News – January 4, 2020

(Waupun) A Waupun man will be sentenced in March for his role in a fatal crash. James K. Jensen pled no contest this week to one felony count of Homicide By Negligent Use Of A Vehicle and misdemeanor Causing Injury Operating Under the Influence First Offense. Five other felony counts and one misdemeanor were dismissed. The 60-year-old was driving a car that collided head-on with another vehicle on Fond du Lac County Road AW near Waupun in November of 2016. The crash killed 23-year-old Brock Hoekstra of Waupun, who was a passenger in a car driven by his mother. A second passenger sustained serious injuries, as did Jensen. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 9.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Fire Department extinguished a kitchen fire Thursday evening. Crews responded to 130 James Street at 8:21pm to reports of an air fryer on fire. On arrival, smoke was coming from the lower story of the two-story, single-family home. All occupants were out of the house on arrival except for the homeowner’s cats, which were rescued by firefighters. The small fire was contained to the kitchen area. There was smoke damage throughout the house. Fire damage was contained to the kitchen and was minimal. The flames were brought under control within minutes of crews arriving arriving on the scene. The ignition source was the air fryer, but Deputy Fire Chief Matt Christian says it is not known why the device ignited. The air fryer was not cooking food at the time the incident was reported but was used to prepare food prior to the incident. There were no injuries reported. The home is owned by Brittany Kachterberg. The scene was cleared in about one hour.

(Watertown) A Watertown man accused of running from police is heading to trial. Ryan Firari waived his right to a preliminary hearing on one felony count of Fleeing an Officer along with misdemeanor Possession of Cocaine. A Watertown police officer clocked a car traveling 50-miles-per-hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone on North Fourth Street in August. The cop activated his emergency lights but lost sight of the vehicle near the 1100 block of Highland Avenue. He was able to get the license plate of the car which was allegedly registered to Firari. The vehicle was later located in the parking lot of a local pub. According to the criminal complaint, when officers questioned Firari, he denied being the suspect. As the 29-year-old was arrested, police allegedly found a small baggie of white powder which tested positive as cocaine. If convicted, Firari faces up to four-and-a-half years behind bars. He will be arraigned next month.

(Leroy) A Beaver Dam man charged with stealing scrap metal from a Brownsville business is heading to trial after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday. Clarence Fraze allegedly stole roughly $10,000 of stainless steel in November of 2018. According to the criminal complaint, Fraze admitted to his actions and said he was never able to sell the steel because someone else stole it from him. If convicted, the 42-year-old faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison. Fraze will be arraigned next month.

(Beaver Dam) There may be another contested aldermanic race in Beaver Dam. Dan Baulch is circulating papers to run in Ward Six. Baulch spent several years covering the Beaver Dam Common Council as a news reporter. The incumbent, Ken Anderson, has filed all his nomination papers. It would be the second, contested aldermanic race in Beaver Dam. Ward 14 Alderwoman Mary Morgan is looking at a challenge from Michael Wissell. As it stands now, there would be a four-way race for Beaver Dam mayor. Incumbent Becky Glewen has filed her nomination papers along with Jeffrey Kohman and Alan Winter while Paul Scesniak is circulating papers. If more than two candidates are certified at canvassing, a February primary would be needed.  Beaver Dam may not have the only contested mayoral race in the area either. Waupun Mayor Julie Nickel is facing a challenge from Jay Graf.

(Mount Pleasant) A report shows that Foxconn continues to lag behind promised spending and construction across Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the tech company is far behind schedule when it comes to investments into its site in Racine County, and also behind development and construction of a number of promised research hubs across the state. Investment into construction for the LCD assembly line in Mount Pleasant is at 370 million of an original estimate of 2 point 1 billion, and a number of new offices and research centers are either vacant or lightly staffed, with no open plans to develop them. In statements to the Journal Sentinel, Foxconn says it will continue to follow its planned expansions, and that everything is on track to meet its obligations.

(Sun Prairie) The Sun Prairie Plan Commission will meet this month, and review a proposal for downtown redevelopment.  That area was devastated by an explosion and fire in July 2018, destroying several businesses and killing a Sun Prairie fire captain.  City officials call this a long-term plan for the future which will likely go before the council by the end of this month.  Construction plans should be finalized by the end of the summer.

(Madison) A lot more Wisconsin kids are sick with the flu this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved Wisconsin to a “high flu activity” state. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin alone saw 829 flu cases in December, including 46 kids who had to stay in the hospital. That compares to just nine flu cases in December a year earlier. Doctors say there is still time to get a flu shot and help your kids not get sick this flu season.

(Walworth County) Applications are being taken for the 73rd Alice in Dairyland. But time is limited to submit applications for those who are eligible and interested. Application materials are available on the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection website. Applications have to be returned by February 3rd. Alice in Dairyland is the ambassador for the state’s $104.8 billion agricultural industry. The 73rd Alice in Dairyland will be crowned during final interviews in mid-May in Walworth County.

(Town of Beaver Dam) Dodge County Sheriff’s deputies helped a Town of Beaver Dam man with an unwanted intruder. Authorities were dispatched to a residence on Kellom Road Thursday evening around 10:30pm. According to the sheriff’s briefing, the caller reported that he was sitting on his couch when he was nearly attacked by a woodchuck. The animal was not located but deputies assisted the caller in fixing a hole in the floor.