“News – April 19, 2011”

Klomberg: ‘Heroin Now A Major Problem’


4/19/11 – Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg has been addressing municipalities around the county about an escalating problem. Klomberg told the Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night that combating heroin has become his office’s top priority. Three years ago, law enforcement saw almost no heroin in the county. But there were 23 overdose deaths in Dodge County in 2009 and 2010. Of those 23 deaths, 16 involved opiates…that’s the active ingredient in prescription drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin and also heroin. In fact six of those deaths, nearly a quarter, were tied directly to heroin. He says the spike we saw several years ago in prescription drug abuse led to the problems were seeing now. Klomberg is talking to everyone he can to raise awareness in hopes that talking about the problem will get everyone involved with a solution. He says its important to nip the problem in the bud now before it escalates. Klomberg urges county residents to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement, especially if they see a lot of foot traffic around house, with people coming and going at all hours of the day and staying for a short amount of time. Another way people can help is by disposing of unused and expired prescription drugs in a safe and responsible manner. There are several drug drops planned around the country on April 30, including opportunities in Horicon, Juneau and Beaver Dam.


Beaver Dam Approves CIP


4/19/11 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved the city’s borrowing plan for the next two years. The CIP, or Capital Improvement Plan, went unfunded earlier this year, which resulted in the reconstruction of Lake Shore Drive being delayed indefinitely. At the time, the Administrative Committee determined that enough money was already spent this year on the new police station. Operations Committee Chair Laine Meyer says the project appears on the city’s five-year plan in 2015, though he says that date is unlikely because the cost is so great and there are other projects tied to state dollars that have priority. Another item placed on the CIP as a “place holder” is a half million dollars in 2012 for the Beaver Dam Senior Center. Council President Jon Litscher says it is listed in the event the Senior Center is awarded grant funding. Community Development Block Grants would require a dollar-for-dollar match, but Litscher says if matching funds are needed next year it would have to come from private donations or the Senior Center’s endowment funds because the city doesn’t have it. Last night’s approval allows for some engineering work and playground upgrades to be paid for this year with money already on hand. Around $1.6 million in borrowing is planned for next year. Among those projects: a replacement ambulance and a new pumper truck for the Fire Department, reconstruction of Prospect Avenue and the remodeling of city hall after the police department vacates the premises. Even with the document approved last night, city officials will still be able to add or remove items for 2012 with council support.


Operations Committee Approves Rail Repairs


4/19/11 – The Beaver Dam Operations Committee Monday night approved funding for repairs to a rail line in the city’s industrial park. The city had been planning the upgrades since last year but a derailment last week along the spur that runs to Total Logistical Products speed up the process.  The committee approved a $12,600 payment to Volkmann Railroad Builders retroactive to last week. The company completed the damaged section of the line yesterday before the committee could sign-off on the emergency repairs. Total Logistics relies on the city-owned rail for much of their business. Officials last night also approved spending another $32,000 for three more sections of rail in the industrial park. About a half mile of track will be repaired in total.  The committee last night also approved plans to advertise for bids to replace the city’s boat launches at Tahoe and Waterworks Park. The price tag is estimated at $35,000 for each one.


Prosser Says Recount Frivolous, Expensive


4/19/11 – State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser and his advisors say a recount of the April fifth election ballots would be expensive and frivolous. Prosser told reporters Monday that his opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg ran an effective campaign. But now that all 72 counties have canvassed their ballots, he said the result is no longer in doubt. The canvass showed Prosser with a 73-hundred-16 vote lead over Kloppenburg – and the margin is close enough to let Kloppenburg have a tax-funded recount. But Prosser campaign attorney James Troupis said he would take any step to quote, “prevent this frivolous matter going forward.” He did not explain how that might happen. Kloppenburg won the Election Night tally by 204 votes, but Prosser jumped out in front after it was learned that Brookfield’s votes were not included in that figure. A former Prosser aide in the Legislature, Brian Schimming, said there’s no way Kloppenburg could find seven-thousand votes – and trying to do so would be tremendously expensive for taxpayers. Kloppenburg has until Wednesday to decide on a recount. Her camp did not immediately comment on Prosser’s news briefing.


Falk No Longer County Executive


4/19/11 – The county executive in Madison stepped down Monday after 14 years in office. Kathleen Falk said she wanted to reduce alcohol abuse in recent years, and start up Dane County’s first unit which turns manure-into-electricity. Now that both are accomplished, the 59-year-old Falk says it’s time to go. State Assembly Democrat Joe Parisi takes over Tuesday, after being elected as the new Dane County Executive 13 days ago. The Democrat Falk has run for statewide office a couple times, most recently for attorney general in 2006. She also filed one of the three lawsuits which challenged the new state law that clamps down on public employee union bargaining. The measure is now being held up as part of another lawsuit. Falk’s action was on behalf of Dane County – and after a judge said the county couldn’t sue the state, Falk pursued the matter on her own. That request is still pending.


Dem’s File Olsen Recall Papers


4/19/11 – Wisconsin Democrats filed recall petitions Monday against the third of eight G-O-P state senators they’re targeting. Ann Schmidt of rural Wautoma started the drive against Republican Luther Olsen of Ripon. And she submitted 24-thousand signatures, over nine-thousand more than the minimum number required to order a recall election. Olsen is from a heavily-Republican district. But Schmidt said the bill aimed at limiting public union bargaining powers was a “tipping point” among residents. She also said the G-O-P is quote, “breaking the backs” of the lower-and-middle classes with tax breaks for the wealthy. Schmidt said it was unjustified and quote, “not in the spirit of Wisconsin.” State Democrats are coordinating the recall efforts, to try-and-win back control of the Senate before their next scheduled opportunity in November of 2012. They need to gain three seats in this summer’s recall votes to break the G-O-P’s monopoly of the governor’s office and both houses which voters approved last November. Petitions have also been filed against Senate Republicans Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac – and both are challenging the validities of signatures. The Republicans are being targeted for their votes in favor of the union restrictions. Eight Democratic senators are also targeted for fleeing to Illinois for three weeks in a failed attempt to block a vote on the measure. The law is being held up in court for now.


Vos Says UW Split Unlikely This Year


4/19/11 – A top Republican legislator says his colleagues probably won’t split U-W Madison from the rest of the university system. Joint Finance Committee Co-chair Robin Vos told Mike Gousha’s statewide T-V show that a total separation is probably too much to deal with in one session. Governor Scott Walker’s proposed state budget includes a plan that Madison chancellor Biddy Martin has been pushing for over a year. It would create a board of the governor’s appointees to set Madison’s own tuition and purchasing-and-personnel policies outside of the state’s bureaucratic rules. The U-W Board of Regents is endorsing an alternative plan that would give all campuses more autonomy, while keeping the system intact. Vos told Gousha he’s “positive” that lawmakers will grant some more flexibility, without going far enough to let Madison break away and set its own tuition without some more government oversight.


Waupun Man Charged With Molestation


4/19/11 – A Waupun man is accused of molesting a pre-teen.  Michael M. Nutt is charged with two felony counts of Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 16 and, if convicted, could spend up to 80 years in prison. According to the criminal complaint, the 20-year-old Nutt would pick the victim up in his truck after sneaking out of her house. He first denied the claim to investigators but reportedly admitted to the incidents after further questioning and said he thought she was 15-years-old.  A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.


Fond du Lac Woman Charged With OWI Injury


4/19/11 – A Fond du Lac woman is accused of injuring a passenger in a drunken driving rollover. Tiffany C. N. Oertel is charged with two counts of OWI-Causing Injury for the accident March 4 in the Town of Chester. According to the criminal complaint, the 27-year-old was on her way from a Fox Lake bar to a friends house a few blocks away when she allegedly lost control of her vehicle while going around a corner. The passenger sustained minor hear injuries and neck paid. Authorities say a preliminary breath test was above the legal limit for driving at point-one-three-six (.136). When asked if she should have been driving, Oertel reportedly told deputies “probably not.” If convicted, Oertel would spend a minimum of 60 days in jail or as much as two years behind bars.  A signature bond was set at $500 yesterday and a preliminary hearing will be held May 16.


Former Fullerton Lumber Building Vandalized


4/19/11 – A building that will likely be the future site of a new Beaver Dam Senior Center has been vandalized. The glass entryway of the former Fullerton Lumber building on South Center Street was smashed over the weekend. The damage was reported Sunday. The buildings owners, Charlie and Gail Fakes were notified. The Fakes have offered to give the building to the city of Beaver Dam at no charge for use as a Senior Center. A joint committee has signed-off on the deal and the council is expected to consider acceptance at a future meeting. Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact the Beaver Dam Police Department.