January 18, 2013

Men Caught Breaking Into Amerigas


1/18/13 – Two men are in custody this morning after being caught breaking into Amerigas south of Beaver Dam. An alarm was tripped at the business on Highway 151 just after 1:30 a.m. When a Beaver Dam police officer got to the scene he arrested on of the men and waited until backup arrived to search for the second suspect, who was eventually found hiding in a ditch. One of the suspects is a 27-year-old man and the other is a 20-year-old man. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says they believe the two are responsible for break-ins at Amerigas locations across the state dating back to last fall. While deputies were searching the area they also found that Walters Gas Service had been broken into this morning. The two men are facing a variety of charges, including burglary, criminal damage to property and theft.


State Unemployment Rate the Lowest Since ‘08


1/18/13 – Wisconsin’s new unemployment rate is the lowest since December of 2008, when Wall Street almost collapsed and the Great Recession had just reared its head. State officials said yesterday that the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate for December was six-point-six-percent. That’s the same as the rate for November, which was revised downward by one-tenth-of-a-point. U-W Milwaukee professor John Heywood says the rise in employment and the drop in joblessness are both moving very slowly compared to past economic recoveries. But private economist David Ward of Madison says the figures show a definite improvement. Wisconsin’s new jobless rate is more than two-and-a-half percent lower than the state’s highest rate during the recession – which was nine-point-two percent during several months in 2009-and-2010. Officials also said yesterday that Wisconsin gained an estimated 45-hundred private sector jobs in December. But that was almost off-set by a drop of 32-hundred jobs in Wisconsin’s public schools and local governments.


Council Approves 10-Day Suspension of Cenex Liquor License


1/18/13 – The Columbus Council approved a resolution that resulted in ten day suspension of the Park Avenue Cenex Convenience Store’s liquor license. The store owners voluntarily surrendered their license at the conclusion of this week’s Council meeting. The voluntary liquor license suspension will avoid a public hearing on the establishment’s sale of alcohol to minors. The demerit points were issued to Cenex after a Columbus Police Department compliance check last fall.


Sentencing Hearing for Paul Delayed


1/18/13 – The sentencing hearing has been delayed for the owner of a now-defunct Beaver Dam travel agency who failed to provide vacations to over 200 customers. Deb Paul closed the doors of the Carol’s Tours in 2008 after racking up over $270,000 in red ink. The 57-year-old pled “no contest” in October to charges related to her paying personal expenses with company cash. The new sentencing date is next Friday, January 25.


Reeseville Man Facing Child Pornography Charges


1/18/13 – A Reeseville man is facing 50-years in prison for allegedly having child pornography on his computer. 48-year-old Paul Phillips was in is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography. The Wisconsin Department of Justice announced Thursday that authorities executed a search warrant at Phillips South Main Street home on Tuesday. Law enforcement reportedly found two email addresses on the computer that Phillips later admitted he used to pose as a 15-year-old boy and a 37-year-old woman. Investigators also found images of underage children on the computer. He told officers that he does not consider himself a pedophile and had never done anything with children; he was just curious. Phillips has a hearing set for next week.


Mazzone Gets Probation for Theft


1/18/13 – A West Allis man will spend a year on probation for stealing thousands of dollars worth of scrap metal and other equipment from a Town of Ashippun shed. A felony charge was dropped and Joseph Mazzone entered an Alford plea to misdemeanor Theft, meaning he does not admit guilt but recognizes there is enough evidence to be found guilty. According to the criminal complaint, Mazzone is friends with a family renting a house on the property in question and was caught red-handed by the property owner. The victim removed the keys from a vehicle Mazzone was using to keep him from fleeing the scene. The 23-year-old nonetheless took off on foot. Mazzone is stole an electric generator, a boat anchor, lawn mower, aluminum rims and assorted scrap metals. The tenant was apparently not aware the items were being stolen, even though Mazzone – who is friends with her son – was using her car. His probation will begin after Mazzone serves three years in prison and two years on extended supervision for a burglary in Milwaukee County.


Fox Lake Moving Forward Against Former Assessor


1/18/13 – Fox Lake is filing suit against their former assessor for a mistake that has cost the city time and money. In 2011, Art Kind informed the city council that the report he filed with the state on the TIF District’s valuation was nearly $16-million less than it should have been.  While Kind filed an amended report and the city will eventually see the money they lost, they were forced to borrow funds to keep tax rates level. Now, a $20,000 claim is being filed and Mayor Tom Bednarek wants to hold Kind accountable. City attorney Steve Hannan says Kind doesn’t have insurance and his assets are unclear. That means it’s possible the city could win the lawsuit and find out he doesn’t have any money to pay the award.


Homicides Increase in Milwaukee


1/18/13 – More people were killed in Milwaukee last year than in 2011. But officials say the numbers are still lower than in some previous years. Wisconsin’s largest city had 92 homicides in 2012 – five more than the year before. But Police Chief Ed Flynn said last year’s murders were down by 11-percent from 2007 and 31-percent from 2000. And there were 43-percent fewer homicides last year than in 1990. Flynn said everyday street killings need to be considered when state and federal officials decide what to do about gun violence. Flynn also said there’s been a positive impact from what Milwaukee Police have been able to do to cut down on homicides.


Troops Arriving Home Today


1/18/13 – Governor Scott Walker, Adjutant General Don Dunbar, and senior National Guard leaders will help welcome home a transportation unit from Afghanistan today (Fri). About 130 members of the Guard’s 11-hundred-57th Transportation Company of Oshkosh were planning to go to Kuwait to help protect a military base. But the soldiers were re-assigned to Afghanistan as part of a troop re-allocation by the Pentagon. They’ve been getting de-briefed at Camp Shelby in Mississippi since January seventh – and the soldiers are expected to reunite with their families at the E-A-A grounds in Oshkosh. The transportation unit has spent the last 10 months escorting convoys throughout Afghanistan. The group also includes Guard personnel from three other units based in Sparta, Tomah, and Waukesha.


Harley-Davidson Fans to Get a View Behind the Curtain


1/18/13 – Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson Museum is about to take fans behind-the-scenes, to show how the company’s anniversary celebrations take shape. A new exhibit opens today (Fr) called “Designing a Celebration.” It features dozens of sketches that show how each anniversary’s logo is designed – as well as the manufacturing process in creating special anniversary parts. The exhibit will also show examples of Harley’s limited-edition anniversary motorcycles that were sold through the years. Some of the artifacts go back to 1913. Museum vice-president Bill Davidson says the exhibit will give folks a glimpse into Harley’s attention to detail. And it will include designs for promoting Harley’s upcoming 110th anniversary. The museum exhibit will remain on display through the Labor Day Weekend.