News – June 5, 2020

(Green Lake) Federal charges have been filed against two men accused of trafficking a young girl in Green Lake County. Thirty-five-year-old Julio Cesar Veleta Veleta and 32-year-old Evis Amabilio Garcia-Rivera are facing federal charges of Sex Trafficking, Sex Trafficking by Fraud, Force and Coercion and Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking. Last November, the teen victim was rescued by the Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office. She reported that she had run away from a residence in the Town of Manchester where she was being trafficked. Initially six men, believed to be undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, were arrested and charged. In January, an additional three men were taken into custody in connection to the sex trafficking ring. In Green Lake County Court, Veleta is facing a felony charge of Trafficking a Child while Garcia-Rivera is charged with Second Degree Sexual Assault and Child Enticement. Both have initial appereances scheduled for June 18th on their federal charges.

(Madison) Badger Honor Flight has cancelled all fall flights for the 2020 season. Organizers say when weighing the risks of flying our nation’s heroes to Washington D.C. in the midst of a pandemic, they feel it is in the best interest to wait until everyone can fly safely. They say no one can predict what challenges or opportunities they will face by September but they need to make decisions now based on what is known today. With the country working slowly to reopen, Badger Honor Flight says it is no time to put the most vulnerable at risk. The organization says they will be creative and innovative while working together to come back and fly in 2021.

(Wisconsin) Another major Wisconsin event is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic — World Dairy Expo in Madison. Dairy Expo General Manager Scott Bentley, in an announcement posted to YouTube Thursday afternoon. The 54th World Dairy Expo was scheduled for September 30 through October 3. The announcement said World Dairy Expo “remains committed to issuing full refunds for all payments made for the 2020 show.”

(Wisconsin) Milwaukee’s Summerfest is canceled this year. The board of directors made the decision to cancel at its regular meeting Thursday morning. The COVID-19 pandemic makes large gatherings risky. Milwaukee’s sprawling music festival had already been postponed from June to September. People who’d bought tickets through or Ticketmaster can get refunds.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting an increase of 492 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Thursday’s) daily update. The two-week average is 417 daily infections. There are 19,892 people now having tested positive. Four-point-one-percent (4.1%) of the 11,600 tests administered came back positive Thursday, compared to 2.9-percent Wednesday and 3.6-percent Tuesday. While that’s the highest percent positive in five days, the percent of positive tests have been trending down since testing began in the state in early May. But Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm remains cautious. State health officials are reporting ten more deaths bringing that total to 626. 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 saw an increase of three cases Thursday, for a total of 386, with three deaths on record. The county had 207 negative tests returned for a running total of 5,387. Washington County now has nine deaths on record and 266 positive tests. Fond du Lac County has five deaths being reported and 225 people having tested positive. Jefferson County has reported three deaths and has a total 116 cases. There has been one death in Columbia County and 44 positive cases. Green Lake County has 22 cases.

(Mayville) Several buildings and locations in Mayville will be reopening soon after being closed for over two months because of COVID-19. The Tag Center’s 24/7 Fitness Center will be open for members beginning June 10th while the Regular Fitness Center will be available for use on June 24th. The Tag Center’s pool will remain closed and the city council will review options later this month. Mayor Rob Boelk says residents who have a yearly membership can get a three-month extension or work with the Tag Center on receiving a refund. The Mayville Public Library plans on reopening their doors on June 15th. City parks, picnic tables and rest areas can welcome visitors on June 24th while the Mayville Park Pavilion is set to reopen on June 27th.

(Beaver Dam) Probable cause was found yesterday (Thursday) for an Illinois man to proceed to trial for a high-speed chase with Beaver Dam police. Ali Barnaby from Mount Prospect is facing a felony count of Fleeing and a misdemeanor charge of Obstruction. An officer allegedly clocked Barnaby going 50-miles-per-hour on Industrial Drive on May 26. When police activated their emergency lights, the vehicle accelerated away. According the criminal complaint, Barnaby failed to stop at several stop signs in the city and at one point was going nearly 80-miles-per-hour on North Spring Street. During the pursuit, law enforcement learned that the vehicle was listed as stolen out of Illinois. Barnaby reportedly reached speeds in excess of 95-miles-per-hour as he continued out of the city limits and onto Highway W. The vehicle was eventually disabled by tire deflation devices set up by the Dodge County Sheriff’s deputies just east of High Point Road. A baton was used to smash the driver’s side window to unlock the door but Barnaby still allegedly refused to exit so officers cut his seatbelt and removed the 18-year-old. A female passenger was also removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. If convicted, Barnaby faces over four years in prison. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for June 17th.

(Beaver Dam) A Merrill man charged with running from Beaver Dam police in a stolen vehicle is heading to trial. Noah Rossio waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday on a felony count of Fleeing and a misdemeanor charge of Obstruction. A theft was reported at a North Spring Street gas station late on May 22nd and the suspect drove away. An hour later, the suspect vehicle was spotted by police on North Center Street and accelerated away. According to the criminal complaint, the vehicle blew through several stop signs and as it exited the city at over 80-miles-per-hour. The vehicle was pursued by multiple squad cars and avoided a number of tire deflation devices. When the suspect entered Juneau, he lost control while attempting a left hand turn, struck two parked vehicles and a front porch before coming to rest in the front lawn of a residence on North Main Street. Officers deployed a K9 who was able to bite the ankle of the suspect, identified as Rossio, as he attempted to jump over a fence. Rossio allegedly tried to push and kick the K9 and refused to comply with commands by police. The K9 eventually released his grip and Rossio was taken into custody. The vehicle Rossio was driving was reportedly listed as stolen by the Grand Chute Police Department. If convicted, the 18-year-old faces over four years in prison. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for July 1st.

(Stevens Point) There will be competing rallies in Stevens Point this weekend. Black Lives Matter is planning another rally, but in response a group calling itself a ‘Meeting of the Patriots’ will be gathering about a half mile away at a public park. Mayor Mike Wiza (WE-zah) says they have been in contact with organizers of both events. Wiza says police will be present at both sites and will be keeping the groups separate.

(Wisconsin) A conservative think tank wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court involved in upcoming legislative redistricting. Former state Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty have asked the Supreme Court to put new rules in place, authorizing the justices to decide any redistricting litigation, rather than federal courts. The Wisconsin legislature is charged with redistricting every ten years, and WILL says Republicans and Democrats will not agree on how those maps should be drawn. By the time the court considers any maps, liberal Justice Jill Karofsky will have taken over for conservative Daniel Kelly, who she defeated in April. Governor Tony Evers has called for a special commission on redistricting once the census is completed.

(Wisconsin) University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is requesting a special legislative session to address financial troubles caused by COVID-19. Cross is asking Governor Tony Evers and leaders for authority to borrow money to offset losses and change the start date for the 2020-2021 school year.  In a letter to the governor, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Cross noted U-W campuses have already furloughed and laid off employees.  He also said “we face significant financial and operational challenges that are made much worse by the ever-changing nature of the pandemic.”