News – March 12, 2016

Beaver Dam Students Ticketed For Sexting Ring


3/12/16 – Beaver Dam Police have issued four municipal citations against local high school students who engaged in a sexting ring. Police Chief John Kreuziger says his department, in conjunction with the Beaver Dam Unified School District, conducted the investigation into the alleged sharing of inappropriate digital media images. The images were reported to have been traded amongst high school students via cell phone. Through the investigation it was discovered that several inappropriate pictures had been shared among students. The pictures were found to have been taken and shared outside school grounds. The four students were ticketed for Unlawful Use of Computerized Communications Systems. All of the students interviewed during the investigation were counseled on the dangers of this type of activity. Kreuziger says parents are encouraged to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s online and social media activity. If any parent suspects illegal activity on their child’s cell phone they are encouraged to contact law enforcement. Beaver Dam School Superintendent Steve Vessey would not comment on the specifics of the matter because the issue at hand did not take place at school. Vessey did say the district (quote) “worked cooperatively with the Beaver Dam Police Department as [they] do in many cases.”


Fire Destroys Calamus Barn


3/12/16 – Fire completely destroyed a Town of Calamus barn Friday night.  The empty structure was fully engulfed in flames when the Beaver Dam Fire Department arrived around 6:45 pm.  The barn’s owner, Peter Ruff, was burning grass on the farm and was unaware the barn caught on fire.  Ten other departments assisted Beaver Dam, and crews were at the scene for over 3 1/2 hours.


DCSO Investigating Possible Drug Overdose Deaths


3/12/16 – Dodge County Law Enforcement is investigating four deaths believed to be the result of heroin overdoses.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says officers have responded to a large number of overdose incidents in the last three weeks.  Schmidt believes a bad batch of heroin may have hit the area.  Anyone with information that could help in the investigations is encouraged to contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.


Fundraiser Helps Send Veterans To Washington D.C.


3/12/16 – A local fundraiser is raising money to fund a day-long experience for veterans.  The Badger Honor Flight is holding its sixth annual All-American Cookout in Beaver Dam today.  Organizer Jim Bublitz says the funds raised will help send local veterans to the nation’s capital to see their respective monuments.  Since its inception, Honor Flight’s Madison chapter has taken over 1,800 veterans to Washington D.C. in its 21 trips.  Flights are made four Saturdays per year, twice in spring and twice in fall.  After an early morning departure from Madison, Bublitz says the plane touches down in Washington D.C. around 10 am eastern.  He says they visit Arlington National Cemetery for the changing of the guard.  That is followed by trips to the Iwo Jima, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Lincoln Memorial, and Air Force monuments.  Once the plane returns to Madison around 9pm, hundreds typically gather outside the hangar for a welcome home ceremony.  Bublitz says this is very different than the reception many veterans received when they returned from war.  He says World War II and Korean War veterans had to immediately return to work or attempt to find a job while Vietnam veterans had to avoid persecution since it was an unpopular conflict.  This year’s flights are scheduled for April 30, May 21, September 24, and October 22.  Applications are available at  Today’s fundraiser runs from 11 am to 7 pm at John’s Bar and Grill on Madison Street.  Brat, burger, and hot dog plates are available in addition to a silent auction and raffle.


Horicon Man Found Guilty Of Sexually Assaulting Teenager


3/12/16 – A 62-year-old Horicon man pled no contest to multiple charges tied to the sexual assault of a teenager.  Gary L. Koppen was found guilty on three misdemeanor charges, one count of Fourth Degree Sexual Assault and two counts of Sex with a Child Age Sixteen or Older.  Three other misdemeanors were dismissed but read into the record.  Koppen was previously facing felony sex assault charges for incidents that occurred between October 2013 and January 2014, all with the same victim.  Koppen was arrested in St. Croix Falls in January 2015 after a three month ongoing investigation.  A sentencing hearing is set for March 30.  Koppen was already sentenced to 18 months in jail and placed on probation for three years for similar offenses in Washington County.


Waupun Man Headed To Prison For Violating Probation


3/12/16 – A Waupun man charged three times in just over a year with preying on young teenage girls was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday after violating terms of his probation. Alezander Ramirez was originally jailed for 30 days after forcing himself on a middle-school age child in August 2010. The 22-year-old was charged a week after being placed on deferred prosecution for contact with a girl even younger than his first victim. Three months later, he was found in a stolen car with three underage girls. Ramirez had to register as a lifetime sex offender in 2012.  He will be under extended supervision for eight years once he is released from prison.


Dodge County 4-H Team Wins State Tournament


3/12/16 – Dodge County’s 4-H program earned statewide accolades last weekend.  The senior division team was named state champion at the Wisconsin 4-H Quiz Bowl and Skillathon contests.  Those were held last Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Quiz Bowl participants were asked about beef, sheep, swine, and goat topics while the Skillathon tested livestock breed, feed, equipment, and meat identifications.  Dodge County’s team will now represent the state at the national 4-H Quiz Bowl contest in Nebraska this September.


Local Boy Scout Council Recognized


3/12/16 – The Boy Scout council that serves multiple counties in south-central Wisconsin was recently honored.  The Glacier’s Edge Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves Dodge, Columbia, and Jefferson Counties.  It was ranked 15th among 300 councils nationwide for achievement in eighteen areas including outdoor programs, community service, and growth in membership.  Glacier’s Edge was also given a ‘gold standard of excellence’ distinction by the Boy Scouts of America for 2015.  Last year, Glacier’s Edge saw a three percent increase in membership with nearly 7,400 youth in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois participating.


Local Event Aims To Help Prevent Suicide


3/12/16 – A group aimed at preventing suicide is holding a fundraiser tonight.  Live Out Loud, which was founded in 2010, is having a nine-pin bowling tournament at Jud’s in Waupun.  Cost is $20 per person.  The charity’s Wisconsin Ambassador, Lindsey Heintz says proceeds are used to further educate the ambassadors on how to assist people dealing with suicidal thoughts and to cover travel costs.  Heintz, who has been involved in the charity for roughly one year, says there is a three-step model used for helping suicidal people: question, persuade, refer.  She says one must ask them if they are suicidal, persuade them they can be helped, and refer them to the proper professionals.  The charity event starts at 5pm and the tournament begins at 7pm.


Dodge County Fairgrounds Hosting Food Bank


3/12/16 – The Dodge County Fairgrounds is hosting a series of events to help those in need.  Southern Wisconsin’s Second Harvest Food Bank will set up a mobile foodbank on the second Saturday of each month, starting today.  Recipients do not need to bring identification or proof of residence to collect food.  Folks are advised to bring enough bags and containers to carry their items.  The mobile foodbank dates after today’s event are April 9, May 14, and June 11.  Pre-registration starts at 9:45 am, and the food distribution begins at 10.  People are encouraged to use the fairground’s entrance on High Point Road at Highway 33.  Food is distributed in the shelter under the grandstand.


Marshfield Clinic Seeks To Buy Building For New Hospital


3/12/16 – One of Wisconsin’s largest medical institutions plans to buy a hospital instead of building one. Marshfield Clinic said  yesterday it has entered into a non-binding agreement to purchase Saint Joseph’s Hospital, which is attached to the main clinic facility in Marshfield. Officials say the details are still being negotiated. Ministry Health Care has owned Saint Joseph’s for years — but the Clinic pursued its own hospital a couple years ago, saying Ministry has moved some important care functions to its facility in the Wausau area. The deal would let Ministry become the sole owner of the Diagnostic-and-Treatment Center, which both institutions co-own at Weston, just east of Wausau.


Daylight Savings Time Begins Overnight


3/12/16 – Your weekend will be one hour shorter than normal. That’s because Daylight Savings Time begins at 2am Sunday morning, and we’re all supposed to move our clocks ahead one hour before going to bed tonight.  Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says while your changing your clocks for the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, take a few extra minutes to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. He recommends changing the batteries and making sure the dete