News – July 16, 2019

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam School Board approved closing South Beaver Dam Elementary last night. The facility will shut its doors after the next school year and will be consolidated with Jefferson Elementary in 2020-2021. The decisions centers around a five-year facility plan totaling over $12-million dollars – at all buildings except the high school – that includes taking on new debt without going to referendum. // Around $2.25-million dollars would be used to accommodate the new students at Jefferson. The school board also approved borrowing $5-million dollars this fall to address maintenance needs for the district and could borrow an additional $3-million dollars in 2021.

(Beaver Dam) A four-way stop will be installed on North Spring Street at Woodland Drive following action by the Beaver Dam Common Council last night, and in two years the stop signs will be replaced by stop lights or a roundabout. It’s part of an intergovernmental agreement stemming from a new apartment complex being installed in the city that would increase traffic on the township portion of Woodland Drive, which the city will pay to rebuild. // The city also agreed not to seek annexation of the nearby Elser Woods and Shady Oaks subdivisions. The agreement still requires approval by the Town of Beaver Dam Board.

(Beaver Dam) U-S Senator Tammy Baldwin says former Shopko employees received little or no severance pay when the company went bankrupt this year. Former employees say they were promised backpay if they stayed with the company until the end. But Baldwin says Sun Capital, a private equity firm, took Shopko and its employees for granted. The Wisconsin Democrat, who met with former Shopko employees over the weekend, called Sun Capital a predatory investment firm. Shopko filed for bankruptcy in January, closing all of its stores, and laying off three-thousand employees in Wisconsin.

(Waupun) A Waupun man accused of hiding a reckless homicide suspect made his initial appearance in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday. Steven Bierman allegedly refused to answer the door when police came looking for Cara Zech, who is charged in connection with a Fond du Lac County overdose death. // Bierman reportedly told police that Zech asked him not to answer the door and said he wanted to give her time to make a few phone calls. If convicted, the 65-year-old faces no more than ten years in prison.

(Waupun) A Marshall man accused of running from police in Dodge County on Friday appeared in court yesterday. Vincent Artis was allegedly clocked going 80-miles-an-hour on Highway 151. When officers asked for his driver’s license, Artis reportedly fled at speeds up to 116-miles-per-hour. The 31-year-old’s vehicle was disabled by spike stripes. If convicted, Artis faces over four years in prison.

(Marathon County) A former dairy princess in Marathon County convicted of killing an ex-boyfriend’s fiancée 30 years ago is being released from prison today.  The Wisconsin Parole Commission approved the release of Lori Esker (EE-sker).  The now 50-year-old was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the strangling death of Lisa Cihaski (sun-has-key). The murder was made into an NBC/Lifetime channel movie in the 1990s.