July 13, 2016

Man Suspected Of Watertown Bank Robbery In Custody


7/13/16 – Milwaukee Police arrested a Beaver Dam area man last night in connection with a Watertown bank robbery.  The 37-year-old is suspected of robbing the State Bank of Reeseville on Monday.  He was turned over to Watertown police and is being held in the Dodge County Jail.  Felony charges are being recommended to the district attorney’s office.  The man’s name has not been released.


New Alderman Seated In Juneau


7/13/16 – A new alderman was seated on the Juneau Common Council.  David Gratton was seated to the Ward Three seat vacated by Ron Drezdon last month due to health reasons. Prior to the vote, former alderman and mayor Ron Bosak expressed his interest in the seat. The council vote for Gratton was four in favor with one abstention. Mayor Dan Wegener says Drezdon recommended Gratton for the position and Bosak contacted him three days after Gratton accepted. Wegener says Bosak agreed to be considered as an alternate. Gratton says he had intended to run for alderman last spring but decided against it once he learned Drezdon was running. Gratton has been serving on the Utility Commission for the past 20 years and spent six years on the city’s Plan Commission while Bosak was mayor. His term expires in April of next year.


Horicon Considering Warrant Service Fee Changes


7/13/16 – Horicon’s council will vote in two weeks on whether to approve new service fees for police warrants.  Last night’s committee of the whole recommendation calls for a $25 fee for entering the warrant into the system.  That money would always be collected by the City of Horicon.  An additional $50 charge would only go to the city if a Horicon officer executes the warrant.  Police Chief Joseph Adamson says the two-tiered system is needed since the city often incurs costs at multiple times throughout the warrant process.  Staff time is needed to enter the warrant into the system of record.  Then when the warrant is executed, an officer can be taken off the streets for up to a few hours while the subject is taken into custody, processed, and booked.  Adamson says Horicon’s current warrant service fee policy was adopted many years ago but has not been operational in quite some time.  He says it has been difficult to execute warrants since the city’s system of record has been a binder at the police office, unlike the electronic systems used in most municipalities.  Adamson says the city is moving to an electronic records system in the near future.


Hotel Could Come To City Of Horicon


7/13/16 – Preliminary talks have begun to bring a hotel to Horicon.  At last night’s council meeting, City Economic Developer Jim Schaefer said he was approached by an unnamed small market, Wisconsin-based hotel franchisor.  The franchisor requested a $7,000 market study that would indicate whether Horicon could fill rooms.  A local business is considering paying for the study’s first of two phases.  The city would not have to contribute until after phase one, which Schaefer says will provide enough information to show whether it’s worth going forward with the idea.


Man Accused Of Beck Murder Sentenced On Drug Charge


7/13/16 – Dennis Brantner is going to prison for trying to smuggle drugs into jail when he was arrested for the 1990 murder of Berit Beck in Fond du Lac. The 62-year-old Brantner was sentenced Tuesday to six years and seven months behind bars on ten criminal charges of drug possession and bail jumping. He was arrested in March of last year, after investigators said they found his D-N-A in a van driven by the 18-year-old Beck when she was killed while on a trip from Racine County to Appleton; her body was later found near Waupun. Deputies said they found 54 various prescription pills — including oxycodone — in one of his boots while he was being booked into the Fond du Lac County Jail. Brantner went on trial last month for Beck’s murder, but a jury could not decide whether he was guilty — and prosecutors say they are ready for a second trial which a judge will consider next month.


Former West Bend Administrator Plea Deal Possible


7/13/16 – A plea deal appears to be in the works for a former West Bend city administrator accused of trying to entice a teenage girl for sex. A court hearing that was scheduled Tuesday for former West Bend administrator Thomas Justice has been delayed until August 12th. His lawyer says she’s negotiating with prosecutors, after the 49-year-old Justice pleaded not guilty last month to felony counts of child enticement, and soliciting a child for prostitution. Investigators say Justice met the girl online and had contact with her for three years– and when he tried seeing her in person, a police detective was there to arrest him. Justice now lives in Cincinnati.


Columbus To Receive More State Aid Than Last Year


7/13/16 – The Columbus school board heard a report on state aids at last night’s meeting. Board Member Joe Conlin says that Columbus schools’ per pupil state aid has seen a slight rise for the coming school year. However, Conlin says the amount of aid per student is still lower than 2005 levels. School districts statewide are facing similar operational challenges due to decreases in state aid over the past few years. The Columbus school board has a governance committee looking into possible effects of many of the new bills being proposed by the Wisconsin legislature.


Fox Lake Man Going To Jail After Probation Revoked


7/13/16 – A Fox Lake man will spend 18 months in jail after his probation was revoked yesterday.  Austin Tripke was found guilty of three misdemeanors last May.  The 26-year-old injured two passengers in a high-speed car accident in December 2013.  Tripke later admitted he snorted opiate drugs earlier that day.


Probation Time For WCI Inmate Who Fled


7/13/16 – Three years’ of probation for a former John C. Burke Correctional Center inmate who was found guilty in May of escaping criminal arrest.  A friend picked Stanley Brown Jr of Milwaukee up from his job at Northwoods Paper Converting in April 2015.  The 31-year-old was taken into custody when he returned to work 45 minutes later.  Brown Jr. must also complete 80 hours of community service.


Waupun FD Receives $13,000 In Grant Money


7/13/16 – Waupun’s Fire Department received nearly $13,000 in grants the last two months.  The funds were used to replace three Automated External Defibrillators, purchase 48 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to pass out in the community, and buy a fire extinguisher training system.  The Agnesian Healthcare Foundation, Walmart, and the Firefighter Support Foundation awarded the grants.


Democrat Criticizes Walkers Response To Lincoln Hills


7/13/16 – A former state Senate Democrat who’s considering a run for governor in 2018 says Republican Scott Walker should have done more to respond to the problems at Lincoln Hills. Tim Cullen says Walker should have been at the state boys’ correctional institution right after he learned about numerous allegations of abuse and neglect of residents, and employee misconduct. Cullen, a longtime senator and state health official, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Walker should have seen the problems for himself once they started being made public last December. Walker spokesman Tom Evenson says the governor has not visited Lincoln Hills but has stayed on top of the matter, and he has made sure the Corrections Department is resolving the problems as a federal investigation continues. Cullen expects to announce by the end of the year if he’ll run for governor.


State Campaign Money Update


7/13/16 – Democrats have raised a lot more campaign money to try and reduce a big Republican majority in the Wisconsin Assembly this fall. The Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee says it has raised 710-thousand dollars during the 18 months ending June 30th — and it has 340-thousand dollars on hand, almost six times as much as two years ago at this point. Recent court decisions and state laws appear to have helped Democrats with their fundraising. Political parties and legislative party committees can now take unlimited contributions, and give unlimited amounts of that money to specific candidates. Republicans currently have a 63 to 36 majority in the Assembly, and Democrats are trying to chew away at that margin in the November elections.


Percentage Of Wisconsin Kids Without Insurance Drops Slightly


7/13/16 – The percentage of Wisconsin children without health insurance dropped slightly from 2008 through 2014. But other states had larger declines, and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families says the Badger State is no longer a national leader in insuring youngsters. A new report says Wisconsin had the nation’s sixth highest insurance rate for kids in 2008, with five-point-two percent without coverage — but six years later, Wisconsin’s rank dropped to 16th, with four-point-four percent uninsured. In the meantime, the national percentage of uninsured kids plunged by more than three points to six-percent. The council blames Governor Scott Walker’s move in 2014 to cut off Badger Care coverage to those above the poverty line — while according to the Walker administration, all kids below the poverty line became eligible for Badger Care for the first time.