“News June 22, 2011”

Severe Weather Sweeps Through Region


6/22/11 – The first day of summer was a wild one in parts of the Badger State. Authorities in Ripon reported a tornado just before 4pm. Funnel clouds were spotted near Berlin in Green Lake County, and Mondovi in Buffalo County. Wind gusts hit 79-miles-an-hour near Eagle – the Waukesha County community that was heavily damaged by a tornado exactly one year ago. At Hartford, officers reported a “wall cloud” with a 55-to-60-mile-an-hour down-draft. And a tree fell on a house near Holy Hill at Hubertus. In Mukwonago, numerous trees and a power line went down as winds hit 70-miles-an-hour. Trees also fell near Palmyra and Oconomowoc – where the heavy rains cut visibility to less than a quarter-mile. Wauwatosa, just west of Milwaukee, had street flooding after pounding rains for 10 minutes straight. And suburban Brookfield also had 70-mile-an-hour winds. Over 16,000 homes were left without power in the suburban Milwaukee area.


Horicon Man Seriously Injured In Motorcycle Accident


6/22/11 – A 26-year-old Horicon man was seriously injured Tuesday after he crashed his motorcycle into a SUV.  Authorities were called to the intersection of Highway’s 33 and 151 in Beaver Dam at 11:12am. According to the Dodge County Sheriffs Department, the SUV was in the westbound lanes of Highway 33 making a left-hand turn onto southbound Highway 151 and was struck by the eastbound motorcycle.  Witnesses say the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed. The operator was wearing a helmet and was transported by MedFlight to UW Hospital Madison with serious injuries.  Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.


Concealed Carry Law Sent to the Governor


6/22/11 – Wisconsin is just one signature away from becoming the second-to-last state to let people carry concealed weapons. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign a bill that was sent to his desk late yesterday by the state Assembly on a 68-to-27 vote. Eleven Democrats and Independent Bob Ziegelbauer joined most Republicans in passing the measure. Hartford Republican Don Pridemore said he voted no because he wanted something stronger. Supporters said concealed carry would finally give law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves. Gun-holders will need state permits and training. But Minority Leader Peter Barca said the training requirements in the bill were too lax, and he tried but failed to pass something tougher. Other Democrats tried and failed to expand the places where hidden weapons would automatically be banned. The bill only exempts police stations, courthouses, jails-and-prisons, airports, and secure mental health facilities. Other government buildings and private businesses can post signs banning weapons. The law is expected to take effect October first or November first, four months after it’s published.


Dems Will Get Another Month to Campaign


6/22/11 – It appears that three Democratic state senators who are up for recalls will get an extra month to defend themselves – just like six Republicans who are targeted. Yesterday was the deadline for challengers to file nomination papers in the Democratic recall elections. And two G-O-P candidates filed for each of the three seats. The papers could be certified by the end of the week, setting the stage for primaries on July 19th. Those winners will go up against incumbent senators Bob Wirch, Jim Holperin, and Dave Hansen on August 16th. Last week, the fields of candidates were set in the Republican recall votes. Primaries were set for July 12th – a week earlier than for the Democrats. Those primary winners will advance to their general elections August 9th. The surviving challengers will face G-O-P Senators Dan Kapanke, Luther Olsen, Randy Hopper, Rob Cowles, Alberta Darling, and Sheila Harsdorf.


Dodge County Board Approves Shoreland Protection Ordinance


6/22/11 – A month after voting it down, the Dodge County Board reconsidered and passed a Shoreland Protection Ordinance that will increase restrictions on property owners that live near waterways.  That came after a presentation by county workers that laid out the consequences if they didn’t pass the ordinance. Some of the restrictions in the state mandated NR 115 included rules on the amount of vegetation allowed and where hard surfaces like blacktop could be placed.  Had they not passed the ordinance the state would have eventually done it for them.  And the state’s ordinance is stricter than the one the county approved.  The one change since last month will have the ordinance not go into effect until February 1st of 2012.  The vote was 33-2 in favor.


Dodge County Prisons Raise Funds For Jolpin


6/22/11 – Employees from three of Dodge County’s prisons have banded together to collect food and emergency supplies for tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri. The joint relief effort brought together workers from Dodge Correctional, Fox Lake Correctional and Waupun Correctional for a week-long drive that resulted in nearly 2800 pounds of donations being collected; among the items: canned goods, cleaning supplies, sheet sets and blankets. It’s all being loaded onto a truck Wednesday that will leave for Missouri Thursday morning. Waupun Correctional employee Ramona Koch suggested the institution participate in a supply drive to help southwest Missouri after devastating tornados struck the area last month. Staff members then challenged the nearby institutions to see which facility could donate the most items. Fox Lake Correctional won after collecting 1,340 items weighing over 1,500 pounds. The non-profit organization Convoy of Hope has donated a truck, driver and gas to make the 12-hour trip to Joplin.


Knaup Enters Plea in 2007 Burglary


6/22/11 – A former Beaver Dam has entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors to charges he burglarized a home four years ago.  Timothy Knaup entered a “no contest” plea to a count of felony Burglary and had two other charges dismissed but read into the record. The 48-year-old broke into a home in Beaver Dam in 2007.  The home owner came home and interrupted the burglar, who was armed with a small handgun.  Knaup ordered the homeowner at gunpoint to go into a different room, and fled the residence. In a separate case two years later, Knaup was sentenced to five years in prison for pointing a loaded gun at police officers who were called to his residence for a domestic incident. Officers safely removed a child and then located Knaup in the basement, with a beer in one hand and a loaded 22-caliber handgun in the other. After refusing to surrender the weapon, which was cocked, officers deployed their Tazer gun and took him into custody. As of result of that felony conviction, his DNA was collected. The State Crime Lab then connected that DNA to evidence left at the scene of the 2007 burglary. The case had been filed under the name “John Doe” but Timothy Knaup has a sentencing hearing scheduled in September after a pre-sentencing investigation is completed.


Theft Reported At Lomira Country Club


6/22/11 – Authorities are investigating the theft of nearly $2,000 from Camelot Country Club in the town of Lomira.  It was reported late Monday morning.  According to Dodge County authorities, $1,967 was taken from a locked cash box.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s department.


Columbus CDA Hears Survey Results


6/22/11 – The Columbus Community Development Authority heard results of the 2011 Downtown survey of local business owners this week. One survey surprise was the response that being close to Madison was one of the things that works FOR community businesses. Vacant downtown storefronts led the survey answers to the question “What isn’t working?” in downtown Columbus. The CDA will be sharing survey results with the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street.


M&I Acquisition With BMO Gains Fed Approval


6/22/11 – Wisconsin’s largest bank is one step closer to being acquired by a Canadian firm. The Federal Reserve Board has approved the Bank of Montreal’s purchase of M-and-I Banks, owned by the Marshall-and-Ilsley Corporation of Milwaukee. The Fed says the four-point-one billion dollar deal should close in anywhere from two weeks to three months. And when it does, M-and-I Banks will become Harris Banks. Harris, of Chicago, is the Bank of Montreal’s main U-S subsidiary. The Federal Reserve Board says the new owner has enough financial stability to handle the acquisition. And the Fed said the merger would not hurt competing banks, even though M-and-I and Harris now compete in 13 parts of the country.