News – February 9, 2021

(Columbus) A Columbus woman has been charged in federal court with trying to hire a hitman using Bitcoin. Prosecutors say 37-year-old Kelly Harper used a murder-for-hire site on the dark web to set up the death of an unnamed Sun Prairie man from late October through late December. A group of journalists found the posting and turned over the evidence to authorities. The 37-year-old is currently being held at the Dane County jail.

(Fox Lake) One person was killed, another seriously injured, following a crash involving two semi-tractor trailers just after 10am yesterday in the Township of Fox Lake. An eastbound Peterbilt truck began to jackknife on Highway 33 roughly 100 feet west of County Road A. A Mack truck heading west struck the left side of the Peterbilt. The 60-year-old driver of the Mack truck was pronounced dead at the scene while the 73-year-old operator of the Peterbilt was flown with life threatening injuries to UW Hospital. Highway 33 was closed for around six hours as the scene was being cleared. The crash remains under investigation.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam School Board last (Monday) night approved a plan to close the Don Smith Learning Academy and merge the students into the high school. The alternative learning facility on East Burnett Street serves at-risk students pursuing their high school degree. The change will take effect after the current school year ends.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Memorial Day Committee is moving ahead with plans to hold a full ceremony this year. Chairperson Lois Levenhagen says the committee recently decided to go ahead with the annual event this May after last year’s ceremony was scaled back to a video stream. Levenhagen says social distancing will be implemented, everyone would have to wear a mask – if that is still the law at that time – and the ceremony can be scaled back if the pandemic situation gets worse.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 543 positive coronavirus cases in Monday’s daily update. One more person was added to the total of those who have died in Wisconsin due to COVID-19, bringing that number to 6,055. That one death was in Dodge County which now has a total of 154 deaths and 11,246 cases, a one-day increase of 10 positive tests.

(Wisconsin) As of Monday, one-third of people ages 65 or older in Wisconsin had received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. The state Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard indicates nearly 299,000 people in the age group have had one shot. DHS reports that 767,020 doses of the shot have been given out in all, with preliminary data showing that 165,370 of them are second doses. More than 12-percent of the state’s female population have also received at least one dose, while about 7-percent of men have received one vaccination. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Student government at the University of Wisconsin is trying to move forward with the COVID Student Relief Fund. However, the U-W blocked the legislation’s newest amendment due to continuing legal concerns. As an alternative, the Associated Students of Madison proposes that the university use money from the Wisconsin Endowment Fund to help students. There’s no word on the University’s response. -WRN

(Madison) Legislation introduced at the Capitol could make it easier for police and first responders to obtain workers compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. Current law requires police and first responders with a mental health condition but no accompanying physical injury to show that their diagnosis was based on unusual stress or strain greater than that experienced by other employees. -WRN

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Elections Commission is predicting a low turnout ahead of next week’s February primary election. The one statewide race is for state schools superintendent.

(Madison) Many voters in our listening area will see three Republican challengers for the 13th State Senate District Seat that was vacated by Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau. Those candidates will be our guests this week on WBEV’s Community Comment. Today we sit down with Don Pridemore of Hartford; on Thursday we speak with Todd Menzel of Columbus and we round out our coverage on Friday with John Jagler of Watertown.