“News – August 17, 2009”

Tree Collapses onto Utility Wires in BD


8/17/09 – A one-block stretch of Highway 33 in Beaver Dam was closed for about an hour last night after a large tree fell onto utility wires. Beaver Dam police responded to reports of the uprooted elm tree on the 600 block of North Center around 6pm.  The fire department followed soon thereafter when the tree limbs began smoking. There were no injuries and no damage to the neighboring homes. The residents were required to seek overnight arrangements elsewhere. Alliant Energy cleared limbs from the immediate area around the wires but a private contractor will have to remove the remaining portion.  Fire Captain Dan Kenevan says it’s unknown why the tree fell; the weather was clear but a little windy.


Doyle Not Expected to Run for Reelection


8/17/09 – For months Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has remained noncommittal about his political future.  At a news conference later today, the two-term Democrat is expected to announce he isn’t going to run for reelection.  A straw poll at the last Democratic State Party convention named Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton as that party’s choice.  Other candidates are expected to join the race when Doyle makes it official.  Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former Wisconsin Congressman Mark Neumann are two of the most prominent Republicans already preparing to campaign.  Doyle’s announcement will be made at a Madison news conference at 11 a.m.  That news conference will be held at Randall Elementary School.


Milwaukee Mayor Recovering After Saturday Night Attack


8/17/09 – Doctors say Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was alert and talking when he arrived at a hospital Saturday night.  Barrett is recovering from injuries he suffered when he was attacked by a man with a pipe.  Barrett was leaving the Wisconsin State Fair with his family when he heard a woman crying out for help.  When Barrett started calling 9-1-1, the attacker charged the mayor and started hitting him with the metal pipe.  The suspect then ran away.  The woman wasn’t injured.  Suspect Anthony J. Peters was arrested Sunday.  Police say the 20 year old has a lengthy criminal record.


Mercury Marine and Union on Doorstep of Self-Imposed Deadline


8/17/09 – It’s crunch time for Mercury Marine and its employees’ union. Company officials and representatives of the union met five times at the bargaining table last week in an effort to make the contract changes the company is requesting as it decides whether to consolidate operations in Fond du Lac or at its Stillwater, Oklahoma facility. Union officials wanted a guarantee the company would keep operations in Fond du Lac if they agree to contract changes. According to the company that is implied though the long-term proposal Mercury is offering the union. Both sides set a self-imposed deadline of today for negotiations. (KFIZ)


Busy Intersection in Horicon Back Open to Traffic


8/17/09 – Horicon’s busiest intersection will be back open to traffic today.  While work on East Lake Street may be completed, city officials remind motorists that the Highway 33 reconstruction detour route remains in effect until the entire project is completed in November. Detour signs are being removed from side streets, including Maple Street, which saw a large increase in local traffic when East Lake Street was closed. Maple was changed from a two-way street to a one-way street when construction began in April, but will now revert back to a two-way street.


Man Injured in Fire Friday Afternoon


8/17/09 – One person was injured and a dozen firefighters suffered heat exhaustion while battling a blaze near Randolph Friday afternoon. The fire at the Glenn Smit’s Dairy Farm on Highway A began just after 11am.  A med-flight helicopter transported the injured man who was burned while attempted to remove hay that had caught on fire inside a shed on the farm.  Firefighters from Randolph, Fox Lake, Cambria and Friesland were on scene for about six hours.


Dodge County Property Values Buck State and National Trend


8/17/09 – Property values in Dodge County have held steady in spite of a statewide and nationwide decline. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue reports that residential home values dipped by just over one percent last year, making it only the second time in 50 years Wisconsin property values have fallen.  Nationally, average home values dropped by more than 7%.  According to revenue department figures, equalized values in Dodge County bucked the trend and increased by point-six-nine (.69%) over last year. Positive increases were also seen in Columbia, Washington and Fond du Lac counties. The biggest declines were seen in Pierce and St. Croix counties, which each dropped over 5%.  A quarter percent drop was seen in Jefferson County.  The last time Wisconsin had an overall decline was 1986 — at a time when the agricultural economy was slumping.


Western WI Shooting Kills 3 Brothers


8/17/09 – A shooting in western Wisconsin leaves three brothers dead and two other people critically injured.  Menomonie police report gunfire broke out at a mobile home park Saturday night.  Siong, Toua and Seng Kong were all dead at the scene.  Police say their suspect was shot, too.  They think Geu Tou Vang of St. Paul, Minnesota, opened fire on the four victims, then shot himself.  His survived and is in an area hospital.


Seatbelt Law Has Not Increased Number of Tickets


8/17/09 – In the month of and half since not wearing your seat belt became a primary offense the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t seen a big increase in people actually wearing them.  Patrol Captain Molly Soblewski thinks that has something to do with the fine staying at 10-dollars.  She believes the fine being so low is giving the impression that authorities aren’t taking wearing a seatbelt seriously.  A primary seatbelt offense means authorities can pull you over for just not wearing your seatbelt, whereas before you could only receive a ticket if you had been stopped for another offense.


FDL Home Searched by Federal Investigators


8/17/09 – A Fond du Lac home is the focus of a federal investigation into the illegal transporting and possession of endangered and protected animals’ parts. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documents say a package mailed from Thailand at a FederalExpressCenter in Alaska was intercepted. Although the box listed tribal clothing an X-ray was taken and the box was inspected. It contained an elephant tail, snouts, skin, toe nails and a tusk. Horns listed in a document as rhinoceros horns turned out to be cow horns. . The package was delivered to a Fond du Lac house it was addressed to, but under controlled delivery. A search warrant was also executed at the home. (KFIZ)


Couple Drowns Trying to Save Child


8/17/09 – A man and a woman from Menomonee Falls drown, trying to save the woman’s son.  Tonia Lenz and Al Smith jumped into Kusel Lake, near Wild Rose, after the boy had fallen from a raft.  Rescue personnel from the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department responded Saturday afternoon.  They found Lenz and Smith and took them to Wild Rose hospital.  Neither could be resuscitated.  The boy was able to make it to shore before deputies arrived.  The small lake is shallow for the most part, but it does drop off sharply to nearly 30 feet in depth at one point.  The victims were reportedly visiting friends and relatives when the accident happened.