News – June 17, 2009

DCB Seeks Clearview Upgrade Numbers

6/17/09 – The Dodge County Board approved a plan to price architectural services for a possible upgrade to Clearview. The unanimous vote followed a two-hour presentation by the Health Facilities Committee about the aging 279-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility. Clearview South was built in 1949 and in addition to having major electrical problems does not have air conditioning. Clearview North was built in 1969 and has plumbing and roofing issues. A master plan prepared by Engberg Anderson of Milwaukee recommends the construction of a series of additions around a renovated north building and the eventual demolition of the south building. The ballpark cost is around $45 million. Committee Chair Larry Bischoff says the cost of a new facility could pay for itself when the price of maintaining the current facility is factored in. In addition, the county could provide more services that generate revenue and see additional savings from energy efficiencies and reduced administrative costs. The action last night directs the Health Facilities Committee to solicit proposals for architectural services, design specs and construction costs for new building construction and a combination of renovation and new building construction.

Benson Pleads No Contest in Fatal Accident

6/17/09 – Former surgeon Mark Benson pleaded no contest yesterday to causing a fatal crash that helped drive the state Legislature’s current debate over drunk driving laws. He faces up to 53 years in prison when he’s sentenced August 10th. Authorities said the 56-year-old Benson was high on prescription drugs – and not alcohol – when his car rear-ended another and killed three people in Oconomowoc 14 months ago. But Benson was under orders not to drive at the time, because he had just been sentenced for his third O-W-I conviction and had not reported to jail yet. The crash killed Oconomowoc High School administrator Jennifer Bukosky, her unborn child, and her 10-year-old daughter. Benson pleaded no contest to three counts of homicide by intoxication and two counts of causing injury by intoxication. Two other counts were dropped in the plea deal. Authorities said Benson was under the influence of a sleep aid and an anxiety medication at the time of the crash.

Nine of Ten Razed in BD

6/17/09 – Only one of the ten buildings targeted for demolition as part of the Beaver Dam downtown renovation project is still standing. Yesterday, demolition contractor Brandenburg Industries razed 205 and 211 Front Street. Crews should have the Celestial Building dismantled down to the first floor by Friday. Because Celestial shares two common walls with businesses that will not be coming down, demolition workers must exercise more caution. The century-old buildings were targeted for demolition after it was learned that they violate modern state statutes governing buildings constructed over waterways. Meanwhile, work continues to remove the culverts in the Tower Parking lot. Asphalt is being cut and removed this week and the east culvert could be out by the end of the week.

Davis Enters “Mental Defect” Plea in Claw Hammer Incident

6/17/09 – A former Fox Lake Correctional Institution inmate who allegedly attacked two guards with a claw-hammer entered a plea of “not guilty by mental defect” during an arraignment hearing yesterday in Dodge County court. 50-year-old Terrance Davis is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly assaulting the guards in the prison’s furniture-making shop last November. A 52-year-old officer sustained head injuries and a broken arm and a 38-year-old guard required surgery for a fractured skull. Davis has been in prison since he killed two Milwaukee police officers 23 years ago when the officers walked into a drug deal. Davis faces up to 40 years in prison on each count. Judge Andrew Bissonnette ordered an evaluation and a scheduling conference is scheduled for August.

Ordonez Pleads Not Guilty

6/17/09 – A Beaver Dam man entered a “not guilty” plea yesterday to charges that he impregnated a 14-year-old girl. 22-year-old Cristobel Ordonez is charged with Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in connection with a two-year relationship he had with the girl. Ordonez faces 40 years in prison.

FDL Man in Court on Child Enticement Charge

6/17/09 – A Fond du Lac man, charged with molesting a 16-year-old girl at a Beaver Dam motel, entered a “not guilty” plea at arraignment yesterday. 34-year-old Roderick Lentz is charged with a felony county of Child Enticement and two misdemeanors related to the series of incidents that occurred in early January. Because Lentz has a previous conviction for Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, if convicted. Lentz is being held on a $25,000 cash bail and has court activity scheduled next month.

3rd Swine Flu Death Reported in Milwaukee

6/17/09 – A Wisconsin medical expert says public health agencies will have to change their approach, now that a child has died from swine flu. An adolescent from Milwaukee died on Monday. Officials did not release the person’s age or gender, but they did say the child had none of the underlying medical conditions that often put people at risk for the flu. It’s Wisconsin’s third swine flu death, and all of them were from Milwaukee. Richard Olds, the chairman of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, says it’s scary that somebody so young died from influenza. He says the H-1-N-1 virus is attacking a different segment of Americans, and health care workers must act faster to test patients and give them anti-viral medicines. Olds says many who’ve died from the new flu strain probably didn’t get anti-viral drugs until their diseases had deeply progressed. And he says hospitals must get their flu tests processed within 24 hours. Wisconsin had just over 34-hundred confirmed swine flu cases as of yesterday. About 21-hundred of them are in Milwaukee. It was declared a pandemic last week, but the public’s concern appears to be getting smaller because death rates have been relatively low compared to other flu strains during a normal winter.

Senate to Take Up Budget Today

6/17/09 – Wisconsin senators are scheduled to begin debate this afternoon on their version of the new state budget. Majority Democrats have spent the last two days in closed-door meetings to decide what they plan to pass. Their changes have not been disclosed. But Majority Leader Russ Decker has said he wanted to restore the legal liability reform and budget cuts for the Justice Department which the Assembly took out of the package last week. And he wanted to make oil companies help pay for new-and-improved roads, by imposing an oil profits’ tax that cannot be passed onto consumers. But many lawmakers question the legality of that tax. The Assembly agreed to let the companies pass on four-cents-a-gallon, to avoid the expense of a possible industry lawsuit. Meanwhile, minority Republicans say they’ll propose an amendment today to drop 179 pork-and-policy items from the budget. They include things like the benefit registry for domestic partners, and improvements to Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. La Crosse Republican Dan Kapanke says some of those things may be needed – but they shouldn’t be buried and sneaked through in the 62-billion-dollar budget. Also, the mayors of Appleton and Madison lobbied yesterday for the Senate to keep their proposed regional transit authorities in the budget. Those authorities would be allowed to charge their own sales taxes to pay for regional buses. The Assembly approved them for Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, and the Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls area.

Radiothon Begins Tomorrow

6/17/09 – The 12th Annual WBEV-WXRO Children’s Radiothon begins at 6am tomorrow morning and we’re pleased to announce a special new addition this year. Scott and Lori Smith of Beaver Dam have established Noel’s Angel Walk in honor of their one-year-old daughter who passed away in March of last year. The Smith’s say the fundraising walk is their way of giving back to a community that rallied around them in the hour of their deepest need. Registration for Noel’s Angel Walk begins at 6am tomorrow with the walk starting at 7am, beginning and ending at Waterworks Park. All the proceeds will benefit the seven organizations that are part of the Children’s Radiothon. News Director Craig Warmbold is walking tomorrow and he is accepting sponsorships, 885-4442 x127.