News – March 19, 2016

Dodge Co. Human Services Director Placed On Paid Leave


3/19/16 – Dodge County’s Human Services and Health Director was placed on indefinite paid leave yesterday.  Earlier this week, we reported Janet Wimmer filed a grievance with the county on March 2 after being suspended one week in February for allegedly not reporting to work on December 3 and requesting a gasoline reimbursement for a meeting she attended via telephone in August.  County Administrator Jim Mielke says “further activity is being looked at” as this is “not a direct link to the prior issue.”  Mielke says the county received new allegations of possible misconduct, policy violations, and/or unacceptable performance that spurred yesterday’s action.  While the human resources committee discussed the matter yesterday morning, Mielke says it was ultimately his decision to place Wimmer on leave.  Mielke says all Human Services and Health programs and services will continue as usual with three division managers taking the reins while Wimmer is gone.  Mielke says yesterday’s action does not in any way affect the grievance process for the March 2 matter.  An impartial hearing officer will take that case after Mielke initially denied the written grievance.


69th Annual Alice In Dairyland Finalists Announced


3/19/16 – The six finalists for this year’s Alice in Dairyland competition were announced in Waterloo yesterday.  Dodge County is hosting the 69th annual event this spring.  We spoke with the six contestants at the Crave Brothers Farm, asking why they want to be the next Alice.  Mayville’s Jenna Braun wants to help tell Wisconsin’s ag story and educate people on how food gets to their tables.  Victoria Horstman of Sparta believes her degrees in journalism and public relations will allow her to tailor the Department of Agriculture’s message to a variety of audiences.  New Glarus’s Kristin Klossner wants to help bridge the gap between farm and table, as she saw former Alice’s do when she was younger.  Ann O’Leary of Evansville hopes to unite people through showing them agriculture is a large part of many of their lives.  Denmark’s Emily Selner wants to share with consumers the story of the many people who take great pride in their agricultural work.  Also from Denmark, Joanna Wavrunek wants to learn from the experts while educating consumers, and at times experts in turn.  The new Alice, who will serve as the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection’s ambassador for one year, will be crowned May 7 at Watertown’s Turner Hall following three days of events.


BDFD Conducting Weekend Rescue Training


3/19/16 – The Beaver Dam Fire Department is conducting rescue training at two vacant houses in the city this weekend. Chief Alan Mannel people may notice simulated smoke on the 400 block of Madison Street and at 114 East Third Street. He advises the public to be on the lookout for traffic in those areas related to the training.


Mayville Officers Recognized For Life-Saving Efforts


3/19/16 – Three Mayville police officers were honored for life-saving efforts at this week’s common council meeting.  On March 2, Officer Mark Forster used Narcan to save the life of a 30-year-old woman who overdosed on heroin.  One day later, Officer Tony Trunkel responded to a 29-year-old man who was suffering from a heroin overdose and used Narcan to save him.  Officer Ryan Toellner responded to a call of his nine-month old niece choking and used the Heimlich maneuver to get a piece of plastic out of her throat.  Police Chief Chris MacNeill says the live-saving award comes with a letter of commendation that goes in the officer’s file, a certificate, and a uniform pin.  The chief says this is Forster’s second life-saving recognition while Trunkel and Toellner each have three.  Toellner was also recognized at the meeting for fifteen years on the job.


Mayville Council Approves Land Deals


3/19/16 – Mayville’s Common Council approved lease deals for two city owned farming properties at this week’s meeting.  Michael Schultz will pay around $10,000 to lease the parcels for three years, beginning next month.  One property is in the city’s industrial park and the other is adjacent to the TAG Center.  Schultz was the lowest of four bidders on both pieces of land.


DCSO Raising Funds For Youth Program’s National Competition


3/19/16 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is holding a fundraiser tonight to benefit its youth program.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says proceeds from tonight’s bowling event at Horicon’s Dodge Entertainment Center will fund the department’s Explorer Post’s trip to a week-long national competition in Flagstaff, Arizona this summer.  While the national competition isn’t until July, Schmidt says the group has already competed in 2016.  Most recently, they took first place and won five trophies at last weekend’s regional event in Milwaukee.  Schmidt says the compeitions include: traffic stops, domestic disturbances, physical agility, and shoot, don’t shoot.  Schmidt was in charge of Dodge County’s Explorer Post when it was founded in 2008.  Last year, the sheriff handed the reigns to program graduate Dustin Waas, who the department since hired as a deputy.  Schmidt says the number of program working in Wisconsin law enforcement has reached double figures.  Tonight’s event runs from 6-10 pm and will also offer a silent auction and 50-50 raffle.


Virus Spreading Outside Wisconsin


3/19/16 – Deaths from the Elizabeth-Kingia bacterial infection are no longer limited to Wisconsin. Officials say one resident of western Michigan died from the same strain that killed 17 people in the southern half of Wisconsin since November.  Twelve Wisconsin counties have been affected including Dodge County. The bacteria is normally found in water and soil — and Chris Braden of the U-S Centers for Disease Control says his agency is checking related samples but there’s still no clue as to what caused the outbreak. Braden says the Wisconsin outbreak with its 48 infections is the largest ever documented in published reports, and Elizabeth-Kingia seldom causes serious human infections. Most who have contracted the illness are senior citizens with other underlying health concerns.


Former D.A.R.E. Officer Pleads To Stealing Funds


3/19/16 – A former Brown County D.A.R.E. officer charged with stealing money intended for the program has pleaded guilty to theft after reaching a deal with prosecutors. Fifty-four-year old Kevin Vanden Heuvel is also pleading guilty to misconduct in office. Authorities say Vanden Heuvel printed and sold counterfeit parking passes at the D.A.R.E. lot near Lambeau Field, and pocketing more than $40,000 that people thought was going to help the Drug Abuse Resistance and Education program. He is also accused of bilking $32,000 from local citizens and businesses. Prosecutors say Vanden Heuvel set up multiple bank accounts from which he funneled money for his personal use. Under the plea bargain, prosecutors will recommend Vanden Heuvel spend two years in prison and four years under state supervision. His sentence hearing is scheduled for June 17th.