1-4 p.m.  Cost for participating is $130 per person.  Today is the final day to register and can be done by contacting the Beaver Dam Community Activities and Services Department.