News – July 1, 2020

(Columbus) Meeting as a committee of the whole, officials in Columbus last night advanced to the full common council the question of removing or keeping the city-owned statue of Christopher Columbus. The request for removal was sparked by a petition from a city resident. A second group started a petition seeking to keep the statue. There were 20 emails and letters submitted to the city while ten people spoke at City Hall split on their perspective of history. The council meets next on Monday, July 6.

(Waupun) Restaurants and bars in Waupun struggling due to COVID-19 may soon be able to expand their outdoor seating areas. The common council last night discussed an ordinance aimed at helping establishments increase square footage for outdoor seating while keeping customers and servers from concentrating indoors. City officials say the ordinance will also help promote use and enjoyment of Waupun’s public spaces and enhance tourism. Details of the ordinance are still being hammered and the matter will be discussed further at the next common council meeting.

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam woman accused of assaulting a minor entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect yesterday (Tuesday). The court accepted the plea of Jennifer Schmidt and determined that the 50-year-old is guilty of committing the crime but cannot appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions and is unable to conform her behavior to the law. Schmidt had inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old on multiple occasions last spring. The court ordered the Department of Health Services to recommend the disciplinary action that will be taken, which could include commitment to a mental health institute or supervised living arrangements.

(Watertown) A Watertown teen accused of having inappropriate contact with a minor entered into a plea deal with Dodge County prosecutors yesterday (Tuesday). Brandon Peters plead no contest to a felony count of Repeated Sexual Assault of the Same Child and the court withheld a finding of guilt. He was instead placed in a deferred prosecution agreement, which means he will avoid a felony record if he stays out of trouble while on probation for two years. Peters assaulted the 13-year-old victim between July and October last year. The 17-year-old at first denied the accusations but later admitted to his actions.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 601 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) daily update which is 4.7% of the 12,000 tests administered. After two straight days with no deaths reported, state health officials announced seven more deaths yesterday bringing that number to 784. Dodge County has five deaths on record and 459 cases, an increase of three from Monday. Public health officials in Dodge County are actively monitoring 25 people while 201 have recovered.

(Fond du Lac) Congressman Glenn Grothman says the next step Congress needs to take in COVID-19 relief is to protect businesses from lawsuits brought by those that might have contracted it in or through their establishment. He says many businesses are trying to get back on their feet after stay at home orders and are doing their best to protect employees and customers. It’s been a tough go of it and he says the last thing they need is to be sued by someone that comes down with COVID-19.

(Portage) A ten-year-old bicyclist suffered non-life threatening injuries after being struck by a vehicle last night in Portage. The accident happened at 8:30pm at the intersection of Monroe Street and East Carroll Street. It was determined that the 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was traveling southbound on Monroe Street when the bicyclist failed to stop at the stop sign on East Carroll Street. The driver was unsuccessful in taking evasive action and struck the bicycle. The juvenile was conscious when police arrived and the driver remained on scene and was cooperative with law enforcement.