News – March 17, 2016

County Department Head Files Grievance Over Suspension


3/17/16 – Dodge County’s Human Services and Health Director filed a written grievance this month after she was placed on a weeklong, unpaid suspension in late February.  Janet Wimmer was put on leave the week of February 22 for two alleged incidents from 2015.  In a private meeting on February 8, Wimmer says County Administrator Jim Mielke accused her of submitting a gas reimbursement for an August meeting she attended via telephone and failing to show up to work on December 3.  Wimmer says the gas reimbursement was an honest mistake and states she reimbursed the county for the $116 charge.  Wimmer says she was in her Juneau office for five hours on December 3 and has documentation from two colleagues who claim she was at work that day.  While she was originally scheduled to be at a Stevens Point conference that day, Wimmer says she stayed in Juneau to address two departmental matters and be close to her seriously-ill horse.  During that February 8 meeting, Wimmer says Mielke gave her two options: resign or be fired.  The next day, Wimmer says Mielke offered her a ‘last chance’ agreement and presented the terms at a meeting on February 10.  In addition to the week-long suspension, Wimmer was reportedly told to resign from the Wisconsin County Human Service Association Executive Committee and use an automated entrance card each day to track time spent in the County Administration Building.  In her grievance, Wimmer claims gender discrimination and says Mielke has attacked her performance for months in an effort to damage her credibility.  Wimmer says Mielke denied her written grievance.  As a result, Wimmer says she is filing a complaint of discrimination and retaliation with the State of Wisconsin Equal Rights Division and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Wimmer is requesting all final warning conditions be removed from her personnel file.  She wants her suspension reversed and compensation for the denied pay.  Also, Wimmer wants clearance to return to her statewide committee, if elected.  Neither Wimmer nor Mielke immediately returned our calls.


Two More Wisconsinites Die From Elizabeth-Kingia


3/17/16 – Two more Wisconsinites have died after getting the Elizabeth-Kingia bacterial infection. State health officials say the death toll is now 17, and the total confirmed cases have risen by six in the past week to 54. The affected counties remain the same, 12 throughout the southeast one-third of Wisconsin including Dodge and surrounding counties. Federal and state health experts are still looking for the cause of the outbreak — and the U-S Centers for Disease Control say they’re looking for clues by reviewing 350 Elizabeth-Kingia samples which date back to the 1950s. Officials say the Wisconsin outbreak is larger and more severe than previous ones throughout the country — and they’ve affected mainly people over 65 with other chronic health issues.


Beaver Dam Lake Ice Open


3/17/16 – The ice on Beaver Dam Lake is officially open.  That’s according to Dick McMillan of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association who says the ice opened up late Tuesday night.  The declaration comes each year when a boat can travel from the dam on the south end of the lake to the Highway G bridge on the north end. The earliest the ice was opened was on February 28 in 1998.  The latest was April 20 in both 1923 and 1972.  Last year, the ice opened on March 26.


Mayville Mayor Gives Farewell Speech


3/17/16 – Mayville Mayor Bob Redeker gave his farewell speech at this week’s common council meeting.  Redeker filed non-candidacy papers last fall after serving as mayor for two years.  Prior to that, Redeker was a two-term alderman.  The mayor says his proudest accomplishment is seeing through the city’s nine-year financial recovery plan, which he says has put the city in a better place.  Since he took office, Redeker says the city has eliminated a $2,000,000 deficit and built an $800,000 reserve.  He says the city still owes $5,000,000 in debt, which he says will be the chief task for the next mayor and council.  During his time in office, Redeker says he wishes two vacant properties in the city’s downtown would have been occupied.  He says that was one of the reasons he proposed a vacancy tax.  Redeker’s term expires next month.  The mayoral election featuring current aldermen Joe Hohmann and Rob Boelk is April 5.


Missing Sheboygan Man Found In Oconomowoc


3/17/16 – A missing Sheboygan man has been found safe in Oconomowoc. The state Justice Department issued a statewide Silver Alert for 69-year-old Kenneth Wachal after his family reported him missing early Wednesday afternoon. Officials say he was visiting a daughter in Delafield before he disappeared — and Wachal was buying gasoline when the Silver Alert and his photo came up on a computerized lottery terminal, and a clerk recognized him.


Vandals Strike At Beaver Dam’s New BMX Park


3/17/16 – Beaver Dam’s new bike park was heavily damaged by vandals. Joann Lehman with the Beaver Dam BMX and Skate Park Association says a car or truck drove on the mud track late last week, destroying ramps and causing deep ruts. Beaver Dam Police Lt. Terrance Gebhardt says this type of activity has been common during the spring with vandals typically causing similar problems at Edgewater Park. He says there are no suspects at this time but the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Beaver Dam Police. Lehman, meanwhile, says they are asking bikers to stay away until the park dries out. A cleanup is planned for April 23. The group is going to need a lot of dirt and grass seed; donations are being accepted. The park is located off Fletcher Road between Beichl Avenue, County Road E and Highway 151. The group is also raising funds for a skate park on the same property. Checks can be made payable to: the Beaver Dam BMX and Skate Park Association and send to Beaver Dam City Hall 205 South Lincoln Avenue, Beaver Dam Wisconsin 53916.


Beaver Dam Police Solve Case Of Missing Tape Measure


3/17/16 – The Beaver Dam Police Department has solved the crime of the missing tape measure. Support Staff Supervisor Don Rindfleisch says he was working in the lobby of the police station Wednesday – on a wooden display case featuring officers in the department – when he was called away to another task. When he returned to the lobby, he realized that a tape measure he had been using disappeared. Rindfleisch quickly pulled up video surveillance from within the state-of-the-art, recently completed $5-million dollar facility. He discovered that a 59-year-old Beaver Dam woman – who had been in the lobby to file a complaint about a stolen television – had stolen the tape measure. Investigators noted that her story didn’t add up.  Before ultimately confessing, the woman told officers that she moved the tape measure so she could to sit down; she never did sit down and there were three other empty chairs. Rindfleisch estimates the cost of the tape measure at $5. The woman received a municipal citation for $313. Rindfliesch says this is the first time in his 23 years of working for the police department that he has known anyone to steal an item from the police department. No word yet on the status of the missing television.


Fall River Lady Pirates Commended For Good Season


3/17/16 – Fall River Lady Pirate senior basketball players are the talk of the village after their post season-run…and they are also being recognized by the WIAA.   High School Principal Brian Zacho received word this week that Student Council President Kelly Traumburg was nominated for the Association’s Statewide Girls’ Scholar / Athlete Team. Kelly Traumburg and Alyssa Klecker set several records in their basketball careers in Fall River Schools. Principal Brian Zacho says (quote) “those records will be hard to beat by anyone.” The Fall River Lady Pirates were defeated in a Division 5 contest by Wisconsin Rapids Assumption in the girls’ semi-finals in Green Bay last Saturday.