News – February 20, 2019

(Juneau) The Dodge County Board approved a resolution last (Tuesday) night to cover a half-million-dollar shortfall in the 2018 sheriff’s office budget with money from the county’s general fund. The county board voted last year to close the old jail, reducing a longtime revenue stream from housing federal inmates for money. Supervisor Kira Sheahan-Malloy says the loss of contract beds was not the only reason for the shortfall and cited an over-estimate in federal inmate revenue, workers comp miscalculations, underfunded grant matches and overtime expenses. Finance Committee Chair Dave Frohling says there was not a dollar-for-dollar offset when the old jail closed. Frohling says when the revenues dropped, the expenses to operate the old jail did not decrease as fast.

(Beaver Dam) The Conagra plant in Beaver Dam is expanding operations, a move that is expected to create 140 full-time jobs over the next five years. The company plans to invest approximately $78 million to modernize and expand the current 350,000-square-foot cold storage and vegetable packaging facility on Green Valley Road, for Birds Eye frozen vegetables. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced the expansion, which will use $750,000 in state income tax credits over the next five years. The actual amount of tax credits that Conagra Brands will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that period.

(Hartford) Fire caused significant damage to a home in the Town of Hartford Monday night. Heavy smoke and flames were coming from the basement of the single-family home when crews arrived on the 5300 block of Paradise Lane around 8pm.  The homeowners were not at home at the time. No injuries were reported. No word yet on the cause which remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The home is considered a total loss.

(Town of Waukesha) One adult and two children died Tuesday morning in structure fire in the Town of Waukesha. Three other people were injured, including an 80-year-old woman, a nine-year-old boy and a sheriff’s deputy who suffered first-degree burns while searching the rubble. The cause remains under investigation.

(Watertown) A three-day jury trial was added to the court calendar yesterday for a Watertown woman accused of supplying the drugs that led to an overdose death. Debra Patroelj (patrol-ya) entered a not guilty plea to one felony count of First Degree Reckless Homicide. Patroelj is implicated in the January 2016 overdose of 16-year-old John Teuteberg. The 49-year-old allegedly sold the victim a half dozen methadone pills. The trial is set to begin on June 25.

(Watertown) A Watertown man is facing a felony charge for having inappropriate contact with a minor. Nathan Lord is accused of assaulting an eleven-year-old girl three years ago. In 2015, Lord allegedly assaulted two other preteens. If convicted on the new charges, the 39-year-old faces up to 60 years in prison in addition to the 100 years he faces on his previous charge.

(Madison) January was a slower month for home sales in Wisconsin. In its latest monthly sales report the Wisconsin Realtors Association found about 3,779 completed sales last month, down 8.9-percent from the previous January.  An ongoing drop in the number of homes for sale continues to hamper the Wisconsin real estate market. In Dodge County, there were 45 homes sales last month, down from the 58 reported one year prior. Continued high demand coupled with low inventory pushed the median price of a home in the state up by $6000, to $175-thousand dollars. In Dodge County, that number was at $156-thousand, an increase of about $800.

(Beaver Dam) Local emergency responders took time yesterday (Tuesday) to recognize the efforts of a nine-year-old girl who helped save her mother’s life. Izabella Stillwell remembered training she had received from her grandmother and immediately called 9-1-1 after watching her mother have a medical emergency and go unconscious. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the Town of Oak Grove girl gave dispatchers very clear and specific, life-saving information — including her address and phone number. The sheriff, Beaver Dam fire chief and the dispatcher Izabella spoke with were on hand yesterday during Izabella’s class at Martial Arts American in Beaver Dam and presented her with a commendation recognizing her as a hero to her mother and siblings.