News – July 3, 2021

(Lowell) Multiple fire departments were dispatched to a residence in the Village of Lowell Thursday evening. The fire was reported at 5:51PM at 320 Mill Street, with the Clyman, Lowell, and Reeseville fire departments responding. Fire suppression operations continued until 12:35AM Friday morning. The blaze is still under investigation with no information about its cause available at this time.

(Portage) The Portage Fire Department recently held a swearing-in ceremony for their newest fire-engineer. Joshua Meyer is a native to the Madison-area, having grown up in Waunakee and working as a mechanic for 10 years at a shop just off the beltline. Fire Chief Troy Haase says his family roots originated in Portage, beginning in 1865, when Meyer’s great-great grandparents built a home on Wisconsin Street. Meyer volunteered at DeForest Windsor Fire and EMS, where he spent the last five years working his way up to a lieutenant’s position. During the ceremony, Meyer offered a special thanks to the fire department, the city administered, and the police and fire commission for offering him this opportunity to join. He said he is looking forward to working beside the members to serve the Portage community. Portage Mayor Rick Dodd provided some words of encouragement and the PFC congratulated Meyer for being a strong candidate.

(Wisconsin) Prosecutors want the jury in Kyle Rittenhouse’s case to hear about what he’s been doing since he shot and killed two people last summer. The Kenosha County district attorney is asking a judge to let him present evidence that Rittenhouse met with the leader of the Proud Boys in January. Prosecutors also want to be able to mention an alleged assault from last summer. Rittenhouse is supposed to go on trial in November for shooting three people, killing two of them during rioting in Kenosha last summer. Rittenhouse’s lawyers say he fired in self-defense. – WRN

(Milwaukee) There will no showdown at Milwaukee Police headquarters Saturday morning. Former police chief Alfonso Morales has agreed to give the city until July 12th to either settle his wrongful termination lawsuit or let him to come back to work. The original deadline was the end of this week. Milwaukee leaders say they do not want Morales back, but they are also reluctant to pay him to walk. – WRN

(Waupun) A Waupun woman was arrested this week after crashing into a parked vehicle while under the influence. Police were dispatched to the 1000 block of Oriole Street around 10:45pm Tuesday. Deputy Chief Jeremy Rasch says a 25-year-old woman was taken into custody for Operating While Intoxicated. The woman was later released to a responsible party. Rasch says a 22-year-old Beaver Dam man was also cited for Possession of Controlled Substances and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

(Madison) Republican legislative leaders are urging the governor to sign the state budget bill passed this week. For the first time in 14 years, the two-year spending plan got bipartisan support. Seven Democrats joined Republicans voting for it. Governor Tony Evers told a crowd in Green Bay he is “looking forward” to spending time going through it. When he officially gets the budget he will have six days to sign it, make changes, or veto it. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says members of the Joint Finance Committee worked hard to minimize opportunities for Evers to make changes.

(Madison) Governor Evers appears ready to veto parts of the new state budget. Evers told reporters Thursday he had not seen the full budget yet and needs to review it. The governor did say that he wants to see what may need to be changed. After changes by lawmakers, the budget spends $87-and-a-half billion-dollars, which is far less than what Evers proposed in his original document. – WRN

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation are asking travelers over the July 4th weekend to buckle up, plan their routes and drive carefully though work zones. DOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson says this Independence Day, everyone can be grateful for the opportunity to return to many of the things we all love about summer in Wisconsin, so he wants to encourage safe travels for all. Thompson asks motorists to put their phones down when driving, make sure everyone is wearing seatbelts, and plan to avoid or slow down for work zones. Vehicles that have not been driven recently should be inspected for safe travel, which includes checking tire pressure and fluid levels. All Wisconsin rest areas are open. A list of road construction projects that may impact travel this weekend can be found at DailyDodge.com.

(Wisconsin) Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are asking ATV and UTV operators to ride safely this Fourth of July weekend. They say when out with family and friends for off-road rides, wearing a helmet and seat belt, monitoring speed, and brushing up on best safety practices could save your life. DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator Lieutenant Martin Stone says the Fourth of July holiday weekend is often a busy time on our trails and road routes. He says the DNR wants everyone to stay safe out there; familiarizing yourself with ATV-UTV laws and safe operation practices is a must before you head out. So far this year, 17 people have died in ATV/UTV crashes. Of the five fatal UTV crash victims, none were wearing helmets and four of five did not wear seat belts. Of the 12 fatal ATV crash victims, 10 were not wearing helmets. Other safety tips officials recommend include never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride, be careful while traversing hills or uneven terrain and that some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. ATV and UTV operators born on or after January 1st, 1988, who are at least 12 years old must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin, expect on private property owned by operator’s immediate family. Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in a crash incident to report the incident without delay to law enforcement officials.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials are also reminding the public that fireworks are prohibited on DNR-managed lands. Restricted areas include state parks, forests, and state-owned public hunting and fishing areas. Officials say anyone using fireworks should take precautions to prevent wildfires now and during the next few weeks. Exploding fireworks, such as firecrackers, m-70s, bottle rockets and roman candles, cause the most fireworks-related wildfires. The DNR says while holiday favorites such as sparklers and fountains are not defined as fireworks per state law, they do pose a significant fire threat especially near grassy areas in hot and dry weather. A citation for illegal fireworks in a state park or forest can cost up to $200.50. Violators, or parents of violators, could be responsible for the total costs of extinguishing a fire and up to twice the cost of damages. The DNR says anyone planning on camping in a Wisconsin State Park or forest during the Fourth of July weekend should enjoy fireworks displays in nearby communities — not at picnic areas, campsites or other areas within state parks, forests, and trails. Officials note that fire danger levels were low across the state, but fireworks could increase those numbers with dry conditions returning for the holiday weekend. Although wildfires caused by fireworks amount to just 5% of the annual total, these fires typically occur in a condensed time frame around the Fourth of July holiday.

(Oshkosh) Oshkosh Wittman Regional Airport has opened its new general aviation terminal less than a month before the start of the annual E-A-A AirVenture. Work on the five-and-a-half-million-dollar project started last summer.  Local officials say it was completed on time and under budget.  The modern facility replaces both the 50-year-old commercial service passenger terminal and the former general aviation terminal built more than 60 years ago.  The E-A-A AirVenture takes off July 26th. – WRN