News – May 13, 2016

Dodge County Sheriff Targeted By IRS Scam


5/13/16 – Another Dodge County resident received a call from the new IRS scam yesterday.  That resident was Sheriff Dale Schmidt.  In a press release, Schmidt says the original call stated the IRS was filing a lawsuit against him.  For more information, he was told to call that number back.  When Schmidt obliged, a woman answered the phone and hung up when the sheriff asked her to verify it was the IRS, stating “it is not our job to verify who we are.”  Schmidt called back again, and a man answered.  When Schmidt stated who he was and asked for the man to confirm it was in fact the IRS, the man said “this is not the IRS, this is a scam.”  The man said he was from Afghanistan and was aware that his job was based on stealing money from people.  The sheriff advises people not to give any information out to these types of callers as the IRS will not contact people in this manner.


Waupun Student Suspended For Alleged Gun Threat


5/13/16 – A Waupun middle school student has been suspended from school for allegedly making a threat to take a gun to school. Waupun Police Chief Dale Heeringa says the 13-year-old boy was overheard having a conversation on a school bus Wednesday afternoon. He says the conversation was about the death penalty. Heeringa says the boy felt people were not being punished stringently enough and then he made some comments about firearms and bringing them to school.  According to Heeringa, the police school liaison officer and the school district talked about the situation and it was decided the teen should be suspended. He says it doesn’t look like the threat was something the boy planned to follow through on.  Heeringa says it doesn’t look like the boy had access to a weapon. Investigation into the incident continues to determine the length of the suspension.


State Employee Accused Of Possessing Child Porn Waives Prelim


5/13/16 – A Randolph man accused of having child pornography on his computer waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday.  Sean Robillard is facing ten felony counts of Possessing Child Pornography.  The 48-year-old was reportedly stopped last week in Eau Claire, the same day officers executed a search warrant at his home.  Robillard allegedly allowed officers to search his laptop while the vehicle was stopped and admitted it had inappropriate materials.  Robillard, who works as a technical engineer for the state’s online court records system, will be arraigned June 15.


Former Correctional Officer Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Inmates


5/13/16 – A former officer at Fox Lake Correctional Institution is accused of sexually assaulting three inmates over a period of several months last year.  Alex Andre Wouts of Poy Sippi is facing five felony counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault by Correctional Staff.  In December, officers were told to conduct an investigation at the institution after allegations were sent to the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office.  Three inmates went into detail about the sexual acts, and a pair of one of the men’s underwear was tested and reportedly contained Wouts’ DNA.  The 32-year-old denied the assaults, stating he would not risk his job and family by doing something like that within the prison system.  If he is found guilty on all counts, Wouts faces up to 90 years in prison.  His initial appearance is May 16.


Beaver Dam Man Charged With Identity Theft


5/13/16 – A Beaver Dam man is accused of stealing money from his friend.  Anthony Fraze is facing felony Identity Theft and Forgery counts, both as a repeat offender.  In November, the 40-year-old allegedly took checks and credit cards from his vacationing friend whose house he was staying at for a couple nights.  A cashier at one of the locations Fraze reportedly cashed a check wrote down Fraze’s driver’s license information on the check.  The total amount lost was over $1,300.  If he is found guilty on both counts, Fraze faces up to 20 years in prison.  His initial appearance is May 31.


Men Accused Of Cashing Bad Checks In Dodge County


5/13/16 – Two Milwaukee men are accused of cashing thousands of dollars in phony checks at Dodge County-area banks. 42-year-old Leo L. Wolf and 48-year-old Brian A. Graf are each charged with two felony counts of Forgery. The two are said to have cashed checks in January totaling around $6000. If convicted, each charge carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison. Wolf and Graf have initial appearances scheduled later this month.


Warrant Issued For Watertown Man Accused Of Burglary


5/13/16 – A bench warrant was issued yesterday for a Watertown man who failed to appear for his preliminary hearing in Dodge County court. Jubal Bischoff is charged with one count of felony Burglary as a party to a crime.  The 18-year-old is accused of breaking into a friend’s house in November to steal electronics and blank checks.  His alleged co-conspirator Nathaniel Koplien reportedly tried to sell the stolen items and cash a couple forged checks.  If he is convicted, Bischoff faces over 12 years in prison.


Watertown Man Accused Of Stealing From Friend


5/13/16 – A Watertown man is accused of stealing from a friend’s house.  Charles Schmidt is facing one felony Burglary count for allegedly climbing through the home’s window while his friend was at work in February and taking a video game system.  Soon after, the 21-year-old reportedly posted on Facebook that he was selling the same system.  If he is found guilty, Schmidt faces over 12 years in prison.  His initial appearance is May 31.


Fatal Bat Disease In Dodge County And 13 Others


5/13/16 – A fatal bat disease continues to spread across Wisconsin. The state Department of Natural Resources says over-winter surveillance shows white-nose syndrome or the fungus that causes it is now present in 14 counties, including Dodge County.  That number is up from eight after over-winter surveillance that ended in 2015. Surveys showed a 94 percent drop in bat populations at the Grant County mine where the disease was first found in Wisconsin in 2014. One site where the disease was discovered in 2015 had no bats left. The D-N-R has imposed decontamination procedures for cave-goers to prevent white-nose syndrome from spreading and added four bat species to the state’s threatened species list. More than six-million bats across 28 states have died since white-nose syndrome was discovered in New York in 2006.


Final Weekend For Beaver Dam Theatre Show


5/13/16 – It’s the closing weekend for the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s spring show. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a Tony Award-winning musical comedy about ten middle school competitors and three adult administrators spelling, fussing, singing and dancing toward an eventual winner. The play is PG-13 and the middle-schoolers are played by young adults who behave like children. In addition to the core cast of spellers, four audience volunteers will be enlisted for each performance. It’s the same set of words for the casted characters but the spelling bee moderator, Vice Principal Douglas Panch played by Ron Wilkie, has the latitude to give the four audience participants any word he wants. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is on the stage of the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre – 219 North Spring Street – tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.


Ryan Pleased With Obamacare Ruling


5/13/16 – House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville calls a federal judge’s ruling against Obamacare “a historic win for the constitution and the American people.” Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer of Washington sided yesterday with House Republicans, who alleged that the White House violated congressional spending authority. The Obama administration allocated $175,000,000,000 for ten years to reduce deductibles and copayments for low income clients in the Affordable Care Act. The White House says it will prevail upon appeals, and Judge Collyer put her ruling on hold for now. Ryan says it’s clear the president overreached by spending tax money without the people’s approval through their representatives — but White House spokesman Josh Earnest says it’s the first time Congress could sue the executive branch over what a law says.


State Fair CEO Allegedly Ignored Procedures


5/13/16 – Officials now say that State Fair Park C-E-O Rick Frenette was fired after he gave pay raises to himself and 31 others while ignoring the state’s procedures for getting approvals. Frenette’s lawyer says he was told by Human Resources Director Ryan Burns that the Walker administration approved the merit pay hikes — and Burns resigned yesterday, one day after Frenette was let go. State Senate Democrat Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee is on the board that voted unanimously to terminate Frenette. Carpenter said it was wrong for Frenette to give himself a raise, and the State Fair is such a “beloved institution” that the board had to act to protect its image. Long time fair official Kathleen O’Leary will oversee this year’s fair, planned for August 4-14 — and she vows that it will be “as good if not better” than the previous ones.

Weinermobiles Staying Put In State Capitol


5/13/16 – Oscar Mayer is leaving Madison, but its classic Weinermobiles will not. Corporate owner Kraft Heinz tells the Madison Capital Times the 27-foot rolling hot dog vehicles will stay — along with the “Hotdogger” program in which recent college graduates learn to drive and handle the vehicles while promoting Oscar Mayer wieners. Kraft Heinz first said last fall it would close the Madison plant by next summer, and move its U-S meat headquarters to Chicago. One local media report at the time said House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville drove the Weinermobile and was a salesman for the company at one time. Oscar Mayer will end 97 years of meat production in Madison when the plant shuts down.