News – March 29, 2009

Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers in North Dakota

3/29/09 – Three Wisconsin National Guard helicopters and 17 soldiers are answering North Dakota’s call for help to assist with flood relief efforts. The task force left the West Bend Flight Facility at noon yesterday. The aircraft and soldiers come from the West Bend-based 832nd Medical Company, the Madison-based 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation; and Detachment 1, Company B, the 248th Aviation Support Battalion (also in West Bend). They are conducting search and rescue operations and provide air transportation. They also have the ability to provide medical evacuation if needed. Wisconsin’s contingent will join more than 2,100 North Dakota Guard members and hundreds from other states including Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota and Missouri. National Guard soldiers and airmen have been filling and hauling sandbags, transporting equipment, manning traffic control points and conducting search and rescue operations as North Dakota water ways continue to rise across the state. While the Wisconsin National Guard currently has more than 3,200 soldiers and airmen deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism, more than 6,000 Guard members stand ready to assist Wisconsin and America with domestic operations such as the North Dakota Floods.

Names Released in Town of Westford Wreck

3/29/09 – The names of the drivers involved in a two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon in the Town of Westford have been released. The State Patrol says a mini-van driven by 50-year-old Richard J. Sadoski of Randolph was northbound on Pleasant Road around 3:30pm when he blew the stop sign at County Trunk AC and hit a SUV driven by 28-year-old Brad J. Voelker of Fox Lake. Both men were Medflighted from the scene; Sadoski to UW Hospital Madison and Voelker to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Both men are listed as having life-threatening injuries. An initial investigation shows that neither man was wearing a seat belt and its unknown if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.

Bail Set for West Allis Swim Coach

3/29/09 – Bail is set at 65 thousand dollars for Waukesha youth swim coach Daniel Acker. The 61 year old made a Saturday court appearance and asked for Milwaukee County to pay for an attorney to represent him. Acker was arrested last week while coaching swimmers at Frank Lloyd Wright Middle School in West Allis. An unnamed man told authorities Acker had sexually assaulted him between 1971 and 1976, when the alleged victim was 11 to 15 years of age. Since then at least four other men have come forward. Acker faces charges in one of the cases, though other counts could be filed. The court told Acker he doesn’t qualify for public defender representation.

Lazy Lake Management District Honors Flood Hero’s

3/29/09 – Two local heroes were recognized Saturday at the Lazy Lake Management District meeting. District President Steve Sobiek passed out a number of awards to Columbus and Fall River residents who put their lives on the line in the June, 2008 flood disaster. Terry Jaymes of Columbus and William Jaymes of Fall River were honored for their part in keeping the rush of Lazy Lake flood debris from “taking out” the Fall River dam. he effort by the Lazy Lake weed harvesting crew and Village personnel saved the Fall River Dam from being washed into the north branch of the Crawfish River. Village President Dale Standke, Public Works Director Bob Niehoff and Town of Fountain Prairie Chairman Steve Rubert were also recognized for their role in emergency management during the flood.

Gas Continues Its Climbs

3/29/09 – Gas in Beaver Dam is six cents below the statewide average and six cents above the national average. The price of a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.09, the same as in Juneau and Watertown. The high price in the state is $2.20 in Sister Bay. The low price is $2.03 in Sheboygan.

High Speed Rail Between Milwaukee and Madison?

3/29/09 – An advocate for high speed rail says Wisconsin’s chances are looking pretty good. Madison to Milwaukee at 110 miles an hour? Kevin Brubaker with the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago says we could soon see high speed rail along the existing Hiawatha route between Milwaukee and Chicago. But that’s not all. Brubaker says for about a half-billion dollars we could get high speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison. Eight billion dollars in federal stimulus dollars have been allocated for high speed rail nationwide, and Brubaker says Wisconsin and the Midwest are in an ideal position to compete for some of that money, in part because of groundwork done years ago by former Governor Tommy Thompson.

New Berlin Looks For Compact Exemption

3/29/09 – Two environmental groups say the state needs to get more information before it allows the city of New Berlin to divert Lake Michigan water. New Berlin is located right on the edge of the Great Lakes basin, where waterways on one side flow to the Mississippi River, and those on the other flow to the Great Lakes. The New Berlin instance will be the first test of a Great Lakes Compact exemption which does allow some water to be diverted. The Alliance for the Great Lakes and the National Wildlife Federation expressed their concerns to the Wisconsin DNR. They say the city should provide plans for a water conservation program before a final decision is made.

Earns Prefers Interim Title

3/29/09 – Interim chancellor Lane Earns has told the University of Wisconsin-Parkside he doesn’t want the job permanently. Earns took over when former chancellor Jack Keating retired last year. Earns says he will stay on the Parkside campus until June, then return to UW-Oshkosh. He was provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at that school. Parkside continues its search since it’s last choice was forced to back out. Robert Felner resigned before arriving in Wisconsin after he became the target of a federal criminal fraud investigation. Felner has been indicted.

Skeletons In The Closet

3/29/09 – Her landlord found about 20 skeletons of cats where Lorie Kuehl was living. Eight charges of animal abuse were filed against the Menasha woman last Friday. Prosecutors say her landlord entered the apartment in January after Kuehl had left without giving notice. He reported he found piles of animal feces and the skeletons — some contained in a plastic garbage bag. Kuehl told police she took in stray cats, but abandoned the home last September when the male cats became aggressive. She said she did return occasionally to feed the cats, but she had stopped making those visits.