“News – July 18, 2009”

Neighbor’s 911 Call Leads to Arrest of 3


7/18/09 – Three people are in custody today on suspicion of breaking into a Town of Ashippun home yesterday morning.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department says around 10:30 an Ashippun man was awaken by loud banging from his neighbors home.  When he looked outside he saw three people taking items from the residence and putting them in a vehicle. The man called 911 and described the three people and gave a great description of the vehicle.  Within 25-minutes, a Dodge County Deputy confronted the burglars in the driveway of another resident in Washington County.  That owner, a police officer, off-duty, was awaken by the burglars kicking in his door and he was in the process of calling 911 himself.  Authorities took a 25-year-old woman, 29-year-old woman, and 20-year-old male into custody.  After further investigation the three are suspected in numerous burglaries in communities from all over southeast Wisconsin.  The three will remain in Washington County until they can be brought to Dodge County to face Burglary charges here.


Breaking and Entering in Town of Trenton


7/18/09 – Authorities are also investigating a breaking and entering at a Town of Trenton residence.  The Sheriff’s Department says the resident at W8919 County Trunk A-W reported that their door had been pried open and there were numerous items stolen.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department or the anonymous WE-Tip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME.


Fox Lake to Interview for Police Chief Vacancy


7/18/09 – Fox Lake plans to interview three candidates for its vacant police chief position sometime next week.  That’s according to City Administrator Bill Petracek who says they’ve whittled the list down from 22 applications.  He says all of the finalists meet the qualifications they established at the beginning of the process.  They hope to have a decision made by September.  The person chosen will replace former Chief Pat Lynch who resigned earlier this year.  Interim Chief Randy Martin has been serving since then.


Council to Consider Liquor License for Former MVP’s Sports Bar


7/18/09 – The Beaver Dam Common Council will consider providing a liquor license for 208 Front Street when they meet Monday evening.  The liquor license at the establishment had been revoked when it was operated as MVP’s Sports Bar.  The Police Department initiated the revocation citing a disproportionate amount calls-for-service at the downtown business.  Former General Manager James Lebeau says he plans on selling his stake in the business to Alexander Sanful, the party interested in obtaining the license.  And Lebeau says the current owner of the property and former liquor license holder, James Schroud, has plans in the works to sell the property to another individual. The new bar would be called “Celebrations Bar and Grill.” As for Lebeau, he says he is “moving on” and focusing his attention on his entertainment promotion business.  Also on Monday, the common council will consider the approval of Phase 2 plans for the downtown renovation project.  With Phase One on-time, nearly completed and now funded primarily with grants, city leaders are hoping to get an early jump on several projects that had originally been slated for next year. Projects that could be completed this year include the installation of pedestrian walking bridge; protective barriers along the newly-created open river channel and façade improvements to the buildings left exposed by neighboring demolition. The common council will meet at 8pm Monday night at city hall.


Tax Collections Continue to Decline


7/18/09 – Tax collections for the state of Wisconsin were down seven percent for the fiscal year ending last month.  The Department of Revenue released its annual report yesterday.  Tax collections for the month of June were also down — about four percent.  The state reports the biggest decline was in corporate taxes.  They dropped 22 percent.  Income tax collections were off eight percent and sales taxes down by four percent.  Wisconsin lawmakers last month approved a two-year budget that covered a shortfall of more than six and a half billion dollars.  That hole in the budget was caused mostly by the decline in tax collections.


High Speed Rail Looking More Likely in Wisconsin


7/18/09 – It’s said to be the first step toward high-speed passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison.  Wisconsin will purchase two 14-car passenger trains for 47 million dollars, replacing Hiawatha trains running from Milwaukee to Chicago.  Train parts would be made in Spain, but assembled and maintained here in Wisconsin.  Governor Jim Doyle says that will create about 80 jobs initially.  The contract allows for the option to buy two additional train sets if the state gets federal stimulus money for the high-speed train.  Eight billion dollars in federal stimulus money has been allocated for high-speed rail projects in the U.S.


WI Supreme Court: UW-Madison Official Can Be Held Liable in Death of Worker


7/18/09 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules an official at UW-Madison can be held liable in the death of a television camera man.  The fatal accident happened at Camp Randall Stadium in 2003.  Richard Umansky was working for ABC Sports, setting up his camera the day before a game between Iowa and the Badgers.  He fell eight feet from an unguarded platform, dying a few days later.  The suit accuses the stadium’s facilities director, Barry Fox, of failing to comply with workplace safety rules which required a railing on that platform.  Attorneys for Fox argued he couldn’t be sued under rules giving legal immunity to state employees in most cases.


USDA Still Looking at Other Options to Help Farmers


7/18/09 – The head of the USDA says it is working to improve the plight of farmers, but beyond 760 million dollars in new farm loans, didn’t offer much in the way of concrete fixes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was at a community forum near La Crosse as part of President Obama’s rural tour.  On the minds of many participants were milk prices, currently much lower than the cost of production.  Vilsack says he’s aware of the concerns.  He says Washington has been considering other possibilities, including restructuring loans, providing higher support payments on a temporary basis, and working longer term to smooth out the boom-bust price cycle.


West Bend Man Sentenced to 30-Years in Prison


7/18/09 – The sentence for a child pornographer from West Bend is set at 30 years.  Fifty-four year old Martin Ott had admitted taking lewd digital pictures of himself and a seven year old girl while he engaged in sexual acts with her.  Ott was arrested last December after a search warrant was served at his home.  Investigators say he sexually exploited the child twice last year.


Watch Out for Stiff Body in Lake Winnebago


7/18/09 – Some swimmers are fluid in their actions while in the water.  Others are stiff.  If you’re on Lake Winnebago this weekend, watch out for the second one.  The Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue squad reports it has lost a training mannequin.  It sunk into the water just off-shore from Neenah’s Recreation Park Thursday during a rescue training session.  The rescue crew bosses say it could resurface, so they’re hoping people will keep an eye out for the mannequin.  It’s worth about 630 dollars.  It doesn’t swim — but it might float.


Lake Levels in Wisconsin Continue to Recede


Wisconsin’s lake levels keep dropping – and more folks are asking the D-N-R if they can use the land exposed by the receding waters.  It’s been especially dry in northern Wisconsin for the last five summers – and it’s gotten so bad that some boat-docks are sitting on solid ground.  The D-N-R’s Jim Bishop says many residents want to know if they plant gardens on the muddy lakeshore – or just roto-till the land for a future use.  And the answer is “no” in both cases.  D-N-R biologist Dan Harrington says the state wants to keep the shorelines natural and healthy.  Chip Wood lives on Deep Lake in Washburn County.  He can remember when he could walk five steps on a dock that used to be underwater.  Now, he says the lake is 125-feet away.