News – January 8, 2022

(Beaver Dam) Dodge County’s free walk-in COVID test site will be operational for two more weeks. The site, located at 1701 North Spring Street in Beaver dam, was originally staffed by the Wisconsin National Guard through January 5th which was then extended to the 26th. This extension includes this upcoming Tuesday, January 11th, and will continue every Tuesday and Wednesday ending at 5pm on Wednesday, January 26th. Hours will remain the same, from 11am to 5pm.

(Wisconsin) Another record-setting day for COVID in Wisconsin. The state Department of Health Services on Friday reported a fourth consecutive day of record high new confirmed cases – 12,293 – is the highest one-day report of the pandemic. The 7-day average of 7,637 is more than two times what it was just two weeks ago and also the highest of the pandemic. As of Friday there were 10, 271 COVID deaths reported to DHS. COVID Hospitalizations remain extremely high statewide, with the majority of those patients being unvaccinated. – WRN

(Waupun) SSM Health is hosting a COVID forum on Monday. The roundtable will address fast changing virus updates and next steps the cases continue to surge. The forum will feature Fond du Lac County Health Officer Kim Mueller, SSM Health St. Agnes Hospital President Katherine Vergos, and SSM Health Fond du Lac Regional Clinic Medicine MD Taha El-Shahat. It will be held at 3:30pm on January 10th. A link will be provided on the websites and social media pages for SSM Health following the event.

(Wisconsin) Former Wisconsin congressman Sean Duffy says U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has been “a warrior for truth” in what Duffy calls “COVID falsehoods.” Duffy, on WISN radio, says he won’t run for Senate and hopes Johnson does seek a third term. – WRN

(Wisconsin) U.S. Senator Ron Johnson appears poised to end the uncertainty about a possible third term. Several media outlets reported Friday that the Oshkosh Republican will announce plans to run, early this week. Johnson had once pledged to serve just two terms. Several Democrats are competing to challenge him, including Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson. – WRN

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam man has made his initial appearance in court on charges he assaulted and made suggestive comments towards hospital staff. Bradley Toft allegedly made inappropriate comments and gestures towards employees. He also reportedly grabbed a razor and attempted to place it close to a nurse’s neck before she backed away. Toft also allegedly struck a security guard. He was reportedly under the influence of THC edibles. If convicted, 43-year-old faces over 12 years behind bars. A signature bond was set at $1,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 10th.

(Watertown) A Watertown teen accused of making threats against her school entered a not guilty plea during her arraignment hearing this week. Elizabeth Higgins allegedly posted a picture to Snapchat late last week that showed three assault rifles in opened gun cases with a caption that read (quote) “yes do not come [to] school tomorrow.” Authorities allegedly tied the account the picture was posted under back to Higgins. Officials with the school, redacted in the criminal complaint, where notified and Higgins was brought to the assistant principal’s office before entering the building. Higgins reportedly told police that the photo was fake and the threat was not legitimate. If convicted, the 17-year-old faces over four years behind bars.

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam man charged with having inappropriate contact with a minor is heading to trial. A preliminary hearing was held this week for Kyle Schwantes who is facing a felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. The court did find probable cause to advance the case to trial. According to the criminal complaint, the 13-year-old victim said that Schwantes had touched her inappropriately while at his residence in March. If convicted, the 35-year-old faces 40 years in prison.

(Columbia County) Four people died in a crash on Interstate-39 Thursday night. According to the State Patrol, all four were killed when a mini-van they were in was struck by two semis while pulling into traffic. The driver of the van had pulled over to assist another motorist. Identities of those killed were not released pending family notification, but three were from the Wisconsin Dells area. Neither semi driver was injured in the crash which occurred at about 10:15, near the state Highway 60 exit in Columbia County. – WRN

(Columbia County) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has revoked the wholesale dealer license of 13 Columbia County dealers for violating their licensing requirements. The wholesale license revocation for 1200 Motor Group, Access Auto Solutions, BMC Motors, Diamond Motorsports, JMS Autos, K Four Timezs Auto, Need a Ride Chicago, Parils Auto, Precise Motors, Reese Auto, True Kings Auto, Ty Cars, and YNot Grind Auto Sales took effect last Monday. DMV’s Dealers and Agents Section determined that each dealer violated state law after failing to maintain a licensed business facility.

(Madison) Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson will resign his post in March. In a letter to Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds, Thompson said he took in interim position with the understanding he was needed, and that it would be temporary. Wisconsin’s longest serving governor was brought aboard in July 2020, after a failed search to find a replacement for the retiring Ray Cross. In his letter, Thompson noted the regents will soon identify a candidate to become the full-time president. – WRN