News- June 26, 2015

Randolph Murder Suspects Plea Hearing Rescheduled For July


6/27/15 – A Milwaukee woman charged with killing a Randolph man had her plea hearing rescheduled for early next month.  Kriscilla McHenry appeared in a Dodge County courtroom Friday on a charge of First Degree Intentional Homicide in the August death of 43-year-old Michael Soeller. According to the criminal complaint, Soeller’s body was found at the Randolph Motel in the Town of Fox Lake by the manager of the facility who had not seen the victim in several days and noticed a bad smell coming from the unit. The manager found Soeller in the bedroom with a large pool of blood next to his body by the bed. McHenry reportedly told investigators that Soeller tried to rape her and she stabbed him with a pen knife after the incident as she was trying to defend herself. The 31-year-old allegedly took his car after leaving his apartment.  If convicted, she faces a life prison sentence. Her new hearing date is Monday, July 6.


Former Beaver Dam Man Arraigned For Watertown Murder


6/27/15 – A Watertown man accused of murdering a neighbor with a sword pled “not guilty by reason of insanity” at an arraignment hearing this week.  Young J Choi is charged in Jefferson County court with First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Dustin Vanderheyden. The 31-year-old initially stood mute at arraignment and a plea of “not guilty” was entered on his behalf but Choi then entered the insanity plea based on mental disease or defect. The court accepted the plea and ordered an examination; a status hearing is scheduled in September. He remains jailed under a million dollar bond. According to the criminal complaint, Choi told the victim’s wife in the days before the June 2014 killing that he wanted her to himself. She told police that she convinced Choi not to do it, thought the suspect was fine and there would not be any further issues. Vanderheyden suffered multiple stab wounds and died later at a Watertown hospital.  Choi later told police the universe wanted him to kill the man. Choi is still facing charges in Dodge County for an unrelated attack involving a stun gun in Beaver Dam two years ago. There has been no change in the status of that case.


Columbus Man Accused Of Teen Enticement


6/27/15 – Cash bond was set at $500 Friday for a Columbus man accused of assaulting a 16-year-old. Steven Rist is charged in Columbia County court with felony Child Enticement and Exposing himself along with three misdemeanor counts of Fourth Degree Sexual Assault. Prosecutors say alcohol was involved when the 43-year-old pulled her into the bathroom at his home, leading to a sexual encounter. Rist gave her a ride home the next morning. He reportedly admitted to detectives that he was in the bathroom with her two-or-three times on the night in question. Rist has a return date on the calendar next month.


Hartford Couple Accused of Funeral Burglaries


6/27/15 – A Hartford couple is accused of helping burglarize the homes of people who are at funerals. 23-year-old Emily Gabel and 31-year-old Jesse Bullis are each charged in Milwaukee County court with felony Burglary. Prosecutors says the couple provided a car and burglary materials and in return were given stolen items which they sold by word-of-mouth, on the street or at casinos. A search of the defendants home allegedly turned up jewelry, electronics and a handwritten “funeral log” listing names, addresses and the times of various funerals in Milwaukee County. Gabel reportedly told investigators that the “funeral burglaries” were actually committed by as many as four other people. She said that she allowed her car to be used to keep Bullis from participating in the burglaries. Charges have not been filed against anyone else in the case at this time. Bullis told investigators that the money was used for rent and bills. A judge is expected to decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial.


Portage Man Appears On Interstate Assault Charge


6/27/15 – A Portage man appeared in a Columbia County courtroom Friday on charges that he robbed an woman along the side of the interstate. Jonathan Robinson is charged with felony Robbery and Bail Jumping and misdemeanor Battery for the June 10 incident near Highway 60 and I-90-94 in the Town of Arlington. According to a press release issued yesterday by Sheriff Dennis Richards, the victim told investigators that she and Robinson were traveling when he pulled off the interstate and used force to take money from her. The victim stated that she tried to resist but was then physically assaulted and her clothing partially removed as the suspect took the money from her.  She sustained injuries to her head and was left partially unclothed on the side of the road. Authorities used a vehicle description and cell phone records to track down the suspect, who was taken into custody later that same night. Richards says the incident appears to be a drug deal gone astray. Robinson will be back in court for a bail hearing next week.


Dodge County Sheriff’s Office Taking Part In ‘Operation Dry Water’


6/27/15 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office plans to increase its enforcement of the waters this weekend to crackdown on people who boat under the influence.  It’s part of a national effort called ‘Operation Dry Water.’  The annual three-day campaign tries to deter people from boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  Alcohol use is the leading cause of recreational boater deaths in the United States.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says using these substances while on the waters can cause a number of problems including: slowed reaction time, difficulty maneuvering the boat, and divided attention.  He says people could also be more prone to an accident or to drive aggressively.  While law enforcement will be out looking to remove any boaters who are caught under the influence, Schmidt says they also plan to get the word out on why it’s such an issue through direct contact with individuals.  In Wisconsin, boating under the influence laws are the same as those for driving while intoxicated.  It is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.  Operation Dry Water runs through Sunday.


Beaver Dam Police Reminding Residents Of Fireworks Regulations


6/27/15 – The Beaver Dam Police Department is reminding folks of the rules governing fireworks as the season gets into full swing.  Detective Ryan Klavekoske says many of the items sold at local stands should not be set off in Beaver Dam since anything that goes up in the air is illegal.  He says officers will issue citations for these offenses.  Those can be up to a few hundred dollars.  While many of fireworks stands issue permits along with the fireworks they sell, Klavekoske says those should be ignored.  He says the city does not honor those permits.  Only city issued ones are accepted, but those are rarely given out.  Usually they are for larger festivals such as Beaver Dam Lake Days.  When using approved items such as sparklers, people are advised to follow the lighting recommendations on the package, move back a safe distance once lit, and avoid lighting them when drinking alcohol.  Children 12 and under should be closely supervised when lighting any of these.  Hands and eyes are the most commonly injured body parts when using firecrackers or sparklers.  It should also be noted that July is Firework Safety Awareness Month.


May Unemployment Numbers Worse Than April, Better Than Last Year


6/27/15 – Jobless filings in the region are trending upward. According to the state Department of Workforce Development, the unemployment rate in Dodge County last month was at 4.5-percent, up three-tenths from April but nearly a full percentage point lower than last year at this time. Jefferson and Columbia counties were at 4.4-percent in May; Columbia increased two-tenths while Jefferson was up four-tenths. Fond du Lac County was also up four-tenths to 4.2-percent. Washington County rose a half-point to four-percent even. Green Lake County held steady at 5.2-percent. While there were widespread increases in month-to-month jobless filings, every county in the state decreased last month when compared to May of last year. The statewide seasonally adjusted rate was up two-tenths from April to 4.6-percent, which is nearly a full percentage point below the national rate of 5.5-percent.


Open House Today For Campbellsport Highway Garage


6/27/15 – An open house and dedication for the new Fond du Lac County Campbellsport Highway Garage will be held today.   The garage is a 17,500 square foot facility with a solar panel that powers the facility along with a 3,900 ton salt shed.  The open house will be held at the garage which is located at 284 Industrial Parkway in Campbellsport from 10:00am until 12:30pm with the dedication program scheduled for 10:15am.  The public is encouraged to view the new facility.
WBEV/WXRO Radiothon Has Another Successful Year


6/27/15 – The 18th year of the WBEV/WXRO Children’s Radiothon was successful in raising money for nine non-profit organizations in the Dodge County area. The annual event spanned 27-hours, five regions.  Good Karma Brands President and CEO Craig Karmazin announced the totals this morning.  The event raised a total of $113,210.81 brining the 18-year total to $1,621,528. For a seventh year in a row Noel’s Angel Walk provided a huge boost to the final total.  The event, which was organized by Lori and Scott Smith of Beaver Dam, is dedicated to their late daughter Noel Ann Smith.  Around 150 people walked either the one mile or two-and-a-half mile route Thursday morning, raising $10,654.88. In its seven-years of existence, the walk has raised more than $80,000 for the Radiothon.  The eighth annual Dodge County Service Cup Tour – in which the agencies compete amongst themselves to raise money for the event – brought in $13,197. The cup goes to Clothes for Kids and Community Care who did their fundraising in the Columbus-Fall River area. The agencies benefitting this year include PAVE, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Dodge County, Green Valley Enterprises, YMCA of Dodge County, Clothes for Kids, Community Care, ARC of Dodge County, the Watertown Family Center, and – new this year – the ImpACT Coalition.