News – December 23, 2021

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam woman made her initial appearance in court Wednesday on Hit and Run charges. Maria Hernandez allegedly struck a pedestrian with her vehicle Tuesday morning at the intersection of Wayland and East Burnett streets. When questioned, Hernandez reportedly said she did not see the victim because it was dark. The 51-year-old allegedly said she did not stop because she was scared.  The victim suffered a brain and spine injury. If convicted, Hernandez faces up to 18-and-a-half years in prison. Cash bond was set at $500 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 27th.

(Watertown) A Watertown man was found guilty Wednesday for his role in burglarizing an apartment. Twenty-four-year-old Julio Castro entered the Watertown residence in September of 2019 to take money and drugs he believed were there. Twenty-nine-year-old Alexander Mendoza, who allegedly entered the home with Castro, has denied his involvement. Castro is facing 12-and-a-half years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 14th.

(Beaver Dam) Massage therapists in Beaver Dam are now required to be licensed under an ordinance change adopted by the common council this week. The action amends the “Offending Morals and Decency” section of Beaver Dam Municipal Code to include “unlawful massage therapy practices.”  Police Chief John Kreuziger says his department has received several complaints in recent years about a specific massage parlor. The action allows the police to enforce complaints through the municipal court system, which Kreuziger says is the approach most jurisdictions take.

(Juneau) A local non-profit has partnered with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office to offer mental health care to all employees at no cost. Earlier this month, Beaver Dam-based Church Health Services began offering free mental health counseling led by Cassandra Heideman. Heideman is only the second person in Wisconsin to complete training as a Certified First Responder Associate. She is trained with a Master of Arts Degree in Clinic Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor-In Training as well as a Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor. This program supplements other resources the sheriff’s office implemented in recent years to help with mental health.

(Waupun) There’s a worker shortage at Wisconsin’s state prisons, where about 11-hundred jobs are unfilled. That’s one in every four jobs at the Department of Corrections. Wisconsin Public Radio reports maximum-security prisons in Portage and Waupun are operating with only half their staff. Officials were forced to close a cell hall at Waupun last year. Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr says potential employees are put off by low pay and fears of getting COVID. In response, the Legislature has raised guards’ pay to more than $19-dollars an hour.  – WRN

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Elks Lodge will be holding their Annual Christmas Basket Program Friday. Now in its 70th year, the effort provides all the fixings for a holiday meal and more to those in need around the holidays. Elk’s members are setting up shop at Summit Ford Beaver Dam, off North Spring Street, packaging the food products. Volunteers wanting to help fill baskets are asked to arrive around 8am. Those interested in volunteering to deliver a basket should start lining up in their vehicle around 9am Friday.