January 26, 2013

Four Injured In Bus Versus Semi Accident


1/26/13 – Four injuries were reported when a bus transporting members of the Grafton High School hockey team turned in front of a semi-truck near Clyman Friday afternoon. Clyman Fire Chief Eric Howlett says the call came in at 3:18pm. The Riteway coach bus was turning from Highway 26 onto Highway 60 when it crossed into the path of the northbound semi, owned by Bohn Trucking of Omro. Three students on the bus along with the driver were transported from the scene with non-life-threatening injuries. The remaining 12 students on the bus and their coach were medically cleared at the scene. The driver of the semi was not injured. Both the bus and the semi sustained significant damage. The scene was cleared just after 6pm.


Clyman Fire and First Responders joined the Juneau Fire Department and Dodge County Sheriffs Department at the scene along with EMS from Horicon, Juneau, Lebanon and Ixonia. Beaver Dam Deputy Fire Chief Matt Christian says his department was not able to spare an extra ambulance in Clyman because they had been running multiple, back-to-back rescue calls yesterday afternoon. He says one of their three ambulances was also being used as a back-up in Watertown as officials there dealt with an extensive fire.


Three Structures Destroyed In Town of Shields Fire


1/26/13 – A Watertown firefighter sustained minor injuries Friday while battling a blaze that destroyed three buildings. Emergency responders from Watertown and eleven other departments responded to Garden Road, off County QQ, in the Town of Shields around 2:45pm yesterday. Watertown Assistant Fire Chief Chad Butzine says the call was reported as a garage fire but when crews arrived on scene, the flames had spread to two nearby out-buildings and all three structures were fully engulfed. Six sheep perished in the fire but firefighters were able to save several others. One building contained machinery and hay, which required extensive overhaul to snuff-out smoldering hotspots. All three buildings were total losses. The injured firefighter was transported to Watertown Hospital, treated and later released. Foul play is not suspected. Crews were on scene for around three hours.


Town of Westford Garage Total Loss


1/26/13 – Fire destroyed a garage in the Town of Westford last night. The incident was called in around 10:15 by a neighbor who was passing the residence at W9904 County Trunk CP saying that a barn, house and garage were on fire. Beaver Dam Fire Captain Paul Hartl says when crews arrived on scene, the garage was fully engulfed but the wind was blowing the flames away from the house, which was not damaged. However a vehicle parked next to the garage was a total loss, along with the garage and its contents. Two dogs believed to have perished in the garage were later found at a neighbor’s house. There were no injuries. The rental property is owned by Bill Hemmling but the tenants were not at home at the time of the blaze. There is a wood-burning stove in the garage but Hartl says there was too much damage to be able to determine any cause. Beaver Dam received mutual assistance from multiple fire departments who cleared the scene early as there was no threat to the home. Crews were on scene until around midnight.


Town of Scott Barn Destroyed By Fire


1/26/13 – Fire destroyed a barn in the Town of Scott, northwest of Cambria, Thursday evening. Friesland Fire Chief Randy Bobholz says crews responded to the Michael and Jean Lynch farm at N9563 County Highway H around 7:30pm. The barn was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene. Animals including calves, goats, chickens and rabbits perished in the blaze. Crews were on scene for over four hours though it was still smoldering Friday afternoon. A nearby home sustained minor exterior damage but is livable.


Murder-Suicide In Madison Involves State Epidemiologist


1/26/13 – Madison police are calling it murder-suicide after the body of Bernard Grasso was found dead yesterday afternoon.  Police had been looking for him after his estranged wife’s body was found in an east side apartment Thursday.  Jennifer Boyce was supposed to finalize her divorce from Grasso in court yesterday.  Boyce was an epidemiologist with the Wisconsin Division of Health.  The Dane County medical examiner’s office reports the 31 year old Boyce suffered multiple injuries and was killed with by someone using a sharp-edged weapon.  She was killed Wednesday but wasn’t found for a day.  Grasso died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Sentencing Set In Volunteer Ambulance Service Embezzlement


1/26/13 – When she is sentenced in March a Wausaukee woman could get up to 11 years in prison for embezzlement.  Forty-one year old Amanda Stumbris pleaded guilty to four felony counts of Theft from a Business Setting in Marinette County Court yesterday.  She admitted stealing more than 130 thousand dollars from a volunteer ambulance service over a three year period.  District Attorney Allen Brey compares the crime to stealing from a church collection plate.  Stumbris used the organizations checks and a debit card to steal the money.


Walker Promises Increased State School Aid


1/26/13 – Governor Scott Walker drew applause yesterday, when told educators in Milwaukee that he would propose increases in state school aid in his next two-year budget. But the Republican governor told reporters afterward that the additional money would not come close to the 800-million dollars that he and legislative Republicans cut in school aid two years ago. In the governor’s words – “This is not about back-filling things.” Walker also told reporters that he would not relax state school revenue limits – because he did not want to do anything that causes local property taxes to increase. Walker allowed school districts to save money by putting clamps on union demands – and by making employees pay more for their health insurance and retirement. The Wisconsin Taxpayers’ Alliance said those actions off-set about two-thirds of the reduction in school aid for the last year school year. Walker told the state’s 92nd Education Conference that he’ll propose both an increase in general school aid – plus special funds for high-performing schools in which the best teachers could get merit bonuses. Details are expected in the governor’s budget package, which he plans to submit to the Legislature on February 20th.


Priebus Re-Elected To Head GOP National Committee


1/26/13 – Kenosha native Reince Priebus was re-elected Friday to head the Republican National Committee, despite major election losses that occurred on his watch. The 40-year-old Priebus took over the national party reins two years ago. And he was un-opposed at the committee’s winter meeting in Charlotte. National committeeman Mark Willis of Maine wanted to challenge Priebus – but he needed the backing of three states to get on the ballot, and he didn’t get it. Many Republicans considered last November’s elections to be a disaster after Democrats kept control of the White House and the Senate, and gained seats in the G-O-P-controlled House.


Wide Reaction To Milwaukee Sheriff Ads


1/26/13 – Reaction was fast-and-furious to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s suggestion that people get a gun and learn how to use it because so many officers are laid off that quote, “simply calling 9-1-1 and waiting is no longer your best option.” The sheriff said in a radio ad, quote, “You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?” Jeri Bonavia of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort said most law enforcement officers want fewer guns on the street, not more. And she called Clarke’s statement an “amped-up version of vigilantism.” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele (ay-blee) said it was “irresponsible” to tell the public they cannot rely on the response they get from 9-1-1. Roy Felber, head of the Milwaukee deputy sheriff’s union, said the answer is to hire more officers. A state Justice spokeswoman said Attorney General J-B Van Hollen would not get into the debate, other than to say that he believes strongly in the First Amendment right of free speech and the Second Amendment right to own guns. County Board public safety chair Mark Borkowski said Sheriff Clarke was “preaching to the choir” on gun ownership, and most people who want guns already have them. But Clarke spokesman Fran McLaughlin said the ad did not necessarily encourage gun ownership. She said the main message was to take a safety course, and fight back to protect yourself.


Aerators Being Installed On Beaver Dam Lake


1/26/13 – Aerators are being deployed on Beaver Dam Lake Saturday. The Lake Improvement Association installs the units when oxygen drops to a level that would be dangerous to the health of the lake and its fish population.  The machine circulates water in such a way that it thins the ice for as much as a mile around. Several aerators will be put near the Spring Road landing off Breezy Point Road at the northern end of the lake. The Association’s Bob Roell says the area will be roped off with over a mile of rope and reflectors to make it visible at night.