News – December 22, 2011

OWI Victim Urges Responsible Holiday Celebrations

12/22/11 – Dan Thiel says he has been dealing with the holiday grief over the loss of a loved one since a drunk driver killed his wife ten years ago but this year will be especially difficult. His daughter was left bedridden and succumbed to her injuries in May. In October he learned that state law at the time of the wreck prohibits additional prosecution against the three-time drunk driver who will be released from prison this coming May, avoiding any penalty in Danni Jo’s death. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls called into the show to commend for spending the past few months speaking to OWI offenders in prison and at Victim Impact Panels. Nehls says while he can’t put specific numbers to the lives saved from Thiel’s outreach, the sheriff says he “knows that [his] efforts as an individual using [his] experience to tell a story has saved lives in Dodge County.” Thiel asked our listeners to avoid driving if you’ve been drinking and to stop serving those who have had too much to drink, but his message went beyond that. Thiel says it’s up everyone in the community to stop drunk drivers from ever getting behind the wheel. He says you might watch someone stumble out of a bar only to drive a few blocks and kill someone, maybe your own daughter. Turing that blind eye, Thiel says, would be something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. While it may have been a rough year, Thiel is keeping busy. In addition to speaking with offenders, he is using his decade-long experience as a caregiver for Danni Jo to work for Angels on Earth as an in-home caregiver.

Man Sexually Assault Boy as a Form of Punishment

Authorities in Columbia County have charged a Columbus man with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy as a form of punishment. 27-year-old Brian Frazier is charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 12 and physical abuse of a child intentionally causing bodily harm. Officials with the Columbus Police Department say their investigation revealed Frazier allegedly sexually assaulted the boy sometime between May 2010 and November of this year while he was watching him. Police say the boy told them that Frazier also slapped him one time last month for taking a piece of pizza without permission. When he was questioned by police Frazier admitted to the assault and to slapping the child. He also later admitted he hated children. Frazier is due back in court next week.

DC Health Officials Encourage Vaccination Against Pertussis

12/22/11 – The Dodge County Health Department is warning the public about an increase in the reported cases of the contagious bacterial disease Pertussis (per-tuss-iss), better known as whooping cough. Health Officer Jody Langfeldt there has been seven reported cases this year, twice as many as in a normal year. Langfeldt says they are on alert because of the spike in whooping cough cases in Milwaukee County. She says the symptoms are similar to the common cold. Langfeldt urges the public to get vaccinated, especially those who work with children as Pertussis can be more serious in the very young. Additional information is on the health department’s website.

Police Warn of Phone Scam

12/22/11 – Authorities in Fox Lake are warning residents about a phone call scam. Police say the scam targets older people in which the caller says their grandchild is in trouble and needs $2,400. Two people reported the calls and officials believe there are others that didn’t report them. So far, nobody has fallen prey to the scam. If you receive a call like this police say you shouldn’t call them back and instead report the call to local law enforcement.

Wisconsin Again Leads Nation in Job Losses

12/22/11 – For the second month in a row, Wisconsin leads the nation in the numbers of jobs it lost in November. The U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics said the Badger State lost a seasonally-

adjusted 14-thousand-600 jobs last month, on top of the 97-hundred lost jobs the government reported in October. The initial monthly job loss figures are preliminary, and state Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson said the final numbers for October showed much fewer job losses. But Newson has not said that Washington’s numbers treat Wisconsin more harshly than other states — so if the proportions are the same, the state’s ranking compared to others would not change. Newson insists that things are getting better in Wisconsin, with a dropping jobless rate and fewer claims for unemployment benefits. He also points to a recent Manpower Incorporated survey which shows that Wisconsin employers will add jobs in the first three months of next year. Newson also says the pro-business bills passed by the G-O-P Legislature should lead to job growth in 2012. Democrats say the employment figures prove that Wisconsin’s policies are not working. They say the state has lost jobs in every month since the new state budget took effect in July.

Feds Delist Wolves

12/22/11 – The federal government removed Wisconsin’s grey wolves from the national endangered species list Wednesday. It’s been done several times before, only to be reversed in lawsuits from environmentalists. But this time, the Obama administration tried to ward off legal action by showing that Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan more than met its goals for re-instating wolf populations. And therefore, the Interior Department said federal protections are no longer needed there. Today’s move gives Wisconsin the right to revive its own management plan for grey wolves. That includes a plan for killing animals if they damage farm crops or livestock. But officials have made it clear that hunting or trapping seasons for wolves are at least several years away. Governor Scott Walker ordered the D-N-R to get the plan going again by February first. And Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder said he other lawmakers from the north would introduce a bill give the D-N-R the tools for keeping the state’s growing wolf population under control. The state’s management plan has been in effect every time that Washington had de-listed the wolves. Meanwhile, D-N-R Secretary Cathy Stepp said she was pleased that Wisconsin’s wolves will be considered a single species, for now at least. Federal officials earlier considered separate protections for a different species of wolves in 29 Eastern states, but that move remains on hold. Stepp said it would have been a nightmare for Wisconsin to deal with, since many wolves are a mix of both species. Wisconsin has almost 800 total grey wolves, more than twice the original goal of 350 when the state re-introduced the animals several decades ago.

Beaver Dam To Collect Xmas Trees

12/22/11 – Beaver Dam residents who receive contracted solid waste collection services will be able to place Christmas trees and boughs street-side for collection by city crews after the New Year. Director of Facilities David Stoiser says the special collection does not include other brush and shrubbery cuttings. Trees and boughs must be free of ornaments, lights and stands so they can be chipped. Crews will pick-up the trees starting on Tuesday, January 3 and continue through Friday, January 27. Wreaths and boughs containing roping or wire may also be placed in the Veolia non-recyclable cart for collection as garbage. City residents can also dispose of Christmas trees and boughs at the Public Works Garage Yard Waste Drop-off Site on South Center Street, Monday through Friday. No waste of any kind is accepted from outside of the City or from any contractors.

Wisconsin Population Growth Lagging

12/22/11 – Wisconsin’s population grew by less than half the national average since last year’s Census was taken – and the national growth rate was the lowest since the 1940’s. The Census Bureau said today that the Badger State added almost 25-thousand residents from April of last year to July of this year. That’s a growth rate of four-tenths-of-one-percent – not even half the national rate of 92-hundredths of a percent. Wisconsin’s new population is five-million-711-thousand-767. The U-S now has almost 312-million people. Texas gained the most residents since last April, with 529-thousand. Washington D-C had the fastest growth rate at two-point-

seven percent. And California remains the nation’s most populous state, with almost 38 million people.

Baggage Scales Weighed At Wisconsin Airports

12/22/11 – If you’re flying from a Wisconsin airport this holiday, you probably will not be hit with a surprise overweight baggage fee. State-and-local inspectors checked 60 baggage scales at eight Wisconsin airports this year. Over 98-percent of them were accurate — and the ones that weren’t have been fixed. Sandy Chalmers of the state’s consumer protection division says an overweight bag can cost fliers anywhere from 39-to-400-dollars — so they wanted people to know that the scales are accurate. Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport was among the places where the scales were checked, along with airports at Madison, Green Bay, La Crosse, Appleton, Mosinee, Eau Claire, and Rhinelander.