“News – July 25, 2009”

Columbus Man Killed in Columbia County Accident


7/25/09 – Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in a two-vehicle accident that took the life a 21-year-old rural Columbus man early yesterday morning.  The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office says Ben VanderVenter was traveling south on Highway C near Hall Road around midnight when he crossed the centerline and struck a vehicle driven by 69-year-old Jack Frandy of Rio head-on.  VanderVenter was pronounced dead at the scene while Frandy suffered minor injuries.  Authorities say alcohol was a factor for both drivers and they found empty beer cans in VanderVenter’s vehicle.  Frandy’s wife, Pamela, called the accident in claiming she had been driving.  However, an investigation later showed that she had not even been in the car at the time of the accident.  Phone records show that Jack Frandy actually made several calls to his wife before she called in the accident and authorities determined she was at home at the time of the incident.  Jack Frandy was later arrested on tentative charges of negligent homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, obstructing, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, 2nd offense.  Charges against Pamela Frandy are pending.


48-Year-old Randolph Man Killed in Accident


7/25/09 – A Randolph man was killed in a one-vehicle accident yesterday morning in the Town of Westford.  According to the Dodge County Sheriffs Department, the accident occurred around 11am on County Trunk G when the driver failed to negotiate a curve, rolled the car into a ditch and down a steep embankment before coming to rest on its roof.   The 48-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene.  The name is being withheld pending notification of the family.  Alcohol and speed were not a factor in the crash and the driver was wearing his seatbelt.


DC Sheriff’s Department Cautioning Residents About Possible Fraud


7/25/09 – During the last few days members of the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department have received information concerning possible fraud involving blacktop paved driveways.  Residents have reported being approached by personnel from out of state indicating they have excess blacktop from another job, and offer to pave/repave their driveway.  The price is represented as a deal, but in checking with other local area paving companies, it appears the price may be as much as double the going rate.  Workmanship also has been called into question.  While is does not appear there is anything criminal taking place, law enforcement would like to remind folks to be cautious.  If it appears to be too good to be true is probably is.  Do not be pressured into purchasing services without checking with other providers for comparison quotes.  If the public has any questions they may call the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department at 920-386-3726.


FTD Were a Success but Not Just By the Numbers


7/25/09 – Strictly by the numbers the 2009 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days at the Crave Brothers Farm near Waterloo was a success.  But Executive Secretary Matt Hanson says it was a success in others ways as well saying their goal was not necessarily high numbers, instead concentrating on making exhibitors happy and educating people as to where their food comes from.  Co-Chair of the Executive Committee, Bill Nass said it was very gratifying to hear comments from exhibitors and visitors about how pleased they were with the show.  Numbers are still coming in but one thing was for sure.  More visitors had an opportunity to tour the farm than at any other show.  Over the three days, more than 30,000 people took tram rides or bus tours through the farm.  Organizers believe around 80,000 people passed through the gates during the three day event.  Next years show will be held in Pierce County.


Supreme Court Rules Doctors Must Disclose All Treatment Options


7/25/09 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court says doctors must tell patients about all available forms of treatment.  The ruling came yesterday in a case that involved Richard Bubb of Campbellsport.  He fell out of his chair while eating dinner in 2001, and he then went to the emergency room at Saint Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac.  That’s where E-R doctor William Brusky found that Bubb suffered a temporary loss of oxygen in his brain.  Brusky sent the patient home after consulting with a specialist.  But two days later, Bubb had a stroke – and tests found that his carotid artery was 90-percent blocked.  Bubb later sued Brusky, saying the doctor should have spelled out his treatment options when he went to the emergency room.  The Supreme Court agreed, saying it what’s state law requires.


Kewaskum Couple to Stand Trial on Adoption Placement


7/25/09 – A couple in Washington County has been ordered to stand trial, for allegedly selling their baby girl to a Missouri woman for six-thousand dollars.  38-year-old David Schmidt and 33-year-old Angela Schmidt of Kewaskum are scheduled to enter pleas August 12th to felony charges of unauthorized adoption placements.  Prosecutors said Angela Schmidt claimed to be a surrogate mother – but she was impregnated by her own husband and not by the father who wants the baby.  The Schmidts’ attorney had previously said the Missouri woman misled the couple by claiming the baby-sale was legal.  It took place in 2004.


Storms Wreak Havoc on Southwest Wisconsin


7/25/09 – Powerful storms knocked down barns in southwestern Wisconsin, washing out roads and interrupting electrical service for some customers.  Heavy rain and hail the size of baseballs was reported in Lafayette County, with more than three inches of rain falling in Grant County.  Winds reportedly topped 60 miles per hour.  A mudslide in Crawford County closed Highway 35.  No injuries were reported, but the State Emergency Operations Center was partially activated so the storms could be monitored.


2nd Neumann Trial to Get Underway


7/25/09 – Opening arguments will be given today in a Marathon County courtroom for the father from Weston facing second-degree reckless homicide charges in his daughter’s death.  Dale Neumann is accused of praying for 11 year old Madeline, instead of seeking medical help.  She died from undiagnosed diabetes.  The jury was picked yesterday in Wausau.  The girl’s mother was convicted of the same charge last May.  Prosecutors say the parents were reckless and responsible for the girl’s death because they ignored obvious symptoms of her deteriorating health.  Both parents say they believed God would heal their daughter.


Man’s Prison Sentence Reduced from Life to 8-Years


7/25/09 – A Racine man gets eight years in prison for shooting and killing a car vandal.  Adrial White has originally been given a life sentence, but he won his appeal.  Rather than go back to court, he pleaded guilty to reduced charges.  White was convicted three years ago when prosecutors convinced a jury he had shot and killed one man and injured another.  The two were trying to steal a speaker from a bar that belonged to a woman White was about to marry.  White’s defense attorney has recommended a sentence of seven years.  She says her client is satisfied with the outcome and won’t appeal again.


Doyle: Domestic Partnership Law Not “Sneaky”


7/25/09 – Governor Jim Doyle says the creation of a domestic partnership law through the state budget process was not “sneaky.”  That was the word used by the executive director of Wisconsin Family Action to describe the partnerships for unmarried couples.  Julaine Appling filed a lawsuit seeking immediate action by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the law, citing a 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.  Speaking in Hudson yesterday, Governor Doyle was confident the law will be upheld.  Doyle indicated that he thinks Appling and the others filing the lawsuits have themselves been deceptive in their public comments.


Doyle and Pawlenty Meet to Discuss State Partnership


7/25/09 – Governors Pawlenty and Doyle took a boat ride and talked about the many ways Minnesota and Wisconsin can work together to save some money.  The two governors of the neighboring states discussed how to clean up the scenic St. Croix River.  Reducing soil runoff from construction sites and farms is one approach.  The states are also working together to protect the St. Louis River near Duluth-Superior.  Pawlenty says the two states are building their already-close relationship, whether its saving the fish — or offering a job to semi-retired quarterbacks.  Governor Tim Pawlenty was referring to the NFL Vikings and the possibility former Packer quarterback Brett Favre might suit up for the team some day soon.


Air and Water Show Gets Going Today in Milwaukee


7/25/09 – The Milwaukee Air and Water Show draws thousands of people to the lakefront today and tomorrow.  The Air Force Thunderbirds dominate the skies with their performance both afternoons at 3:30.  The big show also includes the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, aerobatic teams and air shows.  Aviation fans will get to see a Navy FA-18 Hornet and an Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle.  The evening air show will dominate the skies above German Fest.


Man Able to Watch Birth of Daughter from Iraq


7/25/09 – 7/25/09 – From thousands of miles away, it was almost like he was there.  Marine Sergeant Gus Hazelton got to witness the birth of his daughter in Aurora West Allis Medical Center — even though he is on assignment in Iraq.  The video feed was made possible by the group “Freedom Calls,” which relies on private donations to pay for the service.  Mom Melissa Hazelton and little Liliana are said to be doing fine.