February 22, 2014

Saturday News 2/22/14


Beaver Dam Woman Charged With Murder


2/22/14 – A Beaver Dam woman has been charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide in connection with a 13 year-old murder case. Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards says Leah Waldhart has been taken into custody in connection with the death investigation of 42-year-old Curtis L. Wylesky.  Beaver Dam police assisted in her arrest Friday. Wylesky was found in a ditch near his truck on County Highway Z just outside Fall River on April 23, 2001. Waldhart was Wylesky’s girlfriend and the two lived near Beaver Dam at the time of his death. The case went cold years ago but was re-opened after investigators revisited evidence and autopsy reports from the past investigation.  Wylesky’s body was exhumed from the Leipsig Cemetery earlier this month and then transported to UW Hospital in Madison for testing. Sheriff Richards says he hopes that this arrest can bring justice to the Wylesky family. He is also hoping that the arrest will lead to more people with knowledge of the murder coming forward to provide additional information into the investigation.


Records Management System a ‘Work-In-Progress’


2/22/14 – Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann says law enforcement continues to smooth out the kinks in a new, countywide records management system. New World went online in the sheriff’s office in September and area departments started coming on board in January.  Eventually, all law enforcement records in Dodge County will be on the system. Among other things, New World allows all agencies in the county to access a common set of records, sharing names, photos, contact information, and any related case status on suspects and victims in real time.


The New World transition began with Ninmann’s predecessor, former Sheriff Todd Nehls, back in January of 2012.  County taxpayers picked up the tab on the half-million dollar package, though individual municipalities have to pay a couple hundred dollars to integrate the New World software into their existing hardware. Ninmann has been visiting communities throughout the county since her appointment to the sheriff’s post last year. She told city officials in Fox Lake recently that the transition to New World is a work-in-progress.  Ninmann says it took almost a year to get up-to-speed on their previous program, Tiburon, and she says they were still learning new things until the switch to New World.


The city of Fox Lake is in the process of transitioning to the New World system. The software is already in their squad cars and Police Chief Jim Rohr says department work stations will come online in June. Rohr did share some of his concerns with Ninmann. He says when officers conduct a suspect record search, the New World system makes the officer to sift through multiple screens before finding the right person. Rohr says diverting attention from a suspect for that long during a traffic stop can be potentially dangerous for the officer. Ninmann says there have been integration problems with the so-called “interfaces,” that’s the software that connects a police departments existing hardware with the countywide system. She says the issue is being addressed and when it is resolved, records retrieval will be faster than ever before.  The county is withholding the final payment to New World until the interface matter is resolved.


Beaver Dam Police Arrest Two For Television Thefts


2/22/14 – Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a string of television thefts from the Beaver Dam Wal-Mart. Beaver Dam Police Detective Ryan Klavekoske says the thefts occurred on four separate occasions between January 21 and February 3. In each case, a male and female were seen entering the Wal-Mart and then leaving the store with televisions that were not paid for. Among the TV’s stolen: two 55-inch LG’s and two 60-inch Samsung’s with a combined value of $3400. The suspects are also believed to have committed similar offenses in Sun Prairie. Charges of felony retail theft have been forwarded to the Dodge County District Attorney against a 25-year-old Beaver Dam woman and a 29-year-old Beaver Dam man.


Wisconsin Added 28-Thousand Jobs Thru September


2/22/14 – State officials announced Friday that Wisconsin added about 28-thousand-600 new private sector jobs during the year ending last September 30th.  That’s the number to be included in the U-S Labor Department’s next quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.  The report won’t come out until March 19th — and until then, we won’t know how Wisconsin’s job growth compares to that of other states.  The last report showed that Wisconsin had the 37th-slowest private-sector job growth for the year ending last June.  The new report will show that Wisconsin gained 68-hundred construction jobs over the past year — the highest year-to-year increase since 2001.


$50 Million More Directed To Heat Assistance


2/22/14 – Low-income Wisconsinites have received almost 50-million dollars in assistance to heat their homes this winter — 42-percent more than a year ago.  The state says it will make another half-million dollars in federal heating funds available to help low-income propane users cope with high prices for their fuel.  The money was given to the “Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund,” a non-profit group that helps those in need.  The state previously gave a million dollars to the organization.  By getting the federal heating aid, the Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund can use public and utility donations to help those with somewhat higher income levels than the people who are eligible for the federal assistance.  The fund has provided three-quarter million dollars this winter to those with incomes of 61-to-80-percent of the state’s median.  Governor Scott Walker said the fund has been a valuable partner in the past couple months.  He said he’s pleased that the group can leverage the state’s additional support to quote, “address a segment of the population that clearly needs help.”


Wisconsin January Milk Production Plummeted


2/22/14 – The brutal Wisconsin winter has been just as hard on dairy cows as on people — and that’s why the state’s milk production took a sizable drop from a year ago.  The U-S-D-A said Wisconsin made two-point-three billion pounds of milk in January — down two-point-nine percent from the same month a year ago.  The average cow in the Badger State made 55 fewer pounds of milk, around 18-hundred-15 pounds for the month.  The Farm Journal’s Ag Web said the cold weather is forcing cows to eat more dry matter just to maintain their body conditions, much less their milk-producing abilities.  Some handlers reportedly had a five-percent decline for January.  It was the third straight month that Wisconsin dairy production went down.  Meanwhile, California — the nation’s top milk producer — had a four-point-seven percent increase in its January out-put.  Nationally, milk production was up around one-percent last month.


Wisconsin Firefighters Scaling Twin Cities Skyscraper


2/22/14 – Some Wisconsin fire-fighters will join over a-thousand people in climbing the steps of a Minneapolis skyscraper Saturday, to benefit the American Lung Association.  There will be several activities.  Spokesman Bob Moffitt says the first is called the “ultimate climb,” in which people walk up-and-down the steps as many times as possible in one-hour.  There’s also a fire-fighters’ climb, featuring at least 45 teams of fire personnel from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.  Organizers hope to raise a total of 300-thousand dollars for the Lung Association.


DC Snowmobile Trails Closed, Wild Goose Open


2/22/14 – The ATV Trail on the Wild Goose State Trail in Dodge County has re-opened. Bill Ehlenbeck, Manager of Parks and Trails, says the county’s entire snowmobile trail system remains closed. Ehlenbeck says the trails were severely degraded over the past couple days with melting conditions, rains and icing.