News – June 13, 2016

Gatherings Spring Up Following Mass Shooting


6/13/16 – More than 100 people gathered outside the State Capitol in Madison to express their thoughts about Sunday’s mass shooting that killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Organizer Callen Harty says that for every mass killer, there are “thousands upon thousands” of kind and generous people — and they’re the ones responding. Former Orlando resident Thommy Sandvick was among dozens attending a vigil in La Crosse. He tells W-K-B-T television he visited the Pulse nightclub many times — and he was still waiting to hear Sunday night whether a couple of people were involved in the massacre. Almost two dozen people attended a similar vigil in downtown Wausau — and in Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett and the city’s L-G-B-T Community Center have scheduled a vigil at seven Monday night outside of City Hall.


Wisconsin’s Washington Delegate Responds To Shooting


6/13/16 – U-S Senate Homeland Security chairman Ron Johnson says his committee will support the federal role in investigating the mass shootings in Orlando. The Wisconsin Republican calls the worst mass shooting in U-S history a “terror” attack. That’s after the suspect, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, reportedly told law enforcement he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before officers killed him in a shootout. Earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville tweeted that the victims and their families will “not be forgotten.” Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U-S senator, says it is “past time to act together” to “stand united against hate, gun violence, and terrorism.”


Clinton, Obama Postpones Green Bay Visit Following Shooting


6/13/16 – The Orlando attack caused Democrat Hillary Clinton to postpone her visit to Green Bay on Wednesday with President Barack Obama. The president and his possible successor were going to appear together for the first time since Obama endorsed Clinton, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for the fall White House election. The Clinton camp says it will announce details on rescheduling the Green Bay event as soon as possible. Brown County Democratic Party vice chairman Rich Langan says he’s just fine with the postponement. He tells W-L-U-K T-V that the worst mass murder in American history “trumps a campaign 100 percent.”


Shootings Overshadow Milwaukee Gay Pride Festival


6/13/16 – The final day of Milwaukee’s gay pride festival is overshadowed by the shooting deaths of 50 people at a gay club in Orlando. There was added security, as those attending PrideFest had their bags checked at the event’s only gate at the Summerfest Grounds — and they entered through metal detectors. Wes Shaver, the president elect of Milwaukee Pride Incorporated, says the shootings were meant to “silence” the gay community during its national June celebrations. In Shaver’s words, “We will not and cannot allow ourselves to be silenced.” Organizers said there were no threats to Milwaukee’s PrideFest, which closed out its three day run on Sunday.


Brantner Murder Trial Set To begin Today


6/13/16 – A trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning for the 1990 murder of 18-year-old Berit Beck. A jury will be selected to hear the case against Dennis Brantner, a 62-year-old former truck driver who is charged with first degree murder. Officials say Beck was driving from her home at Sturtevant to Appleton for a work seminar — but she stopped at Fond du Lac to buy some things, and her skeletal remains were discovered five weeks later in a ditch with tall weeds outside of Waupun. After pursuing another suspect for two decades, sheriff’s detectives say they found Brantner’s fingerprints in Beck’s van in 2014, and he was later arrested. Brantner has denied any involvement, and his trial is scheduled to run for three weeks in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.


One Killed In Sauk County Accident


6/13/16 – Sauk County sheriff’s deputies say high speed was partially to blame for the death of a 23-year-old woman in a weekend crash near Lake Delton. Officials have not released the victim’s name, but an obituary to the Baraboo News Republic identifies her as Sarah Holm. Deputies say her vehicle lost control on a sharp curve and struck a tree late Saturday afternoon. The crash remains under investigation.


Serious Injury In Lake Winnebago Tubing Accident


6/13/16 – A 32-year-old Fond du Lac man is seriously hurt in a Sunday afternoon boating accident on Lake Winnebago. Police say the man jumped from the rear of a boat that was pulling an inner tube the man was trying to reach — but the boat’s throttle was engaged, and the propeller was spinning when the man got one of his legs caught in it. Officials say the leg was severely bleeding, and he was flown to a Neenah hospital. His name and condition were not immediately released. Fond du Lac County sheriff’s deputies continue to investigate the mishap, which took place about three quarters of one mile from the shore of Fond du Lac.


Beaver Dam Heroin Rally Raises Awareness


6/13/16 – A local group held a rally in Beaver Dam on Saturday to raise awareness for Dodge County’s opiate drug problem.  Community Awareness and Recovery Environment, or C.A.R.E. invited a number of guest speakers to the event including local law enforcement, recovery coaches, and recovering heroin addicts.  Joshua Bopp started his recovery process two years ago, despite initially resisting help.  He says anyone can get help if they have a willing attitude.  Bopp says living sober has made him happier than ever.  He has new friends that support his drug-free life and has found a successful career.  Katherine Liaromatis works as a recovery coach through the Dodge County group ‘Stop Heroin Now.’  She says coaches try to help clients in all aspects of life by connecting them with the right resources and assisting them in filling out forms.  In addition to getting a person off drugs, Liaromatis says coaches need to help addicts find jobs, support groups, and a new group of friends.  Mandy Suthers is the founder of Wisconsin’s only ‘sober café,’ DarJune in Green Bay.  When she first began the recovery process years ago, Suthers felt there was nowhere for recovering addicts to hang out.  She converted her bar into a recovery space.  Suthers says it has taken off in its first year-and-a-half, growing from 900 clients per month to 1,900.  She says the café offers food and alcohol-free beverages in addition to arts, games, and a relaxation room with TV’s.  All proceeds from yesterday’s fundraiser go toward C.A.R.E’s mission of increasing local drug awareness, education, and prevention.  The group hopes to bring a sober café to Dodge County in the near future.  Last year, Dodge County had 22 overdose drug deaths.  That is roughly twice as many deaths as there were on county roads.


Dodge County Vet Highlights Alice In Dairyland’s Honor Flight


6/13/16 – The 68th Alice in Dairyland, who made a number of trips to Dodge County this past year, recently visited the nation’s capital with a group of Wisconsin veterans.  Teyanna Loether was a special guest on last month’s Badger Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C.  Over 80 World War Two, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans from the Badger State made the day-long trip.  While Loether says seeing the various monuments was a highlight, she feels the best part of the trip was getting to know the veterans.  Loether says one veteran she formed a special bond with was ‘Bob’ from Dodge County.  She says they had a number of talks about local places like Widmer’s Cheese in Theresa and Leroy Meats of Horicon. Loether says her farming background helped her find common ground with many of the veterans.  One veteran’s story of how his family bought their farm for $40 per acre in 1873 especially stood out to Loether who noticed how drastically things have changed over time.  Loether’s last day as Alice in Dairyland was Friday.  She is starting a new program coordinator job for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s ‘Ag in the Classroom’ initiative.  Ann O’Leary of Evansville, who was crowned last month in Watertown, assumes her Alice duties today.


Beaver Dam Community Band Kicking Off 2016 Season


6/13/16 – The Beaver Dam Community Band is gearing up for its 2016 season.  The band will play its first of four shows at Swan Park this Wednesday.  On Friday’s edition of WBEV’s Community Comment, Band Director Erin Ebersol said works from Andrew Lloyd Webber, William Schumann, and John Phillip Souza will be part of the show in addition to a rendition of ‘When The Saints Go Marching In.’  The group started its weekly practices in early May.  Ebersol says the band has roughly 90 members, with about two-thirds of them playing at a single concert.  She says there are performers of all ages, with the veterans helping some of the younger musicians learn the ropes.  The shows start at 7 pm and are free, but people are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate.  If it rains, the concert will be held at the Watermark.


Wisconsin Beer And Cheese Festival Coming To Beaver Dam


6/13/16 – An event for beer and cheese lovers returns to Beaver Dam this weekend.  The Taste of Wisconsin is back for its tenth year.  People have the chance to sample over 100 beers and 60 Wisconsin cheeses.  To help celebrate Beaver Dam’s 175th anniversary celebration, Committee Member Jeff Davidson says there will be a keg of a specially-brewed beer called the ‘Best Dam 175th Pilsner.’  Chamber of Commerce Director Phil Fritsche says the pilsner was chosen since it is similar to the beers that many early Beaver Dam residents with Germany heritage would have brewed.  In addition to a two-ounce tasting glass, Fritsche says all event-goers will receive a guide book to rate the beers and cheeses. The event runs Saturday from Noon to 4 pm outside the Chamber of Commerce office on South Spring Street.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the event for beer drinkers and $5 for people only tasting cheese.  Those are available at as well as the chamber office, Piggly Wiggly, and Rechek’s Food Pride.


Walleye Weekend Winners


6/13/16 – By 11am Saturday, Ken Steffes of Pipe and Luke Schneider of Malone had one fish in the live well and their chances of winning the 38th Annual Mercury Marine National Walleye Tournament seemed to be disappearing. Luke says a half hour later the fish started hitting and they got four more in about an hour and their chances were now pretty good. In fact their two-day total of 10 fish weighing 34.4 pounds won the tournament and a check of $13,000.