News – June 21, 2009

Columbus Forms Ad Hoc Committee

6/21/09 – Columbus Mayor Bob Link called on Council Members Dave Bomkamp, Bill Bruns and Tyler Walker to form an Ad Hoc Committee that will be following up on recent temporary Emergency Management appointments. The Council approved filling the EOC positions for the next four months. The Ad Hoc Committee will be deciding on what kind of staffing should be funded and who should be in charge. Meanwhile, the recently appointed EOC directors Gerald Sallmann and Bob Zapotocny will be bringing the City’s Emergency Action plan up to date.

Woman Leads Authorities on Pursuit in Brown County

6/21/09 – A woman who led authorities on a chase in Brown County last night is facing her 5th drunk driving citation. The Wisconsin State Patrol says a vehicle driven by 35-year-old Kimberly Rhoads nearly hit a state trooper’s cruiser as he was directing traffic on Highway 41 near Velp Avenue. The other Trooper on the scene then attempted to stop the Oconto Falls woman but instead she fled. After about 12-minutes the pursuit ended when authorities laid stop sticks and blew out three of four tires. Law Enforcement say charges being filed include 5th offense operating under the influence, fleeing a law enforcement officer, and possession of open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.

Water Possible Reason for Rockford Train Leaving Tracks

6/21/09 – The victim of Friday night’s freight train derailment was sitting in a car waiting for the train to pass when it exploded. An area on the edge of Rockford was evacuated due to concerns about the release of hazardous materials into the air. The fire burned for hours. Three other people were in the car with the woman who was killed. They managed to run away, but they were severely burned by flaming ethanol. The Canadian National train had 114 cars. Seventy-four of them were carrying ethanol. Standing water may have been a factor in the cars leaving the tracks. They could have hydro-planed, according to witnesses, shortly before the explosions started.

Attendance Tied to Performance in School

6/21/09 – Educators say it’s simple — to be successful in school and in life, you have to be in class. A Brown County United Way summit on education examined the problem of school attendance Friday. Nearly one out of four students in that county missed 10 or more school days in an average 176-day school year. Twenty-four percent of high school seniors missed at least 20 school days. One person working of truancy problems says he used to think getting tough was the answer. Now, he advocates giving them a good reason to stay in class. He says the kids who are skipping are confused, lost and need help.

Drugs Not Just a Big City Problem

6/21/09 – People move to small towns like Antigo to get away from the threat of drugs like heroin. That may not work any more. Antigo Police Chief Eric Roller says five people there have almost died in the last six months after taking heroin. A 24 year old man and 19 year old woman overdosed on the drug last week. Heroin is very potent and its use can lead to overdoses and even death. Roller says law enforcement in that part of central Wisconsin has been focusing on reducing the abuse of prescription drugs. He says people could simply be finding it easier to find heroin to use than prescription pills.

More Parents Moving in with their Kids

6/21/09 – Changing demographics and a flat housing market have more parents and children sharing the home as adults, and that often means remodeling. Germantown remodeler Ken Conner says it’s important to know what’s allowed in your area. Connor says if you have a good set of plans, you know what the rules and guidelines are for the municipality, you simply need to go before the architectural review board and, in most cases, they’ll approve it. He says the

stagnant housing market has people looking to re-purpose existing space as living space for adult children or aging parents.

Milton Football Player to Serve 40 Days for Sexual Assault

6/21/09 – A high school football star from Milton reports to jail tomorrow on a sex assault sentence. The teen is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. Zachary Fry will be allowed to serve a lighter sentence through a plea agreement, in part, because a Rock County judge said he shows remorse. Fry is 18 years old. He was sentenced to 40 days in jail with one day credited, a weekly sexual offender treatment group and restitution to the girl’s family for therapy costs. If he complies with the terms of the plea deal, he will be able to attend college in the fall. Fry has a football scholarship at Minnesota State University at Moorhead. The accuser says Fry assaulted her in a Milton home in January despite her repeated refusals. Prosecutors at the sentencing hearing said alcohol was used by both parties.

Court Says Norway Man Must Repay $6M

6/21/09 – The court rules a Norway man has to pay more than six million dollars in restitution to victims of his investment fraud. Duane Boechler will spend 15 years in prison. He reportedly convinced more than two dozen people to invest in companies he made up. They didn’t exist. Boechler convinced his victims to take out loans so they could give him their money to invest. Some used their homes as collateral. He got them to cash out retirement accounts. Court documents show the 52 year old gave his victims some interest payments, but used their money to live a luxurious lifestyle and conceal his ongoing scheme. The people were defrauded between 1998 and 2007.

Bad Weather Played Role in Fatal Plane Crash

6/21/09 – National Traffic Safety Board investigators say bad weather played a role in a fatal plane crash this month that killed a Sheboygan father and his teenage son. Doctor David Holtrop was not rated to fly his personal plane on instruments alone, but the weather conditions required that. The NTSB did not assign blame in the crash. Holtrop’s 16 year old son Max were returning to Sheboygan from St. Paul, Minnesota. They had been on a paintball outing to celebrate the son’s birthday. The area was blanketed by fog cover when the plane went down in Jackson County, Wisconsin.