News – August 13, 2020

(Beaver Dam) Wayland Academy will be welcoming students back to campus this weekend and will offer both in-person and virtual learning. Campus move-in dates will be in three waves to accommodate social distancing with day students registering on Saturday. Classrooms have been retrofitted with high-definition cameras and microphones to allow for seamless virtual teaching. There will also be in-person instruction. Safety protocols will be in place at the start of the semester and would be lifted if local coronavirus numbers show positive trends over 14-days. More information can be found on Wayland Academy’s website, a link is available with this news story at

(Beaver Dam) School officials in Beaver Dam have a plan in place to address non-education-related needs in the event they are forced to implement virtual learning districtwide. Superintendent Mark DiStefano says school may be the only source of food for some, while others may have limits to broadband access, or childcare. In response, the district is establishing “community resource locations,” subject to any public health orders, not for learning but to address those other needs. Possible locations referenced include the high school and Prairie View Elementary because they are climate controlled and are large enough for social distancing. Participation would be based on the most need and, from there, would be opened gradually to more students based on space availability.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials reported 478 positive coronavirus cases in Wednesday’s daily update, which is 4.8-percent of the 9,900 tests announced. There are 8,884 active cases in the state, a decrease of 421 from Tuesday. State health officials recorded five more deaths, for a total of 1,011. Fond du Lac County now has eight deaths. Dodge County has five deaths on record and 857 cases, an increase of 12 from Tuesday. County health officials are actively monitoring 186 people.

(Waupun) An inmate at Waupun Correction who inappropriately contacted a prison guard was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday) to serve an additional three years in prison followed by three years of extended supervision. 31-year-old Darryl Carr touched the guard while they went to undo his straps last May. The was also placed on extended supervision for three years.

(Horicon) A Beaver Dam man charged with Homicide by Intoxicated use of a Vehicle entered a not guilty plea at arraignment yesterday. Dustin VanderGalien waived his right to a preliminary hearing on 14 felony counts including several counts of Injury by Intoxicated use of a Motor Vehicle stemming from a multi-vehicle crash that killed one person last July. The 36-year-old allegedly had several mixed drinks prior to the crash. If convicted on all charges, VanderGalien could face no more than 165 years in prison.

(Horicon) A Horicon teen accused of raping a minor entered a not guilty plea at arraignment yesterday. Branden Hammond allegedly assaulted the 13-year-old at his apartment last June. Hammond, who was in the Dodge County Detention Facility for a misdemeanor Theft conviction, was reportedly recorded over a phone conversation admitting to his actions. If convicted, the 18-year-old is facing up to 40 years in prison.

(Portage) A home in Portage was destroyed by fire yesterday (Wednesday) morning. Around 9:40am, the Portage Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to a residential structure fire located at 701 West Wisconsin Street. Upon arrival, crews found the front porch of the three story home full engulfed in flames. The fire quickly spread to the remainder of the residence. Officers were able to evacuate all of the occupants of the home as well as residents in nearby houses. Firefighters were also able to contain the blaze from spreading to adjacent homes. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

(Beaver Dam) A public meeting is being held via video conferencing today (Thursday) to get feedback about the proposed 2022 reconstruction of East Davis Street in Beaver Dam. The nearly half-mile project runs from South Spring Street to South University Avenue. Input is sought on any concerns with the project’s impact with an emphasis on those with knowledge of historic buildings and archaeological sites. The video stream begins with a presentation at 5:30pm followed by a Q&A. The video conference link can be found with this news story at

(Wisconsin) President Donald Trump said in a tele-rally yesterday that he’ll be in Oshkosh on Monday, as Democrats open their mostly virtual convention in Milwaukee. Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler calling the possible visit a political stunt. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin next Thursday, the same day Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick Kamala Harris is to deliver her acceptance speech. -WRN