“News – August 14, 2009”

Edwards Held on $2M Bond


The man charged with killing two high school sweet-hearts in Jefferson County in 1980 will stay in jail under a two-million-dollar bond.  76-year-old Edward Edwards was in a wheelchair during his first court appearance yesterday on two counts of first degree murder.  And despite his diabetes and other health problems, District Attorney Susan Happ said the high bond was necessary because he’d be a risk to flee.  She noted that Edwards left Wisconsin soon after police questioned him about the slayings of Tim Hack and Kelly Drew back in 1980.  Happ said he packed up his family in the middle-of-the-night, and did not tell his employer or landlord he was leaving.  Authorities said Edwards was a maintenance man at the restaurant in Sullivan where Hack and Drew, both 19, vanished after leaving a wedding reception.  Their decomposed bodies were found by hunters two months later.  Edwards reportedly broke out of jails twice before in connection with previous crimes.  He was arrested for the Jefferson County murders two weeks ago, after authorities linked D-N-A evidence to him.  Edwards’ next court appearance is August 27th, when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to put him on trial.


Mayville Business to Face Liquor License Suspension Hearing


A Mayville tavern owner will face a jury trial like public hearing next week that will decide if his liquor license is revoked.  The owner of Mayville Spare Time Bowl, Thomas Bellino, could lose his license for up to 90-days if the common council finds that a complaint by the police department about what’s being called a continued violent environment at his establishment is found to have merit.  Bellino was recently sentenced to 120 days in jail for assaulting a man who stole a bottle of vodka from his establishment and police have been called to the tavern for a number of other violent conflicts.  The city and Bellino will present their cases to the city council which will then vote on the possible suspension.


Union Officials Looking for Guarantee from Mercury Marine


Negotiators for the employees union at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac want a guarantee that if they agree to contract changes the company will remain in the city. That’s one of the things Russell Krings of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers says they are asking of the company, which is considering consolidating its engine making operations in Fond du Lac or Stillwater, Oklahoma. Mercury officials say they will work with union representatives throughout the weekend to try and finish up negotiations before Monday’s deadline. After that union members will have to ratify the contract changes. The company hopes to make a decision about its future by Labor Day. (KFIZ)


BD Man Charged with Solicitation


A Beaver Dam man is facing a charge of solicitation of a prostitute after allegedly offering a woman money in return for sexual favors.  According to the criminal complaint, 49-year-old Steven Rueckert allegedly paid the woman at least four times for sexual encounters at her town of Calamus home.  The woman, whose mother says suffers from some mental disabilities, told authorities she may have also been offered drugs in advance of those encounters.  If convicted Rueckert could spend up to six years in jail.  Rueckert is being held on a probation hold in the Dodge County jail.


Part-Time Police Contract Being Worked On


Cambria and Columbia County are in negotiations to allow for part-time police coverage in the village.  Trustees voted to dissolve the village’s police department last week and were told earlier this week that a full-time contract with the county was not an immediate option.  Officials say they plan meet next week to determine how much the village will pay the county for the service.  A resolution will also need to be approved by the county board to allow the sheriff’s department to take on extra costs.  City Clerk Lois Frank says they hope to have a contract ready for approval during a special session on August 24th.


Ohlemiller Bound Over for Trial


A Beaver Dam man accused of molesting three young girls was bound over for trial during his preliminary hearing earlier this week in Dodge County Court. Howard Ohlemiller is charged with two felony counts of 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 13 and one count of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault of a Child for offenses that allegedly occurred over a two-year period ending last month. The 79-year-old is accused of assaulting a young teenager and two pre-teens on a weekly basis before he would pay them for house cleaning services. According to the criminal complaint, Ohlemiller admitted to the incidents to authorities, saying that the girls were at fault for initiating the activity. He faces a maximum 160 years in prison if convicted on all counts.


Lomira Man Pleads Not Guilty on Molestation Charges


A Lomira man accused of molesting a pre-school age child and possession of child pornography pled not guilty yesterday morning in Dodge County court.  31-year-old Ryan D. Davison was arrested in connection with an online sting operation conducted by the New Waterford Police Department in the state of Ohio. The police chief there posed as the mother of a 13-year-old girl on an incest website. Chief Daniel Haueter reportedly traded explicit photographs and videos with Davison as they arranged a meeting. Davison was arrested after he sent an image to the undercover agent by cell phone. According to the criminal complaint, Davison admitted that he took some of the pictures and received others in online trades. When asked if he thought it was wrong to possess the images, Davidson agreed adding, “I know the judge will probably throw the book at me.” He faces a maximum sentence of 85 years in prison if convicted.


Number of Homes Sold in Dodge County Up, Prices Down


The number of existing home sales was up in Dodge County in the 2nd quarter of this year over last.  But the median price of homes is still way down from 2008.  There were 159-homes sold between April and the end of June, which is up 8.9-percent from last year.  But sellers were getting about $16,000 less on average than last years price of $136,000.  Columbia County also saw an increase going up 13-percent to 156-homes sold.  But the price dipped a little more than $15,000 per home to an average of about $148,000.  It was the opposite case in Jefferson County.  They sold nearly 19-percent less homes in the 2nd quarter of this year but the homes sold on average for around $172,000, a nearly 6-percent increase over last year.  Statewide median home prices saw a nine-point-nine percent drop compared to the same time a year ago.  And sales of existing homes fell 10-and-a-half percent in the last quarter – a larger decline than the nearly three-percent decrease in sales nationally.  But Realtors’ Association chairman Michael Mulleady says the drop is smaller than in recent months, and it’s an encouraging sign.


WI Native and Inventor of Electric Guitar Passes Away


Les Paul has died. The Waukesha native invented the electric guitar, which led to the birth of rock-and-roll in the mid-20th century. A representative announced his death in New York yesterday. Paul was 94. He was also a top recording star in the 1940’s-and-‘50’s. He had over two dozen top-10 hits with his former wife Mary Ford, whom he later divorced. Those hits included “Hummingbird” and “How High the Moon.” Ford died 32 years ago. Paul is also credited with over a dozen new break-throughs in studio recordings. Among other things, he invented reverb and the multi-track recording process. Paul lived in New York in his final years, performing in Manhattan almost until the day he died. He returned to the Milwaukee area last year to perform a benefit concert for a new Les Paul museum exhibit that’s being created in his home town of Waukesha. He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



Fines for No-Call List Violations Would Hit $1K Under New Bill


A Wisconsin Senate committee has voted to make it a lot more expensive for businesses that call people on the state’s do-not-call list for telemarketers.  The Small Business panel voted 5-to-nothing yesterday to expand the minimum fine from 100-dollars a call to a-thousand – with a maximum penalty of 10-thousand dollars.  The bill now goes to the full Senate, and it would go to the Assembly after that.  State officials say they work with telemarketing firms to prevent violations of the popular no-call list.  And they often send warning letters and cease-and-desist orders before making prosecution a last resort.  The National Federation of Independent Businesses opposes the higher penalties, along with the Wisconsin Realtors Association.   About one-point-seven million residential land lines and 670-thousand cell phones are on the no-call list.  Those who want to get on the list this fall have until August 31st to register.  You can sign up on-line.  There’s a link at Wisconsin-Dot-Gov.


Air Quality Watch in Effect for Eastern Wisconsin


The state D-N-R has issued an Air Quality Watch for 10 counties on the east edge of Wisconsin.  The watch began this morning.  And it runs through Sunday as warm temperatures continue, and more humid conditions are expected.  The D-N-R says it will create higher levels of ground ozone – and for those with lung problems, it can make it tougher to breathe.  Officials encourage those people to delay strenuous outdoor activities until next week.  The watch includes Waukesha, Washington, Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties along with another six.  The National Weather Service says we’ll have highs in the 80’s at least through Monday, with an occasional 90 popping up.  A weak storm system is expected to bring a chance of rain to southwest Wisconsin over the next couple days, and to other parts of the state during the weekend.


Manitowoc Nuclear Power Plant Wants to Pick Up Production


The Point Beach nuclear power plant in Manitowoc County wants to make 17-percent more electricity.  Its owner, Next-Era Energy, has asked the federal government for its approval.  But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it must first consider a licensing change for the plant’s operator, the F-P-L Group of Florida.  And the N-R-C’s Viktoria Mytling (mit-ling) says it will be sometime after 2011 before a final decision is made.  Point Beach has two reactors that make just over a-thousand megawatts of electricity.  The expansion would boost its output by 170 megawatts, or enough power to serve 85-thousand homes.  We Energies, the state’s largest utility, buys all the power from Point Beach.  The utility has the first dibs on any additional energy, but it has not made a decision yet.


Corn Sale this Weekend


The annual Kiwanis Corn Sale will be taking place this weekend.  Starting tomorrow at 8 a.m. people will be able to buy a dozen corn cobs for just a dollar-fifty.  The event runs until noon or when they are out of corn.  It’s being held at the WMFB parking lot at 1322 North Spring Street in Beaver Dam.