News 5/24/2010

Record Heat Possible

5/24/10 – Unseasonably warm weather had us chasing record highs yesterday and we will do so again today. Yesterday’s high temp of 89 fell a degree short of the record from 1975, but forecasters say we could hit 90 today, which would tie the record for May 24th set in 1977. Today’s temperatures are close to 20-degrees above the average temperature for this time of year. The warm weather is expected to stay around at least through Wednesday before dipping back into the mid-70’s for Memorial Day Weekend.

Johnson Gets GOP Nomination

5/24/10 – Ron Johnson got the state Republican Party’s endorsement yesterday against U-S Senate Democrat Russ Feingold. Delegates at the G-O-P convention in Milwaukee endorsed the Oshkosh businessman on the second ballot, after Dick Leinenkugel shocked the gathering and withdrew from the race. Leinenkugel, the former state Commerce Secretary whose campaign got heavy criticism from his ties to the Democratic Doyle administration, told delegates he was endorsing Johnson. Leinenkugel’s campaign later said it was the right thing to do, and a divisive primary would only help Feingold get re-elected in November.

Auto Insurance Law Goes into Effect Next Week

5/24/10 – Wisconsin drivers will be required to have auto insurance for their vehicles starting a week from tomorrow. The mandate was put into last year’s state budget, and it makes Wisconsin the second-to-last state to require auto coverage – leaving only New Hampshire as the lone hold-out. State Patrol Major Dan Lonsdorf says troopers will ask every driver they stop if they have proof of insurance with them. And if they don’t, most will get 200-dollar tickets for not having the coverage. The fine is only 10-dollars for those who have insurance but cannot prove it to the officer. But unless there are special circumstances, Lonsdorf says troopers will give the full 200-dollar tickets to those without insurance cards – and those who have coverage can tell it to the judge.

BD Relay Honorary Chair Named

5/24/10 – Officials with the Relay For Life of Beaver Dam have announced their honorary chair for this years annual event. Chair Maria Rognstad says 17-year leukemia survivor Scott Reed of Beaver Dam will speak at the opening ceremonies about his one-and-a-half year battle with cancer. Reed was diagnosed when he was 14-year-old and today is living cancer free. The American Cancer Society event is planned for June 25 and 26 at the Beaver Dam High School track.

Accused Rapist Pleads Insanity

5/24/10 – A Beaver Dam man has entered a plea of “not guilty by reason of mental defect” to charges that he raped a woman last month. Richard Burwitz Sr. is charged with one felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault with the Use of Force. He entered the plea at arraignment on Friday. According to the criminal complaint, the victim drove the 52-year-old around to run errands. When she went into his home to collect gas money, he allegedly forced her to the floor. Burwitz contends the sex was consensual and says she called the police to get out of paying an $80 loan. The charge carries a maximum 40 year prison sentence, but because Burwitz was convicted of Third Degree Sexual Assault in 2004, he could have another six years added to the sentence upon conviction. He is also facing two felony bail jumping charges because the arrest came after he was charged with his fifth OWI in January. Burwitz is being held on a $10,000 cash bond and has court activity on the calendar next month.

Fenner Arraigned On Rape Charge

5/24/10 – A Hustisford man accused of raping a teenager stood mute at arraignment on Friday and the court entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf. 26-year-old Jason Fenner is charged with Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child related to the assault last October. The parents of the high-school age victim got authorities involved after the child became depressed and they read about the rape in a notebook. The felony charge carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 40 years in prison upon conviction.

Assault and Robbery Suspect Arraigned

5/24/10 – A Beaver Dam man charged with the assault and robbery of an acquaintance entered a plea of “not guilty” at arraignment on Friday. The victim reportedly allowed Michael Dufay into his apartment but was later struck in the back of the head with a gun while playing a video game. The victim was then ordered to the floor while Dufay allegedly took $2200 in cash hidden in the

kitchen. The 25-year-old was arrested after going to the police station to deny his involvement. Dufay faces a maximum of 25 years in prison, if convicted. A two-day jury trial is scheduled to begin in August.

Meeting on Block Scheduling this Afternoon

5/24/10 – A meeting to discuss the block scheduling format at the high school in Beaver Dam is set for this afternoon. The 4 x 4 structure was implemented in 2007 with a stipulation that it be evaluated after three years. As part of that, the district will be hosting a meeting at 3pm in the high school auditorium for parents, students, and community members to give feedback on the format. Meanwhile, there has been some recent movement by a group of parents to do away with block scheduling. In a letter to school board members last week, the group cites numbers that they say show the negative impact of the format. It’s their hope the school board will implement an alternating block schedule or return to the traditional schedule of 7 or 8 periods.

Lindner Named “Alice in Dairyland”

5/24/10 – Christine Lepple Lindner of Fall River is Wisconsin’s new Alice-in-Dairyland. She was crowned during the weekend at a program in Rock County. Lindner has an agricultural journalism degree from U-W Madison, and is on a sponsor board for the Wisconsin F-F-A Foundation. Lindner will spend the next year traveling throughout Wisconsin and elsewhere to promote the state’s food products. She replaces Cheryl O’Brien in a one-year marketing position for the state Agriculture Department.

Lottery Jackpots Increase

5/24/10 – The Powerball jackpot is up to 190-million-dollars for Wednesday, after nobody won the top prize during the weekend. In Mega Millions, the jackpot rolled over on Friday night, and is 64-million for the next drawing tomorrow night.