News – June 17, 2016

Relay For Life Of Beaver Dam Starts Today


6/17/16 – The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of the Beaver Dam Area begins this afternoon at the high school track. Event Chair Kristen Fabisch says there are around 200 participants on two dozen teams involved this year. The fundraising goal is $115,000. Last year, Relay pulled in around $110,000. Walkers take to the track at 4pm which is when the concession stands begin serving, the silent auction begins and kids sections open up.  The Honorary Survivor this year is Jamie Kratz-Gullickson and her husband Jason is the Honorary Caregiver. The Child Survivor is three-year-old Louis Westergaard. Their stories will be recounted during tonight’s opening ceremony at 6pm. The Luminaria Ceremony is at 10pm. The Relay for Life closing ceremony is tomorrow morning at 8am.


Coroner: ‘Beck Body Badly Decomposed’


6/17/16 – The body of murder victim Berit Beck was badly decomposed when it was discovered in a ditch on Brown Road near Waupun in August of 1990. Several witnesses Thursday testified about the shape the 18-year-old woman’s body was in when it was discovered on August 22nd of that year. Former Fond du Lac County Coroner Sue Casper said it isn’t surprising how badly decomposed the body was given the weather conditions that summer. She also testified about being present at the autopsy. Among the others testifying in the Dennis Brantner Homicide Trial was 71-year-old Walter Riel of Waupun who owned an appliance store in the city in the later half of the 1970s. He employed Brantner as a deliveryman. Brantner claims he had never been out in the area where Beck’s body was discovered, but Riel says some of his customers lived out in that area.


Waupun PD Issues Sex Offender Notification


6/17/16 – The Waupun Police Department is notifying the public of a sex offender now residing in the city. Timothy Falksen is living at 327 South Division Street in Waupun. Deputy Chief Scott Louden says officers delivered notifications to a several block radius of South Division this week in an effort to enhance public safety, awareness and protection. The 43-year-old Falksen was convicted in Lake County, Illinois three years ago for assaulting a girl that was known to him from the age of seven until she was 12. He will under supervision by the state corrections department through 2018. Louden says that Falksen is not wanted at this time and threats, intimidation or harassment by the public will not be tolerated.


Hostage, Shooting Suspect Now At Waupun, Trial Delayed


6/17/16 – A newly hired defense lawyer is being given six more months to get ready for the possible trial of a Neenah man accused of holding hostages and shooting at police. Forty-six-year-old Brian Flatoff, who’s now being held at the state prison in Waupun, has had his trial date moved from August 22nd to next March 13th. Pretrial requests will be considered January 12th, and jurors will hear two weeks of testimony if a plea deal is not reached beforehand. Flatoff is charged with 16 felony counts for disturbances last December at a female friend’s house and at the Eagle Nation motorcycle shop in Neenah — where officials said the hostage incident was spurred by an effort to get a bike back after he sold it. Police shot and killed one of the store’s founders, Michael Funk, after Funk ignored commands to drop his gun.


Jefferson County Judge Still In The Running For Supreme Court


6/17/16 – A Jefferson County judge is among the five candidates still in the running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat to be given up by Justice David Prosser. Governor Scott Walker will make the appointment before Prosser leaves in late July. Jefferson County Circuit Judge and 2009 Supreme Court candidate Randy Koschnick made the initial cut from Walker’s judicial selection panel along with Marinette County Circuit Judge James Morrison and Waukesha lawyer Daniel Kelly — whose name was released for the first time after he earlier asked to stay anonymous. The other two are both appellate court judges: Waukesha Appeals Judge Mark Gundrum and Wausau Appellate Judge Thomas Hruz. Names of the ten other candidates were made public earlier, and six will not get second interviews by the selection panel.


DPI Denied Lawyer In Suit From Hartford Religious School


6/17/16 – The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is currently without legal representation in a federal lawsuit over providing transportation to a religious school in Washington County. Governor Scott Walker has rejected a request to allow the agency to hire outside counsel in the case. That comes after the state Department of Justice dropped D-P-I as a client in the lawsuit by St. Augustine School in Hartford. State law provides for private school transportation, but only to one school per religious denomination in a particular area. That left St. Augustine without transportation. So the school and parents are suing. D-P-I attorneys are not allowed to argue cases in the Eastern District, where the lawsuit is filed. D-P-I spokesman Tom McCarthy tells the State Journal they have since made a special request to do so.


Columbus Endowment Accepting Grant Applications


6/17/16 – The Columbus Area Endowment is offering grants to non-profit agencies in Columbia, Dane and Dodge counties. Endowment President Jason Lietha says for the past eight years, the Endowment has offer the grant, through the Madison Community Foundation. Lietha says the Endowment is dedicated to working with local non-profits to fund programs of cultural enrichment, community development, education, environment and historic preservation. This year’s grant applications are due by July 19th. Information and forms are available online at or call Henry St. Maurice at (920) 623-5420.


MEC Recognized By Fabricator Magazine


6/17/16 – Mayville Engineering Company has been named first on the FAB 40 list of the nation’s largest fabricators which is published by The Fabricator magazine. It is the sixth consecutive year that MEC has led the list. MEC Chairman, President and CEO Robert Kamphuis says the ranking is a testament to the hard work of their dedicated employee shareholders. The company has extensive operations in Wisconsin with manufacturing facilities in Mayville, Neillsville, Wautoma and Beaver Dam.


Wisconsin Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2001


6/17/16 – Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 15 years. The state Department of Workforce Development report released Thursday says that the unemployment rate dropped to from four-point-four percent in April to four-point-two percent in May. That’s the lowest it’s been since March 2001. The national unemployment rate was four-point-seven percent last month. The report found that the state added 97-hundred jobs over the past month.


Ryan Sticking By Trump Endorsement


6/17/16 – House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville says he has no regrets or second thoughts about endorsing G-O-P White House hopeful Donald Trump. Ryan tells reporters he will not rescind his endorsement, which came before Trump’s renewed proposal to ban Muslim immigrants — and concerns about having a judge of Mexican heritage in a lawsuit involving Trump University. The Wisconsin House leader hopes the New York businessman will “improve the tone of the campaign” — but Ryan says he has no control over that, and he’ll keep promoting conservative principles and give honest answers when he disagrees with Trump. The speaker says the two agree on numerous policy matters. Ryan tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he backed Trump because he did not want to “rip” the G-O-P in half, or threaten Republican efforts to win the presidency and keep its House majority.


Snake On The Loose In Oshkosh


6/17/16 – Police say a Burmese python might be on the loose in Oshkosh. Officers were told Thursday that a large snake skin was spotted Tuesday in Menominee Park. The park has a zoo, but it does not have snakes. Burmese pythons are not venomous, but police are telling those who see the snake not to approach it or touch it — and to call 9-1-1 instead. The state D-N-R says the python could be as long as ten feet, weighing up to 75 pounds.