News – December 27, 2011

Short Standoff Ends With Man in Custody

12/27/11 – Authorities in Fox Lake were able to take a 24-year-old man into custody early Monday morning after he had barricaded himself in his home. It happened at a residence in the 100 block of Makenick Street around 12:45. Sheriff Todd Nehls says the man called his father and said he had a gun and was suicidal after not being able to spend time with his kids during the holiday weekend. Police were able to make contact with the man but were unable to make him come out. After more than an hour they made entry into the home and took him into custody. This is the 2nd incident in the last few weeks in which a man has barricaded himself inside a home in Fox Lake leading to a standoff with authorities. Nehls says the difference between this incident, and the one three weeks ago in which authorities backed off without incident after a 5-hour standoff, was the risk to law enforcement personnel. Police in Fox Lake have not charged the man involved in the standoff a few weeks ago.

Two Injured in Early Morning Accident

12/27/11 – A pair of accidents early Monday morning sent two people to the hospital. The first happened on County Trunk D-J in the town of Oak Grove. Dodge County authorities say a 16-year-old boy drifted off to sleep and rolled his vehicle just before 1 a-m. He was taken to Beaver Dam Community Hospital with minor injuries and later cited for inattentive driving. An hour and half later deputies responded to another rollover, this one on Highway 28 outside of Mayville. 46-year-old Donald Wallendal was partially ejected from his vehicle and was also taken to BDCH. Authorities say Wallendahl was later cited for his first OWI.

Cost of Snow Removal

12/27/11 – It cost more than ever to remove snow from state highways in Wisconsin last winter — and not just because it snowed twice as much as normal. The state D-O-T paid more counties to equip its plows with sensors and satellite tracking. They provide a host of speed-and-salting data, to help county highway departments use their limited salt and plowing time more efficiently. About 45 counties now have the equipment — and that’s partially why the D-O-T spent a record 91-million dollars on snow removal costs last winter. But even without the equipment, the total plowing costs still would have been high. Wisconsin had an average snowfall of around 100-inches last winter, twice the average of 52-inches. The state pays counties to plow state roads, and it’s why the D-O-T is paying for the satellite-and-sensor equipment for their plows. The D-O-T’s Michael Sproul cannot say yet that the new technology means safer roads. He says the goal at this point is to give people acceptable levels of service at less cost. Most counties which have the equipment are in southern Wisconsin. Dan Fedderly of the County Highway Association says the system is harder to use in the north. That’s because cell phones are needed to transmit data, and he says cell signals in much of the north are not available or reliable. Fedderly also says it will take another winter to see if the new tracking technology can help counties throughout the state.

Bauer Pleads Not Guilty at Arraignment

12/27/11 – A Beaver Dam teen entered a “not guilty” plea during an arraignment hearing to charges that he sparked a high speed chase with authorities. Brady Bauer was arrested in October after officers attempted a traffic stop for excessive window tinting but the suspect reportedly fled into the county. An eight-mile chase ensued down County Highway E that at times reached speeds in excess of 90mph. Brady was tracked down at an apartment complex in Burnett. The 18-year-old is charged with one felony count of Fleeing and Eluding an Officer and misdemeanor charges of Obstructing an Officer, Possession of an Illegally Obtained Prescription and Theft of Movable Property. Also found in the vehicle, a stolen county road sign for County Trunk BB which Bauer reportedly admitted to taking because it matched his initials. he is convicted, Bauer faces a maximum sentence of five-and-a-half years in prison. Court activity is on the calendar next month.

Benning in Court

12/27/11 – An Oconomowoc woman, accused of stealing over $5000 from the gas station where she worked, entered a “not guilty” plea at arraignment. Jessica Benning is charged with felony Theft for allegedly taking cash, cigarettes and other items from the Ashippun BP over a nine-month period ending in September. Management was tipped-off to the theft from an anonymous tip. The 21-year-old reportedly admitted the thefts to investigators and said she learned a trick with the cash register to cover her tracks from a former employee. The charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence upon conviction. Benning has an arraignment hearing on the calendar next month.

Not Guilty Plea Entered by Lomira Woman

12/27/11 – A Lomira woman entered a “not guilty” plea at arraignment to charges that she stole money from the gas station where she had worked. 45-year-old Lisa Ann Anderson is accused of using her work keys to enter a locked office and steal $230 in cash. Authorities reviewed video surveillance footage and management noted that the subject was similar to Anderson in clothing and mannerisms. They then reviewed footage of Anderson during a recent work shift and say she was wearing the same clothes. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 12-and-a-half years. A plea and sentencing hearing is on the calendar in February.

Autopsy Expected for Glass Worker

An autopsy will be performed this morning on a glass worker in Portage who died in a Christmas morning accident. Officials said 55-year-old Tom Roche left the Cardinal Glass factory to recycle large pieces of glass — and part of the glass sheets apparently got loose and knocked him back. No one witnessed the incident. A co-worker called police about three a-m Sunday, after Roche had not returned to the main building. Police say there’s no evidence of foul play, but they’re still investigating.

Stores Busy the Day After Christmas

12/27/11 – With many people off work, stores were busy throughout Wisconsin on the day after Christmas. Manager Steve Smith at Milwaukee’s Mayfair Mall said more people were looking for bargains than returning unwanted gifts. Smith said a number of his stores had 40-to-50-percent-off sales, and the parking lots were full by early afternoon. Many shoppers used gift cards they received. Appliance stores in southeast Wisconsin drew more business than normal by offering larger discounts. American T-V of Madison said it was encouraged by the numbers of shoppers at its 12 Midwest stores. Colder’s Furniture of Milwaukee said its five stores saw a lot of pent-up demand, as shoppers focused on gifts before Christmas instead of the bigger things they needed at home.

Walker Named “Governor of the Year”

12/27/11 – The Governors Journal has named Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker as its Governor-of-the-Year. New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo is the first runner-up, and Connecticut Democrat Dannel Malloy had an honorable mention. The Governors Journal is a one-year-old online publication from Pagani Public Affairs of Washington. It said Walker was quote, “the embodiment of the state-by-state battle to balance budgets, and the best symbol of the struggle between the two political parties about how best to meet those fiscal challenges.” The publication said Walker was cited by both Democrats and Republicans as quote, “the best example of what is wrong, or what is right with a conservative approach to government.” It also said many Democratic governors are different from Walker quote, “only in a matter of degrees.” If Walker wins an expected recall election next year, the Governors Journal says he’ll be a “right wing political star.” And if he loses, Walker will be quote, “a political martyr, but still a star.”

Mega Millions at $206M

12/27/11 – Somebody could end 2011 in grand style tonight. That’s the because the Mega Millions’ jackpot is at 206-million-dollars, the third-highest of the year. One ticket sold in Wisconsin won the quarter-million-dollar second prize last Friday night, by matching all five regular numbers but not the Mega Ball. Lottery officials have not said where the ticket was sold. In Powerball, the jackpot is back at 20-million-dollars for tomorrow night. A ticket sold in Maryland won almost 129-million dollars on Christmas Eve.