News – January 22, 2020

(Beaver Dam) The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill dealing with – but not closing – the “dark store loophole.” The so-called loophole allows big-box retailers to have their property assessments based on those of vacant competitors, meaning less revenue for local governments and more money shifted to residential taxpayers.  Walmart is suing Beaver Dam over its tax bill, hoping to lower the property taxes on both their super-center and distribution center. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the measure – making the tax assessment appeal process easier – was one of three bills to come out of a study committee. The Juneau Republican calls it a “complicated, tedious issue.” Senator Janis Ringhand (jan-iss, ring-hand), who served on the committee studying the issue, said the bill that passed Tuesday does not really help, and two others yet to be voted on will not either.

(Beaver Dam) Legislation that would make a life-saving drug more readily available for jail staff garnered unanimous support in the State Assembly yesterday. The bill was introduced by State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam after being contacted by Dodge County Deputy Jail Administrator Jason Hundt about a loophole that prevents county jailers from using Narcan, which can be used to completely or partially reverse an opioid overdose. The bill would add county jailers to the current statute which establishes a framework for all levels of EMT and first responders to be trained on how to administer the drug. The bill is now headed to the state senate.

(Beaver Dam) The company that owns the Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Beaver Dam is facing major penalties for violating child labor laws. The US Labor Department says Kentucky-based Manna Incorporated broke the law by allowing 14-and-15-year-old employees to work longer than they were supposed to. Manna has 40 Wendy’s and Fazoli’s locations in Wisconsin. Three minors were connected to the violation in Beaver Dam while seven minors were found to be in violation at the Wendy’s in West Bend and one in Sun Prairie. Federal law limits teenagers to work three hours a day on weekdays and never past 7pm. The total penalty for the charges is over $157-thousand dollars.

(Lake Winnebago) A person wanted for questioning in multiple crimes is dead after being shot following an officer involved shooting last (Tuesday) night in Winnebago County. The incident included members of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s SWAT Team. The SWAT team was requested by the Lake Winnebago MEG drug unit to help take that person into custody. Sheriff John Matz says several shots were fired. The incident happened in the 800 block of Grove Street near the border of the Village of Fox Crossing and the City of Appleton. The state’s Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating last night’s shooting.  The SWAT Team was requested about 7:30 pm. The shooting victim was wanted on felony warrants.


(Fall River) A May 21 jury trial was added to the court calendar in Columbia County yesterday (Wednesday) for a Fall River man facing charges of eighth offense OWI. Michael Ormosen reportedly had two drinks at a Fall River bar before hopping on his motorcycle last June. The 46-year-old allegedly accelerated rapidly before driving the bike into a parked car that apparently belonged to the bartender who served him.

(Madison) Hunters in Wisconsin harvested nearly 50-thousand fewer deer in all of the deer seasons in the state last year compared to 2018. DNR officials presented a report to the Natural Resources Board yesterday (Tuesday) that shows hunters killed 288,025 during all of the seasons including archery, the nine-day gun deer hunt and a youth hunt. In 2018, hunters took 335,243 deer.

(Milwaukee) Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Madison next week. The White House announced that Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks in the Capitol rotunda next Tuesday, as part of the Wisconsin School Choice Student Showcase celebrating national school choice week.

(Wisconsin Dells) A Stevens Point woman faces assault charges in Wisconsin Dells after punching another woman in a bar in September. Police say 33-year-old Amber Lythjohan punched the woman after the victim said ‘hi’ to her husband. Lythjohan told police that she “lost it” and threw the other woman to the ground because she was so upset by the friendly action. Another witness said they saw Lythjohan kick the woman in the ribs while she was down. The victim tells police she doesn’t remember much from the incident because she lost consciousness. Lythjohan is free on a $500 dollar bond.