News June 10, 2015

Juneau PD Looking For Sidewalk Vandal


6/10/15 – The Juneau Police Department is look for the person responsible for vandalizing a freshly poured sidewalk. It happened over the noon hour Tuesday on Fair Street near the Historical Society. Police Chief Dave Beal there is a set of approximately size five to seven shoe prints side-by-side along with tracks from a dog. Beal says the person responsible should be held accountable but of equal concern is the welfare of the dog. The three squares of concrete were re-pored. The cost to repair is around $2000 at the cities expense.


Horicon Council Approves Funding For New Police Officer


6/10/15 – The Horicon City Council approved the funds to add a new police officer at Tuesday night’s meeting.  $46,000 from the city’s general fund reserve will be used to cover salary and benefits.  The department has been short staffed since late March when Officer Steve Williams went on medical leave.  Williams’ personal time keeps him on the payroll for the rest of the year, but he is not expected to return.  His shifts are being covered by a combination of salaried employees, full-timers, and part-timers.  According to Lieutenant Russell Saunders, those are getting more difficult to fill.  He says most employees are burned out from the increased number of hours they have had to work the past few months.  The department was well above its overtime projections during the first four months of the year.  With this approval, the Police and Fire Commission can now recommend a candidate to the council.  That person will likely be one of the department’s part-time employees.


Waupun Economic Developer Hired, Starts In August


6/10/15 – The Waupun Common Council filled the newly created Economic Developer position at Tuesday night’s meeting.  Mayor Kyle Clark did not give a name since the woman still had to give notice to her current employer, but he says she is a Waupun resident with development experience in the public and private sectors.  She’s expected to start in early August.  According to Clark, the responsibilities will include becoming involved with downtown redevelopment, getting the business park certified, and bolstering the city’s west side.  Clark says the city used to have an economic developer, but the position was cut about ten years ago in favor of a city administrator.  Recently, the city’s finance director has taken on the role of treasurer and the clerk has been dealing with human resources matters.  Clark says this is the final step in getting rid of the need for a city administrator.  He expects these personnel decisions to save the city up to $30,000 a year.


Juneau Adopts Beer Garden Ordinance


6/10/15 – Beer gardens are now permitted in Juneau. The Common Council Tuesday night approved an outdoor drinking ordinance that allows liquor license holders to apply for a $100 permit. The beer garden must be enclosed with a wall described in the ordinance as being “attractive and aesthetically pleasing.” A gate is not required. If located within 50-feet of a residence, a privacy fence at least eight feet high is required.  Hours are limited to between 6am and midnight and require adequate lighting during evening hours.


Handgun Waiting Period Repeal Approved By Assembly


6/10/15 – Wisconsin’s waiting period to buy handguns is one step away from disappearing. On a voice vote yesterday, the Assembly gave final legislative approval to a bill that eliminates the 48-hour waiting period first adopted in 1976.  It now goes to Governor Scott Walker, who has said he would sign it.  Republicans said the waiting period is no longer needed, because criminal background checks for buyers can be done in just hours instead of days — and women could obtain guns more quickly to protect themselves against abusers.  Republican Samantha Kerkman of Salem said she took a concealed-carry class and bought a gun after somebody called a restaurant she was in — and the person claimed to know what she was wearing, and that she had her kids with her.  Democrats said the waiting period prevents those in domestic arguments from rushing out to buy guns and use them in haste. Madison Democrat Chris Taylor asked how many more women-and-children have to die before the state does something. Also yesterday, both houses passed a bill to let retired and off-duty police officers carry guns in schools. The Senate passed it 22-to-11, after Democrats failed to require officers to report their concealed weapons to school administrators.  On a voice vote, the Assembly okayed a mandatory three-year prison sentence for convicted felons who are caught carrying weapons illegally. The mandate would run through mid-2020.  The bill now goes to the Senate.


Senate Adopts Abortion Ban


6/10/15 – After a three-hour debate, the Wisconsin Senate last night approved a G-O-P bill to ban all non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks. The vote was 19-to-14, with all Republicans voting yes and all Democrats no.  The measure now goes to the Assembly, where Speaker Robin Vos gave it his personal endorsement yesterday.  He said his fellow Republicans have not discussed it yet — but he expects an Assembly vote either this month, or in the fall. Meanwhile, senators brought up a new debate over whether the 20-week abortion ban would be upheld in the federal courts.  Earlier yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Web site quoted legal experts who said that only the U-S Supreme Court could uphold the Wisconsin bill — and prior rulings by the justices leave very little room for district-and-appellate courts to uphold the measure.  Courts in Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho have blocked similar bans — and cases in other states are moving forward.  Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach of Middleton said the only effect of the Wisconsin ban might be heavy legal bills for taxpayers.  Vos said the expense is okay with him.  He said protecting life is something that shouldn’t have a price tag put on it.  Senate President Mary Lazich (lah-zick), one of the bill’s main sponsors, believes the ban could survive a court challenge. She said the state has a compelling interest not to inflict what she called “pain and torture” on children.  Erpenbach said the bill does not consider the health of the mother, whom he said he would have to be on “death’s door” to get an abortion after 20 weeks.  Governor Scott Walker has said he’ll sign the bill.


Watertown Man Sentenced For Teen Rape


6/10/15 – A Watertown man was sentenced in a Dodge County courtroom Tuesday for raping a young teenager he met through a youth center. In March, 23-year-old Dylan Zimmerman pled no contest to a felony count of Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 16. Prosecutors say Zimmerman knew the victim through the Recreation and Outreach Center in Watertown and found her walking down the street crying because of problems with her family. According to the criminal complaint, he talked with her at a local park before assaulting her, refusing her repeated pleas for him to stop. Zimmerman will serve six months in jail with work release privileges, be on probation for five years, and must register as a sex offender.


Sentencing In Overdose Death of Markesan Man


6/10/15 – One of two men who provided the heroin that killed a Markesan man was sentenced to prison Tuesday in a Portage County courtroom.  Erik Olsen of Hancock struck a plea deal with prosecutors in April that convicted him of Second-Degree Reckless Homicide.  He was originally charged with First-Degree Reckless Homicide in the death of 21-year-old Jordan Peterson, a U-W Stevens Point student.  The 28-year-old Olsen was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison with over a year-and-a-half credit for time served. He was also sentenced to six-and-a-half years of extended supervision, ordered to pay restitution for funeral costs and write a letter of apology to the family. Portage County prosecutors asked the judge for five years in prison and five more of extended supervision while defense attorneys asked for an in-treatment program with five years of extended supervision.  In November of 2013, Peterson was found dead by a roommate who returned to their off-campus apartment after a weekend away.  A second defendant, 21-year-old Charlie Phillips-Moore of Madison, is accused of selling the heroin that Olsen bought.  Phillips-Moore has been in prison since last October for an unrelated drug conviction in Dane County.  He has a status conference in the Stevens Point case on the calendar at the end of the month.


Bird Flu Quarantines Lifted In Jefferson County


6/10/15 – Bird flu quarantines in Jefferson County have been lifted. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that after extensive surveillance and testing for avian influenza there have been no new detections since May 4. The poultry quarantine “control zone” included a six-mile perimeter around three Jefferson County farms. Since the first detection in Jefferson County on April 13, the state Ag officials say the department successfully implemented a coordinated response with the facility owners, the USDA, and other state agencies to contain and eliminate the disease at those sites. The affected farms were immediately quarantined and 1.1 million birds were killed. While the control zone quarantines have been lifted, the infected farms themselves remain quarantined until further notice.  They must undergo a cleaning and disinfection process before getting released from quarantine and being allowed to resume production with their flocks. It’s the third time the state has cleared a control zone but State Veterinarian Paul McGraw says as long as positive flocks are still being reported in other states, there needs to be close monitoring of birds for signs of illness.


All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, need to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to your veterinarian and the DATCP’s Animal Health division at 1-800-572-8981. Additional information and resources concerning avian influenza can be found on DATCP’s web site at


Fitzsimmons Named MPTC Distinguished Alumnus


6/10/15 – A Beaver Dam woman was named Moraine Park Technical College’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus award winner. Denise Fitzsimmons graduated from Moraine Park in 1981. For years she worked as an advertising director for Conley Publishing, but in 2006 helped launch “InSpire” magazine, a monthly magazine dedicated to empowering women. It has a readership of about 10,000 in Fond du Lac, Dane, Washington, Jefferson and Dodge Counties. Fitzsimmons has also served on a number of boards and committees in the Beaver Dam area over the years.