(Beaver Dam) One of the officers who jumped in the Beaver Dam River to rescue the driver in a fatal crash last week tells us that his adrenaline was pumping so much that he hardly noticed the icy cold waters. Police Sergeant Eric Smedema helped save 23-year-old Cindy Lara-Esparza after her vehicle drove off of the Madison Street Bridge. She sustained non-life-threatening injuries but her 23-year-old boyfriend, Jared Frakes, was killed. Smedema told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that after several failed attempts to break the window, officers were able to pry the driver side door, allowing them to cut her seatbelt and pull her to safety. He says the timeline is a little fuzzy but he thinks that the four officers were in the water for around 15 minutes; they were treated for hypothermia.
(Wisconsin Dells) The suspect in a Wisconsin Dells murder is in the Columbia County Jail. Investigators say Fuad (foowad) Pashayev (posh-uh-yev) killed his wife three months after several domestic violence charges were filed. The body of 23-year-old Tetiana Huzhva (hoos-va) was found inside their Wisconsin Dells home; homicide charges are pending. Nearly a dozen domestic violence charges were filed in January when a no-contact order was issued. Huzhva told Wisconsin Dells Police at that time that she thought he was going to kill her.
(Beaver Dam) April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and officials with Dodge County’s only domestic violence shelter are using the occasion to raise awareness of the issue. Teen and Child Advocate Amanda Meixner with PAVE says their child advocacy program offers safety planning, counseling, and support groups to both victims of abuse as well as children affected by domestic violence. Anyone who wishes to report domestic abuse, child abuse, or wants to know more about the effects of violence on children is encouraged to call the PAVE crisis line.
(Dodge County) This week has been designated as “Severe Weather Awareness Week” in the state. To prepare for the upcoming severe weather season, on Thursday a mock tornado watch will be issued at 1pm followed by a mock tornado warning at 1:45pm. There will be another mock tornado warning issued at 6:45pm. Dodge County Emergency Management calls the drill a great opportunity for the public to practice your tornado emergency plan with family, friends, and coworkers. Officials say do not ignore watches and warnings – listen and take action – because every second counts. If there is a threat of severe weather on Thursday, the drill will be postponed until Friday.
(Ashwaubenon) A pair of investment firms is purchasing soon to be vacant Shopko properties. Monarch Alternative Capital and Raider Hill Advisors are buying 75 locations and the company’s headquarters in Ashwaubenon. Monarch Alternative specializes in buying business debt, and Raider Hill is a real estate firm. There’s no word on exactly what they plan to do with the properties, but they could be redeveloped, leased or rebuilt into other uses. Twenty-five of the properties are in Wisconsin. The remaining Shopko and Shopko Hometown stores are in 13 other states.
(Madison) Governor Evers’ budget proposal would return power to local governments to seize private property for bike and recreational trails. The current state budget prohibits eminent domain practices for this purpose. Cycling and local government leaders say they want the tool back to make current and future bike trail and sidewalk projects easier to complete.
(Waukesha) A former Waukesha Culver’s employee caught recording coworkers in a bathroom will spend nine-months in prison as part of a three-year probation sentence. 19-year-old Scott Schwantes admitted to playing two cameras in the bathroom. If he fails his probation, which includes sex offender training, he will spend five years in prison.