News – January 24, 2019

(Dodge County) A Wind Chill Advisory goes into effect at 6pm tonight and runs through noon Friday. Counties included in the advisory include Dodge along with Columbia, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson and Washington counties, among others. Wind chill factors are expected to fall to 25 to 30 below zero. Frostbite could occur on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

(Juneau) The 2018 budget for the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office ended the year with $490-thousand dollars in red ink. The shortfall stems from the county board’s decision to close the old jail, which was used to house federal inmates for money. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the decision on how to cover the shortfall will be up to the county board, but he noted recently on WBEV’s Community Comment that his office did return budget surpluses to the county’s general fund in each of the last three years. Finance Committee Chair Dave Frohling tells us that it is possible that the county finds a way to again realize revenue from federal contract beds in the long term. However, in the short-term he says the shortfall will likely be addressed with monies from the county’s undesignated general fund; a matter that will be discussed in committee in two weeks.

(Portage) After remaining at large for more than a week, the suspect in a Wisconsin Dells-area murder is in jail. A snow plow driver in Madison thought the sight of a man being dropped off early Wednesday morning looked suspicious, so he called police. When officers arrived, they followed fresh footprints in the snow, leading them to Robert Pulvermacher, who was arrested without incident. Pulvermacher has been wanted since 88-year-old Howard Johnson of Portage was found stabbed to death in his vehicle in the parking lot at the Ho Chunk casino on January 14th. It’s believed that Johnson was killed over a $100 debt. Pulvermacher is awaiting a bail hearing.

(Juneau) An inmate at the Dodge County jail is accused of failing to return to the facility while on work release. Correctional staff learned last week that Paul Digangi (duh-gan-jee) had not returned from his shift at a local construction company. After several attempts to contact the missing inmate failed, police contacted the company and learned that the 32-year-old had been fired the previous day. If found and convicted, Digangi faces up to six-years in prison.

(Fox Lake) A Kenosha woman has entered a guilty plea to charges that she mailed an illegal substance into Fox Lake Correctional Institution. Michelle Garza pled to one felony count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate as a Party to a Crime and Repeat Offender. Prison staff intercepted two greeting cards last October that contained the opioid drug Suboxone.  Michelle Garza was discovered discussing the smuggling operation over the prison phone line with the inmate. Garza will be sentenced in February.

(Juneau) Two Republicans from the Dodge County-area have introduced a bill to remove sensitive wording from state administrative code. Representative John Jagler of Watertown and Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau are seeking to replace the “r-word” with the phrase “intellectual disability.” Jagler says updating the terminology will go a long way into making state government more respectful of its citizens with disabilities. Fitzgerald says he is happy to work with Jagler on the legislation and looks forward to working with Governor Tony Evers to make sure that it gets signed into law.

(Dodge County) Several snowmobile trails in Dodge County have opened. Dan Schultz with Dodge County Parks and Trails says as of 6am Thursday zones three, four and five are available for riders. Several trails however still remain closed. Zone one does not have enough snow yet while zone two is looking to open in the next couple days. Riders are urged to use caution as all trails are still in early season conditions.