“News-June 28, 2011”

Prosser Will Cooperate With Investigators


6/28/11 – State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser says he’ll cooperate fully with two investigations into claims he put a choke-hold on fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Dane County sheriff’s deputies began one of the probes yesterday at the request of State Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs. The state’s Judicial Commission said it’s been looking into the matter since Friday. Spokesman Brian Nemoir said Prosser believes a quote, “thorough and impartial review” is the proper way to get the facts out. Media reports have given differing accounts of the incident, which happened the day before the court’s ruling last month which upheld the state’s new union bargaining limits. Bradley has said publicly that Prosser gave her a choke-hold when she ordered him out of her office. Other reports said Bradley moved toward Prosser with her fists up – and Prosser had just blocked her. All of the other Supreme Court justices except Pat Crooks reportedly saw the incident, but none have commented. Some of Prosser’s critics have called on him to resign. But Governor Scott Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday he doesn’t want to go down that path yet. The incident is just the latest public disagreement among the current set of justices. In the long run, Walker said it’s worth looking at appointing Supreme Court justices. The constitution would have to be changed first.


Walker Talks About Collective Bargaining Process


6/28/11 – Governor Scott Walker has again admitted he did not build enough of a case for his plan to limit collective bargaining for most public employee unions. But he still thinks we should have seen it coming – even before he ran for governor last year. The Republican told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he should have done more to prepare the public, before he submitted his plan to the Legislature in February. He made a similar admission at a recent conference in Madison. Still, Walker said he gave plenty of warnings during his election campaign that he would limit public union bargaining – and we should have seen it by the way he treated unions as the Milwaukee County Executive. Walker also said the furor over the issue is subsiding. And as time goes by, he says both the unions and the public will come to accept the changes, which begin to take effect tomorrow.  Critics disagree saying they plan to initiate a recall effort against Walker when he’s eligible next year.


First Responder Treasurer Accused of Embezzlement


6/28/11 – The former Treasurer of the Lowell-Reeseville First Responders is accused of stealing money from the organization.  39-year-old Sheri Ritter of Reeseville is charged with a felony count of Theft In A Business Setting, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three-and-a-half years.  According to the criminal complaint, a report uncovered irregularities in the group’s financial records and Ritter admitted the thefts on the record during a subsequent meeting.  Nearly $3000 from the First Responders business account was allegedly used for Ritter’s personal finances, to pay for car loans, cable bills and phone bills.  The offenses date back to last October with the most recent occurring in March of this year. A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and preliminary hearing is scheduled in August.


Clyman To Install New Fire Chief


6/28/11 – Clyman will have a new fire chief come Friday.  The Clyman Fire Commission last week appointed Eric Howlett as the next chief to succeed John Haase, who is retiring from the 25-member department. The 33-year-old Howlett has been with the department for five years and currently serves as captain. Haase served as chief of the department for six years and was appointed to a five-year term in August. Howlett will fill the remaining 4 1/2-year term beginning on Friday. He says his focus will be on teambuilding and working toward common goals.


Florida Man Accused of Assaulting Sleeping WT Woman


6/28/11 – A Florida man is charged with sexual assault for allegedly trying to grope a sleeping woman in Watertown. 21-year-old Christopher Jensen of Lake Alfred, FL was with a group of people at the victim’s home in March. The victim fell asleep and the rest of the group returned to a local tavern. According to the criminal complaint, Jensen stayed back, entered the woman’s bed and touched her inappropriately. He initially told investigators that it was just “southern hospitality” but later reportedly admitted to his actions. Jensen is charged with misdemeanor Sexual Assault and if he’s convicted that carries a maximum nine month jail sentence. A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and Jensen will be back in court next month.


Attempted Burglary At BD Greenhouse


6/28/11 – An attempted burglary was reported at a greenhouse in Beaver Dam. According to police department records, entry was gained to Blooming Acres on the 1500 block of North Spring Street last Thursday night or Friday morning. The perpetrators made a slit in the side of the plastic greenhouse to get in.  The cash register was pried open but there was no money kept inside.  Employee time cards were reported missing.


Authorities are also investigating an attempt to gain entry at the St. Katherine Drexel School campus on Maple Avenue during the same time frame.  A window was broken and a rear door was damaged but entry was not gained. On Saturday night, a resident on the 300 block of Front Street in Beaver Dam reported that a door was damaged and wide open but nothing was apparently missing. Anyone with information on any of the break-ins is asked to contact the Beaver Dam Police Department.


Woman In Jail for Allegedly Neglecting Her Kids


6/28/11 – Three young children are in protective custody in Fond du Lac, after a woman left two of them in a stroller that rolled to a street – and leaving the other one home alone. A caller told police that the 30-year-old woman was falling down and rolling around in a grassy area while two kids sat in a stroller near a roadway. The other child was later found alone in the woman’s home nearby. Police Captain Steve Klein said the woman was drunk at the time. One of the children was 20 months old. The others were four-and-five years old. The woman was in jail yesterday, but had not been charged yet.


Hansen Spared Second Challenger In Recall


6/28/11 – A state Assembly Republican failed Monday to get on the ballot for this summer’s recall election against Senate Democrat Dave Hansen. The Government Accountability Board ruled that Representative John Nygren of Marinette did not have enough valid signatures on his nomination papers. State Democrats challenged 39 of the 424 signatures Nygren received. And the board said Nygren fell two signatures short of the minimum he needed. Nygren would have run in a July primary against David VanderLeest, with the winner to square off against Senator Hansen in August. But now, VanderLeest won’t have a primary challenger – and that means he’ll run directly against Hansen in a vote set for July 19th. Also today, the Accountability Board found that two Republicans for Jim Holperin’s Senate seat had enough valid signatures to run in a July 16th primary. It means that Kim Simac of Eagle River and Robert Lussow of Tomahawk will compete for the right to face the incumbent Democrat Holperin in an August 16th recall vote.

Investigators Assigned To Supreme Court Conflict

6/28/11 – Two investigations were announced Monday to look into a claim that State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser placed Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a choke-hold last month. The state’s Judicial Commission, which enforces the judicial code, confirmed that it authorized a probe last Friday. And the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, where the court is located, will do its own investigation. Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said he consulted with Supreme Court justices before turning over his investigation to Sheriff Dave Mahoney. The county’s district attorney, Ismael Ozanne, says nobody has referred anything to his office about the alleged choke incident – but he’ll review anything that gets sent to him. The incident was reported over the weekend, and it was said to occur the day before the Supreme Court announced it would uphold the new law which limits collective bargaining by most public unions. The conservative Prosser denied that he put a choke-hold on the liberal Bradley, and the facts will bear it out. But Bradley said it indeed happened, while telling Prosser to leave her office. It’s the latest of a number of instances of public friction on the state’s highest court. Today, Governor Scott Walker said the justices must find a way to get along, in order for the public to have confidence that the court will do its job fairly and rationally.


Clark Pays Child Support


6/28/11 – A state Assembly Democrat who hopes to get elected to the Senate this summer says he’s up-to-date with his child support payments. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Baraboo Representative Fred Clark was billed 65-hundred dollars earlier this year, for not immediately bumping up his monthly support payments when he got a raise as a lawmaker two-and-a-half years ago. Clark told columnist Dan Bice he paid it all back, plus interest, in early May. That was about two weeks after announcing he would run against Senate Republican Luther Olsen of Ripon, who’s up for a recall this summer. Clark also denied emphatically that he’s trying to get out of any responsibility involving his 14-year-old son – and the newspaper said he has always made his monthly support payments on time. Clark and his ex-wife got divorced in 1999. He paid 400-dollars a month in child support when he worked as a forester. At the start of 2009, his pay went up. But Clark said his ex-wife waited a year to ask the court to bump up his monthly payment – and neither thought it was a big priority at the time. Clark said he agreed in March of last year to pay 650-a-month, but officials said he should have been paying that much for over a year before that. Bice said he asked Clark if he wished he dealt with the issue earlier. Clark repeated how engaged he is in his son’s life – and he hopes it doesn’t become a campaign issue.


Wisconsin On Hook For $22 Million


6/28/11 – Wisconsin lawmakers are being asked to fork up another 22-million dollars to build-and-maintain a pair of new trains for Amtrak’s Milwaukee-to-Chicago line. The D-O-T is asking the Joint Finance Committee to spend almost 12-million to build-and-equip a temporary maintenance base for train-maker Talgo of Spain. Spare parts would cost another two-and-a-half million. And a consultant from England would get almost seven-million to oversee the building process for the new trains. D-O-T executive assistant Reggie Newsom says the state is required to pay the money under contracts left unpaid by former Governor Jim Doyle and his people. But one of those people takes issue. Ex-D-O-T Secretary Frank Busalacchi said all the proposed expenses would have been covered under the 810-million-dollars that current Governor Scott Walker turned down. Walker rejected funding that Democrats had approved for an extension of the Amtrak line from Milwaukee-to-Madison. Newsom said the federal money could have covered up to 11-million-dollars of that grant. But he said the state would have to pay for the rest anyway – and under Doyle, it didn’t.


FSA County Committee Nominations Sought


6/28/11 – Nominations are being accepted for the Dodge County Farm Service Agency County Committee election.  The FSA administers federal agricultural production, farm loan, conservation and emergency programs annually in Wisconsin through a network of 58 local offices.  Locally elected committee’s of farmer’s and/ or landowners that serve staggered, three-year terms oversee each office.  This fall, the townships of Beaver Dam, Burnett, Calamus, Chester, Fox Lake, Oak Grove, Trenton and Westford will be holding their election for a FSA County committee member representative.  Dodge County FSA Director Susan Blachowiak says farmers can nominate themselves or another producer to run for a seat on the county committee.  Blachowiak says the locally elected committees help make national farm programs fit the needs of local farmers by bringing local expertise and knowledge to the USDA’s daily programs and services.  Eligible voters may circulate or sign nomination petitions for as many candidates as they choose, including themselves.  The deadline for submitting nominations to the local FSA office is August 1. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters in November and must be in by December so newly-elected committee members and alternates can be seated by January 2.




Barb Gehrke of Beaver Dam won the raffle.  She’ll receive a 2011 Chevy Cruze courtesy of Countryside GM Auto Group