“News – April 28, 2011”

Former Fox Lake Police Chief Jury Trial Set


4/28/11 – An October trial date has been set in the stalking and child molestation case against former Fox Lake Police Chief Pat Lynch. The 55-year-old was originally charged with one count of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 13, but based on information that came to light during the preliminary hearing, two more counts were added during an arraignment hearing in mid-February. The alleged assault of the 7-year-old child would have occurred in the summer of 1989 at home in Randolph. The victim’s father was friends with Lynch, who was an officer with the Randolph Police Department at the time. The victim says, years later, Lynch kept showing up where she worked and would drive his police car past her home. Lynch is charged with three felony Stalking counts in total, as he is also accused of stalking a woman who used to work for the Fox Lake Police Department – as well as a man who was dating his ex-wife.  Lynch resigned from his job as police chief in Fox Lake in the spring of 2009.  A motion hearing was scheduled yesterday for this June with the jury trial scheduled to begin on October 17.


Nehls Pulls Fleeing Suspect From Car


4/28/11 – A 36-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night for his sixth OWI after authorities say he ran into a utility poll, a parked car and a traffic sign.  Dispatchers received several calls around 6pm that an erratic driver was heading east on Highway 33 towards Fox Lake.  Sheriff Todd Nehls says 37-year-old Tony Langfeldt hit the utility poll in the 100 block of Mill Street, struck a car a few blocks later and finally struck a sign before getting stuck in a ditch just west of the city.  Nehls was in the area and got to the scene in time to pull Langfeldt from his vehicle as he was allegedly attempting to drive away again.  In addition to OWI, Langfeldt is facing charges of hit and run, operating without a valid driver’s license, open intoxicants and violation of probation.  Langfeldt’s most recent OWI conviction came in 2009.


Bens Cleared Again In Child Care Injury


4/28/11 – A child care supervisor from Campbellsport was cleared for a second time Wednesday of allegations that she severely injured a 10-month-old girl. The state’s Second District Court of Appeals upheld a circuit judge’s ruling that threw out a criminal case against Mary Benz. The appellate judges agreed that the 52-year-old Benz was denied the right to a speedy trial. She was charged in 2008 with felony child abuse, failing to report abuse to authorities, and obstructing officers. That was after a baby girl at a Random Lake day-care center suffered vaginal injuries so severe that she needed surgery. After several delays, Benz finally went on trial in November of 2009. Four days later, a mistrial was declared. A second trial was supposed to begin last year, but Circuit Judge Terrence Bourke threw out the charges due to the long delay. In a nine-page ruling, the appeals court said quote, “materials had been discarded, memories faded, and Benz’s mental condition was deteriorating to the point she would no longer have been able to testify in her own defense.”


ALA Gives Dodge County Average Grade


4/28/11 – The American Lung Association is giving Dodge County a grade of “C” again this year for the levels of smog and soot in the air. Spokeswoman Dona Wininsky says the “State of the Air 2011” report uses EPA data from 2007 through 2009 from official monitors for ozone and particle pollution, the two most widespread types of air pollution. Wininsky says grades for the county and the state remained virtually unchanged from last year.  This year’s report, however, finds that the majority of American cities most-polluted by ozone or year-round particle pollution have improved.  All counties along the lake from Kenosha to Door continue to receive an “F” for ozone levels, which is a widespread air pollutant created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles and industry that is carried north by weather patterns.  Ozone can irritate the lungs resulting in wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and even premature death. Fond du Lac and Sauk counties got a “B” while Washington County received an “A” and even made the top 25 list of cleanest counties for ozone.


Columbus Buys Back Undeveloped Land


4/28/11 – The Columbus City Council and Community Development Authority (CDA) took action Tuesday night on the repurchase of the property on the northwest side of highway 151 at the intersection with highways 16 and 60. The property was sold for development in a 2007 agreement between the City and Columbus Commerce Center LLC. That agreement called for the completion of $3 million dollars in development by January 1st of this year. The Council voted 4 to 1 and the CDA voted 4 to 0 to act on the repurchase option in the terms of the three year-old agreement. The Council and CDA repurchase decision came after three months of closed session negotiations with the Developer.


Recount Underway


4/28/11 – County clerks throughout Wisconsin on Wednesday began a statewide recount of the ballots from the April fifth Supreme Court election. The process started at nine a-m at courthouses in all 72 counties, that includes Dodge County. Things got off to a rough start in Waukesha County. That’s because a bag of ballots cast in the town of Brookfield on April fifth did not have matching identification numbers as required. It was noted that the number of a bag-seal was not the same as what was listed on a recorded form. But observers for both candidates in the Supreme Court said there was other evidence which showed the mistake was inadvertent, and they allowed the recount to begin. Ballots were opened in all 72 counties, and each one is being checked to make sure the voters’ intents were clear. They’re then being counted for a second time – some by hand, and some by machine. Almost one-and-a-half million Supreme Court ballots were cast statewide, and a canvass showed that incumbent David Prosser defeated challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by less than one-half of one-percent. By law, the recount is supposed to be finished by May ninth. But the county clerk in Madison said Wednesday she doubted they would meet the deadline. Clerk Karen Peters says 182-thousand ballots must be checked – and her staff believes that 13 days won’t be enough. If that becomes clear by next week, state officials say they’ll ask a judge for an extension in the places that need it. The Government Accountability Board says it will provide daily updates on a special page of its Web site, which you can access through Wisconsin-Dot-Gov. This is the third statewide recount in Wisconsin history.


BD Aldermanic Vacancy Filings Due Friday


4/28/11 – Residents in Beaver Dam’s Fourth Ward interested in filling the vacant aldermanic seat have until the close of business Friday to submit a letter of interest. The seat is open because of the death of Alderman Howard Abel who passed away in March.  Paperwork can be obtained during normal business hours from the City Clerk’s Office which is located in the Municipal Building at 205 South Lincoln Avenue. The term expires next April.


More Oversight of Family Care Recommended


4/28/11 – A Wisconsin program that provides long-term care to low-income elderly and disabled people needs more oversight from state officials. That’s what the Legislative Audit Bureau said Wednesday about Family-Care. The auditors said it’s hard to measure how cost-effective the program is – but more scrutiny is necessary, and Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith says he agrees. Among other things, the audit showed that four administrators of managed-care groups which provide Family Care services made over 200-thousand-dollars last year. Smith said he agreed such compensation needed to be reviewed. Family-Care was started during the Doyle years, and it now runs in 53 of the state’s 72 counties. It serves low-income adults with physical or developmental disabilities, and those who are elderly and frail. It cost taxpayers 936-million dollars last year.


Veterans’ Affairs Board Asks Legislature For Changes


4/28/11 – The Wisconsin Veterans’ Affairs Board has asked legislators to make three major changes in the proposed state budget. The board objects to Governor Scott Walker’s plan to apply the state’s tax on nursing home beds to the state-owned veterans’ homes at King and Union Grove. Board member Marv Freedman said the tax was waived in all previous budgets – and it might cost some an extra 22-hundred-dollars a year to those who pay privately. The veterans’ board also opposed the idea of having a private firm manage the new veterans’ home in Chippewa Falls. And it took issue with the governor’s plan to split U-W Madison from the rest of the university system. The panel said it might let Madison avoid complying with the state G-I bill that gives free tuition to eligible veterans. One issue the board has not touched is a separate bill that would basically turn the vets’ panel into an advisory body instead of a policy-setting group. Assembly Republican Kevin Petersen of Waupaca has proposed letting the governor appoint the Veterans’ Affairs secretary instead of the board. The board would also be expanded from seven members to nine, and would remain appointees of the governor. The board fired him in late 2009, soon after he came home from a tour of duty in Iraq. A public hearing will be held today (Th) on Petersen’s bill.


Standoff Suspect Was Not In House


4/28/11 – The 52-year-old Campbellsport man who sparked a 10 hour standoff with Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputies and Campbellsport Police Monday night was not exactly where authorities though he was. Sheriff Mick Fink says the standoff in the Village ended when he saw the man walking up a sidewalk to surrender. After firing a shot off from a handgun during an argument with his girlfriend the man apparently left the residence entirely before officers were put in place for the standoff. Fink says thinking the incident may have involved alcohol use they were willing to take all the time they needed for things to cool down. The gun was discharged shortly before 10pm Monday night and the man turned himself in shortly after 8am Tuesday morning.


Wisconsin’s first statewide recount in 22 years got off to a rocky start yesterday. Clerks in Chippewa and Menominee counties never did get their tallies started due to issues with a voting machine memory card and needing more information from a school district.  Both counties will start their tallies today. Dane County Clerk Karen Peters apologized to observers at the start of yesterday’s process, saying it would be a bit chaotic. Even the state accountability board reported a problem with the spreadsheet it’s using to report updates twice a day. Early this morning, the Board’s Web site said just over 500 of the state’s 36-hundred voting districts had reported unofficial results. Those numbers gave incumbent Justice David Prosser an early lead over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, 86-thousand to 76-thousand. State law requires the recount to be finished by May ninth, but the state says it will ask a judge for an extension if things go slower than expected.


State officials have asked a judge for more time to review the petitions for recall elections against Wisconsin senators. The first deadline to certify the petitions is just over two weeks away. But the Government Accountability Board says it will need most of May to finish reviewing the petitions filed so far against eight senators. Petitions against a ninth senator are expected today, and at least four more could be targeted. If the board’s request is approved, it would have until June third to certify the first eight petitions. And barring more legal action, the recall elections could be set for July 12th.  So far five Republicans and three Democrats have had petitions filed with the GAB.


The Beaver Dam Middle School has a new principal.  Tonya Broyles-Brouillard was approved by the school board during a special meeting last night.  Broyles-Brouillard currently holds the same position in the Pardeeville School District.  She’ll replace Ben Jones, who is leaving the district at the end of the school year.  Broyles-Brouillard’s first official day on the job will be July 1st but she’s expected to immediately begin helping with staffing decisions at the school.


The company that makes the famous Beaver Dam Tip-Up for ice fishing has been sold.  Arctic Fisherman, a mainstay in the community for more than 65-years, was bought recently by Uncle Josh’s Bait Company from Fort Atkinson.  The original Beaver Dam Tip-Up, which is a device that alerts the fisherman when a fish has taken the bait, was created by three local men in the late 30’s.  The August Scheurer family operated the business for 43-years before the Dennis Carthew family took over in 2004.  Uncle Josh’s Vice President Patrick McDevitt says the warehouse on East Burnett Street will stay open and all of the employees will remain on the job.  He said it’s possible that they’ll expand their operations in Beaver Dam over the next few years.