News – June 30, 2016

BDACT Begins Final Push For New Theatre


6/30/16 – The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre is looking to complete its $2.5-million dollar building campaign by the end of the year. The non-profit is seeking to move from its current location on North Spring Street into the former St. Katherine Drexel/ St. Patrick School, a three-story structure a couple blocks away on Maple Avenue. The group is $900-thousand dollars away from their fundraising goal. The final campaign offers donors an opportunity to sponsor personalized, engraved nameplates on individual seats in the main auditorium and 12-by-12-inch engraved granite stone floor tiles in the main lobby entrance. The seats and floor tiles can be purchased outright paid monthly or over several years. For example, a $750 seat sponsorship can be paid at $250-per year or just under $21-per month for three years.


Theatre Board of Directors President Emeritus Jen Espenscheid told us recently on WBEV’s Community Comment that there are also new opportunities for those who have already contributed in the past. She says those who have already contributed less than $1000 can use the amount already given toward the sponsorship purchase, as long as the donation is at least doubled. Espenscheid says this critical appeal offers an attractive, affordable way for the community to help close the campaign by the end of the year. Campaign Co-Chair and BDACT charter member Annette Kamps, says this appeal stresses the immediacy of the need to support the future of BDACT and its service to the community. Kamps says it is exciting to see BDACT’s constant growth since 1964, with participation at all age levels and the expansion of educational and entertainment programs. But Kamps says that is exactly why BDACT can no longer survive in their current building which lacks needed space and handicap access.


To meet the goal of $900-thousand dollars, there are 550 engraved stone floor tiles available along with 200 first-level seat nameplates, 110 second level seat nameplates and 18 handicap seat plaques. Seat sponsorships are for recognition purposes and not a future seating guarantee. The theatre’s goal is to put a shovel in the ground in 2017. The tile and seat sponsorships are not the only names that will be on the new building as there is a main donor wall planned for those who contribute over $1000.


Some Jurors Weep Over Brantner Non Decision


6/30/16 – No decision by the jury in a 26-year-old Fond du Lac County murder case. The jury Wednesday morning decided after 16 hours of deliberation it could not reach a verdict on whether Dennis Brantner killed Berit Beck in the Fond du Lac area in the summer of 1990 and left her body alongside a rural Waupun roadway. Some jurors shed tears in the jury box as they were dismissed after failing to arrive at a verdict. Brantner’s lawyer Craig Powel says he would have preferred an innocent verdict, but his client survived this challenge. District Attorney Eric Toney says whether they have another trial for Dennis Brantner remains to be seen, but all interested parties will have a say on it. The Beck family has lived with this for more than a quarter century. Dan Miller, the pastor of Racine Bible Church – the Beck family’s church – says they appreciated the efforts of those trying to get justice for Berit. Miller says the family’s faith has been unwavering. Judge Gary Sharpe told those in the courtroom Wednesday that bailiffs assigned to jury told him they learned during a smoking break for jurors that one of the jurors had been taken to the emergency room Tuesday night and left against medical advice to return to the jury. The bailiffs also told the judge that the jury foreperson was having a hard time controlling the jury. Brantner remains in the County Jail on a $1-million cash bond. He will be sentenced on drug possession charges July 12th and a status conference will be scheduled on his murder charge.


Hartford Man Sentenced For High Speed Chase


6/30/16 – A Hartford man pled guilty yesterday to leading a Dodge County Sheriff’s deputy on a drunken high speed chase. Myles Hesse was found guilty on reduced misdemeanor charges of Failing to Stop for an Officer and Second Offense OWI while another misdemeanor count was dismissed. The 24-year-old was clocked in February going ten miles over the speed limit in the Town of Rubicon. When deputies pursued the vehicle, speeds reached near 100-miles-per-hour. Hesse was arrested at gunpoint after stopping his vehicle in the City of Hartford. He told the arresting officer he was (quote) “just being an idiot.” The deputy informed the suspect he was clocked going 83-miles-per-hour to which Hesse responded (quote) “at least that.” A preliminary breath test indicated his blood alcohol level to be above the legal driving limit at point-one-two (.12). Hesse was sentenced on the Failing to Stop count yesterday and was placed on probation for one year and was ordered to pay court-related costs.  The judge deferred sentencing for the OWI and Hesse has a sentencing hearing for that offense scheduled next March.


Iron Ridge Man Pleads Not Guilty To High Speed Chase


6/30/16 – An Iron Ridge man pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday on charges that he sparked a high speed chase.  Jeffrey Mead is facing one felony count of Fleeing an Officer.  The 38-year-old allegedly sped away at 110 miles-per-hour when a Horicon officer tried to pull him over in August of 2008 since the owner of the bike did not have a valid motorcycle license.  If convicted, Mead faces over three years in prison.  He is due back in court August 1.


Motorcyclist Killed In Dane County Crash


6/30/16 – A 60-year-old motorcyclist has died in a crash near Cambridge in Dane County. Sheriff’s deputies say the man lost control of his bike, and it veered off the roadway. It happened a little after six Wednesday evening on County Trunk “B” in the town of Christina. The rider died at the scene, and his name was not immediately released.


Columbus’ 4th Of July Celebration Starts Today


6/30/16 – Columbus’ annual Fourth of July celebration starts today.  The five-day festival is held at Fireman’s Park.  Things get underway late afternoon with carnival rides.  For $20, people can go on unlimited rides until 9 pm.  During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Organizer Tory Weideman said tonight’s main stage entertainment is country artists Jesse Walker and Randy Kiel from 5-7 pm and 7-9 pm, respectively.  Weideman says a 30-foot inflatable screen will be brought into the park for a nighttime showing of the movie, Minions.  Prior to the film, Weideman says kids 12 and under can enter a contest to light the first firework during this year’s show.  Events run through Monday when the parade starts at noon and fireworks get underway at dusk.


Deadline Tomorrow For BD 175th Parade Entries


6/30/16 – Tomorrow is the last day for people to submit entries to Beaver Dam’s 175th Anniversary Parade.  The parade, which starts at 10 am on July 16, is part of the city’s year-long celebration.  Earlier this week on WBEV’s Community Comment, Organizer Kay Appenfeldt said there are already 75 submissions plus dignitaries and color guards.  Appenfeldt says entries should tell the story of the business or organization’s role in Beaver Dam history.  Appenfeldt says all entries will be divided into one of five groups: 1841, 1877, 1913, 1949, or 1985, based on when the group or organization became part of the community.  Entries can be submitted by calling 920-887-1693.  An afternoon picnic at Swan Park will follow the parade.


DOT Highway Projects On Hold For Holiday


6/30/16 – Most of the major highway projects in Wisconsin are being put on hold at noon Thursday for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says peak travel times are expected to be from noon to 8pm both Friday and Monday. DOT officials say work on the road construction projects will resume Tuesday morning to help drivers. Officials say there are still a number of projects with lane restrictions which will impact traffic, including the Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee and on Interstate 39/90 in Dane and Rock counties.


Senator Renewing Call For More Prison Staffing Funds


6/30/16 – A Wisconsin senator is renewing a Democratic call for more staffing funds at state prisons, after three employees at Green Bay were assaulted by an inmate on Wednesday. Democrat Dave Hansen tells W-B-A-Y T-V that an employee may never return to work following an inmate attack at the same prison last September — and he says state officials must discuss safety improvements, and prison workers need to be part of the conversation. In Wednesday morning’s incident, Brown County sheriff’s officials say two employees were beaten and stabbed, and a third was hurt while trying to get the inmate under control. All three were treated at a hospital and later released — and the inmate refused hospital treatment after getting minor hand cuts. The employees’ names were not released, and officials expect to ask Brown County prosecutors to file charges soon.