News – December 31, 2020

(Watertown) A Watertown man was found dead Wednesday, two days after he was reported missing.  Police say 65-year-old Jerald Brennan left his home around noon Monday to go ice fishing.  When he did not return, a search got underway, which ended Wednesday afternoon after the Portage County Sheriff’s Office reported him the victim of a car crash.

(Hartford) A 65-year-old man is in a hospital after being rescued from the ice on Pike Lake Wednesday afternoon.  Hartford Fire and Rescue say the man was in the water for about 40 minutes 400 yards from shore, which required them and the Washington County Dive Team to help him get back to shore.  A firefighter also suffered a significant shoulder injury, which was treated at a hospital.

(Omro) Authorities in east-central Florida say two Omro, Wisconsin residents were killed and two others were seriously injured when their vehicle was hit by a carjacking suspect Tuesday night. In a letter to families yesterday (Wednesday) the Omro School District identified those killed as 21-year-old Domynick Milis and 18-year-old Danycka Milis, graduates of the district. Injured were a 13-year-old Omro boy and 17-year-old Omro girl. Both are in stable condition. The 47-year-old Orlando man suspected in armed carjacking was fleeing on I-95 when he made a U-Turn and hit the victim’s car head-on. The suspect was also killed in the crash.

(Wisconsin) Law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will continue their participation in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which runs through New Year’s Day. Last year in Wisconsin there were 6,058 alcohol-related crashes that injured 2,918 people and resulted in 140 deaths. Those planning on celebrating tonight or tomorrow are asked to plan ahead to have someone else drive if they will be drinking.

(Juneau) Dodge County is among the agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign through New Years Day tomorrow. Sheriff Dale Schmidt advises revelers to be careful. He says a drink or two with dinner is fine but do not drive impaired or find a designated driver. Schmidt says the free “Driver Sober” app from the WisDOT website is a great resource. He says the app has a ‘find a ride’ feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services.

(Madison) Republicans who control the Wisconsin state Assembly are apparently committed to work in person during the upcoming legislative session. Democrats led by Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh are requesting a virtual option. Hintz also says most Democrats will not be participating in Monday’s swearing in ceremony at the Capitol. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is suggesting — but not requiring — that legislators and staff wear masks on Monday, as well as for floor periods and committee meetings going forward saying that (quote) “people all across Wisconsin safely go to work every day and members of the Assembly are capable of doing so as well.” -WRN

(Madison) Department of Workforce Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said the agency had cleared a backlog of some 22,100 applications from individuals who’d waited at least three weeks for a decision. That number had been nearly 100,000 as recently as September.  Pechacek said the workforce agency has recruited 10 new administrative law judges to hear cases and has brought in judges from other government agencies, to address a backlog of some 15,000 appeals from those who’ve had claims denied. -WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 2,755 positive coronavirus cases in Wednesday’s daily update. There are 27,729 active cases in the state, a decrease of 1,032 from Tuesday. State health officials recorded 35 deaths bringing that total to 4,818. One death was reported in Dodge County Wednesday bringing the toll to 121 people with 387 active cases. Two deaths were reported in Columbia County yesterday while Fond du Lac and Washington counties each recorded one.

(Grafton) Advocate Aurora Health says 57 vials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine were deliberately removed from a refrigerator. Aurora initially thought what occurred last weekend at its Grafton hospital was an “error,” which resulted in 500 doses being discarded. But the health care provider said in a Wednesday update that after an internal investigation, an employee acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration. That person has been fired, and appropriate authorities have been notified for further investigation. -WRN

(Dodge County) While the pandemic has stalled overall vehicle sales in Dodge County through the first eleven months of the year, the region has seen a slight uptick in truck sales. According to figures released by the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm Reg-Trak, there were two-thousand-eight-hundred-and-ninety-two (2,892) trucks sold in Dodge County from January through November, an increase of 2.3-perecnt. At the same time, there were 327 cars sold, a drop of 31-percent. Overall, sales were down 2.6-percent.

(Beaver Dam) State Representative Mark Born says John Moser’s retirement is bittersweet. During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, the Beaver Dam lawmaker said Moser’s time on the WBEV Morning Show, alongside Uncle Bill, had a profound effect on a lot of people who are proud to call the Beaver Dam community home. John Moser, a Wisconsin Hall of Fame broadcaster, began his career in Beaver Dam in 1973. His last day officially on the air today.