News – March 13, 2019

(Juneau) The victim’s mother testified yesterday in the jury trial for a Fox Lake murder suspect. Teresita Johnson is mother of Sesalie Dixon, the 27-year-old who Laverne Ware Jr. is accused of killing in 2016. Johnson told the jury about checks that Ware sent to her and other members of his immediate family six months after the shooting death. Johnson testified that no reason for the money was given and no one told her to avoid speaking with the prosecution.  However, Johnson testified she was under the impression that Ware believed writing the checks would make everything go away. Johnson added the $7,500 payment she received was no consolation for losing her daughter as no amount of money in the world would bring her back. Today is day eight of the two week trial.

(Manitowoc) Steven Avery’s attorney is asking the court to throw out his conviction and order a new trial.  Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are in prison for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.  Attorney Kathleen Zellner says a fraud was perpetrated on the jury in Avery’s trial a dozen years ago, arguing that remains found in a gravel pit at the family’s auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County belonged to Halbach, and calling the prosecution’s narrative into question.  The motion also calls for the recusal of the Manitowoc County Circuit Court judge presiding over the case.

(Juneau) Juneau City Hall will be moving. Farmers and Merchants Bank has accepted a $175-thousand dollar offer to purchase their building at 405 Jewel Street; the bank is moving to a new facility next to Piggly Wiggly this spring. The council last (Tuesday) night approved borrowing $25-thousand dollars for preliminary renovation work. The current city hall at 150 Miller Street, across from the Dodge County Administration Building, is in need of repairs that Mayor Dan Wegener says are not cost-effective. Wegener says he is looking forward to holding a city council meeting without people being crammed in like sardines.

(Juneau) The Juneau Common Council last (Tuesday) night approved the closure of Tax Increment Finance District #3 one year earlier than planned. The city will pay $8000 in TIF funds to pay off the remaining balance. Finance Chair Cheryl Braun says the TIF, located on the city’s east side, has collected enough revenue since its establishment in 2007 to pay-off all debt.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission last (Tuesday) night voted to eliminate a retirement benefit for upper management in the police and fire departments. The benefit mirrored what is in union contracts for represented employees. Kohman says that in 1996, when the plan was put in place, health care costs were considerably lower. Now, the costs of the benefit he says could fund entire positions. The commission expressed concerns that removing the benefit could stifle internal promotions to upper management positions.

(Madison) State officials are reminding the public to obtain a photo ID in advance of the April 2nd spring election. The Department of Transportation says anyone who needs a new driver’s license or state ID card should get one as soon as possible.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Fire Department is inviting the community to have coffee with them tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Firefighter-Paramedic John Jatczak says the public is encouraged to come out and ask questions about department operations, services provided or just what it is like to be an emergency responder. There will also be safety information including a push for people to check the batteries in their smoke detectors with the recent changing of clocks. Beaver Dam Fire personnel will be at Blackwater Coffee on South Center Street starting at 9am tomorrow (Thursday).