News – December 1, 2016

Dodge County Undergoing Hand Recount


12/1/16 – In spite of the monumental task in front of her, Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson has decided to undertake a hand recount of the 43,759 ballots cast in the presidential election. Gibson, a Republican, says she opted for the hand tally because the reliability of electronic voting machines is at issue so running them through the voting machines again made no sense to her. She says the recount is about the integrity of our elections system so (quote) “let’s prove these machine work so we never have to do this again.”  Gibson says she has 15 to 20 people currently signed-up to help with what she is calling “overwhelming” and a “very, very time consuming process.” Gibson will be working six days a week from 8:30am until 7pm and 8:30am until 3pm on Saturdays. She says the process would be going much more smoothly if she had known it was coming as she has spent most of the past three days lining up people to help. Gibson has help secured enough help for Thursday and Friday and will then gauge the extent of help needed before next week. Shifts are being scheduled from 8:30am until 1:30pm and 2pm to 7pm, or all day. Those interested in helping can email the county clerk with the dates and times they are available and her office will respond as soon as possible. The original estimate for the recount in Dodge County was $30-thousand but Gibson says that number may increase. As far as meeting the December 12th deadline, she is not optimistic.  The email address of Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson is: [email protected]


At last word, 56 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties plan to recount all or part of their presidential ballots by hand, although a judge says they do not have to. The Wisconsin State Journal says Milwaukee and at least 12 other counties will use scanning machines for their tallies. The statewide recount begins Thursday after the Green Party’s Jill Stein wanted to find out if computer hackers kicked out ballots in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — and Stein’s campaign is covering the entire three-point-nine-million-dollar cost of the recount. Meanwhile, the state Republican Party will file a federal complaint against those behind the recount. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a draft complaint to the Federal Elections Commission accuses Stein of improperly raising almost four-million dollars to pay for the recount, because the only person who could benefit is Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost to Republican Donald Trump in Wisconsin by 22-thousand votes.


Cambria-Friesland Officials Working To Improve Failing Score


12/1/16 – Officials in the Cambria-Friesland School District have started on the road to redemption.  The district received a failing score on the state’s 2015-16 school report card with a state-worst 46.5 out of 100, a 23.5 point drop from the last report in 2013-14.  The test used last year to measure student performance showed that 71% of the district was either ‘basic’ or ‘below basic’ in English language arts while 75% of students fell into one of those two categories for math.  Last night, district officials held a meeting for community members to learn more about the scores and express their concerns.  Superintendent Tim Raymond says the district is to blame for not properly preparing students for the state-issued ‘Forward exam’ and for lacking consistency in its K-8 curriculum; something he says is being addressed.  However, Raymond also feels the score is the result of the new scoring system that was applied to statewide testing last year.  He claims the addition of weighted variables; particularly the district’s number of disadvantaged students (those who receive free or reduced school lunch) magnified one of the district’s biggest weaknesses.  When asked when the district’s planned changes would be in place, Raymond said there was no set date, but he did say test scores would improve for the current school year.  Raymond asks residents to give the district time to make necessary changes but says he understands if parents decide to send their children elsewhere.  The superintendent says he realizes the gravity of the current situation, stating another failing score would likely mean he would be out of a job.  Raymond says administration’s top priority is vastly improving its test scores to justify likely going to referendum within the next couple years.  If Cambria-Friesland receives failing marks again in 2016-17, the district would be subjected to state-issued sanctions that include a large increase in state oversight.


Two Men Accused Of Trying To Scam Mayville Bank


12/1/16 – Cash bond was set at $5,000 apiece yesterday for two Milwaukee man accused of trying to scam a Mayville bank.  27-year-old Timothy Clayton and 22-year-old Timothy McGee Jr. have both been charged with one felony Forgery count.  On Tuesday, police responded to a complaint of two men trying to pass counterfeit checks of $2,500 each at the National Exchange Bank.  Officers located the suspects’ vehicle as they were leaving the bank and conducted a traffic stop.  Both men were taken into custody.  The Mayville Police Department’s K-9 Unit was used during the traffic stop and reportedly found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  The driver, a 21-year-old Indiana man, was arrested on charges of operating under the influence of a controlled substance along with other drug charges.  If convicted, both Clayton and McGee Jr. face up to six years in prison.  Both have preliminary hearings set for December 8.


Beaver Dam Man Pleads Guilty To Altercation With Officer


12/1/16 – A Beaver Dam man was found guilty yesterday of threatening a police officer.  Steven Bilke pled to a felony count of Battery/Threatening Law Enforcement and a misdemeanor count of Disorderly Conduct while three other charges were dismissed and read into the record.  In May, Beaver Dam Police was dispatched to the 46-year-old’s house for a disturbance in progress.  Upon arrival, officers tried to arrest Bilke for an outstanding warrant.  Bilke refused to cooperate and made contact with the arresting officer multiple times.  After pepper spray was used, Bilke threatened the officers a number of times.  He will be sentenced in February.


Bond Set For Waupun Man Accused Of Leading Chase


12/1/16 – Cash bond was set at $100,000 for a Waupun man accused of leading officers on a high speed chase Sunday night. Dustin Duket is facing a variety of charges including first degree recklessly endangering safety and eluding an officer.  The chase ended when a deputy used his squad car to force the 23-year-old off the road.  Duket reportedly fled on foot but was captured.  His preliminary hearing is December 9.  


Waupun Teen Pleads Not Guilty To Stabbing Man


12/1/16 – A Waupun teen pled not guilty at his Dodge County arraignment yesterday on charges that he stabbed another person.  18-year-old Nicholas Core is facing one count of felony Injury by Negligent Use of a Weapon along with three misdemeanors.  In the alleged September incident, a group of teens in Markesan took issue with something posted to social media about a friend and drove to Waupun to confront the perpetrator.  Core says he was defending his friend when a fight broke out and claims the victim must have accidently fallen on a knife during the melee.  An 18-year-old Randolph man sustained a two-inch cut to his arm.  If he is convicted, Core faces over three years in prison.  He is due back in court next month.


Grothman Questions Officials On Confidentiality


12/1/16 – Congressman Glenn Grothman had the opportunity Wednesday to question DEA officials about the management of confidential sources. A recent audit of the program showed that from 2010 to 2015 more than 9,000 confidential sources received $237-million dollars in payment from the DEA. During a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Grothman questioned Inspector General Michael Horowitz and DEA Chief of Inspections Rob Patterson. Both men said improvements have been made about managing informants, but there were still some issues.


DNR Begins Unveiling Reorganization Plan


12/1/16 – The state Department of Natural Resources is ready to begin its long awaited reorganization which will have direct effects on how water, air, and wildlife are protected. The agency unveiled its plans yesterday, vowing to keep personnel changes to a minimum, while making “significant changes” for five percent of the agency’s 2,500 full time employees. Some changes would need legislative approval while others would not. Seven D-N-R divisions would be cut to five with new units for forestry, environmental management, internal services, external services, and fish/wildlife/parks. The D-N-R reportedly wants more private contractors writing environmental permits, more control of scientific research, reevaluating its management of wildlife habitat, and reducing the numbers of “armed rangers” in state parks in the next 18 months. Secretary Cathy Stepp calls it a plan that should help protect the D-N-R from future budget cuts, and make the shrunken agency workforce more efficient and happier.


WBEV-WXRO Holiday Food Drive Is Friday


12/1/16 – The annual WBEV-WXRO Holiday Food Drive will be held from 7am to 9am tomorrow (Fri) morning at our studio’s in Beaver Dam. John Moser and John Moser, with help from sponsors Countryside Auto Group and Mischler’s Harley Davidson, will brave the cold weather to collect non-perishable food items and cash donations outside our studios at 100 Stoddart Street. Donors do not have to get out of the car, just roll down your window and they’ll take the items right there on the street.  Last year’s Food Drive resulted in $800 in cash donations and large quantity of non-perishable food items for the Dodge County Food Bank.