July 22, 2016

Beaver Dam, Friesland Cleaning Up From Storms


7/22/16 – Strong winds moved through the area yesterday evening around 5:30pm downing trees and power lines. Dodge County Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls says the storms moved through from the northwest with the heaviest hit area in the city of Beaver Dam which reported numerous downed trees, limbs and power lines.  City of Beaver Dam Emergency Management Director Lee Smith says numerous trees, power lines, telephone and cable lines went down. Trees fell on structures and parked vehicles but there were no reported injuries as a result of the storm in Beaver Dam. A large tree in front of the community theatre on North Spring Street fell on the Century 21 offices. A home on North Center known for its elaborate Christmas decorations lost a large evergreen. In addition to all that, Smith says emergency crews also responded to two fire alarms, a motor vehicle accident and a report of person who was seen wind surfing on Beaver Dam Lake and was possibly missing. DPW crews are working to remove trees and had all major thoroughfares open within a few hours of the storm. Officials are assessing the damage this morning. In Columbia County, the hardest hit area was in the northeast corner of the county in the Village of Friesland. Columbia County Emergency Management is reporting that widespread tree and power line damage occurred including a barn that was destroyed and a house that was damaged on Highway E as well as minor damage to numerous barns and homes in the area.  One person had minor injuries from broken glass and was treated by Friesland First Responders from the Friesland Fire Department. At this time, Columbia County officials have not determined if the damage was caused by straight line winds or from a tornado. At one point there were around 3000 people without power in Dodge County and 1900 in Columbia County.


Beaver Dam Man Charged With Watertown Bank Robbery


7/22/16 – A Beaver Dam man made his initial appearance in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday on charges that he used the threat of a gun and a bomb to rob the State Bank of Reeseville in Watertown last week. Adam Raney is charged with felony Armed Robbery with the Threat of Force, Bomb Scare and Terrorist Threats, all as a repeat offender. Prosecutors say the 37-year-old flashed a black handgun to the teller and ordered the drawer be emptied. The teller told investigators that he recognized Raney and he had been on the lookout for him anticipating that Raney may try to cash a forged check. The suspect said he was leaving a bag with a motion activated bomb and no one would be hurt if everyone stayed still for ten minutes. Cash bond was set at $100-thousand dollars yesterday and a judge will decide in September if there is enough evidence to order a trial. If convicted, Raney faces a combined maximum of 61 years in prison.


Beaver Dam Man Bound Over For Gas Station Robbery


7/22/16 – A Dodge County judge found probable cause Thursday for a Beaver Dam man to proceed to trial on charges that he robbed a Town of Beaver Dam gas station. Joshua Benson was bound over on charges of felony counts of Armed Robbery, Identity Theft, Retail Theft, and Possession of Burglarious Tools, along with two felony counts of Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud in a separate case. The 33-year-old reportedly had a weapon when he stole cash from the BP station in December.  Benson is also accused of breaking into a Beaver Dam house in February to steal prescription medications and a checkbook, which he allegedly tried to cash.  He also reportedly stole nearly $1,000 in liquor from the same BP station in May.  If he is found guilty on all counts, Benson faces up to 65 years in prison.  He will be arraigned next month and remains jailed on a $5000 cash bond.


Horicon Man Charged With Drunk Driving, Running From Police


7/22/16 – A Horicon man is accused of running from police after getting pulled over for drunk driving. Ariel Reals was pulled over early Thursday morning in Beaver Dam after police allegedly observed him swerving, then drive through a flashing red signal. He was taken into custody following a brief foot chase. His blood alcohol level was reportedly point-two-two (.22). The 31-year-old is charged with fifth offense Operating While Intoxicated along with misdemeanor obstruction, driving on a revoked license and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cash bond was set at $50-thousand dollars yesterday and a judge will decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial.


Waupun Alderman Critical Of Administrator Hiring


7/22/16 – A Waupun alderman is decrying the process that led to the hiring of a full-time city administrator following a series of closed session meetings. Alderman Pete Kaczmarski was the only city official to vote against the hiring of Kathy Schlieve following the latest in a series of closed session meetings on Wednesday. Schlieve has been the city’s economic development director since last August and the two positions will be combined. The vote came on the heels of an announcement by current mayor Kyle Clark that he would be stepping down at the end of the month due to health concerns. Clark had been the city administrator prior to his becoming mayor in 2014 and the administrator position was left vacant. Kaczmarski says the public should not have been shut out of the process. He says the lack of input really cut the people of Waupun short. “This was a rush job, it didn’t have to be done this way, the people of Waupun deserve better,” he says. Kaczmarski says the responsibilities of a city administrator are already being handled by current city staff and the move is not necessary. He says the agreement ties the hands of future elected officials. As part of the compensation package, Waupun taxpayers will pay for Schlieve to obtain her master’s degree. Kaczmarski says he does not know if the citizens would support the decision because they were not involved in the process. The council will discuss and possibly take action Tuesday on the mayoral vacancy. Calls to Schlieve and Clark for comment were not immediately returned.


Walker Reacts To Trump Speech


7/22/16 – Governor Scott Walker says it would have been good for Donald Trump to tone down his rhetoric as he accepted the Republican nomination for president. But Trump came out with both barrels Thursday night as he vowed to fix what he described as a nation in decline — promising a fast end to crime, terrorism, Obamacare, high taxes, a trade imbalance that took away American jobs, and what he called “roaming” immigrants. Before Trump’s convention speech, Walker said people find it “refreshing” that a White House nominee speaks his mind — but they also want “comfort” that Trump can actually be president. Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus from Wisconsin also spoke to the delegates, saying Democrat Hillary Clinton has “lied over and over.” And while she collects millions in her family foundation, Priebus said Trump “wants to make sure you can pay the mortgage, put gas in the car, and buy new clothes for the first day of school.”


Grothman Says Pence Was The Right Pick


7/22/16 – Congressman Glenn Grothman says he is glad Donald Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Grothman has been attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week. The Republican from Glenbeulah says at one time he wanted to see Pence drafted into considering running for president. Grothman says it made him feel good that the guy last November and December he wanted to see as a presidential candidate was Trump’s pick to run for Vice President. As far as Senator Ted Cruz refusing to endorse Trump, Grothman says if he was not going to endorse him then he should not have given the speech in the first place.


Congressional Candidate Critical of Special Interests


7/22/16 – Congressional candidate Sarah Lloyd says special interests have too much to say about the economy and democracy in general. The Wisconsin Dells dairy farmer says voters want someone to represent them in Washington, D.C. who has their interests at heart. Lloyd will oppose fellow Democrat Michael Slattery in the August primary for the right to run against Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman in November for the 6th District seat.


Trump Tweets The Wrong Walker


7/22/16 – Donald Trump tweeted the wrong Scott Walker when he thanked the governor for his G-O-P convention speech on Wednesday night. The website Politico says the Republican White House nominee tweeted New Orleans T-V anchor Scott Walker instead of the Wisconsin governor, to express thanks for the speech that praised Trump and repeatedly noted that “America deserves better” than Democrat Hillary Clinton. The anchor at W-D-S-U T-V tells Time Magazine he’s been the victim of identity confusion “a lot over the past several years.” But he calls Wednesday night’s incident the biggest by far. When Governor Walker ran for president, the news anchor said he received “a lot of hate tweets intended for the candidate.”


Joy Global Being Acquired By Komatsu


7/22/16 – One of the world’s largest makers of mining and construction equipment says it will buy Milwaukee’s Joy Global. Joy said Thursday that Komatsu will pay three-point-seven-billion dollars which includes the Milwaukee firm’s outstanding debt. Both Joy and mining equipment maker Caterpillar have tried to weather a long downturn in the mining market for building materials — and both firms have laid off hundreds of workers in the Milwaukee area, while Joy continues to have about one-thousand employees in Milwaukee and 12-thousand around the world. Komatsu says it will operate Joy Global as a subsidiary, and keep its present name and Milwaukee headquarters. The deal still needs approval from both U-S and Japanese regulators, and it’s expected to be made final by the middle of next ye