News – March 14, 2016

Dodge County Board Race: District One Benter Vs Flemming


3/14/16 – The two candidates running for a Town of Fox Lake seat on the Dodge County believe the county should share sales tax dollars with its municipalities.  Ed Benter and Julie Flemming appeared on Friday’s edition of WBEV’s Community Comment to discuss that and other issues.  They are vying for a seat being vacated by Darrell Pollesch.  In recent months, the Dodge County Mayor’s Consortium has been petitioning the county to share revenues from its half-a-percent sales tax.  The tax was put in place two decades ago to pay for the county jail and has since been expanded to cover general county projects.  Benter, who previously served as the Town of Fox Lake’s chairman and clerk/treasurer, believes it is important to use the funds on road improvements and other projects that benefit the entire county.  He says spreading funds over the county’s 20+ municipalities would not do much good since none of them would get a significant amount.  Flemming, who currently serves on the Town Board in Fox Lake, says that money could be used to fund roads, something she sees as a problem in her home township.  Throughout March, candidates from the other six contested Dodge County Board races, contested Beaver Dam aldermanic race, and Mayville mayoral race will appear on WBEV’s Community Comment, with the exception of Beaver Dam-area county board incumbents Ed Nelson and Randy Grebel who declined our offer.  On today’s program, our guests are Richard Greshay and Holly Millard who are vying for Horicon’s District Eight county board seat.  That will start at 12:35 pm on AM 1430 WBEV.


Listen to Friday’s broadcast here:

Ed Benter:

Julie Flemming:


Lautenschlager Appointed To State’s New Ethics Commission


3/14/16 – Former Democratic Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager has been named to the state’s new ethics commission. Lautenschlager’s appointment to the commission was made by Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling of LaCrosse. Lautenschlager served as attorney general from 2003 to 2007. Governor Scott Walker signed a bill in December doing away with the Government Accountability Board and replacing it with two commissions. One will oversee elections, the other ethics. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos appointed former Republican state Representative Pat Strachota to the panel last week.


Funeral Home Markets Anti-Heroin Billboards


3/14/16 – The Zacherl Funeral Home in Fond du Lac is getting some attention for four billboards aimed at teens and young adults. Dawn Nelson is a funeral director at Zacherl. She says they were kicking around some marketing ideas and arrived at a decision to do two signs for the Prom season and the other promoting making good decisions when it comes to drugs. She says they wanted to get young kids thinking, but they are also arranging funerals for too many taken by the heroin epidemic. Nelson says they were surprised by the reaction to the billboards, but it accomplished its purpose by getting people to talk about the problem. Nelson says the families of drug victims aren’t the only ones who shouldn’t have to bury children. She says funeral homes are tired of burying children and young people. One of the billboards features a picture of hearse and the words,” Side Affects of Heroin: Your Vehicle Changes. Be Aware, Speak Up. We Can Wait.”


Dodge County Authorities Investigating Four Overdose Deaths


3/14/16 – 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.


Police Chief Encourages Parents To Monitor Social Media


3/14/16 – Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger says parents should be concerned about the increase in teenagers using social media to trade nude images of themselves. On Friday, authorities released a press release detailing a sexting ring that resulted in four high school students being ticketed for Unlawful Use of Computerized Communications Systems. The pictures were found to have been taken and shared outside school grounds. Kreuziger encourages parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s online and social media activity. He says parents need to closely monitor the electronic devices their children are using and educate them on not only the safety concerns but the criminal liability that could result from misuse. Kreuziger says the responsibility is ultimately up to the parents of underage children. Beaver Dam School Superintendent Steve Vessey noted that the incidents did not take place at school but says the district worked cooperatively with police. Earlier this month, it was reported that the Waukesha police were investigating at least 30 students who may have traded nude photographs and graphic videos of themselves.  The students involved in the Waukesha investigation are between the ages of 10 and 15, mostly girls.  Waukesha investigators said they trading the suggestive images like baseball cards.


Grass Fire Spreads To Town Of Calamus Barn


3/14/16 – A grass fire ignited a Town of Calamus barn Friday night, completely destroying the empty structure. The Beaver Dam Fire Department responded to North Salem Road around 6:45pm and found the barn fully engulfed in flames when arrived.  The property is owned by Peter Ruff, who was initially unaware that the barn had caught on fire.  Ten other departments assisted Beaver Dam, and crews were at the scene for over three-and-a-half hours.


Five Injured In Town Of Chester Collision


3/14/16 – All five people involved in a two-vehicle accident in the Town of Chester early Saturday morning were taken to the hospital with minor or non-life threatening injuries. 34-year-old Eric Anderson was reportedly driving south on Highway 151 when he rear-ended a car driven by a 35-year-old Missouri man, causing it to hit the median and overturn. Anderson was booked in the Dodge County Jail on an Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle charge.


Oconomowoc Woman To Enter Plea In Shooting Death


3/14/16 – A Waukesha County woman is scheduled to enter pleas Monday afternoon in the shooting death of her husband last May. Fifty-two year old Amy Van Wagner of Oconomowoc is charged in Waukesha County with homicide and hiding a corpse. According to prosecutors, she claimed she saw legs sticking out from a tarp in the couple’s basement — but investigators say her husband, 50-year-old Stanley Van Wagner, was actually shot in another room and was then hidden downstairs. The defense lawyer has said the prosecution’s case is weak — and the couple’s 16-year-old son has said he would have heard the gunshots but didn’t.


Pedestrian Killed By Train In Oshkosh


3/14/16 – A fatal train-pedestrian accident Saturday did not happen at an intersection with a road or a pedestrian crossing.  Oshkosh police say they don’t know why a 20-year-old man was on the railroad tracks early Saturday when a Canadian National train hit and killed him.  The freight train was headed north when the accident happened.  The man’s name hasn’t been released.


BDLIA Annual Banquet Deadline Approaching


3/14/16 – The Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association is holding its annual banquet later this month.  In addition to dinner, door prizes, and games, Association President Bill Boettge says there will be some large raffle prizes, including a gun, kayak, HDTV, and Packers tickets.  During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Boettge said all proceeds go into the lake through funding studies and creating new recreational programs.  The banquet is at Bayside Supper Club on Tuesday, March 29.  Doors open at 5pm.  Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased at through tomorrow (Tu).


First Wind Farm Since 2011 Proposed


3/14/16 – A global renewable energy company based in Spain wants to build a wind farm in Lafayette County next year.  Nearly 50 wind turbines would be erected east of Platteville in a project valued at around 200 million dollars.  The wind farm would generate an estimated 99 megawatts of electricity.  The last major wind farm built in Wisconsin was in Columbia County in 2011.  As they consider that project, state regulators will also take a second look at a proposed wind farm project in St. Croix County.


February Vehicle Sales Dip


3/14/16 – Vehicle sales through February are down from the same two months in 2015 throughout south-central Wisconsin.  According to the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm Regtrak, 462 vehicles were sold in the first two months of 2016 in Dodge County, a nearly seven-percent decrease.  Columbia County has seen 313 vehicles roll off the lots this year, a 14-percent drop from the first two months of 2015.  The 342 vehicles sold in Jefferson County are 24-percent less than last year.  There have been just over 6000 vehicles sold through February in the nine-county region, an eight-percent drop from 2015.  Regional car sales have dropped nearly 15-percent from last year while truck sales are only down around five-percent.  The decline in sales from February 2015 to this February is similar to the year-to-date totals in Dodge, Columbia, and Jefferson Counties.