July 2, 2014

Chief Tells PFC: ‘Heroin Is Big Time, Getting Worse’


7/2/14 – Heroin continues to be a problem in the community. Beaver Dam Interim Police Chief John Kreuzinger made that observation during his report on department operations to the city’s Police and Fire Commission last night. Kreuzinger says (quote), “It’s here, it’s big time and it’s only getting worse.” The suspect in last month’s robbery at Coyote Gas and Liquor was reportedly motivated by heroin withdrawal. Kreuzinger told the commission that the officers involved in that case are being given letters of commendation for their “exceptional police work” in solving the heroin-fueled crime in two days. Letters of commendation will also be given to the officers involved in the SWAT Team arrest on Haskell Street last month; that was the one that involved a death threat and a chainsaw being thrown in the lake. Kreuzinger says he received a letter from the victim expressing their appreciation on behalf of the neighbors who were pleased with the police response. Meanwhile, the PFC last night met in closed session to discuss the search for a new police chief. The commission reviewed their first round interviews and finalized the second round candidates and the hiring process moving forward. The plan is to have a new police chief in place by Labor Day.


Stolen Vehicle Investigation in Allenton Leads To Meth Lab


7/2/14 – Washington County Sheriff’s officials say a deputy found 125 pills needed for the making of methamphetamine and some meth on a 32-year-old Oshkosh man while the deputy was checking on a stolen vehicle report at an Allenton gas station last week. That led to the arrest of the man and the 33-year-old Oshkosh woman who was with him. She in turn volunteered that people were cooking meth at her home in Oshkosh. That tip led to the discovery by Oshkosh Police that meth was being made in the woman’s garage.


Rural Pardeeville Man IDed In Highway 33 Fatal Wreck


7/2/14 – A rural Pardeeville man has been identified as the person killed in a weekend motorcycle accident in Columbia County. Steven Paulson died around 6:30pm Sunday evening on State Highway 33 at the intersection with Interstate 90-94 in the Town of Caledonia. Sheriff Dennis Richards the 59-year-old Paulson was operating the motorcycle when he clipped the side of a passenger car that was yielding to an emergency vehicle. Paulson was not wearing a helmet and later died at UW Hospital Madison.


Beaver Dam Man Changed In Assault


7/2/14 – A Beaver Dam man is accused of rape. Jermaine Harris is charged with Third Degree Sexual Assault, a felony that carries a maximum prison term of ten years, if he is convicted. The 41-year-old allegedly took advantage of a woman and ultimately forced himself on the victim. Prosecutors say, when investigators contacted Harris about the alleged sexual assault he appeared “shocked” indicating he had no idea what they were talking about. Cash bond was set at $20-thousand dollars yesterday and Harris will be back in a Dodge County courtroom for a preliminary hearing in August.


Waupun School District Gearing Up For Academies


7/2/14 – The Waupun Area School District will take more of what they are calling an “academy” approach at the high school this fall. District Superintendent Tonya Gubin says they have been developing the idea for the past two years. She says the district is looking at three different academy models: the Health and Services Academy; the Academy of Communications-Arts-Business or CAB; and the STEAM Academy which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Manufacturing. She says the focus is on college and career readiness. Gubin says they are still teaching reading, writing, science, math and social studies, but the academy approach is designed to help students develop an interest towards a career path they may want to take after high school. The goal is to increase student engagement so they see the relevance of the course work they are doing in high school. Gubin says the academy approach will give students a “leg-up” on colleagues in college. Students will be introduced to the Academy Model as early as seventh and eighth grades. She says that would allow students to explore each academy so they can get a feel for which direction they’d like to take as they reach high school.


Whooping Crane Reintroduction A Mixed Bag


7/2/14 – It’s been 14 years since Wisconsin baby whooping cranes have migrated to Florida each winter, to try and raise populations of the endangered bird in the Eastern U-S.  However, experts say adult cranes have still not been able to produce enough chicks that survive as adults.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says almost 250 cranes have been released into the wild in Wisconsin since 2001 — but only 95 are now living.  The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, a group of public and private agencies, said a record 13 cranes hatched in the wild this past year — but ten have died, apparently from predators.  The partnership notes that no whooping crane re-introduction has ever truly succeeded, and all of them are fraught with challenges.  New strategies have been tried which increases baby cranes’ natural time with adults.  Supporters say it should take 3-to-5 years to see if the new efforts succeed.  If not, it remains uncertain whether the project might be shut down.  A similar crane reintroduction effort to the west has fared better.  Officials say a connection between Alberta and Texas has resulted in 300 living cranes.


Four Post Office Distribution Centers On Chopping Block


7/2/14 – Four U-S postal distribution centers in Wisconsin escaped the chopping block over the past two years — but they might not avoid it next year.  The Postal Service now says four large mail distribution facilities will close for good by the end of 2015 in Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, and Rothschild near Wausau.  It’s part of the second phase of a national effort to consolidate postal facilities and cut costs.  The newest round of closures will involve 82 facilities, with a goal of saving three-quarter million dollars in costs.  The Postal Service says all the workers at the affected centers would be re-assigned.  Newspapers in Eau Claire and Wausau say the mail that’s distributed in their areas would be handled in Saint Paul Minnesota and Green Bay instead.  The change at Eau Claire is expected to increase delivery times for first-class letters from an average of two-point-one-four days, to two-and-a-quarter days.


Roundy’s Closing Distribution Center


7/2/14 – Wisconsin’s largest grocery chain will close its distribution center in Stevens Point, putting almost 200 people out of work.  Roundy’s told state officials yesterday that most employees would be released by the end of August, and the shutdown would be complete by the end of September.  The company blames the closure on the sales of more than two dozen Roundy-owned stores in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul areas, which obtained its grocery items from the Stevens Point facility.  The firm said it would move the center’s operations in phases to similar facilities in Oconomowoc and Mazomanie.  Media reports said Roundy’s plans to revitalize its grocery business in southeast Wisconsin, where it has Pick-N-Save and Metro Market stores.  The firm also plans to grow in the Chicago area.  Roundy’s operates a total of 174 supermarkets and 110 pharmacies in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.


BDUSD Announces Athletic Hall-Of-Fame


7/2/14 – The Beaver Dam Athletic Hall of Fame has announced the four former athletes who will be inducted this fall. They include Ian Douglas, Tom Imming, Bill Rentmeester and Brianna McCarthy. Douglas graduated in 1997 and was a two-sport athlete during his time at Beaver Dam High School. He holds the school record for shot put and discus and was a state champion in the shot put. Imming graduated in 1968 and excelled in football, basketball and track. He also set the school record in the shot put and discus and placed fifht in the discus and fourth in the shot put at the WIAA State meet. The third inductee is Bill Rentmeester, who graduated in 2004. He was a ten-time letter winner in football, hockey and track. Rentmeester went on to place football for UW Wisconsin and was the starting full back for UW for two seasons. He also participated in four bowl games for the Badgers. The fourth inductee is Brianna McCarthy Scott, who graduated in 2003. She was a ten-time letter winner in volleyball, basketball and track. She went on to play at Ohio State University on a volleyball scholarship where she lettered all four years. She also made the Big Ten all-freshman team and was team captain for three years. The four former athletes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of Homecoming activities on October 3.