January 4, 2013

BD Man Arrested as Part of Operation Sunflower


1/4/13 – A Beaver Dam man was one of 245 people arrested in the federal Operation Sunflower, a coordinated effort to rescue sexually exploited children and arrest people who own, trade or produce images of child pornography.  Twenty-seven year old Justin Peterson was arrested on Wisconsin state charges of child pornography possession.  He is to be arraigned in Milwaukee County today and in Dodge County next Tuesday.  Peterson’s arrest resulted in the rescue of one victim and the identification of two others.  Federal agents conducted the operation between November 1st and December 7th.


Inmate Accused of Hiring Hit-Man


1/4/13 – A former Mondovi man accused of arranging a murder from inside the Dodge County Detention Facility made his Initial Appearance 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. Prosecutors say 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. A signature bond was set at $100,000 yesterday and the convicted burglar has a preliminary hearing on the calendar later this month.


Fredrick Bound Over for Trial


1/4/13 – A Dodge County judge yesterday found probable cause and a Beaver Dam man will proceed to trial on charges that he sparked a four-hour stand-off with police. Tracy Fredrick is charged with two felonies — False Imprisonment and Failure to Comply with Officers — along with five counts of Criminal Damage to Property and Disorderly Conduct. Authorities were called to a home in the 200 block of North Center Street last month. A woman was retrieving property from the residence and got into an argument with Fredrick. At one point, the 40-year-old allegedly grabbed the woman’s arm and would not let her to leave. The woman’s grandfather attempted to intervene and was struck multiple times. The two fled and contacted police. When officers attempted to make contact with Frederick reportedly started banging on the door from the inside with what turned out to be a knife. He was hitting the door so hard that the blade of the knife went clear through.  The Dodge County SWAT team was called in. After two hours of negotiations, Fredrick exited and was taken into custody. An arraignment hearing is scheduled next Tuesday.


Gamboeck Enters Not Guilty Plea


1/4/13 – A suspect in a series of multi-county daytime burglaries was arraigned yesterday (Th) in Dodge County court.  25-year-old Jayme Gamboeck of Clyman entered a “not guilty” plea to charges of felony Burglary. Authorities executed a search warrant in Dane County in October and recovered thousands of dollars in stolen guns, tools, jewelry, cosmetics, furniture and other household items. According to the criminal complaint, Gamboeck confessed to seven or eight burglaries at single story residences. Her sister, 23-year-old Angel Gamboeck of Marshall is charged with felony Identity Theft for allegedly using a debit card stolen in the burglary. A third person, Nicholas Griswold, was arrested as a suspect in the burglaries but has only been charged in Dodge County in connection with a separate incident. The 34-year-old Griswold is charged with Substantial Battery and misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct and Bail Jumping for an incident on October 25 in Clyman. Griswold allegedly choked both Angel and Jayme Gamboeck and repeatedly punched Jayme in the face, knocking her out. Prosecutors say their crime spree helped support their drug habits. Griswold is believed to have taken all the guns to Madison where he allegedly traded them for crack-cocaine. Angel Gamboeck is the subject of a three-part series in the Denver Post about her heroin use. All three are scheduled to have their initial appearances in a Columbia County courtroom next Thursday on dozens of felony Theft and Burglary charges related to their crime spree.


Hartford Man Accused of Stealing $13,000 from Charity


1/4/13 – A Hartford man is accused of bilking two charitable groups out of 13-thousand-dollars. Prosecutors said 45-year-old Anthony Langlois deceived almost 650 donors into giving to what they thought was the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Briggs-and-Stratton Run-and-Walk for Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. Authorities said Langlois altered donation forms from the two groups – and there’s no record that he gave them any money. Langlois is charged in Washington County with two felony counts of identity theft and four misdemeanor charges of theft-by-fraud. He appeared in court yesterday, and a 15-hundred-dollar cash bond was set. He waived a time limit for a preliminary hearing, and he’s due back in court January 30th.


Citizen Tip Credited for Burglary Arrest


Authorities believe they have arrested three men responsible for several area burglaries. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department got their break from a citizen tip. They say a Columbus stable owner contacted them to report his suspicion that a man was trying to sell him 11 saddles that he believed were stolen from a Walworth County farm. After meeting with detectives he agreed to contact them when the man and his two acquaintances arrived to sell the saddles, which he did. Authorities were able to match the saddles to photos of the ones stolen from Walworth County. One man was arrested on the scene and the other two were later arrested as well. They face charges of receiving stolen property and are being implicated in other burglaries.


CDC Approves Sale of Redesigned Parcels


1/4/13 – The city’s Community Development Committee last night approved the sale of two redesigned parcels in the Beaver Dam Business Park. The Beaver Dam Chiropractic Clinic needs a half acre of land adjacent to their Corporate Drive facility to expand parking for their booming business. A developer wanted that same parcel to be part of a four-acre, 16-thousand-square-foot medical services center for the Beaver Dam Community Hospital, bringing with it as many as 40 new jobs. The offers came in simultaneously and the CDC had to make a decision at their October meeting, and opted to go with the Chiropractic Center parking lot. The offer was later withdrawn as city officials got to work on a better solution. The CDC last night unanimously approved two separate land deals that satisfied both parties. CDC Chair Robert Ballweg says the chiropractor’s planned parking lot was reconfigured along a nearby pond in a way that still made the bulk of the parcel attractive to the hospital developer. The Common Council will consider the purchase price of $30,000 per acre at their meeting on Monday.


Drought Continues


1/4/13 – Last year’s drought continues into 2013 with no let-up in Wisconsin. The U-S Drought Monitor says 88-and-a-half percent of the state’s land area is abnormally dry or worse – and that figure has not budged for the last three weeks. But Thursday’s report contains one piece of good news: the amount of land that’s in a severe drought declined by almost one-and-a-half percent over the last week. Almost 24-and-a-half percent of the Badger State is listed as being in a severe drought – including much of north central and west central areas, and most of far southern Wisconsin. Dodge, Columbia, Washington counties and the northern half of Jefferson County remain abnormally dry. A dozen east central counties remain the only ones not having drought conditions. That territory stretches from about Adams-Friendship to the west, to between Door and Sheboygan counties to the east. The heavy snow from two weeks ago has not seeped in because it has not been warm enough, though a warming trend is on the way.


New Life for Law Aimed to Eliminate Indian Mascot Names


1/4/13 – A state law that requires public schools to drop their Indian mascots and team names received a new lease on life Thursday. The Second District Appeals Court reversed a circuit judge’s ruling that the state violated due process, in ordering that Mukwonago High School drop its nickname of the Indians. The appellate court ruled that the two taxpayers who sued over the state’s order – Craig Verta and James Schoolcraft – did not have the legal standing to file their action. The 2010 law allows anyone offended by a school’s Indian moniker to have the state Department of Public Instruction hold a hearing – and then decide whether the name discriminates against Indians. If so, the affected school board must make a change or face large penalties. Schoolcraft and Verta convinced a Waukesha County judge that a D-P-I employee who ordered the Mukwonago name change had a high risk of bias. But the appellate court said Verta and Schoolcraft were never part of the hearing process, and therefore had no right to sue. Their attorney, Sam Hall, disagrees – and he promises an appeal to the State Supreme Court. Hall said all taxpayers should be able to challenge a process that quote, “could cost them thousands of dollars and otherwise impact their community.”