News 6/26/2010

Relay Walkers Persevere

6/26/10 – Overnight rains may have dampened the grounds of the Beaver Dam High School, but it wasn’t enough to break the spirits of the 31 teams participating in this year’s Relay For Life. The 15th annual American Cancer Society fundraiser is winding down after up a rain-soaked morning. The weather cooperated yesterday evening during the peak hours for attendance, between 5pm and 9pm, and there was a good turnout. Relay Chair Maria Rognstad says going into the event, the preliminary totals were in-line with last year, upwards of $75,000. The fundraising goal for this year’s event is $110,000. Rognstad says online donations doubled from last year, totaling nearly $20,000. Last year, the event pulled in $106,000 which was $6000 above goal. Concession stands are open (as of 6am) and bidding in the silent auction runs from 7am to 9am. The Closing Ceremony is at 10am. The theme this year is “Celebrate More Birthdays.”

Teen Will Serve Time for Fatal Crash

6/26/10 – A Beaver Dam teen charged in connection with a fatal accident in September of 2008 was sentenced in Dodge County Court yesterday. 18-year-old Dominick Kaiser pleaded “no contest” to a felony charge of Homicide By Negligent Use of a Vehicle earlier this month and yesterday was sentenced to two-years in prison. Authorities say Kaiser’s speed reached between 102mph and 129mph on Shaw Hill Road in the Town of Beaver Dam before the car spun and went airborne, splitting a utility pole in half while overturning. 16-year-old Kristin Baade was killed in the crash. Prior to the sentencing the 18-year-old Kaiser spoke, saying “No matter what I say or do, I can’t bring her back, but I wish I could.”

More Rain Hits the State

6/26/10 – About a half-inch of rain fell in Beaver Dam early this morning as another storm passed through the state. Rain pounded Milford in northern Jefferson County again leaving just less than an inch in a 3-hour period, while Waupun was largely spared and received about a quarter-of-an-inch. The National Weather Service did report some wind damage in Fond du Lac and Dane Counties, including some trees being down. In the western part of the state flooding was a major problem, including in Buffalo County, where authorities reported a highway had eight inches of standing water. Flash Flood Watches continue for nearly every county along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Dodge County Dairy Brunch Moved

6/26/10 – It’s a change of venue but not a change of menu for the Dodge County Dairy Brunch Sunday morning. Russ Kottke with the Dairy Promotion Committee says due to the storms that came through the area they’ve been forced to move the brunch from a farm in Iron Ridge to the Dodge County Fair Grounds. The menu for tomorrow’s event stays the same though, and includes scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, pancakes, an assortment of cheeses, milk, juice and ice cream sundaes. They’ll start serving at 9am and won’t quit until 12:30pm or until everyone is fed. The cost for those 12 and older is $7, ages 5 to 11 is $3, and under that is free.

Farmers Air Their Grievances in Madison

6/26/10 – Dairy farmers say they are being squeezed out of the business. They say the system that determines what they get paid for milk is badly broken. The farmers came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Friday for the U.S. Department of Justice hearing on anti-trust issues in the dairy industry. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’s hearing a consistent message now — dairy producers, large and small, are hurting. The number of dairy farms in the United States has dropped from 111 thousand 10 years ago to 65 thousand today. Though some of that is caused by consolidation, much of the atrophy involves small farmers who found they could no longer make a profit.

Wall Calls Out Senate Candidate Johnson

6/26/10 – Republican party leaders call claims from former Senate candidate Terrence Wall a case of sour grapes. Wall went on a Madison radio station and accused his party’s nominee, Ron Johnson, buying votes at the state convention by paying for hotel rooms for people. He accused his own Republican party of stealing votes from him and working to make sure Johnson got the nomination. Those who weren’t angry were puzzled by the accusations. Even members of Wall’s former campaign staff were shocked. The co-chair of his campaign says he found nothing to support the allegations, saying Wall was imagining things and demeaning a good man in the process. Jim Klauser was talking about Johnson. The Johnson campaign has denied the charges and provided travel documents to the media to confirm only six rooms were bought at the state convention for Johnson and the immediate members of his staff.

Ballweg Enters into Deferred Prosecution Agreement

6/26/10 – A Beaver Dam Alderman and County Board Supervisor has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on a pair of misdemeanor charges stemming from an altercation this past February. 46-year-old Robert Ballweg was charged with misdemeanor charges of Criminal Damage To Property and Disorderly Conduct. Authorities say the incident occurred on February 7 at a repair shop/residence on the 200 block of West State Street. In the days after the incident, Ballweg told us that he went to the garage to talk with the complainant about lewd comments that were allegedly made in reference to one of Ballweg’s relatives. Ballweg says his intention was to pound loudly on the door with his foot, and he says he was “surprised” that his foot went so easily through what he called the “quarter inch plywood door.” Ballweg confronted the man and says

there was a minor scuffle and the two tripped over a dog bowl. Marquette County Circuit Judge Richard O. White was assigned to the case and Washington County District Attorney Todd Martens appeared for the state. As part of a deferred prosecution agreement, the defendant avoids the criminal court process but acknowledges responsibility for the conduct. Successful completion results in the charges being dismissed.

Rep. Wood Agrees to Plea Deal

6/26/10 – We won’t know the details of State Representative Jeff Wood’s plea deal in Monroe County until August. The case will be Wood’s fourth conviction for driving under the influence. He still faces a fifth charge. A marijuana possession charge from Columbia County has been dropped. The district attorney’s office in Monroe County isn’t releasing details of its agreement with Wood. He will be sentenced August 4th. The one case remaining to be resolved is out of Marathon County. Wood was charged with driving under the influence three times last year.

Biden Stumps for Feingold

6/26/10 – Vice President Joe Biden calls U.S. Senator Russ Feingold a man of principle and intellect who is qualified to be vice president — or, even president. Biden attended two campaign fundraisers for the Wisconsin Democrat yesterday. He complimented Feingold for his courage and bipartisan approach to doing business in Washington. Feingold is running for a fourth term. Biden spoke at a 500 dollar per plate luncheon in Milwaukee, then made a visit to Kopp’s Frozen Custard in Glendale where he mingled with the crowd.

Obama to Visit the State Next Week

6/26/10 – President Barack Obama will visit the Badger State next week. The President is scheduled to be in southeastern Wisconsin next Wednesday. The location or time of the visit hasn’t been revealed yet. In his return to the Wisconsin Obama is expected to discuss the economy. His last visit to the state was in November when he stopped at a Madison school to talk about education reform. He was in Green Bay last summer to talk about his plans for the health care reform package that passed since then.

Judge Denies Restraining Order Request

6/26/10 – A federal judge rules the Twin Cities Pride Festival can’t stop an evangelical Christian from passing out Bibles and discussing his views on homosexuality. Organizers of that gay pride festival in Minnesota had tied to get a temporary restraining order against Brian Johnson of Hayward, Wisconsin. The judge ruled Loring Park is a public forum, so Johnson’s free speech rights have to stand. He won’t be allowed to be disruptive. A member of the Johnson family says it is about faith, not controversy. She said Johnson only talks about homosexuality if he is asked.

Recall: Drop-Side Cribs

6/26/10 – A Wisconsin company is one of seven manufacturers of drop-side cribs, that are being recalled. Simmons Juvenile Products is listed in the northeastern village of New London. However, its website says the company is no longer in business. This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary, nationwide recall of 2-million drop-side cribs due to suffocation or strangulation risks to infants. The models include the Simmons Easy Side Drop-side Cribs, which were sold between 2002 and 2007. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection says while there have been no deaths attributed to the drop-side cribs, there have been reports of them failing or coming apart.

Ma and Pa’s Might Be Sold

6/26/10 – A fixture on Fond du Lac’s “Miracle Mile” could be changing hands soon. Phil Moses of Ma & Pa’s confirms that a business is actively pursuing financing for the sale, but nothing has been finalized yet. Ma & Pa’s is best known for its history of selling lottery tickets to big winners. It’s estimated that winners who purchased their tickets at the store have won more than $280 million over the years including a group of 100 Sargento Cheese workers who purchased a ticket in 2006 that was worth nearly $209 million. (KFIZ)