News February 6, 2009

Five Months For Day

2/6/09 – A former Town of Chester treasurer has been sentenced to five months in jail for withholding payment of her personal property taxes. Rebecca Day pleaded no contest in November to an amended felony charge of misconduct in office and had four other charges dismissed but read into the record. The 38-year-old Waupun woman served as Town of Chester treasurer for approximately eight years and was responsible for accepting property tax payments and documenting those payments. During an audit of the town’s finances, an accounting firm discovered that Day recorded payment of property taxes for her own residence in the Town of Chester without actually making a payment to the township. The offenses took place every year between 2002 and 2006. Day began to pay some of the money back to the town, but a discrepancy remained by the time her accounting was discovered. In addition to five months in jail, with Huber privileges, Day was also placed on probation for three years, ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution and must write a letter of apology.

FFRF Would Protest Pre-Meeting Prayers

2/6/09- The Freedom From Religion Foundation says they will protest any efforts by the Dodge County Board to hold a prayer before their meetings, even if the prayer is held before the meeting is called to order. On Wednesday, Dodge County Corporation Counsel John Corey told us the best way to avoid any legal issues would be for board members to hold a prayer before the meet starts. But the Foundation’s Anne Laurie Gaylor says her group would also find that unacceptable. Gaylor says those who don’t want to pray would have be the ones who stay outside until right before the meeting starts and risk being late for the roll call.

Pastor Urges Tolerance

2/06/09 – A Beaver Dam pastor says more tolerance is needed in holding prayers before municipal meetings. Pastor Mark Swanson of the Trinity United Methodist Church says “for years Christians have been asked to be tolerant of diversity, but now that tolerance has been extended to a diverse group of people, both religious and non-religious, they seem to be willing to turn around and say we’re not going to be tolerant of you.” Swanson also says that America is a country founded on Christian principals and we would not have the laws we have if we did not have a history of being a decidedly Christian nation.

BDMS Teacher Will Be Back

2/6/09 – A Beaver Dam Middle School teacher is on administrative leave after a photo of her appeared on the social networking website Facebook with a rifle trained on the camera. Betsy Ramsdale, an English Language Learner teacher, is not currently in the classroom after a colleague reported the photo to district administrators. Superintendent Don Childs says they are investigating the photo but he fully expects her to return to work next week. In an email to a Madison T-V station Ramsdale said she removed the photo immediately and that she is not “interested in any controversy.”