News – December 27, 2016

Headline Stories Not New For Man Accused Of Hiding Corpse


12/27/16 – This is not the first time that the Fox Lake man accused of hiding a corpse in conjunction with the murder of his girlfriend has been involved in a story that made headlines.  36-year-old Laverne Ware Jr. of Fox Lake was in a car that was shot at multiple times on the evening of September 13, 2015.  Ware and his girlfriend/cousin, the late Sesalie Dixon, went to the Fox Lake Kwik Trip to buy groceries that night.  Upon entering, an argument ensued between Dixon and another woman.  The woman claimed Ware touched her inappropriately while Dixon told officers Ware merely held the door open.  The argument headed outside, where the woman’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Anthony McCaskill of Madison, got involved.  After a gas station employee stepped in, Ware and Dixon went inside to make their purchase.  In the meantime, McCaskill drove out of the parking lot and waited down a side street.  When Ware and Dixon’s vehicle passed, McCaskill began following them, firing multiple shots.  The gunshots left a large crack on the windshield and a bullet hole through the driver side rear door.  McCaskill told officers Ware took a swing at him in the parking lot and believed he was justified in using the weapon.  McCaskill said there was no intention to harm Ware or Dixon, just to protect his young nephews who were in the back seat of his vehicle.  A Dodge County jury disagreed as McCaskill was convicted in January on four counts including Discharging a Firearm Toward a Person and Reckless Endangerment of Safety.  While being interviewed as the shooting victim, Ware reportedly told officers the incident brought back memories of his troubled past.  Now, Ware is facing a felony charge in connection with Dixon’s death, which occurred on December 4.  Officers say they found Dixon’s corpse in the back of Ware’s pickup truck, which his parked in Ware’s mother’s boyfriend’s garage.  Both his mother, 64-year-old Marjorie Jones of Fox Lake, and her boyfriend, 57-year-old Vernon Mickey of Fox Lake, are charged with aiding a felon.  District Attorney Kurt Klomberg has indicated additional charges could be handed down in the case but have not been at last word.  Ware will be arraigned February 15 while Mickey has a preliminary hearing on January 19 and Jones has an arraignment set for February 8.


Local, State Home Sales On The Rise


12/27/16 – November home sales were up locally and statewide compared to 2015.  Dodge County saw 75 houses sold last month, six more than the previous November.  The median sales price rose over $5,000 to $131,500.  Columbia County’s 56 home sales in November were ten more than the same month in 2015.  The median selling price dropped over $5,000 to $149,500.  In Fond du Lac County, the 95 houses sold last month were 28 more than the same time a year ago.  The median sales price jumped $8,000 to $116,000.  A total of 29 houses exchanged hands in Green Lake County last month, 11 more than the previous November.  The median sales price dropped significantly from $196,000 to $138,000.  Washington County had 150 homes sold in November, 17 more than during the same month last year.  The median sales price rose over $4,000 to north of $199,000.  The lone county in our listening area where there were fewer houses sold last month than in the previous November was Jefferson County, where the total dropped from 85 to 77.  A large increase was seen in the median sales price though, as it jumped from $155,000 to $190,000.  Statewide, a total of 5,789 homes got a new owner last month, over 900 more than last November.  The median sales price was up over $12,000 to north of $162,000.


New Year Could Bring Dodge County Sober Living Home


12/27/16 – A new anti-heroin group is looking to combat Dodge County’s opiate drug problem.  Bridges of Dodge County is looking to open the county’s first sober living home.  Group President Cindy Hart says the goal of opening the house is to help local addicts dealing with both drug and alcohol problems.  As of their recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, the group had over $40,000 in funding- largely due to a private donation- but had not secured a house.  The goal is to purchase a property in Beaver Dam in early 2017.  The house would only serve males, but Hart says the group hopes to also buy a property to house females at a later date.  Former addict Mark Elizalde has been tabbed as the manager of the men’s home.  Elizalde says he’s worked in similar shelters and believes he will be able to get through to the men since he’s been in their same position.  According to Elizalde, addicts are much more likely to listen to someone who has walked in their shoes than someone who went to school for counseling but never experienced what they preach.  Hart says there is an application process for living in the house.  Each person selected must pay a $500 entrance fee, $125 per week, have been clean for at least one month, abide by house rules, and have a job within one month of entering the home.  Hart says the group could use donations of either cash or household items like furniture and appliances.  People can get in touch with Bridges of Dodge County by visiting their Facebook page.


State Court Expected To Rule On Schimel Training Videos


12/27/16 – The state Supreme Court is expected to rule Wednesday on whether the state Justice Department has to turn over training videos featuring Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel to the Wisconsin Democratic Party. The party filed a lawsuit in 2014 seeking videos of presentations Schimel gave at D-O-J seminars in 2009 and 2013 on how to prosecute sexual predators. Schimel was the Waukesha County district attorney at the time he gave the presentations. The Democrats alleged Schimel may have made inappropriate remarks during the seminars. The lawsuit came during the height of Schimel’s attorney general campaign. D-O-J attorneys say releasing the videos could reveal investigative techniques and re-traumatize the victims in the cases Schimel used as examples.


Republicans Considering Transportation Funding Options


12/27/16 – Assembly Republicans say all options should be on the table while they work on closing a billion-dollar deficit in Wisconsin’s transportation fund.  Governor Scott Walker has said it’s okay to consider raising gas taxes or vehicle registration fees to pay for the state’s roads, but they will have to figure out a way to off-set the money Wisconsin residents will be paying.  Republican Speaker Robin Vos says he’s not advocating a tax increase, but all options should be considered so Wisconsin roads don’t fall apart and the state’s debt doesn’t go higher.


Wisconsin Residents Concerned About Fighter Jet Noise


12/27/16 – Dane County residents say basing F-35 fighter jets in Madison would be too noisy. Reports say people around Truax Field are already shaken and frustrated by the noise from F-16s. The U-S. Air Force is looking for two bases to houses F-35 jets. Truax is one of five finalists. Air Force officials say the F-35s usually produce noise equivalent to F-16s but could be quieter on takeoff because they don’t use afterburners as frequently. Noise studies taking into account conditions at Truax will be completed next year.


UW Students Plan To Protest Proposed Gun Legislation


12/27/16 – Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison plan to carry sex toys on campus next semester as a form of protest against proposed gun legislation.  Republican State Representative Jesse Kremer will introduce a bill allowing concealed weapons to be carried in public college classrooms.  UW-Madison sophomore Kat Kerwin is organizing the protest.  Kerwin says her group of protesters includes students and professors who are scared of guns.  No firm date for the protest has been announced.


Three People Injured In Monday Vehicle Pileup


12/27/16 – The Wisconsin State Patrol reports three people suffered minor injuries in a six-car pileup near Janesville Monday.  Traffic was blocked for about an hour-and-a-half.  Five wreckers were called to the scene to clear the lanes of traffic and move damaged vehicles.  The accident happened at about noon and traffic was flowing through the area on Interstate 90/39 by 1:30 p-m.  None of the injuries were life-threatening.  None of the drivers names were immediately released.


Milwaukee County Zoo Offering Free Admission


12/27/16 – The Milwaukee County Zoo is dropping admission fees for the next several days.  It’s free to go to the zoo for everyone this week through December 30th. Parking will still cost 12-dollars.  The zoo is open from 9:30 A-M to 2:30 P-M.


Musical New Year’s Celebration Planned


12/27/16 – An option for folks looking for holiday plans this weekend. The Loco Vocals are hosting an event called ‘Rockin’ New Year’s Eve’ on Saturday.  The musical group will perform party songs from the 1950’s through 1980’s, and a jazz combo will play swing and dance music.  The event runs from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am on Sunday, January 1 at the Old Hickory Golf Club in Beaver Dam.  Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 if purchased ahead of time at Rechek’s Food Pride in Beaver Dam.