News – March 18, 2019

(Columbus) Flood waters are starting to subside in some communities but the situation is not over. The Crawfish River at Columbus is now below action stage after cresting late last week at 17.6-feet; it is now closer to 15-feet. Last week, officials in Columbus checked 175 homes and evacuated 40 residents along with another 15-to-20 in one apartment complex. The bridge at Highway 16-60 is still closed. In Dodge County, Highway 28 remains closed at Highway 175 in Theresa. There are still some road closures in Waupun where the Rock River crested at 8.6-feet. The Rock is now considered near flood stage at almost 5-feet and dropping.  The Waupun-area is the no longer under a flood warning like many river front communities. In addition to Columbus, flood warnings remain at Reedsburg, Baraboo, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Lake Koshkonong, Milford, Princeton, Berlin and Portage.

(Fond du Lac) Fond du Lac County Emergency Management Director Bobbi Hicken says it is way too early to know if there is going to be any funding made available to reimburse people for their losses during this past week’s flooding. Hicken says they have been getting plenty of calls about the issue. She does have some suggestions for people who have suffered losses due to flooding. Residents should document their losses, any work done and expenses in connection with their losses and also take lots of pictures.

(Madison) The private well section chief for the state Department of Natural Resources says if your private well for drinking water is covered by flood waters you should assume the water is contaminated. Liesa Lehmann says any water supply system that has been submerged by flood waters should be pumped out once the floodwater recedes, then thoroughly disinfected and tested to determine that the water is safe. She says disinfection and sampling is best done by a licensed well driller or pump installer.

(Wisconsin) As flood waters recede, Wisconsin is observing Flood Safety Awareness Week starting today.  Ready Wisconsin wants people to know their risk for flooding and also to purchase flood insurance.  Other tips to follow include having an emergency supply kit ready for evacuations, making home repairs to keep water out, and not to drive on roads covered by flood waters.

(Juneau) Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said he has no doubt Laverne Ware Jr killed Sesalie Dixon and said in his closing arguments Friday that all supporting evidence points to him. After a two-week trial, a jury early Saturday morning reached that conclusion against the former Fox Lake man on all five felony charges against him. The defense had claimed the defendant’s mother committed the murder. Ware declined an opportunity to take the stand after discussing the possibility for over an hour on Friday with his attorneys. Cross-examination by Klomberg was cited as a factor in his decision. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered, and Ware will be sentenced at a later date.

(Cambria) A Cambria man is facing charges of eighth offense Operating While Intoxicated following a single-vehicle crash Saturday night. Robert Koehler reportedly put his car in a ditch on State Highway 146 in the Town of Fountain Prairie. A caller to dispatch, who had given Koehler a ride home, said his name was Bob and he was not injured. The caller said “something was not right with him.” When deputies arrived, Koehler was reportedly back at the accident scene, after allegedly driving a second vehicle there. When deputies said that they were placing him under arrest, the 56-year-old reportedly reached inside the vehicle, grabbed an open liquor bottle and tried to drink it. He is also charged with Operating With Open Intoxicants and Failing To Maintain Control of his Vehicle.