January 28, 2013

Uniform Numbering An Important School Safety Measure


1/28/13 – While debate continues about arming staff to stop a school shooting, officials say a simpler measure may help minimize the devastation. For the past several years, a consortium of seven school districts in Dodge County has had an Emergency Preparedness Plan in place, with the Sheriff’s Department and all county first responders. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says it’s important that policies and protocols are the same from community to community and that includes a uniform approach to numbering school entrances. Nehls says one look at the Connecticut shooting video shows multiple agencies responding to a school shooting and he says many of those responders may be unfamiliar with the particular layout of the school. Beaver Dam Schools Superintendent Steve Vessey says the district worked very closely with law enforcement after Columbine and altered the designation of all entrances and exits. Now the first entrance on the east side is “E-1” and the second entrance on the north side is “N-2,” etcetera. Local agencies also have all of the floor plans and building layouts of the schools.


Kleefisch Floats Guns In School Legislation


1/28/13 – Legislation is being circulated at the Capitol which would allow off-duty or retired law enforcement officers with the proper permit to carry concealed weapons into schools and some private properties.  A similar bill failed last session.  School shootings may earn it more support this year.  Republican state Representative Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc is trying to find support for his measure, but legislative leaders of both parties haven’t given any strong reactions yet.  A spokesperson for the Assembly Speaker said he is focused on economic issues and has not reviewed the Kleefisch measure.


Three Injured in Bus Accident


1/28/13 – Three hockey players from Grafton High School and their bus driver were injured Friday afternoon when they turned in front of a semi truck in Clyman. 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. The injuries were non-life-threatening. Another dozen students 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.


Man Hurt By Tractor Axel


1/28/13 – A Beaver Dam man was seriously injured on Saturday when the axel from a tractor fell on his head. The call came into 9-1-1 at 9:11am. Clyman Fire Chief Eric Howlett says 44-year-old Jim Ireland was working on the tractor on property he owns in Clyman when he was pinned underneath. Ireland was freed by his brother, prior to emergency responder’s arrival on scene. Flight for Life landed on Highway 26 just north of Highway 60. Ireland was flown to Froedtert Hospital with life-threatening injuries.


Four Structures Destroyed In Two Separate Fires


1/28/13 – Three buildings were destroyed in a fire Friday in the Town of Shields. Watertown Assistant Fire Chief Chad Butzine says the call on Garden Road was reported as a garage fire but when crews arrived on scene, the flames had spread to two nearby out-buildings and all three buildings were fully engulfed. A Watertown firefighter was transported to Watertown Hospital, treated for minor injuries and later released. Six sheep perished. The cause is undetermined but foul play is not suspected. Later that night, fire destroyed a garage in the Town of Westford. The incident was reported by a neighbor who was passing the residence at W9904 County Trunk CP. 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. There were no injuries. Two dogs believed to have perished in the garage were later found at a neighbor’s house. There is a wood-burning stove in the garage but Hartl says there was too much damage to be able to determine any cause.


Fall River Man Has Little Recourse for Injury


1/28/13 – A Fall River man who was blinded in one eye after a softball-sized piece of concrete crashed through his windshield has little recourse for reparation because of a law change that took effect two weeks before the accident. A Capital Times report says that’s because of the state’s “pothole-liability law,” which took effect in April. The law makes it harder for drivers to sue local governments for most damages or injuries resulting from highway defects. Before the law, 51-year-old Kevin Droz could have filed a claim for up to $50,000. But now to win he has to prove negligence, which is more difficult. The law was pushed by Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend and GOP Assemblyman Andre Jacque of De Pere. Jacque says on his website the $50,000 is better spent fixing roads than enriching lawyers.


Link Compliments Storm Response


1/28/13 – Emergency Operations Center reactions to a heavy December snow storm drew compliments from Columbus Mayor Bob Link. Link said the actions during the storm were amazing. Firefighters, Police, Water & Light and Administrative personnel were called on to respond to a local fire, remove snow, restore power, and provide Emergency shelter. The storm cost the City an estimated $35 thousand dollars. Common Council and administration staff will be attending an additional hour- long EOC training session prior to the February 5th Council meetings.


Man Rescued From Lake Winnebago


1/28/13 – Rescue workers say they found 47-year-old Kerry Milam of Fond du Lac in the icy waters of Lake Winnebago after his snowmobile fell through thin ice.  Milam had been in the water for at least 30 minutes, but he is expected to survive.  He had suffered severe hypothermia.  A man from Bayfield wasn’t as lucky.  Thirty-four year old Jim Hudson was on a snowmobile which broke through the ice in a channel between Bayfield and Long Island yesterday afternoon.  He was in the water for 30 minutes, according to the Ashland County Sheriff’s office.  Hudson was pronounced dead at a Duluth hospital.


WSP Say Icy Roads a Likely Factor in Fatal Accident


1/28/13 – Wisconsin State Patrol troopers say it’s possible icy roads were a factor in a double-fatal accident Friday night near New London.  Crash investigators say a car rounded a curve and collided with an oncoming school bus at about 10pm.  Two teens in the car, Yalanda Maggio of Weyauwega and Levin Johnson of New London, were killed.  Both were 17 and neither was wearing a seatbelt.  Three of the 39 children on the school bus and the driver suffered minor injuries.  The bus was returning to New London Middle School after a ski trip when the accident occurred.


Protestor Won’t Face Criminal Charges


1/28/13 – A protester who spit on a Mitt Romney supporter last year won’t face criminal charges.  The 83-year-old will have to pay a 277 dollar fine.  The incident happened at a campaign event in Little Chute last August, part of a “Wisconsin Women for Mitt” tour.  Video shot during the event shows the protester interrupting state Senator Alberta Darling to ask about Republican opposition to Planned Parenthood.  A woman standing next to the protester told her to wait until Darling was done, saying, “Zip it.”  The protester tells that woman to get out of her face, then spits on her.  A Green Lake County prosecutors recommended the fine, but said no charges will be filed.


Lawyer Berated by His Client After Sentencing


1/28/13 – A Racine man berated his defense attorney Friday after being sentenced to 25 years in prison.   51-year-old Kerry Chase was convicted of molesting a girl repeatedly over a 14-year period of time.  Prosecutors say Chase of beginning the assaults when the girl was still in diapers.  He apparently admitted to investigators that the fondling escalated to full sexual assault when the girl was 11 or 12 years old.  Prosecutors had agreed to recommend a shorter sentence as a part of a plea deal, but Judge Tim Boyle said the least he could do for the victim was to give Chase the strongest sentence allowed by law.



1/28/13 – Facing his eleventh charge of driving while intoxicated, a Plainfield man is pleading not guilty by reason of mental defect.  A judge ordered a doctor’s examination for 51-year-old Mark Schulke last week. Conclusions from that exam will be reviewed at a hearing in Stevens Point next month.  Schulke’s first conviction for OWI was in 1993.  He had not had another one since this tenth conviction in 2004. Schulke had originally pleaded not guilty, but he asked the Portage County judge to let him change his plea.


Cabin Fever Fest Gets the Snow It Needed


1/28/13 – The snow started falling just in time for the fourth annual Cabin Fever Fest at Beaver Dam’s Crystal Lake Park Sunday. Evonne Boettge with the Beaver Dam Community Activities and Services Department says it was a wonderful afternoon. She says over 200 people were in attendance throughout the three-hour event. While the turnout was lower than last year Boettge says there were plenty of smiling faces enjoying surrey rides, ice skating and sledding. Parks Supervisor John Neumann carved a hole in the lake as festival-goers dipped their toes the icy water as part of the “Toe-ler Plunge” fundraiser for Special Olympics. Peggy Slez and Joseph Stahl tied for first and will have to split the Senior Center’s coveted Log Cabin Trophy for Best Chili and $50 in Chamber bucks. Ellen Sushak won the “Hazy Shade of Winter” poetry contest held in conjunction with the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association. In addition to her trophy, she won $25 in Chamber gift cash.  And over two-thousand orange ping pong balls were dropped from the fire department’s ladder truck 90 feet in the air as part of the Third Annual Snowball Drop. 14-year-old Jourdan Theodozio of Beaver Dam found the winning ping pong ball worth $250 cash in cold hard cash and a $50 Jo-Ann Fabrics gift card. Jourdan’s 10-year-old brother Carson found the winning ball last year. Jourdan says he saw the winning ball as it was falling and watched it land just out of reach from the crowd. Kirra and Wesley Schultz with help from Kenan and Abby Kloske collected the most snowballs – 320 – to earn an AmericInn Pool Party.