News April 11, 2009

Kelm Waives Prelim

4/11/09 – The Beaver Dam man charged with selling a UW-Milwaukee freshman a prescription drug that authorities say played a role in his death will be back in Milwaukee County court for an arraignment hearing on Monday. Troy Kelm waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday morning. The 20-year-old was arrested and charged last week in Milwaukee County court with two counts of delivery of Suboxone, one count of delivery of methadone, and one count of possession of marijuana. He’s accused of selling a half pill of Suboxone to 19-year-old Luke Murphy on March 23. Murphy was found dead the next morning in a friend’s dorm room. Authorities are still waiting on toxicology reports to determine an exact cause of death. If convicted of all the charges, he could be sentenced to as much as 32-years in prison.

Sires Charged in OD

4/11/09 – A Beaver Dam man has been charged in connection with the overdose death of friend in February of last year. Mark Sires is charged with First Degree Reckless Homicide for allegedly giving 34-year-old Mark Wampole methadone. Wampole and his girlfriend spent the night at Sires mobile home and the girlfriend discovered him dead the next morning. The 55-year-old Sires is constrained to a wheelchair and held valid prescriptions for methadone. He has an initial appearance scheduled for April 30 and faces up to 40 years in prison, if convicted.

Sex Offender Convicted for Photographing Children

4/11/09 – A Waupun sex-offender who took pictures of young children on Halloween was sentenced this week to 60 days in the Dodge County jail. Edward Lieber pleaded “no contest” to three felony counts of “Registered Sex Offender Intentionally Photographing a Minor Without Consent.” Several parents complained to authorities after their children entered a makeshift haunted house structure on Lieber’s property last October and were photographed. At one point, Lieber was overheard by a parent saying “I got a picture of her face.” The 37-year-old has a previous conviction out of Fond du Lac County for Third Degree Sexual Assault. It is illegal for a registered sex offender to photograph a child without their parents consent. In addition to 60 days in jail with Huber privileges, Lieber’s was placed on probation for two years. A prison sentence was withheld. Judge Steven Bauer also said Lieber is prohibited from setting up Halloween displays and cannot distribute candy or gifts on Halloween.

Waller Waives Prelim

4/11/09 – One of the suspects arrested following burglaries at two area businesses waived his right to a preliminary hearing this week. Trevor Waller of Stoughton and two others are charge din connection with a break-in at Kelm Painting last October. The trio also faces charges related to a break-in at Beaver Plumbing, earlier that same evening. Nothing was stolen from the business but the group is accused of drinking several cans of soda. Authorities, however, have indicated that additional charges related to a rash of area business break-ins are possible against the trio. The cases are all being tried separately. The 28-year-old Waller has an arraignment hearing on the Kelm break-in scheduled May 6 and a jury trial on the Beaver Plumbing break-in at the end of this month. 24-year-old Kurtis Billings of Orfordville and 21-year-old Tabatha Pellett of Stoughton are also charged in connection with the break-ins.

WSP Colonel Not Disciplined for Repo Incident

4/11/09 – The superintendent of the Wisconsin Highway Patrol says he sees no reason to discipline Colonel Ben Mendez. The Columbia County district attorney doesn’t plan to file any charges. Mendez is accused of yelling at a sheriff’s deputy and a tow truck operator when they tried to repossess his daughter’s car. He also used his state patrol cruiser to block the driveway to his property near Lodi. The incident happened February 5. Mendez yelled so loudly at the two men the deputy told him he could be arrested. The charge would have been disorderly conduct.

The tow truck driver says Mendez was exceptionally rude. A collections manager at the bank says it is no longer trying to repossess the car. No word on whether the loan was paid.

Shaken Baby Reports Increase

4/11/09 – It may be the struggling economy. Some hospitals report seeing more than twice as many shaken babies as they saw last year. Deaths from domestic violence are way up in some areas. Milwaukee has reported a 40 percent increase in homicide as a result of domestic violence in the first three months of this year. Nearly 90 percent of law enforcement officials nationwide say they think the economic crisis has led to more child abuse cases. And, just as the problems really starts to grow, the same struggling economy is limiting the funding available for the agencies tasked with fighting domestic violence.

Families Council Worries About Gay Marriage

4/11/09 – A staunch supporter thinks there’s a conspiracy to dump Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban. Julaine Appling of the Wisconsin Council on Families says it’s a little too convenient that an appellate court has asked the state Supreme Court to take up a case challenging the ban, just days after Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson was re-elected to the bench. If the court takes up the case, Appling worries the Chief Justice could rule in a “judicially active” way on the issue. Conservatives say “judicially active” means a ruling that would go against the gay marriage ban. However, Capitol observers note that Abrahamson is just one voice of the seven member Supreme Court.

Wisconsin Economy Could Add Jobs in ‘09

4/11/09 – The national and state economies have contracted further since December, as the recession enters its sixteenth month. That information comes from the quarterly Wisconsin Economic Outlook from the state Department of Revenue. A bright spot? Revenue Secretary Roger Ervin says the Education and Health Services sector is expected to add jobs this year. Wisconsin personal income growth remains stalled in 2009, with a recovery expected to begin in 2010. The outlook shows that real per capita income in Wisconsin declined a half a percentage point in 2008 but, aided by the deflationary outlook in 2009, will grow by an expected half-point this year.

More Funny Money Found in BD

4/11/09 – A third counterfeit $20 bill has been found in Beaver Dam. According to department records, Associated Bank on Park Avenue recovered the phony bill in a business deposit Thursday afternoon. Two others were found this week at Piggly Wiggly and Family Video. Authorities are asking local businesses to purchase the $4 pen that detects counterfeit bills.

Grass Fire Risk High

4/11/09 – Dry weather has been sparking grass fires throughout the state. The Beaver Dam Fire Department responded to a grass fire at W8466 Hemlock Road that burned three acres Thursday night. A few hours earlier, around 2pm, fire crews were called out to Amity Road in the Town of Alto where fire charred around 100 acres. Firefighters were on the scene for about three hours. Up north, the state D-N-R has imposed a temporary ban on open burning in Eau Claire, Chippewa, Barron, Clark, Jackson, and Rusk counties in western Wisconsin. Local fire chiefs also put Dunn County off-limits to things like brush-and-garbage fires. Eau Claire County Township fire Chief Jack Running says it’s too dangerous to be burning due to strong winds, low humidity, and dry grounds. The D-N-R’s Randy Schott says fire risks are high throughout west central Wisconsin – and they could reach the “very high” stage during the weekend. State crews have responded to 20 wildfires in the region this month. And they helped local authorities with a 600-acre blaze near Elk Mound this week, which started after fireworks were blown off. Schott says

sparks from vehicles like A-T-V’s can also set wildfires – and he says all outdoor enthusiasts should be ultra-careful about what they’re doing. The National Weather Service says the next chance of rain in southern Wisconsin is on Monday and Tuesday.

Poynette Elects Deceased Candidate

4/11/09 – A village board member in Poynette was re-elected this week, even though he died of a heart attack two days before the election. 45-year-old Gary Guitzkow won the last of three board seats that were up. He got 66 more votes than David Branish, who was defeated. Village Clerk Sue Finstad said it appeared that people elected Guitzkow as a tribute. Some people had asked her what would happen if they voted for him. His former colleagues will appoint a replacement next month to serve his new two-year term. Guitzkow was on the Poynette Village Board for a year. He also worked as a power plant manager at U-W Madison. Poynette has about 25-hundred residents, and is located 25 miles north of Madison.