News – April 29, 2016

Dodge County Health Officer Weighs In On Zika Virus


4/29/16 – Public health officials say there is little-to-no chance of Wisconsin residents getting the Zika virus from a mosquito bite. However, Dodge County Public Health Officer Jody Langfeldt says people who have traveled or are going to be traveling to the Caribbean or Latin America should be aware of the risks and do their research, especially pregnant women or those who want to get pregnant. Wisconsin is among a handful of states that have not reported a case of the Zika virus in residents that have traveled out of country. However, state health officer Karen McKeown says such a case is inevitable as neighboring Minnesota and Illinois have both reported travel-related cases. Mosquitoes carry the Zika virus. One of the affected species — the Asian tiger mosquito — is thought to be in southern Wisconsin, but U-W Madison entomologist Susan Paskewitz tells the Wisconsin State Journal the chance of getting Zika from an insect in the Badger State is unlikely. Nonetheless, Langfeldt says state residents should be cautious because we still may see the Zika virus at some point. She compares it to the West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne illness that appeared in neighboring states before being confirmed in the Badger State. Langfeldt says the best thing the public can do is to protect themselves from contact with mosquitos. Federal health officials say the virus is more dangerous than originally thought, after being known to cause severe brain defects in babies.


Waupun Residents Receiving Referendum Survey


4/29/16 – Waupun school officials are encouraging district residents to complete a survey about facilities needs and a possible fall referendum. Superintendent Tonya Gubin says mailers went out this week directing residents to a website where the survey can be found. Each mailing contains an individual code that needs to be entered to access the survey. The feedback will be used by the Facilities Advisory Committee in making a recommendation to the school board, who will make the final decision on wording for a potential referendum in November. Results of the survey will be presented to the committee, school board and the community on Monday, May 23 during a 6pm meeting at the Rock River Intermediate Auditorium. The district is considering a $35.8-million dollar referendum to cover maintenance needs, security upgrades, and classroom renovations.  Gubin says the classroom renovation would allow for a better student learning environment. Basic maintenance includes boiler and window updates, plumbing work, and partial roof replacements.  Safety upgrades would involve moving the office area to the outside of each building so staff can more closely monitor the entrances. An additional $7-million dollar question would fund a high school auditorium.  The district has $36-million dollars from a previous referendum coming off the books in 2018.  The website with the survey is All responses are kept confidential and returned directly to School Perceptions, an independent Wisconsin-based firm that specializes in conducting community education surveys. Residents have until May 16th to complete the questionnaire.


Woman, Unborn Child Die In Columbia County Rollover


4/29/16 – A pregnant woman and her unborn child were killed in a Columbia County roll-over yesterday.  According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the accident happened at 7:19 am on Highway 51 near Highway K in the Town of Leeds.  The vehicle rolled multiple times.  The driver and her unborn child were pronounced dead at the scene while the male passenger was taken to the UW Hospital in Madison with minor injuries.  Speed was apparently a factor in the crash which is still under investigation.  No names have been released.  Highway 51 was shut down for about three hours while the scene was cleared.  The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Arlington Fire, Arlington EMS, Deforest EMS, Wisconsin State Patrol, Poynette Police Department, Med Flight, the Columbia County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Dane County Sheriff’s Office.


Neenah Chief: ‘Officer Failed To Warn Funk Prior To Shooting’


4/29/16 – Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson says a five-minute video from a squad car dash camera appears to show his officers failed to warn a man before shooting him to death last December.  The video show an armed Michael Funk running from the Eagle Nation Cycles shop where he and other hostages had been held.  Officers had said the 50-year-old Funk had ignored orders to drop the gun he was holding.  That video was published online by the U-S-A Today Network.  Accused hostage-taker Brian Flatoff is being held, pending trial.


Man Charged In Lowell Search Warrant Execution


4/29/16 – Multiple reports led to Wednesday’s search warrant execution in the Town of Lowell.  Cash bond was set at $100-thousand dollars yesterday for 56-year-old Kirk Lupton of Reeseville, who is facing one felony count of Possessing a Firearm as a Convicted Felon.  According to the criminal complaint, police obtained cell phone video of Lupton holding a gun from a man who claims to have seen video of Lupton raping and torturing a woman.  Police also spoke with a woman who allegedly worked as an escort for Lupton and claims he had a gun in his hand when he accused her of setting up a robbery where his wallet was stolen.  A confidential informant claims to have purchased multiple firearms from Lupton in recent years, and a surveillance officer says he saw Lupton holding a gun outside his house.  During Wednesday’s early morning search, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office SWAT says it recovered roughly 35 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and possible drugs from Lupton’s house.  If he is convicted, Lupton faces up to ten years in prison.  A preliminary hearing is set for May 5.


Man Waives Hearing On Charges Of Assaulting Girl In Watertown


4/29/16 – A Jefferson man accused of having inappropriate contact with an underage girl in Watertown while she was sleeping waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday.  Vincent Nunez is facing one felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of an Unconscious Victim.  The 16-year-old girl says she awoke last November to find the 19-year-old trying to assault her.  She tried moving around to make it seem like she was getting up, and Nunez reportedly left the room.  If he is found guilty, Nunez faces up to 40 years in prison.  He will be arraigned May 11.


WCI Inmate Accused Of Attacking Corrections Officer


4/29/16 – An inmate at the Waupun Correctional Institution is accused of attacking a corrections officer.  Paul Hendler is facing felony counts of Battery by Prisoners and Substantial Battery, both as a repeat offender for allegedly punching in an officer in a cell hall last December.  The officer sustained a fractured jaw, broken tooth, and needed two stitches to the right eye.  If he is convicted, the 42-year-old faces over 17 additional years in prison.  An initial appearance is set for May 24.


Neosho Man Waives Hearing On Child Abuse Charge


4/29/16 – A Neosho man accused of throwing a child down a flight of stairs in Watertown waived his right to a preliminary hearing this week.  Anthony Owen is facing one felony count of Child Abuse.  The 42-year-old allegedly was intoxicated when he attacked the underage victim after an argument in January.  Owen says he was defending himself after the child started pushing him.  If he is found guilty, Owen faces up to six years in prison.  He will be arraigned May 11.


Green Lake Co. Sheriff Warning Of Scam


4/29/16 – Green Lake County Sheriff’s officials are warning residents about another round of the IRS phone scam. Residents are receiving recorded messages saying the IRS has a warrant for them and will be sending someone to arrest them unless they pay a certain amount of money. Sheriff’s officials are advising residents who receive such calls not to call the number back or send money. They say the IRS does not contact residents by phone.


Mercury Marine Groundbreaking Today


4/29/16 – Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony for another expansion effort today. Mercury officials say they will be adding an additional 50-thousand-plus-square-feet to their global headquarters for additional manufacturing capabilities. State Senator Rick Gudex and State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt are among the local dignitaries invited to the noon event.