News June 11, 2015

Kennedy Discusses Windmill Ordinance On WBEV


6/11/15 – Elected officials in Beaver Dam will be considering an ordinance that would govern windmills inside city limits. Mayor Tom Kennedy discussed the matter with us this week on WBEV’s Community Comment. Kennedy says a business in one of the city’s business parks “expressed interest” in erecting a windmill though nothing formal has been introduced. He says the windmill would not be like the ones 300-feet tall seen in the country but would be half that size and typically one per business; they are not allowed on residential properties. In recent years, the state legislature adopted statewide rules regulating windmills and creating a uniform set of standards. Kennedy says the plan is to codify the statewide standards into city ordinance. While the city could not outlaw windmills, the ordinance would, among other things, allow for a public hearing. The matter passed through the city Plan Commission last month and is expected to be discussed in the Operations Committee on Monday.


Beaver Dam Police Purges Evidence Room


6/11/15 – The Beaver Dam Police Department has completed an audit of their evidence room. The state-of-the-art evidence room in the new police station is computerized with each item barcoded. The old system in the former police department, by contrast, involved handwritten labels with some items stored in a standard refrigerator. When the department made the move to its current facility in 2011, it brought roughly 12 to 15-thousand pieces of evidence along, many of which never were entered into the digitized system.  A retired police officer with a background in evidence cataloguing was hired to coordinate the purge. Police Chief John Kreuziger says their new evidence room had gotten to 85-percent capacity; it is now down to 25-percent. Kreuziger says that some of the items most commonly found among the evidence include: firearms, drugs, currency, financial documents, burglary tools, and DVD’s with footage from interviews or surveillance footage.  All of the remaining evidence is now digitally entered into the computerized system.


Waupun Council Votes To Keep Winter Parking Ordinance


6/11/15 – Mayor Kyle Clark had to cast the tiebreaking vote after the Waupun Common Council was split on repealing the city’s winter parking ordinance at this week’s meeting.  It was the first time he could remember having to break a deadlock.  He voted to keep the policy.  The ordinance says no street or ally parking is allowed between 2 am- 6 am when it has snowed at least two inches.  That measurement is taken at the city’s Public Safety Building.  Parking in city lots is also restricted during those hours between December and March except in places designated as ‘overnight off-street parking areas.’  Alderman Ryan Mielke voted to keep the ordinance in place since he felt the winter parking option benefits a large part of the community.  He felt repealing it would lead to more of a headache than keeping it in place.  Alderman Steve Bastian wanted to see the ordinance repealed since he feels it ends up being too much of a hassle for the city’s police department.  Clark said that while the ordinance can be an inconvenience from time to time, it’s not an issue on a regular basis.


Relaxed Teacher Training Plan May Be Scaled Back


6/11/15 – A key state lawmaker expects a budget proposal to relax teacher training requirements to be scaled back.  Senate G-O-P finance chair Alberta Darling now believes her committee will allow the relaxed teacher education standards only for prospective technical-ed instructors.  Last month, the Joint Finance panel greatly expanded Governor Scott Walker’s limited plan to create more teachers for high-demand fields.  Assembly Republican Mary Cjaza of Irma convinced the committee to let those without college degrees teach non-core subjects in grades 6-to-12.  Those teaching English, math, science, and social studies in those grades would need bachelor’s degrees. And in both cases, teachers would not need formal teacher training. Yesterday, Cjaza told reporters those teachers could only work part-time, and could not use their licenses at other schools. She said her plan would help rural districts find the teachers they need.  Yesterday, Democratic lawmakers and prospective teachers delivered petitions with 37-thousand signatures to Walker against the measure.  One of the circulators, U-W Madison education student Briana Schwabenbauer, said the right to teach is “not something that should be handed out to anyone.”


Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Minor Pleads Not Guilty


6/11/15 – A 40-year-old Grand Marsh man charged with having inappropriate relations with a minor entered a not guilty plea at arraignment in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday.  James P. Schmidt is facing felony counts of Repeated Sexual Assault of the Same Child and Incest with a Child.  According to the criminal complaint, the girl’s mother contacted police in March after reading text messages on her daughter’s phone that tipped her off to the relationship.  The alleged relations had been going on for a year-and-a-half in a number of different locations.  Schmidt was arrested the next time he showed up to the girl’s house.  After originally denying the relationship, he allegedly told police the girl had initiated matters and admitted to the acts.  If convicted, Schmidt faces up to 80 years in prison.  He has a scheduling conference set for July 30.


Green Lake County Boy Killed In UTV Crash


6/11/15 – A 12-year-old boy was killed Wednesday in a utility-terrain vehicle crash in Green Lake County.  It happened just before one p-m on private land in Berlin. Police did not release details of the mishap, or the youngster’s name.  He was a student at All Saints Catholic School in Berlin, which will have counselors available today.


Beaver Dam Man Arraigned For 10th OWI


6/11/15 – A Beaver Dam man arrested in April for ninth offense drunk driving pled not guilty at arraignment in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday. David Bingham is charged with felony Operating While Intoxicated along with misdemeanor Obstruction and Operating a Motor Vehicle While Revoked. The 51-year-old was pulled over in the city of Beaver Dam after motorists observed a vehicle swerving onto the gravel shoulder on Highway 151. When the officer asked Bingham how much he had to drink he reportedly said (quote) “enough.” He allegedly refused a field sobriety test and several beer cans were inside the vehicle. Bingham initially tried giving police a fake name and wound up admitting his real name after the officer found his wallet. He has a scheduling conference set for July 28. If convicted, Bingham faces a maximum prison sentence of over ten years.


Slinger Man Charged In Clinic Crash


6/11/15 – Washington County prosecutors have charged a 45-year-old Slinger man who drove his hummer into a waiting room at the Jackson Clinic last Friday morning. Brett Schemenauer has been charged with Second Degree Recklessly Endangering safety and drunken driving. A witness told investigators Schemenauer revved his engine before driving into the clinic. It’s his third drunken driving offense in less than a month. He will be back in court in late July.


Wet Cement Vandal Apprehended


6/11/15 – Concrete masons can sleep a little easier tonight; the wet cement vandal of Juneau has been apprehended. Juneau Police Chief Dave Beal says a juvenile was tracked down yesterday and a confession was obtained. The kid admitted to walking through freshly poured cement on Monday near the Historical Society on Fair Street, along with a second incident. However, the child does not have a dog and paw prints were visible in the sidewalk. Beal says it is unknown whose dog it was but anyone with information on the dog’s well-being should contact the Juneau PD.


Quarantine Ends In Wisconsin’s Last Bird Flu Zones


6/11/15 – Quarantines ended yesterday in the final five zones around Wisconsin farms that were hit by the bird flu since mid-April.  The H-5 avian flu struck ten farms in all.  The state agriculture department says the farms themselves remain under quarantine, while limitations on birds in the final five control zones in Barron County were lifted.  Wisconsin has not reported a new case of the avian flu since May 4th.  State veterinarian Paul McGraw says commercial producers and other bird owners should still watch closely for the illness, and practice good security measures. The Wisconsin bird flu cases were in Barron, Chippewa, Juneau, and Jefferson counties.  About one-point-seven million birds were lost to the outbreak.