News – December 16, 2016

Winter Storm Warning Friday 2pm Through Saturday 9pm


12/16/16 – The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that will be in effect from 2pm today until 9pm tomorrow night.  Wisconsin in general is supposed to get four to 12-inches in the snowstorm through Saturday. The Dodge County area along with Madison, Milwaukee, and southern Wisconsin can expect seven to eleven inches. East central Wisconsin along Lake Michigan could be hit the hardest, with 10-12 inches. Central, east, and northeast areas may get 8-12 inches –– the far southwest and parts of the northwest could see as little as four — and lake effect snow gave parts of Bayfield County a head start Thursday, with three inches at Port Wing. Also, forecasters say we’ll be back in a deep freeze Sunday and Monday mornings.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Laverne Ware


12/16/16 – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Laverne Ware, the Fox Lake man charged in connection with the apparent murder of his girlfriend. Stanley Johnson, the father of Sesalie Dixon – along with the victim’s estate – is seeking unspecified compensatory damages for funeral and burial costs, punitive damages and court costs. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Dodge County court along with a preliminary injunction requesting that Ware’s assets be frozen. Court documents indicate that Ware has at least $400-thousand dollars in liquid assets that he had received as an inheritance. He posted a $200-thousand-dollar cash bail and has been free since Tuesday. The filing says that Ware is a flight risk because he has a long criminal record, a history of jumping bail and had a warrant issued for his arrest Wednesday after arriving late for a court hearing on a felony count of Hiding a Corpse. The documents that Ware resided with Dixon, his girlfriend/ cousin, and that he used a gun registered to her to commit the crime. It goes on to state that Homicide charges are anticipated once test results on that gun are finalized. The Dodge County District Attorney has indicated that additional charges against Ware are “likely.” Attorneys for Ware have 20 days to respond or risk the court granting a judgement without an opportunity to object. The plaintiffs have requested the case be tried by a 12-person jury. A motion hearing is on the calendar next Wednesday.


Fox Lake Woman Headed To Trial On Aiding In Cover-Up Charge


12/16/16 – A judge found probable cause yesterday for a Fox Lake woman to proceed to trial on charges connecting her with an apparent homicide.  Marjorie Jones is facing one felony count of Aiding a Felon for allegedly helping her son, Laverne Ware Jr., cover up the murder of Ware’s girlfriend Sesalie Dixon earlier this month.  Officers found Dixon’s body in the cab of a pickup truck that was parked in the garage of Jones’ boyfriend Vernon Mickey.  Ware is charged with Hiding a Corpse while Mickey also faces one count of Aiding a Felon.  The 64-year-old Jones will be arraigned in February.  A judge will decide next Wednesday if there is enough evidence to order a trial against Ware while Mickey has a preliminary hearing on January 19.


Wyocena Woman Arraigned For Columbus Subway Robbery


12/16/16 – A Wyocena woman connected to a hold-up at the Columbus Subway restaurant was in court yesterday. Columbia County Judge Alan White found probable cause for Nicole Nichols to proceed to trial on one felony count of Armed Robbery with the Threat of Force. Nichols then stood mute during a subsequent arraignment hearing and the court entered a “not guilty” plea on her behalf. The 36-year-old is also implicated in nine other robberies and one attempted robbery in Dane County along with her boyfriend, 32-year-old Jacob Scheel. All the robberies involved a white male with a black face mask and dark clothing using a hatchet or handgun as a weapon. In Columbus though, the suspect displayed a knife and demanded that the drawer be opened before fleeing the business with an undisclosed amount of cash. Detectives say Nichols was casing the businesses prior to Scheel entering. Police reportedly saw their car near the Subway at the time of the December 4th robbery. Personnel from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and the Sun Prairie, McFarland and DeForest police departments assisted Columbus Police with the execution of a search warrant at the couples Wyocena home the day after the Subway stick-up. Scheel is being held in the Columbia County Jail on a probation hold and has an Initial Appearance scheduled later this month. Nichols is being held there on a $50-thousand-dollar cash bond. Both are facing multiple Armed Robbery counts in Dane County.


Woman Accused Of Assaulting Man Over Political Conversation


12/16/16 – A Fall River woman is accused of attacking a man in an Elba bar.  Nicole Leto is charged with felony Battery for an alleged November incident where she dumped a beer on a fellow patron and then hit him over the head with the bottle.  The victim needed five stitches for the laceration.  Leto says the man was making derogatory comments about her during a political conversation.  If she is convicted, the 29-year-old faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison.  Leto’s initial appearance is set for December 27.


Corrections Worker Waives Hearing On Sexually Assaulting Inmate


12/16/16 – A former Fox Lake corrections worker will head to trial on charges that she had inappropriate contact with an inmate. Jennifer Stehling has waived her right to a preliminary hearing on two felony counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault by Corrections Staff and one count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate. The 44-year-old allegedly committed the offenses in January when was a nurse at Fox Lake Correctional. The relationship was uncovered in June when prison officials noticed that a 30-year-old inmate attempted to make around 650 calls to a staffer and started monitoring the conversations. The two allegedly discussed whether or not the inmate had contracted any sexually transmitted diseases. Stehling reportedly admitted to chatting with the inmate before later conceding that the two had consensual contact. A calendar of Stehling’s work schedule and a picture of her residence were later discovered in the inmate’s cell. If convicted, Stehling faces a combined maximum of over 83 years in prison. She will be arraigned next month.


Man Waives Hearing On Charges Of Injuring Multiple People


12/16/16 – A Fox Lake man will proceed to trial on charges he attacked multiple people with a baseball bat.  Michael Rogge has waived his preliminary hearing on two felony Battery counts along with one misdemeanor.  The 33-year-old reportedly told officers he left work during a break to run home and get his cigarettes last month.  When he arrived at his house, Rogge said there was a vehicle in the driveway that belongs to a man he expected was having an affair with his wife.  Rogge allegedly said that he grabbed the bat when he got in the house and proceeded to the bedroom, where he found the man.  Rogge reportedly hit the man in the head with the bat and said he also unintentionally struck his wife, who was trying to break up the fight.  The man received 12 staples to his head while Rogge’s wife received two near her scalp.  Rogge says he never meant to hurt the man but rather wanted to scare him.  If he is convicted on all counts, Rogge faces up to seven years in prison.  He is due back in court next month.


Man Waives Hearing On Charges Of Stealing Neighbors’ Vehicle


12/16/16 – An Iron Ridge man accused of breaking into his neighbors’ house and taking their car has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.  Thomas Kurt will proceed to trial on felony counts of Burglary and Operating a Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent.  On an April morning, the 34-year-old took the car keys from his neighbors’ home.  The owners called police about the missing vehicle, which was located that afternoon in Milwaukee by the sheriff’s office after Kurt blew a tire on the interstate.  Stemming from that incident, Kurt was convicted in Milwaukee County on charges of Operating with a Restricted Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm as a Convicted Felon, as he had a weapon on him at the time.  If he is convicted on both Dodge County charges, Kurt faces over 18 years in prison.  He will be arraigned January 18.


Former Corrections Officer Waives Hearing On Abuse Charge


12/16/16 – A former officer at Fox Lake Correctional Institution accused of harassing an inmate has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.  Thomas Lukas will proceed to trial on one felony count of Abusing Residents of Penal Facilities.  The 45-year-old allegedly made sexual contact and racial comments to the same inmate on a number of occasions between 2011 and 2013.  Incidents included throwing a toilet brush at the inmate and grabbing the man’s privates. If he is convicted, Lukas faces over three years in prison. He will be arraigned in January.


Warrant Issued For Horicon Woman Accused Of Theft


12/16/16 – A warrant was issued yesterday for a Horicon woman accused of trying to steal another woman’s wallet at the Beaver Dam Walmart in late June.  Amber Christian reportedly told police she needed money to pay her ex-boyfriend to stop stalking her.  If she is found guilty on felony Theft and misdemeanor Bail Jumping counts, the 23-year-old faces over ten years in prison.  This is the second time during the trial proceedings that a warrant has been issued, the first coming when she failed to appear for an August arraignment hearing.


12/16/16 – Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is the same in November as it was the previous month. State labor officials say the seasonally adjusted jobless rate was four-point-one-percent last month.  That continues to be the lowest state unemployment rate since February of 2001, and it’s one half percent less than the national rate of four-point-six percent. The workforce development agency says a preliminary total of 19-hundred private sector non-farm jobs were lost last month.


Dodge County ATV Trail Open, Snowmobile Trail Closed


12/16/16 – A seasonal Dodge County trail is now open.  The ATV trail along the Wild Goose State Trail recently opened up to riders.  Snowmobile trails are still closed but could soon open as local enthusiasts have been attempting to create a solid base with hopes that freezing temperatures will firm up marshy areas.  When the trails do open, snowmobilers are reminded they must display a valid trail pass.  Information about passes is online at  Before hitting the trails, riders should always call the 24-hour status line at 920-386-3705.  Trail maps and other information is online at