News – February 20, 2021

(Columbus) Businessman and former Columbus mayor Mike Eisenga is agreeing to enter a guilty plea on federal bank fraud charges. The indictment filed in October alleges that the 49-year-old had applied for a $6.9-million-dollar loan from an Illinois credit union to purchase a commercial property in Columbus. Eisenga claimed the property was under a 20-year lease to Festival Foods and guaranteed by Supervalue Holdings but neither the holdings company nor the related documentation are said to be legitimate. The Alliant Credit Union of Rolling Meadows, Illinois approved the loan in February of 2017 and Eisenga’s company reportedly defaulted two years later. In July of 2019, a judgement was entered in a civil lawsuit seeking foreclosure and the property sold for $2.2-mllion dollars in a sheriff’s sale three months later. The credit union awarded a judgement in excess of $5-million dollars. Eisenga’s company filed for bankruptcy last February but a judge dismissed the case in the summer. Attorneys for Eisenga filed a plea agreement in federal court to plead guilty. The fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a one-million-dollar fine but court documents do not indicate what his sentence may be other than he would get the “maximum available reduction” for accepting responsibility. A plea hearing date has not yet been set.  

(Mount Horeb) A Madison radio personality is arrested on a tentative child pornography charge. Mount Horeb police arrested Matthew Jones Wednesday night. Investigators say they were tipped off in December. That led to a search on Wednesday. Jones is 40 years old, and is known to listeners of Q-106 F-M as Jackson Jones. He is no longer present on the station’s website. – WRN

(Jefferson County) One dog and more than 40 cats are rescued from a home in Jefferson County. The home is described as “filthy,” and was condemned by the county health department this week. The local Humane Society says some areas of the house had piles of filth, junk, and nearly knee-deep animal waste. The case is being called a “mental health issue” where “people get overwhelmed.” No charges have been filed yet. – WRN

(Dodge County) The DNR will host a public meeting to discuss updates to the Wisconsin Walleye Management plan for Dodge, Columbia, Jefferson, Green, Dane and Rock Counties. The current walleye management plan serves as a guide for one of the most sought-after fish species in the state and outlines seven goals and strategies for walleye management. The updating process will include a review of the existing plan, an analysis of available data and trends and significant public input on angling and management preferences. The DNR is seeking public feedback on stocking priorities, regulation acceptance and agency resource allocation. The meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday (February 23) at 6:30pm. Anyone interested in walleye management and would like to participate should contact Max Wolter. Contact information and further details are available at

(Wisconsin) Nick Jarmusz with Triple-A Wisconsin says refinery shutdowns in the South are not a major factor in pump prices here, which are up about 15 cents around the state. The largest refineries in North America have been idled this week, because severe cold have cut electricity, water and fuel supplies across Texas. Gas prices in Beaver Dam is averaging around $2.40. – WRN

(Milwaukee) President Joe Biden spent an hour at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee Tuesday night as part of a CNN town hall meeting. When asked if he’d condemn the senators who voted to acquit former President Trump, Biden said he’d like to stop talking about the previous administration. Biden laid out his plans for the 1 point 7 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief package that’s making its way through Congress right now, and said that the government needs to spend that money to get people back on their feet faster. He also reinforced his calls for a 15 dollar an hour minimum wage. – WRN

(Dodge County) There were 35 COVID-19 deaths reported statewide Friday, bringing that total to 6,267. Dodge County recorded one death, for a total of 155. Washington County has seen 129 deaths, Fond du Lac County has seen 91 deaths; two more than on Thursday. Jefferson County has 76 deaths, Columbia County has reported 51 and Green Lake County has 18. Dodge County health officials say they are actively monitoring 125 cases, an increase of two from Thursday. Washington County is reporting 214 active cases. There are 9,575 active cases in Wisconsin, a decrease of 241 from Thursday.

(Juneau) Dodge County health officials say the weekly rate of positive tests between February 8th and the 14th was 16-percent, no change from the previous week. Health officials say the goal is a percentage lower than five with a downward trajectory of a cases. Achieving those figures would allow Dodge County to move out of phase-one of its three-phase Safe Restart Plan, which recommends guidelines for businesses, social gatherings and community events. The number of cases, hospital care and contract tracing are in the yellow. The only metrics of the plan in the green are testing and personal protective equipment. 

(Wisconsin) A central registry for COVID-19 vaccinations in Wisconsin is expected to start March 1. Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary, Julie Willems Van Dijk. The vaccine registry uses software from Microsoft, which has recently seen glitches in other states’ programs. Willems Van Dijk says that’s an issue whenever new software is involved. The website will ask people a series of questions to determine eligibility and help them schedule an appointment. If none are available, they’ll be put on a waitlist. – WRN

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Assisted Living and Memory Care held their second COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday. Officials with Beaver Dam Assisted Living say the employees and residents were excited to be receiving the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. They say the second dose of the vaccine is expected to help increase the possibility of having friends and family visit inside of the assisted living community once again.

(Madison) State Senators squabbled over masks on Thursday, after Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu announced earlier in the week that they’d no longer be able to attend sessions via Zoom. Irma Republican Mary Felzkoski defended her decision to not mask up. Several Democrats expressed anger at unmasked Republican colleagues due to their concerns about coronavirus transmission. Felzkowski said she was tired of “mask shaming.” – WRN