News – December 10, 2021

(Juneau) Dodge County Public Health Officer Abby Sauer has resigned. She will be transitioning to an employment opportunity in a non-public health setting. In a letter to officials, Dodge County Administrator Jim Mielke said Sauer has been a great asset to the county with enduring “professionalism and strength in the face of uncalled for personal attacks.” The county Human Services director will immediately begin recruiting Sauer’s successor and is reviewing options for a potential interim appointment.

(Chicago) Kraft Heinz recently completed the sale of several of its assets to a company based in France. The $3.3-billion dollar sale to Lactalis Canada does not include Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which is processed in Beaver Dam. Kraft is divesting global intellectual property rights to brands like Cheez Whiz in several countries around the world but will retain the rights in the United States and Canada. The restructuring is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

(Beaver Dam) A Dodge County judge yesterday Thursday found probable cause for a Beaver Dam man to proceed to trial on 16 felony charges, mostly related to violent threats toward law enforcement. John Cowen allegedly made 80 calls to police in June saying in one that a (quote) “pig is going to be shot.” During his arrest, the 41-year-old was belligerent, made crude comments and inappropriately touched a deputy and a nurse. Cowen was arrested again in October on drug possession and bail jumping charges, after posting a $17-thousand dollar cash bond.

(Watertown) An Illinois man who led Watertown police on a high speed chase will spend three years in prison and another three years on extended supervision. Gecobea Leach was pulled over in March of last year for speeding. The officer suspected drug trafficking and a K-9 unit indicated and cocaine was found in the vehicle. The 39-year-old sped off sparking a pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 110-miles-per-hour and was called off after just over one mile.

(Beaver Dam) A Madison woman was placed on probation for one year Thursday for running from Beaver Dam police. Mariela Munoz was initially charged with felony Fleeing but entered a plea to misdemeanor Resisting. The 22-year-old was driving in excess of 60-miles-per-hour on some side streets during the pursuit. Munoz said she ran because she was scared because of recent high-profile events involving law enforcement.

(Beaver Dam) This Saturday’s Beaver Dam Area Orchestra’s Annual Christmas concert will be the last for its longtime music director. Richard Zeman has conducted the holiday performance for three decades and is stepping down from the position after moving out of the community to be closer to family. Erin Ebersole, a former student of Zeman’s, will be the new Beaver Dam Area Orchestra director. This Saturday’s Christmas concert will feature two performances at the Beaver Dam High School auditorium. The first one is at 5pm and is considered ‘family-friendly’ as it is an abbreviated version of the main show which begins at 7pm.