News – December 9, 2016

Dodge County To Mark Take-Home Vehicles


12/9/16 – The five take-home trucks in the highway department’s fleet will soon be marked as county property.  Officials expect multiple decals, which are roughly four inches by eight inches in size and contain the words ‘Dodge County’ within the capital letter ‘D’ will be placed on each vehicle.  No final decision has been made on which part of the trucks the decals will be placed.  The only way the vehicles are currently marked as county property is through their municipal license plates.  Some county board members expressed concern at last month’s meeting that citizens would have difficulty recognizing these vehicles if they were being used for non-work related purposes as county officials say the public would likely report any misuse, if that were to occur.  At yesterday’s highway committee meeting, Highway Commissioner Brian Field said he took some of the comments personally, calling them unfounded accusations that are based on nothing.  Both Field and County Administrator Jim Mielke said they have never heard of any improper usage of the vehicles during their years with the county.  Field says the reason for the take-home vehicles is to allow highway supervisors to respond to emergency scenes in a prompt manner, since they are often on-call at unusual hours.  According to Field, the highway department vehicles are assigned on a case-by-case basis through a ‘practice’ that is not a written policy.  He says employees assigned departmental vehicles who live in Dodge County or a border community are able to take them home while employees who live further away, such as an employee who used to live in Lake Mills, need to leave the county vehicle at the highway shop closest to their home and take their personal vehicle from the shop to their house.  Field says there are similar policies in neighboring Columbia, Fond du Lac, and Washington counties.  Highway Committee Member Jeff Berres argued the current highway practice should be clearly spelled out.  He says it will be difficult to refute the request of any new employee who lives outside the county or a border community to take a county vehicle home if there is no written policy to cite in the discussion.   As tension was once again in the air yesterday, Administrator Mielke weighed in, saying people should support the highway employees, rather than criticize, as they work long hours and have done nothing to betray people’s trust.  The highway committee finished discussion on the matter by casting a unanimous ‘vote of confidence’ in the highway department.


Three Candidates Currently Vying For Dodge County Circuit Court


12/9/16 – A Beaver Dam attorney announced yesterday that he is running for Dodge County Circuit Court judge. Randy Doyle is a Marquette Law School graduate who has been practicing in the county for over 14 years. Doyle has litigated over 1600 cases, including the areas of business law, landlord-tenant disputes, divorce, civil litigation, custody and placement disputes and has also served as a court commissioner. Also running for the Branch Two seat is the incumbent Martin De Vries of Randolph, who was appointed to the court by Governor Scott Walker in July following the retirement of Judge John Storck. De Vries practiced law in California for ten years followed by a 17-year stint with Fond du Lac law firm and one year as the municipal judge for the Town of Fox Lake. Waupun attorney Todd Snow has also announced his candidacy for the circuit court seat. Snow is 25-year veteran of the armed forces who grew up in Ohio and earned his law degree from the University of Memphis. Snows practice has focused on impaired driving and other criminal matters, civil litigation, family law, business and personal disputes along with collections. A three-way race would force a February 21 primary in advance of the April 4 general election.


Waupun Mayor Seeks Full Term, Johnson Files Non-Candidacy


12/9/16 – The recently-appointed mayor of Waupun will be seeking her first full term in office. Mayor Julie Nickel has filed declaration of candidacy and campaign registration statements with the clerk’s office. Nickel was sworn-in this past August following the early retirement of former Mayor Kyle Clark who stepped down for health reasons. Waupun Alderman Michael Johnson will not be returning to the council after his term ends as he has filed non-candidacy papers. Bobbi Vossekuil is the only person so far to submit paperwork for that vacant District Five seat. District One incumbent Jason Westphal and District Three incumbent Ryan Mielke have also submitted their paperwork and are currently facing no challengers. The deadline to run is close of business on Tuesday, January 3.


Trump Bringing Thank You Tour To Wisconsin


12/9/16 – President Elect Donald Trump’s “Thank You Tour” comes to Wisconsin next week. He’s been traveling around the country thanking voters — and he plans to do the same Tuesday night in a rally at the State Fair Expo Center in West Allis. Trump is scheduled to be joined by Vice President Elect Mike Pence, on the same day the state must finish certifying its votes following a recount that’s on pace to end Monday. The Green Party’s Jill Stein asked for the recount, which is in its ninth day with relatively few changes. Trump won the Badger State by 22-thousand votes, capturing all ten of the state’s electoral votes as he became the first Republican to carry Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan’s second term in 1984.


Beaver Dam Man Proceeding To Trial For Flower Shop Burglary


12/9/16 – A Beaver Dam man will proceed to trial on charges that he broke into a flower shop and resisted arrest. Brent Herreman waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday and will be arraigned next week. Herreman allegedly broke into Beaver Floral in Beaver Dam last month. Police responding to a burglary-in-progress call reportedly witnessed the 21-year-old carrying stolen items from the scene including bracelets and a poinsettia. Herreman ran but was apprehended after a brief foot chase. He allegedly became aggressive with the arresting officer, spitting in his face, swearing and making death threats. He is charged with felony Burglary, Battery to Law Enforcement, Discharging Bodily Fluids at a Public Safety Worker and a handful of misdemeanors including Obstruction, Criminal Damage, Theft and Possession of an Illegally Obtained Prescription which carry a combined maximum of over 25 years in prison upon conviction. Herreman remains jailed on a $50-thousand-dollar cash bond.


Washburn To Be Arraigned For Assaulting Randolph Police Chief


12/9/16 – A Randolph man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges that he assaulted the Randolph Police Chief while he was being taken into custody. Brandon Washburn will proceed to trial on a felony count of Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer and misdemeanor drug possession. The incident happened in May when Chief Michael Klavekoske was transporting the 20-year-old to the Winnebago Mental Health Facility.  The family requested an emergency detention and authorities agreed noting his erratic behavior and possible connection to a Cambria break-in. Washburn had been calm but reportedly became violent when Klavekoske attempted to place him in handcuffs. The chief was punched in the face before Washburn was subdued by officers who threatened to use a taser gun. He was taken to the facility without further incident. If convicted, the felony charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence. Washburn will be arraigned next month.


Judge Halts FDL County Sex Offender Placement


12/9/16 – Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring has temporarily halted placement of violent sex offender on Nitschke Road in the Town of Eldorado. Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney says Thursday’s ruling was to give the Department of Health Services time to evaluate how a new law regarding placement applies to the three sites in Washington County that were first considered. Toney says it’s not a victory for Fond du Lac County, yet. He says if those properties are deemed unsuitable Olson could still end up on NItschke Road.


Beaver Dam In World War Two Documentary To Be Presented


12/9/16 – A documentary movie that highlights Beaver Dam’s role in World War Two will be shown tonight and tomorrow. Local historian Roger Noll has spent months researching the topic drawn heavily from local print media. He read every single edition of the paper from 1941 through 1945 and notes that the war was the top story in every one of those papers until the fall after the war ended.  Noll says most of the coverage during the first year of the war was broad in scope and seldom local. But that changed in 1942, perhaps bolstered by the need to sell war bonds, with highly localized stories – both from the news wire and developed locally — about specific Beaver Dam residents and their role in the war effort. Noll has done different presentations on Beaver Dam’s history as part of the city’s 175th anniversary all-year-long and this documentary is the final part of his series.  Beaver Dam in World War Two will be shown at 7pm tonight and tomorrow at the community theatre building at 219 North Spring Street. Admission is free but a freewill offering will be taken for the theatre’s building fund.


Regents Approve UW Tuition Hike


12/9/16 – U-W students who are not from Wisconsin will pay some hefty tuition increases next fall at a number of campuses, along with degree candidates in the university’s professional schools. The Board of Regents voted overwhelmingly in favor of the tuition hikes Thursday, with most coming at the Madison campus where the second phase of a hike for out of staters will add two thousand dollars to their bills for each of the next two years. Wisconsin residents in the veterinary, medical, law, and other specialty schools will see tuition hikes of up to 37 percent for one year. Regents Bryan Steil and student member James Langnes of Whitewater voted no, as Stell called the increases “too much, too fast” — but U-W President Ray Cross says the extra revenue is crucial for the university’s future. Tuition is also going up at the Milwaukee, Green Bay, Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Stout campuses plus the 13 U-W two year colleges — and the Regents asked the state to budget 78-million dollars for U-W employee pay raises.