February 15, 2013

Ziemer Bound Over In Murder-For-Hire Case


2/15/13 – A former Mondovi man accused of arranging a murder from inside the Dodge County Detention Facility was bound over for trial yesterday. William Ziemer is charged with Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide, which could result in up to 60 years added to his prison sentence if he is convicted. Judge Steven Bauer found probable cause that the 48-year-old devised the plot with an inmate who was a confidential informant for the Department of Justice. Ziemer wanted to have a Mondovi women killed because of a dispute over a financial matter. The informant arranged a phone conversation with the supposed “hit-man” who was actually a special agent with the Justice Department. The informant reportedly told Ziemer to speak in code telling the hit man to (quote) “get her a plane ticket” if she should be killed quickly or to (quote) “get her a bus ticket” if she should be killed slowly and painfully. Ziemer allegedly opted for the quicker death but also asked the hit man to have the woman sign over various financial documents before her murder and then send them to him in jail. Ziemer planned to pay for the contracted kill with the proceeds from the sale of his home. An arraignment hearing is scheduled later this month.


Associated Bank Robbery Suspect Proceeding To Trial


2/15/13 – Probable cause was found yesterday and a Beaver Dam man will proceed to trial in connection with the armed robbery of the Associated Bank. Kenneth Asboth Jr. is charged with felony Armed Robbery with the Threat of Force.  The 43-year-old allegedly entered the Beaver Dam bank on October 13, flashed a handgun and told the teller (quote) “put the money on the counter.” Asboth fled with $1300 in a plastic grocery bag. The suspect was identified in a photo line-up by the teller with “90-percent certainty.” If convicted, the charge carries a maximum 40 year prison sentence, but because Asboth would be considered a repeat offender, he could have up to another six years added. Asboth will be arraigned next month.


Three years For Ninth OWI


2/15/13 – Three years in prison for a Kewaunee man arrested in Watertown for his ninth OWI. Reinhold Wille then entered a “guilty” plea yesterday to driving under the influence of drugs. Employees at a fast food restaurant called police last October after witnessing a customer drive onto the curb, nearly strike the building then hit another car before fleeing the scene. Officers traced the license plate number to Wille and located the vehicle in a driveway. According to the criminal complaint, the 52-year-old had dilated pupils, slow speech and no balance as he hobbled out of the car. When asked to produce a driver license he handed the officer a yellow gift card. His blood-alcohol-level was a point-zero-zero (0.00). He admitted to taking two “downers” from a friend to help him deal with “stress.” In addition to three years in prison with over four months of presentence credit, Wille was sentenced to five years of extended supervision and lost his license for three years followed by three years with an ignition interlock device on his vehicle.


Hairspray Bandits Appear In Dodge, Columbia County Court


2/15/13 – One of the three suspects charged in a series of multi-county burglaries waived her right to a preliminary hearing yesterday in Columbia County court. 23-year-old Angel Gamboeck of Columbus is facing a variety of charges including Burglary and Burglary with a Dangerous Weapon. The break-ins occurred over a six-week period last September in Wyocena and Fountain Prairie. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Nicholas Griswold of Clyman pled not guilty at arraignment this week in Dodge County court to similar charges for burglaries in Brownville, Burnett, Clyman and Columbus during the same timeframe.  Authorities say the M-O is the same in all the burglaries: forced entry through a door during the day. Stolen items included guns, tools, jewelry and electronics but also cosmetics, hygiene products and perfumes, leading investigators to dub the trio “the hairspray bandits.” The stolen goods were either pawned or traded for drugs.


Jay Hoeft Was Right


2/15/13 – There’s been another development in the saga of the Fountain Inn Tavern in downtown Beaver Dam. Additional grant funding may become available for not only the Fountain Inn but for the owners of all 11 downtown Beaver Dam businesses that were displaced following the floods of 2008. In a press release, the Department of Administration said when the city agreed to purchase the properties the owners should have been given the pre-flood market value of the property instead of the assessed value. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says the state, while acting in good faith, may have gotten some bad information during the grant application process. In response, the state will determine what the market value of the properties would have been in 2008 to ensure the owners received the proper amount. The state will also ensure that those displaced received proper relocation benefits. Mayor Tom Kennedy said the city followed the regulations as they were explained at the time and called the latest development “exciting.” Owners for ten of the eleven properties reached an agreement with the city but Fountain Inn-owner Jay Hoeft was the lone holdout. Hoeft cried foul at the process saying he and the other property owners were owed more money, especially for relocation costs. His pleas during the public comment portion of several city council meetings were typically met with a pounding gavel. Hoeft declined to comment on this latest development.


New Prison Secretary Won’t Respond to Largest State Union


2/15/13 – The new head of Wisconsin’s prison system will not respond to questions from the state’s largest employees union, because the group is no longer legally recognized. Marty Beil of the Wisconsin State Employees Union wrote to Corrections’ Secretary Ed Wall, asking when prison workers will be ordered to work overtime – and when seniority-based pay will begin. But the union chose not to be recertified two years ago, after the governor and Legislature adopted the law which virtually ended most public union bargaining. And corrections’ spokeswoman Jackie Guthrie said that because the union is not certified, Wall does not have to answer its questions. Beil said the questions came from Wall’s prison employees – and the department prefers to quote, “stonewall rather than answer some simple questions.” And he said it’s unfortunate, noting that his group had a 60-year relationship with the corrections’ agency which began before the state even had a collective bargaining law. Beil wrote his letter about a week after he told state lawmakers that Wisconsin prisons have become less safe since the union law. He said it led to the assaults of seven guards since Christmas Eve alone.


Drought Still Impacting the State


2/15/13 – The Drought-of-2012 lingers on in Wisconsin. The U-S Drought Monitor says that things have not changed very much in the Badger State since winter set in – and if anything, it’s gotten worse. Eighty-eight-point-six percent (88.6%) of Wisconsin’s land area is at least abnormally dry, up by three-tenths of a percent since mid-November. Dodge, Columbia and Washington counties remain abnormally dry, along with most of Jefferson County. Southern Jefferson County is in a moderate drought. The amount of land in a moderate-to-severe drought rose from 53-percent in mid-November to almost 62-percent now. The places that do not have drought conditions are about the same as they were three months ago. That includes the northern half of Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties along with a dozen counties from Waushara and Marquette counties on the west, to the Lake Michigan border on the east from Door to Sheboygan counties. Wisconsin had a January thaw, but not enough water seeped into the ground to make a difference in the state’s drought.


Emerald Ash Borer Spotted in Greenfield


2/15/13 – The emerald ash borer has been spotted in the Milwaukee suburb of Greenfield. State agriculture officials say that the tree-killing beetle was confirmed along South 43rd Street. They said the finding was not unexpected, because ash trees had distinctive “S”-shaped galleries that provide evidence that the borer’s larvae had grown underneath. Also, officials said the ash borer was discovered earlier in neighboring Greendale, also in Milwaukee County. The bug has killed millions of ash trees in the eastern half of the U-S – and it’s been confirmed in 13 counties throughout the southeast half of Wisconsin, including Washington County. Beaver Dam Parks Supervisor John Neumann has said it’s just a matter of time before the beetle is discovered in Dodge County.


Meet the Candidates Program in Fall River


2/15/13 – A Sunday evening “Meet the Candidates” program has been planned for voters in the Fall River School District. The April 3rd election will have four candidates running for two School Board seats. Two incumbents on the Board filed their papers for “non-candidacy” last December. 21-year School Board veteran Leroy Dickoff and School Board Vice President Steve Bader will not be running. Since some candidates in the race are not familiar to the school community, The Fall River Parent Group organized a program for 6:00 pm on March 3rd. District voters will have a chance to meet Board candidates Drue Schlachter, Brent Van Gysel, Ember Schultz-Roughen and Wendy Corlett. The program will be held in the Fall River School Library.