News – June 3, 2020

(Dodge County) Storms swept through Wisconsin last (Tuesday) night and the Dodge County region experienced heavy rain and high winds, downing trees and knocking out power. The National Weather Service Milwaukee/Sullivan office reported wind gusts of up to 70 miles an hour and quarter size hail in some areas of the state. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was in effect as the front pushed through Beaver Dam just before 8:30pm. Alliant Energy reported up to 24-thousand customers without power from 473 separate outages. That number is now down to about 3500 customers and 283 outages, as of 11am. Alliant officials say they expect most customers to be back in service this afternoon, with all remaining customers out restored by early evening. Hundreds of customers had been without power in Beaver Dam, where a tree blocked the southbound lanes of State Highway 33/ North Center Streets. City Department of Public Works crews had the state highway cleared within one hour. Trees also completely blocked Grove and DeClark streets.  Damage was reported on the Beaver Dam High School campus at HH Derleth Field. Beaver Dam Police Lt. Matt Riel noted that the 9-1-1 dispatch center in Juneau had been overwhelmed.

We Energies reported about 100 customers without power in the Watertown-area. Waupun Municipal Government reported that utility crews dealt with a power outage on West Franklin Street. Waupun DPW crews also cleared downed trees from roadways in several spots around the community. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office responded to 57 incidents of trees blocking the roadway, trees on homes, and downed power lines. There were no reported injuries however there are reports of extensive damage to some residences and buildings. Markesan Police shared a video on their Facebook page of a rare gustnado traveling ahead of a storm that looks similar to a tornado but does not cause the damage associated with a tornado.

(Beaver Dam) Dodge County Sheriff’s deputies responded to two separate injury accidents as the storm rolled in. A vehicle hit a tree on High Point Road in the Town of Oak Grove at 8:33pm. There was a head-on collision on State Highway 33 and Breezy Point Road in the Town of Fox Lake at 8:36pm. A 42-year-old Juneau man was arrested for third offense Operating While Intoxicated.

(Milwaukee) Protests over the death of George Floyd while in the custody of officers in Minneapolis turned violent Tuesday, with Milwaukee Police saying in a tweet that Molotov cocktails were thrown at officers. No incidents were reported in Madison after a fourth day of peaceful protests downtown.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers is calling for action to protect Wisconsinites from police brutality and for an overhaul of the way the state trains police officers. Evers says that Black Wisconsinites have suffered under undue injustice for too long. Evers is backing a new bill that would require new training on use of force by police, and he’s asking for it to be brought to his desk soon.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says there is a role for the federal government to play in helping cities and states fight the violent rioters who’ve been on the streets for the past several days. Johnson told WISN that federal law enforcement can and should target the organized cells of violent rioters. Johnson does not think President Trump needs to deploy federal troops, because there are plenty of National Guard troops. He says governors need to use them.

(Dodge County) There was law enforcement from Dodge County in Madison on Sunday for the protests. Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger says at the request of Wisconsin Emergency Police Services, he sent five officers in riot gear with the directive to protect businesses from being looted. He says a Beaver Dam officer arrested a looter who was found with a weapon. The Marquette County man was turned over to a Madison Police officer who was part of a team with the five Beaver Dam officers. The Dodge County Sheriff also sent five deputies. No law enforcement was injured. The costs of the extra patrol is paid by the state.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting an increase of 374 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) daily update, which is 3.6-percent of the ten-thousand tests administered came back positive on Tuesday.  There is a total of 18,917 people now having tested positive. State public health officials reported 12 deaths bringing the total 607. Deaths accounted for three-percent of all cases in Wisconsin while 14-percent of those known to have contracted the virus needed to be hospitalized. Dodge County is still reporting 228 cases with two deaths on record. The county had 508 negative tests returned for a running total of 4,782. Fond du Lac County has five deaths being reported and 215 people having tested positive. Washington County now has eight deaths on record and 260 positive tests. Jefferson County has reported three deaths and has a total 110 cases. There has been one death in Columbia County and 44 positive cases. Green Lake County has 20 cases.

(Waupun) According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, eleven more inmates at Waupun Correctional tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday (Tuesday). The facility now has 224 positive tests, the most in the state, while 982 inmates have tested negative. Eighteen staff members have tested positive. At nearby Dodge Correctional, no inmates have tested positive for coronavirus while 948 have tested negative; 634 tests are still pending. John Burk Correctional has two negative tests while 250 are still pending following on-site testing by the Wisconsin National Guard Monday. Fox Lake Correctional has administered seven tests with five negative results and two tests still pending while one employee tested positive. Columbia Correctional had two inmates test positive along with four employees, two inmates have tested negative.

(Horicon) Cash bond was set at $100,000 yesterday (Tuesday) for a Beaver Dam man facing vehicular homicide charges. Dustin VanderGalien is facing 14 felonies including several counts of Injury by Intoxicated use of a Motor Vehicle stemming from a multi-car crash that killed one person last July. According to the criminal complaint, VanderGalien was driving a Chrysler Sedan on Highway E east from State Highway 26 when he crossed the centerline and struck a Chevrolet Equinox. The Chrysler then hit a Ford Focus that had been travelling behind the Equinox. Twenty-two-year-old Gavin Rivas from Orfordville, who was a passenger in the Focus, died from his injuries. Multiple people required transportation to area hospitals for treatment. At the scene, VanderGalien allegedly admitted to drinking a couple of mixers prior to the crash. The 35-year-old was flown to UW-Hospital where a blood draw was later taken which reportedly found alcohol in his system. VanderGalien has two previous OWI convictions in 2008 and 2015. If convicted on all charges, VanderGalien could face no more than 165 years in prison. A judge will decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial.

(Madison) There will be contested legislative races in the Dodge County area this fall. In the 39th Assembly District, incumbent Republican Mark Born of Beaver Dam is being challenged by Democrat Izzy Hassey Nevarez of Juneau. In the 37th Assembly District, Republican incumbent John Jagler of Watertown is facing a challenge from Democrat Abigail Lowery of Deforest and independents Chris McFarlin of Sun Prairie and Stephen Ratzlaff Jr. of Deforest. In Dodge County all three incumbent county office holders are running unopposed: County Clerk Karen Gibson, County Treasurer Patti Hilker, and Register of Deeds Chris Planasch. The primary election is August 11 and the fall election is November 3.

(Beaver Dam) The city of Beaver Dam has posted a reopening plan to the city website. The 21-page document details policies, procedures and opening dates for city hall, the Watermark, Community Activities and Services, the library, police and fire, the municipal court, parks and forestry, public works, utilities and engineering. Under the plan, city hall reopened Monday morning with its traditional weekday business hours. Employees are being given personal protective equipment and plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed in the clerk’s office and finance department’s front counter, both of which will be sanitized after each customer visit. The doors to the Watermark will be locked though staff are working on-site weekdays handling program registration and park reservations online, by mail and by phone unless an appointment has to be made for an in-person meeting. Most programming is on hold for June and until further notice. Watercraft rentals resumed at Waterworks Park this past weekend. YMCA lifeguards will be at the Swan Wading Pool and Crystal Lake beach tentatively scheduled to open on June 13, which is one week later than scheduled and two weeks later than budgeted. The community library board has developed a five-stage plan for reopening with a date to be considered at their June 12 meeting. The staff is onsite preparing for the reopening, which when it does happen would include quarantining library materials for 72 hours. Tours and group visits by childcare providers are discouraged. Mailbox services will still be available to vulnerable populations after the reopen. The municipal court is tentatively scheduled to resume activity on June 10 and all persons, except the clerk and police officers, will be asked but not required to wear a facemask.

(Juneau) Dodge County Sheriff’s deputies cited several juveniles for stealing items from cars after the victim helped track down the suspects. Authorities were dispatched to North Main Street in Juneau just before midnight Monday after reports that someone had broken into a vehicle. The property owner told deputies that her husband went after the suspect’s vehicle, which was located a few blocks away. Multiple juveniles were cited for theft and obstruction. The stolen items were returned to the owner.

(Wisconsin) The UW System Presidential Search Committee has named a single finalist to replace Ray Cross. University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen was the committee’s first choice. Johnsen will now move to the next phase of the selection process, which includes interviews next week. Cross announced last fall that he’d retire once the board names his successor.