News – January 25, 2009

Wall Of Fame Deadline Nears

1/25/09 – The deadline is approaching for nominations for the Beaver Dam School District 2009 Wall of Fame Awards. Honors will be awarded in two categories: Friends of Education and Outstanding Alumni. Friends of Education are individuals or organizations who have given distinguished service to the district and its students. Outstanding Alumni are graduates of the High School recognized for their exceptional accomplishments, outstanding leadership, historical significance and prominence on the local, state, national or international stage. Last year, the award was presented to 1963 graduate Dr. Fred McFarlane, a San Diego State University professor whose revolutionary approach to rehabilitative counseling has effected positive, sweeping changes worldwide. The first recipient was film star Fred MacMurray. Nomination packets are available at all district school offices or on the district website at Nomination deadline is February 6. The district will honor the 2009 Wall of Fame award recipients at their 13th Annual Wall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, April 5.

No Damage in Town of Beaver Dam Chimney Fire

1/25/09 – There was no damage reported in a Town of Beaver Dam chimney fire last night. According to Fire Department Captain Matt Christian, the report came in at 5:40pm on Shaw Hill Road. Debris had collected in the chimney cap and ignited above the roof line. Christian says it was contained to the upper stack. The unit is back in operation. Firefighters were on the scene for just over an hour.

CFD Chaplin Attempts to Rallies Troops

1/25/09 – When Columbus Firefighters filled public meeting areas at City Hall earlier this past week, their presentations were not enough to spur the Common Council to take action.

Agenda items proposing the rescinding of two Council Resolutions outlining the Fire Chief hiring process was considered to be a way to speed up the process. Fire Department Chaplin Bruce Hennington asked the Council to “don their turnout gear and ACT” on getting the Fire Department a full time Chief.

In a 4 to 3 decision, Mayor Nancy Osterhaus, Council President Ed Parpart and Council Members Darrell Augustine and Bill Bruns cast their votes to keep the hiring process resolutions in place. Parpart suggested that the Council and the Police and Fire Commission set up more meetings in order to ensure the selection of a Chief that was best for the City.

The votes to rescind the resolutions by Council Members Jenny Perkins, Roger Sneath and Tyler Walker were not enough to initiate action toward the selection of a Fire Chief. The only “action” taken by the Council was to delay any Fire Chief recruitment process.

Badger State Could Get $4.3B Under House Bill

1/25/09 – The U.S. House version of an economic stimulus bill would send more than 4-point-3 billion dollars to the state of Wisconsin over the next two years. The biggest portion of the federal money would help Wisconsin balance its budget. More than a billion dollars would go to the Medicaid health program, a half-billion to build roads and bridges and 400 million dollars to public schools programs. Opponents doubt the effectiveness of this approach. Congressional leaders hope to have the package ready for the President’s signature by February 13. The House votes next week. Details of the Senate version haven’t been made public yet.

Momentum Grows For Smoking Ban

1/25/09 – It looks as if a statewide smoking ban may be a go this year — but the devil is in the details. Smoking foes are increasingly confident a statewide ban will soon become law in Wisconsin, but they shouldn’t be taking any bets. That’s what Dane County Tavern League

President Barb Mercer says. Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan has said he favors some sort of transition to a statewide ban. Sheridan says there’s “tremendous momentum” for a statewide smoking ban, but opponents say more than 40 bars have gone out of business in the Madison area due to local smoking bans over the past three and a half years.

Hopper Congratulates Hintz On Appointment

1/25/09 – State Senator Randy Hopper says the appointment of State Representative Gordon Hintz to the State Building Commission will keep the area well represented on the Commission. Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan appointed Hintz, who is from Oshkosh, to the Commission. Hopper, who is from Fond du Lac, says Hintz’s appointment is a big win for the U-W Oshkosh, making sure that it’s needs receive a fair hearing.

Sheboygan Man Gets Five Years For Sexual Assault

1/25/09 – A Sheboygan man will spend five years behind bars after being convicted of two counts of repeated sexual assault of a child. Two preteen girls told the police the inappropriate touching happened when Dwayne Davis was drunk — and started in August 2006. He was arrested last August when the mother of one of the girls spotted him with his pants off. Seconds later she saw her daughter come out of a nearby restroom. Davis was sentenced Friday in Sheboygan County Court.

Inmate Enters “No Contest” Plea to Assault Charges

1/25/09 – One of the two Fond du Lac County jail inmates who beat up and sexually assaulted another inmate has pled no contest to several charges arising out of last June’s incident. Eighteen-year-old Otto Fountain of Oshkosh entered the pleas to amended charges of being party to battery by prisoners and theft. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 1st. Fountain and 32-year-old John Hall of Fond du Lac were accused of assaulting a convicted sex offender who was in the jail. Hall’s next court appearance on charges for his alleged role in the assault is for a pre-trial conference on March 11th.

Injury at Madison Monster Truck Show

1/25/09 – Another monster truck show — and another injury. At the Dane County Coliseum in Madison Saturday night, a worker with the Motor Sports Monster Truck and Thrill show suffered an unspecified injury while working on the floor. He was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. His condition wasn’t reported. The injury happened in the middle of the program, leading organizers to cancel the rest of the show. Just last weekend, a six-year-old boy was killed when a part flew off one of the monster trucks and hit him in the head. That accident happened in Tacoma, Washington.

Police Chief’s Son Charged With Felony Theft

1/25/09 – The son of Madison’s Chief of Police has been charged with felony theft in Milwaukee County. A criminal complaint alleges that 25 year-old Brent Wray stole more than 28 thousand dollars from Milwaukee’s Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, apparently by entering fraudulent refunds and deleting payments at a cash register. Museum officials report they discovered in November that Wray had been taking cash, on a regular basis, in amounts as high as 900 dollars. The thefts date back to 2006. Wray was employed as an assistant manager at the museum. He’s the son of Noble Wray, a Milwaukee native who’s been chief of the Madison Police Department since 2004.

Heroin Cases Grow At Border

1/25/09 – An increase in heroin cases in the state line area has police concerned. Four Illinois teens are awaiting extradition to Wisconsin in connection with a heroin-related death in Beloit. It’s becoming a common trend, according to Beloit Police Captain Bill Tyler. There’s been an increase in heroin cases in the area between Rockford and Janesville. Tyler said it’s hard to catch the problem early on, because family members don’t want to turn relatives over to police, despite the crimes addiction can lead to. Tyler says many middle class families are affected.

Logging Halted in National Forest

1/25/09 – The U.S. Forest Services stops plans for a big logging project in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The feds have decided more study and review is needed before letting the project move forward. The original plan allowed for harvesting of timber in a 52-hundred acre area northeast of Clam Lake. A supervisor with the Forest Service says she expects a final determination by the end of next month. The question might have to go before a federal judge before any timber can be cut. Environmental interests oppose the project.

Fond du Lac County Highway Project Gets Award

1/25/09 – A Black River Falls construction firm has been given an award for its work on bridge in Fond du Lac County. The state’s Department of Transportation gave Lunda Construction Company its Excellence in Small Structures Award for the work it did on the Highway 151 and County Highway D Interchange to Highway 175. The bridge spans an environmentally sensitive oxbow pond of the Fond du Lac River. The DOT Construction Awards were given out for various projects this past week.

Brother Fire Rescue

1/25/09 – Kevin Walleser really was his brother’s keeper. Early Friday morning, Walleser saw a bright light coming from his brother’s house located a quarter-mile away in a rural area near DeSoto. It was just after midnight. Walleser called his brother, Buck, waking the family so they could get out before a fire burned the house to the ground. The Wheatland fire department says the fire started in the attic. Buck Walleser, his wife and their teenage son say they wouldn’t have escaped alive without the warning phone call.