News – December 31, 2016

Snowmobiles On Ice Till Next Snowfall


12/31/16 – If your New Year’s Resolution is to get on your snowmobile, it might be awhile before that can happen. Only eight counties in far northern Wisconsin have all of their snowmobile trails open. Sawyer, Price, Iron, Vilas, Oneida, Forest, and Florence counties report good to fair conditions — and Bayfield County says its trails are open but in poor condition with bases of two to eight inches and nothing groomed at last word. Travel Wisconsin Dot Com’s latest Snow Report says eight counties in the northern half of the state have their trails partially open, and snowmobile trails in the 56 other counties are closed. The Dodge County Land Resources and Parks Department says all trails are closed including the ATV trail along the Wild Goose State Trail. Snow and cold conditions earlier in December have been replaced by mild temperatures. Highs are expected to be in the 20s Saturday night, and above freezing Sunday and Monday before a slight cooldown on Tuesday with a mix of freezing rain and snow possible.


Dane County Man Charged In Quadruple Drunk Driving Homicide


12/31/16 – A Waunakee man was charged yesterday with 15 felony counts for killing four people and injuring one other in a drunk driving accident in Dane County last month. Brysen Wills allegedly had a blood-alcohol level that was over twice the legal limit for driving at point-one-eight (.18). The 33-year-old reportedly drove against traffic and struck two cars head-on while driving 90-miles-per-hour. Among those killed was 26-year-old Clenton Hall of Waterloo, 28-year-old Kim Radtke of Pewaukee, 26-year-old Katey Pasqualini of Milwaukee and 23-year-old Patrick Wasielewski of Lake Mills. Investigators say multiple beer cans were found in the Wills vehicle at the crash site. Charges against Wills include four counts of Second Degree Reckless Homicide, along with Second Degree Reckless Injury and Homicide By Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle.


New Year Brings New Penalties For Drunk Driving


12/31/16 – Repeat drunken drivers will face tougher penalties in Wisconsin starting with the new year. Governor Scott Walker signed a law in April that makes a fourth drunken driving offense a felony regardless of when it’s committed. Currently a fourth offense is a felony only if committed within five years of a third offense. The law also increases the maximum sentence for fifth and sixth offenses from three years to five. Maximum sentences for seventh, eighth and ninth offenses will increase from five years to seven-and-a-half years. The maximum sentence for a tenth or subsequent offense will move from seven and a half years to a decade behind bars.


Trooper Says Crashes Likely When Working Highways


12/31/16 – Two Wisconsin State Patrol officers say sooner or later a state trooper will be involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault. Inspector Scott Hlinak says a state trooper was working an accident on I-41 southbound near the Fond du Lac/Dodge County line earlier this month when his squad car was hit by another vehicle. He says the accident the trooper was working was pretty serious. Hlinak says the 23-year-old Fond du Lac man driving the other vehicle that hit the trooper’s vehicle was only going the speed limit, but there was near white-out conditions with the snow. Hlinak says during his career his vehicles have been hit by other motorists twice. Sergeant Luke Newman says he has also been hit once. Hlinak says police officers who work on the side of the highway have either been hit by another motorist or will be. Drivers are required to slow down and move over at the scene of a traffic emergency.


MPTC Officials: ‘IT Skills In Demand’


12/31/16 – Officials at Moraine Park Technical College say people with Information Technology or IT skills are in demand. MPTC President Bonnie Baerwald says the unemployment rate in that field is only 2.6 percent. She says the IT industry is very hot and is one of the country’s and Wisconsin’s fastest growing career fields. Moraine Park offers degrees in IT Tech Support Specialist and IT Network. IT Instructor Joe Desiderio says both provide support that businesses need. He says he instructs students about tech support and customer service help desk. Desiderio says IT network specialists work with routers, switches, setting up networks and making sure computers are hooked up to the network. Baerwald says Moraine Park offers a dual degree option that allows IT students to get degrees in both areas.


Fond du Lac Commerce-EDC Merger Underway


1/1/17 – There were several factors leading to the impending merger of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce and Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation. Interim Association President and CEO Tom Herre says that includes Envision Fond du Lac’s recommendation for more collaboration, Joe Reitemeier’s retirement as Association President and CEO, and investor input. A steering committee and transitional director will guide the merger.


Columbus Planning ‘Winter Day In The Park’


12/31/16 – An annual Columbus event is back but with a new name.  What traditionally was called the ‘Sleigh Rally’ is now the ‘Winter Day in the Park.’  The event is centered on horses, as Organizer Melanie Lichtfeld says people from throughout the nation for the Breyer Model Horse Show.  She says this is one of three events people need to earn a blue ribbon at to qualify for a national horse show in Kentucky.  Lichtfeld says the goal is to add other events, such as dogsled demonstrations, for the 2018 festival.  ‘Winter Day in the Park’ will also feature an event called ‘skijoring’ where people on skis are pulled through a snow-covered course by horses.  The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 11 at Fireman’s Park.


Packer Fans Win As Standoff Between Charter and NBC Ends


12/31/16 – Relax, Packer fans.  N-B-C Universal said late Friday afternoon it will not black out Sunday night’s N-F-C North Division championship game between Green Bay and Detroit. Caley Gray of N-B-C Universal says only those viewers of stations owned by the peacock network — including markets like New York and Chicago — will have the game and other N-B-C shows blacked out. She tells the Green Bay Press Gazette that N-B-C’s payment dispute with Charter Spectrum will not affect stations that are owned by other companies — and that includes all N-B-C stations in the Badger State. N-B-C Universal announced the possible blackout earlier Friday, saying Charter its newly acquired Time Warner are being forced to accept more expensive terms for carrying the network on cable than what others are paying. Charter only said that the decision to black out the game would be N-B-C’s and no one else’s. Radio listeners have nothing to worry about as you can hear the Packer-Lions game on both AM1430 WBEV and 95.3 WXRO, our coverage starts Sunday at 5pm.