News – December 8, 2011

Police Seek Witnesses In Radio Shack Burglary

12/8/11 – Beaver Dam Police are asking anyone who may have been near Radio Shack yesterday morning around 6:30am to contact them. The store was burglarized and the lone suspect immediately broke into a display case and made away with undisclosed merchandise. Authorities don’t have a vehicle description at this time but Klavekoske says someone likely saw the suspect’s vehicle parked on the east side of Radio Shack. The suspect is described as a white male in his late teens or early 20’s, approximately six feet tall with a slender build last seen wearing a light blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information should contact the Beaver Dam Police Department at 887-4612.

Beaver Dam No Longer Interested In Fountain Inn

12/8/11 – The on-again-off-again purchase of the Fountain Inn Tavern by the city of Beaver Dam is…off again. The downtown business was the last of eleven buildings constructed over the Beaver Dam River that remained standing after a city buy-out and demolition 2009. The city learned last month about unspent grant money from the 2008 floods that could be used to purchase and raze the structure and began negotiations. On Monday, the common council learned that owner Jay Hoeft had rejected the city’s offer to purchase. The council, in turn, stripped provisions from the offer that Hoeft found objectionable and would have prevented him from suing the city for relocation costs. In a memo addressed to alderpersons yesterday (Wed), Kennedy and the city attorney said officials with the Department of Administration would not award grant funding if it included relocation costs. Kennedy says the city sent a letter to attorneys for Jay Hoeft yesterday saying they are “no longer interested in purchasing the property at 203 Front Street.” Kennedy says the city will work with the Department of Administration to find other needs for the grant funding by mid-month or Beaver Dam will lose the entire grant. If Hoeft keeps the building, it could be ordered down by the DNR and he would be responsible for all demolition costs.

Walker Signs “Castle Doctrine”

12/8/11 – Governor Scott Walker says he’ll stand with those who choose to protect their families and property. And that’s why he signed the so-called “castle doctrine” into law yesterday. It was one of 21 bills the Republican Walker signed privately, after lawmakers passed them in a floor period this fall. Under the new law, judges in both criminal and civil cases will generally presume that property owners who used deadly force against most intruders acted reasonably. And that applies to intruders who are not armed. Until now, homeowners had to prove they were being threatened in order to justify deadly force. And Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says the new law sends a “pro-found message” to would-be burglars. But a group of over 600 defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and professors had opposed the castle doctrine. They said it would cause reckless and paranoid people to kill repairmen and trick-or-treaters while

claiming self-defense. The new legal protection does not apply at properties used for crimes, like drug houses. And it would not protect shooters who have should have known that their intruders were law enforcement, fire-fighters, or E-M-T’s.

Jefferson County Fair Director Bound Over For Trial

12/8/11 – Jefferson County Fair Director Paul Novitzke will proceed to trial on charges that he used a county credit card for personal expenses. During a preliminary hearing yesterday (Wed), Judge Randy Koschnick found probable cause for each of the nine felony counts of Misconduct In Office and misdemeanor Theft By False Representation. Novitzke was issued a credit card by the county in 2008 and the first alleged misuse of the card came the following year. According to prosecutors, the 44-year-old used the credit-line to purchase nearly $140 worth of merchandise from Dick’s Clothing in addition to smaller amounts at several other establishments both in Wisconsin and out-of-state. Novitzke claims he accidentally mixed-up the county card with his own personal card and says he has reimbursed the county for the money owed. An investigator on the case notes that Novitzke had recently experienced financial troubles but has a good job and is paying off his other debts. Novitzke says he will be found not guilty. He is facing over 30-years in prison. An arraignment hearing is on the calendar next week.

Dodge County Fair Counterfeiter Sentenced

12/8/11 – A Watertown man will spend a month in the county jail for trying to pass counterfeit money at the Dodge County fair. 43-year-old Gerald Cappetta and his wife Patricia were arrested after getting off the Ferris wheel. According to the criminal complaint, Patricia attempted to exchange the fake $20 bills for ride tickets at several different ticket booths. Carnival employees rejected them each time but were able to provide a physical description of the couple. When questioned, authorities said there stories were “one-hundred miles apart.” Patricia said she got the bills from a gas station before they got to the fair while Gerald said they weren’t at a gas station. She changed her story to finding the money on the ground but he had already confessed to printing it on his home computer. The quality of the currency was said to be (quote) “terrible.” Patricia has an arraignment hearing on the calendar next week. Gerald is also prohibited from going on the Dodge County Fairgrounds in the future.

Booth Pleads to Child Abuse Charge

A former Columbus man faces three years in prison after pleading to a child abuse charge in Columbia County. 24-year-old Joshua Booth pleaded no contest yesterday to a charge of felony child abuse intentionally causing harm. The charge stemmed from an incident in late February when Columbus authorities were called to a home on Campbell Street for a report of a child turning blue and found the 4 ½ month-old child having trouble breathing. Booth, the father of the child, told police that something happened and he became upset when the child began to cry and he couldn’t stop him. He admitted to shaking the boy for 30 seconds and the crying stopped but the boy went limp and began gasping for air. Booth also admitted later on that he grabbed the boy’s legs to hard while trying to dress him. The shaking caused swelling in the brain and he used enough force to cause multiple fractures to the boy’s legs when changing him. A sentencing hearing has not been set.

Mauston man Sentenced For Bar Burglaries

12/8/11 – A Mauston man will spend six years in prison for his role in a series of Dodge County tavern break-ins. Thomas Dahlgren pleaded to a pair of felony Burglary charges and had another felony and three misdemeanors dismissed but read into the record. The 45-year-old and two others broke into the Dockside Pub and Grille in the Town of Westford in January, Jumpers Bar in the Town of Beaver Dam in February and Chances Bar in the Town of Burnett in March. Thousands of dollars was stolen from poker machines, ATM’s and safes. According to the

criminal complaint, 32-year-old Michelle L. Novak admitted to being the getaway driver and lookout; she will be sentenced in February. 32-year-old Nicholas J. Etter of West Salem admitted that he was involved but blamed Dahlgren for orchestrating the break-ins. Etter was sentenced in September to five years in prison. In addition to six years behind bars, Dahlgren was ordered to serve five years on extended supervision and pay joint restitution.

Booze and Belts Enforcement Starts Friday

12/8/11 – Law enforcement throughout the state will start a new campaign on Friday aimed at those who drive drunk and do not wear seat belts. Extra patrols will watch for both types of offenders as part of the “Booze and Belts” program. Dodge County Patrol Captain Molly Soblewski says the goal is not to make more arrests or give out more tickets. She hopes the campaign will save lives and cut down on injuries. Over 40-thousand drivers were convicted of O-W-I in Wisconsin last year. And 120-thousand tickets were given for not wearing seat belts. The “Booze and Belts” campaign runs Friday through December 17th.

Jane Doe Laid To Rest In Waupun

12/8/11 – “Jane Doe” was buried Wednesday afternoon in Waupun. She’s the unidentified woman whose remains were found by deer hunters three years ago in a shallow frozen creek in Fond du Lac County. Pastor Don Deike said it was an opportunity for people to say goodbye to a woman they never knew or met. And a number of people said goodbye – well-wishers with flowers, a Patriot Guard rider, sheriff’s deputies, and reporters. Sheriff Mick Fink said after the brief ceremony that the woman’s death was not right – but the investigation is not over. If the woman’s identity is ever known, Mick says the remains will be turned over to her family. But as far as he knew, no relatives showed up at the funeral. National efforts to determine her identity have failed. And authorities have determined that she was not one of several area residents who’ve been missing for years. The cause of the woman’s death has never been determined, either.

Seven Wolves Shot During Deer Hunt 12/8/11 – At least seven wolves in Wisconsin were illegally shot-to-death during the nine-day deer season last month. The state D-N-R is investigating. The agency was monitoring four of the wolves with radio collars. Hunters found the other three. The D-N-R said 31 wolves have been killed during the last six gun deer hunts, dating back to 2006. The U-S Fish-and-Wildlife Service is considering a removal of Upper Midwest gray wolves from the federal endangered species’ list. It would let Wisconsin carry out its own management plan to keep a growing wolf population under control. The state had a goal of having 350 wolves when the species was re-introduced. But that number has more than doubled. The D-N-R estimated the wolf population at 782 last winter.

Recall Organizers No Longer Giving Updates

12/8/11 – The Wisconsin Democratic Party says it is going to stop giving updates on its petition drive. Supporters need 540 thousand signatures to force a recall election against Governor Scott Walker. The recall petitions are just now expanding into rural areas of the state. A spokesman for the party says those totals will be kept quiet so the recall effort doesn’t slow down as it gets closer to the target. The signatures must be collected by January 17th.