News 5/1/2010

Bowers Arraigned on Sexual Assault Charges

5/1/10 – A Beaver Dam man accused of assaulting two young teens appeared for an arraignment hearing yesterday. Christopher Bowers stood mute and had a “not guilty” plea entered on his behalf. Bowers is charged with two felony counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. Judge Andrew Bissonnette found probable cause to proceed during the preliminary hearing. The 19-year-old allegedly had a relationship with one teen last fall. The second offense is said to have occurred earlier this month, with a young runaway that Bowers and another man were reportedly hiding. According to the criminal complaint, he admitted to the relationships but said all contact stopped once he learned their age. Bowers said during questioning that he had been under the impression that both teens were 17-years-old, which investigators pointed out was still illegal. Witnesses told police that Bowers continued his relationship with both girls even after learning their age, and even helped remove ‘missing persons posters’ with the age of the victim listed. When being questioned about the runaway earlier this month, Bowers reportedly admitted to contact with the young teen last fall and yet another 16-year-old victim. Witnesses also told police that he has been with as many as four other girls under the age of 15. Bowers is being held on a $10,000 cash bond and has court activity on the calendar later this month.

Athletic Field Rape Victim Knew Attacker

5/1/10 – Beaver Dam police say the victim in a sexual assault earlier this month knew her attacker. Officials had been operating on the idea that the victim was randomly chosen as she walked across the Athletic Field Park in the evening hours of April 11. However, their investigation has uncovered that the victim was an acquaintance of the suspect and had been with him shortly before the assault occurred. The department has the name of a suspect and their investigation continues. Police Chief Dale Boldt says this should help alleviate the public concern about a random attack in the park but he is still advising residents to avoid putting themselves into a vulnerable situation and to err on the side of safety.

BDFD Extinguishes Grease Fire

5/1/10 – The Beaver Dam Fire Department responded to a grease fire at an apartment complex Friday afternoon. The fire was called in at 2:12pm to 715 S. Lincoln. Once on scene, firefighters used portable fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Damage was limited to the stove area and ceiling in the bottom floor unit. There were no injuries. Officials were on the scene for just over one hour.

Alliant Seeks Rate Hike

5/1/10 – Wisconsin Power and Light Company has told state regulators it wants to raise its rates to cover increased fuel costs. The average residential customer would see his or her monthly bill go up by 53-cents for the rest of this year. WP & L and its parent company Alliant Energy also want to recover costs it incurred by building and running the Bent Tree wind farm in Minnesota. That would tack on three dollars, 11 cents to utility bills. It could be several months before the Public Service Commission decides whether or not to grant the rate hike requests.

Dodgeland Has New Principal

5/1/10 – The Dodgeland Middle School-High School has a new principal. The school board this week approved the hiring of Marcia Modaff, who is the current dean of students. Modaff has been with the district in varying capacities for 23-years and will replace Jeff Braun who resigned last December. Her new role will take effect July 1. The school board also approved the hiring of Melina Kamrath as Modaff’s replacement as dean of students. Kamrath has been with the district for the past nine-years and is currently a special ed teacher. Her new role will also take effect July 1.

Rubber Duck Race Today

5/1/10 – The Beaver Dam Noon Kiwanis Club will be holding a rubber duck race later this morning (Sat) on the Beaver Dam River to help raise funds for the Tanzanian Education Project. Organizer Sharon Lubkeman says they sold individual tickets that correspond with each one of the 1,500 rubber ducks. At 11am they’ll throw all of the ducks into the river from the Center Street Bridge and watch as they float through the Tower Parking lot with the finish line being near Davis Street. The owner of a ticket that matches the first duck to cross the line will win $1,000. All of the proceeds will be used to help ship a container of books and other learning materials to Tanzania.

Red Shirts in Fondy

5/1/10 – Starting next Friday, fire departments in Fond du Lac County will be taking part in the Red Shirt Friday program. It’s a nationwide effort showing support for U.S. troops. The Fond du Lac County Fire Chiefs Association has given it a bit of a different twist, with money raised from the sale of the shirts going to the Josh Wege Fund. Wege is a Campbellsport area native who lost his lower legs after a roadside explosion in Afghanistan. Backers say eventually they will designate some of the funds for other veterans’ efforts. Firefighters will sport the specially designed red shirts on Fridays. The public will also be able to buy them for 10 dollars — a couple dollars more for plus sizes.

Harley Resists Politicizing Situation

5/1/10 – Candidates running for Wisconsin governor won’t be meeting to discuss ways to keep Harley-Davidson from leaving the state. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democratic candidate, says the motorcycle maker doesn’t want to politicize the situation. Harley says it is considering a move if it can’t cut millions of dollars in operating costs. The company reportedly told Barrett it wants to work out the issues internally. About 17 hundred people work for Harley-Davidson in Wisconsin at two locations. The company reported a 72 percent drop in first-quarter profits last month.

Doyle Signs Off On BadgerCare Basic

5/1/10 – Governor Doyle signs a bill creating the BadgerCare Plus Basic program, giving people on a waiting list access to temporary health care coverage. The basic program is designed to provide coverage for the 43 thousand Wisconsin residents waiting for the more comprehensive BadgerCare Core program. Doyle says it’s not a “Cadillac plan,” but it will provide a basic level of coverage that’s “better than having nothing.” Those enrolled will have access to coverage for doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and a prescription drug plan. Participants will have to pay 130 dollars per month and co-pays, which Governor Doyle says will fund the entire program. Doyle says the new program will fill an important role in keeping those on the waiting list healthy until other coverage options become available. Sign-ups begin on June first, with coverage starting in July.