News – December 29, 2011

New K9 Team Uncovers 40 Pounds of Pot

12/29/11 – The Dodge County Sheriffs Department says it has taken their new K9 unit two months to hit the “mother load.” Sheriff Todd Nehls says a deputy on routine patrol stopped an eastbound RV with a broken traffic light on Highway 33 in the Town of Herman Monday evening just after 8:30pm. Nehls says the deputy became suspicious when 30-year-old Elizabeth Lapple of California was questioned and her answers did not make sense. Deputy Chad Enright was called to the scene along with his K9 partner Paige. The two have been on the beat since October and are one of two new K9 teams in Dodge County. A search was conducted and authorities allegedly found 40 pounds of high grade marijuana inside the RV under a bed. Lapple was placed under arrest for Possession with Intent to Deliver and is currently being held in the Dodge County Detention Facility under $100,000 cash bond. Nehls called it the largest marijuana seizure as a result of a traffic stop in Dodge County. The 40 pounds has a reported street value of $120 to $160,000.

Lodi Pizzeria Owner Arrested For Arson

12/29/11 – The owner of a Columbia County pizzeria is suspected of burning it down. 46-year-old Thomas Matje of DeForest was arrested yesterday, after a fire caused about 200-thousand-dollars damage at Fat Boys Pizza in Lodi on Tuesday. One person was treated for smoke inhalation. State and federal agents helped Lodi Police investigate. The State Justice Department said they found evidence that the fire was set on purpose. There were flames in the kitchen area when units first arrived. The building also had two apartments. Matje is in the Columbia County Jail. State officials said charges of Arson and Attempted Arson are being sought, along with four counts of Reckless Endangerment.

Beaver Dam Man Gets Probation For Burglary

12/29/11 – A Beaver Dam man has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement to charges that he burglarized a shuttered Dodge County business. Jonathon Schultz pleaded “no contest” and the judge withheld a finding of guilt to charges of felony Burglary and found the 22-year-old guilty of misdemeanor Theft. Schultz and Robert Hanson of Beaver Dam were arrested in Washington County last May with spools of copper wire. Authorities there contacted Dodge County investigators who discovered more spools of copper wire in the back of Hansen’s pick-up. That wire had printed on it the name of a Town of Emmet business that had been closed for over four years. Investigators then found the business had recently been broken into and the family says the cooper wire with the name of the business on it had never been sold to anyone else. Hansen initially denied the charges and implicated Schultz before confessing. Hansen was sentenced in Dodge County to seven months in jail and ordered to pay $3000 in restitution, plus another month behind bars for the Washington County offense. Schultz was placed on probation in both counties and will avoid a felony record if he stays out of trouble for the next year. He must also perform 20 hours of community service.

Change Is Underway at BD Chamber

12/29/11 – Officials with the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce have made a number of changes since taking ownership of the city-owned building where its offices are located, and there are more plans in the works. The Chamber had been leasing the depot for 25 years but the Chamber Board and its membership purchased the century-old building from the city earlier this year in advance of their 100th anniversary in July of 2013. Executive Director Phil Fritsche says the Chamber is focusing on needed repairs, including tuck-pointing, heating and cooling system upgrades, the addition of energy-efficient windows, refinishing the floors and installing a handicap accessible restroom. Fritsche says the Master Gardeners of Dodge County have created a draft Landscape Plan for the property surrounding the depot. It includes the planting of additional trees, shrubs and perennial plants. The landscape plan will be implemented in the spring and summer of 2012 and a public planting is in the works. The Chamber is located in the former train depot on

South Spring Street, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Once a stop on the rail line between Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, it was closed in the years following World War II and was acquired by the city about ten years later. For years it served as the Dodge County Historical Society Museum before they moved next door to the former Williams Free Library and the Chamber set up shop in 1986. The chamber’s Centennial Committee is currently raising funds and soliciting for in-kind contributions to complete the different phases of the Depot Project. For more information, contact the chamber at 887-8879 or go to the chamber website,

Fall River Referendum Detailed

12/29/11 – Fall River Schools will have two referendum questions on the April ballot. The first referendum will ask District voters to approve borrowing $2.5 million dollars for four areas. Among them: $1.65 million would be used for replacement and upgrades to building heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; $285 thousand would go to plumbing, electrical, playground and parking area repairs; $270 thousand would be earmarked for educational technology and security upgrades; and $250 thousand would be used for land acquisition. The second question would ask to borrow $1.4 million dollars to build a new outdoor athletic facility. Public informational meetings on the $3.8 million dollar referenda questions have been set up for January 12th and 25th in the School Library and on February 16th in the District board room.

Rubicon Teacher Gets Financial Literacy Award

12/29/11 – A second grade teacher in the Rubicon School District was among this year’s Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award winners. The Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy recently announced the awards. Jennifer Guenther of the Rubicon Joint 6 School District was honored for creating a unique currency system for her Second Grade classroom. From her ideas she also created workshops for other teachers and parents.

Clyman Fire Commission Approves Promotions

12/29/11 – The Clyman Fire Commission promoted three firefighters at their December meeting. Dave Decono and Dave Blank were appointed as Captains, and Dan Finger was elevated to Lieutenant. The recommendations were made to the Fire Commission by Fire Chief Eric Howlett. Decono was appointed to fill the Captains position vacated by Howlett who took over as Fire Chief in July. Decono is also a First Responder and will be involved with coordinating the departments Fire Prevention Program. Blank has been with the department since 1993, had previously served as Lieutenant and is also an Emergency Medical Technician. He will fill the newly-created captain’s position within the Department. Blank will also work with current EMS Coordinator Gary Shipshock to oversee the day-to-day operations for First Responders. Finger has been with the Department for 32 years and will fill the position vacated by Blank. Finger previously served as Assistant Chief in the mid 1980’s and is also a First Responder. All three individuals garnered unanimous approval from the commission.

Fitzgerald Aide Gives Deposition On Redistricting

12/29/11 – Three people involved in drawing Wisconsin’s new legislative districts have denied in sworn testimony that they tried to get more Republicans elected. But Adam Foltz, an aide to Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon, said copies of the maps were given to the Republican National Committee for their review. A three-judge federal court panel had ordered Foltz, legislative aide Tad Ottman, and consultant Joe Handrick to give depositions explaining how they drafted the new district lines. The testimony was part of a lawsuit by Democrats to try and get the maps declared unconstitutional. Handrick and Ottman said in their depositions that the partisan makeup of their maps was evaluated, but Ottman said it was quote, “not a decision item.” Foltz said the lines were drawn using election data from the last decade — but it was not an effort to increase the G-O-P’s advantage in elections over the next decade. They said they tried

to keep quiet about how the maps were drafted because they knew that a lawsuit would be inevitable. All three said they were told by their lawyers not to answer many of the questions in the depositions, the texts of which were filed in court this week. Democrats had no say in how the district lines were drafted. And not a single Democrat endorsed the new maps when lawmakers and Governor Scott Walker approved them earlier this year.

Feds Mandate Lifting Family Care Enrollment Cap

12/29/11 – Governor Scott Walker said yesterday he would seek to lift the enrollment limit he imposed this summer on Wisconsin’s Family Care program. But what he didn’t say was that the federal government ordered two weeks ago that the cap be lifted. Family Care provides long-term assistance to keep seniors and the disabled out of nursing homes. The Republican Walker held a news conference yesterday morning to say that Family Care providers have told him how to make the program more efficient. A few hours later, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel obtained a December 13th letter from the federal Medicaid division, which ordered state Medicaid director Brett Davis to immediately lift the state’s cap — and to identify and enroll those eligible for the program. The federal government covers about 60-percent of the cost of Family Care. Deputy health secretary Kitty Rhoades said the federal order was a “moot” point because Walker has said since June that he hoped to drop the enrollment limit. But State Assembly Democrat Jon Richards of Milwaukee blasted the governor for quote, “taking credit for something he was forced to do.”