News February 10, 2009

Fox Lake Flatbed Hay Fire

2/10/09 – Highway 33 in Fox Lake was closed for several hours this afternoon as firefighters battled a hay fire on the back of a flatbed truck. The incident began around 11:30am just west of the BP gas station. Chief Bill Frank says it was a real mess with smoking hay spread all over the roadway and high winds adding to the problem. Frank says the hay ignited as the result of equipment malfunction, stemming from either a bearing on the rear wheel or the rear brake lines. The flatbed trailer was destroyed but the driver of the truck – which is owned by Jeff Lewke — was able to detach the rig quickly enough to avoid further damage. There were no injuries. The road was closed down for around three hours. Fox Lake received mutual assistance from Randolph.

Bond Set For Niesen

2/10/09 – A half-million-dollar cash bond was set yesterday (Tue) for a man charged with killing a night-club dancer in Fond du Lac in 1976. 53-year-old Thomas Niesen of Ashwaubenon is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 19-year-old Kathleen Leichtman. Niesen remained in the Fond du Lac County Jail, while he and his lawyer appeared in court on a video hook-up. Circuit Judge Peter Grimm is scheduled to decide March sixth if there’s enough evidence to order a trial. Prosecutors suggested the high bond, saying Niesen tried to flee to Colorado after he was arrested for child abuse in Brown County in 2007. He had to give the state a D-N-A sample after being convicted in that case. And officials said it matched the D-N-A found at the scene of Leichtman’s murder. She had just moved from Milwaukee to work as a dancer. Authorities said her body was found along a road-side the morning after her first night on the job. She was stabbed numerous times, and her throat was slit.

Mayville to Sell Promissory Notes

2/10/09 – The Mayville City Council approved a resolution last night that will allow for the sale of general obligation promissory notes not to exceed $1.53-million dollars. Philip Cosson with Ehlers Associates explains the notes will be for a number of capital improvement projects as well as to refinance some previous debt. Cosson will now put together a prospective on the city and send it out to possible bidders on the notes, including local financial institutions. The bids will be made on March 9th with Ehlers then bringing those to the council for approval. Cosson says if all goes according to plan money for those projects should be available by late March or early April.

BD Man Sentenced for High Speed Chase

2/10/09 – A Beaver Dam man, who led authorities on a high speed chase before disappearing in Wal-Mart, has been sentenced to five months in jail. 23-year-old Jason D. Wood pleaded “no contest” to reduced misdemeanor charges of Failing to Stop. The high speed chase last July started on Highway 33 and continued down Highway 151 before ending in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Wood and another man disappeared into the store but authorities were able to identify their car. They were later tracked down through vehicle registration, eyewitness accounts and surveillance footage.

Work-Release Inmate Facing Charges after Disappearance

2/10/09 – A work-release inmate from Beaver Dam could have six years added to his sentence for failing to return to jail. Randall Riese is charged with felony escape for failing to return to the Huber facility at the Dodge County Detention Facility in December. The 21-year-old was reportedly located by authorities at a Beaver Dam residence four hours after he was due back. Riese was doing six months on retail theft charges and had four months left on his sentence.

Waupun Man Pulls Weapon on Police

2/10/09 – An incident in which an inebriated man pulled a gun on Waupun police officers ended without anyone coming to harm last Friday night. Police say they got a call from another man who’d been hit by the man with the gun. The caller told authorities his attacker had been drinking

and possibly mixing it with medication and had a habit of carrying a handgun around in the back of his pants. When police showed up at their door the man was drunk and did take a gun out of his pants, but quickly dropped it without firing it. He now faces several charges from the incident. (Bob Nelson, KFIZ)

Average Price of Gas Up Five-Cents over Last Month

2/10/09 – The average gas price in Wisconsin has crept up five-cents a gallon over the last month. The Triple-“A” says the statewide average for unleaded regular is 1.96-a-gallon. That’s still a dollar lower than at the same time a year ago. Beaver Dam has been holding steady at $1.94. In the state’s largest metro, Milwaukee Gas Prices-Dot-Com reports the average is also at $1.94-a-gallon. That’s up three-point-six-cents over the last month. Gas at some Milwaukee area stations is over the $2 mark.

Sheriff’s Department Dealing with Animal Mistreatment Case

2/10/09 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department is in the process of starting a list of farmers that may be able to house, care for, feed, and manage livestock. The Department is currently investigating a large animal mistreatment case that may require them to seize more than 100-animals. The county would compensate the farmers for all time and expenses when the animals are sold. Sheriff Todd Nehls says there are looking for potential housing for every type of animal, from calves to horses and even dairy cows that will need to be milked. Anyone interested in helping is asked to contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department.

Abrahamson Has Raised More than $1-Million for Campaign

2/10/09 – Wisconsin’s chief justice says she has raised over a-million-dollars for her re-election bid. Shirley Abrahamson and her challenger Randy Koschnick filed their updated state reports yesterday, which reflect campaign activity through last Monday. Abrahamson said she raised almost a quarter-million-dollars in January alone. She’s been on the State Supreme Court since 1976. Koschnick, a Jefferson County circuit judge, said he raised just over 14-thousand-dollars by the end of last year. He has not said what his updated report would indicate. The two candidates will square off in the general election on April seventh.

Unemployment Benefit Fund Facing Huge Deficit

2/10/09 – The fund that pays for Wisconsin’s unemployment benefits could be one-point-two billion dollars in the red by the end of 2010. That’s according to a new projection from the state’s workforce development agency. Wisconsin’s jobless rate is lower than the national average. But the December rate was still the highest in over 20 years at five-point-eight percent. For the first time since 1986, employers are paying higher taxes into the benefit fund this year. The fund now has 57-and-a-half million dollars, and the state has asked for a 400-thousand-dollar loan from the federal government to keep the benefits flowing. The report also says more such loans will be needed, as year-end deficits in the benefit fund are now expected through at least 2013.